February 4, 2014

SVT #1, Best Friends: Good Twin, Bad Twin

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:20 pm by Jenn

See, when they dress alike, you can't tell which one's the psychotic one

See, when they dress alike, you can’t tell which one’s the psychotic one

Summary: Before Elizabeth and Jessica were stealing each other’s boyfriends and getting involved in gang wars and falling in love in two days while on fabulous vacations, they were in the sixth grade. They were also still dressing alike every day, sharing a room, and doing everything together. But things are about to change…FOREVER. (Cue dramatic music.)

Jessica’s being courted by the Unicorns, Sweet Valley Middle School’s club for the most popular girls. There are only a couple of sixth graders in the club (Lila being one of them), so if Jess gets in, it’s a major deal. Elizabeth is interested in starting a newspaper at school, along with Amy (before she became popular and flirty) and Julie. Neither girl is interested in her twin’s new interests, but they still want to spend time together.

The girls start hanging out with their new friends, realizing how nice it is to spend some time apart. Elizabeth worries that hanging out with Amy and Julie will leave less time for her to be with Jessica, but Jessica’s really just concerned with impressing the Unicorns. They tell her that Elizabeth isn’t going to be asked to join anyway, but Jessica figures that she can get them to change their minds once she’s admitted.

Before Jess is allowed in the club, she has to complete three tasks. First she has to steal a teacher’s lesson plan book and get it into her bag by the end of class. She completes that with some help from her classmates. Then she has to get three girls to use the boys’ bathroom. That goes more easily than she expected. Finally, Jessica has to come to school looking completely different from Liz. She also can’t tell Liz what she’s doing.

So Jessica waits until Elizabeth is dressed, then puts on something different. She also curls her hair and puts on some makeup. Liz is hurt that her twin doesn’t want to dress alike anymore. But after a day of looking different at school, Elizabeth learns that people like it better when they don’t look exactly the same. People have been wanting to get to know them, but aren’t sure which twin is which. Elizabeth decides to make a couple of changes herself, fixing her hair a way Jess doesn’t like.

Then Liz learns something else (from resident gossip Caroline Pearce): that the Unicorns want Jessica. Liz worries that this will mean even less time for her and Jess to spend together. Alice points out that Elizabeth wouldn’t even like being in the club, so she shouldn’t see it as a loss. Alice is like, “You know you guys are two separate people, right? And that you don’t have to be attached at the hip?” Apparently this is a new concept for Elizabeth.

But Jessica wants Elizabeth to be a Unicorn, so she asks the club if Liz can join. President and HBIC Janet Howell makes it easy on Elizabeth by assigning her one pledge task. She just has to get Lois Waller – the resident fat girl in a time before Robin Wilson – to go to the Dairi Burger with her for an ice cream sundae, then replace her whipped cream with shaving cream. (Side note: Middle school girls can be huge bitcas.) Of course, Liz isn’t going to do that, but Jessica tells the Unicorns that she will.

This leads to what is supposedly the girls’ very first twin switch. Jessica pretends to be Elizabeth, invites Lois to the Dairi Burger, and does the task. The Unicorns approve, so Liz is in. Jessica tells her that they just changed their minds and didn’t need her to do a pledge task after all. Liz goes to a Unicorn meeting and hates it, of course. Ellen Riteman (the village idiot of the Unicorns – think Karen from Mean Girls) mentions the shaving cream to Liz, who figures out what happened. She’s super-upset that Jessica pulled a switch, and that Lois thinks she’s a jerk.

Elizabeth tells Lois what really happened, then forces Jessica to apologize by blackmailing her. If Jess doesn’t apologize, Liz will tell the Unicorns that she, not Liz, did the task. Then Elizabeth helps Lois get revenge by pulling the shaving cream trick on Lila while Amy takes pictures.

In other storylines: Jessica’s obsessed with ballet. The twins start taking dance classes, and Jess is clearly the best of the group, but the teacher, Madame André, hates her for trying to stand out on the first day.

The twins have been sharing a room, but Alice decides they should have their own space. If I were Liz, having to live with a slob like Jessica, I’d be hugely grateful.

A girl named Roberta was kicked out of the Unicorns for staying out late with a high school boy who supposedly trashed the club. It turns out she was dating Steven, but she was the one trashing the Unicorns, not him. And she wasn’t kicked out for dating him – she was kicked out because Janet wants Steven. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but he deserves better.

Thoughts: Janet is Lila’s cousin, but she disappears after SVT and is never mentioned again. My guess is she harassed the wrong person and wound up dead in a ditch.

A man with the last name Nydick became a middle school teacher. Why would he set himself up for torture like that?

“Now I have two sophisticated daughters.” Yeah, one of them wore a yellow sweat suit all day, Ned, so I wouldn’t go with “sophisticated.”

Apparently there’s a middle schooler whose bra size is 36E. I don’t think that’s possible for someone that age.

If my parents made me share a room for 12 years when there was a guest room in the house the whole time, I’d be ticked.

Why did they only get revenge on Lila? Janet’s the ringleader. She’s the one to bring down. You’re supposed to stab Caesar!

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