Sweet Valley High #57: Teacher Crush

SVH057The moral of the story: If you’re nice to Olivia, she’ll think you’re in love with her and start stalking you.

The Big Deal: Surprise party for Olivia’s birthday


Sweet Valley High is introducing “mini-courses.” They’re going to last two weeks, and they seem pretty much like electives to me, but I guess it’s a big deal because everyone is all excited about it. Liz, Enid and Olivia all get their first choice, the painting course. Olivia’s been all sad ‘n’ lonely since her breakup with Roger, and she keeps telling Liz she’d feel so much better if she had a boyfriend. This affords Liz the opportunity to reflect on how awesome her relationship with Jeffrey is because even though she loves him, she’s still independent. This independence is further evidenced by Liz wrinkling her nose when Enid assumes she and Jeffrey will be taking the same mini-course. Jeffrey will be taking electronics, which doesn’t interest Liz at all. Incidentally, Jessica ends up in the electronics course. She put it down as her third choice because she thought it would be a good idea to take a course that was bound to have a bunch of boys in it. And sure enough, she’s the only girl. But oh no! All the boys look like nerds! The only people Jessica knows in the class are Jeffrey and Winston.

The first day of mini-courses arrives and the girls are loving their painting class, though Liz and Enid are flummoxed by the first assignment, which is to paint something green without using green paint. I guess they were too busy in Dance Decorating 101 to learn about primary and secondary colors. Olivia knows just what to do, though, and the instructor, Stuart Bachman – or, as he likes to be called, just Stuart – is really impressed with her work. Olivia falls in love with Stuart. Bleh. She becomes totally obsessed. She finds out where he lives, cuts out a picture of him from an art magazine and hangs it on her bedroom mirror and spends as much time as possible helping him clean up after class. She’s got it bad. Enid notices Olivia’s crush but Liz doesn’t believe her. There’s an entire scene consisting of little more than Enid nudging Liz every time Olivia says something during art class and Liz firmly denying that Olivia is acting “inappropriately.” Then Olivia forgets to do something for The Oracle and Liz realizes Enid was right. They decide to keep an eye on Olivia during art class from now on. I don’t know what they think that will accomplish. Olivia finds out Stuart will be speaking at the Riverside Art Academy on Monday. She asks him about it and he says he’ll be talking about the workshop and discussing the students. He asks Olivia if she’d like to join him. She’s overjoyed because she’s sure this means he loves her and after the workshop is over, he’ll be able to tell her how he feels and they’ll be together forever and ever.

Jessica is having a horrible time in the electronics workshop. She gets even more miserable when she’s paired as a lab partner with Randy Mason. She acts like working with him is the most terrible and humiliating thing in the world. I guess she’s manipulated so many guys in the past that she forgot about that time she charmed Randy into hacking into the school’s computer to change her math grade. Anyway, she notices that Randy really seems to know what he’s doing and decides she’ll use the situation to her advantage. Lila’s been telling anyone who will listen about her father’s new girlfriend. Her name is Anika Hunt and she’s the star of some soap opera. Jessica is sick of hearing about it and convinces herself that Lila’s lying. She decides to make a lie detector to prove it.

On Saturday morning, Olivia is about to die because it’s going to be two whole days before she can see Stuart again. She decides she’ll just drive by his apartment building. When she gets there, she suddenly must see the inside of his apartment building. She buzzes him and makes something up about wanting to borrow one of his art books. He lets her in, gives her coffee and tells her what a terrific artist she is. Poor guy just thinks she’s super interested in painting. Whenever he compliments her, she assumes it means he likes her. Stuart shows her a pair of earrings he made and Olivia gets it into her head that he’s going to give them to her as a present for her birthday next week. On Monday, Liz and Enid overhear Olivia and Stuart talking about meeting after school. Enid wants to intervene and say something to Olivia, but this is one of those rare occasions Liz thinks she should mind her own business.

Olivia feels like cool shit when she’s at the art academy with Stuart. After the event, he asks her to come with him to pick out a present for “a very special friend.” Olivia, still thinking he must have found out about her birthday, assumes the present will be for her. The next day at school, some random kid named Rod Sullivan asks Olivia out and she turns him down. I’m not sure yet why we care. Olivia tells Enid and Liz that she thinks Stuart is planning something for her birthday. Liz and Enid are concerned, but Liz is still sure she shouldn’t say anything.

Olivia sees a flier advertising a showing of Stuart’s paintings. The show is on Olivia’s birthday, and she’s disappointed to find out he’s got an engagement because that means he’s not planning anything for her. But then Stuart asks her to come to the opening because he’s going to have a surprise there for her. Meanwhile, Olivia’s parents are planning a surprise birthday dinner for her. Mrs. Davidson calls Liz to invite her and to ask if she should invite Rod Sullivan, too, because he’s called for Olivia a few times. Liz tells her to go ahead, and immediately feels guilty for some reason and assures herself it wasn’t wrong to tell her to invite him.

Lila, Amy and Jessica are at the mall shopping for a present for Olivia. I have no idea why the three of them are invited to Olivia’s birthday party. Lila, who is taking the dress-making mini-course at school, stops in at the sewing store for some materials to salvage the sunken ship that is her dress project. She overhears Winston Egbert’s mother telling someone that Todd Wilkins’ father got a promotion and the family will be moving back to Sweet Valley.

On Friday, everyone gathers in the gym to check out all the final projects from the workshops. Jessica is trying out her lie detector on everyone, and it turns out Lila really was telling the truth about Anika Hunt. Olivia’s next, and someone shouts to Jessica to ask her if she’s in love with Stuart Bachman. Olivia storms off with tears in her eyes, then yells at Liz for telling everyone how she feels about Stuart. Liz is dumbfounded and can’t believe Olivia didn’t know the whole school’s been talking about her.

At the art gallery that night, Olivia meets Monica, Stuart’s girlfriend, who is wearing the very earrings Olivia thought were for her. Who didn’t see that coming? Stuart’s surprise for Olivia is pretty cool, though. He’s gotten the gallery owner to let him display Olivia’s painting, and people are going crazy over it. Olivia realizes she’s been acting like an idiot. On her way home from the thing, she stops at the Wakefields’ house to apologize to Liz.

The surprise party is a success. Stuart and Monica even show up, which is a little weird. Rod Sullivan gives Olivia a present and she decides he’s not so bad. Then Lila tells everyone that Todd Wilkins is moving back to town and the crowd falls silent. Elizabeth calmly gets up and leaves the room. Wow, dramatic ending.


She had started driving past his apartment to see whether or not his car was out front. She had looked up his phone number, and twice she had called his apartment from the pay phone in school, knowing he wouldn’t be at home, just so she could hear how sexy his voice sounded on his answering machine.

Was this what falling in love was supposed to feel like?

No, Olivia. This is what becoming a stalker feels like.

The Cover: This is just … not how I pictured Olivia. She looks completely different and a thousand times prettier on her Super Star cover.


  • girltalkread June 5, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    seriously- Shannon- she looks like ME on the cover- only I have slightly less 80’s hair LOL- wow I resemble Liv Davidson? 😉


  • tracy london June 5, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    it always bugged me how the ghostie made olivia act in this book. before this, she had always seemed like the one that was more level-headed and would not do this dumb shit. amy sutton? yes. jessica? yes.

    also, it’s fairly awesome how every adult in town asks elizabeth for advice. except not.


  • trappedintheattic June 5, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I used to think that Super Star cover Olivia was the prettiest thing ever. Ah, youth.


  • Shannon June 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Jan: Really? That must be eerie. I’m glad you have better hair than her though, ha ha.

    Tracy: I know what you mean, it’s totally weak to turn her into an airheaded, lovesick girly girl just for the sake of the plot. This book could have been about someone else, why make Olivia act this way?

    Trapped: Me too! I really wanted to look the way she looked on that cover.


  • Katie December 6, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Why in the world can’t this girl put her artsy earrings on facing the same way?!?!?


  • Ms. K May 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Oh, how I hate the inconsistencies! How many more recaps must I go through that mention Jessica and Randy Mason, only to reread #14 of SVU and find that she hasn’t seen him since 6th grade! (So far, this is the 2nd. I forgot to get the name of the book with the previous sighting, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are others.) How many Randy Masons are there in the world?!


    sour_hill Reply:

    137, of course.


  • Lynn H. August 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I think that she kind of looks like Sandra Huxtable.


  • Shannon September 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    OMG, Lynn, you’re right.


  • butterfly March 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Her pictures don’t do her any justice do they?: (


  • wendy August 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    On Page 95, Jessica is apparently taking Enid’s pulse rate for her Lie Detector Machine, but she reads the pulse as “120/80”. That’s blood pressure. Do these ghost writers or even proof-readers know the difference?


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