Sweet Valley High #94: Are We in Love?

SVH094The moral of the story: Blacks and whites just really don’t belong together.

The Big Deal: Party at Andrea’s, Whitman/Thomas wedding

Synopsis:

Steve has been spending a lot of time teaching Cheryl Thomas to drive. Everyone starts to think there’s something romantic between them and Jessica asks Steve what’s going on. Steve laughs and says they’re just good friends, but then he worries that maybe the reason he’s not interested in Cheryl like that is because she’s black. Dammit, didn’t we just have a book about race yesterday? After a driving lesson, Steve and Cheryl go to a little restaurant up the highway. There are a bunch of skinhead jackasses at the next table and they make some stupid remarks. Steve and Cheryl leave, and Cheryl starts crying. Steve comforts her and they end up making out.

Steve tells the twins he and Cheryl are a couple now, but Liz notes that he looks more determined than happy, especially when he starts talking about how they’ll have obstacles to overcome. Somehow, the whole school hears about the couple and everyone is talking about it. Apparently, “Steve and Cheryl are a first.” Jessica wants to make sure everyone knows she supports the match, and she thinks the best way to do this is to offer to make the wedding cake for Annie’s mom and Cheryl’s dad. Cheryl doesn’t know Jessica well, so she thinks her enthusiasm is masking some racism. What?

For their first night out on the town as a couple, Steve, terrified of being alone with Cheryl, calls a bunch of his college buddies and they all go to the Beach Disco. Cheryl dances with Steve’s black friend, Martin, and feels a strong attraction to him. She realizes she’s not attracted to Steven at all, but wonders how that can be when she’s in love with him. Damn, these kids are sure fast to label something as “love.” She wonders if she’s not attracted to Steve just because he’s white. Ugh.

Of all of the twins’ friends, only Lila seems down on the idea of Steve and Cheryl being together. Jessica tries to convince her that closed-mindedness is out, but Lila says this is a bad move for both Steve and Cheryl. She says Andrea Slade is throwing a party this weekend, and any person who doesn’t get an invitation can count himself as a nobody. Also, since Andrea and Nicholas Morrow have broken up (aw, poor Nicholas), Andrea has developed a crush on Bruce, who is sure to be helping her with the guest list to the party. Bruce doesn’t think much of Steve and Cheryl, so Lila’s sure they won’t be invited. And that will mean that Lila was right and Jessica was wrong.

Steve and Cheryl do end up getting invited, and they’re just so awesome that by the end of the night, everyone thinks they’re the coolest couple ever. But Steve and Cheryl both spend page after page worrying about their relationship and realizing they really aren’t right for each other, but neither of them ever thinks to tell the other.

The day of the wedding, Liz and Jessica are making the wedding cake and talking about what kind of weddings they’ll have. Jessica says she and Sam won’t be ready to get married for at least five years. Aw, Sam. Liz hopes she and Todd will get married someday.

At the wedding reception, Cheryl gives a toast to her father and new stepmother. This toast somehow serves as a message to Steve, and when Cheryl sits down they do that thing where they immediately understand each other. Suddenly, they’re just friends. Cheryl ends up going out with Black Martin.

Quotes:

My big brother is half of the very first interracial couple at Sweet Valley High!

I guess Sandy and Manuel don’t count. Or Annie and Tony. Is it only interracial if one person is black and the other is white? Also, Steve doesn’t go to Sweet Valley High.

The Cover: What the hell? Is Steve actually smiling? I don’t believe it. This is proof that he’s trying too hard.

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Comments
  • Jenna August 20, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I’m just happy that for a moment in time, Steven found a girl that doesn’t look exactly like Trisha! Surely some similarities were noted though, right?

    Steven really needs to start dating girls his own age and stop hanging out at his old high school. It’s really creepy. He must be a bigger loser than we all can imagine, cause the only chicks he gets are friends of his little sisters. Lame.

    Also, Jessica Wakefield could never manage a wedding cake, lol. I’m imagining a white cake with the blue and red dots (is that called a confetti cake?) that we used to get on birthdays at school. I don’t see her as having much skill as a baker…certainly not for a wedding! And speaking of the wedding, why does everyone have an issue with Steve and Cheryl, and not Cheryl and Annie’s parents? I say this book is more ageist than racist. If you are going to discriminate, at least discriminate equally!

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  • Daners Isadora- Bond Girl August 20, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Steven has the teeth of a Kennedy on that cover.

    Cheryl can do better.

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  • Megan August 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Saaaaaaaam!

    Steven looks like he’s posing for a picture with someone’s mother. He also looks like a major douche.

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  • Kate August 21, 2009 at 7:49 am

    I’d be interested to know more about the ghost writers of these series, including their races and their own backgrounds. I just think it would be interesting to compare authors book by book.

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  • Children of the 90s August 21, 2009 at 11:45 am

    That quote is hilarious. They need some serious fact checkers in the series. I love the way they make a huge deal out of everything. Instead of teaching kids that these things are okay and not really such an earth-shattering occurrence, they make race the full topic of so many books.

    I agree with Jenna…why is Steven such a huge creeper? He’s always lurking around picking up high school chicks.

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  • rachierach August 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    I thought I once heard that ghostwriter Kate William’s name wasn’t even Kate William…that the GHOSTWRITER her/himself uses a pseudonym. But I think I would too if I was writing for SVH 🙂

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  • Shannon August 21, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Lindsay, I know, I HATE Steve’s teeth. I liked it better when he looked like a robot.

    Megan, he does. He always does.

    Kate, that’s an interesting question. I think a majority of the books, if not all of them, were written by a woman named Kate William. I don’t know anything about her, though.

    Children of the 90s, I would say the whole “OMG, Steve has a black girlfriend!” thing is a sign of the time this was written, but it was like 1992 so I don’t know where that leaves us, ha.

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  • Sandy August 21, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Why a racial storyline 3 times, unless they were out of ideas so they started recylcing some of them. This one sounded boring, I feel so bad for you Shannon.

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  • Anners Scribonia Caesar September 3, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Steven looks like a Jon Cryer nerd on that cover.

    Awesome recappage, Shannon.

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    Shannon Reply:

    Thanks, Anners!

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  • Jenn October 9, 2010 at 3:34 am

    “Also, Steve doesn’t go to Sweet Valley High.”

    He kind of does. He is always there, after all, even when it’s weird and creepy. I still think he’s sad because she definitely doesn’t look like his dead girlfriend.

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  • The World of Sweet Valley April 1, 2011 at 12:40 am

    As a black person I am getting a little tired of how Sweet Valley tackles every damn race issue and makes everyone out to be more retarded than usual. But anyways I love all your reviews I have never laughed so hard. I really loved these books as a kid so you bring back a lot of good memories. Now if only I could find a blog that does as good reviews of the stupidity that is the Gossip Girl novels and all its equally stupid spin offs series.

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  • JBlaze October 28, 2013 at 11:01 am

    No way Jessica can make a wedding cake….also, why are they making it on the day of the wedding??!!

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  • Alex Kennedy November 30, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I agree with you. I hate it how race has to be such an issue. I think in “College Girls,” when the twins go to college, the issue is quite prolific. Yes, racism does occur and it is horrible. It is a dreadful thing and I wish it would stop. It just seems that every time a character is not White, a huge thing is made of the issue.

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