Sweet Valley High #15: Promises

The moral of the story: If you’re a hardcore slutty drug addict, one week with the Wakefields will cure you. You will get accepted to art school and become a productive member of society.

The Big Deal: Barbecue for Betsy at the Wakefields’ house

Synopsis:

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.

Ha! I do so love Roseanne.

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.

Quotes:

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.

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Comments
  • Kitten Whitman April 19, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Also, wouldn’t Crunch McAllister still be in jail being that he put Liz in a freaking coma eight books ago? Ah, Sweey Valleyan continuity!

    [Reply]

    Darren Reply:

    Yeah, but since Elizabeth didn’t die, the attorney Crunch got, courtesy of Eric Raymond, got the charges dropped. I was surprised Cashman also dropped out and became an A hole too like Crunch. Too bad STeven got his butt kicked from Charlie, ugh!

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  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 8:51 am

    This book drained me – it was just too full of really bad emotions! I couldn’t “bond” to Betsy at all, the way she was portrayed; and I remember actually crying almost from the first page because of Tricia’s melodramatic dying scene! I don’t even remember Jess’ antics with Neil Freemount, only that she tried her hardest to destroy Betsy. Scary! :O

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  • Anonymous October 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Laughing so hard at how Todd goes on a double date with Liz, Nick, and Regina. Of course he forgives Nick for trying to steal Liz! Nobody holds a grudge in Sweet Valley. Both Jess and Liz forgave Bruce for being a douche and trying to feel them up, remember? And Robin and Annie both forgave PBA and the entire cheerleading squad for tormenting them and driving them to near suicide, right?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    That’s right, no grudges or post-traumatic stress syndrome in Sweet Valley!

    [Reply]

  • messigirl May 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    arent charlie cashman and cruch mcallister (who i think was jerry mcallister) part of the sweet valley twins series?!?! they were “troublemakers” ?? thissss is what they turned into?!?!?!

    [Reply]

  • Kylie90210 August 2, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Agh, Betsy looks so lame on the cover, not bad ass at all! And she was soo annoying!

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  • SarieB September 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I agree that Besty is fugly. And why is her head the same shape as an egg?

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  • Katie December 5, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Seriously, my grandmother rocks that Peter-Pan-collar and hairstyle combo that Betsy’s sporting. Although my grandma is definitely the type to knock back a few gin and tonics at the Shady Lady, so maybe it works.

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  • caligirl76 October 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I can’t believe The Shady Lady bar is across the street from The Dairi Burger lol

    I love the beginning of the book and then Betsy just got on my nerves lol

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  • Kanna-Chan February 4, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Jessica has no business calling anyone “the worst girl in town” when she wants to screw everything with testosterone she meets. Only difference is she hasn’t been called out on yet.

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  • Ladytuku December 10, 2013 at 11:18 am

    you are only a whore if you “sleep with” two guys on the same date

    [Reply]

  • Selena June 9, 2015 at 10:05 am

    “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.”

    Honestly, the twins look so old and weird on all the covers- it never matched up with how I imagined them, and going by the covers, they definitely aren’t the prettiest. They’ve got some kind of 50s mom vibe going on.

    Of course, one doesn’t have to be gorgeous to be a slut puppy and have guys dying to get with them. A rep for putting out is pretty much a guarantee that the kind of guys that were interested in Betsy will want to hook up. And the stoner look probably actually helped that along- “Hey, I’m a sleaze, but she’s too whacked out to realize it or care! It’s my lucky night!”

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef September 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    If they dealt with this thing–this entire ordeal more like “Trainspotting” and “Less Than Zero” (I mean the GOOD parts of the latter picture) and less like “Saved By The Bell”… doesn’t something like drug addiction deserve a little more… commitment? Sincerity?

    “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.” –Shannon

    Well, I imagine Todd is forced to take it all with a grain of salt. Infidelity is more natural than the sun, rain and air in “The Valley.” You must have to “grin and bear it” in the town of sunny soap-opera scandals. Suck it up and look foreword to YOUR TURN at playing “musical beds.”

    –Sincere As Always, Dane Youssef

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef September 28, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Weird… I imagine being around the Wakefileds would INSPIRE one to jump face-first into drug addiction.

    Or… even more so.

    –Sincerely Sincere, Dane Youssef

    [Reply]

  • Kim January 6, 2016 at 5:41 am

    “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.”

    She’s so damn overdramatic.

    “Well, I guess Jessica would know, considering how many times she’s promised to change her bitchy ways.”

    I’m really starting to wonder why I ever even liked this character. I think back in the day I thought her antics were cute, but now, no. She’s a horrible excuse for a human being.

    “Jessica appears to be on a date with two guys. And Betsy is the whore?”

    It’s Annie Whitman all over again. Jessica lives in her own little world. The rules are simple: 1) She must always be the center of attention 2)All guys must worship her and 3) No other girl is allowed to have more boyfriends, dates, male attention, etc. than Jessica or she slut shames them to pieces.

    [Reply]

  • hippiegeekgirl January 26, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Just found this blog and have been laughing my ass off. I can’t believe I used to love this crap!

    [Reply]

  • Jenna October 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Dane, nobody calls Sweet Valley, “the valley.” Stop trying to make “the valley” happen.

    Couldn’t resist the mean girls references,
    Jenna

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef May 7, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    It can happen. “Fetch” actually did happen thanks to MEAN GIRLS. Come on, give it a chance. Like “Everything and a Kite…” Well, THAT still has yet to catch on… But still…

    –All the Best, DANE R. YOUSSEF

    [Reply]

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