Sweet Valley High Senior Year #8: Maria Who?

The Moral of the Story: Maria Slater is socially retarded.

The Big Deal: School play

Synopsis:

Maria is sitting around at home feeling sorry for herself on Saturday when her drama teacher calls and asks her to be the lead in the school play. The girl who was supposed to do it has gotten sick and the teacher offers the part to Maria instead of giving it to one of the other girls who cared enough to actually audition. Maria can’t possibly make this decision on her own, so she calls Ken Matthews of all people and asks him what he thinks. He says she should do it. Maria kisses him on the cheek and leaves for her first practice. Ken isn’t sure what to make of the kiss and he spends some time fretting about it.

When Maria gets home, she tells her parents all about the play and how Ms. Delaney thought so much of her acting talent that she didn’t even require an audition. Mr. and Mrs. Slater are very proud of her and say it’s so nice that even though Maria’s older sister Nina got all the academic ability, Maria still has talents. Damn, that’s cold. Maria is pretty pissed, especially since she’s a candidate for valedictorian and she’s beloved by all her teachers. But, as per the Sweet Valley Girl Rulebook, she doesn’t say anything to her parents about how hurt she is.

Jessica gets home from rehearsal and the housekeeper hands her a package that had been dropped on the front step. It has Jessica’s name on it in cutout magazine letters and it contains a blank journal. Jessica assumes it’s from Jeremy and she plans to write in it that night. She has clearly never read Harry Potter. You don’t just start writing in strange diaries that appear out of nowhere. Liz has been staying at Fowler Crest and Jessica tries to get her to go to a movie, but Liz is still too depressed about her fight with Conner.

Tia’s boyfriend, Angel, gets a job bartending at the Riot, and Tia’s all upset because he won’t have as much time for her as he used to. She gets Andy to go with her on Angel’s first night, and she can’t believe Angel isn’t spending any time with her. When Angel does steal a minute to say hi to Tia and Andy, his boss yells at him while throwing a little sexual harassment Tia’s way for good measure. Tia is shocked that Angel isn’t punching the guy. I’m guessing Tia’s never had a job.

Jessica goes to work on Sunday morning and mentions the journal to Jeremy. He doesn’t know anything about it. When she gets to her car after work, there’s a note taped on her windshield with a poem about what “might have been.” She mentions it to Maria and Tia later, and they think her secret admirer might be Will. Ugh, I’ll just bet it is. I want so much for him to just go away. After rehearsal on Monday, Jessica finds a silver necklace on top of her bag. That makes Tia and Maria think it’s from Charlie, the boy Jessica has to kiss in the play. Jessica decides she’ll return all the stuff to him the next day. Under no circumstances does she want to tell Jeremy what’s going on (that’s also in the Sweet Valley Girl Rulebook: always keep your boyfriend in the dark).

Liz is still feeling pretty bad at school on Monday, so Jessica and Tia convince Maria to go talk to her. Maria goes to the Oracle office the next day and says hello to Liz, which gives Liz the opportunity to apologize and explain herself. Again. Maria says she was also an idiot, and they hug each other and they’re well on their way to being best friends again when Maria leaves. Oh, Maria, I was so proud of you for hating Liz.

When Jessica tries to give the necklace to Charlie and let him know she has a boyfriend, Charlie says he doesn’t actually like her, he’s just acting in the play. Ha. Then Jessica finds two concert tickets in her locker. She’s worried about the whole thing, but Tia volunteers Liz and herself to go with her to the concert so she doesn’t have to meet her stalker alone.

Maria takes it upon herself to rearrange the makeup table one day before rehearsal, and then she doesn’t get why one of the other girls, Sarah, is mad at her for moving everyone’s stuff around and giving herself the biggest prep area. Maria is sure Sarah’s just jealous because she was hoping to get the lead when Renee had to drop out. Then at lunch the next day, Maria doesn’t notice that Tia and Jessica are getting annoyed when she offers to give them tips about how to be better actresses.

After rehearsal, Maria is totally excited about something I can’t figure out, and she goes home all ready to tell her parents her good news. But when she gets there, her parents say her sister Nina is being presented with some kind of award at Brown, so they’re flying out this weekend to see her accept it. Sorry about your play, Maria. Her parents tell her not to be jealous, and Maria flies off the handle and tells them she’s just as smart and talented as Nina and she’s sick of her parents acting like Nina’s so awesome. At rehearsal the next day, she messes up all her lines, gets into a fight with Tia and Jessica, and then she yells at Ken on her way to the dressing room. Jessica and Tia are pissed, but Ken tells them to back off because Maria’s having a hard time. Seems to me Maria’s created her own hard time (that sounds totally dirty).

Conner thinks it’s time for a guy’s night out, so he gets Angel and Andy to clear their schedules for Friday night. Since Ken has been hanging around Maria, he’s gotten to know Andy, and Andy asks him to join. Ken accepts. He clearly didn’t learn anything from previous guys’ nights out. The boys end up going to the racetrack for some dumb reason, and Angel (the only one old enough to bet) wins three hundred dollars.

Before the play on Saturday, Jessica and Tia wish Maria luck, and she apologizes for being so obnoxious all week. All is forgiven and they go put on a great performance. After the show, Maria’s dad comes backstage with Ken to congratulate her. Maria’s surprised to see her father, and he tells her he and her mother decided to split up for the weekend. Mrs. Slater is at Brown videotaping Nina’s thing, and Mr. Slater is taking a videotape home of the play.

Jessica goes to the concert on Sunday and seems pretty horrified when her secret admirer turns out to be Will. That jackass.

The Cover: Wow, that is one super shiny shirt.

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Comments
  • Clementine Bojangles March 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Tia’s boyfriend, Angel, gets a job bartending at the Riot, and Tia’s all upset because he won’t have as much time for her as he used to. She gets Andy to go with her on Angel’s first night, and she can’t believe Angel isn’t spending any time with her.

    How is this even a legitimate thought process? Like, “I can’t believe Angel doesn’t have time to stand around with my friends while he’s bar tending, and by that I mean working,” is a valid complaint somehow?

    It has Jessica’s name on it in cutout magazine letters and it contains a blank journal. Jessica assumes it’s from Jeremy and she plans to write in it that night.

    It’s weird that she immediately thinks about writing in it. I see cut-out letters arranged in my own name and I think ransom. Too paranoid?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    No, I’m with you. I think it would be super creepy to get a package like that with my name in cut out letters.

    Tia’s an idiot.

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    I agree! Cut-out letters = a psycho is after you…so, perfect gift choice for Will then. Romantic! Like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

    [Reply]

  • Dee March 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    The cover is as obnoxious as Maria is. It pretty much speaks for itself.

    I like Tia the most out of all the female El Carro characters…but when she acts like an idiot…she realllly does act like an idiot.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Yeah, Tia’s the most likeable, but she’s still a moron most of the time.

    [Reply]

  • Lindsay March 3, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    That cover is horrid.

    Also, Will, what you did was seriously creepy.

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    Yes, it looks like she’s laughing/squealing in delight. Wrong motivation for this book! “Maria” is a bad actress and probably should’ve had to audition. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Lindsay Reply:

    “Maria” is a bad actress and probably should’ve had to audition

    Indeed! I’m pretty sure Book Maria never would have made that face as she wallowed in despair and self-pity.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    So creepy! Was it supposed to be romantic? I’d be creeped out.

    [Reply]

  • Christine March 4, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I guess now we know why Maria’s so desperate around guys… the loneliness and neediness stems from sibling rivalry and a lack of positive parental attention. *nodding sagely* I’d be the best shrink, ’cause I’d always blame the parents. 😉

    Hate Will so much! So it’s okay for him to send Jessica gifts and pursue her even though he knows she’s with Jeremy… meanwhile it was *not* okay for Jessica to go after Will (which she didn’t, really) even though *he* already had a girlfriend (which she didn’t know, really, but that’s what everyone thought – thanks to stupid, cowardly liar Will!) Jessica better tell Will to go to hell, that’s all. I know he asked for her forgiveness in the last book but he doesn’t *really* seem aware of how much crap she went through because of him. Will’s got a lot of nerve thinking he’s worthy of a relationship with her after such bad beginnings. The presumption! Hmmph! Just clueless around women in general, isn’t he?

    “Doo-dee-doo…MurderousMelissa will get over it…it’s been, like a day – time to ask Jessica out!” What could go wrong? I hope Melissa comes back with her deadly mirror-blades, and we get a Jagged Little Will. 😉 (*groan* Sorry, I couldn’t resist. The spirit of Winston lives on in me!)

    [Reply]

    Lindsay Reply:

    Your comments always bring me joy. The nodding sagely cracked me up. Also, you threw in a pun. Puns are the greatest things ever and I believe all the ills in the world can be solved with puns. They make the day brighter.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Seriously! Christine, your comments are golden.

    [Reply]

  • Janelle March 5, 2010 at 10:00 am

    And another thing- why in the world is Will Simmons at this “guy’s night”? I think it said Angel brought him, but has it ever mentioned before that they were friends? I think maybe it said they played football together or something. Even if they were friends, though, I wouldn’t imagine that Will would want to hang out with these guys…

    [Reply]

  • Sandy March 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    “Seems to me Maria’s created her own hard time (that sounds totally dirty).”

    I snickered when I read that.

    [Reply]

  • thea March 20, 2010 at 12:38 am

    i hate maria. she is so annoying. worst book for me.

    did i mention that i hate will. i think the writers are trying to manipulate the reader into thinking he is a good guy. but even at 16/17 i hated the the monkey-face-ass wipe-douche bag.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous January 25, 2016 at 2:57 am

    Don’t like the put downs of people with disabilities on these pages, especially people with intellectual disability. They would be good reviews except for the narrow mindness.

    [Reply]

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