Sweet Valley High #79: The Long-Lost Brother
The Big Deal: Lila’s beach party, pool party at the Wakefields’ house
Today we meet Sara Eastborne, who recently moved to town with her mother and who seems terrified of her twin brother, Tim. Sara is very mysterious about her brother and tells everyone he stayed on the east coast with her father after their parents got divorced. In reality, Tim is in reform school because he drinks, does drugs and stole a car. Sara’s mom gets a letter from Tim and tries to tell Sara to stop being so hard on him because he’s really cleaned up his act, but Sara says he’s an embarrassment to the family. Her mother tries to tell her to go to Alateen, the teen version of Al-Anon, but Sara doesn’t think she needs help because everything would be fine if Tim would just change his ways.
Sara goes to dinner with her boyfriend, Bob, that night. It’s her first time meeting his parents and they’re going to the country club. Bob’s parents are total snobs. Sara tunes them out and then looks stupid when she doesn’t hear a question Bob’s mother asks her. After dinner, Bob tells Sara she really blew it with his parents. Sara gets mad for a second, but does the Sweet Valley girl thing and apologizes to Bob. He asks her to a beach party Lila’s throwing and Sara is relieved that he still wants to date her. At the party, Sara is distracted because she’s thinking about all her problems (what problems?), and Bob gets mad at her for not having a good time. When she gets home, her mother tells her Tim is moving to Sweet Valley. Sara is terrified that she’ll lose her prince of a boyfriend. Ugh. When Tim gets to town, Sara tells him she’s been lying about his past and he just better not ruin things for her by telling anyone the truth.
Liz writes an article about Sweet Valley’s battered women’s shelter and everyone praises her and tells her how much she’s helping society by writing articles like this. Blah. She’s doing a whole series about different programs, and she sits in on an AA meeting. She meets Tim and hears his whole story about the things he did and the way his sister is treating him. Liz and Tim talk after the meeting, and Liz offers to show him around school the next day.
Over the next few days, Tim becomes pretty popular. He starts dating Sara’s best friend, Amanda, and becomes close with Liz and Todd. Then Crunch McAllister’s van gets stolen, and Tim is the prime suspect. His whole past comes out. Amanda is pissed at Sara for not telling her the truth about Tim because best friends are supposed to share everything. Bob breaks up with Sara, but come on, he’s a jackass anyway, right?
Sara blames all her problems on Tim, who takes it pretty well. Sara finally tells Tim she thinks it’s his fault their parents got divorced. Tim is hurt and tells Sara their parents were having problems long before he stole that car. He tells Sara she should go to Alateen. And she does one day, but only after Liz asks her to go with her. ‘Cause it’s always Liz. After that, everything magically turns around. Sara and Amanda make up, Tim and Amanda make up, Tim gets cleared of all charges regarding Crunch’s van, Sara realizes she never really liked Bob, anyway, and everyone goes to an awesome pool party at the Wakefields’ house.
In other news, Jessica is still all annoyed at the things she has to do as Miss Teen Sweet Valley, and Liz ends up posing as her and passing out cheese samples at the mall while wearing a formal dress and a tiara. Why? So Jessica can accept a date to go surfing with some guy.
This book made me want to scream. I mean, more than usual. The quotes below are just a taste of the horrors I endured. Sara’s an obnoxious martyr and I hate Liz and this just wasn’t fun at all.
Bob grinned. “Wear that white swimsuit you bought last week, OK?” he said. “I want all the other guys to wish you were their girlfriend.”
Sara felt vaguely uncomfortable, but she ignored the sensation. Bob just wanted her to look her best, she figured. There was nothing wrong with that.
If there are any young girls in the audience, just remember that if something makes you uncomfortable, then there is something wrong with it.
For a moment, Sara was furious. Then she remembered how much she liked Bob Hillman, and how popular he was at school.
Somebody kill me.
Because she knew it was important to Bob that she appear to be having a good time, Sara threw herself into the volleyball tournament.
Why isn’t it important to Bob that you actually have a good time?
Elizabeth and the Number 137!
He didn’t need to tear other kids down to feel good about himself, and that was another of the million and thirty-seven things Elizabeth liked about him.
The Cover: I don’t know what happened to Elizabeth. This looks like SVT Liz with boobs (sort of) and slightly shorter hair. And look at that troubled expression on Tim’s face. I think he’s really upset about his denim tuxedo there.