Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Merivale Mall #1 Two for One and #2 The Best of Everything

The Merivale Mall series was published by Troll in 1989.  The series consists of 12 books and is a clone of Sweet Valley High.

Lori Randall attends Merivale High School while her wealthy cousin, Danielle Sharp, attends Atwood Academy.  Danielle is a snob who has no time for Lori, unless she needs a favor.  Lori is always foolish enough to help Danielle, since she loves her cousin.

Lori's character fills the role of Liz Wakefield while Danielle is like Jessica Wakefield. Danielle also has a lot of Lila Fowler in her as well.  Danielle has a couple of dreadful friends who may be more nasty than most anyone in the Sweet Valley High series.

In Merivale Mall #1 Two for One, Lori is attracted to Nick Hobart, handsome quarterback for Atwood Academy.  Unfortunately, Danielle also wants Nick, and she puts the moves on him.  Lori and Nick's romance appears to be doomed before it even begins.

This book sets up the premise for the series. Several of the teenagers work at Merivale Mall, and all of them hang out at Merivale Mall.  

The story arc of this book plays out just like the plot of a Sweet Valley High book, so I knew exactly how the conflict would be resolved.  Near the end of the story is a ridiculous scene in the mall where a note gets intercepted and rewritten multiple times by scheming teenagers.  The note is dropped, changes hands, and is rewritten so many times that I lost track and became annoyed. The scene should have been shortened considerably.  The way it was published is silly.

I enjoyed this book.

In Merivale Mall #2, The Best of Everything, Lori carefully saves for a used car.  She has to make a down payment by a certain date, and she will have just enough money for the payment. Meanwhile, Danielle purchases expensive clothing, and her father warns her to quit going over her credit limit.  Danielle asks Lori for money.  Will Lori sacrifice her dream car to help Danielle?

Anyone who has read Sweet Valley High knows whether Lori helps Danielle and what happens as a result.  And then Danielle has to clean up a big mess.  The way the plot is resolved is very funny and reminds me so much of all the hilarious Jessica Wakefield scenes that I love so much.

I also enjoyed this book, a bit more than the first one.

Note: I have created a Facebook group for enthusiasts of vintage teen books such as the ones reviewed in this post.  Please follow this link to join.

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