October 31, 2009

SVH #7, Dear Sister: We Always Have One Good Kid and One Lousy Kid

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , at 5:49 pm by Jenn


I guess Jessica carries that picture around so she doesn't forget what Elizabeth looks like

Summary: Picking up where Dangerous Love left off, Elizabeth is in a coma. And then she wakes up, and the book ends. No, just kidding. Elizabeth does wake up, but everyone quickly realizes that there’s something different about her – basically, she’s turned into Jessica. She starts caring about her appearance, cheating on schoolwork, flirting with every guy in school, and shirking responsibilities, to the point where Jessica has to pick up her slack. Basically, Elizabeth is now Jessica and Jessica is now Elizabeth.

Eventually Elizabeth (who’s dumped Todd) makes dates with both Bruce Patman and Bill Chase for the same night. She keeps the date with Bruce, and when Bill comes by the house for Elizabeth, Jessica takes the opportunity to get back at him for rejecting her by pretending to be Elizabeth so she can go out with him. Only in Jessica’s world does going out with a guy equate revenge. Elizabeth gets drunk and goes to Bruce’s father’s boathouse, and just before they’re about to have sex, she hits her head and suddenly reverts to her normal self. Of course! And then Bruce tries to rape her, because he’s so classy. She gets away and threatens to tell everyone what a coward he is, because it’s always a good idea to threaten someone who’s trying to rape you. Anyway, Elizabeth is back to Elizabeth, and Jessica is back to Jessica – she’s made Bill fall in love with her.

The B plot is hardly worth mentioning, but it involves a pair of 12-year-old twins staying with the Wakefields for a few weeks.

Thoughts: It’s a good thing Jessica turns into Elizabeth while her twin is turning into her, because I wouldn’t be able to handle two Jessicas. I don’t think anyone could. This does show that Jessica has some ability to be responsible, she just finds it boring.

Lila throws a “pick-up party,” a concept I’ve never heard of. (Of course, I was a nerdy, prudish high-schooler who usually went to parties where we watched horror movies and played extremely chaste games of Spin the Bottle, which is how Spin the Bottle usually is when there are 12 girls and only four guys. Though some of my friends did get busted for playing strip poker on a school trip.) All the guests come without dates, and everyone is free to pick up a new boy- or girlfriend. It’s also a chance for unhappy people to dump current boy-/girlfriends. Maybe this was the ’80s teenage version of a key party?

I’d like to state for the record that SVH’s basketball team is the Gladiators. I guess it’s hard to match anything really strong and intimidating with “Sweet Valley.”

Also for the record, Elizabeth’s neurosurgeon is named John Edwards, and he keeps touching Jessica. Was the ghostwriter psychic?


  1. […] SVH #7, Dear Sister: We Always Have One Good Kid and One Lousy Kid … […]

  2. Calico Drive said,

    My favorite thing about this book is how Jessica comes to her parents to complain about Liz’s new personality and they’re all, “Oh, we totally hadn’t noticed that NOW WE HAVE TWO YOUS.” Great job, Wakefields. GREAT job.

    Great review!

  3. notemily said,

    @Calico Drive, the Wakefield parents never have ANY idea what’s going on.

    This is one of the ones I read as a teen, and I remember the whole “Elizabeth hits her head, remembers who she is, Bruce tries to rape her” thing. It seems really shocking to me now, but I don’t remember finding it that big of a deal at the time. Probably because in Sweet Valley, attempted rape happens in EVERY BOOK.

  4. kylie90210 said,

    And Liz, you end up with that guy. Nice work.

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