Differences between the original and the reissued version…
The very first sentences:
1983: “Oh, Lizzie, do you believe how absolutely horrendous I look today!” Jessica Wakefield groaned as she stepped in front of her sister, Elizabeth, and stared at herself in the bedroom mirror.
2008: “Okay, when did I get so hideous?” Jessica Wakefield groaned. She leaned in toward her bedroom mirror as her twin sister, Elizabeth, rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Liz, it’s like somebody snuck into my room last night and whacked me with the ugly stick.”
First compliment about how intuitive and nosy Liz is:
1983: Enid shook her head in amazement. “How can you see into people like that, Liz? You could be a detective – or even a mystery writer.”
2008: “Okay, you should totally go on Oprah,” Enid said, blushing. “How do you read people like that?”
1983: While Steven made himself comfortable at the round kitchen table, Elizabeth checked out the contents of the large, copper-colored refrigerator….Carrying cold cuts, mustard, pickles, and a carton of milk, she came over to the table…..[Steven] grew serious as he watched Elizabeth fix him a huge sandwich.
2008: Liz headed for the fridge while Steven attacked the pantry. “I’ve got chips!” Steven announced. “I have salsa!” Elizabeth replied. “Oh! And shredded cheese!”
(I’m pleased that the ghostwriter is aware that teenage girls today aren’t generally delighted to wait on their brothers hand and foot – especially when the brothers don’t even bother thanking them – but still, “Steven attacked the pantry”? Really?)
Liz’s excuse for being upset when her mom comes home (she’s really upset that Jessica stole her man):
1983: “Oh! Mom. Nothing’s going on. I was cleaning the table and the sponge just — just slipped out of my hand.”
2008: “Sorry, Mom….Nothing’s going on. I was just cleaning and I thought I….uh….saw a spider on the towel.”
Rick Andover’s pickup lines:
1983: “Excuse me, Heaven, which way to Mars?….I make it a habit to know where all the foxiest chicks in Sweet Valley live.”
2008: “Unbelievable. I never thought I’d see the day….I’m just saying, the Jessica Wakefield walking home from school alone?….I know where all the hottest girls live…It’s like radar.”
1983: “You’re not serious. You absolutely cannot be going with Winston Egbert!” screeched Jessica as she stood in the middle of Elizabeth’s room. “I can’t believe my own sister dating that clown!”
2008: “You are not going to the dance with Winston Egbert,” Jessica said to Elizabeth on Thursday night, the night before the dance. She stood in the center of Elizabeth’s room, hands out at her sides. “Liz! He puts the ‘geek’ in….’geek.'”
(I get the decision to change from “clown” to “geek,” but what about “middle” to “center”?)
The boys’ dance clothes:
1983: Todd and Winston stood in the living room waiting for Elizabeth and Jessica. Gone were the school uniforms of jeans and T-shirts. Both wore neatly pressed cords, shirts and ties, and sport coats.
2008: The first thing she saw as she descended was a pair of lightly scuffed black shoes. Then [Todd’s] legs in gray pants….[Winston] was wearing a button-down shirt and chinos, and his curly hair had been tamed by about a gallon of gel.
The girls’ dance clothes:
1983: The white strapless dress was perfect with [Elizabeth’s] tanned skin and blond hair…..Just then Jessica made her entrance. She looked nothing less than sensational. The blue dress with its delicate straps and full skirt showed off her slim body and gorgeous legs.
2008: [Elizabeth] did a quick twirl, letting the full skirt of her white strapless dress dance around her….[Jessica] descended in her sexy blue dress, her hair swept up, her makeup picture perfect.
1983: “Oh, Todd, isn’t it wonderful?” [Jessica] wrapped her arm around his. “Look at the hearts!” she cried, pointing out the red and silver 3-D foil hearts with PBA on one side and PE on the other. “It’s so romantic. A sweetheart dance!” She sighed.
2008: “Todd, this looks amazing,” Jessica said, reaching for his hand as they walked into the gym. The place was all decked out in orange and yellow twinkle lights and thousands of autumnal-colored balloons. There were carved pumpkins everywhere, along with bales of hay, wheat stalks, and thousands and thousands of paper leaves.
(PBA and PE being Pi Beta Alpha and Phi Epsilon)
Bruce insulting Winston:
1983: “You stupid nothing, I’ll fold you up and stuff you in the trash can!”
2008: To Liz: “First you’re wild and now you’re slumming. Hope you losers have tons of fun together.”
Jessica’s lies about Todd’s alleged near-rape:
1983: “That rat tried just about everything. The horrible thing was that I could hardly make him stop. I had to beg him and beg him to please stop!….His hands! Oh, God, they were everywhere.”
2008: “Well, I mean, he didn’t rape me,” Jessica said. “But he tried just about everything else. No matter how many times I told him to stop or that I wanted to go home. He was just…he was all over me…..[T]hen all of a sudden he was shoving his hand, like, under my bra and trying to go up my dress and he didn’t even…he didn’t even, like, ask me if it was okay or anything.”
Family dinner menu:
1983: Meanwhile, Alice Wakefield was busy preparing duck a l’orange, creamed asparagus, and a chilled parfait.
2008: When [Jessica] opened the door, the scents of roasting potatoes and her mother’s rosemary chicken filled the air.
1983: “I’ll have a bacon cheeseburger and a root beer,” Elizabeth said to the waitress before resuming her conversation with Enid. It was the next afternoon, and the girls had stopped in at the Dairi Burger after school.
2008: [Elizabeth and Enid] waited for their food at Casa del Sol after school the next day….Casa del Sol was a favorite hangout for the SVH crowd because of its cheap but good Mexican food, its warm south-of-the-border decor, and its incredible views of the ocean.
Todd and Rick fight:
1983: “Who are you to give orders?” growled Rick. “Get out of my way before I teach you a lesson.” “The only one going anyplace is you, Rick,” said Todd quietly. “Why don’t you just go home and sleep it off, huh?” Rick’s fist caught Todd square on the jaw in a lightning punch that took him completely off guard. Todd jerked backward but didn’t fall. Elizabeth gasped when she saw his nose was bleeding. But after that first stunned pause, Todd didn’t miss a beat. He came to life in a fury of hard, short jabs to the middle that sent Rick jackknifing to his knees, clutching at his stomach and gasping for breath.
2008: Rick yanked open Liz’s door and her heart flew into her throat. “Well, Elizabeth Wakefield,” he said with a leer. “I’ve already had your sister. Let’s see what you taste like.” At that moment, a hand came down on Rick’s shoulder. He spun around and Elizabeth caught a quick glimpse of Todd Wilkins’s face right before his fist met Rick’s jaw…..”Can’t handle things on your own, superstar?” Rick taunted. “That’s fine. It means we’ve got two minutes to party.” He threw a punch across Todd’s face, and Elizabeth winced as Todd’s head whipped back. Blood trickled from his lip, but he didn’t hesitate. He rushed Rick and tackled him right into the side of his car with a slam….Rick had the wind knocked out of him, and Todd took that split second to bring his fist down one more time across Rick’s cheek. That was all it took. Rick slumped to the ground near the wheel of Todd’s car, out cold.
Outfits for the end-of-school party and pool push:
1983: Elizabeth checked herself in the mirror one last time…..twisting around to see if her tuxedo shirt was tucked in neatly at the back….Elizabeth picked up the glass of water that was on her dresser, and somehow it spilled all over Jessica’s white blouse and blue miniskirt….”Well, since it was my fault….it’s up to me to solve your problem….I just pressed my best jeans today and my blue button-down shirt that you’ve been dying to borrow.”
2008: “Hey, Liz! Can I borrow those diamond earrings you bought last summer?” Jessica asked, bouncing into Elizabeth’s room in her new light blue cotton dress…..[Elizabeth’s] hand whacked into a full cup of soda she had on top of her dresser, and before Jessica could even react, she was drenched…..”Why don’t you wear my new red top?” Elizabeth suggested, diving into her closet. “And that skirt I got at J. Crew? You love that skirt.”….Liz was just checking herself out in the mirror. She was wearing a black sundress Jessica had never seen before and had her hair down around her shoulders.