Sweet Valley High Senior Year #31: Stay or Go
The Big Deal: Championship football game
So Alanna isn’t really drinking again. She apparently spit out the sip she had at the end of the last book. Now it’s Monday night and she’s still mooning over Conner. She’s on her way upstairs to her room when she sees the liquor cabinet in her father’s study is open. Alanna’s parents kind of suck. Alanna has some whisky and then immediately goes to the bathroom and makes herself throw up. This chick is all kinds of messed up. Conner’s hanging out in her driveway when she gets home from school the next day. They make up and everything is just peachy again. They go to “the boardwalk” and play carnival games (since when is there a boardwalk with carnival games anywhere near Sweet Valley?) and Conner thinks how great it is to actually be happy with someone honest, unlike Elizabeth, and how happy he is not to be drinking anymore. Meanwhile, Alanna is feeling totally guilty about the whisky she drank and then barfed up, but she doesn’t want to tell Conner about it. Which is probably for the best, since he’s thinking that if Alanna was drinking he couldn’t be with her anymore.
Jeremy’s mom says she found his University of Arizona application in the trash. He explains he doesn’t want to leave the family behind, and Mrs. Aames tells him they’re all moving to Arizona in a couple of weeks. It’s because the life they have in California is just too stressful for Jeremy’s dad. I don’t know how living in Arizona is going to keep him from having more heart attacks, but what do I know? Jeremy freaks out.
The championship game is coming up. Ken is excited and Will is irritated. Ken, football, football, Will, football, blah, blah, blah. God, I am so over this whole football thing. I’m glad the season is almost over. Will starts working for Ken’s dad, and Mr. Matthews can’t stop talking about what a good kid Will is. This makes Ken angry and it’s pretty much the exact same thing we read about before when Ken’s dad was always talking about what a good football player Will was. This is the most boring and pointless plot.
Ken is playing badly at practices for some reason. This has been happening a lot lately and I’m starting to think he’s just not as good at football as we’ve been led to believe. But Hank the Michigan scout calls and tells him that as long as he doesn’t suck in the championship game, he’ll get a full scholarship. Will goes to file some stuff in Mr. Matthews’ office and finds a letter from Hank telling Ken’s dad to meet him at halftime to “seal the deal.” He assumes they’re in cahoots to get Ken into Michigan.
Jeremy’s friend Trent (the same Trent that Tia was cheating on Angel with) says Jeremy can move in with his family and finish out the school year, but Jeremy’s mother insists the family has to stay together. Jeremy doesn’t even mention the possibility to Jessica because he knows he can’t take Trent up on his offer, but Trent says something to Jessica and now she’s all in a tizzy because he didn’t tell her he might be able to stay in California, and that must mean he’s not even considering it. But “how could this be?” Because, Jessica, the world does not revolve around you. At least not this year.
Ken is stinking up the whole stadium at the championship game. Will eavesdrops on Hank and Mr. Matthews and learns that in exchange for getting Ken into Michigan, Mr. Matthews has somehow secured a coaching job for Hank. Will isn’t quite sure what to do with this information. Sweet Valley ends up winning the game (no thanks to Ken) and Hank tells him he’s in like Flynn. Will decides to keep his knowledge to himself, but Melissa plans to make sure Ken knows he only made it into Michigan because of a shady deal.
Jeremy comes down to the field after the game and gives Jessica a big hug. His parents finally decided it would be okay if he wanted to stay with Trent, and Jeremy has made his decision. Jessica is super happy to know Jeremy has chosen her over his family. That’s awesome.
Alanna’s crappy parents yell at her for no reason and then leave the house for some party or something. Alanna tries to call Conner, but he’s at a guitar lesson so Alanna leaves a message with Megan. Feeling unloved and depressed, she heads over to the liquor cabinet and has some scotch. Conner comes over because Megan said she sounded pretty bad, and he can totally tell Alanna’s been drinking. He just doesn’t know what to do about it.
The Cover: I feel like Jeremy used to be cuter than this.