Tag Archives: Sweet Valley High

Sweet Valley High Cover Art Interpretation Vol. III

Generic Sweet Valley High Student: O! Why am I so lonely / troubled / Asian? My LIFE IS SO HARD.

Elizabeth: It’s okay Loser-Student. Just because you’re not blonde, size 6 and live in a split level home with a Spanish tiled kitchen, doesn’t mean you can’t be a useful and contributing member of Sweet Valley!

GSVHS: Elizabeth, you’re so easy to talk to. Even though we never spoke before this book and never will again, can I tell you all about my life as a brunette with divorced parents?

Elizabeth: Wow. No wonder you’re upset. Of course you can talk to me. Wait, let me put my hand on your shoulder. Okay. I’m ready.

GSVHS: It all started when I had no friends / my boyfriend broke up with me / when I was Asian. Because I come from a broken home / am single / am not blonde / am not white, my life is falling apart. Sigh.

Elizabeth: Gosh. That’s pretty serious stuff GSVHS. But you know, sometimes I find writing a poem helps me when I’m feeling down. Or going for a walk on the beach.

GSVHS: O Elizabeth. I feel so much better talking to you!

Elizabeth: Great! We should celebrate at Lila’s next big bash!

GSVHS: Oh that’s okay. All my problems will be fixed in about 30 pages. Then you’ll never hear from me again.

Elizabeth: I’m glad we could be BFF’s for one book though.

GSVHS: Your shouder touching really helped. And the pleasing aesthetic of your barrettes matching your polo shirt.

WHAT THESE BOOKS ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT:

Pretty much everything that is written above.

Images from The Closet.

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Sweet Valley High Cover Art Interpretation Vol. II

Jessica: How dare you say that about me Lila! I’m gonna slap you! See how my hands are on my hips and I am jutting my jaw out that is so sharp it could cut you up? This is a prime pre-slapping stance.

Lila: I’m sorry Jess. But it’s true. You have Lego Man hair. Even though it’s like, long and wavy and shit, it’s totes Lego Man.

Jessica: Your hair is stupid.

Lila: My hair is beautiful except for this weird bit coming out of the side of my head. I don’t know what’s up with that.

Jessica: I don’t know what’s up with your face.

Lila: Shut up. You know you really should have worn a bra today.

Jessica: Shh! I wasn’t expecting to be drawn with breasts on this cover. Its never happened before. Everyone knows that the population of Sweet Valley was bred without anything that can be mistaken as ‘naughty parts’.

Lila: Then why have you undone all of your buttons? You’re such a skank.

Jessica: You’re jumper looks like it’s from the Salvo bin.

Lila: You’re out of the Salvo bin.

Jessica: You’re gonna get so cut up by my jaw in a minute.

WHAT THIS BOOK IS ACTUALLY ABOUT:

More then she bargained for…

When Lila Fowler’s mysterious new boyfriend finally appears at her pool party, Jessica Wakefield is dazzled. Jack is handsome, sexy and exciting—even more perfect then Lila described him. So Jessica wastes no time making sure he notices her, too.

Unknown to Lila, Jack dates both girls—Jessica during the week and Lila on weekends. But the sight of Lila’s happy face on Monday mornings is more then Jessica can stand! Jessica’s twin sister, Elizabeth, warns her to drop Jack before she really gets hurt. But Jessica would rather get Lila out of the picture. Then Jack will be hers—all hers.

BOM BOM BOM!!!

It sounds like Jessica is going to bump Lila off. But NO! It’s Jack who’s the crazy serial killer! SURPRISE!!!!! Luckily Jessica gets saved from knife wielding Jack at the last second by the boring twin. And Lila and Jessica laugh at how silly they were fighting over some boy. Vomit.

Image from: The Closet.

Sweet Valley High Cover Art Interpretation Vol. I

In which we explore the cover art of #4 Power Play and what we think it might represent.

Three words: Twin. Sister. Porn. Obviously Jessica and Elizabeth are about to make out. There also may be a little bit of stimulated rape going on because Jessica looks slightly apprehensive. Although everyone knows that Jessica is all tease and no tickle so maybe it’s real rape and this is something she’s truly not on board with.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, is clearly going in for the kill. She’s awfully pouty.

Of course, another interpretation of this cover is that Elizabeth wants to spit on Jessica for her appalling feathered fringe and flannelette combo, but I doubt it.

WHAT THIS BOOK IS ACTUALLY ABOUT:

Elizabeth and Jessica in a tug of war…

Chubby Robin Wilson has been following Jessica around for months. First she wanted to be her friend—now she wants to join Pi Beta Alpha, Sweet Valley High’s snobby sorority.

When Elizabeth, Jessica’s twin, nominates Robin for the sorority, Jessica is furious. Robin may be friendly and smart, but she’s certainly not beautiful or popular enough to be a Pi Beta. Jessica’s determined to find a way to keep Robin out.

But Elizabeth is just as determined to make Robin a sorority sister. Soon the twins are locked in a struggle that develops into the biggest power play at Sweet Valley High…

Okay, sororities back up the first interpretation, otherwise it’s evidently a different book from what the cover suggests.

I would like to point out that Robin goes on to lose about 100kgs in about, oh I don’t know, three days, and becomes popular. Ah Francine, giving the fatties the message they so clearly need. Or not.

Image from 90’s Flashback.

The Rules of Sweet Valley High

One of my favourite things is Sweet Valley High.

Sweet Valley High is a series of books circa 1983 to well into the 90s that follow the ‘adventures’ of two identical twin sisters, Jessica and Elizabeth. They are so awful they are AMAZING. If you want to read some wonderful recaps, I highly recommend The Dairi Burger which is so steeped in snark I die a little bit inside from sheer awesomeness whenever I read it.

Sweet Valley High spawned, or was spawned from (I really don’t know what series came first) Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley Senior Year, Sweet Valley University and a bunch of other series. It is Sweet Valley High, however, that my sister and I have collected over the years. We call them ‘bath books’ because we read them in the bath and it doesn’t matter if you drop them.

Due to the fun I had with my Famous Five entry, I have compiled a list of rules you have to follow if you would like to go to Sweet Valley High. If you don’t follow these rules then you don’t belong.

1. If you are sociopathic, snobby, rich, attractive, a cheerleader, a footballer or an asshole, you are friends with Jessica. If you are ugly, talented, come from a broken home, or like homework, you are friends with Elizabeth.

2. If you have divorced parents, or have something else wrong with you indicating you’re from a broken home, you must allow Liz to put her hand condescendingly on your shoulder a lot. You are also only allowed to to be in one book. At the most, two. If you are very rich though, and your parents are divorced, you are not allowed to be friends with Liz. You are friends with Jessica. If you are very rich then obviously your life isn’t that bad, and Liz cannot waste her time feeling sorry for you.

3. If it is Friday, there must be a dance. The dance must have Mr Collins and Ms Dalton as chaperones. The dance must always have a ‘Queen’ and the Queen is always Jessica. Always.

4. If your name is Enid, you must agree with everything Liz says. You are allowed to look pretty, but only sometimes. And you’re NEVER allowed to look as pretty as Liz does. You may have a boyfriend for a little while, but mostly you have to look wistfully at Liz and Todd a lot.

5. You must be aware that kidnappers, murderers and rapists take up a large amount of the Sweet Valley population. They can usually be found in the ‘bad part’ of town. If you’re friends with Jessica, you must look down on this town. If you are friends with Elizabeth, you must help her write an article about it and think about how lucky you are not to live there.

6. If you don’t like the twins, you obviously have something wrong with you. If you’re lucky you may be allowed to star in a book. Be aware that Jessica will try and ruin your life, and Elizabeth will interfere with you until she finds a problem with you that she can fix. In which case you must be eternally grateful to her and thank her for helping you change your ways.

7. Do not have sex. You are not allowed to have sex and be popular in Sweet Valley.

8. You are not allowed to drink alcohol or take drugs and be popular in Sweet Valley.

9. In fact, if you have sex, drink alcohol, take drugs, come from a broken home, get poor grades or wag classes, you are probably a lost cause and no amount of shoulder touching by Elizabeth will help you. You are probably just a visitor to Sweet Valley anyway because Sweet Valley does not encourage those sorts of people.

10. You can find Mr Collins attractive. This is actually a rule too. But absolute no inappropriate conversation is allowed no matter how much alone time you spend with him.

11. Elizabeth is allowed to cheat on Todd as much as she likes, but she’s still the good one. Jessica will cheat too, but she’s the slutty one. Do not forget this.

12. If there are no kidnappers, murderers or rapists around, don’t worry. A werewolf or a vampire will come along soon.

13. Under no circumstances can you mention what happened in previous books. This is absolutely forbidden.

14. You can eat waffles for breakfast, have burgers and fries after school, and then a sit down dinner after that, and if you’re name is Jessica or Elizabeth you never gain weight. If your name is not Jessica or Elizabeth however, you will. And then Jessica and Elizabeth will judge you. Jessica in a malicious way, Elizabeth in an incredulous way. (Note: there is still hope for you if you go on an incredibly dangerous diet and manage to lose a ridiculous amount of weight in a ridiculous short period of time. If you can do this, you will become popular.)

15. There are approximately 100 people who go to Sweet Valley High. About 70 of these students are mentioned exactly once. If you want to be mentioned more then once, then you have to be best friends with one of the twins. Improve your chances by being either blonde or rich.

16. Wear horrid clothes. This is the 80’s remember. If you want to be friends with Elizabeth, she responds well to: barrettes that match polo shirts, khakis, ponytails, chinos (I don’t know what a ‘chino’ is, but Elizabeth wears them a lot), blouses that she never wears but Jessica borrows. Jessica responds well to: anything slutty.

17. Take your dates to the Box Tree Cafe, Guido’s Pizza, Casey’s, the Dairi Burger or an expensive French place along the coast.

18. There are three rich people in Sweet Valley. They live on top of a hill. Don’t try and move there. You will probably live in a nice neighbourhood that has a lot of split level Spanish style homes. They will be decorated by the twins’ mother. The deal was probably settled by the twins’ father. He is a lawyer. But he can also help you if you are getting divorced, want custody of your child, get raped, get murdered, framed for fraud, etc. He is quite versatile.

19. If you have a party, hire The Droids to play. They having nothing else better to do.

20. Congratulations if you’re black, hispanic, gay or Asian. This means you are Special and you represent the entire community because you’re the only one. You’re only allowed to appear in a few books though because you’re not blonde and perfect.

21. ‘Perfect’ means you are blonde and a size 6 with aquamarine eyes. If you don’t come close to this you may as well kill yourself.

Image from: The Closet