CW: This book is about a teacher crush
Terrible Book Club’s Paris and Chris dare to join Marissa to tackle this downright nerve-wracking tale of Olivia Davidson and her lust for painting teacher Stuart “Call me Stuart” Bachman. A book that is truly challenging to read in public.
Listen to the Terrible Book Club Podcast!
Book #57: TEACHER CRUSH
[00:00:00] Marissa: Welcome to sweet valley diaries. The podcast. That's a mini course in drama. Book number 57, Teacher Crush.
[00:00:21] Paris: Has olivia met
[00:00:23] Chris: her dreams?
[00:00:24] Marissa: Hello everyone. Welcome to sweet valley diaries. I'm your host, Marissa Flaxbart and I am joined today. I'm so excited to be joined today by Paris and Chris of the terrible book club podcast. Hi Paris.
[00:00:41] Paris: hello and thanks for having us on today.
[00:00:43] Marissa: I'm so thrilled. You guys, I can already tell how prepared you are and you're bringing your, your vast knowledge of, of terrible books in general to sweet valley high, specifically as a series. Um, your show is so much fun. A show where you read books that you think are going to be bad based on like their covers or titles.
And I understand you have a lot of, uh, books that are suggested by listeners. Um, and have you ever read a sweet valley high novel before?
[00:01:13] Paris: no,
[00:01:14] Chris: absolutely not fresh as a Daisy to this world.
[00:01:19] Marissa: Welcome, welcome.
[00:01:20] Paris: I'm pretty excited because I remember hearing about your show and being like that would be the most perfect guest spot. And then like magic, perhaps a year later, is happening.
[00:01:31] Marissa: it when that happens. I'm very curious to hear ultimately your take on how terrible this particularly terrible book was, but I feel like the most terrible thing about this particular book is probably just like the general concept, which, uh, made me nervous to read it in public.
I was working on reading this book in public today and I was like, I'm just going to fold that cover right over the front so nobody can see that I'm reading a book called teacher crush.
[00:02:01] Paris: Yeah.
[00:02:02] Chris: why I read this on my phone. So it just looks like I was looking at my phone, like everyone else does all the
[00:02:07] Marissa: unassuming. Nothing to see here.
[00:02:10] Paris: Well, the funny thing about it is because I'm so estranged from work, Chris and I are both estranged from this series. I was like, oh, is this a newer one? Like, because it was available electronically. I started reading it and I was like, weird that they're, like, calling house phones?
Where are they using? So like, it didn't occur to me that this was actually taking place in like 1989 or so thing
until maybe like a third of the way. And I was like, I'm an idiot.
[00:02:37] Marissa: Well, that definitely adds a whole new dynamic because one of the reasons that this podcast even exists really that my fascination personally, with sweet valley high is a lot of it comes from the way that from a modern perspective, so much of what happens in these books seems really strange.
in this case, again, I, it goes back the strangest thing about it is that it exists at all. Not so much the actual content of how it unfolds in the book.
[00:03:01] Paris: Yeah. And Chris was like, Paris, this, no, this is from the original series. And I was like, I don't know it was available digitally. I thought maybe it was a new
[00:03:08] Chris: Who's Robert Redford as a handsome guy referenced. That's not happening currently. No, one's no. Teenage girl was like, oh, Robert Redford.
[00:03:19] Paris: was actually one of my turning points where I was like, oh, this is definitely a book from 30 years ago. Okay. Yeah.
[00:03:25] Marissa: Right. So I'm careful listeners will maybe guess that they have a Collins' watch coming up in their future, Mr. Collins, but that is not the teacher in question here in Teacher Crush. This is a book that is about Olivia Davidson or as a, her sort of heroic couplet often goes a frizzy haired, Olivia Davidson.
Um, and she's pictured on the cover here. I know it's just awful.
[00:03:51] Paris: well as a
frizzy haired girl.
[00:03:53] Marissa: Yeah. Same..
[00:03:55] Paris: Yeah.
[00:03:56] Marissa: It's like, that's not a thing. That's like a thing on the styling product that you buy to try to fix a problem. It's not, a descriptor that you want applied to you every single time you're mentioned, but that's Olivia's lot.
well she's here on the cover of the book. So let's tell the Gladiators what the cover of the book looks like.
[00:04:16] Paris: Olivia is. Painting while simultaneously looking smug as fuck. She's just like, yeah, this is the best fucking painting. This teacher's gonna gonna fuck me.
[00:04:28] Marissa: she does kind of look like she's thinking that I, I, I, it didn't occur to me, but now that you say it, that's, that's the face she's got. That's what that face is. She's wearing the, these really big earrings and like silver bangles. And I wonder, do you think this is her hip outfit? Because Olivia's clothes are described a lot in this book.
Like her gauzy shirts and her wrap cotton skirts, she's got kind of like an artsy free spirit girl. Look, do you think that this particular outfit is like post that or?
[00:05:03] Paris: the jumpsuit from the end of the book? I can't cause it wasn't it
[00:05:07] Chris: That looks too baggy to be a jumpsuit. Like the sleeves
[00:05:10] Paris: Chris it's 1989,
[00:05:13] Chris: Okay.
[00:05:13] Paris: 99. I forget why you're
[00:05:15] Chris: I
[00:05:16] Marissa: no, you're right. 89. August of 89 is when this book is.
[00:05:20] Chris: big close look was more of like a mid nineties, late nineties thing, not an E like eighties thing was all like tighter and like leather
[00:05:27] Marissa: Yeah, this is the kind of mid nineties look, but I think you're right. That it could be the jumpsuit because it's purple. And I will also say for what it's worth that I definitely fought that in this picture. She was, she had her locker open and was like putting something in her locker. Every time I looked at this book
cover until I read the book and now I look at it, I'm like, how did I ever think that it's very clearly an easel?
Like she's painting a painting.
[00:05:53] Paris: Well, you, you think that because, um, the actual action is poorly rendered because all you see is the back of the easel. And then her hand, because of the angle of the, of the illustration, her hand isn't holding anything.
So just looks like she's, I don't know, like caressing the canvas, like she must have like a tiny ass piece of charcoal or something, but wait.
[00:06:16] Marissa: We know she's painting with acrylics.
[00:06:19] Paris: Yeah. But she's painting, right? She has painting with acrylic. All right. The artist fucked up or
[00:06:23] Chris: a bad artist. She can't art.
[00:06:25] Marissa: Well,
it's really especially random because he's literally painting like a, oh, you know what? I think he might've done these in oil pastels. So he's got a little like caran d'ache in his hand. And, uh, he, he didn't think of, uh, of putting a painting in someone else's hand. That's my
[00:06:45] Paris: Yeah, I think you might be right. I mean, I also think that these artists, art, like book artists get short changed a lot where they're only given like a couple of details and sometimes nothing at all, and they have to produce something. And then somehow it's like incongruous to what's actually happening in the book or what people in the book actually look like.
We've seen that a lot on our show. So,
[00:07:06] Marissa: Yes. The same. Thing's true here.
[00:07:08] Paris: your thought though, about the artist actually using a certain medium and therefore replicating that medium rather than what's in the book is probably spot on.
[00:07:15] Marissa: Well, I really don't want to say a bad word against James Mathewuse. Who did these paintings? I think his work on the series is one of the most memorable and recognizable things about the books. So I love him very much. I love his work. And I'm wondering where her pain brushes. That's all I'm saying.
[00:07:32] Paris: Oh yeah, no, definitely. No, this is a very quality portrait of someone. I mean, Chris and I have seen our share. Terrible book art. Um, and this is an excellent piece of book art. I have no qualms with the quality. It's very good. I mean, the fact that I can look at this and see that she's kind of smug and probably thinking about that teacher is, mwah,
that's that's excellent. Excellent execution.
[00:07:57] Marissa: Um, so the reason that Olivia is painting at all is because many courses have come to sweet valley high. When do you guys think about mini courses?
[00:08:07] Chris: sounds like a legitimate thing that someone that is like a freelance art person would have to do to make rents or something, even in 1989, just like, okay. I guess I'll teach kids for two weeks, which is barely any time to learn anything in any skill set at all.
So I don't understand what was being taught, especially when in the mini courses, it seems like the teachers like give them a guideline of like do this project and then offer no help whatsoever
[00:08:35] Marissa: Yeah.
you guys have to figure it out.
[00:08:37] Paris: it's incredible. Two weeks. What the hell can I learn to do in two weeks? It's like build a toaster alarm clock. It's like, wouldn't, you have to have so much foreknowledge about electronics or, you know, for example, in the fashion course, when you have to understand patterns and sewing and like techniques and, and draping, it's like, you can't learn all that.
[00:08:58] Marissa: Well, apparently among the topics you can learn are painting pottery, jewelry, design, dress, design, filmmaking, electronics. I loved how specific the book got about how they were going to explain the way that these, the school made room for these courses and the fact that it was the PTA's idea, like really getting granular about like, we're going to cut five minutes from every course.
And then we're going to add 10 minutes at the end of the school day and it's going to make an extra class. I'm sure all the teachers were thrilled about that.
[00:09:30] Paris: That is some realism. This book I got to say, like, you know, those PGA's out there. Like how can we get the kids to learn practical skills? Okay. I know I thought about it all weekend. We're going to shave 10 minutes off the classes and then, and then add 10 minutes at the end of the, it will be great. And they're like, oh, Barbara, fine, fine.
We voted in. We're tired of hearing from her. Let's try it. You know, um, seems like a very real way. This sort of happened.
[00:09:57] Marissa: Yeah, well, so at the beginning of the book, we have all of the kids sort of excited and they're picking like their top four and almost everybody like, which are the ones that they would like to do. And almost everybody gets assigned to the thing they want. We've got Elizabeth and Enid and Olivia in painting, and we've got Lila Fowler in, uh, the dress design course.
And Jessica has decided that maybe it would be fun to do a course that boys were taking, uh, rather than something dumb, like dress design that was going to be full of girls. But she puts electronics as her third choice. And when she gets placed in the electronics class is really disappointed
[00:10:39] Chris: i, so that sucks, right? We're supposed to dislike Jessica because she sucks. Right. She's terrible. And I hate her and she
[00:10:47] Paris: Yeah. Yeah. Jessica is awful of Chris and I had so many notes in the book like, man, fuck Jessica. Jessica sucks again. But I mean, my counter to that is like, yes, Jessica sucks. But in terms of realism, you know, I think if you're talking high school, especially dramatic high school, you're going to have some shithead perspectives.
And like this series seems to me to be trying to be a slice of life thing that kind of goes on for a long time. And it wouldn't really make sense of every character was likable. That being said, Jessica gets a lot of airtime for sucking.
[00:11:24] Chris: I guess I'm curious, because again, having not come into this. I think that Elizabeth and Jessica are supposed to be the protagonists. So why, why does one protagonist sucks so hard? Or why is she supposed to be the evil twin to Elizabeth? Nice girl.
[00:11:41] Marissa: essentially exactly what it is. And I think that very quickly, they realized that they couldn't make her literally evil. She needed to just be kind of like the like teenage girl version of evil that like some of the kids reading the books would really be excited about. One of her more egregious moments in this book comes when she's paired up as a lab partner with Randy Mason, who has been Randy Mason and Jessica have an ancient history where she basically like used him to cheat, to like fake a grade for a class and got them in big trouble. This book seems to have no memory of that ever happening.
[00:12:21] Paris: Oh, she did it again.
[00:12:26] Marissa: But there's, um, there's a moment in this book when she's basically like, it makes me uncomfortable to even look at him because he's short or he's wearing corduroy pants that nobody wears anymore.
[00:12:41] Paris: Excuse me. It's 1989. I was wearing corduroy pants in the nineties. Let the record
[00:12:47] Marissa: they came back around, but we probably should, um, have a little bit of sympathy for Jessica because she's recently been through an ordeal and I was really excited to ask you guys if maybe we could play a little guessing game. Um, could you guess just take a wild guess? What do you think happened to Jessica in the previous book?
If you could guess
[00:13:07] Chris: horrible earthquake.
[00:13:09] Marissa: interesting guests from Chris. Okay.
No closer than you might think. Uh, Paris.
[00:13:16] Paris: what happened to Jessica? I don't think we were given any clues other
than her. Is she the one where her boyfriend moved away? I kind of forgot to be
[00:13:25] Marissa: Nope, you, you sure didn't get any clues. And it's really remarkable because this book drops all sorts of little clues about how, uh, Olivia's old boyfriend, Roger Barrett Patman used to be Roger Barrett and he was poor. And how Todd Wilkins moved away. And now Elizabeth is dating Jeffrey French.
Like there's all these little backstory things that come up, but the book doesn't bother telling you at all that in the previous book, uh, Jessica Wakefield and Winston Egbert were, um, stranded for, uh, two days in one night on an island, uh, in the Channel Islands and thought to be dead
because they were lost at sea during a, um, uh, during a big storm that happened as a part of an extra credit, uh, science field trip.
[00:14:12] Chris: Is sweet valley cursed. Is this a curse valley?
[00:14:16] Paris: it is a hidden valley. This is the curse valley. That's sweet
[00:14:21] Chris: We stole all that. We mined all the ranch and now all the ranch demons have cursed us
[00:14:26] Marissa: that is a theory. Considering how many times Elizabeth Wakefield has been kidnapped at this point? I think a curse might be a realistic suggestion. I think that might be what's going on here.
[00:14:36] Paris: Wait
[00:14:37] Chris: That's
[00:14:39] Marissa: Oh, you know, this guy and that guy over time.
[00:14:43] Chris: demons, the ranch demons. You see it too. It started as the hidden valley and then they all moved in and they mined it out. And now it's the sweet valley because the tangy ranch is no longer there. And they are all cursed by the ranch demons, the ghosts of the ranch that live there and are angry
[00:14:59] Paris: I think you're right. I'm honestly willing to go with this theory.
[00:15:03] Marissa: you heard it here first folks. This is a breaking news. I think I can tell that you've put some thought and
[00:15:11] Chris: the
[00:15:11] Marissa: into this. Yeah.
[00:15:13] Chris: I've done so much YouTube research. Let me tell you they have the answers.
[00:15:17] Marissa: I've definitely been wondering for a while now about how the town is both a beach town and a valley town. So maybe that helps explain it like something about the, the ranch mining process is how, whatever, whatever used to be a valley. It's now somehow a beach side, a sea town.
[00:15:38] Paris: Maybe it's just a very large town.
[00:15:42] Marissa: Yes, that could definitely be. Um, so we have done a monumental job of, of only getting through the first few pages of the book so far, but there's so much to talk about. No, no, it's, it's great because we, you know, we set up Jessica and she's in this electronics class and then we have, um, Olivia. So the first thing that we learn about Olivia in this book is that she desperately would like to have a boyfriend.
Again, she broke up with her boyfriend several books ago at this point, the aforementioned Roger. So here's the passage
where Olivia, we get a glimpse into Olivia's initial mindset.
Sometimes I get so lonely. I can't stand it. Olivia continued. If I had a boyfriend, everything would be great.
Olivia wants a bf
[00:16:28] Marissa: I'd have someone to hang around with on weekends and wouldn't feel so lonely all the time. Olivia, you can still feel lonely. Even if you do have a boyfriend, Elizabeth said firmly, and it's nuts to think that having a boyfriend makes all your troubles vanish Olivia shrugged, as if she didn't believe it.
Well, it would make a lot of them vanish. She said quietly, everyone I know is part of a couple, the school feels like Noah's Ark or something. I'm the only one who doesn't belong on board..
[00:16:57] Paris: Honestly. That was one of the few things I really liked about this book is that there is a friend who's like, look, man, you don't need a boyfriend to be happy. Like, it was nice to see that at the beginning of a book that's for, you know, young kids, I just feel like so many books aimed at this age, demographic very much skew with the, you need a partner direction.
And it's just nice that there's a friend who's like, you don't need that.
[00:17:21] Marissa: Yeah, so, uh, the reason that I feel like it's good groundwork to lay is just that. This is maybe fueling Olivia's mindset a little bit as we go into the mini courses. So all the kids have there's like this, I guess it must just be the junior class. There's this big assembly where there is an announcement about who's going to be the teachers of these different mini courses, but they've got various artists like Chris was alluding to like people that need to make a little extra cash.
So they're like, sure. I'll teach a course for two weeks down at the local high school. Fine. Um, so we have a couple of recurring, uh, segments that sometimes happen on the show. The part of the podcast where we talk about boys
[00:18:07] Marissa: and also Collins watch 2021,
where we, we keep an eye on Mr.
Collins and how the books, um, choose to sexualize him. And here we have a passage where the book is doing both things at once.
This is in two parts and the first part, uh, we get Mr. Collins, his big moment in the auditorium.
When Mr. Collins got up to speak, everyone clapped and cheered, the blonde handsome, Robert Redford lookalike was one of the most popular teachers at school.
So Mr. Collins always he's very popular and he's very handsome and those things always go together in the same breath. When things like that happen at your school, eventually you have a book called Teacher Crush.
So a few pages later, he's going to introduce all of the teachers. He introduces somebody named, bill Drexel. Who's going to be teaching electronics, uh, who is, uh, you know, just looks like a normal guy. Sounds like not super handsome, which is the biggest sin you can commit, I guess, in Sweet Valley. Okay. So then he introduces someone else. Okay.
Whoa, Lila gasped grabbing Jessica's arm. Who is that? Jessica followed her gaze. Roger Collins was smiling at a young man who had stood up to be introduced to the room full of students. Now, for all you artists, I'd like to introduce Stuart Bachman, a local painter, he'll be teaching the painting workshop.
Jessica's blue green eyes widened. He was hard to believe Stuart Bachman could live on the same planet as bill Drexel. He was incredibly good looking with longish curly, dark hair and stylish glasses. He looked mysterious. Artistic. Fascinating. It isn't fair. Jessica grumbled again, I can't believe my very own twin sister gets to take a workshop from that gorgeous man while I'm stuck with a teacher who looks like a worm. Lila giggled. Hey, she said, inspired. Maybe you can dress like Liz for the next two weeks and try to sneak into the painting workshop. Jessica shook her head despairingly Liz. Isn't going to switch with me. Are you kidding? She'd be out of her mind to give up a class with anyone who looks like that. So
[00:20:17] Paris: Yeah,
[00:20:18] Marissa: handsome Stuart Bachman.
[00:20:20] Paris: very, very scary to see children being like, oh, well, I can only take classes with people who I am sexually attracted to. It's like what you are going to be in for some shit in college. My friends like you can't, this is not how that works. I like someone's physical appearance has no connection to how good of a teacher they are.
[00:20:46] Marissa: So how are you guys feeling at this point in the book? Like, are you concerned? Are you excited? Are you disgusted? How are you feeling?
[00:20:54] Chris: I was wondering how far this book was willing to go in certain aspects of it. It was like, I've already felt like, oh, this is going to be like, is this going to be a very special episode of sweet valley high? Like how, like how far are we going with this and how are they going to play that? Because, I mean, even this scene has already setting up kind of the like, oh, but they were into him, but they really actually liked him.
And I'm like, oh, I don't, it's kind of setting it up as that angle. And I was a little, little nervous about that. A little bit nervous
[00:21:28] Paris: was nervous the whole time. The whole book, I was terrified.
[00:21:31] Chris: I I was waiting for that shoe to drop and for like things to get like dark really quickly.
[00:21:37] Marissa: it toys with us a little bit, right? Like initially I felt a little relief after this because really quickly, um, what happens on the heels of this as is indicated by the cover and the subtitle is that Olivia is just gaga over Stuart Bachman, who starts the first class by insisting the students call him Stuart.
He says, it's his only rule that they call him by his first name and not Mr.
[00:22:01] Paris: biggest eye roll. Oh,
[00:22:05] Marissa: But thankfully Elizabeth's friend Enid really has an Eagle eye on this. And she's like, Elizabeth, I think Olivia has a crush on Stuart and, uh, that's not great. Right? And the book really uses them to be the sort of voices of reason and repeatedly be like, this is bad. This would be a bad thing.
If this happened. Even if Olivia just had a crush on this teacher, this would be bad. Right guys? Right? Right?
[00:22:30] Paris: Yeah, I agree. It was definitely good to see that there, you know, Little angels on shoulders, cause I was really worried that it was going to be like a gaggle of girls egging her on and being like, oh yeah, totally go for It
[00:22:46] Marissa: everybody sees how handsome he is, it kind of seemed at first, like maybe like if it had been Jessica and Lila in the painting class, instead of Elizabeth and Enid, maybe they would have been like, Olivia, I think you should go for it. You know, who knows?
That's the, the mirror world version of this book.
Enid goes as far as to really address this head on with Olivia, which I thought was an amazing, uh, passage here,
E NID IS ON TO HER
Enid nudged Elizabeth. He's a nice looking man. She said nonchalantly, but he's a little on the old side tooled for us.
I mean, old Olivia repeated curiously as if that hadn't occurred to her before for a minute, she looked crushed, but then her face brightened, I don't think he's that old. He just graduated from college two years ago. So he's probably only about 23. Old, Enid said sagely.
We'd never really find out how old Stewart Bachman is.
[00:23:45] Paris: Yeah, but I, yeah, 22, 24. So it was
[00:23:49] Marissa: I think she's rounding down for her own benefit.
[00:23:52] Paris: So we're talking about Stuart and how he's like, I'm a cool teacher, just Stuart, you know, and so much of his behavior is absolutely bewildering in this book. I just, as an adult teaching children, I just don't know how you think any of these interactions are a good idea.
I mean, outside of, I mean, obviously like the classroom stuff is fine, but everything that happens outside of the classroom or after hours, I'm just like, dude, you are skating along the edges of a predator.
[00:24:31] Marissa: Well,
[00:24:32] Chris: he also seems completely oblivious to all of this being possibly a problem
[00:24:37] Paris: Yeah.
[00:24:37] Marissa: He really
[00:24:38] Chris: in a lot of ways.
[00:24:40] Marissa: it starts out with him. Olivia shows a lot of aptitude. She's the arts editor of the newspaper. She's an artsy girl. She shows a lot of aptitude and he really keys into that. And so it's natural at first that they, he pays a lot of attention to her , but because she has this crush on him, she's interpreting everything he does as being sort of like, he might be into her too.
But unfortunately he does more than the average teacher should do. Like you're saying, um, there's a moment early on in the book when she's not sure he could possibly have a thought about her, but then he winks at her and the book says,
now she knew she wasn't just imagining it. Stuart Bachman really liked her.
It was one thing to say she would do great things, but that wink said so much more. She was certain now he thought she was special in another way, not just as a student. Olivia practically floated out of the studio. All she could think about was that wink and what she hoped, no knew that it meant.
[00:25:37] Paris: Dude. She's right though. She's
[00:25:40] Chris: You cannot be casually throwing winks out here. As a teacher of young people, let me tell you, I am out there ensuring that both of my eyes are closing at all times. Not, I don't even want there to be something in my eyes, even like be like a slow possible wink about any, I am above board about everything.
We don't need to be winking about anything. You're learning music here. I don't need to be coy about it or anything. So please.
[00:26:06] Paris: Yeah. Chris, I didn't even think about that.
You are a music teacher for kids. I mean, I know you have some adult students too, and I didn't even make that connection about how horrifying at a whole other level for you. That's a book.
[00:26:20] Chris: yes, absolutely. I teach anywhere from four year olds to like 70 year olds and like that little, whole entire age range. So there's plenty of teenage girls that I teach as well. And I'm, you know, I'm usually too busy trying to get them to remember a guitar chords, to care about anything else. Nevermind.
Having a passing moment to wink at them about anything, because when they're leaving the class, it's you better practice. you next week.
[00:26:48] Paris: just really liked that we have confirmation winking at a student. Absolutely insane,
[00:26:54] Chris: Absolutely. Forbidden do not.
[00:26:56] Marissa: I have a cousin who is a teacher and, he knows these are cool teacher students like him a lot. And from the very beginning of his high school career teaching career, he has been really purposeful about, you know, referring to the students by their last names, you know, Mr.
And Ms. You know, whatever their last name is by. He's like not on Facebook, under his real name. Like he doesn't even want the opportunity for some, for that kind of misunderstanding to possibly develop like proactively. And in what Bachman do? Well, Stuart Bachman, Olivia looks, Olivia looks up his address
somewhere in, in, uh, in,
[00:27:36] Paris: we talk about the logistics of this when you're done, but continue.
[00:27:40] Marissa: She looks up his address. And then when she's going to pick up some art supplies, she knows she's going to go by his house. Oh, it's so sad. That's my tone of voice. I hope it's conveying how painful this is for me to even think about, poor olivia's embarrassing herself with this crash, but she, she looks up as a dress.
She can't bear the thought of like going by his apartment and not doing something. So she makes up a story that she wants to borrow an art book from him. She wakes him up even though it's 10: 30, cause he doesn't get it before noon because he's a night owl. And then he invites her up to his apartment and pours her a cup of coffee and like encourages her more about what a great artist
[00:28:21] Paris: Dude. I have so many thoughts. All right. I'm going to go on a rant
[00:28:24] Chris: Paris go about
your thing first. And then I can talk about Steve after
[00:28:27] Paris: Okay. All right. All
[00:28:29] Marissa: Chris is just waving his hands. Like no, no like dead stop. Let's stop this nip this right in the bud.
[00:28:37] Paris: So like, all right. Uh, first I want to talk about logistics. Then I want to make a comment about the realism of the section, and then Chris can go into his all right. So we're just talking about how she looked up his address. All right. Let me explain. She didn't just open the yellow pages. This girl, this is when like the psycho theme started playing.
Like whenever she was on the page, the back of my head, it was just like, like here she. Remembered that he went to the Riverside Arts Academy. She actually had to go there to get a catalog that had alumni in it. And for some reason it had his address and it was still correct. So this girl remembered where he went to school.
Physically went there, got an alumni catalog and looked up his address, then had the hubris to show up at his house unannounced, you know, and asked to come in. So that's already just bewildering and yeah. And then he's like, oh yeah, it was fine. Just come up and like lets her into his house where they are both alone in his home. And then like, like, you know, like you just said, he's like, oh, I'll make you some coffee. What I mean, that's just the most inviting thing. And then these chat and she's like, oh, I like your place. And they talk it. I forget. I think he even, there's something else kind of weird that he says to her and I can't quite remember.
[00:30:10] Marissa: I think I might be around this time, like he's invites her to this art show that he's has. And There's the thing where he's got a sketch of earrings and Olivia gets this crazy idea in her head that maybe the earrings are for her. it's all very
[00:30:25] Paris: Yes. He was like, oh, I really want your opinion on this. I mean, the whole thing was like, dude these are, all of these signals are the wrong ones,
[00:30:34] Chris: this was, the point for me where at first I w I did think, oh, maybe Stuart's just a little oblivious. Maybe he doesn't really understand what he's dealing with here. But when, when that happened, I was like, wait, no, this is some predator shit that's happening here. If this girl shows up completely unannounced, yes, it's early, fairly early in the morning for him, I suppose.
But if that happened to me, she was like, oh, I want an art book. I would be like, okay, hold on a second. I'll go get it. Here you go. See ya at school.
[00:31:02] Marissa: It
[00:31:02] Paris: Also, how did you get my address,
[00:31:06] Chris: part
[00:31:06] Marissa: That was my first thought too.
[00:31:08] Chris: as a teacher, you don't necessarily like want to come down too hard on someone you have like a student relationship with.
So I would still try to be nice about it and be like, oh, I, wherever. Okay. Just, you know, Hey, give me a little warning next time, with the secret sort of underlying thing of don't show up next time.
[00:31:24] Marissa: you know what, Chris, if he had done that, it really would have cooled Olivia off a little bit. Instead he like is fanning the flames and making her think that he is genuinely interested in her because he is showing an interest in her actively. We're not the only ones that are starting to suspect Stuart here.
Um, here's something Enid says that a certain point. This is about halfway through the book.
Is Stuart into her?
To tell you the truth. I think he's interested in Olivia. I don't think she's just imagining things. Elisabeth's eyes widened. No way. She protested. Stuart is nice to Olivia the same way he's nice to everyone.
Olivia has a gigantic crush on him. That's for sure. But I don't think for one single second that he feels anything back for her! Enid shrugged. Well, I can't prove it, but just do me a favor and watch him today in the workshop. Then tell me you think Stuart Bachman isn't leading Olivia on.
And they watch him.
And Elizabeth is kind of like, Hmm. He is paying more attention to her. Is this what's going on here?
[00:32:27] Paris: yeah. I mean, when he was just cool with her coming to the apartment, I was like, this shit is going south soon. The one other thing I wanted to mention about that scene about something else I liked about this book in terms of realism, was that it really depicted what it's like to be an artist that persists 32 years later.
Like, you know, you've got a graphic design day job, like Stuart, you pick up a two week teaching gig and then you have a third side job you do late on Friday nights, which is why he was sleeping in on Saturday morning. Your big, oh, I guess we haven't, we haven't gotten to this to the next part yet, but like your apartment is barren apart from easels and paint and your big fancy gift for your girlfriend is nice frame.
[00:33:10] Marissa: right.
[00:33:10] Paris: Just like very much the portion of an artist as a young man, even now it's later.
[00:33:17] Marissa: He describes himself as a starving artist type. And then also says that most artists are, are like that. Like most artists are lucky if they can pay rent.
So realism there. And he also, so I guess I was talking about the art show, but really what's happening is it's like an event at Riverside Art School where he's an alumni that he invites Olivia to because, you know, he thinks it's worthwhile for her to check out an art school.
But afterwards he's like, Hey, can you come over to the store with me? It's called, what is it called? Dimensions! And help me pick out something special for someone special and Olivia's birthday is coming up. So Olivia starts to think, maybe he found out it's my birthday. And he wants me to help him pick out something for me.
[00:34:04] Chris: it is absolutely ludicrous that he says, I want to pick out something for someone special. If you're a 23 year old guy or 24 year old guy, you would just say, oh, I need to pick out a birthday present for my girlfriend. Can you help? Like, there's no reason for him to be coy about that.
I know it's just plot convenient to make it seem like, you know, oh, maybe it's too it's there, but like realistically, no dude is going to say that,
especially to a student.
[00:34:29] Paris: no dude, no person, regardless of gender affiliation is going to be like, Hey child, that I teach, you want to come with me after school, in my car to the store to pick out a gift for my girlfriend. Why is that the choice?!
[00:34:42] Marissa: Right.
[00:34:43] Paris: maybe they are entering another dimension, in this store, like,
[00:34:48] Chris: It's the hidden valley demons cursing his brain and making them make bad. He's not usually here.
[00:34:54] Marissa: Well, Olivia is jumping to some wild conclusions here herself though, which I say wild, I will admit that I found. Uh, something very recognizable in Olivia in this, not, not the part where she has a crush on the teacher, but I feel like as a teenager, I was very able to sort of fantasize about some kind of gesture that someone I had a crush on was going to do for me.
And like how various, various little things were signs that he was thinking about me and was going to, so this is all recognizable and Stuart does, does lead her on however unknowingly, but Olivia is jumping to this huge conclusion that he has a surprise planned for her to the degree that she doesn't make any plans for her birthday on Friday night, because she wants to be available.
Like just in case. She is increasingly coming to believe and expect that Stuart has a surprise planned for her. And they're going to like drink champagne? She's 17, she's turning 17.
[00:35:56] Paris: Oh, that was the scarier thing was that I think the book was trying was kind of telling us that like the age of consent might've been 17 wherever they were, because I mean, it's different in different states and this is also '89 and because it said something like, oh, she was just shy of her birthday.
[00:36:14] Marissa: They certainly didn't spell that out, but I'm going to look it up right now
I'm sorry, algorithm. My algorithm is ruined forever. Um, uh, the result initial result that comes up as 18, but I don't, I would have to do some further digging to see if this actually was truly true in 1989.
[00:36:36] Paris: I thought I took a note about where it was.
[00:36:38] Marissa: Oh, she does say, like, I don't feel that young, you know, and plus her birthday was coming up, you know, like she was going to
[00:36:44] Paris: yeah. Yeah.
[00:36:46] Chris: Folks, if you have to wait for a birthday for something to feel okay, it's probably not on Kern.
[00:36:53] Marissa: not. Okay.
[00:36:55] Chris: Cause like past a certain age, past a certain age, birthdays become more and more meaningless for anything. So therefore if birthday still means something for you, you probably too young for it.
[00:37:06] Paris: true.
[00:37:06] Marissa: Good point. Olivia's expectations of some kind of big birthday surprise and her infatuation with Stewart really start to take a toll on her personal life in another way. It's the like opportunity cost here, right? Because along comes a brand new fellow we never heard of before named Rod Sullivan.
Is that his last name? Yes. Rod Sullivan. What a, what a name? Here's the, here's a moment between Rod and Olivia.
Rod gave her a warm smile, by the way. I really like the stuff you print in the paper. I think you're an excellent editor. Olivia smiled back. He was a nice guy. She wondered why she had never noticed him before.
Look, he said, suddenly blushing a little. Why don't we get together sometime this weekend? Like do something fun, go see a movie or something. Olivia stared at him. Was he asking her out on a date? She was shocked. Oh, uh, well, thanks rod, but... but what? She didn't really have an excuse. She just stared at him embarrassed until he backed off his face.
Crimson. Nevermind. He murmured, he turned and fled living Olivia staring after him and feeling like a jerk. Then Stuart came up behind her, his arms full of supplies. Hi, Olivia. He said giving her a big smile. He looked down the hall after rod. He sure seemed to have scared him off. Is anything wrong? Olivia shook her head.
No, I was just surprised. That's all. He kind of asked me out and I barely know him. Stuart smiled broadly. He has good taste. He said patting her on the arm. I bet you break hearts around
this all the time.
[00:38:51] Chris: No!! bro, bro bro bro. No, no, no, no, no, no. Red, like all like a pile of red flags that could fill the oceans. This whole valley is going to be full. Like that is the most no-no phrase you could say.
[00:39:07] Paris: Um, yeah, so like not only is it both of the things he says are totally inappropriate, but he also makes physical contact. Ah, bad.
[00:39:18] Marissa: I was just hearing an adult man described to me how he was pretty sure that somebody had a crush on him because of how often she touched his arm. Um, and I think the end of that story was
that she didn't, but yeah,
[00:39:33] Paris: I mean, that's especially like young kids. I think when you're young too, a lot of the media that you consume kind of primes you to think like, oh yeah, all these little things mean something because in movies and books and songs, it's always like, oh, you know, this guy likes me because he did this little thing for me.
And then like, oh, this big, this big declaration of love at the end, it's just a very kind of common thing in media that deals with romance where it's like, oh yeah, all those little things really pile up. They really mean something. And then you kind of, you know, you internalize that. And I feel like once you're an adult, you should be aware of that and know.
Like don't don't ever do anything to encourage that in kids, especially in older man. Uh
[00:40:19] Marissa: Stuart seems like one of these guys, who's just like, he has a certain natural charm and charisma and he just wields it indiscriminately. Like, you know, it's just how he is, is probably how, what he thinks.
And that's a problem in this case, because this is how far gone Olivia is on page 89.
She had started driving past his apartment to see whether or not his car was out front. She had looked up his phone number and twice she had called his apartment from the payphone in school, knowing he wouldn't be at home just so she could hear how sexy his voice sounded on his answering machine.
[00:40:57] Paris: car. I forgot about that part. I
[00:41:00] Marissa: Was this what falling in love was supposed to feel like?
[00:41:03] Paris: No! You're a stalker!
[00:41:07] Marissa: I love it. When these books trot out, the S-E-X- Y word describes something as sexy. This is like, as far as they're willing to go, but sexy voice on the answering machine, that would have been another clue for you that maybe it's not the present
[00:41:21] Chris: Hi, this is Stewart. You've reached my answering machine, but I'm not home
[00:41:29] Paris: I'm currently painting in my boxers. Please leave a message.
[00:41:34] Marissa: Come by later, we'll have some coffee together and chat about whatever you want.
[00:41:38] Chris: Wait, I should rerecord this answering machine message.
[00:41:42] Marissa: Yeah. As in too, it's not just the answering machine. It's that she called him from the payphone at school to leave, to hear his outgoing message on his answering machine. So not present day for so
many reasons, but, um, Well we know that what's coming up, there's like, uh, there are some dovetailing things happening.
The two weeks of the mini courses are ending on Friday and that's also Olivia's birthday. And she finds out that Stuart has a big art opening. His art opening is on Friday and he tells her that she should come. He doesn't know it's her birthday. She should come because he has a special surprise for her there.
So now she's all but certain that this is what he's planned, something special for her birthday.
[00:42:32] Chris: I was all, but certain that this was the predator scene that was about to
happen. He was like, I
got a special surprise for you to come into my car.
[00:42:38] Paris: dude,
[00:42:39] Marissa: The book really does lead us on.
[00:42:41] Paris: I was just shaking in my little literary boots. I was like, oh no. Oh, we're going to have to live through this horrible scene. And now what's going
[00:42:49] Marissa: Well, I get the sense that you guys have read some books that have gone there.
[00:42:54] Chris: Oh yes. Oh, absolutely.
[00:42:56] Paris: Yeah, unfortunately.
[00:42:58] Marissa: she shows up in there as a beautiful, tall slender blonde woman who is not 17 named Monica and Monica has put her arm through Stuart's arm. And, um, somebody mentions to Monica,
Darling, you must've been going nuts while he was putting it up.
It being the art opening.
Did he even remember your birthday?
Which, I had to read that sentence a bunch of times. Cause I was like, wait, is it Monica's birthday today too? Well,
Olivia blinked, she backed up wanting nothing more than to escape, but there was no way to back off now without being obvious, besides Monica was turning toward her with that charming smile of hers. Cindy, this is Olivia, Stuart's star pupil. She helped Stuart choose the most fabulous present for me. She patted Olivia on the arm. Did you know, today is my birthday. This was too much. Olivia couldn't believe her ears at first. Monica's birthday? Today?
I couldn't believe my ears either, but
[00:44:00] Paris: Yeah. All of our ears. Unbelieved.
[00:44:03] Marissa: yeah, and it goes on, uh,
Stewart gave me that lovely frame and he told me that you helped him choose it.
And Olivia is like,
the worst part was that Monica didn't even seem jealous of her. She acted completely and totally unthreatened! But why should she be jealous? When Olivia was only Stuart star pupil and Monica was clearly so much more, there was no denying it.
However much Olivia wanted to, she couldn't pretend that Monica and Stuart were just friends, everything about them said otherwise.
So Olivia's like, oh, he had a Monica this whole time.
[00:44:40] Paris: Well, right. But like, if you're Monica, like, all right. All right. So listeners,
[00:44:47] Chris: This was one of my favorite things.
[00:44:48] Paris: listeners, please imagine that it is your birthday. And your boyfriend has decided it's also a great day to do his fucking art show on your goddamn birthday. And you're like, all right, fine, honey. I love you. I support you. This is, this is fine.
It be fun, right. It'll be a fun birthday activity. You're rolling with it. You're rolling with it. And then like, as the weeks roll up, he's like talking a lot about this student at school. And you're like, well, you know, he's found a young budding artist that he feels like he can, he can inspire and kind of coach that's fine.
And then he's like, Hey baby, here's some earrings and a frame. And you know, that 17 year old student at school, I took her to the store to pick out the frame for you. And I also consulted her on the earrings. Oh. And up, we're going to go to her birthday party.
[00:45:38] Marissa: Okay. Okay. So the connecting the dots from those two places, Stuart comes up right on the heels of the last passage I read where Olivia is about to run away. And he does have a surprise for her, her painting that she's completed. Uh, during the mini course, he has taken to his exhibit and put in like a really central point with a bunch of other alumni paintings so that people can see it.
And everybody goes crazy for it. People really think it's great. And Olivia is like, oh, well maybe I actually do like painting. And I'm not just in love with Stewart. Like that would be cool for me. Right. But she heads home and she goes over. She's had a, we didn't tell the Gladiators that she has recently.
Yelled at Elizabeth for telling everybody that she had a crush on Stewart, because she assumed that that must be what happened. She doesn't realize that literally the entire school knows that she has a crush on the painting teacher. Um, so she goes over to Elizabeth's house to apologize. but then, we find out that there is a surprise party for Olivia.
Olivia is very surprised, and this is where I had my,
oh my God moment.
[00:46:46] Marissa: The part of the book where I say, oh my God, out loud, doesn't always happen. Happened this time
PARTY for the next few minutes, pandemonium was the rule. Everyone was crowding around Olivia hugging her, wishing her a happy birthday, Winston hurried over to put music on the stereo.
And Mrs. Davidson brought out a huge pile of presence. Olivia felt absolutely overwhelmed. Everyone. All her friends had made it.
And here's, here's the moment where I say, oh my God,
Then her gaze fell on Stuart and Monica. What are you doing here? She demanded Monica. I thought it was your birthday too. It is, Monica admitted, but Stewart and I decided to wait and celebrate it tomorrow night.
She gave Olivia a big smile. He really didn't want to miss this.
[00:47:32] Chris: Really bro. You didn't want to miss a 17 year old's birthday party. Why is that?
[00:47:38] Marissa: You got to understand baby. She's my star pupil,
[00:47:43] Paris: she's my backup option. After you went a couple of years, you understand
[00:47:49] Marissa: trying to
keep my options open. You know how it is.
[00:47:51] Chris: Hello, Olivia's parents. Can I come to the birthday party that you have? How does he know?
[00:47:57] Marissa: They must have invited him!
Mrs. Davidson must've called him up and invited him.
[00:48:03] Paris: here's the wild
thing. He's been her teacher for two weeks. When did they have time to establish this kind of rapport where he would be at her fucking home on a Friday night? Like, it's not like it's this teacher that she's had throughout all of high school, you know, maybe they've spent three or four years together and, and he's really mentored her seriously.
Like I could kind of understand. Even then weird, but like, not as weird. I mean, you barely know this person from a stranger on the street,
[00:48:34] Chris: No, Paris.
I looked up his address in the alumni manual. I've been to his apartments. We totally know each other.
[00:48:40] Marissa: I've got, I've listened to his voice on the answering machine countless times.
[00:48:45] Paris: 500 minutes. That, that is the
[00:48:48] Chris: I just, I can't imagine being Monica and that's it. Or even though I can't even imagine being Stuart and going, like, you know, it's my girlfriend's birthday. I want to treat her a nice, and you know, I can, maybe we could have special a couple of time later on tonight. Nah, I'd rather go to a 17 year old's birthday party.
[00:49:05] Paris: I honestly was like thinking, you know, a few minutes ago, I was like imagining you and your girlfriend in this situation. Hey, Hey Rebecca, I know it's your birthday, but I'm having my student recital today. And, uh, and then we're going to go to the birthday party of my star pupil that I've only known for two weeks instead of like having dinner and having birthday sex.
Is that cool? Like also that's
[00:49:29] Marissa: turning 17 by the way. So that'll
[00:49:31] Paris: Yeah,
[00:49:32] Chris: it's just unconscionable. Honestly. I like.
[00:49:35] Paris: yeah,
[00:49:36] Chris: Again, parents, like you said, if this was like someone that he had been mentoring for a long time, even a year, even just like one year or something would be enough for it to be kind of reasonable to show up at a birthday party for this person two weeks is not enough.
I have a couple of students that I've been teaching for like a year or plus that I, you know, if they had some kind of event where they were performing or something, I would totally a hundred percent show up if they had a birthday party. I don't know. I'd probably be like, oh, well, you know, probably not to be honest with you, but like, I would think about it for half a second because it's like this very specific group of students that I know that I've been teaching for like multiple years maybe, but that's such a maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe thing and not at all a guaranteed, like, yeah, yeah.
Let's go at the two weeks thing is really baffling to me for this.
[00:50:24] Marissa: Maybe it's because it's only been two weeks that there is the somewhat surprising to me a moment in this book when basically like the spell is broken, as soon as Olivia knows about Monica and once she sees what Stewart's surprise for her really was, you know, that he has showcased her painting,
she's very much like, oh, how could I have been so stupid? Uh, I almost missed out on having a great friendship with a great mentor because I was so obsessed with being in love with him. And she even refers to how her crush is over,
[00:51:01] Chris: Yeah. It fizzles out so quickly and with like almost no consequence to it besides Olivia's embarrassment, which is, you know, that's legit, you
[00:51:11] Marissa: I guess that's
[00:51:11] Chris: where she feels embarrassed. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:51:14] Paris: feel like, yeah, the lesson here. And so tepidly with no one learning anything. Stuart faces no consequences for his absurd, absurd, inappropriate behavior. I mean, and yeah, like the "lesson" is, what? Learned in Olivia's mind? Where she goes, oh, I guess I shouldn't have a crush on that guy. Like, that's not the fucking lesson here. Is Stewart needs to act like a predator, even if he doesn't realize it. And like, sure. Maybe it's a learning experience for Olivia. Like we've all been there when we're young kids and you know, you get, uh, you get into like a celebrity or somebody, you know, somebody who's older than you, and maybe you idle on it.
That's kind of common for kids, but the level, like you're saying, like the level of her obsession in a two-week period is fucking intense.
[00:52:09] Marissa: Yeah.
Maybe, maybe with infatuation, but it is definitely, it's very teenage. Like if anything, like it's like either you're a teenager or you're having a little bit of like a brain chemical problem. Like one of
those two things is the case or both or both. And I think that what you're describing about the onus really being on Stuart, I think that's one of the ways that sort of like society, or at least a media has sort of changed gradually since this book was, was published.
Is that that's we really want to like, hold Stuart accountable at this point. But these books were for were for young girls, presumably like young people. So I guess that's Olivia's lesson. And I thank God that the lesson is at least the lesson is "don't have a crush on your teacher" and not, "it's cool to have a crush on your teacher sometimes."
[00:53:00] Paris: Yeah, that's true.
[00:53:02] Marissa: let's take small victories.
[00:53:04] Paris: I would worry that Olivia is going to do this again because what we're, you know, when she, when she showed up, when she showed up at his apartment, Everything was great. Everything was fine, you know, going on crazy adventures to find people's addresses and then showing up at their house was rewarded.
I mean, you know, going with your older teacher to a store, like hanging out with them after hours, like, again, it kind of rewarded. I mean, I know her crush dissipated, but I feel like all these things that she did that were really unhealthy behaviors were never really met with any sort of consequences.
Not that I wanted any, you know, not that I wanted anything awful to happen, but I didn't want to, you know, stumble into a sexual assault scene or anything. But I kind of wished that maybe like, you know, for example, when she goes to Stuart's house, I kind of wish that maybe a classmate was walking down the street or lived on the same street and was like, what are you doing?
Like, this is inappropriate. You know, I kind of wished there was a little more, that was like, Hey, these behaviors, aren't good.
[00:54:07] Marissa: Right. And instead what happened? I mean, nobody really even knows like no one in the book other than Olivia knows that she's engaging in this behavior, but luckily Olivia's attentions from, uh, for, at least for the time being immediately after this book are going to be taken up by one Rod Sullivan who comes to a party and brings her a present and she's like, oh, I see you now.
I can see you now. Rod Sullivan. You're not so bad. You're slender and tallish. That's basically all that description we get of Rod Sullivan.
[00:54:37] Paris: That's all you need in 1989. Tall.
[00:54:38] Marissa: Yeah
Early on in this episode, you guys were talking about how Jessica was so terrible and Jessica's terribleness is a big part of the B plot, which we haven't really talked about at all.
But I think we can get into the B story. It's juicy enough to talk about it next week in extra drama. Um, but it's funny. One thing that we usually do on sweet valley diaries is I ask my guests if they think they are more of a Jessica or more of an Elizabeth. So what I'll ask you guys is you can answer that question if you want, but also, you know, was there a character in the book that you really, uh, linked on to?
You could, you could see yourself in at all.
[00:55:16] Chris: Hmm. I mean, I definitely don't want to be a Jessica. I would hope I'm not a Jessica at all because she's incredibly petty in a lot of ways. And I don't think I am usually. Paris, feel free to correct me on that, but I, I don't know. I kind of have find it hard to relate to a bunch of chefs, teenagers, to be honest with you, because I'd never lived in this world when I was in high school either.
[00:55:47] Marissa: Yeah,
[00:55:47] Chris: know. I guess Randy it's Randy, who I
[00:55:50] Marissa: Randy Mason. Sure. Yeah. Maybe, maybe like a Winston Egbert. I could see a Winston Egbert is the sort of jokey class clown guy. And there's a funny moment when Jessica is in electronics class, when she's getting paired with Randy Mason and she kind of looks longingly over to Jeffrey and Winston and she's like, I wish I could have been partners with one of them.
And it's like, Jeffery is Elizabeth's boyfriend and Winston is a nerd, but he's like a popular nerd because he's the class clown. And also Jessica was recently stranded on an island with him for two days and one night.
[00:56:23] Paris: Yeah. How does that not come up at all?
[00:56:26] Marissa: Really mysterious.
[00:56:28] Chris: we don't talk about island time. Never. We're never talking about island time ever again. Winston.
[00:56:34] Paris: what happened in those two days? We
[00:56:36] Marissa: yeah. What happened on outermost island? We never speak of. Uh, what about you? Paris, Jessica? Elizabeth? Enid?
[00:56:45] Paris: Well, I think Eaton is always the voice of reason and I feel like that's typically my role in life and that was also my role.
[00:56:52] Chris: Yeah. Yeah.
You're you're also very Enid in our D and D group. So.
[00:56:57] Paris: that's true. When the rest of y'all are like let's murder everyone. I'm like, guys, can we come to a diplomatic solution? We don't want to be run out of another town. Dammit.
[00:57:06] Marissa: I feel like Enid occupies a very kind of like Elizabeth space in this book. Like the way that she behaves is a way that Elizabeth often is, whereas this is one of those books where Elizabeth is described as just kind of thinking so good of people that she can't even suspect that possibly Olivia could have this kind of like, uh, ill-conceived crush on a teacher.
[00:57:31] Paris: Yeah.
[00:57:32] Marissa: Uh, so even it is though. Yeah, she's really sharp. She's really got an Eagle lie out in this book for every move that's happening.
[00:57:40] Paris: Yeah. That's me. I'm the, um, Eagle eye. Oh,
[00:57:45] Marissa: Well, oh, go ahead.
[00:57:46] Paris: Oh, sorry. I was going to say we had, there was a minor note. Maybe we can save it for the other one, but sororities and fraternities in high school.
[00:57:59] Marissa: Yeah, that sure. Enough PI beta alpha is from the very beginning of the series. And, uh, I think Phi Epsilon is the name of the fraternity
at the high
school. I don't
[00:58:10] Paris: so confused.
[00:58:11] Marissa: There's just, no, there's no answer. It's just, it exists. It's a thing that exists. I sometimes it matters.
Sometimes it matters a lot and sometimes it's just doesn't play any part in the whole thing.
[00:58:24] Paris: All
[00:58:24] Marissa: Well, Paris and Chris, thank you so much for reading this book. Uh, was it more terrible or less terrible than average for you?
[00:58:34] Chris: It was quick. It was very quick, which I, it, I like that about it. I read it on two separate train rides on the same day, like go in into one place and then the, on the return trip, I finished it off. So I loved that. That was really cool.
[00:58:47] Paris: Yeah, I would say it was less terrible. Both for brevity, like Chris Meshan mentioned. And also just because there were some points in it that were like fairly realistic and I felt like the teenage dialogue, you know, sounds like the way teenagers might talk to one another. Um, like I said, you know, being a poor struggling artist and you're in your twenties.
Um, I mean, yeah, some of it, it, it got some points from me for sure. Um, obviously we've already talked about all the things that were weird or bad about but
I was, yeah, I would say, you know, it's, it's on the, on the better side of terrible for,
[00:59:25] Chris: it's Yeah, this is, this is fine. Like, you know, I don't have any sort of major beef with it. It's, you know, sort of shallow, but I would expect that for like, at a very young adults sort of like, you know, drama book, which is like, totally not my style, but I maybe I'm a little being a little overbearing by calling that shallow.
Some people are into
[00:59:47] Marissa: Well, it was the eighties. A lot of things were shallow, right?
[00:59:51] Chris: Yeah. So like, I mean, in comparison to a lot of the other terrible things, we've read that it's just like aggressively horrible. Um, this is bearable and fine. So overall.
[01:00:03] Marissa: to hear you say it. I ju and I'm sure the gladiators, some there'll be a certain factor of the gladiators that will have been very nervous. Like are you guys are being too harsh on the sweet valley, high novels, but, but no, this is all, this is very positive. And for everybody else who is a delighted by the prospect of terrible books, where can people find Terrible Book Club or find what you guys are up to on the vast Internet.
[01:00:27] Paris: Oh boy. You can find us on literally any podcast or app or podcast website. Uh, you can also just go to terrible book club.com.
You can find, find us on the high seas of Instagram. I believe we are on tiktok now?. I don't know. That's realm.
[01:00:43] Chris: Yeah, I'm still not doing great at like anything with that. I'm trying, I'm trying to learn it.
[01:00:48] Marissa: Tik tOK is hard.
[01:00:49] Chris: yeah. I mean, that's like we're in the, I don't know the frontiers of tick-tock. I suppose we're on the, the, the horrible, angry caves of Twitter while we're just running this landscape metaphor into the ground.
[01:01:03] Marissa: well done. Yeah.
[01:01:04] Chris: You can even find us on the Meadows of g-mail at terrible book email@example.com. If you'd like to send us a message.
[01:01:10] Paris: also have a, we have an account. Good reads. If you're into that, if you're
tracking your books, um, and we are on Patreon, like many creators, uh, where we have extra content. Sometimes we watch movies or TV shows that are related to things we've read. Like we, we recently read the, a KFC romance novel, and then we watched the
accompanying, you know, mini movie.
Um, there, we watched a vegetable Oedipus recently. There's all kinds of weird stuff on there. Uh, sometimes we also do fun video segments, so yeah, there's all sorts of stuff on there. If you're, if you're interested. Um, and we're on you, I don't know. Like I said, kind of everywhere, just looked for terrible book club or go to term book club.com.
[01:01:51] Marissa: Well, and I'll put a link to the show in the show notes and the listeners. I'm sure that if you start listening to terrible book club, you can find out about everything that they're doing by having Paris. And Chris tell you, uh, on every episode of the show or the, where you can find it. Well guys, thank you so much for doing this.
We'll talk a little bit more about the B story. Of course. Uh, we'll tease book number 58, and maybe talk about some other stuff in next week's extra drama. Thanks. Um, oh, and I've been,
And the advice this week is easy. Everybody, uh, don't have a crush on your teacher and if you're a teacher...
[01:02:27] Chris: no winks, no winks. don't wake
[01:02:30] Marissa: No
[01:02:32] Chris: not wake to don't do it. Don't wink. Don't call him a heartbreaker.
[01:02:38] Marissa: Put it on the t-shirt take that's our takeaway for this week. Gladiators. We'll catch you next week for more teacher crush talk. Bye.
[01:02:46] Paris: Yeah. Thanks. Thank you.
[01:02:48] Marissa: This is a test of the microphone to see how loud I'm being. Maybe I don't need to be this loud. Maybe I don't need to be this loud.