Sweet Valley Twins #39: Jessica and the Money Mix-Up
The Big Deal: Just some roller-skating. Nothing to see here.
Classmate with a Problem: Jessica, stupid.
The first thing that happens here is Jessica spends an hour trying to decide what to wear roller-skating, and after all that time she comes up with a yellow t-shirt and jeans. Crisis averted. She had to call Lila for her input, and Mr. Wakefield is pissed that the phone was tied up for so long. He was expecting important business calls. The man is an idiot, so in order to let Jessica make it up to him, he asks her to take an envelope with five hundred dollars in it to the home of one of his associates. So stupid.
Jessica gets stopped by Caroline Pearce on her way to the guy’s house, and she spends half an hour talking to Caroline about the possibility of Bruce bringing a date roller skating that night. When Jessica finally gets to Mr. Hopper’s house, the next door neighbor tells her Mr. Hopper has gone out for the evening and he’s leaving town at six the next morning. Jessica figures she’ll get up early and bring the money then. In the meantime, she decides to hide the money in a tennis racket case in the utility closet.
Unfortunately, Mr. Wakefield goes on a cleaning kick that night, and Steven takes the tennis racket back to his friend Peter Moore, from whom he borrowed it. When Jessica finds out the next morning, she ropes Liz into going to Peter’s house with her. But the racket actually belongs to Peter’s dad and he’s out using it right now.
The twins go to the country club, and after Jessica is caught under a table groping in the racket case, Mr. Moore tells her he never saw the money. The twins go home in defeat. They decide to do some odd jobs around the neighborhood and make up the money before Mr. Hopper gets back from vacation next week.
The odd jobs go badly, of course. Jessica clearly has ADD and can’t concentrate on anything for more than a minute, so Liz ends up doing all the work, as we all could have predicted. Jessica’s only real hope is to win some radio contest she’s entered. The prize is a thousand dollars. The contest involves writing to the radio station and telling them who your favorite artist is. If the radio station announces Jessica’s name, she’ll have to call and identify five Johnny Buck songs based on a few seconds of music.
Jessica’s name actually does get announced on the radio, and she gets four songs right, but fucks up on the last one. Naturally. She goes downstairs to finally tell her father what happened, and gets down there just in time to see an envelope fall out of his pocket as he’s walking out the door. When he gets home that night, Jessica tells him she lost the money. He looks all smug for a minute and reaches into his pocket and looks worried when the envelope isn’t there. Jessica gives him the envelope and they both apologize to each other and all is right with the world again. Jessica agrees to always go to her parents when something like this happens. Yeah, right.
Also in this book: Ellen tries to change the official color of the Unicorns from purple to red. What is she thinking? Also noteworthy, Alice is out of town for most of this book. You’d never know. She’s not much of a presence in the twins’ lives even when she’s around.
Setup for the next book: Some kid named Danny Jackson keeps getting into trouble at school.
The Cover: High-waisted elastic-band shorts. How awesome was 1990?