SVH Super Edition: Winter Carnival

22 Sep

Estimated Time Elapsed: 2 weeks


It is, apparently, winter in Sweet Valley again.  Everyone at SVH is all atwitter about the upcoming winter carnival extravaganza being held at Mont Blanc, a ski resort.  The weekend-long festival will include a mock-winter Olympics, ice-skating, skiing, ping-pong tournaments, and lots of wholesome, hot-chocolate-drinking winter fun.

There’s a bunch of other shit going on, too, because the reader is bombarded with information in the first few chapters.  Jessica and Amy Sutton beat out Elizabeth and Enid for a trivia competition, Elizabeth got a runner-up prize in an essay-writing contest, and Jessica’s cheerleading squad has been nominated for the all-state competition.

Much of this is causing problems in Elizabeth’s and Jessica’s relationship.  Elizabeth feels like Jessica sort of cheated her way into the trivia contest, and she’s tired of Jessica not picking up her slack when it comes to household chores.  She internalizes all of this, though, and sulks about how she’s always pegged as the conservative twin.

Todd is coming to town for an awards banquet and also for the carnival, and he asks Liz to attend the awards dinner with him.  She says yes, but doesn’t tell Jeffrey, and when she finds out it’s on the same night as the opening party for the carnival, it causes problems.  Jeffrey gets mad that Liz has been sort of sneaky, and he tells her that he’ll wait for her at Las Palmas Canyon at 6, and if she doesn’t show he’ll assume the relationship is over, which is pretty much the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while.  Jessica and Amy win the trivia contest and lose track of time, leaving Liz without a car and thus missing the meet up with Jeffrey.  Liz is, understandably, pretty pissed off.

Jessica tries to fix things by telling Todd that Liz really wants to go to the carnival party.  Todd tells Liz she shouldn’t feel obligated to go to the dinner, and she gets bummed because she figures he doesn’t want to hang out with her.  When Jess realizes that she’s not really helping, she forges a note from Liz to Jeffrey asking him to meet her at the lodge.  The problem is, she doesn’t have time to tell Liz because she and Amy miss the bus taking them to Mont Blanc.  They arrive just in time for Jess to pose as Liz, which would work if one of their classmates hadn’t told Liz what they saw.  Liz assumes that Jessica is moving in on Jeffrey (hey, there’s precedent), and she gets ready to go home.

Jessica tries to call Liz at home and explain, but Liz hangs up on her.  She’s pissed, goes to take a nap, and awakes when the police call her and tell her that Jessica has been in a car accident and is in the E.R.  Todd shows up, sensing the need for his trustworthiness, and takes her to the hospital.  Jessica is dead.  The next two weeks are, as one would expect, pretty awful.  When Enid has a small get-together at her house, Todd and Jeffrey fight over Liz, kind of.  Liz hears someone call her name (it sounds just like Jessica, or maybe herself…), and Liz wakes up?  What?

It was all a dream!  Everyone makes up and everyone goes back up to the lodge for the carnival.  Everyone has a lovely time in their privileged little world, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “And I’m going to take you home, where you have strict instructions to languish in a bubble bath and keep that soapy smell of yours.” (36)
  • “‘I’ve decided Daddy needs to watch his weight,’ she had confided…Mr. Wakefield was in excellent shape, and in fact, he could still beat Steven at tennis.  But Jessica had been adamant.  She’d been reading about the dangers of high-cholesterol levels in middle-aged men, and she was determined that the Wakefields should start eating salads at least two nights a week.” (39)

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • This book sucked.  How’s that for some trivia?
  • Amy and Jessica have to go to the library to find out what the longest river in Africa is.  Seriously.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

I don’t have a lot to say about this one.  There’s so much build up to the winter carnival and then so little time actually spent at the ski lodge that one feels more than a little cheated.  Everyone acts so stupid in the book that it’s hard to choose a side.  Elizabeth is self-righteous, Jessica is a sociopath, and Todd and Jeffrey act as plot points (and not very good ones, either).  The fact that Elizabeth and Jeffrey are supposed to have such a strong, solid relationship is undermined by the fact that the two of them seem to break up in EVERY book because of stupid misunderstandings and weird ultimatums.



One Response to “SVH Super Edition: Winter Carnival”


  1. Sweet Valley Recap: Books 31-40, + Super Editions 5 & 6 « A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - October 12, 2010

    […] # of life-threatening situations: 3?  It’s hard to quantify when one of them is an extended dream sequence. […]

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