It's Christmas in Sweet Valley, and I think this might actually be the first Christmas! Everyone is all atwitter because Todd Wilkins is coming back for the first time since he moved to Vermont. Elizabeth is a little worried because she isn't sure how she feels about him anymore.
Jessica doesn't give a crap about anyone except herself, shocking right? She's in love with Hans, an exchange student from Germany, and she thinks that if she becomes Miss Christmas or some crap like that, he will fall head over heels in love with her. She gets a call from Cara on the day of the pageant, asking her to take over her job giving out gifts with Santa. Jess agrees, only to find out that she's stuck there all day. Lila set her up and with her out of the picture, Lila wins the title.
There's also a secret Santa thing going on at school. Elizabeth is sooo trust-worthy that Mr. Collins asks her to help assign people names. Jessica demands that Hans get her name, but Elizabeth goes by the book. Jessica doesn't care though because she thinks Hans will get her name because it's fate or something.
None of this matters though because the Wakefields have some bad news. Apparently, Suzanne Devlin called and asked to come spend Christmas with them. Ned and Alice tried to talk her out of it, but she insisted and they felt that they needed to let her do what she wanted. Steven and Jessica convince Liz to call her and try to talk her out of it, but “Suzy” still wants to come. She even wrote to Mr. Collins, who accepted her apology and thinks she should come for a visit.
Everyone agrees to pretty much treat her like crap once she gets there. They pretend that they forgot when she was coming, make plans without her, and Jessica frequently makes snide comments. Liz tries to make amends, but she still thinks things are weird. Jess then goes to Aaron and a few other guys and suggests that they act as bad secret Santas to her.
Todd shows up and pretty much loses it when he sees Suzy. He saw her recently at a ski resort, they spent some time together, and they kind of like each other. He asks her not to tell Liz what happened, Jess overhears, and naturally assumes that they had an affair. They keep acting weird around each other, and for some reason, Liz never picks up on it.
The guys do some stupid crap like leaving notes on the doorstep. Every time something happens, Suzy gets a little nervous but she doesn't seem to really care. Jess sees her taking some pills and spreads a rumor that she's a pill popper. She also makes up lies about how Suzy thinks Sweet Valley is full of hicks and doesn't like anyone there.
Aaron calls and asks Suzanne to some big party as his date and suggests they go to another (fake) party beforehand. The Wakefields leave the twins a bottle of champagne to celebrate and they offer some to Suzy. She gets a new bottle of pills from her doctor, and she wonders why he didn't include any instructions, but she still downs two glasses of champagne and takes her pills. Aaron calls to say that she needs to meet him at the party, and he gives her the address of an abandoned house. She drives off and gets a little dizzy.
The doctor calls the house in a tizzy because he got a message from Suzy. If she drinks even a drop of alcohol, she could die! The twins flip out and tell their parents, and the police call to say that she wrecked the car and is in the hospital. Ned and Alice finally decide to tell the twins that Suzy has MS, which means she will likely end up in a wheelchair soon.
They start feeling really bad and rush to the hospital. Jessica spills the beans about Todd, who finally admits that he ran into Suzy recently. Liz sees (in his eyes, barf) that he loves her despite only spending a few hours with her, and tells him that he should go after her. Suzy's doctor then calls to announce that she doesn't have MS but mono and was misdiagnosed. The twins then get everyone together and throw a party for Suzy.
*I love that Jessica and Lila are the only two girls worth competing in the pageant. Basically, if one of them doesn't show up, it pretty much goes to the other one.
*Cara is passing out presents as part of a special project for the sorority. No one else volunteers, but the whole sorority gets credit. How is that fair?
*The secret Santa thing is weird because they wait until the last day of school, and then everyone has to track down their person during the break. We did secret Santa in one of my school clubs, but we did it the last week before break.
*Why the fuck would they want her to come for a visit? And why in the hell would Roger forgive her? She nearly ruined his career and made life a living hell for everyone in town.
*Ned and Alice are worried about her because of her illness, yet they still agree to let her come. Um, wouldn't it be worse for her if everyone picks on her and treats her like shit?
*I love how Jessica blames Suzy for what happened with Pete, and Suzy actually apologizes. Yes, it's totally her fault that Jessica threw herself at the guy, got drunk around him, and dressed like a slut to attract him.
*Yeah, so Suzanne literally flips the Fiat into a ditch, but it's not only drivable but it only has a few scratches on it. I call bull shit on that.
*I don't have MS, but I did have mono, and there is absolutely no way that a doctor could confuse the two. He should have his license revoked.
*Liz thinks that it would hurt to see Todd with someone else, but she can't imagine the idea of ever cheating on him. Ha! I don't really get this book either, because they decided to date other people in the book where he left, but now they act like they were still exclusive.
*Todd sees Suzy while skiing with a friend, they go to dinner, and they meet up later for a few hours. I would laugh at how fast they fell “in love,” but they actually spent more time together than most couples in Sweet Valley do.