Perfect Size Six

August 21, 2010

#14 Deceptions

Filed under: Books #1-20 — mediumcore @ 11:06 pm
Tags: , ,

“Has Elizabeth found a new love?”

After that whole kidnapping kerfluffle in the last book, #13 Kidnapped!, Liz decides she wants to throw herself a homecoming party ASAP.  (I would probably want a stiff drink (or three) and some pharmaceuticals, but I digress.)

Fast forward to said soiree, and Liz meets Nicholas Morrow, who I think is intended to be the anti-Bruce Patman. See, Nicholas is heavy on the tall, dark, and handsome (and RICH!) and light on the date-raping and douchebaggery. I don’t remember what I thought of him as a kid, but he is my absolute favorite Sweet Valley guy now. He loves fairy tales (!), Hemingway (!!), and French food (!!!). I kind of imagine him looking like a young Mark Ronson, which equals extra swooning in my book.

His one major character flaw is his instantaneous obsession with Liz upon meeting her. Even though he’s already met Jessica, Nick experiences love at first sight with Liz. This seems kind of odd, since they’re identical twins. Anyway, Nicholas follows her around all night, which royally pisses off Todd (ha!). Before Nick leaves, he confesses his love for Liz and coerces her into a date. It comes across as pretty creepy, especially since Liz just finished dealing with a psycho orderly who was obsessed with her. (If Nicholas were less aesthetically pleasing and POOR, this would be more like Kidnapped! Part Deux.)

Liz struggles with the idea of going on a date with Nicholas. For one, she has Todd, the old ball and chain, waiting in the wings at home. Then, there’s the fact that Jessica thinks that Nicholas is totally in love with her. If Liz goes, a clusterfuck is sure to ensue. What’s a normally-good girl supposed to do? (Do it!)

Liz decides to go on the date, but she wants to tell Todd (to clear her conscience). Not surprisingly, every time she mentions Nicholas’ name, Todd gets whiny and jealous. I love how the ghostwriter contrasts Liz’s dates with Todd and Nicholas. Team Nicholas, all day, every day.

Todd takes Liz to a scary monster movie, “Teenage Terror,” and she just laughs about how much she hates those type of films. Then, Todd whisks her away to dinner at Chez Dairyburger.  Très originale, Todd. I won’t even get into his shitty idea of wooing over the previous 13 books. Let’s just say that I’m eagerly awaiting Todd’s train ride to Vermont in #23 Say Goodbye.

The next day, Nicholas takes Liz to an upscale French restaurant. (Two dates in two days. Wouldn’t that make Liz a ho by Sweet Valley standards of slutdom?) Anyway, the date goes swimmingly. They have a lively conversation about their shared interests and values. Liz even gets over her prejudice about rich people for a couple of hours. It’s a home run of a first date. My only slight irritation is that she lets Nicholas order for her. Maybe, it’s my own experience shining through, but I bristle when someone tries to do this.

Liz’s date is ruined when Todd and his family, who just happen to  be dining at the same restaurant an hour outside of Sweet Valley, walk right by their table. What a coincidence. Liz pretends she is Jessica and proceeds to mock Todd for thinking she is Liz. (Oooh, bitchy moment, Liz!)  Todd feels so bad about confusing the two that he drives down to the Wakefield house and kisses the first Wakefield he sees. Jessica is not amused, and neither is Todd when he realizes that Liz really was on a date with Nicholas. Jess is pissed too because she had been throwing herself at Nick unsuccessfully for two whole  books.

Oh, how I get tired of Liz/Todd antics. They’re continuously presented as this paradigm of a loving, successful relationship,  and even my nine-year-old self saw how fucked up they were. But have no fear, Liz and Todd lovers! A happy ending is right around the corner, of course.

Nicholas tells Todd that he practically forced Liz to go out with him. (Yeah, what an ordeal–dating a rich, handsome, literate man.) Nick then tells Todd that Liz wouldn’t shut up about how much she loves him. With that, Todd vows to get his girl (and win the Big Mesa game) in one fell swoop, and the Sweet Valley High universe has righted itself again. Seriously, this was such a hard book to get through. I thought of all five of you who will read this, and it propelled me forward. : )

Get your kleenex ready, guys. Tricia Martin dies in the next book, followed soon after by Roger Barrett’s mom. The poor are dropping like flies in Sweet Valley!

English major moment: “Outside the school, (Liz) stopped. She had a long way to go. A line from a poem she’d studied in English came back to her; ‘And miles to go before I sleep.’ It was by the poet Robert Frost, and Elizabeth had been so moved when she first read it that she had almost cried. It was then that she’d vowed to do her very best, no matter what she wrote.”

My eyes were rolling out of my head when I read this. Now whenever anyone starts piously complaining about all the shit in their life, I will respond, “Miles to go before you sleep, huh?”

1 Comment »

  1. Oi, the misappropriation of Robert Smith’s poem. Dude. It’s ABOUT DYING. It has nothing to do with a rah-rah “I’ll be the best I can be!” motivational poster shit!

    And I might’ve loved NM more if this book hadn’t been so poorly written. Even when I was 13, I was thinking that there were some seriously clunky paragraphs/scenes that didn’t seem to do much plot- or character-wise. Liz’s inspection of her date-outfit in the mirror, for one. Or Nicholas listing all the reasons why Liz wouldn’t go out with him and doing horror movie impersonations. But really, nail-on-the-head with “if he wasn’t rich and handsome, this book = Kidnapped!” which is really problematic considering it happens right after Liz is kidnapped and all. Ghostwriterz no gets teh ironies.

    Comment by Dwanollah — August 22, 2010 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

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