Sweet Valley High Senior Year #3: So Cool

Synopsis:

Alice and Ned take the twins to First and Ten, a sports bar and grill where Maria works, to have dinner and catch up. Conner comes in to see Maria and Liz gets all antsy and weird when her parents insist on an introduction.

When Jessica and her parents get back to Fowler Crest after dinner, Jessica runs upstairs to find Lila. Even though they live in the same house, Jessica hasn’t seen Lila since Friday night when she chose to stay at Riot with Melissa instead of leave with Jessica. She asks Lila what the hell is going on, and Lila says she can’t believe Jessica would try to steal Melissa’s boyfriend and then rub her face in it. She’s apparently forgotten that Jessica didn’t do either of those things.

Jessica stays home from school on Monday because she just can’t face seeing anyone. This unfortunately means she’s going to miss the first cheerleading practice, which won’t look good since she and Melissa are both up for captain. Oh, well. At lunch, Melissa and her minions talk about Jessica and spread more gossip. Will can’t stand it. He really cares about Jessica (really?) and feels bad for her, but he doesn’t want to defend her and make Melissa angry. Wuss.

Liz goes to Fowler Crest after school to convince Jessica that giving up is just admitting defeat. She says Jessica needs to get her act together in time for the upcoming pep rally, where she can show everyone what she’s made of. But at cheerleading practice, Lila and Amy purposely drop her during a stunt. Jessica leaves practice, and Tia yells at Melissa, accusing her of putting Lila and Amy up to it. The next day, Jessica decides she just can’t stand the thought of going to practice, so she asks Tia to tell the coach she couldn’t make it. She goes to the parking lot to get in the Jeep and go home, and Will comes running up to her. He kind of tries to apologize, and Jessica gets pissed and almost runs him over. Anger is just what Jessica needed, and now she’s decided she’s not going to let Melissa walk all over her.

In an attempt to get over Conner, Liz goes through her diaries from last year and old notes from Todd to remind herself that she was really in love with Todd and the way she feels about Conner is just a passing phase. That doesn’t work because all the diary entries and notes are from times when she’d cheated on Todd or he was mad at her about something. She decides to go to Conner’s bedroom because she knows he’s a slob and his messy room will turn her off. It works at first, but then she sees his bookshelf, which is full of pretty leather-bound books. Desperate to get over the guy, Liz actually picks up a dirty t-shirt from the floor…and smells it. I’m so grossed out. But it doesn’t smell bad, it just smells like Conner, and now Liz is hopelessly in love with him.

Conner is getting annoyed with Maria already because he apparently can’t stay in a relationship for more than two days. She’s meek and timid and lets him decide everything, and he wishes she would stand up for herself and show some backbone. Meanwhile, Maria is falling in love with him. She calls him and wants to know where she stands, so Conner tells her he was just having a little fun and he’s not having fun anymore. Maria meets Liz at the coffeehouse and tells her the whole sad story, and even though Liz is overjoyed that Conner is now single, she’s really upset that he hurt Maria so badly. When she gets home, she yells at him for being such a jackass. Then she runs upstairs and slams her door. Conner is totally turned on.

The cheerleaders decide to meet at Melissa’s house and caravan to the pep rally, but the night before the rally, Melissa and Cherie plan to call everyone except Jessica to say they’re going to just meet at the gym. Will overhears their plans and leaves a note in Jessica’s locker telling her what’s really going on, but I guess he doesn’t know it’s Friday afternoon and she’s not going to be coming back to her locker before the rally. He’s real smart.

Conner has been taking guitar lessons for years, and his instructor has landed him a gig at House of Java, where Liz works. He’s all closemouthed about it, so Tia takes it upon herself to make sure everyone shows up to cheer him on. Friday night comes and the House of Java is packed. Conner plays like a rock star and impresses everyone, especially Liz when he plays the song he wrote about her. After his set, he breaks away from everyone congratulating him and offers to give Liz a ride home. When they get to the house, Conner leans over and Liz thinks he’s going to kiss her, but he just opens her door. She gets out and Conner is glad he stopped himself from kissing her because it just would have ended the same way it ended with Maria and he likes Liz too much to let that happen.

Saturday night rolls around and Jessica drives all the way out to Melissa’s house in El Carro to meet the cheerleading squad, who is, of course, at the gym already. Since Tia is the one who told her to go to Melissa’s, she now thinks Tia is just as bad as everyone else. Meanwhile, Tia is at the gym, totally disgusted that Melissa and Cherie would make Jessica miss the pep rally. Jessica gets to the gym just in time to see the squad run out onto the court. She goes outside to go back home, but Will sees her and follows her. Again, he apologizes, and again, Jessica tells him to leave her alone.

Liz goes to Fowler Crest after the rally to cheer Jessica up and invite her to hang out with her and her friends the next day. So Jessica goes to meet her at the Riot and gets totally upset when she sees her with Tia. She yells at Tia for trying to get her kicked off the squad and then at Liz for hanging out with the enemy.

The Cover: Is that supposed to be Conner? I’m so not impressed.

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Comments
  • Sandy February 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    So the cover model looks so conceited and full of himself I threw up in my mouth.

    And Liz and Conner are having sexual tension.

    And Jess and Will are idiots.

    Nice.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Your recap is better than mine. Much more concise and to the point.

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  • Jane February 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Ok, who comes up with the names of these books. What exactly is “So Cool” ?

    I want to hear more about Enid and her lesbian lunchbox lover.

    And those twins are always trying to kill someone with their Jeep. Why do they still have licenses?

    [Reply]

    Sandy Reply:

    Lesbian Lunchbox Lover! LLL for short!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Ha! That’s for sure what we’re calling her from now on if we ever hear about her again.

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  • Ungraceful February 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Wow.

    I don’t think there is a single redeemable guy in Sweet Valley. All the ladies should take a note from Enid and become lesbians.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Seriously.

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  • Svugirl February 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I am soo grossed out from Elizabeth smelling his dirty shirt! What a stalker like move!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I know! I have never been so in love with a guy that I wanted to smell his dirty laundry.

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  • The One With... February 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    When these books first came out, I thought Conner was awesome. Ew. I hate twelve year old me.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Aw, don’t feel bad! Twelve-year-old me probably would have liked him, too. Twelve-year-olds are dumb.

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    megan s. Reply:

    i never read this when i was twelve. i guess im old 🙁

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I think I was about twenty when these came out, so I’m right there with you.

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    megan s. Reply:

    oh good im not the only one then 😉

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  • Dee February 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I have this thing for fictional bad boys, so the teenage part of me considered Conner to be kind of a hottie. I think I just liked the whole bad boy/supposedly good girl storyline.

    I hated Melissa. And I hated Will. They made the story interesting, but I just wanted to knock some sense into them.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Will and Melissa are seriously obnoxious characters and I hate them.

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  • Lorelai February 20, 2010 at 12:21 am

    None of the four Conners on the cover are So Cool. They’re not even A Little Bit Cool.

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    Christine Reply:

    Why are there four shots of him anyway? Are those supposed to be from one of those mall photo booths? The blue tone and curtain kind of reminds me of some photos I’ve taken in mall booths, y’know, with friends…

    …WHO TAKES MALL PHOTO BOOTH PHOTOS BY THEMSELVES?! And then poses like he’s planning to pass them out to 4 different “lucky ladies” he wants to woo. I agree with you, Lorelai, and with Sandy’s comment – Conner’s so conceited.

    Of course he admires girls who stand up for themselves, like (all of a sudden) Liz… sure… in reality, a guy like him would probably prefer insecure girls like Maria who worshipfully let him make all the decisions. I can buy that he’d have contempt for her too, ’cause he’s a jerk, but no way am I buying into the cliched Special-Spunky-Girl-Reforms-Jerkass-Who-Previously-Mistreated-Women … ugh!

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  • Christine February 20, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Shannon, I love all the jabs you take at Will. 🙂 He is indeed stupid and wussy.

    So, Lila’s willing to *injure* Jessica now, in the name of popularity/sucking up to Melissa?! I continue to be disappointed in her. I’ve never read these Senior Year books, so all of this is new and extra painful. 😉 I’m a bit worried that Lila’s having a mental breakdown or something…the way she swings from knowing Jessica isn’t at fault…to blaming her. From deliberately dropping her during a dangerous cheerleading stunt… to trying to “cheer her up” and inviting her to hang out? What…the…heck.

    Okay, when did this book come out? Was it before or after My So-Called Life? I realize this may be the crazy conspiracy theorist in me (plus what are the odds that such a high quality show was even on Francine’s/the ghostwriters’ radar? They usually steal from dreck like 90210 or Saved By The Bell.) But I’m wondering if the ghostwriters were ripping off MSCL a bit… Conner being a musician, and the whole he’s-leaning-over-to-open-the-car-door-is-he-gonna-kiss-me-no-he-isn’t thing. Of course MSCL was not lame. And when Angela thought Jordan wrote that song for her… she/we got a humourously humiliating reality check. Not a “romantic” cheese-fest designed to make the guy (Conner) seem like a prince.

    Y’know who I actually miss now? Bruce. At least *he* wouldn’t stoop to serenading a girl to get into her pants. Don’t mind me, I must be having a breakdown myself to prefer his “direct” (and occasionally date-rape-y) approach. Conner’s messing me up, man!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I believe these were written around 2000, so it’s entirely possible the ghostwriters were stealing from MSCL.

    I’m also quite disappointed in Lila. I was willing to defend her at first, but no more. She’s not the Lila we once knew. It’s very sad.

    I hate to say it because I hate Bruce, but I also wish he was still around. He’d put on his Club X jacket and order one of his minions to beat Conner up with his own guitar.

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    Hehe! Normally I feel really sorry for poor innocent guitars when rock stars feel the need to smash them. But this guitar’s sacrifice would not be in vain. Go, Bruce, go!

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    thea Reply:

    i pulled out the book from my stash and this one is (c) april 1999.

    lila is a social climbing bitch which is funny cuz she is the richest girl at school.

    and i like ur jabs at will too. i hated him from book 1. and the cover model is hideous. why would any girl want to be with a girl who told his friends she slept with him when she didnt and cowardly lets them call her a slut?

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  • thea March 19, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    i was 16 and in love with conner too. what’s wrong with us? why is it that no matter what our age women like the brooding, arrogant, bad boy types?

    oh and i think the cover model is kinda hot. he kinda look like what i thought he would have from book book 1. the only ugly shot is the bottom left.

    [Reply]

  • Nicole November 10, 2011 at 12:30 am

    hey Shanon..
    i just luv da way u rite all dis..
    thanks a lott.. 4 doin dis
    u’rs is a very convinient style of writting
    keep up da job….
    regards
    nicole

    [Reply]

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