Sweet Valley High #8: Heart Breaker

The moral of the story: If you try to manipulate someone into loving you, you will get epically burned. And it will be awesome.

The Big Deal: Cast party at (where else?) Lila’s


At the end of the last book, Bill asked Liz out but Jessica went in her place. When Bill said he was in love with her, Jessica dropped the bombshell and insisted he was really in love with her. All of this is because Bill once turned her down when she asked him to a Sadie Hawkins dance. Her revenge is to make him fall in love with her and then, I don’t know, ignore him I guess.

Todd introduces Liz to his friend, Patsy Webber, who has been living in Paris since the end of freshman year but is now back in Sweet Valley to stay. Liz is instantly jealous, then instantly feels guilty for being jealous. Patsy, of course, looks like a model. Todd is actually upfront with Liz and tells her right away that he used to date Patsy but that it was long before he met Liz.

Liz tries to tell Bill that Jessica may not be right for him, but he doesn’t listen. We find out Bill used to be in love with another blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty, back when he lived in Santa Monica. Her name was Julianne and she died in a car accident. That’s why he turned Jessica down when she asked him out, he wasn’t ready to start dating again, especially not someone who looked just like his dead girlfriend.

While everyone is at the beach one day, Bill starts teaching DeeDee Gordon how to surf. Jessica doesn’t like that one bit so she interrupts and Bill can’t help but ignore DeeDee and fawn all over Jessica. Later, Patsy Webber shows up and she and Todd make Liz jealous when they go swimming together.

Jessica spends a lot of time cock-blocking DeeDee for no other reason than to keep Bill to herself, even though she doesn’t really like him. Liz spends a lot of time being jealous of Todd and Patsy but not saying anything to Todd about it. Todd spends a lot of time being an idiot (ain’t no way my man would be rubbing suntan oil on some other bridge’s back). Bill also spends a lot of time being an idiot, pushing aside his feelings for DeeDee because Jessica is the one he “really cares about.”

By the way, most of the plot centers around a school play. Bill and Jessica are playing the lead, DeeDee and Lila have bit parts, Patsy’s doing costumes. Because these kids are multi-talented. They can sing, they can dive, they can surf, they can act. Ugh. DeeDee’s father is some kind of Hollywood big shot and he’s come to see a rehearsal. DeeDee announces that her father is really impressed with one of the students (but of course he won’t tell her which one) and is bringing in some kind of scout or agent to see the play. Jessica assumes it’s her and suddenly doesn’t care about torturing Bill anymore. She heartlessly blows him off when he asks her to the cast party.

Later, while surfing with DeeDee and engrossed in his misery over Jessica, Bill nearly fails to notice that DeeDee is drowning. He gets her onto the beach and it’s when she’s all half dead and blue that he notices how pretty she is. Weird. Anyway, he saves her and they kiss and it’s all awesome.

It turns out it was Bill DeeDee’s father had been so impressed with. When Jessica finds out she’s determined to make him hers. He turns her down at Lila’s cast party. HA! Epic burn. Todd finally corners Liz and tells her there’s nothing going on with him and Patsy. Liz believes him and feels like “such a dope” and everything is fine. Patsy actually ends up dancing with Tom McKay, Jessica’s original date, all night. All’s well that ends well.

The blurb at the end for the next book has it titled “Love on the Run” instead of “Racing Hearts.” What’s that all about?


“Remember, Liz, I only went out with him in the first place to save your skin. You were out with Bruce, if I recall.”

Elizabeth groaned. “Ugh, don’t remind me!”

Right, that’s just how I’d react to someone bringing up the night I was almost raped.

DeeDee was torn between wanting to melt under the table and wanting to stab Jessica with her fork.

Do it! Do it! I would totally pay to see someone actually stand up to Jessica.

Elizabeth was struck, as she often was, by how athletic her father looked for someone who spent so much of his time at a desk poring over legal briefs. He was tall enough to be a basketball player, with the densely muscled trimness of a swimmer or track star.

Quit checking out your dad, Liz. It’s weird.

“Did you hear about DeeDee coming in third in the surfing championship this morning?”

Um, DeeDee’s been learning to surf for, like, three weeks. How did she pull off placing in a championship?

Jessica and the Number 137:

“Oh, Bill, it’ll take me a hundred and thirty-seven years to learn all this….” p. 32

The Cover:

Okay, they both look at least thirty. Bill looks like he’s doing that “point to the beach” thing guys do to flex their muscles. Jessica’s arm looks oddly disjointed, kind of like this:


Tags: , ,

  • R. G. Quimby March 23, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Now I know that the best way to get a guy’s attention is to almost drown. Thank you, Shannon and Francine Pascal!

    Also… does anybody think that Bill looks like Billy Zabka (the bad guy from the Karate Kid)? Maybe it’s just me, like I’m generalizing all the Nordic-looking guys from the 80s or something.


    Shannon Reply:

    You’re welcome. It’s something every girl should know.

    He totally does look like that guy! I half expected him to do some karate moves on Jessica, but I was sorely disappointed.


  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Bill Chase is JOHNNY LAWRENCE from the first Karate Kid movie! Johnny of the floppy golden fringe, tanned muscles and athletic ability. The resemblance is uncanny! Too bad Bill is such a pushover for most of the book – he could do with some of Johnny’s innate arrogance. How else will he stand up to Jessica?

    His rescuing Dee Dee was very dramatic. And he wasn’t even acting! 🙂


  • sarah April 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    oooh I had this book too. Good one, DeeDee.


  • LadyJ3000 April 19, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Patsy danced with Tom McKay all night hmm. Something tells me she struck out that night.


    Anonymous Reply:

    They say in number 30 that the last person Tom dated was Jessica. I always wonder what happened to Patsy?


  • mystic lover July 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Here’s what I don;t get in Sweet valley Kids and Sweet Valley Twins Todd clearly knew the twins,but in Sweet Valley High were supposed to believe they never knew each other,so which one is it did they or didn’t they? there is no contuinity in these books .I mean how hard is it to say Todd knew the twins since second grade


    Carol Reply:

    Sweet Valley Kids and Twins books were done AFTER Sweet Valley High. I guess when SVH became popular they decided to do the Kids & Twins series…


  • Kylie90210 July 19, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Oh, Bill noticing DeeDee when she was half dead freaked me out! I remember reading some mini book thing about Bill and Julianne in the back of a book?


  • Anonymous July 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Guys, I have found the Wakefields’ weakness… they are SHORT! Because when Liz is lamenting how perfect Patsy seems, she notes that Patsy is the perfect height for Todd, while she gets a crick in her neck from trying to look up at him all the time. HA!


    Carol Reply:



  • sandra who is too lazy to log in August 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    seriously, jessica’s face is in some guy’s sweaty armpit! what’s next, she makes a perfume out of their gym shorts?


  • severina November 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Gahhh what was up with guys wearing sleeveless t-shirts in the 80’s? How was that better looking than a tank top? I got the weirdest flashback to high school from that cover.


  • Kanna-Chan February 4, 2013 at 4:32 am

    The twins have the weirdest shaped noses I’ve ever seen. Seriously, they need to get a nosejob.


  • Nikki July 7, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    “He turns her down at Lila’s cast party. HA! Epic burn.”

    Karma is real, even in Sweet Valley.

    “Do it! Do it! I would totally pay to see someone actually stand up to Jessica.”



  • Dane Youssef May 8, 2017 at 1:13 am

    We can go ahead and count down the seconds until Todd starts fooling around with Patsy Webber and both Liz and Jess start having it with Bill at around the same time… Go figure… Shit.

    –Sincere, DANE R. YOUSSEF


  • Post a comment

    Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.