The first book after Todd and Elizabeth get back together and it’s already drama, drama, drama. I hate to say I told you so, Elizabeth – wait, no I really don’t. I told you so! Anyway, check out a book that only proves my point – Elizabeth Wakefield and Jeffrey French were a much better couple than Elizabeth Wakefield and Todd “I’m a Scrub” Wilkins. 😛
“In Love Again”
Sweet Valley Scale: 3.5 out of 5 Twins
Elizabeth Wakefield and Todd Wilkins are back together! After living in Vermont for several months, Todd Wilkins and his family have returned to Sweet Valley. It’s just like old times between Elizabeth and Todd now – in fact it’s even better. They have never been so much in love. But before long Elizabeth notices that Todd is different, he isn’t the same person he was when they first started dating. For one thing, his family has a lot more money. Todd lives in a mansion, attends an exclusive private school and drives an expensive car. And he has a whole new set of friends, and some of them don’t like Elizabeth. Can Todd and Elizabeth’s love survive all of the changes in Todd’s life?
Elizabeth and Todd are back together and they’re so, so happy… even if they’re already ruining each other’s lives. Elizabeth and Todd want to spend all of their free time together, but since Todd is attending Lovett Academy, which is an hour away, they decide to blow off everything they care about to overcompensate. Elizabeth blows off homework and stuff for The Oracle (the high school newspaper) and she is just being plain sloppy. Todd keeps skipping basketball practice. They soon realize that they’re going to have to accept only seeing each other every evening because they can’t keep being shady. Oh my God, the horror of only seeing your boyfriend every day at dinnertime. Try living a couple of states away – oh wait they did, and broke up. Sigh.
Jessica has decided it is time for a change and she wants to transfer to Lovett Academy to meet new people, particularly the rich, good-looking guys who attend Lovett. She convinces her parents to let her transfer and has an admissions interview and then becomes someone else entirely, always studying. Like lunch period, free period, every night at home, on the weekends, because she just has to get into Lovett.
Courtney Kane (the bitch who tried to keep Todd and Elizabeth apart in the last book) sees Todd and Elizabeth together and is super pissed. She vows revenge, and I wonder how this girl has a life, like any sort of a life. As luck would have it, that night Courtney’s father, who owns a TV station, tells her that the station and a shoe company is sponsoring a sort of mini-olympics between ten schools in the area, including Lovett Academy and Sweet Valley High. Courtney is already scheming. School officials announce the competition at Sweet Valley High and everyone is excited, except Jessica because since she is planning on transferring to Lovett, she doesn’t know which school to support and she certainly can’t participate. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is all worried about competing against Todd because that would just be the worst thing in the whole universe. Ugh.
Todd takes Elizabeth to this party at a country club because a lot of kids from his school will be there. Elizabeth tries to have a good time, but everyone there acts like a rich bitch – even the guys. They’re rude and look down on Elizabeth for being friendly to “the help,” while Courtney’s date, Campbell, keeps hitting on Elizabeth. Of course this only makes Courtney hate Liz even more. The only bright spot of the party is when they leave and Todd tells her he didn’t have a good time either. But I’m only half buying it.
Everyone at Sweet Valley finds out what teams they’re on for the upcoming competition. Elizabeth is on the relay team, along with Ken Matthews, Robin Wilson, and Jeffrey French (Elizabeth’s recent ex). Awkward… Todd is also on the relay team for Lovett and when he comes to watch Elizabeth practice, Ken Matthews asks him to leave because he doesn’t want Todd telling Lovett their secrets and gaining some sort of advantage. What the hell? First of all, Ken Matthews was one of Todd’s best friends ever, and he still is. Talk about feeling the love in that friendship. Secondly, what secrets? It is an obstacle course, where you run around and climb ropes. Does Sweet Valley have a secret strut that makes them faster? Perhaps special arm exercises to make their arms better for climbing ropes? Give me a break.
But later that night, Todd is upset that he and Elizabeth will be in direct competition with each other (because he just can’t hack it and he knows it). He asks Liz to switch teams and if she can’t, to just quit. Elizabeth is pissed (as she should be). They fight. A few days later, Todd is acting just like the snobs at Lovett and talking about “important people” and Elizabeth realizes his values have changed. (Um, what values?) They fight again and break up. Because that is what Todd and Elizabeth always used to do. Todd acts like a douche, Elizabeth finally just stops taking it, and they break up. Put this pattern on repeat. I’m so glad Liz left a wonderful guy like Jeffrey for Todd. Makes perfect sense.
Courtney, sensing Todd’s distress, moves in and decides she actually only hates Elizabeth and tries to make a play for Todd again. The first competition takes place. For the relay, Ken is running while balancing an egg, Jeffrey and Robin are running a three-legged race and Elizabeth is climbing a rope. Todd is also climbing the rope on his team. Gee, you don’t say. 😛 After all of the different events in the competition, Lovett comes in first with Sweet Valley a close second. They’ll be facing off in the finals a few days later.
When Jessica takes an official tour of Lovett during school hours she starts to rethink transferring there. It seems so uptight and bookish, but she feels like she can’t admit that everyone else was right and she was wrong. Then she sees a hot guy and feels better about everything. Todd comes up to Jessica and asks about Elizabeth. Jessica is magnificent (hey, it is rare that I compliment Jess, but here she really does deserve some praise) and tells Todd how Elizabeth is wonderful and has never been better. He is obviously disappointed that Elizabeth isn’t in some sort of depression coma, pining away for him because he’s so hot and shit. Jessica tells Liz about it and how Todd obviously misses her, but Elizabeth feels Todd should make the first move (and he should – the loser).
Before the final competition of the Battle of the Schools, Courtney basically asks her father to make sure Lovett wins and he is appalled. He makes it very clear that this is business and while he hopes Lovett wins, there will be no “fixing” anything. Courtney is upset so she decides she’ll have to help her school win, on her own. She gets the question and answer book for the College Bowl and signals all of the answers to her team because all of the questions are true or false. This seems so lame, I mean a College Bowl should be challenging and with true or false questions, even if you’re completely clueless you still have a 50% chance of being right. Lame! Jessica sees Courtney cheating but can’t decide if she should tell anyone. She doesn’t want Lovett to win by cheating, but she also is rooting for Lovett because she still plans on transferring there.
Courtney helps set up for the relay race and sabotages Elizabeth by making sure she has a rotted out, weak rope that will most definitely break. Sweet Valley High is in the lead, but when Elizabeth starts climbing, sure to win at this point, the rope snaps and she falls and gets hurt. Todd rushes to her side instead of finishing out the course and everyone acts like they just saw someone get hit by a car. She fell a few feet onto the grass. Seriously people. The competition’s judges decide that the two schools will have a tug-of-war contest to determine the winner since the relay wasn’t finished and going into the relay the two schools were tied. Courtney complains about how Lovett should be the winner because Elizabeth never finished the course. What I don’t get is that while Elizabeth can’t finish the course now, Todd never finished the course either; he rushed to Elizabeth’s side. So really it is a draw anyway. Jessica tells Courtney if she doesn’t shut up then everyone will know that she cheated during the college bowl. Jessica takes Elizabeth’s place on the relay team for the tug of war while someone else substitutes for Todd because he refuses to leave Elizabeth.
The tug of war is super close, but then Todd stands up and cheers for Sweet Valley High which seems to give them added strength (cue the eye rolls and perhaps some gagging) and Sweet Valley High wins! Jessica decides Lovett is not the place for her, after what Courtney did to Liz, and Todd decides the same thing. He talks to his parents and will be transferring back to Sweet Valley High. I guess it’s a happy ending, unless you’re me, because if Todd stayed at Lovett I would probably read about him less. Sigh.
This book didn’t only prove Todd is a chump, but that Jeffrey is the man. Even though Liz was avoiding him and acting childish, Jeffrey was a friend to her throughout the whole book, and he was the one who got dumped! He shook Todd’s hand after the competition and smiled, being all nice while Todd and Elizabeth were both surprised. Jeffrey, please find someone else. Someone better. And if you ask me, you can never go wrong with a redhead. 😉