Jessica and Zach, the college junior she started dating at SVU, are out at a restaurant when she sees Magda come in with some Thetas. Since she knows that Magda wants to date Zach, she needs to come up with an excuse to get them out of there without anyone seeing. She pretends that she smells smoke and convinces him to climb out the window of the woman's restroom. Zach asks if she's interested in someone else, and she gets around the issue by saying that she isn't interested in anyone in college since Ken is in high school.
Jessica then discovers that Liz plans to take her GED and stay at Sweet Valley University. After some thought, Jessica agrees that she'll stay too. Liz calls home and tells Todd, who is heartbroken at the thought of a long-distance relationship. Jessica calls Ken and he seems equally upset, but mainly because he heard it from Todd long before she bothered to call.
Part of the reason why Elizabeth wants to stay is because she got an internship at the school newspaper, which goes out across the country. The editor in chief turns out to be one of those gold old boys who treats Elizabeth like a (gasp) actual intern! He has her get coffee, answer the phones, make copies, send faxes, and all that other stuff that interns do. She fully expects to get assignments and actually write for the school paper, but he wants her to act like an intern.
Elizabeth decides to do the responsible thing and bitch like a baby to her twin all the time. She goes back, I believe twice, and he treats her the same way every time. After he dares to ask her to send a fax and get him coffee in a 10-minute span, she flips her shit. She quits, accuses him of sexual harassment, and storms off, thinking about her next article on harassment in the workplace.
Magda turns really cold towards Jessica because she saw her with Zach. Jessica decides to throw Liz under the bus. She claims that she was with Billie and Steven that night, and that her twin is the manipulative, crazy, pyscho, boy-loving one. Magda immediately changes her tune and offers to help Jessica find a date for the upcoming formal.
Jessica decides that they can do a twin switch. Elizabeth refuses, but eventually decides to go along with her plan. They pick out a sweet rose colored dress for Jessica to wear so Magda will think that she's Liz. Liz gets stuck with some velvet halter dress so everyone will think that she's Jess.
While all of this is going on, the gang back in Sweet Valley decide to try a little reverse psychology on the twins. Enid acts like she'll be the smartest girl in school and asks if she can take over Liz's column in the paper, and Lila says that she'll now be the best dressed and best looking girl in school. Alice calls to congratulate them, but lets it slip that she's sad they will miss their prom, graduation, and living in a freshman dorm. Billie and Steven get in on it, treating them to a disgusting breakfast of tofu and other natural food, saying that they need to eat like this to compensate for pulling three or four all nighters every week.
The gang heads up on the same night as the formal. While everyone sets things up, Todd and Ken sneak into the frat house. Todd sees who he thinks is Liz dancing and looking happy with another guy and rushes off, while Ken sees Liz dressed as Jessica and realizes who the real Jessica is and rushes off. Magda, meanwhile, reveals to Liz that Zach is actually still in high school.
The guys make a huge scene before running away. Magda glides up to tell Jessica the truth and thank her for saving herself from going after a younger man. She also takes the time to tell Liz, who she thinks is Jess, that she should be nicer to her sister and Liz is welcome to pledge Theta house. Jessica and Zach explode on each other, and he reveals that he was taking a few classes at college and his brother thought it would be fun to pass him off as a college junior. They eventually laugh about it, and Jessica realizes that she misses Ken.
The twins go back to the apartment and find all of their friends waiting. They watch a massive slideshow and realize what they're up too. At the end, they both decide to go back to Sweet Valley High and wait for college. Liz and Todd make up because she actually didn't do anything wrong this time. Jessica chases Ken down, who is about to drive away. She apologizes, confesses that she wanted to try something different, and tells him that she loves him. He makes her promise to never cheat on him again, and they make up too.
*Out of curiosity, I looked up national college newspapers and didn't find a whole lot of information. Are there really college newspapers that go out across the country?
*What did Liz really expect that she would do? On big college papers, freshmen usually wind up making copies and doing basic research, if that. She thinks that because she has a small amount of experience, she should get to work as a writer right away.
*I would really love for Liz to write about the harassment that she suffered and then get bitch slapped by one of the other college journalists. Granted, he acted condescending at times, but he gave her the same assignments that interns do all of the time. Hell, it's basically the same thing she did at the Sweet Valley paper.
*Once again, an unrealistic date. Zach makes a picnic lunch of brie cheese, bread, grapes, and pasta salad, and they sit on the quad and listen to jazz music. If you did this at my college, people would have given you dirty looks for getting in their way.
*Multiple guys hit on Jessica while she's sitting on the quad, which skeeves me out. There's no way that she looks old enough to be in college, and it just seems creepy.
*The halter dress that Liz wears is so short that she has to keep smoothing it down over her UPPER THIGHS. Why would anyone let her out of the house in that dress? Plus, as a college graduate, I have to say that this is not appropriate for a college formal. At all.
*SVU is now two hours away from Sweet Valley. Yup, that totally makes sense.
*Zach is all shocked that Jessica never went to Atlantic City because he thinks she went to Princeton. Why? Given the grade she told him that she was in, she's still only 20 and I thought most casinos banned anyone under 21.
*They serve champagne at the formal, which whatever. However, Jessica and Liz are there and they both drink champagne. Does the frat and sorority really want to lose their charters?
*It's awfully convenient that Jessica never thought about Ken or missed him until five minutes before he showed up at the formal.
*Jessica and Liz talk about finding an apartment together when they start classes. I guess my school was different because you couldn't live off-campus unless you were a junior or older or you lived with family. Plus, I don't know a whole lot of schools that let freshman live off campus, and they would enter college as freshmen.
*It's also very clearly the middle of the semester, so I don't know what they were thinking. It's not like they could just drop out of high school, take the GED, and immediately start classes. They would at least have to wait until the summer session.
*Poor stupid Liz. She couldn't even cut it skipping one grade in middle school, but now she thinks that she's mature enough to handle college.
*I like that they tossed in some characters from SVU like Magda. There's also a few mentions of Tom Watts in his Wildman Watts days, playing quarterback for the team.
*Billie points out that Jessica can't try our for the cheerleading team at SVU until next year, and it upsets her. I find it hard to believe that it never crossed her mind.
*Liz goes to a coffeeshop with Ian, her new buddy, and some of his friends. It turns into one of those grand "debates" that rich college kids seem to have and they totally look down on her for not knowing what they are talking about. It's actually pretty funny because they come across as those kids who learn everything from books and have no practical knowledge. They ream her for talking about capitalism while suggesting that communism is better and hey, you get some freedom with communism. Sure.
*Reading through these books now, I wonder why we were supposed to empathize with Jessica so much. She tells Ken that she loves him and will never cheat on him. Guess what happens in the next book? Oh that's right, she falls in love with someone completely different.