Sweet Valley High #81: Rosa’s Lie

SVH081The moral of the story: Only American girls can join sororities.

The Big Deal: Party at Rosa’s house, PBA picnic at Secca Lake, induction dance/party at Lila’s


Rose Jameson is new at Sweet Valley High. She’s super popular already, but she has a deep dark secret: her real name is Rosa Jiminez, and she is a Mexican. Her parents changed their last name to Jameson when they came to America, but Rosa was still made fun of all the time at her old school in Texas. When the Jamesons moved to Sweet Valley, Rosa decided to be Rose. The Jamesons have light enough skin for Rose to get away with this.

Rose has been invited to be a pledge in Pi Beta Alpha’s pledge rush. She’s happy and excited, but part of the process is an interview given by Lila. When asked, she says Jameson is an English name and that her family came over on the Mayflower. She says she’s from Boston instead of Texas. She tells a lot of big lies: she’s related to Queen Elizabeth, her family traveled to England, she met Princess Di and Fergie. The Pi Betas are totally impressed.

Rose is doing well in her pledge tasks, but Jessica, Lila and Amy show up at her house one day. She starts to panic, but manages to stay cool. The girls don’t stay very long, and after they leave, Rose realizes she had nothing to worry about and she should invite them over all the time. That very evening, she calls the other pledges and invites them over for the next afternoon. Then her parents tell her that Nana Jiminez will arrive tomorrow for a two week visit.

While Nana is in town, Rose has to keep coming up with excuses about why she can’t have anybody over to her house. She goes home every day right after school to spend time with Nana. Nana disapproves of Rose’s short hair and short skirts, and doesn’t like that Rose’s mother can’t cook very well. She shows Rose an old family recipe one night, and after that, Rose is no longer ashamed of her heritage. That came about suddenly, didn’t it? Even though she is no longer ashamed, there’s no way she can go back on the lies she told the Pi Betas.

Annoyed at Rose’s recent anti-social behavior, Lila tells Rose her third pledge task is to have a party Saturday night at her house. Rose is in a panic because Nana will be there and everyone will know she lied. By a stroke of luck, Nana’s favorite singer will be giving a concert on Saturday night about an hour away from Sweet Valley. Rose buys three tickets and convinces her parents to take Nana out of the house. After all the guests arrive, Nana comes back to tell Rose she baked her a cake for the party, then she leaves again. When asked, Rose tells her friends that Nana was the cleaning lady. Oh, you bitch. Then Rose looks at the cake and sees it says, “To Rosa and all her friends. With love from Nana.” Rose dumps the whole thing in the trash. Oh, now I really hate her.

Nana goes home and Rose is free to hang out with her Pi Beta friends. They have a picnic at Secca Lake as a celebration for the pledges’ tasks being finished. While they’re hanging out at the lake, a little girl wanders over and somehow falls in an old well. The PBAs gather ’round the well and freak out when the girl starts trying to climb up using a rotten piece of wood. The girl starts crying and speaking in Spanish. Rose knows she’s the only one who can help her, but she’s so worried about what the other girls will think if she starts speaking fluent Spanish. YOU BITCH! Help the kid! After a few minutes, she realizes she really does have to help, so she starts talking to the girl. She keeps her calm until the park ranger and the girl’s parents are located. When the girl is out of the well and safely with her parents, Rose finally tells everyone she’s Mexican and then she runs away.

Rose is at home crying when the Pi Betas come over. They tell her they still want her in the club, especially now that she’s a hero. Lila says it’s okay that she’s Mexican, and that the Pi Betas will keep it a secret for her. So now Rose is suddenly all about being a Mexican and she’s upset that the Pi Betas would ignore her heritage like that. She thinks she has to choose between being a Mexican and being in Pi Beta Alpha.

A few days later, Rose is shopping with Jessica, Lila and Amy for dresses to wear to the induction party. All four of them try on dresses and check each other out in the mirror, and Rose doesn’t like that she looks just like the rest of them, just one more American girl. Nana made her a dress before she went home, and Rosa decides to wear it to the party. At the party, when Lila gives her the sorority pin, Rosa turns down membership and says she’s proud to be Mexican so she can’t join. I’m not lying. Then she says she wants to remain friends with everyone. Instead of telling her to take a hike, all the girls are relieved Rosa still wants to hang out with them.

Whatever. Here’s the B story:

Jessica is going out with Sam Woodruff. She’s totally in love with him, but he’s always hanging out with this Lana chick from his own school. Jessica is failing math, but she wants to keep an eye on Sam, so she keeps going out with him instead of studying. She fails a math test, then throws away the warning slip her teacher sends home, sure she’ll pass the next test. She fails the next test, too, so the teacher calls Alice. Jessica is grounded and can’t go to the PBA induction party. She feels like this is completely unfair, and she accuses Alice and Liz of trying to ruin her life and sabotage her relationship with Sam. For real.


…In the back by the pool, there are a dozen fairy-tale princesses, Rose thought, and they’re going to make me a fairy-tale princess, too….

They’re just a crappy high school sorority, Rosa.

“’Bye,” Elizabeth added softly, hoping Todd wasn’t really offended by what she said. After all, she and Todd had always spoken their minds with one another.

Yeah, and how many times have you broken up so far? It might be worth it to soften your punches every now and then.

The Pi Betas had accepted the fact that Rose was Mexican, but it was obvious they would just as soon ignore it. And they seemed to assume Rose wanted to do that, too. The other girls might not be overtly disturbed by the fact that Rose was a chicana, but they certainly were not going to encourage her to explore her heritage. No, if Rose joined the Pi Betas, she would have to deny the biggest part of herself. She would have to become completely American.

What the hell are you talking about? You’re the one who wanted to deny your heritage. The Pi Betas are just going along with what you started, dumbass.

The Cover: Awesome mom jeans! And that purple blazer over that purple t-shirt looks great! And I guess Rosa’s dress is supposed to look Mexican, but I have one very much like it in my closet and I’m not even a little Mexican.

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  • girltalkread July 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Ummm she was made fun of in TEXAS? Selena was from TX and that was never covered in the movie!! And Selena was a Tejano superstar!! COME ON- where did they live- Redneck Junction, TX? UGH- even at 13 years old I HATED this book!


  • quackingpenguins July 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    She was made fun of in TEXAS? WTF? The Pi Betas never said she can’t join the sorority and it appeared that the only reason they said that they wouldn’t mind ignoring her heritage is because she wanted to do it herself. Furthermore, you don’t need to be MEXICAN to speak fluent Spanish. Were you making up the Fergie bit? Wasn’t she like 15 in the ’80s?


  • rachierach July 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I think she meant Sarah Ferguson, Dutchess of York, who was called ‘Fergie.’ 🙂 (Not “Married to the Hunky Josh Duhamel” Fergie)


  • Merrie July 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    The dress totally looks like the one Julia Roberts wore in “Pretty Woman” — except it was brown.

    Wow, Liz and Jess are totally fugly on this cover!


  • Keri July 27, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    They should have known Rosa wasn’t a REAL American….her hair isn’t blonde and her eyes aren’t even blue!

    …But she does look like a perfect size six, so I guess it was easy to blend in at SVH.

    I’m not even going to comment on her being made fun of in Texas….didn’t Texas used to belong to Mexico? I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t stand out as the only Mexican kid in town haha.


    Lelandria Reply:

    I know that is beyond stupidity! They should have made her come from Stonybrook, CT; where there are no hispanic people. Having traveled to TX many times, there are a lot of mexicans who live there. I’m half-mexican and this book just makes me so angry.


  • Jenna July 27, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    God this is a stupid book. Isn’t there another one JUST like this? I feel like I’ve read this recap before. . .

    Anyways, isn’t Sweet Valley in Southern California?? News flash to the ghostwriters. . . we’re pretty used to “Chicanas” around here. We even go so far as to mingle, befriend and even date them (gasp!). Rosa’s an idiot and should be ashamed of herself. If she doesn’t want Nana around, I’ll take her.


  • Shannon July 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Jan: I know! I’m going to guess the Texans made fun of her because she’s crazy and obnoxious, not because she’s Mexican.

    Abi: Rachierach is right, the book was talking about that Fergie, not the slutty chick from the Black Eyed Peas. And I can’t believe you didn’t know that only Mexican people can speak Spanish. If you know Spanish, you probably have a Mexican in your family tree.

    Merrie: This dress?
    Rosa totally should have worn the hat. Jessica should totally NOT have worn that blazer.


  • Shannon July 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Keri & Jenna: Yeah, Texas and California are two of the most ridiculous places for this plotline to ever have happened. I don’t know what they were thinking.

    Jenna, I know. There’s always some new kid who moves to town and wants to keep some big secret from everyone.


  • trappedintheattic July 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Dude. Don’t be a bitch to your Nana! Damn!


  • alantru July 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Wow. Those Pi Betas. Focus on the “hero” aspect first and maybe they can stomach the Mexican angle.

    And when it can’t get any better… That math B story sounds like a riot!


  • Misty July 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I think that the ghost writers really must HATE Rose/ Rosa, because there is no way they could have written this book and thought, “She’s so sympathetic!”

    Granted, these are the same brilliant writers who keep pushing the idea that Liz and Todd are the most perfect couple ever…


  • Kate July 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Concerning the cover:

    Rosa looks as though she was drawn by a different artist than the twins. It’s as though the cover artist handed it to a friend and said, “I can only draw blonds. Can you help me out with this ethnic chick?”


  • Anners, Lover of Chandler July 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Oh my. This book was full of fail.

    Is Jessica wearing one of Robin’s old jackets?


  • Sandy August 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Wait a second! Isn’t Maria Santelli a Pi Beta?!?!?


  • Shannon August 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I had the same thought, but then I realized that I’m not sure whether or not Maria is Mexican. I think maybe she was supposed to be at one point, hence her name, but when it came down to actually writing the books, they seem to have left out anything having to do with her heritage.


  • Sandy August 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Oh, right, she must be “Hispanic” like me. Or should I say “Hispanic non-white” like I seem to always have to check on government forms, lol.


  • Kat August 25, 2009 at 2:45 am

    I also have a dress that looks like Rosa’s. And nope, I’m not Mexican.

    But I’m also not blonde, blue-eyed and a size six, so I guess I wouldn’t be invited to Pi Beta, either.


  • Jenn October 8, 2010 at 1:09 am

    They didn’t tell her she could be Mexican AND a Pi Beta Alpha? That doesn’t make sense, especially if they still want to hang out with her. Oh well…


  • Bailey November 26, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I started reading your blog becasue i noticed i had a couple of the SVH books. #’s 3, 17, 18, 34 and 37 to be exact. I was curius to what happened between the books and stumbled across your blog. Taht was 3 days ago. Since then, i read through all the SVH recaps and started at book 1. And here I am. You recaps are amazing and hilarious and I love all the snarky comments you make. I kinda want to be best friends with you.


  • Tom Mckay August 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm



  • Darren August 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I didn’t like what they had Rosa do…why would she not want to accept being PBA? that never made any sense to me. THis was the worse filler story ever. Rosa to me should’ve accepted, apologized to Nana, but I guess she and the family moved back to Texas.


  • jannghi October 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Her last Santelli is Italian, so she’s obviously Italian. The name Maria is Italian and Portuguese, as well as Spanish. Saint Mary is translated as “Santa Maria” in each of those languages.


  • Anonymous March 19, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Bitch! Throwing out the cake your Nana made you? That is a new low, even for Sweet Valley.


  • Natasha July 27, 2017 at 4:12 am

    I hate these characters that deny their true heritage! Jade was another one who was ashamed of being Chinese. I’m a kiwi so I guess a high school sorority wouldn’t accept me. Who thought up Rose?? Dumb ass and doesn’t deserve her heritage.


  • Natasha July 29, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Jessica didn’t even try to study so she’s only got hers self to blame. But as always she blames Liz for her problems. There is something really wrong with Jess.


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