Sweet Valley High #19: Showdown

The moral of the story: If you and your friend are fighting over a guy, just let your friend have him. He’d probably try to rob you at knifepoint anyway, and who needs that hassle?

The Big Deal: Party at Lila’s

Synopsis:

Lila’s having a party as an excuse to show off for her newest crush, Jack. As soon as Jessica sees him she decides she wants him for her own so she goes out of her way to be as slutty as possible and get him interested in her. When he says he’s just a construction worker Jessica backs off, but he later tells Lila he was born rich but wanted to strike out on his own. Lila is overjoyed that her crush isn’t just some manual laborer. She promises to keep his secret, but she can’t resist telling Cara. And Cara, of course, can’t resist telling everyone else. Jack meets Nicholas Morrow at the party. Nicholas thinks Jack looks familiar, which makes Jack uncomfortable.

Lila’s father is furious with her for throwing a party in his absence because all his gold cufflinks and tie clips have disappeared. Jessica is pissed that Jack actually made a date with Lila for Friday, but she gets over it when he asks her to go out with him Wednesday. Bruce’s father is feuding with Lila’s father again. Liz is crabby because she’s doing a ton of extra work for The Oracle while Penny Ayala is out with mono. Also, Liz doesn’t like Jack because she’s just got a funny feeling about him. (Liz is now a psychic and a do-gooder.) Jessica goes out with him anyway and thinks she’s in love, but then so does Lila. Jessica is pissed that he actually spent the weekend with Lila instead of just taking her out to be nice like she’d thought he would. She’s determined to make him forget all about Lila.

Jack shows up to take Jessica out again. Liz notices that his eyes are red and he seems out of it, but she’s satisfied with his explanation that he’d been swimming and the chlorine irritated his eyes. Liz is so vanilla. At the movie theater, Jessica wants to treat Jack to popcorn, but her wallet is missing from her purse. Hmm, things seem to disappear whenever Jack is around…

Meanwhile, someone has been leaving photographs at The Oracle office. Nobody knows who it is, but the pictures are great and Penny wants Liz to find out who the photographer is so she can put him or her on the newspaper staff. Liz is staying late at the office one night and finds out the “phantom photographer” is Penny’s freshman sister Tina. She begs Liz not to tell Penny because Penny’s the talented one and blah, blah, who fucking cares? This storyline’s only purpose is to get Liz to see a picture of Enid’s boyfriend George making out with Robin Wilson. This knowledge of course ruins her life for a few days because she can’t eat or sleep or enjoy dates with Todd while she’s worrying about her best friend. She decides to confront George and Robin at the airfield after they receive their pilot’s licenses (setup for the next book: George has a pilot’s license). She finds out George is planning on breaking up with Enid that night and Robin broke up with her boyfriend Allen that morning. Anyway…

Lila gets sick and has to cancel a date with Jack. She calls him on her powder blue princess phone.

Her phone kind of gets mentioned a lot in this book. Jack calls Jessica and tells her he broke up with Lila and wants to take her out. They go to Guido’s (best pizza in California – maybe even the whole country!) and Jack kind of freaks out when Nicholas Morrow comes in with David, a friend from back home. Jack and Jessica leave and Nicholas and David start talking. They realize Jack went to prep school with them. He robbed a girl at knifepoint and got expelled. Knowing Jessica might be in danger, they find Liz and the three of them go searching for where Jessica and Jack might have gone. Liz resorts to calling Lila to get Jack’s address and ends up telling her Jessica and Jack have been seeing each other and that Jack is a piece of crap anyway.

At Jack’s apartment, Jessica goes snooping under the bathroom sink and finds a box full of drugs, “all kinds of drugs.” She takes it into the living room to confront Jack and finds him looking through her bag. She yells at him and he starts strangling her. Just as he tells her he has to make sure she “won’t talk,” Liz, Nicholas and David show up and break down the door and save the day.

Quotes:

“I didn’t know Robin could write like this.”

“She used to write all the time,” Elizabeth explained, “before she lost all that weight. Remember? When she was the butt of everyone’s jokes instead of the girl all the boys want to date?”

Penny nodded her head.

“She used to write because she needed some kind of outlet, a bit of comfort,” Elizabeth continued. “Then when her life did that turnaround and she got onto the cheering squad and everything, she gave it up. I’m trying to encourage her to start again.”

Where in the hell did this come from? I guess only overweight people can write? Also, Liz, way to not let anyone forget that Robin used to be unpopular and miserable. I’m sure she appreciates that. And, just, ugh. Quit interfering. Nobody asked for your help, you meddlesome bitch. (I’ve really been chugging the Haterade today.)

It wasn’t that she couldn’t count on her boyfriend to keep any secret she told him; on the contrary, she trusted him completely. But if Enid didn’t know about George and Robin, Elizabeth didn’t feel she had the right to tell anyone else about them. Even Todd.

Oh, shut up, Liz. If that was me, you know the first thing I’d do is tell my boyfriend about it.

Jessica seated herself tensely on the edge of one of the chairs. She’d never been in an apartment quite this gloomy before.

I don’t think Jessica’s ever been in any apartment before. Only poor losers live in apartments in Sweet Valley.

Jessica and the Number 137:

Hooray! It’s been a while since she’s said it.

“If I’d known you were going to throw a hundred and thirty-seven fits, I wouldn’t have put the dress on in the first place.”

The Cover: Man, Lila is so much prettier than Jessica. And so calm and cool, as opposed to Jessica, who is clearly about to start a fight. If I was a dude, I’d totally choose Lila over Jessica’s skanky ass.

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Comments
  • HelenB April 1, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I guess… at least Liz’s plotline was kind of realistic? There’s never a right thing to do when you find out one of your friends is being cheated on!

    Also, as an unskinny girl I think everyone should be offended by those comments about Robin! But considering that every single plotline to do with Robin is made of major fail I’m not exactly surprised.

    Also also, I want a powder blue princess phone.

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  • R. G. Quimby April 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I really love how Robin’s supposed to be a good writer because she used to be a fat misfit. Seriously? If I had read this as a chubby little girl, I would have been like, “Better stay chubby so I can keep writing well!” 🙂

    Like once you get popular you stop writing and stuff. Shyeah, right. I mean, not that I know from experience. One day, though, I plan on getting popular, and then we can see if I keep writing 🙂

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    rica Reply:

    yeah youre right.. yhey have a relationship with robin even though enid was his girlfriend.. if i were in enids place, i would like to kill george.. his a liear

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  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 8:14 am

    This book is one of the more entertaining reads of the whole series, and I have nothing against the book cover except that Jessica’s chest looks a little, well, flat! 😛 That’s just not our willowy, sun-kissed, wholesome and sensational Jess! Lila is looking lovely, though – James Matthewuse hardly ever gets Lila wrong, and she always looks consistently pretty, snobby and a little insecure on all the covers where she features. 🙂 I also loved the description of Lila’s lunch: a butter and caviar sandwich, and a cup of shrimp salad. Mm, makes me yearn to be rich and glamorous, too, if I could be Lila and avoid those soggy salad bowls in the school cafeteria! 😉

    Jack is just bad news. If it’s too good to be true, it IS! 🙂 Poor Jack. He was only trying to mourn his baby sister, Valerie. But he doesn’t even consider counseling; it has to be drugs. I did feel more sorry for Lila – she had more to lose than Jess. At least Ned Wakefield is at home most nights to help with the salad whereas George Fowler hardly ever speaks to his daughter in the entire series – well, not in the books I’ve read so far …

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    bayerngirl74 Reply:

    Jess is super flat in this cover – I find it interesting that she has one apple boob though.

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  • girltalkread June 5, 2009 at 10:46 am

    TEAM LILA!!!!! don’t get me started on how pissed I was that the SVU Thriller Love and Murder which focuses on Li-Li was utter crap! Lila looks VERY fetching on this cover- not Susan Stewart fetching, but fetching nonetheless- what a hottie Li is compared to Jess!

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  • Darren August 16, 2009 at 4:25 am

    I don’t understand the family: when Liz got kidnapped, they threw themselves all over Liz, yet when Jessica gets kidnapped and almost killed like Liz, there’s no justice it seems to Jessica. That’s probably all a precurser as to Jessica running away with Nicky by book 21 for we all know in book 20 about Jessica’s disaster dinner! Can somebody tell me if this theory is right or not?

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  • dirtywingsgirl January 31, 2010 at 1:55 am

    OF COURSE Lila would have a princess phone. 🙂 Made of win.

    “a box full of drugs, “all kinds of drugs.”
    HAHAHA. I don’t know why, this made me laugh. I wonder if all drug users keep their drugs together in a box?

    “Man, Lila is so much prettier than Jessica.”
    Yeah, I don’t think the twins ever look that awesome on the covers. Jess looks more like a faded southern belle than a sun-kissed California bombshell…that hair looks a little too fluffy. But I guess it was the 80s.

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    rica Reply:

    can you believe it??? they’re in love with the same boy who is an addict??? i wish jess could have listened to liz and it wouldn’t have happen… if i were in there place,, i think i should have left jack alone….

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  • S.R. February 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    All these years, I had no idea what a princess phone was! And now I want a powder blue princess phone too 🙂

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  • Kylie90210 August 2, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    I always thought Li looked awesome on this cover. But those two fight over tha lamest guys! Surely they’d reach a point where, if they both like him, they realise he’s trouble?

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    rica Reply:

    yeah i thought they look awesome there but then,, jessica looks so ugly than lila.. lila was matured there not like jess, when she is mad,, she looks like a ghost or something if you know what i mean..

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  • Afrancis June 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Okay…Jessica’s chest doesn’t look flat, it looks non-existent! And why is her shirt popping open? Very weird…

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  • caligirl76 November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I hate the cover lol
    We get reminded so much in the books that the twins are perfect with spun gold blond hair… perfect figures…. well that’s not what I see in the cover lol

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  • Sandra August 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Jessica looks like a grandmother mad at her prettier granddaughter for spilling Coke on her antique sofa.

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    Shannon Reply:

    Hahaha, she really does.

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  • Nirvana April 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I LOVE how Lila looks on this cover, especially her hair. Also, what is up with that green shirt Jessica is wearing?

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  • lemonypiecrust July 20, 2013 at 2:01 am

    I am obsessed with Lila’s sweater she’s wearing on the cover. I imagine it’s made out of the finest cashmere. One day I will make one just like it and accessorize it with pearls.

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  • Nikki July 9, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Everybody’s going on about how gorgeous Lila is on the cover. Personally, I don’t see it. She looks average to me, but to each his own, I guess.

    “Lila’s having a party as an excuse to show off for her newest crush, Jack. As soon as Jessica sees him she decides she wants him for her own so she goes out of her way to be as slutty as possible and get him interested in her.”

    There goes Jessica’s thirsty ass cock blocking and man stealing again.

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  • Selena June 9, 2015 at 10:51 am

    1. Jessica looks like someone’s mother on the cover, while Lila actually looks like a teenager.

    2. I love the way the cover says “Jessica and Lila are in love with the same boy!” when neither of them would know love if it bit them on their asses.

    3. Why in God’s name did the twins (who are supposed to be the reigning beauty standard of SV) look like 30 – something Jessica Langes with bad nose jobs on the covers?

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  • Kim January 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    That phone looks really old fashion to me. My grandma had a phone like that, but it was black and didn’t have the long neck. It was one of those old phones where you had to spin the numbers around to dial as opposed to just pushing the buttons.

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  • Alex Kennedy July 12, 2016 at 10:35 am

    This is my favourite cover showcasing Lila.

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  • Jessica is Evil May 1, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Rant: Why do the authors always treat certain jobs as beinh “shameful?” For example, when J learns that Jack is a construction worker, she back off. When Roger works on a Saturday as a janitor, he feels ashamed of it. When Sophia Rizzo comes from a poor family, she feels ashamed. I think this is horrible. J needs a reality check.

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  • Dane Youssef May 7, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    “I didn’t know Robin could write like this.”

    “She used to write all the time,” Elizabeth explained, “before she lost all that weight. Remember? When she was the butt of everyone’s jokes instead of the girl all the boys want to date?”

    Penny nodded her head.

    “She used to write because she needed some kind of outlet, a bit of comfort,” Elizabeth continued. “Then when her life did that turnaround and she got onto the cheering squad and everything, she gave it up. I’m trying to encourage her to start again.” –FROM THE BOOK

    “Where in the hell did this come from? I guess only overweight people can write? Also, Liz, way to not let anyone forget that Robin used to be unpopular and miserable. I’m sure she appreciates that. And, just, ugh. Quit interfering. Nobody asked for your help, you meddlesome bitch. (I’ve really been chugging the Haterade today.)” –SHANNON

    Wait… so let me get this straight right from jump-street… The pariah-freak-she-leper of Sweet Valley, an unattractive fat girl… who used to follow Jessica around like a stray as she believed that just doing this would instantly make her thin, hot, popular and cool… She used to write creatively–she may have been even better at it than Liz or Todd… (those cunts)… Being fat and homely made her good at writing (Guess outcasts in isolation make it a point to hone their artistic skills… okay)… and now that she got so thin… she gave up writing, joined and the cheer-leader squad and became happy, hot… and burning up the social scene with an active dating life…

    Huh. This is one of those rare occasions when the series gets oddly realistic.

    Wow…

    –Sincere, DANE R. YOUSSEF

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