SVH Super Edition: Special Christmas

31 May

Estimated Elapsed Time: 10 days

Summary/Overview:

It’s Christmastime in Sweet Valley, even though it was summer a few books ago and it was spring in the last published book.  At any rate, the twins are excitedly awaiting the Christmas party being held in SVH’s gym.  It is at this party that everyone will be assigned secret santas, and the Christmas holiday can truly begin.  Naturally, Elizabeth is in charge of assigning secret santas, and while Jess basically threatens her into making sure that Hans (the new foreign exchange student from Germany) gets her name, Elizabeth has no control over it.

Things seem to be looking up for the Wakefield twins.  Jessica is determined to be Miss Christmastime in the Holiday parade, and Elizabeth is eagerly awaiting the return of her beloved Todd from Vermont.  Their festive moods are dampened when Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield announce that they’re going to have a visitor staying with them for two weeks–Suzanne Devlin, the daughter of wealthy diplomat and college friend of Ned’s.  The twins and Steven are outraged–how could the Wakefields put them through another visit from Suzanne after what had happened the last time?  Ma and Pa Wakefield hold firm in their invitation, though, and allude to some sort of mysterious change that Suzanne has undergone.

Elizabeth and Jessica are upset.  They decide to make Suzanne feel unwelcome by doing things like short-sheeting her bed and being kind of snippy.  Jessica takes it a step further by recruiting Aaron Dallas and Winston Egbert to be her secret santas, leaving her mean gifts like empty boxes and ransom-style notes that say things like, “GO HOME SUZY.”

Once Suzanne arrives, though, Elizabeth starts to wonder about whether or not playing mean tricks on her seems right.  Suzanne seems to have undergone an authentic change–she is apologetic and genuine, and Elizabeth can’t help but start to like her.  Steven, too.  But Jessica remains convinced that Suzanne is evil and must be stopped, especially after she catches snippets of a phone conversation between Suzanne and Todd in which it is revealed that the two had seen each other recently.  Jessica assumes that Suzanne is trying to steal Todd away from Elizabeth, and she steps up her evil plan, getting Aaron to invite her to a fake party before the big Christmas bash at the Patman’s mansion only to have her show up at an abandoned house.

It turns out that Suzanne and Todd ran into each other while skiing in Vermont. Todd’s friend liked the look of her, and the three of them went out for hamburgers.  Suzanne seemed like a different person, and by the end of the night, Todd was totally crushing on Suzanne, feeling conflicted about it.  But he doesn’t tell Elizabeth about this meeting, and he asks Suzanne not to tell her, either.

Jessica and Lila are in a showdown for the title of Miss Christmastime.  Lila tricks Jessica into volunteering as Santa’s Elf at the mall and she misses the contest.  Lila wins, and Jessica gets revenge by stealing her dress and leaving her the elf costume for the parade.  Jessica gets to be Miss Christmastime and Lila has to be the elf.

On the night of the big Christmas dance, Aaron Dallas calls Suzanne and tells her he has a flat tire and can’t pick her up.  She drinks some champagne with the rest of the gang after taking a new medication her doctor sent her and then drives out to meet Aaron.  Right after she leaves, her doctor calls in a panic and tells Mr. Wakefield that she can’t drink any alcohol while on the meds.  They ask the twins where she went in a panic, and Jessica cries and fesses up about her plan.  Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield tell the kids that Suzanne has multiple sclerosis and could DIE because of the champagne.

Suzanne falls asleep at the wheel and rolls the Fiat.  Luckily, there’s a cop car behind her and they rush her to the hospital.  After some touch-and-go moments, Suzanne is declared okay, and then her doctor drops the bomb shell that she doesn’t have MS after all, just a rare form of mono that was misdiagnosed.  Also, Liz finds out that Todd has feelings for Suzanne and is okay with it.  They break up amicably, and Todd and Suzanne hold hands.

Everyone rejoices, and they laugh about how Christmas has finally come.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “Ken grinned. ‘Guess you won’t need one of those,’ he said, taking a slip of paper and scanning the name briefly before folding it up and slipping it in his pocket. ‘Todd Wilkins will be all the Secret Santa you can handle.'” (11)
  • “‘You see, I’ve always wanted to have a home like you guys do.  Sure, my parents have money–tons of it.’ She laughed bitterly.  ‘But time?  Never.  I got used to being lonely, or so I thought.  But inside I always wanted…this,’ she said, gesturing around her. (142)

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Mr. Collins’s English classes are reading The Crucible.
  • Lila spends the majority of the book at a$300 a day spa called La Venue
  • At one point, the twins wear matching outfits in the form of navy cotton skirts and light blue short-sleeved sweaters

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

Where to begin?  Should we start with the fact that like, three books ago, the twins were on summer vacation?  Or how about in the last book, where it was spring?  Todd moved away two books ago, in the spring, and now it’s winter and they’re all still juniors?  OW OW OW IT HURTS THE BRAIN.

There is also the issue of Suzanne’s mystery illness and the fact that she decides to keep it secret from everyone except Ma and Pa Wakefield.  How is that ever expected to go well?  I mean, she was terrible the last time she was out in Sweet Valley and everyone hates her, and all of a sudden she wants to come back and make amends?  Without the context of her illness, the teens in Sweet Valley are sitting blind and assuming she’s there to wreak more havoc.  Considering the kinds of personalities SVH sees on a daily basis (see: Wakefield, Jessica, and Martin, Betsy), it’s not hard to understand her rather cold reception.

The other thing worth mentioning is that Elizabeth struggles with what to buy Todd for Christmas and finally settles on a scarf, because he’ll need it in freezing cold Vermont.  They’ve been dating since like the dawn of time and she buys him a scarf?  If the reader wasn’t aware that their relationship was over, this was the moment that clinched it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: