sweet valley high
Let us talk, just for a moment, about Sweet Valley High.
I am not ashamed to tell you that I loved these books when I was a young teen. Loved. I read all of them up through, I think, the 70s or 80s or something, but I can't really remember, they all start to run together, and anyway, I can't really remember specific numbers after #40 (Special Anniversary Edition), the one about Jade Wu. She was Chinese! And she wanted to be a dancer! But her dad was all strict, like, "No way, most dutiful daughter," because he was CHINESE and OLD and he though dancing was SHAMEFUL but Jade was all, we're in America, dad, and dates some white guy (!) and wins some dance scholarship anyway! Only they want her to change her name, because Wu was too ethnic! And she turns down the scholarship because she's proud of her culture! And her dad cries! And the funniest part is that her name is JADE! Because she's Chinese, see? Take that, racial intolerance! That was almost as funny as the Sweet Valley High where the girl trying to get into the sorority is trying to hide the fact that she's Latina because of DISCRIMINATION but then finally reveals her culture after some Spanish-speaking kid falls down a ditch or something, and she has to speak Spanish to him to get her out.
Sweet Valley High was awesome.
Oh, and remember the one where Elizabeth gets in a motorcycle accident and gets all brain-damaged and when she wakes up from the coma, she's Jessica? Meaning she's a total slut? And then she flirts with everyone's boyfriends and they're all mad, and she even hooks it up with Bruce Patman, after he gives her wine and he TOUCHES HER BOOB but then she hits her head and goes back to normal? And her boyfriend Todd cries? Because he's the one the caused the motorcycle accident? Awesome.
Oh, and the one where Regina Morrow, who's the rich deaf girl, gets dumped by Bruce? Because he just wanted her to go to a special school for deaf people? But he knew she wouldn't go if they were still dating? But then she goes all nuts and goes to a party where this guy named "Buzz" brings cocaine. And then she SNORTS it. Twice! And then she DIES! Because she had an undiagnosed heart condition but also because she did DRUGS. And then everyone cries. And Elizabeth reads some crappy poem, fucking pansy.
Remember how Todd Wilkinson (Elizabeth's boyfriend, stay with me, people) moved away, because of his dad's job? But then Elizabeth starts dating Jeffry French, like, heh, FRENCH, and it's all good, except also totally gross, because they look exactly alike. And they're all perfect together, but oh, Todd moves back! So now what? And then Elizabeth is dating Todd again, and poor Jeffrey is dating nobody, only along comes Enid, Elizabeth's nerdy (I mean "sensible") best friend, and then the two of them start dating! Yay! Happy ending!
Remember when Jessica was going to run away? Because she was dating this troubled man who had a moustache, Nicky someone? And she felt all unappreciated because Elizabeth was so perfect and she was such a fuck-up? And she tried to make people like her by making some seafood dinner, only then the whole family got food poisoning and puked, so she's all, "everyone would be better off without me" and runs away. With Nicky! Only she comes back eventually, I can't remember why. Probably because Elizabeth said something sappy and then they're like, BFF! Woo! Twin power! I hate Elizabeth.
Oh, and what about the story about Lynn Henry? She was UGLY! But she had a good voice! Probably because her dad was a singer. But he DIED. And she's all, "get off my case, Mom, I'm too ugly," but her mom was, like, a makeover artist. And then The Droids (this high school band) were having a song contest. And Lynn entered her tape. Only it was anonymous, because she was afraid of being mocked. But her song won! And they didn't know it was her! And Guy, the head of The Droids, fell in LOVE with her VOICE. Because it was all gorgeous, and he was like, "I must find her," and he gets all choked up and everything. And Lynn loves Guy too! But she's UGLY. Luckily, she gets a makeover from her mom and they bond over makeup, and Lynn becomes hot. And she and Guy get together (with Elizabeth's help, of course) and everyone's so glad to meet the mystery songwriter, and Lynn performs the song live in front of the whole school, so now she's POPULAR, and then she and Guy DO IT! Well, I just added that last part. No one does it in Sweet Valley High.
Do you have any Sweet Valley Memories? I'm going to start compiling them. E-mail them to me and we'll amass a mighty archive!