Sweet Valley High #56: Lost at Sea

SVH056The moral of the story: Don’t go on field trips because you could end up on Lost Island.

The Big Deal: Science field trip


The twins are taking a field trip to Anacapa Island, which is an hour’s boat ride from Sweet Valley. Jessica has to go because she’s flunking science. Liz is going because it sounds like fun. (That just about sums up the twins, eh?) Jessica is looking forward to getting in some flirting with Ken Matthews for no other reason than that he’s the cutest guy on the trip. But she gets cockblocked (or, as my friends and I like to say when referring to females, “cunt corked”) by Mr. Russo, who actually makes her do work and pairs her with Winston for the buddy system, and then by Winston, who acts like a twelve-year-old and constantly calls her “buddy” and puts a crab on her head and won’t leave her alone. I usually like Winston, but he’s totally obnoxious here and I really want to punch him.

The field trip is cut short when a storm starts rolling in, so everyone gets back on the boat. Jessica sits with Ken and starts reminding him of this one time they made out. He starts to get all excited, but then the boat starts filling up with water and Mr. Russo tells them to get on the lifeboats. Since Jessica’s buddy is Winston, they have to get in a lifeboat together. They’re in the water when Liz yells that she and Aaron have only one oar. Winston has accidentally taken three (what?) so he and Jessica paddle on over to Liz and Aaron’s boat. Winston stands up to toss Aaron the extra oar, but a big wave comes along and the lifeboat is capsized. When the wave is gone, Jessica and Winston have disappeared. Twenty minutes later, the storm is receding and everyone gets back on the big boat. Jessica and Winston are still missing. All that’s left of them is Winston’s baseball cap and Jessica’s lifejacket. Sad times.

Jessica wakes up the next morning on a deserted tropical island. She’s walking through the jungle when Winston scares the crap out of her by jumping out of the bushes at her. Ugh, not Winston. He tells Jessica that after the boat capsized, he managed to right it and then got in and started rowing. Jessica’s all excited that the boat is with him, but he says he didn’t pull it up far enough on shore and it was gone when he woke up. Jessica is furious and says she never wants to see him again. Then she stomps off into the jungle alone. Winston calls her back and she follows him to where he has a pile of fruit he picked and fish he caught. Jessica is unimpressed and insists she can catch her own fish. She’s so much like Shannon from Lost in this book.

Winston knows Jessica well enough to have expected her reaction and it doesn’t bother him. He starts eating the food by himself, knowing she’s hungry and will come join him eventually. And she does. They have a nice meal, and then Jessica tries to lay down and work on her tan. She thinks maybe she’ll get sick of fish and just stop eating altogether, lose a little weight, and then she’ll be tan and thin when the rescue boats come. Blech. Winston tells her to get up because they have work to do. He wants to find food and build a shelter, and Jessica is all, “Do we have to?” God, she’s infuriating. Winston insists, so they build their shelter, then he lets Jessica decorate it while he goes off to look for food. Because girls make things pretty and men provide sustenance. Thanks, Francine.

Back in Sweet Valley, Nicholas Morrow offers to take a group of people out on his boat to search for Jessica and Winston. Liz and Steve take him up on it, and they set out on the water. Then another freaking storm comes along and they have to turn back. When they get home, Liz and Steve find their parents standing on the doorstep waiting for them. Alice is crying and saying she was worried she’d lost them too. Liz doesn’t like that Alice seems to assume that Jessica’s dead. Liz knows, because of that freaky twin thing, that Jessica is still alive.

Jessica and Winston go hiking into the jungle to look for food. They see a bear and Winston gets totally freaked out and hides behind Jessica. She somehow figures out that the bear wants their fruit, so she starts throwing berries at it. Then a crack of thunder scares the bear and it runs away. Jessica and Winston go back to their shelter and Winston is feeling sorry for himself for being such a coward. Jessica says she admires him and they have a nice bonding moment. It’s great, but you know in the next book she’s going to go back to being a total bitch to him. Later, Jessica is feeling sorry for herself and thinking of all the things she’ll miss if she has to spend the rest of her life on an island with Winston. She starts bargaining, promising herself that if she gets rescued she’ll be nicer to people and make her bed and whatnot. And just then a helicopter shows up and rescues them.


Jessica stopped a few feet away so that Ken could get an optimal view of her body posed against the seductive backdrop of the sea, sand, and palm trees.

I can just picture her doing her best to look sexy. Ugh. It’s all good though, this is right before Winston comes along and puts the crab on her head.

I swore I’d never speak to him again, Jessica reminded herself. Then she saw a loophole. She hadn’t sworn she wouldn’t eat with him, had she?

Sometimes Jessica is so childish and immature I just want to punch her.

Elizabeth watched Nicholas. His strong profile – the dark hair, straight nose, and determined expression – and his take-charge attitude filled her with hope.

I love that Liz is filled with hope about Nicholas’ ability to find Jessica because he’s handsome. And I like that the “take-charge attitude” bit is thrown in there like an afterthought.

The Cover: What a great cover. Even better than Runaway.

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  • Sadako June 4, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    The BSC totally ripped them off! Well, not really. But Dawn was pretty whiny in that island adventure one, like Jessica, no?


    Anonymous Reply:

    I was going to comment that it was the same story too.


  • Mara June 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    What, you don’t think a straight nose represents competency?

    I just love how completely over-the-top these books go. They’re supposed to be just a couple of regular high schoolers, yet they manage to engage in every imaginable unlikely scenario.

    I am still kicking myself (repeatedly, ie with each post you do!) for idolizing Jessica as a child. She is a total bitch, and I have no idea why she appealed to me. I guess she was the only alternative to the dorky one. Now I’d rather be Lila any day.


  • HelenB June 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I really wish Liz and Nicholas Morrow had got together.

    …Does this make me a sociopath?


  • girltalkread June 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Shannon glad you like Fitzie’s!!!!! You will have to leave comments for any blogs of mine you like- there are plenty of blogs there!


  • Kate June 8, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    The cover reminds me of that time Jessica got water all over her and looked perfect for the fashion show…

    Here she looks more like a drowned blond rat.


  • Shannon June 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Sadako: If memory serves, Dawn was pretty much always whining about something, wasn’t she? Either way, I think every YA series needs an “Island Adventure” episode. I think the Fab Five had one too, though I don’t think theirs involved being stranded on the island. I think they were just on vacation. So maybe that doesn’t count…

    Mara: I’d rather be Lila too! But I was a Jessica girl all the way when I was a kid. I don’t know why I didn’t recognize Lila’s awesomeness back then.

    Helen: No, you’re not a sociopath. Well, maybe you are, but that’s okay. I’d still like you. I also kind of wish Liz and Nicholas would get together.

    Jan: It’s a great blog! Keep writing it and I’ll keep reading it.

    Kate: LOL, yeah, she doesn’t look too stunning here, does she?


  • Schatzi July 24, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I think this was the only one I ever owned (besides the Saga), and it was because I just loved that cover.


  • cordee August 9, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Awesome recap! I noticed many of the same things you did. Especially using nature as a seductive backdrop!


  • Karla January 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    “Cunt corked”! LMAO! I hope you don’t mind my stealing that and publishing it in The Orac-I mean, using it in my everyday speech.


  • Hina March 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    @Sadako: OMG DAWN! I was a huge BSC fan when I was 7-13 (NOTE: I’m 15 now) and OMG i hated her in that book! WHINY WHINY WHINY!


  • Marian October 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    The look on her face… That’s all I have to say.


  • Awin February 4, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Cunt corked is my new favourite expression!


  • hippiegeekgirl January 31, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Also LMAO at “cunt corked.” I heart you even more now!


  • This series is very odd August 15, 2017 at 3:44 am

    Of course Jess Wack would beship-wrecked with Winston. She is always flirting with some guy. She has no self respect at all. Glad WinEgg putsa crab on her headanddoes not actually give her crabs. A bear??? Did Barry (Chrome Dome’s nephew) save JWfrom a bear once? Enid and Winston should totally get together.


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