Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Might Have a Problem: A Super Special Magna Thriller Blog Post

Lately I've been noticing something about myself, and I'm not really sure if it's a good thing or not.

I can't stop reading young adult novels. Cannot stop.

And slowly, slowly, they are taking over my bookshelves and becoming the only books that I read. Oh dear.

What kind of young adult novels am I referring to?

I'm talking old school Sweet Valley High.

I'm talking classic Baby-sitters Club.

I'm talking Anastasia Krupnik.

I'm talking about the Making Out series.

And yes, maybe even a little bit of Fear Street thrown in there.

So much racier than Goosebumps!

Everyone likes a little nostalgia in their lives now and then. So why is this a problem? I think I'm slowly regressing to the point where the only books that hold my interest now are of the young adult category. Which is slightly embarrassing/troubling.

In the past year or so, I've picked up the annoying habit of reading one (1) book in the daytime and a different book at night. My current daytime book? David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, a collection of essays/arguments that, once upon a time, I had been pretty excited to read.

"Essays and Arguments"

...and my current evening book? I'm so glad you asked. I'm reading Kidnapped!, Sweet Valley High number 13.

"Elizabeth's nightmare is about to begin..."

Two (2) wildly different books. Both respectable in their own ways (that sentence was halfway believable, right?). But the thing is, I've been trying to get through my David Foster Wallace book for a good two (2) weeks and I'm still stuck in the second essay about television. I just can't push through. I can't. I pick it up, start to read and almost instantly my mind is pulled elsewhere. Like staring at people on the subway and trying to pick their celebrity doppelgangers. Or thinking about how next week will definitely be the week I start putting effort into my general appearance/hygiene. Or drafting potential "Missed Connection" ads for craigslist. Doing pretty much anything but reading this book.

Next week will be the week I do not allow myself to go out in public dressed like this. Click on that picture only if you feel like making yourself ill.

But when I'm home at night lying in bed with my Sweet Valley High book, it's a completely different story. I read late into the night, turning page after page, often ripping them because my hands are too fast. I have to force myself to stop reading at around 1:00 a.m. and even after I stop, I lie in bed wondering how Elizabeth Wakefield will ever possibly get out of this pesky kidnapping situation (considering there are about 100 more Sweet Valley High books in the series, I'm pretty sure she escapes, but just how is the question. HOW?!)

Life in Sweet Valley is just a whirlwind! (except if you're Enid Rollins.)

I really do want to read David Foster Wallace and many other adult novels as well. But I find when I start reading them, my mind wanders. I've become spoiled by the juiciness of the young adult world where anything can happen, logical plot line be damned. Where are the ghost cats, the inappropriate crushes on way older lifeguards, the secret werewolf boyfriends, the personality-changing brief comas, the evil cheerleaders and all of the super special DATES?! Am I asking for too much here?

I mean, which book would you rather dive into?


I'm gonna have to go with the one where a sexy, nightshirt-clad blond is dancing around a seafoam room hoisting a tabby cat in the air while laughing maniacally under a full moon.

(PS--they just don't make covers like they used to.)

Now, I've blogged about my affection for Sweet Valley High books before but since then, my love/obsession has grown to an embarrassing level. I have a laser-like focus on rebuilding my collection of SVH books. I'm allowing myself to buy one (1) book per week to keep the habit under control. My roommates still think it's a problem.

This love/obsession is also spreading to SVH memorabilia. I really, really want this board game and puzzle, both conveniently found on And you know what's weird? My birthday's just around the corner. Hurry guys, only one (1) in stock!

"Can you find your boyfriend in time for the big date?"

Sounds like the most exciting/feminist adventure ever! SIGN ME UP. The Amazon seller described the game as a"rare game from a bygone era." Like the Wakefield twins could ever be considered bygones. Someone sure sounds a little jealous to me...

Aw, it's A.J. Morgan and Jessica Wakefield, immortalized in puzzle form. They were in love for a good three (3) or four (4) books, which means it was like, really deep and real. I'm not a puzzle kind of person but I NEED this puzzle.

I don't have a problem. Those are both normal items for a 25 year old girl to desire. I don't have a problem.

What I find comforting is that there are other people in this situation. I've been trolling the Internet lately in the hopes of finding like-minded people and I think I found some blogging soulmates. Apparently the SVH, BSC & young adult world is a thriving universe! I just KNEW I wasn't a freak! Check 'em out:

What Winston Saw has fast become one of my favorite sites. First of all, I love that there's a blog written mostly from the perspective of Winston Egbert, Sweet Valley High's under-appreciated class clown. And b, not only are there SVH book recaps but this blog goes the extra mile and does outfit recaps with photos, bringing Elizabeth's sensible polo shirts, Jessica's slutty suede miniskirts and Bruce Patman's cashmere tennis shorts to life. It also contains the most awesome Baby-sitters Club/Sweet Valley High crossover fanfiction I have ever read. It makes me want to quit my job and become a full-time BSC/SVH fanfiction writer. Livin' the dream!

Oh Bruce, you tennis-playin', date-rapin', Club X'ing cad, you!

And speaking of fashion, a blog dedicated purely to the fashion styling of Claudia Kishi of the Baby-sitters Club is not only genius but completely necessary. What Claudia Wore takes a lovingly snarky look at the BSC books and dissects them for their usually awful/awesome outfits. Anyone who ever read a BSC book knows that Claudia was a fashion queen, daring to wear neon leggings, homemade fruit jewelry, different colored socks and men's overalls, usually all in the same outfit.

Claudia Kishi and Clarissa Darling = my childhood fashion icons. I even wrote a story when I was ten (10) or so about a set of identical twins named Claudia and Clarissa. If published today, I would surely be sued for plagiarism by Francine Pascal, Ann M. Martin and Nickelodeon.

Other blogs of note: The Dairi Burger and Shannon's Sweet Valley High Blog. Both great sites where you can definitely waste a day's time reading about everything Sweet Valley. Are we in heaven?

These blogs mean serious trouble for me as now I just spend wayyyy too much time on them, making notes of the books I want to read next and continuing my vicious cycle of young adult novel obsession. I fear it will never stop. And I guess that's okay, but just know that if you want to talk to me these days, you best be name dropping some Sweet Valley High characters or Baby-Sitters Club tidbits or you might find my eyes glazing over as I slowly back away, clutching my copy of Kidnapped! Sorry. :(

PS--Any readers interested in starting a young adult/teen romance book club with me? I'm thinking we'll read books and eat candy. Holla at me!


  1. I didn't want to be the one to tell you, but you have some serious issues (who am I kidding, I tell you every day)

    You know your obsession has gone too far when you're weeks late on rent because you've spent the money on Sweet Valley High books.

    This is coming from someone who can't read though, so don't let me get you down...but stop.

  2. You know you don't even have to ask me about joining that club. That is our house every night.

    And as for the SVH Puzzle, I'm sorry I couldn't get you a copy, but instead I found a great puzzle for you based off of the novel "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens. It is 4200 pieces. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  3. A blog about Claudia's outfits?! OMG you are going to make me as obsessed as you are!

  4. Regarding Goosebumps - some people value substance over cheap thrills.

  5. I'm heading to Amazon right now ma'am. I knew there had to be a way to live up to the awesomeness that was my NSync doll wedding present! SVH puzzle - you're heading to CANADA!

    AND - when you run out of SVH books - Read "Hunger Games" it's YA - it's fiction. There's a love triangle. I think it would work for you. <3

  6. H-Town, I already apologized about the rent money. I'll have it within the next three (3) weeks. Probably.

    V, I was going to say that we should start our YA Book Club tonight but it seems I will be extremely busy completing a 4,200 piece Charles Dickens puzzle. Who even knew those existed?! I am so, so lucky.

    Miss Pfaff--I'm thinking about doing a week where I wear a Claudia-inspired outfit everyday. Would you like to join me in this? And then we could blog about it! That would certainly not be reaching new levels of lameness, right?

    Anon, don't worry; I wasn't putting down Goosebumps. I would never diss a series that included such insightful and thought-provoking tales such as "Say Cheese and Die!," "Piano Lessons Can Be Murder," "My Hairiest Adventure," and of course, "Say Cheese and Die--Again!" My favorite Goosebumps was number 16, "One Day at HorrorLand", fyi.

    And Britto, you wouldn't joke about such matters, would you? WOULD YOU? OhlordIhavetogowaitbymymailboxnowohmygoshhhhh.

    And YES, I have heard great things about "Hunger Games," it's on my list fo sho!

  7. Thanks for the love! And yes, totally coveting that puzzle. 137 shades of awesome. I never read fear street, but it sounds like goosebumps on crack. It's people like you who take away my guilt over being a 20-something-year-old professional who still reads "The Evil Twin" every Christmas Eve...

  8. I'm so glad you're giving the Goosebumps series its due - especially the unrecognized classics like "Say Cheese and Die--Again!". What many reviewers (like Troy Steele at Blogger Beware) might call serialized fluff that is "stunningly bad, even for a Goosebumps book" I call a brooding meditation on the futility of revenge.

    You might think I'm biased, but sometimes genius is written on the face...

  9. Hey Winston, a belated puzzle update. It was definitely 137 shades of awesome, which is saying a lot since it was only 250 pieces. And you're very welcome for the love; your blog reads like an Eyes and Ears column after a hoppin' weekend at the Beach Disco. SO MUCH FUN.

    Anon, "a brooding meditation on the futility of revenge" might just be my favorite description of a Goosebumps book ever. Time for you to create a Goosebumps blog where you discuss the deeper underlying meanings that most readers sadly miss in the series. Please focus your first post on "Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes."