SVH #20: Crash Landing!

22 Apr

“‘Hamburgers are gauche,’ Jessica told him.  What I like is called haute cuisine.  You guys probably don’t know what that means.'”

Estimated Elapsed Time: 4 weeks


George Warren promised to take his girlfriend Enid Rollins up in a plane after he got his pilot’s license.  He vowed to himself to stay to true to this promise even after he fell in love with (formerly fat) Robin Wilson, a classmate of Enid’s who was in the same flying class (Can 16-year-olds get a pilot’s license?  I smell a plot hole here.) as him.  Ever so dutifully, George takes Enid up and sighs a lot, feeling sorry for himself, as Enid talks about how beautiful Secca Lake looks from their height.  It’s probably not as beautiful to Enid after they crash into it.  Enid saves George, who’s unconscious, and on her way back out, she slips and hits her back hard on some metal from the sinking plane.  She can’t feel her legs!

The doctors pronounce Enid paralyzed as a result of a compressed nerve in her back.  They are hopeful that with surgery and physical therapy, she’ll get better.  Everyone is very worried about her, but Elizabeth and George both try to put on brave faces.  Meanwhile, Elizabeth is furious with George because he’s really in love with Robin.  She acts like a complete bitch to him, even though he’s blaming himself for the accident and decides that as long as Enid needs him, he can’t leave her.

But Enid is convinced that she can’t get better, and plays the victim card in the most annoyingly sincere way.  Even after her surgery, when the doctors say that everything is fine and she should be able to walk, Enid remains in her wheelchair.  George stays by her side, completely miserable, and Robin Wilson eats her feelings, also completely miserable.  Enid has George take her to the school dance in her wheel chair, and everyone at SVH is completely scandalized by this.  It’s baffling.

Things between Enid and George are strained, and the more things fall apart, the more Enid clings to her paralysis.  When she sees George dance with Robin after she forces him to do so, she realizes that George is in love with Robin and not her.  Instead of being rational about it, Enid pretends that nothing’s wrong and essentially acts like a pod person on wheels.  Elizabeth is sure that Enid has some sort of mental block about walking, and she devises a plan to get Enid to walk again.  She borrows Mr. Collin’s kid, Teddy, and gets him to pretend to drown in her pool while Liz is inside getting sodas.  Enid dives in to save Teddy without thinking, and then the three of them cheer because she’s cured!

George and Enid break up and vow to remain friends.  George goes back to Robin, who can stop eating her feelings now, and all is right in the world.  Enid can walk again.  George and Robin can be seen in public.  Hooray.

The B-Plot involves Lila and Jessica taking a cooking class.  Jessica’s reluctant until she sees the teacher a hot French guy with whom she immediately falls in love with.  It turns out that Jessica has a knack for cooking and ends up really enjoying the class.  She gets an idea into her head that she’ll ask Jean-Pierre to the dance until she’s introduced to his wife, and her romantic aspirations are dashed.

However, she can still use what she’s learned in the cooking class to cook her family a fabulous dinner.  Too bad that the seafood she makes them is bad, and everyone gets sick.  The Wakefields are total douche bags about this, and go on and on at length about how terrible it was of her to poison them, like she did it on purpose.  When she offers to make it up to Ned and Alice by cooking them a fantastic meal for their anniversary, they tell her that Liz has already bought them tickets to the dinner theater and remind her of the disaster the last meal was.  Jessica gets pretty upset (and rightfully so) and thinks about how unfair it is that they’re always comparing her to Liz.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “Usually Jessica didn’t think twice about stealing a boy from someone else, but she didn’t want Lila to think that she was so hard up for guys she had to get them secondhand.” (27-28)
  • “Jessica’s sympathy for Enid Rollins was a recent development.  Before the plane crash Jessica had had several conversations with her sister about the choice of her friends, and Enid got most of the criticism…Now Sweet Valley High was buzzing with talk about Enid–everyone wondered how she was feeling, if there was any progress, any hope.  It was all terribly exciting, and naturally Jessica, as the twin sister of Enid’s very best friend, was at the center of all the speculation.” (39-40)
  • “‘How inappropriate,’ Lila said coldly.  ‘Who’d ever dream of showing up at a dance in a wheelchair?  What does she think she’s going to do all night?'” (100)

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Apparently Psycho Jack from the last book has a last name.  It’s Howard.
  • The twins’ impending summer jobs as tour guides is brought up again in this book (the previous time it was mentioned was way back in #5), and it’s used as a ploy to get the Wakefield parents to give them the Fiat as their own car from now on.
  • One of the Wakefield Family’s hard-and-fast rules is that no one leaves the kitchen a mess.
  • In Jessica’s cooking class, some of the dishes they make are puff pastry, mustard, raspberry torte, and chicken cordon bleu, which seems like a weird mish-mash.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

Hoo boy, guys.  I don’t even know where to start with this one.  I read this book a few weeks ago, and the details have started to fade for me.  What is with these books and mysterious medical conditions?  I mean, Enid gets paralyzed from a bad fall on her back, but a quick surgery repairs it and she should be able to walk but can’t because she has a mental block?  Who comes up with this stuff?

For pretty healthy teenagers, they sure do seem to spend a lot of time in Joshua Fowler Memorial Hospital.  That’s all I’m saying.


One Response to “SVH #20: Crash Landing!”


  1. SVH # 74: The Perfect Girl | A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - March 24, 2014

    […] reaffirm her self-worth and self-image.  Then he announces that he wants to take up flying again (because it went so great last time?), and is going to be taking flying lessons and won’t be around as much.  This worries Robin […]

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