Sweet Valley High #89: Elizabeth Betrayed

SVH089The moral of the story: The Oracle = serious business.

The Big Deal: Will somebody throw a party around here?


Olivia’s Story was clearly not canon, because today her boyfriend is not James Yates, but Rod Sullivan. And as much as I hated James, I hate Rod even more. All he can ever talk about is how great Elizabeth is and what a talented writer she is, and then acts like Olivia is just so cute with her poetry and art stuff.

Penny has been chosen for some award or something and will be in Washington, D.C. for two weeks. She needs to appoint someone as editor-in-chief while she’s gone. Liz is the obvious choice, but Olivia can’t help hoping she might get picked instead. Rod, of course, thinks she’s being ridiculous; of course Penny will choose Liz. And of course she does. Olivia is crushed at first, but she turns that emotion into a kickass edition of Visions, the literary magazine she edits. Liz says she might have some poems she can contribute, so Olivia asks her to bring them over after school. Liz reads some of Olivia’s poems and convinces her to send them to the Sweet Valley News. Olivia is feeling pretty good that night until she talks to Rod, who asks her how her afternoon was, but then won’t let Olivia get a word in after Elizabeth is mentioned.

I think the theme of this book is “honesty.” First, Jessica doesn’t want to be honest with Sam and tell him she’d rather go shopping with Lila than watch him in another dirt bike race. Then, when Lila picks her up, Jessica is shocked that Lila has straightened her hair and dyed it purple. She doesn’t want to hurt Lila’s feelings so she doesn’t say anything. When Lila realizes people at the mall are laughing at her and not admiring her, she gets mad at Jessica for not telling her she looked bad. That evening, Ned comes home with a present for Alice. It’s a sculpture of meerkats and it looks horrible. Alice hates it, but doesn’t want to hurt Ned’s feelings.

It’s only Tuesday and Liz is already totally stressed out about the paper. There’s a horrible superflu going around and a third of the school, including Mr. Collins, is out sick. The paper is shorthanded and Liz has three blank spaces that need to be filled. Olivia would be glad to help, but Liz hasn’t asked her and I guess she feels like she needs an engraved invitation. When Jenny Mitchell, who was going to write the feature article, comes down with Captain Trips, Rod offers to help, which makes Olivia mad. Liz asks Jessica if she can help out, and Jessica decides to write a story about whether or not honesty is the best policy. Now Liz has only one blank space left, and she has Todd fill it with a name-the-flu contest. When Rod turns in his article, Liz is relieved to find it’s actually good, though it’s vaguely familiar to her.

Everyone thinks Jessica’s article is great, but Lila gives her a women’s magazine with an article about how being completely honest makes you a better person. Jessica thinks about it for a while and decides she’s never going to tell a lie again. This sounds great, but Jessica doesn’t seem to understand that you don’t have to be a bitch to tell the truth. After a week of Jessica telling everyone exactly what she thinks about them, Lila organizes a Total Honesty for Jessica Day. Everyone spends the whole day criticizing her and she learns her lesson.

Liz is having trouble with an English assignment. She has to compare a poem to a painting or something, but Liz doesn’t really get art. Rod offers to help her, and they agree to talk about the essay at the Dairi Burger after school. When they get there, though, Rod just wants to talk. At one point, he takes Liz’s hand and says he likes that she doesn’t bite her nails. And it is at that minute that Olivia inevitably comes through the door. She leaves before Rod or Liz can spot her. She calls Liz later that night, and Liz explains that Rod was just helping her with an assignment and he was only holding her hand to see if she bit her nails.

Liz does finally manage to get Rod to help her with her essay, but she falls asleep that night without finishing it. The next morning, she wakes up late and panics about the essay. She knows it’s sloppy, but she decides to turn it in as is rather than not turn it in at all. That afternoon, Mr. Collins asks her why she would plagiarize art critic Archie Fox. Liz realizes Rod passed off Archie’s ideas as his own, but she’s really only mad at herself for trying to pass off Rod’s ideas as hers. Or whatever. Bottom line is, Mr. Collins kicks Liz off the newspaper for being a plagiarist. Liz asks Rod why he would do this to her, but he says she shouldn’t have just written down what he said. Liz talks to Jessica, who tells her it’s obvious that Rod has a crush on her and was only trying to impress her. Olivia comes to the same conclusion when Liz talks to her, and she gets upset and tells Liz she can’t help her.

A few days later, Olivia is on top of the world. Now that Liz is off the paper, Olivia is helping Mr. Collins with editing. Then Rod takes her out and they have the best date they’ve ever had. She feels guilty about Liz, though. On Saturday, the Sweet Valley News prints one of Olivia’s poems, and she realizes she really has Liz to thank, but she still just doesn’t know what to do. Then Jessica shows up at her house and tells her Liz would never just sit around doing nothing if the roles were reversed, so Olivia needs to get off her ass.

Olivia knows Jessica is right. She realizes a few things, like Rod really did have a crush on Liz. She also remembers that there was something odd about the article he wrote for The Oracle. She fishes it out of her trashcan and rereads it. It turns out he plagiarized the whole thing. Olivia calls Penny, who has just returned from D.C., and they go to Mr. Collins first thing in the morning. Rod gets in trouble, Olivia breaks up with him, Liz is back on the paper and is friends with Olivia again.

Setup for the next book: John Pfeifer and Jennifer Mitchell have broken up, and Lila is showing a little interest in John. Don’t go home with him, Lila! He’s no good!


Olivia was thrilled when she saw the look on Rod’s face. “Wow!” He gave a low whistle. “You look fantastic, Liv.”

“Do you really think so?” she asked, trying not to sound too pleased with herself.

“Yeah.” He tilted his head to one side. “Doesn’t Elizabeth have a dress like that?”

Yep, that’s Rod.

DeeDee had rolled her eyes. “Elizabeth Wakefield was sitting in the Dairi Burger holding hands with someone else’s boyfriend? Have you lost your mind?”

She’s not that perfect. I direct you to the Cheats on Boyfriend tag.

The Cover: Why is Penny on this cover giving Liz the bitchface? She’s hardly even in the book. Olivia looks kind of cute, but I don’t know why she’s wearing pearls. Liz looks confused and sleepy. And I hate her.

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  • Jan aka Girl Talk Read August 11, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Wow the Jess being honest thing was totally like that ep of Three’s Company where Jack Tripper decided he would never tell a lie and so he was saying all these terrible things to Janet and Cindy.

    By the way, I adore meerkats!


  • Merrie August 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I thought Olivia was supposed to be all new-agey and arty and whatnot. In every book she is trying to re-do herself to make someone else (Roger, Ken, Rod) happy.



  • Megan August 11, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    First of all: I adored the Captain Trips reference!

    Secondly: Damn it Jess, START APPRECIATING SAM.


  • Daners Isadora- Bond Girl August 11, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Everyone on that cover is dressed like they’re 90 years old.

    HA! Captain Trips!!!

    A “Name-The-Flu” contest? Really? Um, okay. Lame.

    Lila is seriously a gal after my own heart.

    Ah, Sam, you deserve so much better


  • Shannon August 12, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Jan, I’ve always said that SVH is just one long episode of Three’s Company.

    Merrie, yeah, Olivia’s always cool and confident until the story is actually about her.

    Megan and Lindsay, I LOVE Stephen King and I don’t care who knows it, ha.

    Poor Sam. He should have just stayed in Bridgewater and kept the hell away from the Wakefield twins.


  • Smiley August 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I don’t get the cover either. It looks like Penny and Olivia are glaring at each other behind Liz’s back. They weren’t mad at each other.


  • Smiley August 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Olivia looks all, “I’ll cut you, bitch!”


  • tracy london August 12, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    I loved the Captain Trips reference too! I also love Stephen King and The Stand is one of my favorite books of all time.


  • Sandy August 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Ugh! My dyslexia had me reading meerkats as “meek rats”. I had to read that sentence twice. And how odd that Rod thinks it’s nice that Liz doesn’t bite her nails?!?! Did Liv bite hers or somethign??? I didn’t read this book. Oh, well, he would have been super ecstatic if he would have learned that Liz has only painted her toe nails once!!!


  • Jenn October 8, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Love the Captain Trips reference!


  • Kim January 2, 2016 at 2:23 am

    I don’t get the title. Who exactly was Elizabeth betrayed by?

    “Olivia was thrilled when she saw the look on Rod’s face. “Wow!” He gave a low whistle. “You look fantastic, Liv.”

    “Do you really think so?” she asked, trying not to sound too pleased with herself.

    “Yeah.” He tilted his head to one side. “Doesn’t Elizabeth have a dress like that?” ”

    That guy Rod is so hard up for Liz it’s not even funny.


  • Natasha August 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I hated this book! Everyone was gushing over Liz in the first few pages. I don’t know how many times I rolled my eyes. I was in Olivia’s side, glad she was getting sick of Liz too! And Rod is a jerk clearly he had a crush on Ms Perfect.

    Another problem I had-Bruce is a year older than the twins so what was he doing in Jessica’s history class?


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