Sunday, October 17, 2010
Love Letters #17
Let me start by saying that I often find Caroline annoying (and I'm not the only one), but I liked this book a lot. It had a fake boyfriend disaster and no Todd and Elizabeth B.S. Good enough for me!
So, Caroline is feeling alienated and lonely because she has no real friends and her cool older sister ignores her. This is probably due to the fact that she is the biggest gossip ever and super nosy.
Instead of realizing this, she invents an over-the-top romantic boyfriend who lives two hours away named Adam, and writes letters to herself that are supposedly from "Adam".
Because she's lazy and not such a great writer, she copies the letters from the books of poet Robert Browning's love letters to his love Elizabeth. Convienently, our own Elizabeth is doing a play in some kind of competition, with those exact letters from the books. This comes in later on in the story.
These letters were written a looong time ago, so they don't sound anything like letters a sixteen-year-old boy would write anyway...
"My dearest, inexpressibly dearest, Caroline. Your flower is the one flower I have seen, or see, or shall see. When it fades I will bless it till it shines again."
And for some reason, all of the girls buy this crap and really think Caroline has some uber-romantic guy in love with her.
The only one who isn't totally convinced is Jessica. I thought Lila would be more skeptical, but she seems to buy the story for awhile. Jess is determined to prove that Caroline's a liar, and she gets Lila to plan a party in honor of Caroline and her new man. Caroline panics and tries to get out of it, but Lila and Jess get bus tickets for "Adam" and make sure there's no excuse for him not to show up.
Now, normally I would be making fun of Caroline's stupid fake-boyfriend plan more, but I have to admit I've done it. Not with old-timey letters, but made-up stories about my "boyfriend". Plus SVH is all about couples and dating, and she's one of the only single, date-less students there. Plus, she's like the only red-head in Sweet Valley (besides Julie Porter, but she barely counts). I can't blame her for losing her mind and making boyfriends up. But I digress.
Enter B and C plots : B plot- Caroline finds a letter in the Wakefield's trash from Mrs. Wakefield thanking a firm in San Francisco for their job offer.She mentions in the letter that she'd have to think it over ,and her family would need a month to move.
Caroline catches Jessica making fun of her and pulls out the letter to embarrass her. Things like this may be why people don't like you Caroline.
To avoid looking bad in front of Lila and Cara, Jessica acts like she already knew about the possible move when she really had no idea. Yes, their parents never mentioned they might be moving to a different city in about a month. Another fine example of Alice and Ned Wakefield parenting genius.
Why no one really questions how Caroline got a personal letter, or why a letter that Alice was supposed to be sending to San Francisco was in the Wakefield's trash can in Sweet Valley, I don't know.
Jessica tells Liz, and they confront their parents, who have the nerve to call them selfish for not being happy about their mother's job opportunity. What? Yes, the twins can be quite selfish, (especially Jessica), but them not being excited about a sudden move to a new city is understandable. Liz plans to wait to tell Todd, but Caroline screws that up when she tells Liz to tell Jess she's sorry about the letter incident....right in front of Todd. Way to go Caroline. She's batting 1000 in this one.
The twins start a Sweet-Valley-is-perfect campaign to get their parents to stay, sending them pamphlets on Sweet Valley hangouts.
I can't figure out why they think spamming their parents to death will make them want to stay in Sweet Valley. But I guess I'm missing something, since it does work and they get to stay in Sweet Valley. Of course. Sweet Valley would collapse on itself without the Wakefields!
C plot isn't much of anything except a few pages about Regina and Bruce going on a date. Will Regina fall for SVH's resident player/date rapist? I'm going to spoil the surprise and say yes, in fact, she falls Head Over Heels for Bruce.
So back to our fabulous A-plot. Elizabeth reads some of her play at the dinner table, and Jessica knows for sure after hearing it that "Adam" didn't write those letters. For some reason Liz thinks that maybe "Adam's" just a plagerizer, copying the plays and sending them to Caroline, instead of realizing that, HELLO! Caroline is writing the letters to herself!
Sometimes I want to tear my hair out at how dense and overly-trusting Liz is. Don't we all?
The party is all set for the weekend and Caroline is freaking out. She confesses the whole thing to Liz ,(who else?), and asks her not to read her play at the competition, because then everyone from school will know Adam didn't write the letters. They're going to know when that party rolls around the next day anyway, but Caroline is apparently both selfish and stupid.
Elizabeth actually ends up agreeing to not enter her play, which is so ridiculous. Jess couldn't have said it better:
"I thought you were the brains of the family Liz, but that's about the stupidest thing you've ever done in your whole life. I can't believe you'd jeopordize your entire literary future for that spoiled brat!"
But all is well in the end, because Caroline realizes she can't hide forever and tells Liz to read the play. She pours her heart out to her older sister, Anita, about her fake boyfriend. and crippling loneliness. Anita's response is to spend two hours telling Caroline all of the reasons no one likes her. The tough approach works, and Caroline apologizes to all of the people she's gossiped about and vows to change.
Because Liz is everyone's guardian angel, she decides to help Caroline out of her jam. She gets Todd's random out-of-town friend, Jerry, to play "Adam" at the party. You'd think that Caroline would just go with it and save herself the embarrassment, (I know I would), but because we have to learn a moral lesson, Caroline confesses her lie to the whole party.
But it's cool because Jerry likes her for realz and wants to write to her and be her real-life Adam. Awww.
Moral of the story? Don't invent fake boyfriends. No seriously, don't. It's really embarrassing when you get caught in the lie. I'm still embarrassed about my fake boyfriend incident from over 10 years ago!