Are you ready for the last Super Edition in more than 100 books? Yep, no lie, the series doesn’t have another Super Edition for that long (no worries though, Super Thrillers, Super Stars and Magna Editions make up for it). All right, enough yammering (I kind of just wanted to use that word) and let’s get this party started. 😉
“Out Of Control”
Sweet Valley Scale: 4 out of 5 Twins
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Second Place
Aaron Dallas, handsome co-captain of the Sweet Valley High soccer team used to be friendly and likeable. But suddenly he’s changed. He explodes at the smallest things and lashes out at everyone, including his teammates and his girlfriend, Heather. Elizabeth Wakefield is worried about the change in Aaron. Her boyfriend, Jeffrey French, is Aaron’s best friend, so he keeps making excuses for Aaron. Elizabeth can’t seem to persuade him that his best friend really needs help, until Jeffrey himself becomes the target of Aaron’s rage…
The thing that stood out to me the most in regards to this book is just how much of a bitch Elizabeth is being. I mean I don’t know if she was supposed to be PMSing or something, but damn. Anyway, Aaron Dallas has developed a serious anger problem and is exploding at everyone. Aaron is best friends with Jeffrey French, Elizabeth’s boyfriend, and when Elizabeth mentions it to Jeffrey, he just excuses Aaron’s behavior. They go on a double date with Aaron and his girlfriend Heather and Elizabeth does nothing but judge them the entire night. Aaron explodes over a disagreement with a teammate and Heather uses baby-talk (yes as in goo goo and gah gah) to talk him down. Elizabeth instantly thinks Heather is a moron because of this. Things continue to spiral out of control and Aaron attacks a teammate and his coach tells him if there is one more incident he is off the team. Elizabeth witnesses the scene and writes an article about it for the school paper. Aaron is furious about the article and Jeffrey stands up for Elizabeth, so Aaron punches him (of course).
While all of this has been happening, Jessica has a new get-rich-quick scheme called Tofu-Glo, a line of beauty products made from soybeans (you know this won’t end well). She throws a party for her friends to sell them on Tofu-Glo and demands Elizabeth invite Heather. When Heather leaves the party, Liz is a bitch and makes fun of her for baby-talking Aaron. At least, she feels guilty about it afterward (as she should). Jessica is so confident that this stuff will be as fabulous as it claims to be, she offers all of her customers a money back guarantee. She is selling like crazy when suddenly everyone is demanding their money back. The stuff smells foul and they can’t wash the shampoo out of their hair. Jessica, being the idiot that she is, never tried the stuff herself. She does and finds out to her horror that people are not exaggerating. (Turns out she was supposed to keep everything refrigerated.)
Back to Aaron’s anger problem: Elizabeth finds out that Heather is really embarrassed about using baby-talk with Aaron, but it is the only thing that calms him down. Aarons’ father hit him once and he has never forgiven him for it (all of this is blamed on his parents’ recent divorce). Elizabeth feels terrible for being such a judgmental bitch. There is the Elizabeth I love, or love to hate, whichever. After the Jeffrey incident, Aaron realizes just how badly he needs to take control. Heather convinces him to see the guidance counselor and she fixes everything within an hour. Because of Aaron’s ‘breakthrough’ he is still allowed to stay on the team and they win the big soccer game against their rival Big Mesa.
I hated Elizabeth in this book, and I hated how Aaron’s anger management problem was handled and how it was simplified. That being said, the entire Tofu-Glo fiasco carries this book. You will laugh until you cry and that alone bumped the book’s rating up. Even if you aren’t a devout fan, you should at least read the Tofu-Glo parts of this book (you’re forgiven if you skip over the rest). 🙂
“Spring Fever” (Super Edition)
Sweet Valley Scale: 4.5 out of 5 Twins
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: First Place
The Wakefield twins never expected that the small town of Walkersville, Kansas would be twice as exciting as their own hometown. But when Elizabeth and Jessica spent their spring break at their great aunt and uncle’s house in the country, they find that small-town life has its share of big adventures. At first, things don’t look very promising. The local girls give the twins the cold shoulder instead of a warm welcome. Then there is the fact that Aunt Shirley and Uncle Herman are very old-fashioned and strict; and they won’t let the twins out of their sight. Things get better though, when the girls meet gorgeous identical twins, Alex and Brad Parker, at a local carnival. Jessica thinks Brad just might be the man of her dreams, but how can she find out with her aunt and uncle always watching? Of course, the trouble really begins when Elizabeth makes an unexpected discovery about the Parker twins…
From the very start you know this is going to be a different kind of Super Edition. The twins are going to a small town in Kansas and staying with their elderly aunt and uncle. Their Aunt Shirley seems a bit much, always worrying about what they are wearing (after that rhinestone studded tracksuit, I would too, but for different reasons) and refuses to let them out of her sight. The boys in town seem happy to meet the twins, but the girls (all six of them, so watch out) are beyond icy to them. They are obviously following the lead of their ringleader Annie Sue, and while I may put down everyone’s favorite Wakefields every now and then, you’ll hate Annie Sue and hope they put her in her place. I promise. Everyone goes to a carnival and Jessica falls for a carnie named Alex Parker, whose father owns the carnival. When she asks her aunt if she can meet Alex after the carnival Aunt Shirley clutches her heart and yells for her husband to get her pills. (At least now you know where Jessica gets her melodramatic tendencies from.) Jessica sneaks out anyway and sets up Elizabeth with Alex’s identical twin brother Brad. All of this is just put on repeat. Annie Sue is a horrible bitch to the twins, Jessica keeps sneaking off, Elizabeth sees Brad and their aunt keeps clutching her heart and asking for her pills for no reason at all.
But then Elizabeth discovers a terrible truth about the Parker twins (I won’t spoil it, but had it figured out when the characters were first introduced) and Jessica saves Annie Sue’s life after she got on a horse Jessica was watching after Jessica tried to stop her, and the horse went crazy. Jessica’s bravery receives hearty applause from a large crowd (I just threw up a little) and Annie Sue suddenly becomes a human being. She invites everyone to her place for an ‘I almost died, but now everything is better’ party immediately after and apologizes to the twins and admits she was just jealous. Everyone has a fabulous time and then attends a square dance where Elizabeth deals with the Parker twins’ secret. This is the best part of the entire book.
This book is so bad it’s… still bad. But in all of the ways you love (and a few you won’t). This book is all about stereotypes, from the elderly relatives stuck in the nineteenth century to small-town life. I didn’t have a problem with the book’s portrayal of small-town Kansas, because growing up in Nebraska, I know many towns in Iowa and Nebraska that are like stepping through a time warp (even now in 2014). I hope, however, people who read it understand this isn’t all of Kansas or the Midwest (some people seem to have been offended by it, but for me it was amusing). That being said, one sin this book makes that I find less forgivable is continuity. Sweet Valley High is not known for its continuity (it is pretty bad actually), so my expectations are never high. In this book, however, the writer has Annie Sue’s younger sister torment Elizabeth and Jessica when they are forced to go to Annie Sue’s house with their aunt and then a few chapters later claim Annie Sue is an only child. This may have worked if we hadn’t had an entire chapter devoted to her bratty sister. I can understand forgetting what has been said in previous books in the series, but such a boo-boo in the same book. Now that is just sloppy.
Something that must be said, this is the last Sweet Valley High Super Edition for a long time. The series stopped doing them and instead other special editions like Super Thrillers, Super Stars and Magna Editions came out; all three are very different from these first six Super Editions, so it wasn’t just calling them by another name. It is not the last Super Edition, but they don’t pick back up for another 106 books (no joke), so I hope you enjoyed it.
I still liked this book more than the fifth Sweet Valley High Super Edition from Confessions of a Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #17 – Sweet Valley High’s Fifth Super Edition And Books 34-35 – I’m not sure why. I think it might be the whole Parker twin incident. I was careful not to reveal just what their secret is and how Elizabeth deals with it, but it will being a smile to your face and make up for the any of the unforgivable badness of this book. You’ll have to read it to find out just what I mean!
This marks the end of the second season of Sweet Valley High: The Book Series. You know what that means? Watch out for my very special Sweet Valley two-part post, where I break the last twenty books down into short episode recaps (after all this is a soap opera) and give the skinny (a single paragraph of the main highlights of season two) and finally, what the last twenty books have taught us (time has no meaning, the consequences of divorce Sweet Valley style and more). You won’t want to miss it! 😉