Sweet Valley High Senior Year #30: Close to You

The Moral of the Story: Aspiring writers, if you can’t think of a way for two characters to resolve a fight, just have someone get sick and go to the hospital. Everyone always makes up in hospitals.

The Big Deal: Tia and Andy do New York.


Jeremy and Jessica are suddenly all freaked out about what’s going to happen to their relationship when they go to college, but of course they don’t talk to each other about it. Jeremy wants to go somewhere far away and figures Jessica wants to do the same, but Jessica wants to stay close to home and thinks Jeremy does, too. Jeremy’s friends ask him about colleges and he decides to lie and say he and Jessica have talked about it. I have no idea why. And then, of course, one of the friends mentions it to Jessica. She says she wants to go to school in California and Jeremy says he’s already applied to a couple schools on the east coast. They’re suddenly in a fight. And this is pretty bad timing (or good, depending on how you look at it) because a friend of Jessica’s from junior high is in town. His name is Damon and Jessica can’t stop thinking about him. I hate when she does this.

Conner wants Tia and Andy to meet Alanna, so he asks them to hang out at Crescent Beach. Andy calls Evan for a ride, and it’s only when Evan says he didn’t know they were doing anything that night that Andy realizes Conner probably didn’t invite him because he’s still mad about Evan and Liz hooking up. When Evan shows up, Conner turns into a whiny baby again and stalks off, leaving Alanna to fend for herself. Tia and Andy are totally tactless when they start talking about how Liz was hurt when she wasn’t invited to hang out (why would she be invited to meet Conner’s new girlfriend?), and they get pissed at Alanna when she says something about not letting other people’s issues get to them. They think she’s talking about Liz’s issues, but she’s really talking about Conner. Whatever, they act like a couple of jerkfaces.

Andy and Tia leave the next morning for the trip to New York they won from that game show. Tia yells at the QTV guy for getting them a room with only one bed in it, Andy does some open mic standup comedy and gets the crowd laughing, and then they go on a romantic carriage ride through Central Park (they’re supposed to be a couple, remember). They both kind of wish they were sharing the romantic stuff with an actual romantic partner, and they vow to find themselves boyfriends when they get back to Sweet Valley*. I think it’s hilarious that Tia complained about the one bed and the QTV guy didn’t immediately call her and Andy fakers and send them home. What teenage couple is going to complain about sharing a bed?

Jessica and Jeremy go to see a movie, but during the previews Jeremy says he applied to a school in Arizona because it has a great archeology program and that’s what he wants to major in I guess. Jessica gets pissed and leaves. What a bitch. She calls Damon and they spend the evening together while Jessica thinks of all the ways she wishes Jeremy could be like Damon. She’s mean to Jeremy the next morning at work, and then his mother calls and tells Jeremy his father is in the hospital. Jeremy runs out the door.

Conner calls Alanna and asks her to hang out, but she’s all weird and vague when she says she can’t. Conner starts wondering just what her deal is and realizes he doesn’t even know where she lives. He plugs her name and phone number into a search engine and then drives out to the address that comes up. It’s a huge mansion in a rich neighborhood, and the housekeeper tells Conner that Alanna is having dinner at the country club with her parents. Conner’s a little pissed off, considering Alanna told him her mother was an alcoholic and her father took off a long time ago. He writes a short note saying he was there and then goes home.

As soon as Jessica can get away from work, she rushes over to the hospital to see Jeremy, picking up some coloring books and junk for his sisters along the way. When she gets there, Jeremy tells her his dad is fine. The doctors thought he had another heart attack, but he didn’t and he’s okay now. Then he and Jessica apologize to each other and he says he doesn’t want to go to school in Arizona after all. It’s mostly because he wants to stay near his family, but Jessica plays a part in his decision, too. Aw, Jeremy is the best Wakefield boyfriend yet.

Alanna calls Conner hoping he isn’t too mad, but he definitely is. He tells her he doesn’t think they should see each other anymore, but Alanna comes over later in tears. She says her mother really is an alcoholic and her father is hardly ever around so it’s just like he abandoned her so she never really told a lie. Conner’s not falling for it and he tells her to get the fuck out. Later he realizes the error of his ways and decides to call Alanna, but by that time she’s unplugged her phone in a fit of rage and started drinking again.

GIRLS, Conner McDermott is NOT THAT AWESOME. I thought Liz was going to kill herself after Conner broke up with her, and now this chick is throwing away all that hard work she put in at the rehab clinic. YOU ARE BOTH IDIOTS.

*At some point in the series, the El Carro kids start referring to the town they live in as Sweet Valley, but I thought Andy, Tia, Conner, etc. lived in El Carro and just went to school in Sweet Valley because their school got eaten by the earthquake. Did the entire town of El Carro disappear in the earthquake? Did the Sweet Valley city limits expand? I’m confused.


Elizabeth was always patting herself on the back for understanding people so well when she really didn’t understand anything. The thing was, she really seemed to buy her own bull. Elizabeth honestly thought that she knew what Conner’s life was like. And everyone else seemed to fall for it too.

As much as I hate Conner, he does seem to be the only one who doesn’t think Liz is the saint she thinks she is. Didn’t stop him from falling in love with her though so I guess it didn’t do him much good.

The Cover: OMG, white balance. Looks like a No Doubt video.


  • The One With... April 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    The cover sorta freaks me out because the chick’s neck seems to be coming out of nowhere. And, yeah, it’s ridiculous that Connor seems to think Alanna has a perfect life because she’s rich. She probably should’ve been honest about being wealthy, but still.


    Shannon Reply:

    Yeah, I guess she should have been honest, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always side with anyone over Conner.


  • tia maria April 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Obviously El Carro has just been absorbed into Sweet Valley and renamed, because Sweet Valley is just so, like, perfect.

    Why didn’t they just name this whole series ‘Elizabeth & Conner’ instead of ‘Senior Year’? It’s really not that awesome a storyline; why is it dominating the whole series?


    Shannon Reply:

    For real. It’s been going on THE ENTIRE SERIES. Can we please move on?


  • Claire April 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    So Alannas big secret was that she’s rich? That’s it? Jesus Christ.
    Haha Liz sucks.
    I don’t understand why Andy would vow to find a boyfriend when he gets back to Sweet Valley. Isn’t he the only gay in the village? Everyone is so perfect there I wouldn’t think there’s much room for another gay and more than 3 blacks.


    Shannon Reply:

    Well, she had also told Conner that her father had left her when in fact her parents are still together. It’s funny though, because Conner actually seems more angry about her money.


  • Misty April 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    God, these titles are awful. First I had Paula Abdul stuck in my head, now I have that awful Carpenters song.


    Shannon Reply:

    And the worst part is that the titles almost never correlate to the actual plots.


  • Lauri April 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Who flies two 17 year olds across the country without a chaperone? Isn’t that illegal?
    At the picnic, it’s hard for me to decide who I want to slap more.


    Shannon Reply:

    Minors are totally allowed to fly without chaperons. I took a plane ride by myself when I was ten.
    As far as Andy’s and Tia’s parents letting them go? There’s like one throwaway comment about some kind of waiver or permission slip or something they have to sign, but for all intents and purposes they pretty much have no parents.


  • Sandy2 April 23, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Speaking of the cover, they did switch models for the twins right? Because I remember in covers like this one, and the earlier books in the series, the blond girl looked way more beautiful than the model in the later books.


  • Darren June 4, 2010 at 5:24 am

    I can’t believe that Todd Wilkins is still gone, Lila Fowler seems missing or in another part of the school, ENid doesn’t seem to be seen, or Caroline, it’s so alien like with limited acknowledgment of characters. Ken..what did they do to him? They took away the hair he had for Junior, did Ken go to the barber that Winston went to that cut Winston bald allegedly (Back in SV book 99 I believe it was, when Margo was in town and had Daisy the baby) That’s freaky Ken could look like Heath Ledger. You know in SV book 17, Caroline PEarce looks like Cassandra Peterson, AKA Miss Elvira? Senior year is about as weird as 7th and 8th grade in junior high for the twins to not even have their old friends. It’s like the Earthquake split the senior class or something!


  • Dre June 19, 2013 at 6:56 am

    I always thought Jeffrey French was the best Wakefield boyfriend. I miss him so much.


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