Sweet Valley High Senior Year #4: I’ve Got a Secret

The Big Deal: Football game, party at Andy’s

Synopsis:

Jessica has a meeting with Coach Laufeld, who tells her if someone hadn’t told her Jessica was sick, she’d have been really worried about her when she didn’t show up for the pep rally and probably would have kicked her off the squad. Jessica thinks the whole squad hates her, so she wonders who bailed her out. Jessica hasn’t spoken to Liz since the night before at the Riot, so Liz calls her mother and tells her she’ll pick Jessica up. After practice, Liz runs into Tia, who offers to hang around and explain herself to Jessica. Jessica doesn’t want to hear it at first, but Tia tells her Melissa and Cherie lied to her to make sure Jessica didn’t get to the pep rally. She hugs Jessica and tells the twins she wants to do something to get back at Melissa.

Tia goes up to Melissa the next day and yells at her in front of everyone. Melissa insists she didn’t do anything wrong and tries to cry on Will’s shoulder later about how mean Tia’s being, but Will says he overheard Melissa and Cherie planning to sabotage Jessica. He asks why she can’t stop being so mean to Jessica, but Melissa just starts sobbing and asks Will to take her home. Will starts thinking it might be time to break up.

Liz asks for Tia’s advice about Conner, but makes sure to keep it anonymous. She says she has a big crush on a guy who treats her like crap, and Tia says she should kiss him to find out if there are any sparks. While Liz sits there fantasizing and wondering if she would ever have the guts to do that, Tia hopes her advice helps Liz and Conner get together because of course she knows that’s who Liz is talking about.

At lunch one day, Maria insists on sitting with Conner and his friends so she can show him how over him she is. Conner says his guitar teacher is the lead guitarist in some band that’s opening for Silver Chair on Friday (I don’t know if that’s supposed to be Silverchair or some other made up band), and he’s given Conner free tickets and backstage passes. Liz says she wants to go, so Maria says she does, too. Liz can tell Maria is totally not over Conner. Liz is supposed to work Friday night, so she asks Jessica to cover for her. Jessica says that’s fine as long as Liz covers for her on Saturday afternoon.

Melissa and Will make plans to meet for dinner Thursday night, but Will doesn’t show. She calls his house, but his mom says he’s at his friend Josh’s. So Melissa calls over there and he blows her off, saying he forgot about dinner and now he’s promised the guys he’d play basketball with them. Melissa is furious, so she makes him hang out with her and her friends on Friday at House of Java, which pisses him off because it’s the night before the first football game of the year and he wants to be hanging out at Todd’s with the rest of the team. He finally realizes he can just get up and leave, so that’s what he does. Melissa is pissed.

There’s some guy named Jeremy Aames who goes to Big Mesa and works at House of Java with Elizabeth. His dad lost his job a year ago and Jeremy hasn’t told anyone because he wants everyone to think his family is perfect or something. Anyway, Liz has told him about Jessica covering for her so he can help her out Friday night, but she apparently didn’t tell Jessica she told him. Jessica keeps calling him Justin, and Jeremy keeps pretending he thinks she’s Liz. Lila and Amy walk in and Jessica turns pale and runs off to the bathroom. All in all, though, Jessica has a good night. It’s the first time she’s been out of the house in a while and Jeremy flirts with her. After work, Jessica admits she’s not Elizabeth, and Jeremy says he knew all along.

The concert sucks because Maria spends the whole night trying to make Conner jealous by flirting with his friend Evan, who spends the night trying to get Liz’s attention. Liz doesn’t notice Evan because she’s too busy noticing how sickening Maria is being and hoping Conner isn’t jealous of her flirting with Evan. She doesn’t get home until like three in the morning, and she calls Jessica to ask her to cover her morning shift at the coffeehouse. Jessica is more than happy to hang out with Jeremy again.

Liz gets a call from Andy the next day. He invites her over to hang out at the pool and says everyone will be there, including Maria and Conner. Liz can’t stand the thought of Maria and Conner being in the same place at the same time, so she dolls herself up with a bunch of makeup and puts on a skimpy bikini and goes to the party. Conner ignores her the whole time, but Evan and Andy try to get her to play volleyball. She says no, so they throw her in the pool. When she surfaces, Conner is laughing at her and Liz realizes her mascara has run. Maria takes her inside to fix her face.

Jessica goes to the high school Saturday afternoon for the football game and sees Jeremy in a Big Mesa football uniform. They talk for a minute, and then all the other cheerleaders show up and start whispering when they see her talking to a guy. Jessica runs away and the other cheerleaders go meet the coach, who has promised she’s going to announce who she’s assigning captain. She gives the title to Tia, and Melissa and her friends assume she and Jessica must have told the coach they lied to Jessica about the pep rally. Jessica, who decided to just skip the game, wanders over to Healthy, which is I guess the name of the place where she works. Her boss fires her for not showing up for her shift, the one Liz was supposed to cover.

Melissa’s in a bad mood because she got a message from Will asking her to meet him after the game because he wants to talk. When Melissa never comes outside after the game, Will goes back inside and finds her surrounded by her friends, crying. She tells him Tia and Jessica told on her so Tia would be named captain. Will starts to say that doesn’t make sense, but Melissa starts crying harder and saying Jessica’s trying to steal everything from her. Will knows that if Tia and Jessica tattled they would only be telling the truth, but he thinks it’s his fault that Melissa has become such a bitch and he decides he has to stay with her.

After washing her face, Liz gets in the Jeep to leave Andy’s party, and Conner jumps into the passenger seat. He asks Liz if Maria is okay since she’s been acting weird lately. Liz drops her keys between Conner’s seat and the center console, and they both reach for them at the same time. They kiss the biggest kiss of their lives, and then Conner says he has to go.

Quotes:

“Jessica, is everything okay?” Mrs. Wakefield asked… “You just seem a bit down lately.”

Alice Wakefield, as observant a parent as ever.

The Cover: Ew, horrible kissy face cover that looks like just about every teenage girl on Myspace.

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Comments
  • Jane February 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Nothing these kids do ever makes any sense. Really Will, you have to stay with Melissa because you MADE her into a bitch? Do these kids have brain damage? Is there something in the Sweet Valley water.

    Senior Year needs to bring back Bruce and Winston STAT. And again, where the hell is Enid?

    I get far more upset about these things than any reasonable adult should.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Poor Enid has been banished to the Other Hallway a la Boy Meets World, never to be heard from again. Until college, that is. Bruce was a senior in the original series so I guess he’s off at college, but neither he nor Winston are ever even mentioned in this series.

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  • Dee February 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I can’t stand Maria Slater. She gets more and more annoying as the series goes on to the point where I remember skipping past any pages where she was the primary focus.

    How close was she with Elizabeth in SVH? Because if I remember correctly, she was hardly mentioned. Now they’re BFFs since they were kids? Did I miss something?

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    HelenB Reply:

    She doesn’t turn up until quite late in the series, if I remember correctly, but she was a childhood friend of Liz’s (who is featured in the SV Kids books, I think.) But they pretty much just inserted her into Enid’s former role for Senior Year.

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    Shannon Reply:

    I think Maria was in SVTwins and she moved away. She moved back to Sweet Valley in the original series and suddenly she was Liz’s bff.

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  • The One With... February 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    When Connor laughs at Elizabeth after she’s thrown in the pool, I totally thought Connor was going to be laughing because her top came off. It really should have came off, I think. Much more entertaining than mascara issues.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I was totally expecting that, too! Especially since the skimpiness of Liz’s swimsuit was reiterated over and over again.

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    Sandy Reply:

    Well at least she wore a two piece. Senior Year at least took it up a notch.

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  • HelenB February 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Is someone’s mascara running really that funny? I thought panda eyes were all the rage.

    Tia is by far the coolest character in the series so far. She’s kind of like how Liz would be if she was the person everyone thought she was (intelligent, kind, thoughtful) instead of the person she actually is (self-obsessed, bitchy, interfering).

    I’m still liking Jessica, which is weird.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Yeah, Tia is okay at this point in the series. And I also like Jessica much better in these books.

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    Christine Reply:

    OMG, mascara running is the most embarrassing thing EVAH! Isn’t there waterproof mascara you can wear on such occasions? I don’t wear it, so I dunno, but I think I saw a commercial once or something…aah, who cares. But Liz is dumb getting all made-up for a pool party and never thinking she might get wet.

    She’s also dumb for wanting to impress ConceitedConner…and for still lurving him after he laughs at her like the immature (and easily amused) asshole that he is. CallousConner! Hasn’t *he* ever had an embarrassing incident, like customers throwing scalding hot coffee in CroonerConner’s face to express their appreciation for his groovy guitar stylings and deep poetic lyrics? Uh-oh! Your coffee’s running! (Also, your skin is dripping) …Sorry, I’ll keep my fantasies to myself. Oh, Conner’sCorpse, you’re so dreamy! (I’ll stop now) 😉

    Okay, I give up my grudge…I’ll feel sorry for Jess too. These books are so compelling and well-written, if I squint, I can almost pretend I’m unaware of the shameless manipulation! Jessica was always a persecuted sweetie-pie, the victim of others more conniving and cru-el than she. (And random guys always threw themselves at Liz ’cause, like we’ve been told so often, she’s the hotter twin!) Also, who’s Lila, Bruce, Winston, Enid? These names conjure up …foggy figures from a parallel universe perhaps? Where you stay 16 forever, spring break after spring break after summer internship, ad infinitum. Please take me back to that fantasy land…can’t handle the Gritty Realism of Senior Year. I guess I just don’t want to grow up. 😛

    Happy to see a classic twin-switch in this book recap. Yes! I don’t have to stretch toooo far out of my comfort zone.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, Christine, I love your comments so so much.

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    Christine Reply:

    Don’t encourage me, or I’ll become ConceitedChristine. 😉
    (But thanks) – You know I love your recaps, and this here web community! *hug everybody!*…aaand…*freak everybody out!*

    I’m gonna regret my sentimental outburst in the morning (afternoon). Really shouldn’t stay up ’til 6am – I get goofy.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Aw, you should never regret hugging everyone and freaking them out! I love everyone here, too.

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  • girltalkread February 22, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Shannon I am amazed that you have actually read 4 of these books- I only read one of them and wanted to vomit- I couldn’t even finish it!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I really don’t think they’re that bad. I mean, they’re obviously not the best books ever, but a lot of other Sweet Valley stuff is so much worse (ie. vampires, werewolves, deranged former cheerleaders, etc).

    [Reply]

  • Keri February 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    I love it when the Wakefields pretend to care about their kids from time to time. There should be more teen angst, like, “Why are you asking? You didn’t care when I was almost killed by a werewolf or when my teacher was molesting me…don’t pretend you care now!”

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    Heehee! Well, in Ned & Alice’s defense, their daughters *did* get over those things pretty quickly! Kids are resilient. 😉 They don’t need much attention. They’re like cute, blonde, dimpled Chia Pets who never need therapy. I think that’s the lesson here.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous February 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Maria was indeed in SVT and The Unicorn Club- then she moved away. She moved back to Sweet Valley in the later SVH books- the ones where they take a summer job and Liz cheats on Todd. Not specific enough? Somewhere around #124 or something. Maria and Liz are all best friends again and Enid gets jealous at times- good stuff.

    My problem with this whole thing is that Maria was actually kinda cool in the SVH books- sophisticated, gorgeous, cool girl from NYC- and then Senior Year starts and all of a sudden she’s a big nerd who does nothing but fill out college applications and moon over Conner- that is not the Maria I know. And yes, if I recall correctly, she just gets worse as the series goes on.

    Bruce goes to college so I guess I can see why there’s no mention of him. But Winston- I totally miss him, especially since they throw this Andy guy in there who’s pretty much Winston- El Carro style.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I agree, Maria is seriously boring in this series. And annoying.

    I do miss Winston.

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  • Janelle February 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Oops- that last one is supposed to be from me (Janelle)- not “Anonymous”!

    [Reply]

  • Sadako February 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Ugh, that key drop thing sounds like the cheesiest thing ever! I am impressed at your fortitude for not, like, going into diabetic shock, or hurling the book, Shannon. 😀

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, it was a close thing, believe me. These books are teaching me how to keep my temper about things. I haven’t thrown a single one of them yet!

    [Reply]

  • thea March 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    how old are all of you?

    i’m 27 soon to be 28 and i loved svh senior yr. granted it 1st came out when i was a junior in high school. i was a big sweet valley fan. starting with sweet valley kids (my 1st books ever), twins, high and university. i loved the 1st issue of senior yr. i loved the writing style and i loved the personalized diary type entries bw chapters.

    i at 1st had issues with the elcaro kids. all them from conner down to melissa. and i was upset at the personality changes and the reveral of character for liz and jess. also hated the disappearance of key svh characters like enid, and tood, even amy and lila in a way. but i grew to love the series and its characters.. well most of them (maria was a waste and made ken a waste.for that time, my age then and the climate in which i grew up in senior yr was a great escape. i have a collection from book 1 to 25. i never did finish the series. so if anyone knows where i could download (pdf) the last few books holla at me.

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  • The World of Sweet Valley April 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I was never a fan of SVH SY and now I remember why. It was absolutely boring and got rid a lot of the characters from SVH. Also is wasn’t as campy as the original series and I really hate the covers. Also I missed Bruce in these books

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  • Elissa April 24, 2012 at 4:20 am

    The coach is oblivious to Melissa and her friends being bitches? Coach must be blind should have kicked the bitches off the squad for slander

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  • Jenna October 24, 2016 at 4:08 am

    A teacher molested a Wakefield twin??? I don’t remember that and I thought I’d read every book in the SVT, SVH, SVSY, SVU world. (I never read those weird spinoffs like The Unicorn Club, or Sweet Valley gymnastics. Ok, well maybe I read one or two.) Can someone give me details on this molesting situation? The only thing regarding rape that I can recall involves Lila.

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  • Jenna October 24, 2016 at 4:16 am

    Thea, I know you asked this question six or seven years ago, but I’m 38. So you’re what 35 now? I grew up with these books also. First one I ever read was SVH Bitter Rivals when I was around ten. I still read them, over and over, much to my mother’s continuing chagrin. I recently asked her to nail me my collection and you should have heard the sigh, lol.

    [Reply]

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