Sweet Valley High #137: Fight Fire with Fire

SVH137Read part one of this miniseries here. Read part two here.

The Moral of the Story: If you don’t press charges against a rapist, he’ll blow up your school. *

The Big Deal: Big football game


Devon Whitelaw is at some crappy motel when he gets a letter from his old nanny, whose name is Nan. She wants him to stay with her in Sweet Valley, California. Devon travels that way and demands to know why Nan hasn’t contacted him in all the years since she quit working for the Whitelaws. It turns out Devon’s parents returned all Nan’s letters to her for no reason I can figure. Nan clearly cares about him, so Devon decides to stay in Sweet Valley. He goes out to explore the town and notices there’s a football game at the high school. He sees a beautiful blond girl with a heart-shaped face and instantly falls in love. Sigh.

Steve posts bail for Lila and it gets him in trouble at work. The twins can’t believe Steve would give up his whole career for Lila and they think the whole sick relationship needs to end. So, while Lila’s going through all the trauma of having her house burn down and being accused of setting the fire, the twins decide to play a trick on her. Bitches. They write Lila a letter from Steve, outlining the wonderful life they’re going to have, family barbecues, tons of kids, simple pleasures the whole way. Lila gets pissed and wonders just what luxuries Steve thinks she’s going to give up.

The next time Steve goes to work, the D.A. fires him. He starts clearing out his desk and finds a picture of Billie. It makes him all teary-eyed. Then he goes to the evidence room to take one last look at the Fowler case. He finds a fragment of the bomb from the restaurant. There’s a piece of a soda can, ProSport lemon, which is the kind of soda John Pfeifer had on his desk at the Oracle office.

Lila and Steve haven’t broken up yet, so Liz decides to write another letter. When Steve reads it, he can’t believe Lila cares so much about having dinner parties and introducing him to the right people. Blah, blah, blah. Who cares? Lila and Steve spend a few days apart, but the twins aren’t satisfied because what if they decide they miss each other? They decide the best thing to do is get them together while they’re still upset about the letters. There’s a big football game coming up and they figure that will be the perfect time.

At the game, Jessica tells Lila that Steve wants to see her, and Liz tells Steve that Lila wants to see him. They meet inside the school and break up amicably, but then Lila mentions Steve’s letter. Confusion follows and they realize the twins set them up. They think it would be funny to go back to the game all lovey-dovey and trick the twins, but on their way there, they see John Pfeifer hiding in some bushes.

John runs away, and Lila and Steve follow him around to the front of the gym. John has gone completely off the deep end. He gives an Evil Villain speech and talks about how he burned down Fowler Crest because he hates Lila for turning him into an outcast. Then he lights the fuse and the gym explodes. Somehow, Lila and Steve are okay, but John dies.


The next morning, Steve’s making breakfast when the D.A. shows up at the front door and offers to give Steve his job back. The twins start jumping up and down and Jessica kisses the D.A. on the cheek, which kind of cracks me up. Then Lila, who spent the night because her parents are STILL out of town, comes downstairs and asks what the commotion is all about. Steve winks at her and tells her the good news, and then he and Lila tell the twins they’re engaged. They get a good laugh out of the looks on the twins’ faces. Steve drives Lila home, and her parents FINALLY show up and tell her how sorry they are and that they’ll never again go someplace where Lila can’t get in touch with them. So I guess that’s resolved.


When Lila had officially been booked, a female officer with frizzy red hair guided her toward the holding cell.

Just so you know, all the cops are ugly. That’s how we know we’re supposed to hate them.

He couldn’t imagine actually fitting in – a cold climate East Coaster in this mellow, warm place.

Oh, don’t worry about that, Devon. Almost all our new students are from the east coast!

The Cover: Is that how the preppy people dressed in January of 1998? I wouldn’t know, I was too busy wearing my crappy Nirvana shirts and holey jeans ‘cause I was just that awesome.

*I’m kidding. But seriously, please press charges if you ever find yourself in this kind of situation.

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  • Lori December 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    God the twins suck. Hey John your an outcast because your try to rape girls. Why wasn’t he in jail or juvie or dead for those crimes?


    Shannon Reply:

    Well, Lila and the other girl (I can’t remember her name now) never reported him. They just embarrassed him at the Dairi Burger and called it a day. Since that was pre-Jungle Prom (when everything got more “serious”) that was the perfect cheesy end to the whole mess. I have no idea why the writers decided to revisit it such a long time later and now suddenly there’s all this craziness.


    Christine Reply:

    Yay for Nirvana shirts and holey jeans! I never saw anyone dressed like that book cover, in my high school in the ’90s, but I guess grungey old Ontario, Canada ain’t fancy like Cali-for-ni-ay!

    I kinda like that dramatic resolution to the John Pfeifer storyline. I do think it’s better than the first “ending” where they just laugh at him – sorry to disagree with you Shannon. 🙂 But he deserved to DIE! And it’s still cheesy. (Plus they ended this one with Steven & Lila laughing at the twins, right? So I guess it’s their turn to come back with a pyromaniacal vengeance!)

    Clearly the writers revisited John/Lila because of their extreme sensitivity to victims of rape/attempted rape. Haw! But seriously, the series was getting so sensational and over-the-top, I guess they felt John’s story was a missed opportunity they just had to exploit—er–*explore* further.

    I can’t believe the twins were so upset about Lila dating their brother. I mean, they seemed to think *she* wasn’t good enough for *him*! His lovelife (eww) is none of their business, really. I don’t know why the writers act like it’s okay every time they interfere in his dating life (I know Jessica, at least, has done it before). Would they like it if *he* tried to sabotage *their* relationships? (Not that they need any help with that.) So stupid.

    Sure Lila deserves better than Steve anyway, but she also deserves better friends than Jessica. Like all of us! Readers were supposed to envy the perfect twins with their perfect figures/hair/dimples/family. But the main attraction is actually getting to be best friend’s with Lila, right? 🙂


    Shannon Reply:

    I agree that the first ending was just stupid. And I do love any ending that involves the twins getting laughed at. This is just so…silly.

    I don’t get why they were so bothered by Steven and Lila either, especially considering how hard Jessica worked to get Steve together with Cara.


  • HelenB December 17, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Ugh, the twins really show their true colours here, don’t they? Also, if John was such an outcast, why was he still working at the Oracle? Oh wait, that’s Earth logic. Not Sweet Valley logic. Also, I know Devon is the next big romantic interest, but he’s about as interesting as a soggy tissue. That makes him even less interesting than Todd.


    Shannon Reply:

    Devon is seriously boring. He just keeps acting all emo and crying about how horrible his life is.


  • Darren December 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Just to be sure, Lila and Steven parted…but nobody told the twins they parted, right? Jessica and Elizabeth are still sure that Steven/Lila are still dating, right? Anybody ever tell them that STeven/Lila are NOT dating? Just out of curiosity now for one can only take a joke for so long you know.

    I don’t understand one thing about John…It seems Elizabeth has a hard time seeing facts, like John trying to rape Lila and then John trying to frame Lila. I mean, how in the world can Elizabeth stay friends with that douche, and how in the heck can John STILL be allowed to go to school and work on the Oracle? That’s like saying when kids commit something major like rape, they’re still allowed in school and not expelled for such a thing. What they did with John was very poor and inappropriate as he should not have been in school and Elizabeth should’ve told John to Fuck off and don’t come back to the Oracle.

    And Shannon, I do believe the other girl was named Susan Wyler and she was a sophomore thought up to be in book 90. It was so ironic and stupid how many ‘of the guys’ and also ‘Elizabeth’ were siding with John and persecuting Lila it seems.


    Shannon Reply:

    This book ends with them still thinking Lila and Steve are together, but I’m pretty sure they know the truth by the time the next book starts.

    Elizabeth is just a bitch who tries so hard to be righteous and fair that she forgets people have feelings. She doesn’t know for absolute sure that John did anything wrong, so she lets him stay on the Oracle.


  • Darren December 17, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    It’s amazing how short they draw up the dresses on the girls! I mean, Lila really wears something short and so does Jessica. The background by the window, does it seem like it’s Christmas for like the 137th time in Sweet Valley?
    Lile does indeed look like Shirlee Elliot, hope I spelled that right on the actress of Sweet Valley High the TV series.


    Shannon Reply:

    I think it’s one of those horrible block windows like this:


  • Lorelai December 17, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Whose high school is that purple? Also, yay for John Pfeifer blowing himself up. Bitch had it coming.


    Shannon Reply:

    Yeah, if you’re going to kill a rapist in your book, blowing him up is probably the best way to do it.


    Karla Reply:

    I wonder if the GWs saw “I Spit On Your Grave”?


  • Darren December 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I liked how John cried out ALIVE! Reminds me of Streets of San Francisco when Patty Duke (used to be Astin) offed Dick Van Patten’s character and she shouted JUSTICE! I’m glad John blew himself up, though I would’ve put him in a burning buildling or someobody on LAPD pop him one.


  • Amanda December 19, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Ok When John dies….does it remind anyone else of Christian Slater bomb scene in Heathers?? Maybe I’m just a nerd. Anyway as far as what crazy rapists are allowed to do….the whole Lila//John storyline actually happened at my high school and after he spent his like 10 days in Juvie the courts sent HER to another school! Like thanks people we would have really missed running around scared out of our wits all the time! Lame! Hate the system!


    Shannon Reply:

    Wow, that is really horrible.


  • Darren December 20, 2009 at 2:38 am

    That’s amazing, Amanda. They kick out the victim but allow the criminal to continue attending school. No wonder we’re looked down upon in this backwards system.


  • Sandy January 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I wore short skirts in ’98. Lol


    Shannon Reply:

    Now that I’m older, I wish I’d spent more time wearing short skirts, lol.


  • Kate February 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I don’t get why the reaction to the letters is “he wants me to give everything up?” and “she’s a snob?”

    Shouldn’t it be more along the lines of:

    “WTF? I’m only 16 and we’ve only been making out for a week. He’s already talking about a future of kids and BBQ? Psycho!!!”


  • The World of Sweet Valley April 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I still don’t see why the twins have to be bitches about Lila and Steven when Jessica was shoving Cara at him before.


  • Lila Freakin' Fowler December 19, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Just for fun I googled John Pfeifer and the first hit was a gynocologist that has an office in some place called the “Peters building”.

    That snark writes itself.


  • Lila Freakin' Fowler December 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    HA!! Then I re-googled “John Pfeifer the asshole guy” and this snark was the first link xD


  • Kim January 5, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    “I don’t get why they were so bothered by Steven and Lila either, especially considering how hard Jessica worked to get Steve together with Cara.”

    I literally just said the same thing on the other book where Stila first got together. I get that Liz wouldn’t be thrilled cause she and Lila were never friends, but I don’t get Jessica’s opposition at all since she was pushing Cara on Steven like it was going out of style. Why is Cara acceptable for her brother and Lila not is what I don’t get.

    “Ugh, the twins really show their true colours here, don’t they? Also, if John was such an outcast, why was he still working at the Oracle? Oh wait, that’s Earth logic. Not Sweet Valley logic. Also, I know Devon is the next big romantic interest, but he’s about as interesting as a soggy tissue. That makes him even less interesting than Todd”

    True colors? Unless I’m missing something, all they did was write some phony letters. Jessica alone has done worse than that to Annie Whitman, Enid, Liz, Robin Wilson, Bill Chase, etc. And that’s just off the top of my head from the first 10 books. Considering what Jess is capable of, I’d say Lila and Steve got off easy here.


  • Anonymous January 25, 2016 at 3:18 am

    John shouting “ALIVE” actually reminds me of Boris in Goldeneye shouting “yes! I am invincible!” Ha! I also thought the twins were real bitches in this book. I’d be supporting Lila, not abandoning her and breaking up her relationship. I also thought Todd was kind of cool for having a go at Liz for butting in and being decietful. When Todd is one of the better characters in SVH?? There must be a full moon!! Ps: Lila’s parents suck, Heather sucks. The DA sucks, Jess and Liz suck, John sucks. Lol. Lila needs a better town:)


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