Sweet Valley High #15: Promises
The Big Deal: Barbecue for Betsy at the Wakefields’ house
Steven’s girlfriend, Tricia Martin, dies of leukemia and it’s really very sad. The Wakefields are all at the hospital to say their goodbyes, but Tricia’s own family isn’t there. Tricia’s last wish is for Steven to look after her sister Betsy. The Wakefields are leaving the hospital when Betsy finally shows up and hears the bad news. Betsy, feeling guilty that she’d been out drinking and drugging it up while her sister was dying, promises to herself that she’s going to change. Since her father is nowhere to be found, Ned and Alice decide they’re taking Betsy back to their house.
At school the next day, Liz’s friends are all concerned for her, as though she and Tricia were best friends, even though I can only recall one time when they actually spoke to each other. Elizabeth realizes she has great friends and poor Betsy doesn’t and she vows to be someone Betsy can count on. When she gets home that day, she finds Betsy drawing in the study. Apparently she’s quite talented. Liz gets her to open up about her artwork and they bond.
Mr. Martin never shows up at Tricia’s funeral because he’s a drunken bastard. On the way out of the cemetery, Betsy demands Steven take her to Kelly’s Roadhouse, a crappy bar where I guess all of Sweet Valley’s scum hangs out. Steven refuses and proclaims the Wakefield house is now Betsy’s home. Jessica does not like that one bit. When she tells Lila and Cara that Betsy’s moving in, they feel all sorry for her. It reminds me of that episode of Roseanne where Jackie opens up to her friends about the terrible mistake she made sleeping with Arnie and everyone feels sorry for Roseanne instead.
Anyway, Lila and Cara suggest Jessica go through Betsy’s things and find something to incriminate her so Ned and Alice will kick her out. Jessica can’t find anything. She looks through Betsy’s sketchbook and finds a drawing of Steven drawn with “love and care.” From this, she concludes that Betsy is in love with Steven. For some reason, this is the worst thing that could happen in Jessica’s life.
Friday night at the Beach Disco is shaping up to be a super fun time until Steven shows up with Betsy. Jason Stone, a friend of Steven’s, introduces himself to Betsy and she’s all distant and bitchy. Steve suggests she take an art class Jason teaches. She agrees, but when Jason tries to shake her hand she freaks out, saying she’s “not like that anymore.” Jeez, Betsy, settle down. She freaks out even more the next day when Jason asks her out after class. Jason comes by the next morning to bring Betsy her sketchbook, which she’d left at class. He tells her about a talent search being conducted by the Los Angeles Academy of Fine Arts. Betsy’s interested until Jason offers to help her pick out some sketches for her portfolio, at which point she freaks out again, claiming he only wanted a night alone with her, and runs off. Seriously, she’s starting to annoy the crap out of me. You are not that hot, bitch. Steven, Jason and Elizabeth decide to go ahead and enter the contest for Betsy since she’s too stupid and full of herself to do it.
Betsy’s father shows up the next day and Betsy doesn’t know what to do so she calls Steve, who drives all the way back from college to comfort her. Ned has a talk with him and Jessica overhears Steve say he promised Tricia he’d look out for Betsy. When Jessica “accidentally” mentions the promise to Betsy, she gets all worked up and packs her bags and leaves. Steven and Jason find her at the Shady Lady getting drunk with Charlie Cashman and Crunch McAllister. There’s a bit of a brawl and Jason wins. Our heroes rescue their damsel and tell her their big news: she’s been accepted into art school. The Wakefields have a barbecue to celebrate.
Setup for the next book: Roger Barrett’s mother has a heart attack. They don’t think she’s going to make it. Bruce Patman’s father offers to pay all her medical expenses and nobody can figure out why. Lila gets Cara to ask Bruce about it (she can’t, as their families are feuding again at the moment) and Bruce says it’s because Roger’s mom used to work for Patman Canning. Roger’s mother dies and the truth comes out: Roger is Bruce’s cousin and is now the richest boy in Sweet Valley.
Jessica eyed Betsy suspiciously. One of the worst girls in town resolving to turn over a new leaf? Jessica found it impossible to believe that Betsy Martin would ever be anything but bad news.
Well, I guess Jessica would know, considering how many times she’s promised to change her bitchy ways.
“Todd and I are meeting Nicholas and Regina at the Box Tree Café.”
If I were Todd, I would so not be going on weird double dates with the guy who tried to steal my girlfriend and that guy’s sister.
Jessica’s laughter flooded the night air as she approached the lights of the Beach Disco, soccer team co-captain Aaron Dallas on one arm, Neil Freemount, Sweet Valley High’s newest heartthrob, on the other.
1. Laughter does not flood anything, not even the night air in Sweet Valley. Ugh.
2. Who is Neil Freemount and why haven’t we heard of him? Is he a new heartthrob in the way that Robin Wilson is a new heartthrob, as in he used to be ugly? Or is he a new guy? And why haven’t we been subjected to pages and pages of Jessica vowing to make him hers?
3. Jessica appears to be on a date with two guys. And Betsy is the whore?
The Cover: Like, I get that Liz and Jess need to be the prettiest, but if I’m to believe that other girls get any action at all, let alone have boys dying to get with them, they need to be at least a little pretty. Betsy is not. I do like how she looks completely stoned, though.