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Thursday, August 15, 2013

SVH #22 Too much in love

Well Bill and DeeDee look...mature for sixteen. Did anyone ever think to make the teens on the covers look like, I don't know teens? Me and my crazy ideas! Also, Bill looks like a pompous ass and DeeDee looks like a desperate wreck. I'm thinking that's going to set the tone for this book...

We start this great American novel with the usual "sun-streaked blonde hair" and "sparkling blue-green eyes" spiel and Ned announcing that he and Alice are going to Mexico to pick up documents from a lawyer. Clearly it's impossible for someone to mail something from Mexico to California. Impossible, I tell you!

Alice makes a point of telling the twins that she has some very important papers she has on her desk in the study. These papers are plans for some interior designer project and they cannot be replaced. So you know something bad is going to happen to those papers.

SVH is having a talent show soon, and Elizabeth is involved in planning it, (surprise, surprise). Liz calls up DeeDee Gordon to ask her to be in charge of designing the sets. Like all SVH books that feature minor characters in the main story, we need some kind of connection between the twins and said minor character. DeeDee acts kind of weird and says she needs to ask Bill before she commits to it. Liz spends about a page and a half fretting over DeeDee, wondering if she's alright, because Liz is the sensitive, caring twin dammit! And don't you ever forget that! (I may have had a bit too much caffeine this morning)

Speaking of acting weird, Todd is also behaving strangely. Now why would that be? If you've read
this , you already know.

Being a psychic, I know exactly what you're thinking. Why is DeeDee acting strange? What's going on? The suspense is killing me! Fear not, on the next page we start to find out. DeeDee shows up at Bill's house unexpectedly, and horror of horrors, he's at the library! Without her! But it's not just that incident. DeeDee has felt Bill pulling away from her for the past few weeks. It terrifies her because her parents got divorced, and according to her mother the divorce was caused by them not spending enough time together. DeeDee vows that this will not happen to her relationship with Bill.
And I quote: "Bill needs to see how much I depend on him, how much I need to be with him. Once he see's that, he'll never leave me"

Bad idea DeeDee. Not that I would know, from experience, or anything.....

We also learn, (in a convo with her BFF, Patty Gilbert), that DeeDee has given up the design classes she was taking. She doesn't want anything to interfere with her precious Bill time. She wonders to herself why Patty, who is independent and outgoing, is still friends with her. I want to make fun of Dee, (and rest assured, I will) , but I gotta say, I feel bad for her. I've been that clingy girlfriend, and it is not a good time. But enough about my problems, because....

..Jessica Wakefield is planning a party! And who cares about my issues when a party is about to happen in Sweet Valley?!? Liz is aghast at the idea- Jessica wants to have a party when their parents are gone? Who woulda thought???!? I can't wait! SVH parties are the only parties I get invited to, so I am beyond excited.

Meanwhile, DeeDee continues to be a clingmonster ,(it's a medical term), and Bill is more and more turned off. She follows him everywhere, and acts more like an obsessed stalker than girlfriend. Like many SVH books, it is almost painful to read, and I am embarrassed for her. Poor Bill is totally confused and wonders what happened to his formerly cool girlfriend. He agrees to go to a movie with Dana Larson (just as friends), and decides not to tell DeeDee because he knows she'll freak out. This is not going to end well.

Back to the party!!!! (Can you feel my excitement?) Jessica enlists none other than Lila Fowler's help with party planning, and Lila is full of great suggestions, such as inviting college frat guys. Inviting frat boys to your house is always a fabulous idea. Thanks, Lila! Jess agrees and imagines meeting the man of her dreams "handsome, rich, with a gorgeous car". Not just a nice car, but a gorgeous car. Reach for the stars, Jess.

In preparation for the party, Jessica attempts to make mini pizzas and wash the bed sheets, resulting in a fire in the kitchen and a broken washing machine. Any guesses as to why she needed to wash the bed sheets for a party? I can think of a few, but I'm trying to keep this blog PG. (ok, maybe PG-13)

In the midst of all of this exciting party planning, Jess runs into Bill and Dana Larson leaving the movie theater and practically jumps for joy. Finally, a chance to get back at DeeDee for what happened in this book ! Jess casually lets it slip to Dee that Bill was out with another girl, and of course DeeDee flips out. She corners Bill, and Bill responds by breaking up with her. Bet you didn't see that coming!

The break up is utterly devastating. I cried, I sobbed, I called in sick to work. That's how hard it hit me. Dee takes it better than I did, and after one attempt to get back together with Bill, she begins to heal and regain her self-esteem. She has an epiphany of sorts, and realizes how crazy she's been acting. She finally gets all the way back to normal thanks to Patty's scheming (for once, Jessica is not the one scheming! How novel.) Patty, with Elizabeth's help, cooks up a plan to force DeeDee to become independent again. Basically, Liz fakes sick so DeeDee is forced to take control of the talent show. This plan totally works and DeeDee's confidence comes back. In typical Sweet Valley fashion, DeeDee's issues are totally resolved within days.

Now that DeeDee is okay, it's time to party!! Yes, the party we (I), have been waiting for is finally here.

Brief summary: 19 frat guys show up, and SHOCKER, they bring beer! Frat guys bringing beer to a party? So odd. Some random Pi Beta sorority sister gets drunk, beer is spilled on Alice's important papers (I told you something would happen to the papers! Psychic.) The neighbors call the cops, and Jessica is about to be taken down to the station, when big bro Steve shows up and saves the day. So all in all, a good party! I know I had a great time.

Jessica swallows her pride and goes to the artistic DeeDee to help her fix Alice's papers. She even apologizes to DeeDee for telling her about Bill and Dana-and get this,-it's a genuine apology! Don't get too worried, I'm sure Jessica's trademark selfishness will be back in the next book. DeeDee saves the day by somehow copying Alice's design perfectly, and Elizabeth tells Dee about she and Patty's deceptive plan to make her take over the talent show. DeeDee doesn't get mad and they all share a hearty laugh. How nice.

But, wait! Alice and Ned are coming home early! Now there's no time to replace the broken vase! Jessica is forced to come clean about the party, the broken washing machine, and fire in the kitchen. Alice and Ned respond by grounding her for a month and giving her a stern lecture.

Haha, just kidding, no. They don't do a damn thing. Ned figures that Jess "has probably punished herself enough" and they drop it. No punishment whatsoever, except Jess has to pay to replace the vase. Note that any money Jessica has comes from her allowance...which comes from her parents. So Alice and Ned are essentially paying to replace the vase. Genius parenting. Now I see why Jessica is such a well-rounded, responsible young lady.

Oh, you thought this was over? Not yet! We still have the talent show! The talent show goes off without a hitch, and Bill even asks DeeDee if they can rekindle their relationship. Dee agrees, but tells Bill that they have to take it slow. But wait!  The talent show isn't over just yet! Todd gets onstage and recites a depressing poem. Elizabeth knows now that something is definitely wrong, and Todd breaks the bad news: he's moving to Vermont! I'm heartbroken, really, I am. More on Todd's tragic news in our next story, #23 Say Goodbye.

Moral of the story: don't drop everything you care about to focus on a relationship. Being super clingy and not having your own interests is a major turn-off, and you should never be fully emotionally dependent on another person. Wow...that is actually a pretty good lesson. Well done, ghostwriter.

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