Sweet Valley High #12: When Love Dies
The Big Deal: Just a fake party at Cara’s house, which doesn’t count.
Steven and his girlfriend Tricia Martin are having problems. She’s breaking dates and not returning phone calls. Jessica couldn’t be happier because Tricia comes from “one of the trashiest families in Sweet Valley.” Jessica has come to this conclusion because Tricia’s dad is a drunk and her sister is a whore. I bet they live in an apartment too. Wait, no, they live in a “shabby frame house with peeling paint” in the “poorer section of town.”
Steven goes over there and demands to know what’s going on. Tricia breaks up with him and he storms out. After he’s gone, Tricia thinks to herself that it’s better this way. She has leukemia and the doctors have given her six months to live. Turns out her mother died of leukemia when Tricia was nine and that’s why Mr. Martin is an alcoholic. Tricia doesn’t want that to happen to Steven.
Jessica convinces Liz that the two of them should volunteer to be candy stripers to give their lives meaning. Really, she just found out that Jeremy Frank, a famous talk show host, has broken his leg and is currently staying at Fowler Memorial Hospital. On their first day, Jessica is assigned to the maternity ward, which she hates, and Elizabeth gets to meet Jeremy Frank. So unfair! When Jessica finally does meet Jeremy, she somehow manages to lose her balance, breaking her fall with Jeremy’s broken leg. Ouch! Liz sees Tricia looking haggard at the hospital. Instead of assuming the girl is sick, Liz wonders if she’s dating an orderly and that’s why she’s at the hospital and why she broke up with Steven.
When she’s not trying to meet television personalities, Jessica spends her time thinking of ways to get her brother interested in her friend Cara. One Friday night, Jessica tells Steven that Cara is having a party and wants him to come. At the party are the only people Cara could get on short notice: Lila and her date, a boy Jessica doesn’t recognize. Which is weird, right? I mean, where did this guy come from? It’s all mysterious, like, it’s mentioned a couple times that Jessica doesn’t know him, and then he’s never talked about again. Anyway, Steven kisses Cara in an attempt to get over Tricia. It doesn’t work.
Back at the hospital, Jessica walks in on Jeremy Frank getting a sponge bath and is so surprised she spills a pitcher of ice water on him. Ha ha ha. Liz knows she needs to come up with a plan to keep Jessica away from Jeremy. She decides the best course of action is to get Jeremy to pretend he’s interested in Jessica, because usually when that happens Jessica starts seeing the boy’s flaws and loses interest. I don’t think that will work when the man in question is rich and famous, but I’ll withhold judgment for now. As she’s scheming, Liz catches a creepy orderly staring at her and gets scared. She tells herself she’s being silly because “what could he possibly do to her?” Oh, just you wait, Liz. Just you wait…
Anyway, Liz is assigned to a patient and that patient happens to be…Tricia Martin! Tricia makes Liz promise she won’t tell anyone, especially Steve, that she has leukemia. Liz thinks it’s wrong not to tell him but promises anyway ’cause she’s a wuss like that. Ugh, I hate when Liz makes stupid promises and bends over backwards to keep them. Just break your word, already. She’s so torn about keeping the secret and she has to tell somebody, so she confides in Mr. Collins. The man makes her see reason and she tells Steve everything. Steven immediately goes to the Martins’ house to be with Tricia. It’s really very sad.
The plan to scare Jessica away from Jeremy works beautifully, ending with Jeremy asking Jessica to marry him and Jessica freaking out and running out of the room. It’s actually a pretty funny scene, though a little creepy, considering the guy is in his twenties and she’s only sixteen. The plan backfires, though, when Jessica starts thinking of all the benefits of being engaged to a celebrity. She goes to the hospital to tell Jeremy she accepts and he confesses the whole thing was a scheme to get her to cool off, though he nicely keeps Liz’s name out of it.
At the end of the book, Liz is kidnapped by that creepy orderly.
She thought of the time when they were really little and Jessica had talked her into climbing onto the roof of their house. Of course, Elizabeth was the one who slipped and nearly fell off.
Yep, sounds about right.
Jessica and the Number 137:
I couldn’t find one instance in this book. What the eff, Jessica?
Tricia: I’m sorry, Steven. I can’t allow you to see me in this wretched shirt. Please, go now.
Steve: What the hell is wrong with your hair?