Monday, March 7, 2016

Review: "Special Christmas: Sweet Valley High Super Edition #2"

Special Christmas: Sweet Valley High Super Edition #2 by Francine Pascal
4 out of 5 stars

Am I actually reviewing a Christmas book in March? Yes, I am, because I wrote it that long ago and I suck but I really wanted to get this review up still.

Before Reading: I was pretty excited to read a Christmas special *at* Christmas time. I've never read this one either, so it was all new to me! I always picture the twins with long (at least waist length) hair so the covers always throw me off.

The Main Plot in 50 Words or Less: It's Christmas time. Everyone is excited. Until the evil Suzanne Devlin shows up and ruins everything. Or does she?

The Second Plot in 20ish Words or Less: Liz can't wait to see Todd, who moved away to Vermont. (I haven't gotten to that plot yet, obviously.) Jessica wants to be Miss Something-or-Other Sweet Valley and so does Lila.

Opening Lines: "I give up." Mr Collins laughed, crossed his arms, and leaned back against his desk. "No one should ever try to teach English the day before Christmas vacation!"

Closing Lines: But Elizabeth's heart was too full to answer. It certainly was, she thought happily. Everyone was together, safe and healthy and glad. Christmas had arrived at last!

Best WTF Lines: [not too many this time, surprisingly!]
"I can't imagine Christmas in a cold climate. Poor Todd-stuck up north with all that snow!"

"It never hurts to stay involved with the prettiest, most fun-loving bunch of girls in the whole school."

Happenings in SV: It's Christmas time in Sweet Valley and the twins are ready to have "the best Christmas ever". Although they never really say how or why it's going to be the best? Elizabeth is in charge of passing out Secret Santa partners. Every. person. in. the. school. gets a Secret Santa. How does that possibly even work?? It would have been way more believable if it was just their grade or even just their English classes. Yeah, no way.

Todd is coming back from Vermont for 2 whole weeks and Liz is ecstatic. But the visit turns kind of weird and awkward. Suzanne Devlin is also back in town, but she wants to make amends for her last visit. The twins don't believe it for a second and are determined to make her visit miserable. Suzanne is hiding a big secret though and eventually wins over everyone, even Jessica, just in time for Christmas.

Jessica and Lila both want to be Miss Christmastime in the parade and scheme and connive their way thru the season, as usual. Jessica's Secret Santa gives her amazing gifts and she's convinced it's the hot new foreign exchange student, Hans. It, of course, turns out to be nerd boy Winston Egbert.

Fashion Icons: But that day they were wearing matching outfits-navy cotton skirts and light blue short-sleeved sweaters that showed off their tans perfectly. Even the gold lavalieres dangling from their necks were identical-presents from their parents on their sixteenth birthday.

[This is long but it's a good one!] Jessica was dressed as an elf. She was wearing kelly-green tights and green slippers with curled-up toes and bells jangling from their tips. She had made a strange little suit out of a green plastic garbage bag, cutting leg holes in the bottom and arm holes in the sides and stapling the whole thing up at the shoulders. Something-probably newspaper, from the look of it-was being used as stuffing to make her look round. Underneath the sack she wore a red long-sleeved T-shirt. There was green paint on her face. "I need some sort of hat," Jessica announced calmly, ignoring the looks on her brother's and sister's faces. "What's the matter?" she added, taking a small green plastic tomato basket out of the trash and tying long red ribbons on each side. "Hasn't either of you ever seen an elf before?"

Suzanne was too distracted about the night's party to realize she had never looked so beautiful in her entire life. The blue velvet dress she had borrowed from Elizabeth had a high neck, edged in cream-colored lace. It made her look like the heroine of a Victorian novel. A simple strand of pearls at her throat completed the look.

Elizabeth looked terrific in a shimmery, peach-colored dress with spaghetti straps. And she herself was wearing her new blouse with a pair of black satin pants. [This is to the Christmas party. Is it just me, or should these outfits be switched?]

Twin Hijinks: Not many hijinks in this one. The twins do dress identically to go take a Christmas portrait for their parents. My sister and I did that once (not twins though). It was a great gift.

Other Thoughts: It was a little weird reading this one, because it's ahead of where I am in the books. I've only read up to #19, I think, and I totally didn't remember Todd moving away!  I haven't read about Suzanne yet either, but she sounded horrid. I have to say though...the whole "I have multiple sclerosis" "oh wait, no you don't, you just had mono all this time!" thing was kind of ridiculous. I still teared up. Whatever.

The Next Book*: Not one since it's a Super Edition!

*(not necessarily what I'll be reading)

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