SVH #59: In Love Again

14 May

Estimated elapsed time: 3-ish weeks.  Talk about playing fast-and-loose with time, Sweet Valley Universe.

Liz and Todd are back together, but things are different now because he goes to the snooty Lovett Academy while Liz is still at Sweet Valley.  She worries that they won’t be able to spend enough time together, and they both blow off their after-school responsibilities like the paper and basketball practice in order to be together.  They go on a couple of dates which are meant to be plot devices to show how different Todd’s life is now.  Elizabeth doesn’t fit in at the Country Club and worries about the fact that Todd now seems to be concerned with “important people.”  There’s also the issue of Courtney Kane, a rich girl who’s still trying to ruin things for the teens at Sweet Valley.

A shoe company called Kidd holds a mini-olympics event for local schools.  Sweet Valley and Lovett Academy are competing against each other.  This means that Todd and Elizabeth are facing off against each other in the same event.  Obviously.  Both of them get mad at the other over various stupid things, and they break up.  That was fast.

At the event, Courtney cheats during the College Bowl event, and Jessica totally sees her do it.  She keeps her mouth shut, though.  Then she sabotages the rope Liz has to climb, and Liz falls.  Todd holds her tenderly, and then they both decide to sit out the rest of the Olympics thing.  Courtney thinks that Lovett should win, and Jessica tells her that if she keeps it up, she’ll tell everyone about what a cheater she is.  Sweet Valley ends up winning the mini-olympics, Todd and Liz get back together, and Todd decides to transfer back to Sweet Valley High.

The B-Plot involves Jessica deciding that she wants to go to Lovett Academy.  She studies for the entrance exams, takes a tour of the school, and flirts with cute boys.  Ultimately, she decides to stick with Sweet Valley.  I am so bored I could die.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “‘They’re probably all so glamorous,’ Jessica said, a dreamy expression on her face. ‘Talk to them about yachting, horses, flying the Concorde to Paris.'” (63)
  • “Honestly, Courtney thought to herself.  Todd was incredibly cute, but he could be such a bore sometimes!” (127)

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • As part of the relay race, Ken Matthews has to balance an egg on a spoon.  That’s athletic prowess right there.
  • One of Courtney’s friends drives a blue Alfa Romeo.  I had no idea what this was, and had to Google it.  I don’t know what it is about this series and name-dropping the most random cars ever.
  • The questions the Quiz Bowl teams have to answer were the most awful True or False questions ever: Bob Dylan’s real name is Robert Zimmerman: T or F?

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

What, really is there to say about this one?  When I was little, I was totally Team Jeffrey, even if I couldn’t articulate why.  As an adult, I’m still Team Jeffrey, though at the same time, I’m almost glad he’s no longer with Liz.  He deserves better than Liz.  The complete ridiculousness of Liz and Todd’s relationship: the way they break up and get back together in the span of a single book (and almost in every single book) undercuts one of the series’s basic premises: Liz is the twin who is in the solid, committed relationship.  How solid can that relationship be when she’s breaking up with Todd every five minutes?

There’s also the issue of how class is handled in this novel.  Everyone at Lovett is meant to seem very wealthy, privileged, and totally snooty.  Sweet Valley is inherently better because they’re a public school and allow all students to attend.  But there are a bunch of total snobs at Sweet Valley, too.  Why aren’t they at Lovett Academy? Also, isn’t this the second or third Courtney that ends up being a total bitch?

One Response to “SVH #59: In Love Again”


  1. SVH Magna Edition: Elizabeth’s Secret Diary, Vol. II | A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - August 24, 2015

    […] waffling over her feelings for him and her current boyfriend Jeffrey French.  When she decides to ditch Jeffrey and hook back up with Todd, we’re treated to a recap of that gloat-fest, too.  But the diary presents this as Liz […]

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