Sweet Valley Twins #24: Jumping to Conclusions

The Moral of the Story: Go ahead and make your mom look like an idiot in front of an important client. Everyone will think it’s adorable!

The Big Deal: Wakefield parents’ anniversary


Alice Wakefield has been working a lot lately. It’s obvious to the twins that she’s having an affair with her newest client, millionaire Frank Howard. This crisis comes at a super inconvenient time for Elizabeth; as part of a “Living History” project she’s doing with Pamela and Amy, Liz is supposed to interview her loving parents and find out how they met. They’re both so busy and distracted that Liz can’t get them to concentrate on the interview. There is, of course, other evidence that Alice is stepping out: she and Ned both forgot their anniversary and Alice keeps going into the other room to take Mr. Howard’s phone calls.

The twins think the best course of action is to make Frank think they’re dirty ragamuffin kids. They even get Steven on board. The twins deliver some plans to Mr. Howard’s office and make sure to look their grossest while they’re at it. They make their hair look stringy and wear mismatched clothes. Then when Frank shows up for lunch, Jessica makes him a salad and puts chili peppers in the dressing, telling him it’s her mom’s favorite recipe. When Jessica walks him to the door after lunch, she mentions that she has all kinds of brothers and sisters from Alice’s first two marriages.

  • Make Alice look like a bad mother: check.
  • Make Alice look like a bad cook: check.
  • Make Alice look like a whore: check.

Well, that about does it for Alice, I guess. But wait! Liz goes to Casey’s Place in the mall and sees Alice and Frank walking around, looking in shop windows together. Jessica is following them. (And she’s wearing the outfit in the cover illustration, complete with newspaper.) The twins see Alice and Frank go into the jewelry store and start looking at engagement rings. Jessica goes to Frank’s office, intent on telling the man to back off, but she overhears him talking to someone on the phone. Whoever he’s talking to, he calls her “darling” and says they’ll be together forever after Saturday night. Jessica immediately goes off to find Liz, and then the twins go to the high school to get Steven. The three of them work out a great plan to keep their mother from eloping.

The plan is this: The twins convince Ned and Alice to go out to dinner to belatedly celebrate their forgotten anniversary. They’ll be out of the house by seven o’clock. Then Jessica calls Mr. Howard’s office, pretending to be Alice, and invites Frank over for dinner at seven-fifteen. Just after seven o’clock, Amy shows up with Pamela and a bunch of Steven’s buddies from the basketball team. They’re all dressed like gypsy children. The kids drag a bunch of old, ratty furniture up from the basement. By the time Frank shows up, the house looks like poor people live there. I guess it doesn’t really matter to anyone that Frank was just at the house the other day for lunch and it probably did not look like poor people lived there. Whatevs.

Frank is very confused when he gets there. Jessica tells him Alice was probably drunk when she invited him for dinner, and then she introduces him to all her other “siblings.” After a few minutes, Frank realizes this is all some kind of big joke. He gets pissed and tries to leave, but Ned and Alice are just coming in when he opens the door. Amy and the rest of the other kids clear out and Ned demands an explanation. And that’s when a beautiful woman knocks on the door and introduces herself as Karen, Frank’s fiancée. Oh, dear.

Everyone troops into the crappy living room for story time. When Jessica finishes explaining everything, the adults are all totally amused at her wild imagination. Instead of getting into trouble, the kids are invited to join their parents at dinner. That’s why Ned and Alice came home in the first place. They realized they haven’t been spending much time at home and they want to change that. So they all go to dinner at DeSalvio’s. On the way there in Frank’s silver limo, Alice says DeSalvio’s is where she met Ned. She was a waitress and she spilled food on him and it was HILARIOUS. (This is quite different from the saved-her-from-drowning story most of us are familiar with.)


“I’d probably hate it in Beverly Hills. I mean, they have so many stars and beautiful people, nobody would notice me.”

This is Jessica’s initial reaction to the idea of Alice getting married to Frank and moving to his mansion in Beverly Hills.

A figure in a long trench coat and large felt hat peeked out from behind the marble pillar, then scurried in little steps to the door of Brass and Glass. From the pocket of the tan coat, the person took out a newspaper and pretended to read.

Jessica’s been watching too many old spy movies.

“We’ve got to stop her!” Elizabeth said with determination.

“We’ll help!” Amy and Pamela chimed in.


I was trying to find a screenshot of all the guys in the donut shop standing up and saying, “We’ll help!” but this is the best I could do. And for some terrible reason, I do not have Wayne’s World on DVD. What is wrong with me?

The Cover: I HATE this cover. Hate it. So much. My husband wants to know why this kid is dressed like Dick Tracy.


  • Whallie March 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Wow! Alice did a bang up job on hiding her engagement with Henry Patman until Liz found out in H.S., but before Liz found out the truth she thought her mom was messing around with him. Of course he was also a millionaire. And of course the twins would never even consider or worry about any man who’s not a millionaire running away with their apparently unloyal mother.

    I hate the cover too. Like no one would notice this weird kid at the mall, plus that news paper is big enough to be a blanket.


  • Kathryn March 14, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Haha, even when I was a kid I thought this book was lame. And I hated the cover too. I mean, seriously, as if a kid dressed in a trench coat wouldn’t stick a mile away.

    And why are Elizabeth and Jessica being rewarded by their parents at the end of the book? They should have been punished for trying to make their mother look like a whore/bad mother/bad cook.


  • Kathryn March 14, 2012 at 2:49 am

    By the way … is there any book where Jessica or Elizabeth are mistaken for escaped mental patients? That would seem rather fitting to me.


  • Martha March 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I can’t believe all the shit these kids get away with! I would’ve been punished 10,000 times over for this!


  • Whallie March 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I just hate how everyone thinks that the twins are so cute and funny, even when they pull pranks and ruin someone’s life and reputation.


  • pibetaalpha March 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how willing and eager the Wakefields are to trash each other for the cause of helping the family (like in Leaving Home).


  • julia nkandi April 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

    oh liz & jess i so love your story books when i am reading all about your drama it turns me on keep up with the good job julia nkandi mail me at juliankandi@mail.com


  • Natasha November 5, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I hated this book! I think this is one of the worst books of the series. Way to have faith in your mother Jessica.


  • Alex Kennedy July 8, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    The biggest problem that I have with this book is the lack of continuity. It has been approximately ten years since I have read the books properly, but I distincly remember in SVT # 7 (the one where Mary finds her mother) that when Mrs W discusses how she met Mr W, Jessica says something to the effect: “Why do we have to hear this story again?” I do not recall whether the story told in SVT #24 matches up with the explanation Mrs W gives in SVT #7. When I have the time and inclination, I shall research this.


  • Alex Kennedy July 8, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Jessica always does have a tendency to get carried away.


  • Jessica is Evil March 31, 2017 at 7:32 am

    This has t be one of the worst covers ever!!! What sort of 12 year old goes around in a trench coat and a hat??? I cannot decide which cover is worse – this one – or the one where Mary brags about her boat (ie Stretching the Truth).


  • Sweet Valley Forever April 21, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Ned saved Alice’s life – she nearly drowned. Did Ned show off splashing around? I am happy that they experienced some for of summer loving. Is this supposed to be Grease or something? Jessica looks ridiculous on the cover.


  • This series is very odd August 15, 2017 at 8:49 am

    In SVH, Bruce thinks that Mrs W is having an affair with his father. Why don’t these stupid kids just trust their parents? I agree with the above comments that JW looks stupid in a trenchcoat. AW might be a lot of things, but she is not a cheater.

    As usual, the story ends well with everyone being happy.

    don’t most children KNOW how their parents met by the age of 12?


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