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    "Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love," A Review

    Let's talk about Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love.

    The Plot

    That's the main plot of Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love, but along the way, we get a high-speed car chase, a bloody, drunken brawl, and a courtroom drama — so this shit ain't just romantical, by a long shot.

    Anyway, these are some things that kind of stood out to me in this one:

    1) Jessica's first sociopathic moment happens in the opening pages.

    This is just a hint of the sociopathic behavior we can come to expect from Ms. J. Wakefield as she lies, cries, and manipulates her way through her sordid, miserable existence. The most worrying revelation, hinted at here, and borne out in the subsequent pages, is not so much that Jessica will never be worthy of a class act like Todd Wilkins, but that she knows it and she doesn't fucking care. She is interested in Todd for one reason and one reason only: to prevent her sister from having a modicum of happiness in her life. The single-mindedness with which she pursues this goal is frankly terrifying.

    *Apparently they are rushing for a sorority in high school? Is this a California thing? Or just some shit that Francine Pascal made up because she literally does not give a fuck?

    2) Elizabeth's first insufferable goody-two-shoes moment is pondering "as she did very often ... how lucky she and Jessica were to live in Sweet Valley."

    3) It is a tradition at Sweet Valley that if anyone finds out the identity of the person who writes the "Eyes and Ears" column for The Oracle school newspaper, they throw that person fully clothed into the pool.

    Good tradition.

    4) Jessica thinks of herself, literally, as "the most fantastic girl in school."

    5) Rick Andover: best character.

    6.) The subplot is about a fight over the school's football field in which a nouveau riche family want to turn it into a factory and an old-money family want to turn it into a Victorian garden.

    Closing Thoughts

    I honestly wouldn't have thought this was possible, but by the end of this book, I was almost beginning to sympathize with Jessica Wakefield a little bit. She is an insane person, granted, and a genuine danger to her friends and family, but can at least some of this acting out be pinned to the fact that her twin sister is the IRL queen of all the smug, sanctimonious, unendurable prigs who ever walked the Earth? I think so.

    Anyway, we'll find out next time in Secrets, wherein forgettable loser Enid Rollins has some dumb secret that we're all supposed to get worked up about.