SVH #45: Family Secrets

30 Oct

Estimated Time Elapsed: 2 weeks


Kelly Bates is a cousin of Jessica and Elizabeth, daughter of Laura, who is a sister to Alice..  She’s the same age as the twins and looks almost exactly like them.  Laura is getting remarried, and Kelly’s having a really hard time with it, so she’s staying with the Wakefields for a while in order to get used to the idea of her mother’s new marriage.  This plan makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but whatever fuels the plot, right?

At any rate, the twins are super-excited about hanging out with their cousin.  Ma and Pa Wakefield have warned the twins that they shouldn’t say anything disparaging about Kelly’s dad, because her mom has made it a rule to let Kelly come to her own conclusions about a man that we are supposed to be wary of from the beginning.  The twins and Kelly play up their resemblances and dress alike for Kelly’s first day at Sweet Valley High.  They also set her up with Nicholas Morrow, who promptly asks her to be his date at the costume party at his country club.

When Kelly starts hanging out with Kirk Anderson, Jessica and Elizabeth are mildly horrified.  Kelly seems blind to Kirk’s many faults, including his tendency to be completely arrogant, show up really late for dates, and use the most terrible pick-up lines.  The twins realize that Kelly maybe has a blind spot when it comes to questionable men in her life (OH YOU MEAN LIKE HER FATHER?), but nothing they say can convince her about Kirk.  He asks her to the costume party and she says yes but doesn’t bother cancelling her date with Nicholas.

Kelly’s father is supposed to come into town for her birthday, and she has plans to ask him to move to Sweet Valley so she can live with him instead of going back to Tucson.  Kelly blames her mother for the divorce and doesn’t want to live with her.  When Kelly’s dad arrives an hour and a half late to her birthday dinner and then ducks out after like 5 minutes, she’s crushed but still doesn’t see that he’s a total douche truck.

Jessica, Elizabeth, and Kelly go to the costume party as the N0-Evil monkeys (it’s so perfect and not heavy-handed at all: Jessica’s Hear No Evil, Liz is Speak No Evil, and Kelly is See No Evil) and when Kirk invites Kelly to go up to Miller’s Point with him, she agrees.  Then he tries to basically assault her, throws some beer bottles, and she kicks him in the shin and starts walking home.  The sound of breaking glass triggers memories from her childhood when her father would throw dishes, and so she realizes that her dad maybe kind of sucks.  She goes home, her mom gets called and gets on a plane, and Kelly decides to go home to Tuscon.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “Jessica scowled.  Kelly’s complaints about her mother didn’t impress her.  All mothers acted that way, Jessica wanted to point out.  That was just the way they were.” (56)
  • “‘Are you kidding? Me with my mouth shut all night? I’d die!’ Jessica exclaimed.  ‘No, you should be Speak-No-Evil, Liz.  You never say anything bad about anybody.'” (75-76)

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Costumes at costume party: Lila is Princess Diana, Jeffrey is a wino, Enid is a hippie, Ken is Donald Duck (what the crap?), Sandra Bacon is…a Mexican?, Winston goes as a bunch of grapes, and Kirk is a pirate.
  • In addition to French, Ms. Dalton apparently also covers study hall.  Sucks to be her.
  • Weird factoid: Jessica has a discussion with Liz about Kelly’s nightmares while cutting split ends out of her hair.  For some reason, this split ends detail has stayed with me for 15 years.  I don’t know why.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

Do you know what bothers me about this book the most?  I mean, even more than the fact that the best plan Laura could come up with to help Kelly get acclimated to life with a new family was to move her away from said family?  The fact that Kelly never tells Nicholas that she’s not going to the dance with him. It’s not mentioned ONCE.  Way to drop the ball midway through the book, ghost writer.  Merciful Zeus!

That being said, how stupid is the whole plot?  Kelly is having issues adjusting to her new family, so in order to help her get used to it, they send her away?  What the hell?  How is Kelly going to come to terms with her new life by living apart from it?  What, exactly, is that supposed to accomplish?  BAD PARENTING.


One Response to “SVH #45: Family Secrets”


  1. SVH Magna Edition: Jessica’s Secret Diary, Vol. II | A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - August 21, 2015

    […] so boring.  Thank god for email, amirite?  Then Jessica reminds us that the Wakefields have a cousin who could basically be their sister, and she’s kind of effed up over some family […]

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