SVH #6: Dangerous Love

6 Mar

Total Elapsed Time: 1 week

The Overview

All Todd Wilkins can talk about is getting his new motorcycle.  He’s been saving up for weeks, and he’s finally able to afford it.  He can’t wait to take Elizabeth out on the bike.  But Liz can’t ride on it–it’s the strictest rule in the Wakefield house–and she’s terrified that if she tells Todd this, he’ll break up with her.  So she delays telling him for the longest amount of time possible, going so far as to borrow the Fiat to get out of riding with him to the Dairi Burger’s re-opening.  She hedges his requests to take her for a spin on his shiny new black bike, and gets jealous when he gives other girls rides.

Even after she tells him, her jealousy over other girls riding on the back of the bike continues.  She even feels annoyed when Enid takes a ride, and she can’t seem to curb how worried she feels about Todd riding the bike, too.  Liz finally tells him what’s up, and he’s completely okay with it.  The two of them try to work around the transportation restrictions, but it hampers their relationship.  Although Todd makes an appeal to her parents, they stand firm in their forbidding the girls to ride motorcycles, an event of actual parenting that might be the first in the history of the Wakefield house.  Liz is secretly relieved that she’s still not allowed on the bike, but it doesn’t help her worrying or her envy.

The B-plot intersects here, as Enid’s mom is throwing a sweet sixteen party for her at the country club.  Ms. Rollins goes all out: hosting it at the country club, getting engraved invitations, live music, great food.  Pretty much everyone at Sweet Valley High attends.  Liz is supposed to meet Todd there, but he’s running late after a party for his uncle.  He’s so late the the party ends–and people head off for the after-party.  Jessica flakes on giving Liz a ride and so she’s stuck waiting for Enid’s mom to give her a lift when Todd shows up on his bike.

At first she’s pissed because he missed the entire party and essentially stood her up, but when she finds out he was late because he was making  a deal with Jerry “Crunch” McAllister to sell his bike, she’s touched.  As a celebration, she decides to have one ride on the bike with him, throwing caution to the wind.  This can only end in a terrible accident, which it promptly does.

Jessica has a sort of premonition about her twin and makes her date, Danny Stouffer drive her back to the club.  They don’t make it because they find the accident scene, and Liz’s unconscious body on the way there. Crunch McAllister, the same guy who was going to buy Todd’s bike, hit them with his van.  Jessica cries a lot, and her family meets her at the hospital, where they’re informed that Liz is in a coma.  Everyone blames Todd until Mr. Collins (WTF?) intercedes, and then no one blames Todd.  They all wait.  Jessica cries and blames herself.  Will Liz ever wake up? CLIFFHANGER.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “Not that fibbing was a foreign concept to her–Jessica had often stretched the truth when it served her purposes–but that Elizabeth had felt the need to be less than forthright truly puzzled her.” (5)
  • “How could two of the people she loved the most both be right, she wondered, and both be on opposite sides?” (36)

Trivia and Fun Facts:

  • This book is short on both of those things.  I hate this book.
  • Outfits described include a blue oxford shirt, jeans, and a blue blazer and a black and white satin jumpsuit with spaghetti straps, but my favorite was a green polka-dot dress with puff sleeves.
  • Enid’s after-party is held at the Caravan, which is apparently the newest rock club in Sweet Valley.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

My biggest beef with the book is how ridiculously the medical jargon is handled in this book.  It seems like the ghostwriter tasked with writing this book grabbed a bunch of medical terms, threw them into a bag, and plucked them out blindly, stringing them together to make sentences about Elizabeth’s condition.  While two EMTs give Liz CPR, another assures Jessica that as soon as her condition stabilizes, they’ll take her to the hospital.  Apparently she’s stable enough to move, because they transport her to the hospital.

Once there, the doctor tells the Wakefields the following: “Elizabeth’s stable now, but her condition is serious.  She’s in a coma…her vital signs are steady right now. She has a concussion and a few gashes on her legs, but she doesn’t seem to have any major injuries” (102).  It’s like the guy can’t make up her mind.  How is a coma not considered a serious injury?  Later on, Jessica sits by her bed and watches as the respirator breathes for Liz.  Isn’t that some serious shit?  I’m not a doctor, but a sixteen-year-old in a coma on a freaking respirator tells me that shit’s pretty serious.

I don’t know, man.  I just think that a little effort on the part of the ghostwriter would have been appreciated.  The medical anachronisms are so astounding that it takes the reader out of the drama and immediacy of the moment.  Not that any reader (even the casual one) of the Sweet Valley series would ever believe that SV is about to lose one-half of its two greatest residents.  Right?

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One Response to “SVH #6: Dangerous Love”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. SVH #80: The Girl They Both Loved | A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - April 9, 2014

    […] parents, because they’re super anti-motorcycle after that one time Liz was in a coma after Todd crashed his motorcycle a week after getting it. But then Sam shows up at her house, charms the pants off Alice, and all is well.  I actually […]

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