There are three major storylines here, and Salvatore's is the least interesting so let's start with him. His parents live in Germany because his dad is a military man stationed at a base there. They come back to California for a visit, and his mom acts like he is a kid and his dad treats him like a soldier. He decides to hang out with the guys to be the kind of son his dad wants.
Elizabeth and Anna think that he's avoiding him and feel like crap. He acts really obnoxious, shoots rubber bands at people, including Elizabeth who he hits, and generally behaves like a teenage boy. His dad keeps lecturing him on joining a team and acting like a man. His mom takes him to the natural history museum, and he and his dad share a moment when they remember buying and playing with plastic dinosaurs. His dad buys him a new one and when he starts goofing around like a kid, his dad yells at him.
His parents want to take him shopping for clothes, and he brings along the girls. Elizabeth naturally wins over his dad, and they pick out clothes he will actually wear. His dad realizes that he likes-likes her, but he points out that she just wants to be friends. His dad tells him that his mom said the same thing and they bond some more before he leaves.
Bethel notices this cute guy named Jameel at a track meet and tells Jessica. Jessica tells other people, and they make fun of her because he's a year younger. Jameel starts following her around, but she ignores him. Every time they start to get close, people pick on her so she keeps avoiding him. He writes her a bunch of poems and love notes that he puts in her locker, and he even gives her a chocolate rose.
She tells him that she will date him when he beats her in a race, and he sets up a time to race. Bethel starts training constantly and making Jessica go with her. They finally do race and she wins. As part of their deal, he must now leave her alone forever. She starts moping over him and missing him all the time. She goes to the big dance alone and asks him to dance. A few people tease her, but most people are fine with it.
Jessica hears about the big dance/beach party and wants to go with Damon but he never asks her. She keeps waiting for him to ask and gets mopey when he doesn't ask. She gets completely caught up in helping Bethel train that she can't think about anything else. Damon notices that she's suddenly wearing older clothes and seems really tired, and he wonders if she's annoyed with him. She even passes out at the table and he has to revive her.
She finally talks to Elizabeth who points out that he might not have the money for the dance tickets. Jessica gathers up all of her money and buys two tickets. When she gets ready to ask him, he shows her the two tickets he bought. He worked for a neighbor to save up the money, but he didn't want to bring it up until he could get the money together.
*Even in the “realistic” Sweet Valley world, everyone loves a Wakefield twin. According to Salvatore, Elizabeth won over his dad before saying a word.
*Does anyone really care if an eighth grader dates a seventh grader? I remember a sophomore girl no less dating a freshman guy, and a few freshman/sophomores dated guys in the eighth grade.
*Salvatore passes around one of the poems that Jameel wrote and makes up a little song to go with it. Everyone sings it to her in the middle of the cafeteria and she's mortified.
*Elizabeth hears from Jessica how upset Bethel was and feels a little bad because she was one of the singers, but she didn't realize it was a bad thing. This is from the same girl who got pissed when someone spread a rumor that she wanted a boyfriend!
*Jessica eats Jell-o with a straw and talks to Damon about how it's so red but doesn't taste red. He starts worrying about her and then she literally falls asleep in her food. He has to wipe the Jell-o off her face and the scene is actually pretty cute.