[Raven: Hello! This is the first of the now-WEEKLY podcasts, published each Friday. Each will be around 45 minutes to an hour long, and each will tackle a single book (plus Bleak Valley and the usual digressions). There will be one published each week until the podcasts ‘catch up’ with the recaps on 26th Feb. From then on, there’ll be the recap each Monday and the corresponding podcast each Friday. From that point, it’ll be recap / podcast for three weeks in each calendar month, with a ‘fallow week’ in which we’re planning other fun Nostalgic Media content. Enjoy the podcast, and watch this space!]
Lois Waller has always been too shy about being overweight to join in school activities. When the Sweet Valley PTA decides to have a bike-a-thon, Lois finds the courage to take part. It’s a chance for her to win a brand-new mountain bike—and it’s the perfect opportunity to put snobby Bruce Patman in his place.
Everyone at Sweet Valley Middle School knows how much Bruce bullies Lois. Although Jessica Wakefield thinks that anything Bruce does is perfect, her twin sister Elizabeth disagrees and is on Lois’s side. Elizabeth thinks Lois has a good shot at winning. But she doesn’t know how far Bruce Patman will go to see Lois lose!
At last! A book about a peripheral character I (we) love! I’m sure this will go a long way towards rectifying the cruelty inherent in each and every one of her previous appearances!
Let’s assess the cover…
THAT’S Lois? REALLY?! She’s LITERALLY EXACTLY THE SAME SIZE AS EVERYONE ELSE. I’m guessing that the artists missed a memo, and the publishers thought “fuck it.”
Also, THAT’S Bruce?! THAT’S the cutest boy in the whole school? He’s got a face like a slapped arse!
[Dove: This is the thing that really annoys me, because it either means that Lois is a pound or two heavier than the “normal” kids and must be treated like she’s the size of a house. Or she’s bigger than that, and we cannot possibly have a heavy girl on the cover of a book about pretty, thin, perfect people.]
[Raven: Hello! Just a quick shout out of apology for the delay in this podcast. Don’t blame Dove or Wing… this fubar was all Raven. We are looking to go to a shorter, weekly podcast from next week. Stay tuned, and (in the spirit of the podcast) Merry Christmas / Happy New Year!]
Tagline: What happens when a friend turns out to be too good to be true?
Summary: Elizabeth Wakefield and her best friend Amy Sutton have big plans for the holiday weekend, including a fabulous party, a family barbecue, and the chance to see a dreamy disc jockey broadcast live from the Sweet Valley Mall.
But the weekend gets off to a surprising start when Amy’s pen pal from San Francisco turns up unexpectedly. Samantha Williams seems every bit as nice as her letters until Amy introduces her to the Unicorns. Suddenly, the popular girls can’t get enough of Sam and her stories, and Amy begins to feel left out. Why hasn’t Sam ever told her about all those wonderful things she’s done? Elizabeth and Jessica have a feeling that she’s making it all up. But will Elizabeth be able to stand by while her twin plans a coldhearted plot to uncover the truth?
Interesting… this is the first book in the series to quote a character’s name other than Elizabeth or Jessica. Way to go, Amy, you’ve made it to the Big Leagues!
I’m guessing the pen pal is a jeb-end.
The cover? It’s a symphony in pink. And Samantha looks like a proper slapped arse. Mardy cow. [Dove: She has no soul.]
For the month of November, the marvellous Dove chronicled one of the lesser-known periods of Sweet Valley Twins history: the town’s ill-fated participation in Lila Fowler’s Hunger Games. The harrowing (yet hilarious) tale can be found, chapter and verse, on the site, so go ahead and reacquaint yourselves with the details via the links below:
As readers will be aware, one of the stalwart commentators on the Hunger Games, the esteemed rock chanteur Johnny Buck, took a particular shine to one of the less-favoured tributes: Sweet Valley’s Designated Fatso, Lois Waller. In fact, his adoration for Lois has translated itself into a surprisingly heartfelt and upbeat track, planned for his long-awaited new album My Love For You Is Like A Buck (Berserker).
I spoke to Johnny on Wednesday, at 2:45pm as he headed out to the stage for his latest concert at Secca Lake. He had the following words for his fans…
Big up to all my Sexy MotherBuckers out there in Sweet Valley and beyond! I hope to see everyone at a concert venue near you soon, for my (Early) Afternoon Delight Tour, offering post-lunchtime lakeside rock n’ roll for all my fans. My new album hits the malls next month, but until then, here’s a rough cut of my tribute to a Tribute: Buck the Odds (Holla Holla Lois Waller). It’s a departure from my usual style. Hope you like it! Until next time… Peace, Love and Bucking. JB X
Thanks to Johnny Buck for sharing his creative vision with us, here at Sweet Valley Online!
*Representatives of Johnny Buck would like to make it clear that the rough nature of the singing in the supplied track is in no way representative of the quality promised by the finished album, available at all good music stockists from January 1st.
*Representatives of Johnny Buck would also like to make it clear that any violent imagery perceived in the lyrics of the supplied track are purely the views of the singer Johnny Buck (and the Fowler Hunger Games Initiative) and in no way reflect the values of their parent company SV Record Holdings, PLC.
*Representatives of Johnny Buck would finally like to make it clear that any improper language towards the twelve-year-old Lois Waller percieved in the lyrics of the supplied track were purely included for artistic effect, and in no way reflect the actual desires of their client. As with most of the crap that happens in Sweet Valley, it’s best not to think about it too deeply.
Buck the Odds (Holla Holla Lois Waller)
Switch on my television, looking for that list of names,
Those still alive in the Sweet Valley Middle Hunger Games.
Watching the action but I’m dreading every cannon boom,
Wait for the confirmation, building tension in the room.
Oh, how my heart stands still,
Sky writing claims the kill,
A stranger’s name across the sky, sky, sky.
They say that you’re too fat, you’ll never win like that,
But you will make them see, this is your destiny.
You’ll beat them at their game, the world will know your name,
We shout for victory, cry holla holla…
We raise our voices for Lois Waller.
Go Lois Waller, with your agile mind and sturdy thighs,
Hunt down those matchstick kids and see the terror in their eyes,
I ship my chosen tribute battle gear and paraphernalia,
Go Lois Waller, may the odds be ever in your favour.
Track down those wastes of space,
Use rocks to smash their face,
Just keep on pummelling, die, die, die.
And for the greater good, she’s gonna spill their blood,
She’s gonna tear out tongues, smash knees and puncture lungs,
Those pretty teens must die, no need to ask her why,
She’ll rip their hearts right out for a dollar…
So raise a clenched fist for Lois Waller.
So keep your Jessicas, your Lilas and your Amy Suttons,
Your Liz, your Kens, your Brookes, your Winstons won’t amount to nothin’.
Their bodies may be thin, you know their souls are so much thinner,
Go Lois Waller, you’re my winner winner chicken dinner.
That girl, she makes me quiver,
I stand when she delivers,
A potent chemistry, my my…
The Wakefields always win, ‘cause they are blonde and thin,
But you are strong and smart, and you have won my heart,
Oh Lois, fan my flame, I hunger for your game,
You’re getting me hot under the collar…
I raise my flagpole for Lois Waller.
(Music: Johnny Buck / Stuart Taylor. Lyrics: Johnny Buck / Raven)
Raven here again. Thanks for listening, hope you enjoyed the song. It was fun to do. Even if I did screw up the lyrics and have trouble breathing. 🙂
Of course, the words are easy. It’s the music that makes it. Much MUCH thanks to the amazing Stuart Taylor, who took my feeble warblings and made something awesome. Apologies to Stu (and the listener) for my terrible singing. As the old saying goes, you can’t polish a turd… but Stu managed to roll it in glitter and make something shiny.
And finally, more kudos to Dove. Her story is amazing. Seriously, go read it again.
Tagline: Can the twins keep their new friend from making a terrible mistake?
Summary: When a team of East German gymnasts visits Sweet Valley, it’s one of the biggest events in the town’s history. Jessica and Elizabeth – and the whole Wakefield family – are right in the center of things. They’re playing host to Christoph Beckmann, a cute blue-eyed boy who happens to be one of the best gymnasts on the team.
As the days go by, the twins learn more and more about their new friend. He tells them that it is his parents who wish him to be a champion and that he just wants to have fun and be like other kids his age. [Raven: Didn’t we just do this with Prince Arthur?] So with the help of the Wakefields, he gets his wish. Between hamburgers, basketball and surfing, Jessica, Elizabeth, and Steven may have done too good a job. Now Christoph refuses to go back to his country. Can Jessica and Elizabeth make him understand all that he’ll be missing if he stays?
[Wing: Why is the underage boy in a foreign country not all that friendly with his country even making that choice?]
Cute Boys! Gymnastics! Defection!
This book promises everything!
Let’s look at the cover… Elizabeth Wakefield meets Ellen Degeneres. I swear the artists for these covers can only draw three faces, tops.