Sweet Valley High #24: Memories

The moral of the story: You can’t replace your boyfriend with someone who looks just like him, but you can replace your dead girlfriend with Cara Walker.

The Big Deal: A dance following a charity volleyball match.


The last book ended with Betsy Martin being a total bitch to Steven for having fun at a party with Cara Walker because I guess she thinks he should mourn his dead girlfriend forever. This one starts with Steven vowing to never again betray Tricia’s memory. Ned tries to tell Steven he has to go on with his life, but Steve’s not having it. Jessica is still trying to hook Steve up with Cara, but Liz can’t get over what a gossiping snob Cara is. She doesn’t think Cara is right for Steve and doesn’t believe anyone when they say Cara has changed since her parents’ divorce.

Jessica overhears her mother talking on the phone to Winston Egbert’s mother. Alice says something about a movie director relative coming to visit the Egberts and Jessica immediately decides she has to meet this person and be a movie star. To that end, she tries to get Winston to ask her to the dance, but he doesn’t take the bait when she hints about it. Ha ha.

Liz and Enid go to the mall and Liz swears she sees Todd. She thinks she sees him again at school the next day. She finds out Todd’s lookalike is a volleyball player named Michael. He’s from Big Mesa and Liz wonders if his personality is anything like Todd’s. At the volleyball match, Liz plays like crap because she’s so busy staring at Michael, who happens to be the Big Mesa team’s captain. Don’t worry though, Sweet Valley wins the match. After the game, Michael introduces himself to Liz and promises to meet her at the dance in half an hour.

The twins go home to change and find Steven hanging out with his friend Artie. They all convince Steven to go with them to the dance. When they get there, Cara tries to say hello to Steven, but he blows her off when Betsy shows up and why the hell are all these people at a high school dance? Artie asks Cara to dance and then asks her out, which makes Steve jealous. Liz finds out Michael is a jackass and realizes she can’t replace Todd.

After some tough love from Jessica [“Cara has one advantage over Tricia. She’s alive.”] Steven decides to ask Cara to go on a picnic with him. They have a lovely time. When Liz sees how happy Steve is after spending time with Cara, she stops being a judgmental bitch and tells Cara she hopes they can be friends. Steve takes Cara out for her birthday. He tells her to pick the restaurant and she picks the Valley Inn, which is where Steve used to go with Tricia. Things are okay for a while, but then the band starts playing Tricia’s favorite song. He freaks out and leaves Cara on the dance floor. Poor thing has to call a cab. On her birthday. Steve calls her later that night to apologize and tell her he’s not really ready to date other girls. He spends the next day with Betsy looking at old pictures of Tricia. Because that’s fun, I guess.

Jessica finally meets Winston’s mother’s cousin and tells him she’s interested in his work. He invites her to come over on Saturday so he can show her his idea for a new project. When she gets there, he starts showing her plans for garbage removal. Turns out he’s a civil engineer. His brother is a movie director and was supposed to come visit too, but he had to cancel. Ha. Jessica’s plans for stardom have been foiled again.

Liz goes to Betsy’s house and makes her realize that Steve needs to move on with his life. Betsy realizes she’s right (of course), so she calls Cara and Steve and leaves anonymous messages for them both to be at the high school at the same time. When they show up, Teddy Collins is there and he gives them each a package. Cara’s contains a drawing of Steve and Steve’s is a drawing of Cara. There’s a note from Betsy telling Steve to think of his future instead of his past. Cara and Steve make out.


“I don’t mind trying out.” Jessica grimaced. “But don’t count on my taking it up as a career.”

“Honey,” her mother joked, “I never count on you for anything.”

Well, that was kind of mean. True story, though.

As Elizabeth turned the Fiat onto Wentworth Avenue, the neighborhood began to get worse. Trash littered the sidewalk, and pieces of broken glass sparkled in the sun. This did not seem at all like the Sweet Valley Elizabeth knew and loved.

I’m always amused at descriptions of “the bad part of town” where the Martins live.

This is how I picture the street.

The Cover: I hate Cara’s sailor outfit, but I like how her fingernails match Steve’s shirt.

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  • FG April 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Oh Jesus, not a piece of trash on the road! I’m pretty sure that’s the universal warning for poor people and living rooms that lack double french doors. I’m guessing Sweet Valley doesn’t have a Wal-Mart, either.


  • Darren August 16, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Has any fire in Southern California ever come close to Sweet Valley? You wonder what they’d go thru if they ever lost the entire town! I think sweet Valley has the old Alpha Beta food market.

    Per the book, some life Betsy has. She should’ve left Steven alone to decide for himself. He had a right to come out of his shell. If betsy wants to think she was not a good older sister, don’t drag Steven into it.


  • sour_hill August 28, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Sooo, Cara looks just like Tricia, then? Riight. What on Earth happened to her pale skin and glorious light brown poof of hair? Oh, and her face. Maybe she looks like Tricia in, ahem, other ways. Maybe Steven never even looked at either’s face.


  • Shannon August 28, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Sour Hill, I think it’s the fact that Cara doesn’t look like Tricia that’s making this whole thing so difficult for Steve. I think that if he could just pretend Cara was Tricia, he wouldn’t have so much trouble starting a relationship with her. Poor Cara.


  • sour_hill August 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I only read a few of the earlier SVs when I was younger, but I read them sporadically. I didn’t read this one, but I remember there being a gazillion Tricia clones in the Valley. I think I was mixing up this one with a later book and naturally assumed anyone Steven went out with would look like Tricia. (It didn’t help that I tended to skip over Cara when she was mentioned, Cara not being one of my favorite characters.) Your blog is totally making me want to go to the used bookstore and find the Sweet Valley books I skipped over when I was younger.


  • Shannon August 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I think I was mixing up this one with a later book and naturally assumed anyone Steven went out with would look like Tricia.

    Ha ha, not an unreasonable assumption to make. He’s gone out with at least two girls who look like Tricia. Cara doesn’t look like her, but she has “Tricia’s soul.” I can’t remember which book he thinks that in, but he definitely thinks it and it’s definitely creepy.


  • Kylie90210 August 3, 2010 at 12:29 am

    That was one harsh comment by Alice! Ouch!

    At least cara is more interesting than Tricia, although she does start to get pretty boring. Maybe you have to, to date Steven.


  • Erica May 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I just laughed so freaking hard at that quote by Alice!


  • Nirvana April 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    “Cara has one advantage over Tricia. She’s alive.”
    Listen to Jessica trying to be smart. She almost succeeded.


  • Erica Chestnut July 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I just got through re-reading this one, it bored me so freaking bad. Love this blog, though.


  • Kim December 12, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    “Cara has one advantage over Tricia. She’s alive.”

    Damn, Jessica’s such a disrespectful bitch.

    “Jessica’s plans for stardom have been foiled again.”

    I love seeing this bitch lose. So funny how I’ve gone from totally loving this character to totally despising her.

    “I don’t mind trying out.” Jessica grimaced. “But don’t count on my taking it up as a career.”

    “Honey,” her mother joked, “I never count on you for anything.”

    lol damn, that’s cold.


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