Perfect Size Six

August 2, 2010

#5 All Night Long (or Free Mustache Rides)

“Is Jessica as grown-up as she thinks she is?”

In a word (or two), Hell no!

Among the Sweet Valley cognoscenti, All Night Long is generally acknowledged as having one of the awesomest covers of the entire series! Exhibit A–the pornstache, as worn by one Scott Daniels. He’s the college boy (of indeterminate age) who Jessica briefly lusts over. She concocts this story about hanging out with Cara, so she can go with him to some heathen den of iniquity, masquerading as a college beach party.

Once there, Jessica quickly realizes that she’s gotten in way over her head with this mustached lothario and his gang of miscreants. There’s drinking (gasp!), marijuana smoking (double gasp!), and possible orgiastic behavior going on behind closed doors (clutching pearls, dead faint!). The ghostwriters really let their hair down in the beginning of Sweet Valley, what I refer to as “the golden age.”

At first, Jessica tries to put on her big-girl pants (or in this case, big-girl, red-string bikini) and play the part of Sweet Valley sophisticate. But ‘stache means business, which we realize in full when he puts his hand down her bikini bottom. I remember my nine-year-old self feeling so scandalized reading this. I mean, first, Jessica lets Bruce Patman loosen her bikini strings in #3 Playing With Fire, and now, we’ve progressed to ass access? Quelle horreur!

I was probably 12 when I realized Jessica was what we would call in France, le cocktease. Also, is it me, or is all the (potential) sex in Sweet Valley of the male-initiated, date-rape variety?

Luckily for Jessica’s maidenhead, Scott only succeeds in some futile pawing. Since she won’t “put out,” he refuses to take her home. The last 2/3 of the book is basically Elizabeth trying to cover up for Jessica (which is like so many other SVH books before and after it). See, Jess and Liz want to get their tour guide license, so they can show off Sweet Valley and its environs during the summer and make some cash. Because Jessica is stuck in her beach house den of iniquity, she is sure to miss the test….or is she??

“Old faithful” Liz disguises herself as Jess and is about to take the test, when she gets into a fight with Todd. Like the majority of their fights, it centers around Jessica. Liz fails the test, which really pisses Jessica off…until the test examiner calls to let her retake it. Oh, how convenient that things have worked out in the end.

Incredibly Lame B-plot: Bill Chase and Sonny Calihan are embroiled in a surf-off. Eh. Who cares? This book really lost steam after the Scott Daniel imbroglio. It’s hard to stretch that amount of awesomeness over a full-length YA paperback.

Since the rest of the book kind of sucked, I made a pornstache collage! Let it hypnotize and distract you.

Truer words were never spoken:

“I’m wise to you Jess. You know why? ‘Cause we’re alike, that’s why. We want what we want, and we don’t care how we get it.”

Sweet Valley is culturally relevant in 2010 moment (courtesy of Olivia):

“…I had a fight with my boyfriend last week, and we’re still not speaking.” She sighed. “I guess I knew it was doomed from the beginning. How can I have a meaningful relationship with someone who believes in offshore drilling?”

Elizabeth retrieved the last article from the floor, handed it to Olivia, and fled. She liked Olivia, but she was in no mood to discuss nuclear holocausts and offshore drilling.”

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