Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sweet Valley High #12: When Love Dies

Tricia Martin has been acting a little strange lately, pulling away and acting distant around Steven. When he comes home one weekend, she won't come to the phone and seems like she's never home. Jessica points out that she might be taking him for granted because he's always around. She even drops hints that maybe Tricia is seeing someone else.

Deciding to prove once and for all that their love is eternal and that Tricia would never ever cheat on him, he goes to her house. Her dad says that she's not home then that she is home but doesn't want to see him. Steve breaks through the door, rushes into her room, and finds her packing a bag. After a fight in which she tells him that she's unexpectedly going out of town, she tells him that maybe they're too serious about her. When Steve pushes her and claims that he doesn't want to see anyone else but maybe she does, she won't look him in the eye. He decides that she's seeing someone else and probably running off with him for the weekend. They break up, with him wishing luck on the next guy.

Cara is super excited to hear the news because she's always had a crush on Steve. She also reveals that the Morrow family just bought a home near Fowler Crest and that Jeremy Frank, the big television star, is in the hospital with a broken leg. Since she wants to get close to any celebrity, she convinces Liz that they should volunteer as candy stripers. Liz somehow believes that her twin wants to do this all out of the kindness of her heart.

Jessica, unfortunately, gets assigned to the maternity wing. After a few hours of being around screaming babies and frustrated mothers, she finds out that Elizabeth actually met Jeremy. She took him a glass of water, they talked about how she's a writer, and he asked her to sign his cast. Jessica tricks Liz into telling her his room number so she can see him too.

That goes just about as well as you might expect. The first time she sees him, she asks to sign his cast. She loses her balance, falls over, stabs him in his good leg with a pen, and whacks him in the bad leg. She then goes to see him again, walks in on him getting a sponge bath naked, and drops ice cold water all over him. He and Liz finally come up with a plan to get back at her. Since she only wants what she can't have, they'll make her think that he really really wants her.

Jeremy starts by giving her a bunch of flowers the station sent him and then talks all seductively to her. When she stops by to see him one day, he tells her that it was love at first sight and proposes marriage. Jessica runs practically screaming from the room before giving it some thought and deciding that an engagement might be a good idea. As the psychopath tells her sister, it doesn't matter that they've never dated or had any real conversations. He's a celebrity, which is all that matters.

Though Jessica does go to see him and accepts, he just laughs at her. While leaving Liz out of the story, he tells her that he set her up. If she was 26, it might be a different story, but she's 16 and too young to get married. Jessica finally agrees but sees her opening when he tells her he'll do anything to make it up to her. That leads to her securing a spot on his show.

Back to poor Steven. Jessica convinces him to go to a party at Cara's house, even though she isn't actually having a party. Liz refuses to go, so it winds up being just Cara, Steve, Jessica, Aaron, Lila, and some college guy named Jim. Steve pumps Cara for information on Tricia because she told Jessica that someone saw Tricia hanging all over some random guy. He then gets really anxious and then angry, makes her dance with him, and stars kissing her.

When he comes home at TWO IN THE MORNING after her party, he starts moping and whining over Tricia and how much he loves her. After a cup of hot cocoa with Ned, his dad tells him to not let his sister push him into doing something he's not ready for. That doesn't stop him from going out with Cara a few more times.

Liz, who can't keep her nose out of anything, tries to talk to Tricia and gets nothing out of her. Todd says that he saw her looking really sad in study hall and staring at a picture of Steve. Liz tries to talk to her later, but Cara and Jessica show up. Cara makes it clear that she's with Steve now, Tricia gets all embarrassed and rushes off. Liz later runs into her at the hospital, but Tricia tells her that she was just there to visit a friend.

This all leads to Liz hearing about a girl her age in the hospital. When she goes to the room, she finds Tricia. Tricia tells her that she has leukemia, that it's terminal, and that she only has about six months left to live. She also begs her not to tell Steven. Tricia saw what happened to her family when her mother died of the same disease and won't let him go through that. Liz agrees to keep her secret but then cries to Mr. Collins because she just doesn't know what to do.

Steven comes down and picks up Cara to take her to a party at college. Huh, I guess he does know a few people at SVU. Cara starts gossiping and then makes it clear that since they're together, he needs to get over Tricia NOW. Steven flips out because they're clearly not a couple and he would never go out with her. After a short standoff, he takes her home.

Seeing him so upset, Liz tells him everything. Steven rushes to see Tricia, tells her he knows, and she does a gasping/fainting thing where she collapses in his arms. She goes on and on about how she didn't want to see him suffer, he tells her that he would suffer anytime he didn't have her in his life, and they practically cry. He also claims, laughingly so, that he will always love her and always carry a piece of her with him.

Liz keeps seeing some random orderly around the hospital. He seems to exist only to skulk around in the shadows and keep an eye on her. Though he eventually introduces himself as Carl, she still tries to keep her distance. Mr. Collins asks her to help Max with an upcoming English assignment. While leaving the hospital to meet with Max, Carol stops to tell her that the head nurse needs her. When she gets out of the car, he gives her chloroform and drags her off into the night.

*Steven says that he usually comes home on weekends and that Tricia knows that. Well, duh, everyone knows that he's always coming home from college to hang out with high school kids. I don't know how he even has time to make friends at school.

*Do teenage girls often run away for romantic trips with guys? That seems a little mature to me. I guess I'm old-fashioned though because I heard about a group of teens renting a cabin together for an adults free weekend and it creeped me out.

*Jessica wears a pair of skintight jeans with a slinky low cut camisole early in the book. Seriously, does Alice even look up when her daughter walks out the front door?

*Steven thinks it's not sexy that Cara wears a dress cut so low in the back that he can see her bikini tan lines. So what, the dress is two inches low?

*He also thinks she wears too much perfume and makeup and thinks about how Tricia doesn't need any of that crap. He even says that her hair and skin just naturally smells sweet. Yes, I'm sure that's completely true, and I bet she rolls out of bed looking perfect without any makeup.

*After seeing the way he treats Cara like such crap in this book, why the hell did she agree to go out with him later and stay with him for so long?

*It's nice to see Jessica once again going out on a date with Aaron Dallas after seeing them together for so long in SVT, though that makes it funny when she claims in SVC that she never really liked him.

*Gee Steve, why would Cara ever think you were a couple? Hmm, could it be because you kept taking her out on dates, took her to parties, talked to her on the phone, and made out with her multiple times?

*This book irritates me because I can see both points of view. On the one hand, if I was dying and in love with someone, I would probably want to spend more time with him. On the other hand, if I was a teenager, I wouldn't want him to carry around all those memories of watching me wasting away.

*Of course none of this really matters though because Steve gets over her so fast. Isn't it like 5-6 books before he and Cara get together and become a big deal couple? Then he “falls in love” with Aaron in the SVC series and just royally screws everything up yet again.


  1. I think the tan line comment was meant for the bottom part of her bikini, not her top. In the first River Heights book, someone makes a similar comment about Niki wearing basically a backless sweater. I wondered about it for years before realizing she wasn't talking about her top...

    And this was the 80's. I don't think parents were allowed to parent their teenagers. ;) Of course they went away for weekends and wore tiny clothes, especially in CALIFORNIA. Did Ann M Martin get her start ghost writing for SVH? Or is it just where she got her ideas for her books?

    1. IIRC, Steven is talking about her tan lines when looking at her shoulders though, which is extremely odd! I love the older books though, when they have wine or beer at a party. Much more realistic than later on!

  2. What teens are allowed to go on an adult free weekend? Who are these parents who would say yes to that?

    Wow, I always thought it was much later that Steven treated Cara like crap how sad it is that he started off treating her like crap? Cara, you can do better!

    In my mind the Sweet Life never happened.

    1. I know someone who let her HS senior go on a guys and girls trip with no chaperons. There were like eight of them sharing a cabin for a weekend, and most were 16 or 17 at the time. I also know a lot of people who let their HS age kids go on spring break trips unchaperoned. Never happening with my kids, ever! :)