Sweet Valley High #12: When Love Dies

The moral of the story: Sometimes it’s okay to break a promise. Let’s just hope Liz remembers that.

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?

The Cover:

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?

Tags: ,

  • FG March 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    LOL holy crap, I laughed so hard at this I nearly cried. This is freaking awesome!


  • katherine March 21, 2009 at 10:08 pm



  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I take back what I’d said in a later post about Enid having the worst hair. She doesn’t – poor Tricia does! 😛 Actually, this is a pretty awful cover for a lot of reasons (of which HAIR is mainly a factor), and Tricia is dressed inappropriately in Victorian England fashion not seen since before Jane Austen’s era (circa pre 1811-1820 AD). I don’t relish speaking poorly of those who have passed, but Tricia already looks, um, like she’s passed in the picture. It’s why I’m creeped out and supportive of Cara’s future consolation of Steven in the books to come. 🙂


  • Karla January 21, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I like Tricia’s shirt. Did she steal that from Liz in the last book?


  • dirtywingsgirl January 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    “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.”

    That is the dumbest conclusion EVER. Liz is the smart Wakefield?!

    Hahaha. The cover of this is gold. It looks like some sort of time-travel romance…”split by a century, a young lady from Victorian times falls in love with a tennis player from the 80s. Through the static electricity contained in her giant curly beehive, the lovers find a way to communicate, and vow to bridge the distance between them”.


  • S.R. February 12, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    LOL, dirtywingsgirl, I like your interpretation of the cover!


  • thea March 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    ah the ’80’s don’t u miss the crappy perms, big hair and awful, too bright, too colorful, either way to tight or way to loose mismatched clothes?


  • Lauren June 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Perfect little Elizabeth actually made a HIPAA violation by disclosing medical information without consent. You don’t need to be a doctor to adhere to privacy rights, tsk!


  • Kylie90210 July 19, 2010 at 1:21 am

    This really is the worst cover ever. Agh. Tricia would so not fit in at her house! I imagine Betsy as kind of trashy looking… And prim and poroper Tricia would stand out like a sore thumb.


  • Kylie90210 July 19, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Wait, does Tricia die in this book?


  • Anonymous January 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    WTF with Tricia looking like a Mennonite Schoolmar? And WTF with the quotes in that book “Tricia didn’t need perfume. The scent of her dair and skin was nauturally sweet”! OH BARF!


  • Mari September 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I like this book. It was interesting and a depth! 3 thumbs up!!!


  • thepixiechick July 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I just discovered your blog and have been LOLing at it all week. Trying to pace myself so I don’t read it all at once! I was a SVH tragic at the age of 11, so much so, that I attempted to read the SV Confidential, but it was so terrible that I failed to finish it. I am finding your recaps hilarious, thanks for saving me the time of reading the latest instalments!
    Anyway on to this one, oh the cover art is so, so bad. Even the background colour is awful. And that hair – why, Oh God why?


  • Gia January 8, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Hey isn’t that Liz’s shirt from the last book???? Nothing better than the Wakefield Twins hand me down when you are from the “poorer part of town.”

    Best outfit: Liz – her favorite velvet skirt and a high-necked lace Victorian blouse. (SVH #11 Too Good To Be True)


  • Lady_Diablo July 13, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Why does Tricia look like an Amish school marm?


  • Kjata1013 October 28, 2016 at 2:42 am

    I’m mad I’ve only just now discovered this site. You are on point! Anyhoo this was the first book to make me cry. Reading this series 25 years after I initially did I can’t get over how cheesy it is and how much of a vapid bitch jess and crew are. Blech.


  • Post a comment

    Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.