The biggest love triangle of Sweet Valley High is about to blow up in this book. Elizabeth has to choose between her first love, Todd Wilkins, and her current love, Jeffrey French. Who will she choose? Read on and find out!
Sweet Valley Scale: 4 out of 5 Twins
When Todd Wilkins moved to Vermont with his family, Elizabeth Wakefield’s heart was broken. She thought that she would never get over losing him. But after a few months passed, Elizabeth fell in love again. Now she and Jeffrey French are one of the happiest and most admired couples at Sweet Valley High. Then Todd writes to Elizabeth and tells her that he is moving back to Sweet Valley. And not only that, but that he still cares for her. Although Elizabeth loves Jeffrey, she realizes that she still has strong feelings for Todd. Suddenly Elizabeth is faced with a very difficult choice – a choice between the only two boys she has ever loved. What will Elizabeth do?
Let me start by saying, “Dammit, dammit, dammit!” All right, now that that is out of my system (not really, I’m sure there will be more) we can get started. Todd Wilkins is moving back to Sweet Valley, and Elizabeth is all confused and freaked out about it. There was a time when there had been nothing else Elizabeth wanted in all the world (cue eye roll) than for Todd’s family to move back to Sweet Valley, but now she is dating Jeffrey French, and she loves him… or does she? Elizabeth tells Jeffrey about Todd moving back and Jeffrey is uncomfortable, but Elizabeth doesn’t say anything to make him feel better because she doesn’t know how she feels and doesn’t want to lie.
A few days after Elizabeth finds out about Todd’s return she learns that Ken Matthews and Winston Egbert have both received letters from Todd and she is hurt that she hasn’t heard from him at all. Lila tells everyone that Todd’s dad is now the president of some big-deal company he was working for before. Translation: Wilkins is bloody rich! Todd’s parents bought en estate on the same road as Lila’s (and any SVH fan knows this is a BIG deal) and Todd won’t be coming back to Sweet Valley High, but instead his parents enrolled him in some snobby boarding school outside of Sweet Valley, called Lovett Academy. Lovett is so elite, even Bruce Patman and Lila Fowler don’t attend! Craziness… When Elizabeth gets home she finds a letter from Todd in the mail, and it looks like it went all over the place – sure enough it did, and Todd had actually written Elizabeth first, thinking he gave her a month to get used to the idea of his return, but now he is due in Sweet Valley in just a few days! Not only that, but he tells her that he still loves her, and has always loved her, and he knows she is with someone, but he hopes there is still a chance for them to… All right, I have to stop again. Dammit, dammit, dammit!
When Todd arrives, Elizabeth is the first person he sees. He tells her that he knows about Jeffrey, but that he’ll wait for her to decide how she feels because she’s worth waiting for. He has dinner at the Wakefields’ a few nights later and it’s a lot of the same thing. Jeffrey takes Elizabeth on a magical date at an expensive restaurant and a romantic stroll, but Liz is still confused. (Pick Jeffrey, bitch!)
The next night, Winston Egbert throws a party to welcome Todd back to Sweet Valley. Elizabeth is there with Jeffrey and it’s all very tense. Jessica wants Elizabeth to choose Todd, because even though she thinks Jeffrey is better for Liz, not to mention more fun than Todd, Todd is rich now, so he is a somebody. Also she wants him to introduce her to all of his rich friends and Lovett Academy. Jessica thinks if Elizabeth sees Todd and Jeffrey right next to each other that she’ll be able to decide easily. She tells Todd that he has to meet and say hello to them sometime, so why not get it over with. He agrees and walks over to them, and things get so tense they’re able to crack open…
Todd introduces himself to Jeffrey, and Jeffrey does the same and now I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa – hold up.” These two have already met! In the fifth Super Edition “Winter Carnival” Todd returns to Sweet Valley for the second Christmas since he has moved (we all know about Sweet Valley High and time) and Jeffrey felt a little uneasy about the whole Todd thing then, but quickly got over it because Jeffrey is awesome. Not to mention that in this book, Elizabeth chose Jeffrey, even though they were still a newer couple. She knew her feelings for Jeffrey were in the present and in her future, while Todd was nothing but the past. That’s why I think the ghostwriter of this book, intentionally pretends like that entire book didn’t happen. Because Elizabeth acknowledged that it was Jeffrey, not Todd, who had her heart. If they acknowledged it, it would go against the entire plot of this book. Still, this seriously bugged me almost more than anything else in this book.
Jessica manages to get Todd to give them a tour of his new school. It wasn’t that hard since Todd thinks that this means Elizabeth is showing an interest in him, and Elizabeth thinks this is a way that Todd is trying to include her in his new life. They go to a party on campus and Elizabeth meets Courtney Kane, this chick that Todd has been playing tennis with. Her father is the chairman of the board at the same company Todd’s father is the president of, so their parents are encouraging them to be friendly. Um, why? Anyway, Courtney is gorgeous and rich and sophisticated and Liz is so jealous, even though she knows she doesn’t have the right to be jealous because Todd is a free agent. But it’s okay because Courtney is a complete wench and I already hate her. Seriously, she is written so that she has all of Jessica’s bad qualities magnified, and a bunch of others including Rich Bitch Syndrome, and not a single decent quality except that she is fashionable, beautiful and there is an emphasis on her curves. Seriously, every time she is mentioned, so are her curves. At first I thought this was the ghostwriter making a jab about her weight, but it’s always in a positive light, so now I’m thinking implants. On a more positive note, Jessica meets a guy named Sheffield (and my mind instantly goes to “The Nanny” starring Fran Drescher) and they hit it off. He is super dreamy, super handsome, smart, nice and most importantly, super rich. Jess, you work fast, my hat is off to you.
When Todd drops the twins off at their place, Jessica leaves quickly to give Todd and Elizabeth some privacy. Todd tells Elizabeth that he is going to have a party at his new house (mansion) so that his new friends at Lovett can meet his old friends in Sweet Valley. Then the chump tries to kiss her, but Elizabeth is no cheater (unless it is a Super Edition OR Super Thriller and then it is pretty much expected) and quickly gets out of the car. But they both know that they both wanted it (Elizabeth, I am so disappointed in you).
A few days later, Lila Fowler is at the Wakefields’ and talking about Todd’s party. She tells everyone gathered (the twins, Enid Rollins and Cara Walker) that Todd asked Courtney to be his date and co-host of this party. Co-host? What is this, some terrible reality TV show? Elizabeth feels terrible, and jealous again, but she decides to wait and hear this from Todd himself. But Courtney, who fed Lila everything she was supposed to say (though in theory Lila thought it was true), works fast. She tells Sheffield that Liz and Jeffrey are getting even more serious and that Jeffrey got Elizabeth a ring: “Maybe not an engagement ring, but the next best thing!” And Sheffield, being the good guy that he is, finds a way to break this to Todd because he doesn’t want him to be surprised or disappointed later. Todd is sad and disappointed, but happy he found this out now instead of later. And he decides to respect Liz’s decision and asks Courtney to be his date. (Courtney knew Sheffield would tell Todd, and this is only the beginning of her scheming.)
Elizabeth and Todd don’t talk until his party, but Elizabeth’s invitation to the party is addressed to, “Miss Elizabeth Wakefield and Friend,” so Elizabeth knows that what Lila said is true, and even though she was hoping to be Todd’s date, now she has to go with her actual boyfriend. The idea of Todd choosing someone over her makes her see the light, and she realizes she still loves Todd the most. And now she has to deal with losing him twice. Elizabeth, I want to punch you in the face so bad right now…
When Todd’s party rolls around, Elizabeth attends with Jeffrey, but she is not very good at pretending. Jeffrey realizes that the only reason Liz is with him is because Todd took away her choice by going with Courtney. I feel so bad for Jeffrey, he deserves so much better… as usual. While they are dancing, Jeffrey sees Courtney put a note in Liz’s coat. He gets suspicious and follows her while Liz goes to the powder room. Courtney fakes a headache and convinces Todd to take her to the gazebo where it is quiet. When they get there she pounces on Todd (quite literally) and kisses him passionately without giving him any time to react. Elizabeth gets Courtney’s note which is supposedly from Todd, asking Elizabeth to come to the gazebo because they need to talk. Elizabeth sees Todd and Courtney kissing and is devastated. She runs away, dropping the note, and gets in her car and drives away. Jeffrey picks up the note and realizing what happened, does the right thing. He tells Todd what Courtney did, and how she lied to get Liz out of the picture. Jeffrey, you are the man, and Liz is an idiot.
I should also mention that Jessica and Sheffield were going great, until Sheffield mentioned that his senior project is to live with a bunch of homeless people and see what the world is like for those less privileged than he is. Sheffield wants to make a difference and is quite the humanitarian and he believes this is the best way to know how to help people the most effectively. Jessica is beside herself and now all she wants to do is push ole Sheff in the pool. 😛
Liz drives around aimlessly until she ends up at her special spot with Todd at Secca Lake. She realizes she hasn’t been fair to Jeffrey (you think?) and has to break up with him. As she is getting ready to leave, Todd appears and tells her everything that Jeffrey told him. They embrace passionately, kiss and pledge their love for one another. It is a new day, and Todd Wilkins and Elizabeth Wakefield are together again!
Dammit, dammit, dammit. Jeffrey is way cooler than Todd, and a better person. He was also better suited for Liz, called her out on her bullshit but trusted her completely and saved her life a couple of times. What the hell?
Jeffrey, I am going to miss you, but you really do deserve better. Team Jeffrey Forever!