Remember when Robin Wilson was such a blimp that no one wanted to be around her? Well, now she's a super hot and skinny chick who somehow manages to be the star of the diving team and the co-captain of the cheerleading squad. She recently broke down in front of Jessica because her Aunt Felicia agreed to pay for her college tuition but only if she went to Sarah Lawrence. She applied for early admission and got in but doesn't know if she should go. Jessica makes the mistake of telling Elizabeth the news.
Felicia is a super fancy and famous artist who lives in New York and sells paintings for thousands of dollars a pop. She went to Sarah Lawrence and her mother did, so Robin is a legacy. She really isn't sure what she should do, and she doesn't want to tell her boyfriend George about it. Robin does attempt to talk to him about college, but he just tells her that she can apply for loans and scholarships and take classes in LA.
After not telling him multiple times, Elizabeth runs into him in the library. She casually tells him to congratulate Robin for her, and he flips out when he learns the truth. He screams at Robin and acts like a huge dick, but she still loves him. She finally realizes that he just wants her to tell him that she'll stay, so she tells him she won't go to New York.
Since she only told Annie and Jessica and Jessica never sees George, Robin decides that Annie told him about college. She gets it in her mind that Annie wants to date George for herself, and she stops talking to her. Jessica knows what really happened but doesn't want to get in the middle, so she doesn't tell anyone.
Meanwhile, Jessica takes a babysitting job for this guy Alex. He's a big time musician and needs someone to take care of his little sister. One meeting and she falls in love. She decides to tell him that she plays the recorder because his sister does and it looks easy. Cara goes with her to the mall to buy a recorder, but she's really and truly bad at it.
Elizabeth picks it up once and is a natural. She starts playing it whenever her sister isn't around, but she promises that she won't take this from Jess. According to Liz, there were multiple times when she was much better than her twin at something and Jess flipped out. Jessica keeps throwing herself at the guy, and she eventually fakes fainting. He realizes that he likes her and tells her that he's going to Julliard for a year but asks if she would wait for him. She makes up an excuse about a boyfriend, runs away, and tells Liz that she can keep the recorder.
Back to Robin! She tells her mom that she isn't sure she wants to go to New York. Her mom flips out because, hello!, she just hired Alice to redecorate her kitchen. Felicia was so happy about Robin's admission that she wanted to treat her sister. Robin realizes that her mother traded her for a kitchen.
Felicia sweeps into town and makes the whole Wilson family feel like crap. She complains about Robin's diving and how she won't have time for that in college, talks down about Alice being a small-town designer, and generally acts like a bitch. She especially hates the family down the street, the Kings who have the nerve to have a lawn gnome on their lawn.
Robin finally asks her aunt if she would pay for her tuition at another school. Felicia turns her down and once again points out that Robin needs to put away her "childish" and "school girl" ideas and focus on college. The stress gets to her, and she starts doing poorly in school and in her diving. This all leads up to the big meet, where she sucks pretty bad.
George watches her and realizes that he didn't treat her any better than her aunt did. He kept pushing her to stay in California as much as she pushed Robin to go to New York. George runs off, and when he comes back, Robin sees that he brought her whole family. She ends up doing great and wins even though she was significantly behind earlier. George reveals that her biggest competition was a King and that's what drove his aunt to the meet. Felicia doesn't really apologize, but she does agree to pay her college tuition anywhere she goes. Oh and Robin makes up with Annie.
*Does early admission like this really exist? Did it ever exist? I was in a program my senior year that let me take college courses in lieu of high school courses, but I still had to take all the required courses to graduate high school. This book acts like Robin will just graduate at the end and go to New York.
*It's nice to know that her grandmother and aunt both went to a fancy pants school, but Mrs. Wilson is poor and never went to college.
*Ned mentions that he always thought Liz was the musical one in the family. Yup, the daughter who spends all her time reading and writing is probably a secret musician, while the one who took ballet classes for years probably has no musical skills whatsoever.
*I love that Robin's mom is all aghast when she accuses her of trading her for a kitchen when that's exactly what she did.
*George is an ass in this book. He is really mean at times and freaks out at the idea of her leaving him. I think Enid got off easy.
*It's nice to know that Robin can't handle the thought of ever leaving Sweet Valley even though her whole family eventually moves away.