Sweet Valley High Senior Year #31: Stay or Go

The Moral of the Story: Jessica Wakefield is more important than your family.

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.


  • Dee April 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Will and Melissa are back together again? And he had to tell her about Ken? She is the LAST person that should know anything about anyone.

    Alanna is so blah.

    Oh, and about Arizona…I’ve actually heard that people tend to go there when they retire. Something about the air being healthier and a more relaxed atmosphere. So when I read that Jeremy’s family wanted to move there, it totally made sense, lol 🙂


    Shannon Reply:

    Okay, the Arizona thing actually makes sense in that context. Someone probably should have mentioned that in the book!


    Dee Reply:

    They should have actually. Especially considering California is a perfect place full of sunshine and happiness. Who could imagine it being a stressful place to live???


    Enid the Penid Reply:

    I can’t imagine that they would ever suggest there is a better place than Sweet Valley to live. Don’t they know that everyone who moves away eventually moves back anyhow? Because there IS no place better?


  • tia maria April 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Yeah, how could Sweet Valley possibly be stressful? You can be cured of anything there, including unpopularity.

    Jeez, I hate these people. No wonder Alanna’s been driven back to the bottle.


  • Sadako April 26, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Seriously–I always want to know if any of these writers (or the BSC ones) ever had actually been to California or just knew of it from TV shows and movies and granola ads.


  • Elizabeth April 27, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Nostalgia … circa 10 years ago, this is where I stopped reading Sweet Valley, forever. I was a junior in high school so it was about time. I thought Liz and Conner were smoldering hot together (looking back, WTF?) so I couldn’t deal with Alanna and her curly hair. Around this time, SVU was doing its short-lived, dumb “Sophomore Year” angle, and I’d quit SVU when that first started. So one of the Senior Year books right around this one was my *last* Sweet Valley book EVER. Sigh.

    Also, yes. Jeremy used to be much more rugged and masculine. This prettyboy is a let-down. Probably factored into why I quit. Jeremy still wins in my book for best, most rational Wakefield boyfriend of all time. Jeremy and Sam forever. (Interesting that Jessica is the one with the better judgment overall??)


  • lisa April 28, 2010 at 7:15 am

    I have to agree with Elizabeth, Jeremy also wins in my heart for the best, most rational Wakefield boyfriend of all time. Jeremy and Jessica are my favorite and will always be my favorite couple in sweet valley high senior year. I think it’s a chance in hell that i’ll see them together again but good thing your hear to recap the sweet valley senior high books. i still get to see them together. 🙂 keep up the good work.


    Shannon Reply:

    Thank you!

    I also agree that they’re the least obnoxious couple in this series. I’ll take them over Conner/Liz or Conner/Alanna any day.


  • Jessica Squits the Quad May 15, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    About the boardwalk in Sweet Valley thing–do you remember that book where White Maria’s dad was going for Mayor but then got framed for taking a bribe so Ned went for Mayor? And then Maria and Liz found out the campaign funding guy’s huge evil secret–building a boardwalk in Sweet Valley? Maybe he succeeded in the end:)


  • Nikki August 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    as far as the cover goes i think its the hair that’s throwing it off


  • Tom Mckay March 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    This chick is all kinds of messed up.—this comment cracked me up.


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