August 14, 2013
SVU #1, College Girls: Just Like SVH, But With Fewer Responsible Adults
Summary: This book is jammed with people and plots, and is unlike SVH in that it’s not boring. I already like this series more. Of course, more content means longer recaps, so we’ll see how much more I like it when I’m an hour into writing and can’t think of any more ways to say Jessica’s a brat.
High school’s finally over, and Elizabeth, Jessica, Enid, Todd, and Winston are going to Sweet Valley University! Bruce also goes there, but he doesn’t have much of a presence in this book. I think Lila’s supposed to be there, too, but she never came back from her summer in Italy, and Jessica later finds out that she married a count. That guy has no idea what he’s getting into. Anyway, Enid decides before they leave that she wants to be known as Alexandra, her middle name. She’s tired of being Liz’s sidekick and wants to have fun.
The twins are living together, which is probably a huge mistake, considering they can barely tolerate living next door to each other at home. Jessica immediately likes college, which makes sense – it’s full of interesting people who don’t know what a pain she is (yet), her parents can’t tell her what to do, and there are tons of cute guys. Classes are just a necessary evil. Elizabeth, however, has a really rough time. Everyone’s too busy to hang out with her, and instead of, you know, trying to make new friends, she just stress-eats and cries a lot.
Elizabeth is also upset that Enid (now Alex) has become so outgoing and is having a great time. In other words, we’re done with boring, drippy Enid, and now we have normal, no-longer-in-Elizabeth’s-shadow Alex. Todd is also having a great time because he’s bonding with the other jocks and gets everything handed to him.
Winston’s one wish in college is to be taken seriously and no longer be seen as a class clown. But things start falling apart as soon as he arrives on campus. Someone screwed up his housing paperwork, and he’s listed as Winnie and placed in a girls’ dorm. The girls adopt him as a lovable pet, and while you’d think living with that many girls would be a college guy’s dream, he’s embarrassed by it. He especially doesn’t want his new friends in the Sigma frat to know.
Like I said, there are a bunch of new characters:
- Isabella Ricci – Jessica’s friend, who she ends up ditching Elizabeth to live with. Kind of a watered-down version of Lila, but not actively unlikable, at least not yet.
- Danny Wyatt – Jessica’s first semi-love interest. He’s black, as we’re reminded many times.
- Peter Wilbourne III – president of Sigma frat and a huge, racist jerk. He basically runs the campus. Isabella warns Jess that Peter will make her life horrible if she dates Danny.
- Tom Watts – Danny’s roommate. He used to be a jock, but after some unspecified accident, he got into reporting at the TV station.
- Michael McAllery – a guy Jessica gets into a car accident with. More on him later.
- Mark Gathers – a guy Alex is interested in. He gets set up on a date with Jessica, which makes Alex sad, but Jess and Mark don’t like each other like that, so it’s okay.
- Celine Boudreax – Elizabeth’s roommate after Jessica moves out. She’s a horrible person, but only Elizabeth sees it because Celine puts on a demure-Southern-belle act with everyone else, including Todd.
- William White – a friend of Celine’s. He’s the Sebastian Valmont to her Katherine Merteuil. He’s very interested in Elizabeth, for some reason.
So after Jessica meets Mike (by crashing into his car), she becomes obsessed with him. This is despite the fact that a) he has no interest in her, and b) he’s a huge jerk to her. After the accident, he gets Jessica’s information, supposedly for insurance purposes, then lets himself into her dorm room to bug her. She thinks that since he never filed an insurance claim, he doesn’t plan to make her pay for the damages. She’s too dumb to realize that he seems to be willing to accept sex as a payment option. Isabella and Steven both warn Jess to stay away from him, but…you know, dumb.
Danny takes Jessica to a Sigma party, where he has a run-in with Peter. Tom breaks things up, noting to himself that in the past, Danny would have handled things on his own. We come to learn that Danny has a brother who got into a fight, was stabbed, and is now in a wheelchair. Danny decided that he doesn’t want to get hurt over something trivial, so he no longer uses violence. Elizabeth tears into Peter for his behavior, which means neither twin is on his good list, but Tom is suddenly infatuated with Liz.
Not so infatuated with Liz: Todd, who wants to have sex. Silly Todd. Elizabeth’s distaste with premarital sex even spills over into her relationship with Alex after Alex spends the night in Mark’s room (but they don’t do anything). Elizabeth gets up on the highest horse she’s ever been on, effectively ending her and Alex’s friendship.
Things get worse for Liz: Celine brings a guy back to their room, so Elizabeth sexiles herself, only she has nowhere to go. She ends up spending some time at Steven and Billie’s. Nothing important or interesting happens. Then, because Celine has been so sweet to Todd, he thinks Elizabeth is crazy for not liking her. They fight and end up breaking up. I’m sure that will last.
Oh, by the way, a rumor is spreading around campus that some psychic predicted that someone will be murdered on Halloween. Everyone figures, with no evidence whatsoever, that the victim will be a blond girl. Tom decides to protect Elizabeth, who he officially meets when she starts working with him at the TV station. He thinks the Sigmas started the rumor about the murder, and that they’re targeting Liz. She tells him she doesn’t need protection.
Halloween rolls around, and there’s a dance. Jessica dresses as Penelope from The Odyssey while Elizabeth wears a similar costume as…Justice. Gag. Jess goes to the dance with a guy named Geoff, who’s one of the racist Sigmas and is two seconds away from date-raping her when Danny pops up and saves her. The Sigmas attack Danny, but this time he fights back, later implying to Tom that sometimes you need to be a little violent. He also says that his brother could have taken all of them by himself, even from a wheelchair, which is pretty funny. I like Danny.
Instead of thinking that maybe she shouldn’t be going off alone, Jessica leaves and is attacked by either Peter or William (hard to tell since he’s in a costume). She’s saved again, this time by Mike, who is apparently into her now. And for some reason, that’s how the book ends.
Thoughts: Yay, now you guys get to hear me talk about my college experiences! Get excited! …Hey, where’s everyone going?
The twins, Todd, Alex, and Winston all get to take cars with them to college. Yeah, I bet.
Yes, I’m calling her Alex, because I respect people’s wishes, Elizabeth.
“It wasn’t as if Elizabeth was the annoying member of the Wakefield family. She was the Wakefield twin everybody loved.” Liz sure thinks highly of herself, doesn’t she?
Jessica slams Elizabeth for being into women’s rights. I bet she’ll change her tune when she has her first unplanned pregnancy and needs to find an abortion clinic. Because we all know that of all the girls in the Sweet Valley-verse, Jessica’s the most likely candidate for that to happen to.
Peter: “I’m Peter Wilbourne the Third.” Elizabeth: “You mean they tried twice before you and they still didn’t get it right?” SUH-NAP. That was awesome.
Winston, you idiot. The Sigmas would like you MORE if they knew you live with a bunch of girls.
Jessica, Mike doesn’t want to date you. He wants to plow you. He has freaking cards with his name on them! He’s evil! See, this is what’s going to lead to you needing an abortion clinic.