Sweet Valley Twins #50: Jessica and the Secret Star

SVT050The Moral of the Story: Your lies will be forgiven as long as your friends get to party on a yacht.

The Big Deal: Yacht party

New Kid with a Problem: Maria Slater, secret identity


There’s a new girl named Maria Slater in the twins’ homeroom and Jessica thinks she looks familiar. She strikes up a conversation with her, and Maria is all mysterious about her last school. The next day, Jessica is out with a convenient cold and she watches a movie on TV. The little girl in the movie happens to be Maria Slater. Jessica figures she’ll keep Maria’s secret for now because she wants to remain friends with her, but she can’t wait until Maria introduces her to all the movie stars she undoubtedly knows.

Jessica is confused when Maria gets all excited about writing for the Sixers. Like, why isn’t she signing contracts and hanging out with movie stars? She invites Maria over after school, but Maria spends most of her time talking to Liz about the article Liz wants her to write for the paper. Maria forgets her backpack when she leaves. Jessica looks in one of the notebooks for Maria’s phone number, but “accidentally” reads the notebook instead. In it, Maria talks about how she’s learning to be an average kid as research for a movie.

The truth, as we find out during a conversation between Maria and her sister, Nina, is that Maria hasn’t gotten a job since she quit being a cute little kid and turned into an awkward adolescent. She’s a little worried she might never act again, but she’s excited about being a normal kid for a while, and she might even try out for the drama club. What Jessica read in the notebook was a short fiction story. Jessica calls to tell her she left her backpack, and Maria thinks she’s totally weird and way too eager about bringing it over after dinner. Maria tells her to just meet her early at school the next morning.

Of course, Jessica can’t keep her mouth shut. When she gives Maria her backpack, she falls all over herself about how exciting it must be to be a star. She confesses to reading Maria’s diary and asks if Maria knows Johnny Buck. Maria doesn’t know what to do or how to act, so she sort of says she knows Johnny and yeah, she’ll introduce Jessica to him one of these days. She feels guilty for lying and letting Jessica believe she’s still a movie star, but doesn’t really know what else to do.

OF COURSE Jessica tells the Unicorns Maria’s secret. They want to let her know they know, but they think it’s best if Maria tells them herself. So they have a sleepover and invite Maria, with the intent of playing Truth or Dare. Then she’ll HAVE to tell the truth! And so Jessica asks her if she’s an actress in hiding, and Maria tells them all the lie about how she’s researching a movie and they’ll all be invited to the set when it starts shooting. She’s mad at herself for lying. Again. She should stop doing that.

Maria’s lies are turning into a whole big thing, because Lila has now secured her father’s yacht for a party for the cast of Maria’s fake movie. Maria is freaking out, so she tells Liz the truth. Liz does the old shoulder-pat routine and tells Maria she has to tell the truth.

Maria is fashionably late to the yacht party, and she gives a speech about how she’s just a normal kid and she’s sorry for lying. Someone starts a slow clap and everything is totally all right.


Maria hung up the phone and sighed. The Wakefields might be twins, but she definitely preferred Elizabeth. Jessica seemed a little weird.

Finally, someone notices!

The Cover: Who are you posing for, Maria? You’re not a star anymore. Nobody is taking your picture.

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  • Lauri October 26, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t remember Maria much in SVT, but she really annoyed me during senior year.


  • KannaChan October 27, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Jessica’s practicing her “scheming look” that she’s so famous for on the Sweet Valley High books. Seriously, give her the same hairstyle as her older self and she’ll look no different.


  • KannaChan October 27, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Also, Maria looks about 16 there. She’s a rather old-looking 12 year old girl.


  • Awin October 27, 2015 at 5:14 am

    “The Cover: Who are you posing for, Maria? You’re not a star anymore. Nobody is taking your picture.”

    This made me laugh so loud my coworkers stared at me!

    I totally remember this book and I also remember reading it and being all like

    “But why does she keep on lying to Jessica, Liz is the one she wants to impress anyway???”

    Makes no sense to butter up J when we all know E is all about them regular people.


  • PollyEsther Rayon October 27, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Jessica’s torso looks super short on the cover… either that or her pants are going Urkel-y


  • Lily November 1, 2015 at 4:51 am

    The Cover: Who are you posing for, Maria? You’re not a star anymore. Nobody is taking your picture

    LOL that was awesome!


  • Darren5000 November 18, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Maria pictured as the 6th grader really looks great to me. I can somehow envision Ned Wakefield like Carl Winslow yelling at the antics of Jessica if he ever found out anything. I think she looks better then the Sweet Valley HIgh picture of her. Ironically when they had the ‘school reunion’ at SVU book 8, not a mention of Maria Slater. Was she perhaps making a TV series?


  • Darren5000 November 18, 2015 at 12:13 am

    SHe does look older, and also, Jessica to me doesn’t quite look 12 like she did in book 1. It’s amazing how they age the 12-year old kids. Jessica looks like her 16-year old self.


  • KannaChan November 18, 2015 at 12:17 am


    She actually would have been more attractive if she had kept the hairstyle she had as a child.


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