special people-or Sweet Valley Twins #10- One of the Gang

First the usual cover comment- Pamela Jacobson, the focus of this book (and yes dear readers you will never hear of her again) and Jessica Wakefield both look to be about 35 years old. Jessica has a ponytail and a sweatshirt that Liz would wear- not Jessica. And both Pam and Jess have these WAY goofy toothy smiles.

 

We start with Jessica, Liz and Steven in the kitchen. Jess is doing math homework, and Liz is baking cookies. Steven is bothering the twins by saying he has ESP and he can predict what will happen to the twins before it happens- for example, he knew Jess would have trouble with math.  Uh yeah Steve duh! About three pages in, the book describes how Jessica and Liz look sooo alike but act sooooooo different! For example, Liz is way into schoolwork as illustrated by her commitment to the Sweet Valley Sixers, the school newspaper. Is a school newspaper considered schoolwork? And why does the 6th grade have its own newspaper anyway? Why would anyone at Sweet Valley Middle School care about what the 6th graders do?? But whatever.

 

Liz finishes baking cookies, and goes to the library before dinner. At the library, she sees a girl that she knows from school- Pamela Jacobson- and she also loves Amanda Howard mysteries! Elizabeth starts to make small talk and asks if Pam is excited about the Mini Olympics- and here allow me to back up. Jessica was made chairman of the Mini Olympics, an event that the 5th and 6th graders put on for the ” lower school” ( that must mean elementary school)  every year and it consists of bunches of athletic events, and the 5th and 6th graders compete in it too. Jessica is determined to make it more competitive this year. Well, Pamela says that the Mini Olympics is not that exciting to her as she has a heart condition and so she cannot participate in any sort of athletic events- she can’t even use stairs or participate in gym. Ya see, Pamela was born with a rare heart condition and had to have 2 surgeries when she was younger. Her dad is very overprotective due to Pam’s health issues, and before Pamela convinced her dad to let her attend Sweet Valley MS Pamela went to a ” special school” called Ridgedale 40 minutes away- it’s a school for kids with disabilities and honestly I don’t get why someone with a heart condition needs to be in a ” special” school but I guess Pam’s dad is cracked. So yeah all Pamela wants to do is be ” normal” and how she wishes she were a Unicorn and a cheerleader like Jessica Wakefield. Naturally, every girl in school would wanna be just like the Wakefields!

So yeah Liz feels really bad for Pam that she cannot compete in the Mini Olympics. Our next scene takes place the next day at gym class. Lila is all snooty because she is only the assistant chairperson and Jessica is the head chairperson, so Li is jealous. Janet Howell, aka the coolest girl EVER, said all that matters is that 2 Unicorns are chairing the Mini Olympics this year and therefore it will rock and make the Unicorns look really good!!!!! BOO YAH!! Pamela decides to sit in on the gym class and becomes very sad because she cannot play volleyball like all of the Unicorns can.  SIGH! 😦

 

At lunch, Liz sees that Pamela is eating all by herself and feels soooo bad for her, so Liz tells Amy Sutton that they should join Pam for lunch and naturally Amy, as Liz’s lackey, readily agrees.  Liz mentions that maybe Pamela could write for the school paper, and talks about how the mini olympics seem unfair because only the good athletes stand a chance at winning anything. Pamela laments how she does not really think her dad will let her stay at Sweet Valley Middle School because she is not really making friends and participating in activities. Liz says ” oh we will figure out a way to have you stay here!” but God knows what that is.

 

After school,  Jessica is talking about a plan she has cooked up to make Steven say he does not have ESP and to stop being a pain in the culo. Liz then starts to bring up Pam, and how she feels that maybe the Mini Olympics could stand to change a bit- like include some brainpower activities, shit of that nature.  Liz is trying to tell Jess how it’s unfair that Pam can’t compete in the Mini Olympics the way it’s run and frankly Jess is sort of being a bitch in this scene because she says Pam should just ” work out more” which duh Jess Pam CAN’T work out due to her heart condition you turd! Liz tells her that in not so many words, but Jessica is all ” whatever.”

So at midnight that night, Jessica and Liz sneak out of Casa Wakefield to play their kick ass trick on Steven. Jessica is gonna make Steve think that he saw a ghost due to his ESP by dressing as a ghost!! Well, Jessica climbs up on the ladder just fine and shines the flashlight, Steven sees her in the ghost costume ( a sheet of course), freaks the fuck out and screams, that startles Jess, she trips and falls off the ladder! As a result of this, Jessica is told she has a sprained ankle ( incidentally Ned and Jessica only waited in the ER for half an hour- WHAT???) and has to stay off it for at least FOUR WEEKS- so no cheering in the boosters this Saturday, and no MINI OLYMPICS EVENTS!

When Jess goes back to school, everyone fawns over her at first, but after a day Jess is pretty much forgotten of course. Lila uses the fact that Jess is now injured as an opportunity to ” steal” all of the Mini Olympics plans from underneath Jessica’s nose, because Jess can ” barely get to meetings, and it’s harder for her to chair the Mini Olympics.” Dude her BRAIN wasn’t affected- of course it’d take her longer to get from place to place but once Jess got there, why couldn’t she chair the event properly and come up with good ideas?

 

But yeah- so needless to say Lila trying to take over the whole committee just because it takes Jessica longer to get to meetings pisses Jess the fuck off. And one day as Jess joins Pam on the sidelines at gym Jess starts to think of what Lizzie was trying to say- hmmmmm maybe the Mini Olympics are sort of unfair, and changes could totally be made. And of course if Jessica comes up with new ideas for the Mini Olympics and allows Pam to be on the committee as well to help come up with ideas, then Jessica can come out the shining star for disabled folk AND herself- and everyone including Pam and Jess can have an equal chance of winning!!!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! And Jessica definitely has to bring Pam to the next meeting because how can Mr. Butler the PE teacher and Ms. Ulrich the PTA prez turn down a gal with a friggin heart problem???

 

So Jessica discusses this with Pam and Pam’s like what the fuck I will do this crap. BTW LOVE Jess’s own selfish motives- also LUV that the adults fall for it hook, line and sinker!  Soooo.. the adults do approve of the changes Jess and Pam want to make to the Mini Olympics, and Jess goes to Pam’s house to help plan the events quite a few times. And holy shit- I LOVE how Jess secretly hopes that Pam doesn’t wanna be best friends with Jess and asks her to be in the Unicorns because Jess is very choosy about her buddies and Pam’s love for Amanda Howard and fugly sweaters ( well the cover art sweater is sure fugly) does not exactly make for great friendship.

Well the day of the Mini Olympics arrives, and admittedly some of the events do seem VERY bitchin’- and I love that Lila is all pissy over the changes. There are four teams in the Mini Olympics- the White Team, ( Ellen Riteman a very boring Unicorn is a member of the White Team), the Black Team which Liz and Amy are both on, the Red Team which Lila, Janet and Ken Matthews are all part of, and Jess and Pam are on the Blue Team! Who will win?

 

Well the first portion of the events is a talent show and when I was younger I thought that the Blue Team’s song ” Blue Team Blues” was really clever for some reason. And the Blue Team’s skit makes fun of Mr. Butler’s coaching skills and everyone finds it hilarious. The Red Team does some dumb ass skit making fun of bed making contests ( yes there is one this year- more on that later) and apparently the song Dread the Red is fuckin dumb. The Black Team does some skit about reporters writing about the Mini Olympics ( yeah that was Lizzie the Lame’s idea) and the song “Black Magic” rhymes ” tragic” and ” magic”- HOW FUCKING CLEVER!!!!!!!!!!!! The White Team’s skit and song both suck ass. So after the first round, the Blue Team is in the lead, then the Black Team, the Reds and finally the Whites are DEAD LAST!

The Red Team then wins the Brainpower competition and that’s all that said about that competition. Now on to the main events- the athletics!!!! Liz Wakefield wins the bed making contest of course. And Lila is stuck having to represent the red team in the bed making contest ( each team would draw a name so everyone has an equal chance of getting picked) and of course Lila loses badly! Jessica draws her own name for Crutch Croquet and of course since Jess has been using crutches she totally fuckin wins- BOO YAH! The final contest is a wheelchair contest- two lower school kids get picked for the Black and White teams, and then the Red Team draws Ken Matthews who is this kick ass athlete, and the Blue Team draws Pam. Ken feels he’ll win this easily against two little kids and a cripple- yeah he pretty much says that the douchebag. Remember that when you are temporarily blind in SVH you ASSHOLE!!!! Well, Ken is in the lead for a good part of the time, then his wheels get stuck and PAMELA WINS!!!!!!! WOOOO!! Pam’s parents are both there and are totally stoked that Pam won, and overprotective Daddy says Pam can stay at SVMS after all!!!! And even Pam’s popular 8th grade bro Denny says congrats- and Jess hopes she isn’t too sweaty or Denny won’t find her sexy!!

And Pam says she realizes that she was part of the problem at her school- she could have joined the paper earlier and was too scared to, and she should have tried harder to fit in the best she could- sha la la la, or something. And Pam gets to write an article for the Sixers all about the Olympics!!!!

 

The end of the book features Jess and Ellen Riteman watching videos, and Ellen’s annoying crap ass bro is all crying because the family cat ate his parakeet- ah I’d cry too actually. And so the kid demands that Ellen and Jess help him bury Petey the bird, and as he is digging they come across a box- is it BURIED TREASURE? well that’s covered in SVT #11 ” Buried Treasure” and I don’t own that book now but I remembered it sucking some serious ass.

As books about kids with disabilities go ( especially the way SVH/ SVT deals with difference) this book is OK. And sure Jess was being self serving but it made Pam feel happy and included in the end- even though no one ever hears about her again.

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2 Responses to “special people-or Sweet Valley Twins #10- One of the Gang”

  1. Pamela might never appear in the future books, (I don’t remember her, anyway), but her older brother Denny shows up in a lot of Unicorns-centric books as Janet Howell’s crush/boyfriend/boy toy.

    • girltalkread Says:

      You are right about Denny, Kat- I do remember Denny being Janet Howell’s man in the SVT books. And Pamela does appear in the Sweet Valley Twins book Jumping to Conclusions- she is doing a project with Amy and Elizabeth.

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