Sweet Valley High #68: The Love Bet

SVH068The moral of the story: You can only be happy if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The Big Deal: Party at Patty Gilbert’s house, battle of the bands


Patty Gilbert is having a party to celebrate the fact that her boyfriend, Jim, is in town for the weekend. Any excuse for a party, right? Dana is telling anyone who will listen that she’s fed up with love. She’s been looking for a boyfriend but can’t find one, so she’s given up entirely. Liz keeps trying to tell her she’s wrong because she and Todd are so happy, but Dana won’t hear it. Liz and Todd move over to the snack table where Aaron Dallas is scowling at everyone. He agrees with Dana. His girlfriend, Heather, moved away recently and he doesn’t like that every party turns into a makeout session. He gets himself all worked up talking about it and storms out the door. Liz decides to get Aaron and Dana together and calls her plan Operation Pair-Up. She and Todd make a bet: if Aaron and Dana hook up, Todd will grant Liz three wishes. If not, she’ll grant him three wishes. Good idea, but you know their wishes are going to be totally lame and smut-free.

At school on Monday, Liz gets Olivia and Penny to help her out. They start whispering loudly about how Aaron couldn’t stop talking about Dana the other night. When Dana approaches them, they quickly change the subject. Todd, Winston and Neil pull the same thing on Aaron in the locker room. So now Aaron and Dana each think the other likes them, and they start blushing whenever they see each other.

Liz doesn’t want to tell Jessica about her plan, but when Jessica asks her why she just overheard her say Aaron and Dana’s names together, Liz breaks down and tells her everything. Jessica’s pissed because she and Aaron date sometimes and she doesn’t know why Liz is trying to set him up with someone who’s clearly not his type. Jessica wanders away and sees a poster advertising a battle of the bands. Three other bands have challenged the Droids to a battle, which is being sponsored by a radio station. The winners will play a show in L.A. Inexplicably angry at Dana because of Liz’s plan, Jessica hopes the Droids lose. She decides to be a roadie for one of the other bands and ropes Lila into joining her. They decide to work for a  band called Spontaneous Combustion. The band members are named Spy, Motor and Wheels. They’re ugly, they smoke and they call the girls “chicks.” Jessica hates them, but wants them to win so she can go to L.A. with them when they win the battle.

Todd and Liz get Dana and Aaron to go to a movie with them. Afterward, at Guido’s Pizza, Dana is surprised when Aaron speaks intelligently about the movie. They really start hitting it off, but then Aaron mentions a song Dana wrote called “Fed Up with Love” and tells her how right she is because love stinks. Dana totally agrees with him. Liz is sure she’s losing the bet. Todd tells Aaron about an outdoor jazz concert he and Liz are going to see. He tells Aaron to invite Dana and the four of them can go together.

At the concert, Aaron and Dana start talking about music and how being in a band is a lot like playing soccer. No, really. Dana says she’s never been to a soccer game and Aaron is appalled. They talk during the whole concert and then Dana says she’ll come to the next soccer game. Then she all of a sudden remembers that she’s supposed to be down on love, so she says, “friends should take an interest in each other.” Way to kill the mood, Dana. But at the soccer game, she totally falls for Aaron while watching him play. You know, it’s because of these books that I always thought people would love me if they could just see how talented I was at something.

Todd and Liz are going to a play and they invite Aaron and Dana to go with them. Liz has to cancel to baby-sit for Teddy Collins, so it becomes a real date for Aaron and Dana. The day of the play, Dana finds a romantic card in her locker. It says, “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’ve changed my mind, how about you?” Dana’s all lovestruck and shows the card to Liz, who recognizes Todd’s handwriting. She tries to convince Dana not to mention the card to Aaron that night, saying he might be feeling shy about it. But of course she does mention it. She and Aaron are having a nice time after the play when he says he doesn’t know anything about the card. Dana shows it to him and he recognizes Todd’s handwriting, too. They realize Todd and Liz have been trying to get them together. Dana freaks out and feels like an idiot for thinking Aaron really liked her. He tries to tell her that even though he didn’t send the card, he really does like her, but she interrupts him by running out of the restaurant. She goes home and calls Liz to tell her how pissed off she is. Then Liz yells at Todd and accuses him of trying to sabotage her plan so he’d win the bet. Todd leaves in a huff, and then Jessica comes home from a particularly obnoxious practice with Spontaneous Combustion and yells at Liz, because in her mind, she never would have had to become a roadie for such a crappy band if Liz hadn’t tried to hook Dana up with Aaron. I don’t get it. Jessica makes up with Liz a couple days later, but Todd and Dana are still not speaking to her.

The battle of the bands is being held at the high school (of course). Dana’s worried about how she’s going to perform, lovesick as she is. Then Aaron comes to find her and takes her out to the soccer field to tell her he’s fallen for her. After they make out for a few minutes, they decide to get Liz and Todd back together. Dana goes inside and the Droids play better than ever before. Then Spontaneous Combustion gets onstage and Jessica plugs something into the wrong outlet. As soon as they start to play, there’s a bit of an explosion. Aw, too bad. The Droids win. Of course.

At school on Monday, Liz gets a card in her locker. It’s typewritten, but clearly from Todd. She thinks it’s cute that he tries to make up by sending her an anonymous card when such a card was what got them fighting in the first place. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t think that was cute at all. The card instructs her to meet Todd under the clock after school. Todd is waiting for her and they immediately run into each other’s arms. He mentions the card she sent him and she’s all confused until Aaron and Dana drive by, honking and waving. Liz and Todd realize they were set up. Todd says it looks like Liz won the bet and he’ll grant her three wishes. She wishes that a.) they never argue over something so stupid again, b.) they’ll always be together and happy and c.) Todd gives her the biggest kiss ever. Todd says, “One Todd Wilkins Deluxe Smooch, coming right up!” I want to puke.

Setup for the next book: Some ass named Charlie Cashman is picking on a guy named Andy Jenkins.


With Todd’s strong arms wrapped around her, Elizabeth felt both loved and lucky. “We are a happy couple, aren’t we?” she murmured.

Just keep telling yourself that.

Dana opened her mouth, about to confess to Elizabeth and Enid that she liked Aaron, too. Then she stopped herself. I’ve sworn off love—I can’t change my tune just like that.

Dana’s so obnoxiously stubborn through this whole book. It was your idea to swear off love, Dana. You can change your mind whenever you want.

The Cover: Todd looks ridiculous. Why is he looking at me? He looks like Zack Morris talking to the camera. Liz looks like a blow-up doll.

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  • Jenna June 25, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Ew, seriously, why is he looking at us?? Go eff yourself Todd, you big sissy baby. When was the last time Todd and Liz made it through a book without breaking up?

    And Dana. . . comparing music to soccer? WTF? It’s almost worth reading to see how this is justified.

    Of course, the ghosties can justify everything in Sweet Valley so I guess I’ll just go throw on my Door’s Album and listen to “Sympathy For the Devil” while practicing soccer drills. Ugh.


    Shannon Reply:

    LOL @ the Doors.

    The whole “music is soccer” thing has something to do with everyone working together as a team, but sometimes one member will stand out more (a guitar solo = someone scoring a goal). It’s a reach.

    I swear, since Todd moved back to Sweet Valley, the only times they don’t break up are the times when the book is about someone else entirely and Liz is hardly in it.


  • Jan aka Girl Talk Read June 25, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Again, I hate Todd. What’s wrong with the name Wheels- Wheels on Degrassi Jr High was great- well then he became all drugged out and what not after his parents got killed in that car accident, and then didn’t Wheels cause someone’s death at the end of Degrassi High? But still I have much love for Wheels- I know totally off topic.


    Shannon Reply:

    I think Wheels was driving drunk and hit a kid or something. I only know from his one appearance on Degrassi: The Next Generation. I never saw the older series.


    bayerngirl74 Reply:

    As a Canadian who loved Degrassi, I can answer this. Wheels got drunk at the graduation party, drove himself and Lucy to get more chips (or something) and hit and killed a kid. Then Snake hated him. And Wheels, who was the class dreamboat for a while (I never knew what they saw in him – though I think it was because of Stephanie Kay that everyone lusted him), is now a skid who has no parents, whose grandparents hate him, whose real father dissed him because he’s in a band and far too groovy for a kid, is alone, in jail, and a grade A loser.


  • trappedintheattic June 25, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Todd needs to do up one more button on his shirt. We don’t need to see all of that.

    Is the next book the one about racism? That one is pretty terrible.


    Shannon Reply:

    Yep, the next one is about racism. And yes, it’s incredibly terrible.


  • Callie June 25, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    “Dana’s so obnoxiously stubborn through this whole book. It was your idea to swear off love, Dana. You can change your mind whenever you want.”

    – So what are you saying here? That we have free will: that people are allowed to grow, learn, change, adapt, and make mistakes.

    That’s just not how Sweet Valley works, Shannon. How could you forget that?


    Shannon Reply:

    *hangs head* You’re so right. I sometimes forget that Sweet Valleyians are governed by very different rules than we are.


  • Sadako June 25, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Racism is never not terrible in any book/TV show/afterschool special. It’s always so heavy handed it makes me relieved when the cast goes back to being all white and stops acknowledging race because they NEVER do it right!


  • tracy london June 25, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I know all high school boys that I know immediately recognize each others handwriting. Cause h.s. boys are all into that stuff.

    also, why does liz have that blowup doll mouth on? gross.


    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, yeah. I know all the boys in my high school were always passing notes in class with little stickers of rainbows and unicorns all over them.

    I think Liz makes that exact same face on the cover of Secrets.


  • trappedintheattic June 25, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Ooh, is that where White friend is all “What would Dr. King say?” and Black friend responds with “Don’t talk to ME about what Dr. King would say!!”?


    Kate Reply:

    That would be a decent option, too!

    Of course, because it’s Todd, I’d love it if Liz requested a strap-on, that would be both crazy sexual experimentation and making him buy her a present.


    Shannon Reply:

    Yes, exactly!


  • Daners Isadora- Bond Girl June 25, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    This is the dumbest book ever. Even at 12 years old I hated it with a passion.

    Todd looks about 43 on that cover.

    And, oh yeah, Liz, you and Todd are the happiest couple ever. Shut up, you sanctimonious bitch. Todd is a toolbag and you are annoying. And the two of you break up every other book. Piss off.


    Shannon Reply:

    I don’t think I ever read this one as a kid. That makes me happy.

    Todd always looks about 43. Always. It’s really kind of disturbing.


  • Kate June 26, 2009 at 11:04 am

    What a lame book. She gets three wishes from her dumb boyfriend and doesn’t even show any interest in oral sex!


    Shannon Reply:

    I know! She’s so damned vanilla.

    If it was Jessica, she would have at least made the guy buy her a present or something.


  • Mara June 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I always think Liz looks like a blow-up doll, but this cover is pretty over-the-top.

    I’ve always thought Liz and Todd were a pretty irritating couple. They’re always fighting, yet still find time to revel in self-satisfying gloating about their relationship. I’m with you on the anonymous note thing: it’s not an adorable gesture, it’s a pretty lame cop-out move. I never liked Todd till the TV series, and only because he was incredibly hot.


  • Kitten Whitman June 29, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    “She decides to be a roadie for one of the other bands and ropes Lila into joining her.”

    Well, at least one Wakefield was adept at fellatio!

    Btw, love the Degrassi reference! Wheels blinded Lucy when he drove drunk. Also, speaking of roadies, does anyone remember the episode when Wheels hitchhikes to visit his deadbeat musician dad and the old pervert picks him up and tries to grab him?! Totally nonrelated to SVH, but classic!


    Shannon Reply:

    I need to get the old Degrassi series and watch it. I’ve never seen it.


  • TeacherCollins July 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Liz looks like she has some serious jaw pain going on. What’s wrong with your jaw, Liz?


    Karla Reply:

    Oh, don’t pretend you don’t know, TeacherCollins. 😉


  • Jenn October 7, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Todd Wilkins Deluxe Smooch? Ugh. That sounds hideous.


  • Nirvana April 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Todd looks like that Mexican guy Sandra was so bitchy to on this cover. and Liz should really shut her ugly mouth.


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