Sweet Valley High #14: Deceptions

The moral of the story: Two good morals, actually. 1.) It’s best to be open with your boyfriend about any dates you may feel the need to go on with other boys, and 2.) don’t try to hack into the school’s computer system because it could be a crime. We’re not for sure on that, but it definitely could be.

The Big Deal: This book starts where the last one left off, at the I-Just-Got-Kidnapped party. Later, there is a party at Cara’s house.

Synopsis:

At the Party that Spans Three Chapters, Elizabeth finally meets Nicholas Morrow, the new guy in town Jessica has been raving about. Nicholas instantly falls in love with Liz. Why? I don’t get it. It’s love at first sight, but since he’s already met Jessica I don’t understand why he’s not in love with her too. Whatever. Nicholas is a jackass, in my opinion, and keeps Liz away from Todd during the party and keeps hounding her about going out with him, claiming it’s not fair for her to turn him down since she doesn’t even know him. Liz is an idiot so she agrees to a date. She goes to find Todd to tell him about it and finds him sulking about how much she’s been ignoring him and hanging on Nicholas all night. Liz, seeing how jealous Todd is of Nicholas already, doesn’t even consider calling off the date. Instead, she just decides now isn’t the time to tell Todd about it.

Meanwhile, Jessica is flirting with Randy Mason, resident computer nerd, in the hopes she’ll get him to teach her about computers and give her an edge with Nicholas. She acts like a dumb blonde (ugh) and I guess Randy likes that because he fawns all over her and does whatever she wants. This is totally unbelievable to me, because in my experience smart guys like smart girls, not dumb ones. Anyway, a few days later, she goes to his house and he teaches her how to “run a program” on the computer and is all impressed when she can do it on the first try.

The twins run into Nicholas at the mall and Jessica is convinced he’s in love with her even though he does little more than say hello. Later, Liz and Nicholas decide to meet at Cote d’Or, a fancy restaurant about an hour outside Sweet Valley. Liz still hasn’t told Todd about the date and it’s eating her up, so she calls Enid for advice. Enid, so wise, tells her she’ll have to go on the date (because she promised!) but that she has to tell Todd.

Jessica convinces Randy to hack into the school’s brand new computer and change her math grade. He does so because men are powerless in the face of Jessica Wakefield’s feminine wiles. Later that night, Randy calls to tell Jessica he’s turning himself in, but tells Liz instead because he thinks she’s Jess. Liz drags Jessica down to the school to confess her own part in it. Mr. Cooper wants to suspend Randy and Jessica, but doesn’t. Wanna know why? Because Elizabeth asks him not to. Honestly.

Finally, it’s date night for Liz and Nicholas. They have a wonderful evening and everything is fine until Todd and his family show up. Panicking, Liz pretends to be Jessica. When Todd gets home he’s still confused by his encounter with “Jessica” so he races over to the Wakefields’ house. Jessica answers the door and Todd kisses her before finding out she’s not Liz. He’s 0 for 2 tonight. He tells Jessica about Liz’s date with Nicholas and pretty soon the two of them are fuming. Todd decides it’s over between him and Liz. Yeah, yeah, heard that one before. After Jessica gets Liz to confess later that night, she forgives her because she really doesn’t like Nicholas that much anymore anyway.

Big basketball game the next night. Todd’s really frakking things up out there because he’s so upset over Liz. Then Nicholas has a talk with him in the locker room and tells him Liz only has eyes for her brown-haired, brown-eyed basketball star. Upon hearing this, Todd gets his ball playing mojo back and goes out to win the game. Apparently there are no other players on the team. Liz and Todd get back together and go to a post-game party at Cara’s house (on a Monday night?), where Todd lets Liz dance with Nicholas. Aw, cute.

Quotes:

Jessica halfheartedly started putting things away in the kitchen.

Just wondering if there’s any other way to do this. What would it look like to wholeheartedly put things away in the kitchen?

“But that’s not a crime…Is it?” she whispered.

“It could be!” Mr. Cooper’s tone sent chills racing up and down her spine.

Oh, Chrome Dome, way to put the fear into those kids!

“Nicholas begged me to. He wanted me to get to know him. I felt I owed him that.”

Liz’s motivation through this whole book makes me sick. She promises a complete stranger she’ll go out with him, and keeping that promise is apparently more important than making sure her sister and boyfriend don’t get hurt. Ugh, zark off, Liz, you and your integrity.

Jessica and the Number 137:

“You know…there must be a hundred and thirty-seven people waiting to meet you.” p. 13

“If I don’t pass, my parents will ground me for a hundred and thirty-seven years.” p. 62

“Enid Rollins is about one hundred and thirty-seven different kinds of nerd.” p. 90

Liz (as Jessica): “Wait until I tell Elizabeth. Then you’ll be in trouble. About a hundred and thirty-seven different kinds.” p. 101

The Cover: Nicholas is pretty handsome with his floppy hair, but damn, Liz looks rough! And I can’t figure out what she’s doing with her hand there. It looks like, “Who, me, go out with another boy when I’m completely in love with my wonderful Todd? Why, I’d never do such a thing!” Lies, all lies.

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Comments
  • HelenB March 23, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Mr. Cooper wants to suspend Randy and Jessica, but doesn’t. Know why? Because Elizabeth asks him not to.

    I am seriously considering changing my last name to Wakefield.

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  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Liz is NOT nice in this story. She’s confused, and her morals and values and sense of integrity is all over the place – and she has no excuse this time (unlike her motorcycle accident where she got hit on the head – #7 Dear Sister)!

    I hope I don’t sound like a complete loser, Shannon, but I think I have a clue (that I made up myself) why Nick falls for Liz, and not Jess. It’s because Nick senses Liz is swimming in the deep(er) end of the pool, while Jessica’s just wading in the shallow end, not making any effort at all to, you know, get under the surface of things. All decent guys who respect girls want a blonde with brains and a heart. 😉 But his attentions throws Liz off her moral compass / bearings and she’s a little lost at sea when it comes to her loyalties and affections.

    I’m doing the hardest sell I have ever done for Liz, and I hope people are buying it. But it’s fair enough at the end of the day to say that maybe Liz and Jess are more identical than at first glance (ie they’re both control-freaky and manipulative). 🙂

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  • dirtywingsgirl January 30, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    “What would it look like to wholeheartedly put things away in the kitchen?”
    Watch Liz and find out!

    “But it’s fair enough at the end of the day to say that maybe Liz and Jess are more identical than at first glance (ie they’re both control-freaky and manipulative).”
    They’re both Geminis! One of their traits is “two-faced” :-O
    But seriously, Liz is kind of whack. At least Jessica is upfront about her bitchiness. Liz is all “ooh, I used to live in Africa with all the little birdies and all the little monkeys!”.

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  • Darren June 14, 2010 at 3:42 am

    And thanks to Nicholas, Todd morphed into Kobe Bryant and SAVED his school! Well, he could’ve, you never know!

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  • Kylie90210 August 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I hate Liz’s ‘rationalisation’. No guy other than Todd woiuld be stupid enough to forgive this. If you have a boyfriend, you say no to dates with other guys. Simple.

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  • Erica May 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Team Liz here!

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  • thepixiechick July 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    For some reason I remember loving this book as a kid, maybe it seemed to be a return to normality after the shark-jumping of the kidnapping episode. I still struggle to understand why the behaviour of basically everyone didn’t seem stranger to me at the time… but I guess I didn’t know any better.

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  • Krista November 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Haha, I’m so far behind on this, but what strikes me, as an adult, is how Liz, who just returned from BEING KIDNAPPED by a crazy stranger, immediately allows herself to get bullied into a date with total stranger, and isn’t the least bit freaked out about how pushy he is. Oh, right, he’s handsome, so it must be ok! LOL

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  • Dane Youssef September 28, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I guess this is when the whole Liz-and-Todd infidelity thing first started. This is “the birth cry” of it all, isn’t it? A hallmark moment in literary history, to be sure. I’ll bet “Valley” figurehead Francine knew she had a winner here.

    [b][i]”Nicholas is pretty handsome with his floppy hair, but damn, Liz looks rough! And I can’t figure out what she’s doing with her hand there. It looks like, “Who, me, go out with another boy when I’m completely in love with my wonderful Todd? Why, I’d never do such a thing!” Lies, all lies.”[/b][/i] –Shannon

    As always, Shannon nails it so hard, it actually physically hurts.

    –Sincere As Can Be, Dane Youssef

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  • Kim January 6, 2016 at 5:14 am

    “Nicholas instantly falls in love with Liz. Why? I don’t get it. It’s love at first sight, but since he’s already met Jessica I don’t understand why he’s not in love with her too.”

    I’ll never understand the whole falling head over heels in love at first sight for one twin and feeling no attraction to the other when they are physically identical.

    “Mr. Cooper wants to suspend Randy and Jessica, but doesn’t. Wanna know why? Because Elizabeth asks him not to. Honestly.”

    Man, my girl Elizabeth got some serious power lol.

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  • Alex Kennedy February 28, 2017 at 8:01 am

    ^^^Of course Jessica does not get suspended or expelled. This is the World of Sweet Valley.

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  • anon May 12, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I liked the Liz, Nicholas connection, to me, he’s the type of guy she should end up with, definitely not a loser like Todd. I like Liz and Bruce too, if we can forget the attempted rape. Maybe I’ll write a fan fiction.

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