Sweet Valley High #17: Love Letters

The moral of the story: Sweet Valley is the best place to live EVAR! Also, being friends with Elizabeth means never having to tell the truth, at least not until her morality rubs off on you and you decide to out yourself anyway.

The Big Deal: Party at Lila’s

Synopsis:

Caroline Pearce has invented a boyfriend for herself. His name is Adam and he writes her love letters. Caroline can’t understand why nobody wants to be her friend (it’s because you gossip about everyone, you nosy bitch) but as soon as she starts talking about Adam people start being friendly to her. Caroline has a sister, Anita, who goes to Sweet Valley College (which is apparently only five miles away). Anita is kind of a bitch. In the Wakefields’ driveway, Caroline finds a photocopy of a letter in some spilled trash. It’s from Alice Wakefield to some company in San Francisco. Very mysterious. Caroline goes off to the beach and finds Jessica there. They have an argument and Caroline spitefully shows her the letter. It concerns a job offer Alice is thinking of taking, which would involve moving the family to San Francisco.

Jessica confronts her mother over dinner that night and there’s a big fight and everyone throws their napkins on the table to show how upset they are (except Liz, who folds hers neatly before going upstairs). Later, Liz goes out with Todd, Roger and Olivia. They run into Caroline at the Dairi Burger and Caroline blabs the news about the possibility of the Wakefields moving. She really sucks. Caroline goes to the library the next day to take out a book of Robert Browning’s letters. She’s been copying them and using them as her letters from “Adam.” Meanwhile, Liz is writing a play about Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. Gee, I wonder how this will play out? Caroline tells her sister about Adam and suddenly her sister cares about her and offers to give her a makeover.

Jessica and Elizabeth decide to send dozens of brochures and pamphlets to their parents about how terrific Sweet Valley is and start telling them how awful it would be to live in San Francisco. After treating their parents to a meal of gourmet takeout from all the best restaurants in Sweet Valley, Liz reads her play to the family. In the play, Liz quotes from some of Robert Browning’s letters and Jessica realizes they’ve all been tricked by Caroline. She and Lila tell Caroline they’re planning a party and Adam will be the guest of honor.

Jessica makes sure Liz finds out Caroline’s letters are fake and Caroline confesses to Liz that she made Adam up. She begs her not to read her play for the competition because then everyone would know. And Liz actually considers it. Stupid. Caroline confesses to her sister, too. Anita gives her a long talk about how to make friends, and Caroline decides her days of spreading gossip are over.

Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield decide not to leave Sweet Valley. Liz wins the playwriting competition. Todd digs up a friend, Jerry, from out of town to pretend to be Adam for Lila’s party. Caroline feels bad about it and tells everyone the truth anyway. Jerry falls for Caroline and they vow to write to each other. Aww.

Setup for the next book: Regina and Bruce are getting friendly.

Quotes:

Anita thought the Wakefields were the nicest girls in Caroline’s class. She was always pushing Caroline to get to know the twins better.

The twins are so amazing, even college kids we’ve never heard of love them.

“Oh, Liz. I know what everyone says about Bruce. But it’s just not true! He’s incredibly nice to me, and so considerate.”

That sounds like Bruce, Elizabeth thought. Or at least it sounds like Bruce on the make. Once he gets what he wants from Regina, he’ll drop her.

But Elizabeth didn’t want to disillusion Regina. “I’m glad if you’re glad,” she said, trying to sound happier than she felt.

Did I imagine Bruce attempting to rape Elizabeth? It did really happen, right? And she’s not even going to warn this sweet girl about him? What a bitch.

Jessica and the Number 137:

None. Has she outgrown this hyperbole? Should I take this section out?

The Cover: I hate Caroline Pearce, from her weird mullety bangs to her buttoned-all-the-way-up shirt. I hate Liz’s barrettes too.

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Comments
  • Whitney G March 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Is it wrong that I still find Bruce Patman irresistibly sexy even after he tried to rape Liz? Don’t answer that. Just let me enjoy my lust for a fictional high school boy from the ’80s.

    Can you imagine the Wakefields in San Francisco? Liz would become a bohemian writer dabbling in lesbianism, and Jessica would probably work at the Lusty Lady.

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  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 8:35 am

    When I was in high school and yearned for a boy to love me, who I could love back, I never had the imagination (or spunk) to write love letters to myself! Caroline doesn’t get enough kudos for finding this creative and inventive way to ease her loneliness. But why not choose a more modern poet to plagiarise – why Robert Browning? The fake letters don’t sound as if they could be typed by just any normal boy, no matter how romantic he thinks he is! 🙂 Jerry Fisher sounds like a decent guy – I liked how he turned down Lila’s offer to dance. Not just anyone in Sweet Valley can do that! Luckily, he comes from another town and goes to another school!

    I also like how Jess uses suntan oil to cook herself hotter, faster under naked UV rays on the beach. We weren’t very sun-smart in the 80s were we? 🙂

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  • Sandy July 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Lol. Reminds me of my bff in high school who put a guy’s name on her mum because she didn’t have a date. And I kept her secret…..from everyone except my boyfriend at the time. Ha ha.

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  • dirtywingsgirl January 31, 2010 at 1:44 am

    “Anita thought the Wakefields were the nicest girls in Caroline’s class. She was always pushing Caroline to get to know the twins better.”
    I’m laughing so hard. Elizabeth, maybe (on the surface). But Jessica? Even at this early point in the series, Jessica has caused so, so much evil drama.

    “Did I imagine Bruce attempting to rape Elizabeth? It did really happen, right? And she’s not even going to warn this sweet girl about him? What a bitch.”
    It’s so weird. Until “Don’t Go Home with John”, all these attempted-rapes seemed to go unnamed and just passed off as ‘he tried to get more than she wanted to give. It was a shame, but it was totally normal, and she was right not to go to the police! Besides, he had a heart of gold 10 books later”. Jeez. Call it what it is, ghostwriters! Epic FAIL on the self-esteem building for girls.

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  • Anonymous February 18, 2010 at 2:44 am

    The Cover: I’m with you on Liz’s barrettes. Plus, isn’t this the girl who is always described as wearing her hair in a ponytail?

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    Shannon Reply:

    Yeah, she’s always described as having a ponytail, but I don’t think she has one on any of the covers.

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  • Kylie90210 August 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I so can’t stand Caroline. I kind of wish though, that Adam turned out to be real… Like Geroge Glass in the Brady Bunch movie 😉

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  • Kanna-Chan February 4, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Liz’s nose looks halfway decent for once.

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  • Nirvana April 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I think I hate Caroline even more than I hate Liz. At least Liz doesn’t make up a boyfriend. Then again, she has TODD. Wonderful Todd with whom she breaks up with at least once a month.

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  • Leslie October 28, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I love and hated this book. I get Caroline just wanted to be liked but damn girl there is a reason nobody likes you!! Also I like how Regina feels EVERYBODY is lying about Bruce. I mean I could understand if one or two people warned her about Bruce but EVERYBODY is lying. She doesn’t even KNOW him and feels like she knows him better than everybody else who went to school with him LONGER then she has.

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  • Gia January 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Whitney G
    Is it wrong that I still find Bruce Patman irresistibly sexy even after he tried to rape Liz? Don’t answer that. Just let me enjoy my lust for a fictional high school boy from the ’80s.
    Can you imagine the Wakefields in San Francisco? Liz would become a bohemian writer dabbling in lesbianism, and Jessica would probably work at the Lusty Lady.

    Hahaha I can sssssooooooooooo Picture the twins ending up just like this. Would of made a better Sweet Valley Confidential for sure!

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  • Nikki July 8, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I remember not liking Caroline at all. I thought she was annoying.

    “Anita thought the Wakefield’s were the nicest girls in Caroline’s class. She was always pushing Caroline to get to know the twins better.”

    More Wakefield ass kissing, cause what SVH book would be complete w/o it. But is everyone just projecting their love and idolization of Liz onto both twins? Cause Jessica was anything but one of “the nicest girls”.

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  • Abby October 23, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    I know its very late since last post but I just found this site and I am almost broken with laughter.

    Anita is Jess Team, no wonder. A couple of books before Jessica was dating Anita’s ex boyfriend, and then she made possible they came back together. That’s why.

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