A Pretty Good Year

Well, it’s my once a year update! I keep getting notified that people are still coming here and I really do appreciate it. Although I’ve put the Sweet Valley High series to bed [like Bruce Patman does the ladies, am I right?] I’ve got some other projects in the works. If you live in the Bay Area, I write for a regularly performed sketch show you can see. For info on this and other upcoming stuff, and my important thoughts on both the highbrow and lowbrow, subscribe to my tinyletter emails.

Still recapping

Hello! If anyone is still checking this out, great! Some of the best times of my life were writing and posting here.

Even though I am done recapping Sweet Valley High, my recap days are not over. I’ve recapped Season 3 of Vanderpump Rules for Entertainment Weekly. The show is very Sweet Valley-like and I am sure some of you watch it. I won’t even say I hate-watch it. I genuinely enjoy watching these incredibly attractive but incredibly damaged people.

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I’m also slowly getting through all the seasons of The Golden Girls.

See you in another couple of years.

The Grand Finale: The Book and Beyond


What’s that, a book?

If you are connected to me on Facebook/Twitter, etc., you already know this, but my book is finally available on the Amazon Kindle Store and for Nook.


Click to purchase

The book includes the recaps of the first 100 Sweet Valley High books, which first appeared on this here blog, but the book also contains recaps of the second hundred-or-so books in the series which are not on here. I’ll keep this blog up for posterity (and there’s also some non-SVH recaps on here, see the categories on the left) but it’s officially come to its grand finale.

There’s not much more to say but thanks for hanging in there with me the last six years. I appreciate the support and even the fact that you have taken the time to read things I wrote amazes and flatters me.

After spending the last seven or so years revisiting Sweet Valley High, I’m excited to move on to other things, including

The Golden Girls Reviewed By [a Golden Girls recap blog]

The Unwatchables

You can always see what I am up to on my website at http://bit.ly/robin-hardwick 

and following me on twitter @robinhardwick

On Facebook here and here

or on Tumblr

or at thedairiburger@gmail.com

Keep in touch and let me know how you like the book.



The Reece Malcolm List: A Must Read


Hello friends:

Run, don’t walk, to your local bookstore (if you have any) or to your computer to order a copy of The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding. Not only is Amy a friend, a fantastic writer, but is also a big fan and supporter of this here blog (in fact, that is how we met and I am NOT ASHAMED TO SAY IT). If you like good Young Adult fiction, and I am sure we all do, you’ll love it. There’s no vampires, no dystopian worlds, no superpowers, no Mary Sues. As Amy first described it to me, there’s lots of musical theater and cute boys. I was sold! Purchase it here, follow Amy on Facebook, twitter, and read her blog.

Lila’s New Flame, as written by Bret Easton Ellis




Another excerpt from my forthcoming book. I recap the “Lila The Arsonist” in the style of everyone’s favorite nihilistic writer and snarky tweeter, Bret Easton Ellis.



as written by Bret Easton Ellis, author of Less Than Zero and American Psycho

and I was like in my living area with the Ralph Lauren sheets and the Renoir painting and then this flame came at me and my last thought was oh wait this is a chanel suit and marnie shoes but i want to die but then Bo would be sad for breaking up with me and he would regret it. suddenly the flames came close and i thought, this is it, this is how you die and i felt okay and imagined my parents when they got back from their vacation to Bali or whatever colonized island they will rape of its tourism and what my funeral will be like and I hope no one serves canapes.

As the flames lick at my perfectly manicured nails I pass out and wake up in a hospital in a gown that I am sure is less threadcount than my dinner napkins and I see Jessica Wakefield wearing a jumpsuit from Lisette’s and her twin sister wearing head to toe LL Bean and Jessica tries to talk about shopping because my entire wardrobe and house burned up but I am so sick I want to die but I pretend to hear them anyway. While Jessica talks about crop tops and halters, all I can think about is my mother and father on a beach in expensive loungewear drinking mojitos and conversations that don’t involve me. “Li-dear, a French cut blazer is going to make a comeback.” “Lila, we’ve decided to go with the marble angel fountain instead of the stone minotaur fountain.” “Henry dear, what time did we make out massage appointment?” “Lila, did you know I make very expensive computer chips?” “Lila dear, don’t put, you’ll get frown lines.” “Lila, that French cut maillot is dynamite for your hips.” “Henry, that’s not appropriate, that’s our daughter.” “Grace, leave me alone, or I’ll divorce your ass gain.” “Henry, how dare you, after I let you go back door on me.” “Grace, shut up with the sex talk. Our daughter was almost raped for god’s sake.” “Henry, you imbecile. That was almost two books ago.”

I think time has passed but I don’t know because I kept refusing the disgusting hospital meals so they stopped bringing it. This is what it must be like to be unpopular. No one bothers to talk to you and you don’t matter and no one cares and you wear the same dirty outfit and you don’t have any worth except being a warm body to fill the world. Suddenly I woke up and Steven Wakefield appeared in a Sears brand suit, Bugle Boy shoes, Wayfarers, a Chess King Shirt, Depp Hair Gel. He is asking me about how the fire happened but I kept looking at the sad flowers on my bedside table. “I wonder how something like this grows in such a environment.” “Lila, we need to talk about how the fire started.” “Who decides when it will bloom. God? No one? How can there be a god when my Persian rug was destroyed?””Lila, why were you holding matches?” “I wish I still had a photosynthesis for life.” “Lila, did you notice anyone suspicious on the scene?” “We are all just flowers waiting to be destroyed.”

If You Lived Here, You’d Be Perfect By Now: The Unofficial Guide to Sweet Valley High will be released in February 2013. 

What Jessica Wants: Dispatches from an Intergalactic Space Mission

I’m currently in the process of reading and recapping the second haldf of the SVH series for an upcoming book. To prove that I really am writing it, here’s an except, a recap of #138, What Jessica wants, the miniseries in which we meet brooding, whiny orphan Devon Whitelaw.

From the captain’s log of the vessel Teenageriac, sent to earth to find the perfect human specimen:

Target acquired. Landed pod where it was the most green and most beautiful. Earth GPS identifies as Sweet Valley. Mission: to find most genetically advantageous humanoid to extract DNA to build master intergalactic race. Must not fail. Intergalactic UN is counting on me.

Must assume identity. From my short observations, this settlement is run by teenagers. Will assume role of male teenager. Must do research. Watched Rebel Without a Cause, A Beautiful Mind, and Teen Wolf. Have created perfect hybrid. Name is Devon Whitelaw. Devon was the name of the computer on my first space mission, and Whitelaw because it seems that Whites make the laws in Sweet Valley.

Arrived at school. Said they needed something called “:school records” and “parent permission.” Was not prepared for this. Found nice old lady and mind controlled the crap out of her to make her think she was my former Nanny. Telling everyone my parents died seems easier. Dammit, my assistant forgot to brief me before I left.

My dear soldiers, I never expected such success in my first hour! Upon arrival to high school in the mechanical, two wheeled ground tank, I spotted someone with perfect genetic potential. Perfect size six (up to the specifications determined by the overlords), blond and blue-eyed combination, and a svelte body. An initial scan of the subject tells me that she is superhuman, and does not ever need to use the bathroom. I must have implemented the scan too long because she stared back and started to release the hormonal scent of a request to mate. Departed area quickly.

Later, I entered a “chemistry” class and the Human Specimen 10.0 was to be my assistant to creating new human life and atomic bombs. Slight drawback, turns out this “class” is only for mixing lesser chemicals. I had to hide the synthetic embryonic sack containing the fetal centaur I just created. Instead, I created a chemical the same color as her eyes and the ocean and her mating hormone began to release. I toned it back, Commandor would not be happy if I started this master race without permission.

Also encountered the most odd specimen, he seemed to be a genetic misfire. Appendages hung about his body as if too long, no coordination, and an undying need to create corny comedic encounters. Identifies as the species Winston Eggbert. May find him useful later.

And finally, news to make the Commandor proud: this genetic perfection I encountered has already started to multiply! There are two of them! Their genetics are so virile! I must encapture one and bring her back. But oh, which one?

Fellow intergalactic travelers, I have decided on which Wakefield clone will be the savior of our plan for the master species. She calls herself Elizabeth. Even though she has a mate, my scan of her brain tells me that she is ready and willing to betray this mate at any cost. The second clone, Jessica, seems to have no brain activity in her frontal lobe, thus making her capture easy but not as satisfying. I mean, I am twenty hundred light years from my home, don’t you think I should have some fun?

Entrapment of Specimen Elizabeth almost foiled and mission aborted! Met who I thought was Elizabeth at a nice restaurant (these earthlings are so obsessed with food and escorting others to the consuming of food) but it as psycho clone, and the moon was obviously in the second cycle because she was down to mate (DTM in scientific terms). Apparently these troublesome clones are the most important residents of the city. Note to self: figure out why this city is so fucking weird.

I am proud to say that the mission looks like it will be a success. The key to winning over Specimen Elizabeth was to tell her said madeup background and create some fireworks. We sealed the contract with our mouths under the bleachers. Next step is asking her to donate her organs and brain for the cause of propagating our alien race. Signing off for now. Over.

My book will hopefully be out in early 2013. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to my podcast.

Welcome to my Spanish-style, split-level blog

Welcome visitors. I’m taking a hiatus with this blog right now, but please browse or revisit all my recaps of the original Sweet Valley High books. I’ve also recapped other series and written updated version of the Baby-Sitters Club books, and you can find those under “categories” to your right. Or, just browse the archives.

UPDATE: After a successful campaign, I’m working on the full, unofficial guide to Sweet Valley High with an expected release of early 2013.

In the meantime, you can read other things I’ve written here and follow me on  facebooktwitter & tumblr.