Sweet Valley High #123: Elizabeth’s Rival
The Big Deal: Jessica throws a dance to celebrate the end of the first week of camp. Nothing much happens there.
The gang is off to be junior counselors at Camp Echo Mountain in Montana. This summer camp focuses on drama type stuff, so Jessica is psyched to go because she’s sure she’ll be discovered somehow, and Liz is sure she’ll be chosen to write the play the camp will put on. Liz is also excited because her friend Maria Slater (not Maria Santelli, as I misread it a few times) is going to be there. I believe Maria was in the Sweet Valley Twins books. She was a child actor and was good friends with Liz because she wanted to get out of acting and start writing. She can’t wait to see Liz again and introduce her to her new best friend, Nicole Banes. Liz arrives at camp first and decides she’ll just take the cabin’s only desk so she can work on the play. Then Nicole arrives and starts throwing Liz’s crap on her bed, saying she needs the desk to write the play. Liz, not accustomed to having competition, hates Nicole immediately.
Jessica is assigned to the youngest kids and she’s a little worried since she’s not very good with kids. She can’t believe it when the girls love her and listen to everything she says. They’re actually a little creepy. One of them tries to bleach her hair blond so she can look just like Jessica. Another girl, Maggie, carries a video camera with her everywhere and records everything Jessica does. Jessica still isn’t over Christian or Ken, so she’s decided to make her summer boy-free. This works out well until she meets the teenage brother of one of her campers. His name is Paul and he of course falls in love with Jessica the second he lays eyes on her.
Lila is in love with Bo, one of the male counselors. Bo is an adventure seeker and is always telling stories about the mountains he’s climbed and rivers he’s rafted. Lila tries to make herself seem braver and more adventurous than she really is and it’s clear to us that Bo is a phony, but Lila has no idea and gets upset when Bo won’t sneak over to the girls’ cabin after dark to see her. He finally comes clean and tells Lila he’s really a coward and the son of a millionaire. Lila tells Bo the truth about herself and they make out for a while. Hey, whatever happened to Robby?
Liz is having a rough time at camp. She’s been staying up really late every night to write her play, her campers hate her, Nicole is horrible and Joey, the drama counselor Liz has fallen in love with (Todd’s not around, so you know Liz is about to cheat), seems to like Nicole better than her. Liz finishes writing her play, but the disk disappears before she can show it to Joey. Then she finds out Nicole has stolen it and is passing off the work as her own. She makes a scene, but nobody believes her and she ends up looking like an ass. Neither Maria nor Joey wants anything to do with her and Nicole just gloats about it.
Jessica is pining for Paul. She remembers that Maggie caught them on tape when he came up to the camp one day to pick up his sister. She finds Maggie’s tape and watches that scene over and over again. Then she watches the rest of the tape and sees Nicole taunting Liz about the stolen play. Jessica calls everyone to the main lodge and shows them the tape. Liz is vindicated, Maria is her friend again and Joey goes ahead and falls in love with her. He’s heard about Todd so he asks Liz what the deal is. She lies and says they’re free to date other people. Then Todd shows up just as Liz and Joey are walking around holding hands and laughing. Liz immediately drops Joey’s hand and starts to panic.
“I’ve always felt like something’s been missing from my life since she moved away,” Elizabeth continued in a pensive tone, gazing out of the car’s windshield at the night sky.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t be more like Maria,” Todd said in a flat voice.
That’s right, folks. Todd is jealous of Maria. This is such a dysfunctional couple.
Jessica watched her sister lie down and close her eyes. The world’s most faithful girlfriend, Elizabeth usually wasn’t so easily flustered by another guy.
The Cover: Ooh, look at those bitchfaces on Nicole and Liz as they stare each other down over Maria. I recognize Jessica and her fucked up looking kids, but I don’t know who those boys are and I don’t care.