April 15, 2014
SVT #6, The New Girl: Why You Gotta Be So Mean?
Summary: Brooke Dennis is new in Sweet Valley, and she is an awful human being. She’s a snobby brat who thinks she’s too good for Sweet Valley. She also kicked a dog. She’s evil. Alice is helping her father with some decorating thing, so she basically volunteers Jessica and Elizabeth to show Brooke around school. Even Liz, who is tolerant of most everyone, can’t stand spending time with the girl.
The last straw for Jessica comes when Brooke spills paint on a poster Jess was making for the upcoming book fair. Apparently the poster was super-awesome and probably would have won first prize. Brooke doesn’t even apologize, so it’s a little understandable when Jessica wants revenge. And her revenge is so creative that it’s hard not to admire her: She tells Brooke that she and Elizabeth aren’t twins, but two of a set of triplets.
From then on, everyone is in on the trick, making Brooke believe that the Wakefield triplets are Elizabeth, Jessica, and Jennifer. The twins take turns playing Jennifer, always wearing a cardigan and a bow in their hair. Liz is willing to go along because Brooke was so mean to her sister. But Brooke becomes friends with “Jennifer,” and Elizabeth starts feeling bad for her. After all, her mother ditched her, her father’s never around, and everyone hates her, so she’s lonely. (Of course, being nicer might help that last one, but whatever.)
After Brooke expresses glee over the possibility of Jessica being injured while cheerleading, Elizabeth is up for the grand finale. At the book fair assembly (which happens to fall on Brooke’s birthday), the twins and some of their friends are going to humiliate Brooke in front of the whole school. They create a collapsible chair that Brooke will fall through. They know that when Brooke says Jennifer was responsible, everyone will think she’s nuts, because, of course, Jennifer doesn’t exist.
The day of the book fair, the twins even get Brooke to help carry the collapsible chair to school, telling her it’s Jennifer’s project. Elizabeth (playing Jennifer) remembers that it’s Brooke’s birthday and realizes how lonely Brooke really is, with no one to throw her a party or even eat cake with her. Elizabeth decides to put an end to the plan by making sure Brooke doesn’t sit in the rigged chair. She tries her hardest, but the other kids in on the plan keep up the act, and it goes exactly as planned. Only now Elizabeth thinks it was a bad idea.
After Brooke runs off sobbing, Elizabeth spreads the word to the other schemers that Brooke isn’t that horrible after all. They decide to make things up to her by throwing her a surprise birthday party. Brooke is slow to forgive, but eventually everyone makes up. Way to make a horrible first impression at your new school, though.
Thoughts: For the record, Brooke apologizes for being mean to the dog, but she doesn’t apologize to any humans for her behavior. So kids, the lesson is: Treat people however you want, and as long as you have a good excuse, you’ll get away with it.
Brooke wears a necklace with emerald beads and earrings that are lime-colored, so I can see why people hate her.
Why does Lila invite Elizabeth, Amy, and Julie to her birthday party?
I love that Elizabeth gets mad when Brooke calls Jessica a “two-faced phony.” How would Liz describe someone who’s been pretending to be someone else? Brooke pegged Jess without even realizing it.