Sweet Valley High Super Edition #4: Malibu Summer
Lila Fowler is going to be spending the summer in Malibu as a “mother’s helper,” so of course Jessica wants to go too. Her parents won’t let her go unless Elizabeth goes too, so Jessica convinces her to turn down her internship at the Sweet Valley News so she can go. Jessica goes to Nannies and Company for her interview and the woman is all excited to have twins working for the agency for some reason. Jessica gets a job working for the Sargents, a young couple with an infant who are related to Tony Sargent, a famous singer Jessica’s in love with. She imagines Tony will be dropping by all the time so she takes the job and sticks Liz with a nightmare of a kid, Taryn Bennet.
When it comes time to interview with the families themselves, Jessica can’t make it because of a weekend cheerleading camp so Liz does both interviews. The family she’ll be staying with lives in a huge mansion, while the Sargents live in a tiny house where Jessica will be sleeping on a cot in the baby’s room. This makes Liz think she’s been wrong about Jessica all this time and that she’s being very generous about things. Man, she’s stupid. When they get to Malibu to start their jobs, Jessica is depressed to find the Sargents’ house is as tiny as Liz described, and even more depressed when she learns Mr. Sargent hasn’t seen his cousin Tony in three years. When Jessica meets Cliff, the gorgeous guy who lives next door to the Bennets, she decides to try to convince Liz to switch jobs with her. It doesn’t work.
Cliff is having a party and has invited Lila and the twins, but the Sargents are going out and Jessica is crushed to find out she’ll have to stay with the baby. Liz offers to babysit but she still refuses to switch jobs. She’s sure she can help Taryn, who is an extremely unhappy child. Liz thinks Taryn’s parents are cold and unaffectionate. Jessica seems to actually be good with Taryn, so her new plan is to make sure Liz sees that switching jobs would be good for the kid. It still doesn’t work.
Lila goes windsurfing with some guy named Ben. She thinks he’s at least eighteen and she keeps telling Jessica that she’s over high school boys. Then she finds out Ben is only fifteen and I really don’t care. While Liz is babysitting for Jessica, an old friend of the Sargents’ shows up for a visit. His name is Jamie, he’s twenty-one and gorgeous and he falls in love with Liz. She agrees to go out with him in a few days and then tells herself how wrong it is to go out with him because he’s so much older than she is. They have a lovely date and Jamie doesn’t tell her he is really seventeen-year-old teen idol Tony Sargent. Tony has had “professional makeup men” dye his hair and give him colored contacts so he can hide out in Malibu from some groupie chick’s boyfriend who is threatening to kill him for going out with his girl. Liz keeps going out with him. Jessica doesn’t like him because he’s too intellectual.
A big horrible storm comes along. Taryn runs away after overhearing a bad argument between her parents. Jessica and the Bennets’ housekeeper go out looking for Taryn and find her on a bridge that’s about to collapse. With help from the police, Jessica manages to save her. Taryn has to be taken to the hospital. I guess she has pneumonia or something. The doctors tell the Bennets that Taryn has to have “the will to pull through.”
Liz goes out into the storm to meet Tony/Jamie. Frankie, the guy who wants to kill Tony, shows up at the Sargents’ house pretending to be Tony’s manager and Mrs. Sargent tells him where to find him. Frankie shows up at the café where Liz and Tony are meeting. There’s a knife fight and then Liz knocks Frankie out with a vase. Liz finds out Tony’s real identity and is all upset about how dishonest he’s been (never mind the fact that he’s been hiding for his life) and now she’s all weird and thinks a huge celebrity could never really like her and convinces herself he was only using her to pass the time while he was stuck in Malibu. Tony and Liz go to the hospital so Tony can get stitches.
At the hospital, Liz and Jessica tell each other their stories about the day. Jessica is totally pissed at herself for being such a jerk to Tony Sargent all this time. Taryn is still doing bad and her parents are all worried about her. Jessica gives them some advice and…just…ugh. Because of Jessica, the Bennets become a real family and now I think I’m going to be sick.
Now that Tony’s not in hiding anymore, he’s putting on a concert in Malibu and he gives the twins and their gang free tickets. Liz is depressed but goes anyway and he sings a song he wrote for her. Aww.
“This probably isn’t any of my business,” Lila said when Jessica was out of earshot, “but don’t you think you’re being kind of selfish, Liz?”
Elizabeth stared at her. “What do you mean?”
“Just that Jessica has her heart set on going to Malibu, that’s all. And your parents won’t let her go unless you go, too. Don’t you think you could forget about the News for Jessica’s sake?”
Elizabeth put down her book. “You really think Jessica wants to go that badly?” she asked, her mouth dry.
Anyone else would have said, “Don’t you think Jessica is being selfish, wanting me to pass up an internship that could further my career so she can hang out in Malibu?” But you know Liz. She’s such a doormat.
“My parents would never approve…I feel terrible doing something I know they’d consider wrong.”
Liz is just so bad at being a teenager!
The Cover: Can someone tell Liz she’s sixteen and she should be showing off her perfect size six figure in a slutty bikini like her sister? She really is bad at being a teenager.