Posts Tagged ‘Liz-Conner’

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #47: Senior Cut Day

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

The Moral of the Story: Even Conner McDermott can have fun at a theme park.

Synopsis:

Well, it’s Thursday, the day after prom, and it’s senior cut day. Guess which one of our favorite characters is so stupid that he forgot to stay home from school? If you said Ken Matthews, you’re absolutely right. By the time he figures out why he and the nerds are the only seniors at school, it’s too late; the teachers have already noticed him and he can’t leave. Throughout the day, the nerds keep asking him what it’s like to be popular, and they ask him if they can all eat lunch at the jock table since the jocks aren’t there. Barf. The seniors get to co-teach classes on cut day, and Coach Riley asks Ken to help him out with a couple of girls who can’t get the hang of volleyball. Ken actually helps the girls and he feels good about it. Yay, Ken.

Moving on to more exciting things…

Jessica and Evan decide to get the whole gang together for a road trip to Universal Studios. Liz finds out Conner’s going, so she’s all excited, but Jeremy wanted to spend the day alone with Jessica (I guess it’s Big Mesa’s senior skip day, too?), and Jade just wanted to hang out at the beach. Neither of them says anything, of course, they just act all grumpy.

Dave and Andy take Conner, Liz, Tia and Trent in Dave’s minivan, while Jeremy, Jessica, Jade and Evan ride in Jeremy’s car. Can you imagine? Both girls in Jeremy’s car have dated both guys. And they’re all friends now? Sure. The vehicles get separated on the way to the park, so the groups spend the day separately.

Jessica’s crew goes to see if there’s anything being filmed, and Jessica and Evan are approached by a director. He needs extras, but he doesn’t want Jeremy or Jade. Jessica and Evan are super excited and immediately say yes, and Jeremy and Jade are pissed. They go off on their own to pout. After they make fun of Jessica and Evan for a little while, they decide to have a good time after all. They go on the Mummy ride and get some cotton candy and make a pact not to be mad at Jessica and Evan.

Jessica and Evan get all made up and they look like rock stars. They get hurried onto the set for a nightclub scene, and the director tells them their job is to stand by the bar and make out. Evan isn’t sure he can do it, but Jessica assures him it’s going to be okay. He tries to get away with fake kissing, but the director isn’t fooled. He tells them to start kissing for real or get out, so they really start making out. An hour later, their lips are chapped and their jaws are sore, but the director finally tells the extras they can go. It was pretty awful, but they’re very excited that they’re going to be in a movie.

Meanwhile, Liz is going crazy because Conner is acting like nothing happened last night. I guess she expects him to start talking about it in front of everyone. Liz wants to go on the ET ride, but nobody will go with her. Conner finally steps up and says he’ll go. While they’re in line, Conner tells her that last night meant a lot to him and he really does care about her, but they’ll both be moving on next year and besides, they made each other miserable as a couple. Liz realizes he’s right and she finally, FINALLY decides she’s really over him.

So, in conclusion:

  • There is nothing new and exciting in the lives of Tia and Trent or Andy and Dave.
  • Jessica and Evan are keeping their day of making out a secret.
  • Jade and Jeremy are not mad at Jessica and Evan.
  • Conner and Liz are over each other.
  • Ken thinks he might want to be a gym teacher.

When Liz gets home that night, there’s a letter in the mail from Oxford University in England. I guess she won that contest. She doesn’t know if she wants to go or how she’d break the news to Jessica. Jessica starts talking to Liz about their upcoming eighteenth birthday and she wants to make plans, but Liz isn’t so excited about it, considering what happened last year.

The Cover: Evan kind of looks like one of those big-mouthed Muppets.

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #46: Prom Night

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The Moral of the Story: If you want to have a bad time, go to prom with Trent.

The Big Deal: Prom at the beach!

Synopsis:

Liz and Jeff: The whole gang gets together at House of Java and Andy starts talking about his plans to go to New York next year to try his hand at stand up comedy. Jeff starts going on and on about how horrible New York is and how glad he is that he decided not to go to NYU. Liz is really irritated with Jeff these days because he’s acting so weird, but he can’t figure out why she’s so upset.

Jeff has begged Liz to let him write an article for The Oracle, but he can’t come up with a good story idea. He eventually decides to recycle an essay from last year, and he goes over to Liz’s with a report about The Catcher in the Rye. Liz recognizes it because Mr. Collins read it in front of the class last year. She doesn’t know what Jeff’s deal is, but she tells him she can’t put a book report in the newspaper and she’ll just have to call Maria to see if she has anything to fill the space. Jeff stays up all night writing an article about the pressure seniors feel to choose a career path, and he gives it to Liz the next morning. She says it’s perfect.

Andy and Dave: Dave is going to school in New York next year and he’s acting kind of weird about Andy joining him. Then when they go to get their tuxes for prom, Dave doesn’t seem to want the clerk to know he and Andy are going together. Andy gets pissed and starts yelling at Dave in the parking lot. He says if Dave is ashamed or embarrassed by him, then maybe he just shouldn’t go to the prom with him. Dave says that’s fine and drives away. Andy tells Six all about it, and she says she and Andy should go together. Andy sends Tia an email about how bummed he is to not be going with Dave, and Tia forwards the email to Dave and tells him to come to the prom.

Tia and Trent: There’s a policy in place that says only SVH seniors can be elected prom king and queen, which means nobody whose date is from another school can be elected. Trent decides he wants to make Tia’s prom super special, so he anonymously gets on the SVH virtual bulletin board and proposes a policy change. The response is overwhelming and the change is made. Meanwhile, Tia is wondering why everyone cares so much about something so stupid. She’s totally not interested in being prom queen.

Trent and Jeremy go to the One Stop Prom Shop (ugh) to get their tuxes. Jeremy has a swatch of fabric from Jessica’s dress and a picture of the flowers she wants for her corsage, and Trent has nothing. He makes fun of Jeremy for being whipped and says he’s taking care of all of this on his own to show Tia how much he cares. When the saleslady asks Trent what kind of corsage he wants, he says he wants a wreath for Tia’s hair. Jeremy and the saleslady try to talk him out of it, but Trent is sure he knows what he’s doing. Then he decides that instead of riding in the limo with everyone else, he and Tia will get their own. Unfortunately, all the smaller size limos are taken, so Trent ends up reserving a horse drawn carriage.

Trent makes another post on the SVH bulletin board, asking for people to vote for him and Tia as king and queen. Tia freaks out. She calls Trent and yells at him, telling him she does not want to be queen. She also tells him she wanted to pick out tux and corsage stuff together. Trent feels dumb.

Pre-Prom Madness: The girls spend all day at the Wakefield house getting ready, and then Jeff and Jeremy show up. Liz and Jeff go to Jeff’s car to get her corsage, and a bunch of papers fall out of the glove box. Among them is a rejection letter from NYU. Because the glove box is where you keep stuff like that. Liz realizes Jeff’s new look and personality are all because of the rejection, and she’s super pissed that he didn’t just tell her the truth.

Trent is really late and Tia is getting nervous. She’s horrified when he shows up in a horse drawn carriage, and even more horrified when he tries to put the wreath of flowers on her head. Luckily, Jessica pushes him out of the way before he can do too much damage to Tia’s hairdo. Everyone is supposed to go to a pre-prom party at Maria’s (huh, remember Maria?), and Tia is surprised when the carriage pulls up in front of the fanciest restaurant in town instead of Maria’s house. She manages to step in horse manure, and everyone in the restaurant gives her dirty looks because she smells like shit. She manages to clean up her shoe and get rid of the wreath, but then the whole menu is in French, so Tia isn’t quite sure what she’s ordering. She’s disgusted when the waiter brings her a whole fish, scales and all. Trent’s food doesn’t look much better, so they just pay the $120 check and leave.

At the Prom: Six goes off to try to talk to this senior guy she has a crush on, but he shoots her down. Andy finds her and comforts her, and she leans over to give him a kiss on the cheek. She misses and gets his lips instead, and that is, of course, when Dave finds them. He’s a little freaked out, but Andy chases after him and they make up and everything is great. The only reason Dave didn’t want Andy to come to New York with him was because he was worried Andy would resent him or something if his comedy career didn’t work out.

Tia and Trent are crowned king and queen. Tia reluctantly gets up onstage, but starts crying when she’s told they’ve won a gift certificate to the French restaurant from earlier. Trent tries to kiss her, but she walks offstage. Melissa says something snotty because she’s pissed she and Will didn’t win, and Tia throws her crown at her before storming off. Tia tells Trent she hates that he changed all their prom plans, Trent apologizes, and Tia eventually sees the humor in the situation.

Liz spent all of Maria’s party glaring at Jeff, and he finally tries to talk to her in the middle of the dance floor. She tells him he’s changed and she doesn’t like the new him. They break up, and Liz goes for a walk up the beach. And who should she find sitting on the beach and playing his guitar? That’s right, Conner. Todd’s car broke down, so Conner gave him and Megan a ride to the prom. Conner and Liz chat for a minute, and then she asks him to dance. They dance…and then they kiss. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Quotes:

“Mmmm. Thanks,” she said, tearing off a piece of the bagel and plopping it into her mouth.

Ew! Why can’t these ghostwriters talk about food without making me want to throw up?

The Cover: Tia certainly looks happy for someone having the worst prom experience ever.

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #41: He’s Back

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

The Moral of the Story: If your best friend won’t speak to you, break your leg. As I’ve said before, everyone always makes up at the hospital.

The Big Deal: Basketball game

Synopsis:

Liz pretends to be over Conner: Conner keeps trying to call Alanna, but she’s not speaking to him because he ratted her out to her parents. Tia tells Liz she can’t hang out with her and Jeff because she plans on spending the evening making sure Conner’s okay. Liz’s heart flops around at the mention of Conner’s name, as usual, until Jeff walks in and his prettiness makes her forget all about old whats-his-name. When Tia tells Conner she wants to hang out, he says he’d rather be alone.

Liz goes to the Riot on Saturday night to watch DJ Jazzy Jeff do his thang, but she gets bored. She sees Conner at the bar and resolves to not go talk to him, but then she notices he’s about to down a glass of something that “wasn’t a soda.” She races over to the bar just in time to see him down half the glass, and then she feels like an idiot after she makes a big deal out of it and Conner tells her it was just seltzer water. Liz and Conner talk for a second, but then Jeffrey comes over looking jealous. Conner is irritated.

Melissa is a manipulative bitch: Melissa goes to Aaron Dallas’ house to help him study as part of her plan for revenge. They flirt all night, and then Melissa pumps Will for information about Aaron under the guise of trying to help Cherie get with him. She finds out Aaron likes rap, so she goes to the music store. Cherie is there because she already knows Aaron likes rap and she wants to get him a CD for his upcoming birthday. Melissa tells her all guys like classic rock, so Cherie should get Aaron a Who album just to be safe. Cherie is grateful for Melissa’s help.

Melissa goes to tutor Aaron again the day after his birthday date with Cherie, and Aaron says he didn’t really like the CD Cherie gave him. Melissa is all, “Oh, that’s too bad,” as she opens up her Discman and pulls out a rap CD. Aaron is impressed and asks Melissa to burn him a copy. Melissa has also found out that Aaron likes classic movies, so she makes sure to mention that she’s going to go rent Rear Window. Aaron is once again impressed and Melissa feels smug.

Shut up, Alanna: Alanna’s mother tells her she wants to spend Sunday with her doing mother-daughter things. Mrs. Feldman seems like she’s really trying, but Alanna has a miserable time anyway. They go to a spa and get full-body mud masks, and Alanna breaks out in hives because the mud has avocado in it and Alanna is allergic. Mrs. Feldman takes her to the hospital. A couple days later, Mrs. Feldman comes to Alanna’s room all excited because she’s gotten two tickets to see Boy Toy, some boy band Alanna hates. Alanna doesn’t tell her mom she hates boy bands, but then she’s all depressed because her mother doesn’t know her at all. I hate you, Alanna. I hate you a lot.

Liz has the world’s biggest ego: In creative writing on Monday, Conner reads one of his short stories. It’s about a musician losing his guitar, and Liz is absolutely certain it’s a metaphor that means Conner is still in love with her. Good lord, the ego is strong on this one. So now everything Jeffrey does is annoying her. Liz sits with Tia and Conner at lunch the next day, much to their surprise, and says she’s having trouble with her creative writing assignment. Conner says he can help her, so they agree to meet at House of Java the next night. All the next day, Liz can’t stop thinking about Conner and their study date, but then Jeffrey tells her Michelle Mann, Liz’s favorite author, is doing a book signing in town. Okay, if it was me, I’d for sure go see my favorite author (I’m talking to you, Stephen King) and reschedule with Conner. But Liz is an idiot and she tells Jeffrey she can’t go because she’s studying with Conner. Jeffrey doesn’t like it, but he’s placated when Liz assures him that she and Conner are just friends.

Liz and Conner get together to study again on Friday night. Liz is feeling nervous and excited and wondering how she’ll break up with Jeffrey if she and Conner get back together. Then Conner says he wants to change his guitar story and make it so the musician destroys the guitar in the end. Liz figures this means that either Conner wants her dead or the story was never about her in the first place. She feels like an idiot.

Meanwhile, Alanna is having absolutely no fun at the Boy Toy concert and she blows up at her mother in the parking lot afterward. She screams that she hates Boy Toy and just wants a mother who will listen. Mrs. Feldman fails to point out that Alanna never said anything worth listening to (such as, “I don’t like Boy Toy and don’t want to go to their concert.”), but starts crying about how she just wants to make things better between them. This somehow makes Alanna realize she wants to talk to Conner, so her mom takes her home to get her car.

Liz has apparently gotten over her mortification, and she and Conner are playing Scrabble when Alanna shows up. When Alanna sees Liz, she turns around, gets in her car and drives away. Liz is disappointed when Conner follows her. She goes home and thinks about things, and she suddenly realizes she really loves Jeff and not Conner. So am I supposed to think she’s over him now? With only seven books left in the series, now she’s finally over him? Whatever. Conner catches up to Alanna at a stop light and starts to get out of his car, but she speeds through the intersection and nearly gets hit by a truck. Conner decides he should just leave her alone if she’d rather get into a wreck than talk to him.

Trent and Jeremy renew their man-love: Trent is tired of Jeremy being mad at him, so he’s aggressively trying to win back his friendship rather than wait around for Jeremy to forgive him. Jeremy gets food poisoning one night and can’t go to work the next day, so Trent goes in his place. When Jeremy finds out, he thanks Trent but tells him it doesn’t make up for him trying to hook up with his girlfriend. Trent and Jeremy are on Big Mesa’s basketball team and Trent gets hurt during a game. He tries to play through it, but Jeremy tells the coach he thinks Trent should go to the hospital. Coach agrees, but Trent is convinced Jeremy wanted him taken out of the game for personal reasons. It isn’t until his leg is in a cast because of a hairline fracture that Trent realizes Jeremy might have been right. Out in the waiting room, Jeremy is wringing his hands and hoping Trent will forgive him for being so jerky the last few weeks. They make up. Because that’s what happens at hospitals.

Quotes:

[Conner] couldn’t believe this was what he had come to – spending Saturday afternoon brooding.

How is this different from any other Saturday for Conner?

The Cover and Title: Who’s back? Conner? WHY DO YOU CARE?

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #29: Where We Belong

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

The Moral of the Story: Never ask football players for dating advice.

Synopsis:

Alanna runs outside when she sees Conner kissing Liz and Conner goes after her, leaving Liz in the kitchen to fret about what just happened. Alanna is pissed. Apparently, she and Conner hooked up in rehab (always the best place to start a relationship, right?) and I guess she was hoping they’d stay together once they got out. She asks if he and Liz are getting back together and then drives off when Conner says he doesn’t know. Back inside, he tells Liz he doesn’t want to talk about it. I would say that’s really just too bad, but you know Liz. She just feels so awful about how Conner’s been through so much lately. She just gets up and leaves without pushing the issue.

Ken has decided he and Maria belong together. He feels great about this decision and can’t wait to tell Maria. He finds her studying at House of Java and tells her he knows she still cares about him and he wants to get back together. He’s totally surprised when Maria gets pissed and leaves. At school the next day, he thinks a good plan B is to flirt with some random girl to make Maria jealous. He furrows his brow in consternation when it just seems to make her mad. God, he is so stupid. Maria tells him off and then goes off to the bathroom to cry because she really does miss him. Sigh. What is the deal with these kids? Jessica and Jeremy break up and then get back together. Will and Melissa break up and then get back together (and then break up again). And now it’s looking like Ken and Maria are going to get back together. There are other fish in the sea, people! Ugh, I’m so bored.

Will and Melissa are talking again (I’ll just bet they’re going to get back together again), and he tells her his parents are worried about his future now that football is no longer an option. He mentions possibly becoming a coach, and Melissa’s face contorts in disgust. I guess being a coach’s wife isn’t glamorous enough for her. Will has a meeting with parents and the guidance counselor, and everyone seems really intent on making him figure out what he wants to do with his life. Jeez, he thought he was getting a football scholarship like a minute ago. Maybe we can cut him some slack. Will feels like torturing himself, so he gets out all his newspaper clippings to read about how awesome he used to be at football. It’s then he realizes he could be a sportswriter. He talks to Ken and asks him to ask his dad about getting him a job at the paper, and then tells Melissa he’s going to be a famous sportscaster. She finds that glamorous enough, I guess, and they go walking off into the sunset together.

Some guy named Steve asks Maria to go for coffee. She’s about to say no, but then she sees Ken come out of a classroom and she says yes loud enough for him to hear. Awesome. The date is horrible because Steve orders the same kind of coffee Ken likes and then takes her to the beach just like Ken used to. This is what we call Steven Wakefield Syndrome. Maria ends the date early and goes home to call Ken and tell him how she feels. Ken, on the other hand, has been talking to the guys, which is always a bad idea. They told him that if he wants Maria back, he should act like he needs her help with something. So when Maria calls him, Ken tells her she was right: getting back together is a bad idea. Then he asks for her help on a history paper. Maria agrees to meet him in the library the next morning, and then she hangs up and flings herself onto her bed to cry. Oh my god, you’re both fucking infuriating.

Maria works with Ken for a few minutes the next morning, and then Ken gets up to talk to Todd and the gang of football players that just walked in. Maria feels sorry for herself because Ken is blowing her off for football again (insert rolling eyes here), and then she opens Ken’s notebook to make some notes for him. When she sees that he already has a completed draft of the paper he supposedly needs her help on, she totally loses her shit and starts yelling at him for being a lying liar who lies all the time. She tells him he’s full of himself and then runs out of the library.

Ken thinks about it all day and finally comes up with a plan to get Maria back. He goes to her drama class and gets the teacher to let him act out a scene from West Side Story with Maria. The scene just happens to be one in which Maria and Tony are talking about how different they are. Blah blah blah, Ken and Maria kiss and get back together. Hooray?

Liz keeps coming to Evan with her Conner problems, and Jade’s getting pissed. Liz can tell she’s making Jade jealous, but she’s going through one of her holier-than-thou phases and thinks it’s just too damn bad for Jade if she’s got a problem with her. Jade has finally had enough and she confronts Evan in the hallway at school. She says she wants to know how many times he and Liz hooked up while Conner was in rehab. Predictably, Conner just happens to be passing by right at that moment. Jade runs away and Conner bitches at Evan for a minute. Then he calms down and realizes it’s all Liz’s fault. Evan breaks up with Jade for being an insecure loudmouth, and Conner breaks up with Liz for being a hypocritical backstabber. Then he calls Alanna and tells her he chooses her. We get a bit from Alanna’s point of view in an email she sends to a friend. It says, “Do you think it’s okay that I told him a couple of teeny tiny lies about me?” Oh, boy. She’s probably some kind of psycho.

Quotes:

“I can tell you’ve got too much going on to stay in this tiny town, Maria.”

Maria cringed. She loved Sweet Valley and hated it when people put it down.

I’m surprised there’s anyone in Sweet Valley who puts the place down. People like Steve here must have had faulty sleep conditioning as children.

But Ken could make a little time for Will, the guy whose life he’d totally taken over, right?

For fuck’s sake, would you get over it already?

The Cover and Title: Does Ken kind of look like Heath Ledger? Especially in the bottom left picture.

The title is annoying because I had that song in my head the whole time I was reading this: Love lift us up where we belong! Where the eagles cry on a mountain high!

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #28: Meant to Be

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The Moral of the Story: Will Simmons is no match for his crazy ex’s perfume.

The Big Deal: Party for Conner

Synopsis:

Andy and Tia sit around watching some horrible dating show called Test Your Love because they’re pathetic losers with no boyfriends. They find out the show is doing a teen week and they decide to pretend to be a couple and audition for it. If they win, they’ll get a trip to New York out of it. They get through the first interview and move on to the next waiting area, where Tia starts flirting with some hot assistant guy. She needs Andy to point out to her that it might be a dumb idea to try to score a date when she’s supposed to be pretending to be Andy’s girlfriend. Tia’s kind of dumb sometimes. She hopes they don’t make it to the next round because she wants to ask the guy out, and she’s disappointed when they actually do make it.

Ken feels bad for dumping Melissa the way he did on Friday, but he knows it was the right thing to do. He’s realized that he was never the guy for Melissa and that she and Will totally belong together. He calls her and tells her so, not knowing she’s already tried to get Will back and he wasn’t interested. Melissa hangs up on him. Ken, who is for some reason determined to get them back together, decides he’ll just talk to Will.

Tia calls Liz and says she heard from Conner. He’s back from rehab and will be at school the next day. Liz doesn’t sleep at all that night and she’s a mess the next morning. Evan asks her if she’s going to tell Conner about their little mini-relationship, and Liz says she thinks he should know and she’d like to be the one to tell him. Evan gives her a hug and then Liz takes off when she sees Conner come around the corner. Conner seems genuinely happy to see Evan, so Evan feels guilty for having gone after Liz in the first place.

There’s a pep rally coming up and it’s supposed to be planned by the head cheerleader and the captain of the football team. Since Will is out, Coach Riley puts Ken in charge. And Coach Laufeld puts Melissa in charge because Tia is pretending to be sick so she can audition for the game show. Melissa sees Ken talking to Maria in the hallway and it pisses her off that he’s already trying to get back together with his ex, even though she’s been trying unsuccessfully to get back with Will this whole time. She goes up to Ken all smiley and says they have things to do. Maria scuttles off, thinking Ken and Melissa are still together. Ken realizes there’s no freaking way he can plan a pep rally with his psycho ex-girlfriend, so he decides to make Will do it. He tells Will the team really wants him to plan the thing and he should go to House of Java the next night to start planning. He fails to mention that Melissa is taking Tia’s place.

Conner is having dinner with his mom and sister one night and thinking about how he can never get back together with Liz because of “what happened in rehab.” Then some chick named Alanna calls and asks for him. Conner tells Megan to say he isn’t home. Very mysterious. And I don’t care.

Andy and Tia actually get to be on Test Your Love, and they end up winning. After the show’s taping, Tia starts to go over to the cute crew guy to ask him out, but Andy reminds her one more time that they’re supposed to be a couple and maybe she can wait until after the trip to New York to ask the guy out. Tia goes to the bathroom, and the crew guy comes up to Andy and says it’s a shame he has a girlfriend because otherwise he’d love to hang out with Andy sometimes. Andy tells Tia the guy’s been flirting with him this whole time. Ha.

Will is pissed when he gets to House of Java and finds Melissa there instead of Tia. He decides to just help her organize the thing because the team’s counting on him or whatever, and of course during the course of the evening he notices Melissa’s perfume and how pretty her eyes are. He keeps trying to tell himself that she’s a horrible person, but when he goes to leave, one of his crutches slips and he almost falls. Melissa grabs him and keeps him upright and I guess Will is in love again.

Tia throws a surprise welcome home party for Conner. After much internal debate, Liz decides to go. Conner thanks her for telling him he needed help, and they start to kiss. Then the mysterious Alanna shows up and yells Conner’s name. She doesn’t seem too happy.

The Cover and Title: Is that supposed to be Liz and Conner? I don’t get it. Out of everyone in this book, Liz and Conner were probably in it the least, and they were only in the same room with each other for like one page.

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #23: Falling Apart

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

The Moral of the Story: Homecoming is the best time to start making out with your ex-boyfriend’s best friend.

The Big Deal: Homecoming

Synopsis:

Conner’s father has left him alone pretty much all weekend, and Conner’s annoyed by his lack of interest. He goes to a park and drinks the bottle of vodka he had in his trunk, and then he goes to the bar where he and his dad got drunk together the other night. He’s feeling pretty good until some redneck puts a country song on the jukebox. Conner flips out and tries to attack the guy, but he’s too drunk and his swing totally misses. The bartender shoves him into a booth where he just sort of puts his head down and spaces out for a while, and a little while later his father comes and drags him away. He puts him in a car, and then Conner blacks out.

Conner wakes up the next morning in a hospital bed. His father looks disgusted as he explains that Conner drank so much he got alcohol poisoning and could have died. The boy finally gets it through his fat head that he has a problem, and he calls his mother and tells her he’s coming home and wants to check into rehab.

Back in Sweet Valley, Liz is sitting around feeling sorry for herself and avoiding Evan’s calls because she doesn’t know what to say to him. Jessica is angry about all the time Liz has been spending with Evan because she doesn’t think Liz should be pursuing a guy Jessica used to date. Yeah, because Jessica has never done that to Liz. Liz keeps trying to tell herself she doesn’t like Evan that way.

Homecoming is just around the corner and Liz is on the planning committee with Jessica, but quits after Jessica yells at her about Evan. Maria quits because she’d rather mope about her breakup with Ken. Tia tries to quit because she doesn’t want to hang out with Liz after their fight about Evan, but Jessica tells her Liz isn’t on the committee anymore so Tia won’t have to deal with her.

A Wakefield family dinner is interrupted by the doorbell. Liz is shocked to see Conner at the door. She invites him in and he tells her he’s going to rehab. He leans toward her like he’s going to kiss her or something, and she instinctively backs away. She realizes she doesn’t love him anymore and wants him to leave. Conner seems to sense something like that, so he tells her they should take a break. Even though she agrees, Liz is of course pissed off that he doesn’t want to be with her anymore. Whatever.

Tia and Liz apologize to each other, and Tia sort of gives Liz and Evan her blessing. So when Evan asks Liz to the homecoming dance, she accepts. She tells Jessica she’s going with him and can’t figure out why Jessica is so mad. Jessica says she’d been planning on asking Evan to the dance and now she has to go dateless.

Will is still sulking about his knee and refusing to go back to school or let Melissa come over. She finally gets fed up when she calls and his mother says he’s not there even though Melissa can hear him in the background saying he doesn’t want to talk to her. She hangs up, and then Ken calls. He asks her to go to homecoming – just as friends – and Melissa thinks it’s a great way to get back at Will for being such a jackass.

There’s some boring stuff about Andy not doing well in school again and also getting all whiny about the fact that Conner only went to see Liz and Tia in person to tell them he was back and going to rehab, and didn’t come to see Andy at all. In the end, Conner sends Andy an email to apologize that he didn’t have time before leaving for the clinic, and also for blowing him off when Andy came to him with his concerns about being gay. Andy is placated.

Tia, Andy and Jessica go to prom together and have a nice friendly time. Jeremy shows up with Jade, but she’s freaking weird and she spends the whole night dancing with everyone but him. Jessica notices Jeremy standing by himself and goes over to talk to him. She doesn’t want to be a bitch, so she tries to tell him to work things out with Jade even though she really wants him for herself. So selfless. Of course, Jeremy is sickened by the way Jade’s acting and doesn’t even care about her anymore, and he’s bummed that Jessica is so obviously over him. Ugh. Liz and Evan dance together and then kiss in the middle of the dance floor.

The Cover: Liz is brooding, I guess. You know, ‘cause she’s Falling Apart.

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #20: Nothing is Forever

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The Moral of the Story: If you want to be the starring quarterback, just make a wish that the current quarterback gets hurt. Sweet Valley is magic like that.

The Big Deal: Football game

Synopsis:

Evan calls Liz and tells her about Conner falling and then passing out the night before. He’s okay. Evan thinks he just passed out from being drunk and he wants Liz to talk to Conner about his problem. He tells her now isn’t the best time because Conner probably has a massive hangover, but Liz goes to his house anyway. When she gets there, Conner just yells at her and tells her to leave. She does, and then Andy comes over. He has no idea what’s going on, and he’s really hurt when he tells Conner he’s gay and Conner just laughs and kind of says, “Of course you are.” Poor Andy, he just wants someone to talk to. Once Andy is gone, Conner digs out his Jack Daniels bottle from under the bed and starts drinking again. You know, just to calm his nerves.

Will and his family are having brunch with the Michigan scout to seal the deal, and Ken sees them go into the restaurant. He’s really bummed because his father is being a jackass, and during an argument he basically told Ken he’s ashamed of him for not being a star football player anymore. Ken starts to feel like he really misses being a starting quarterback and he wishes he was more than just a benchwarmer. There really isn’t anything more to Ken than football, is there?

Jeremy goes to House of Java and apologizes to Jessica for yelling at her the night before. Jessica is relieved, but then Jeremy says he’s going to look for another job. She tries to talk him out of it, but he thinks it’s the best thing to do because he can’t work with Jade anymore. Jessica goes to her boss and tells her about the night Jade called in sick and then showed up with her date. The boss says Jessica has to fire her.

Liz leaves a message for Conner asking him to come to the big football game and talk to her there. Jessica calls Jeremy and asks him to meet her at the game, too. I don’t know why she couldn’t just tell him about firing Jade over the phone, but whatever. Conner shows up drunk. Evan sees him in the parking lot and tries to talk to him, but of course Conner just wants to act like a douchebag. After a cop comes up and says hello to them, Conner realizes he doesn’t want to talk to Liz or anyone else, so he goes home.

Will gets tackled during the game and breaks his leg. He gets rushed to the hospital, and the coach puts Ken in. He throws the ball in a super awesome way or something (I have never even watched a football game, so forgive my lack of knowledge), and the crowd goes wild. Sweet Valley wins, and Ken’s dad – there to cover the game for the paper – comes up to Ken with a big smile on his face. Ken is pissed because he feels like he shouldn’t have to play football for his dad to like him, and he turns his back on him. Maria says something to Mr. Matthews about the fact that he gave up on Ken, and he snaps at her, implying that she won’t like Ken anymore now that he’s going to be playing regularly. That’s a sharp blow, because Maria was just worrying about that herself.

Liz is upset that Conner never showed at the game and Jessica is upset that Jeremy didn’t show, either. Will wakes up in the hospital the next morning and Melissa tells him the doctor doesn’t think he’ll ever play football again.

The Cover: I thought for sure this book was going to be about Melissa and Will breaking up, but I guess it’s really about football. Whatever.

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #19: It’s My Life

Monday, March 29th, 2010

The Moral of the Story: Conner sucks.

The Big Deal: Conner’s gig

Synopsis:

Conner’s a moody little bitch these days and he’s taking it out on his liver. He’s got a gig coming up at a club called The Shack, and the only way he can calm his rattled nerves is with vodka. He gets falling down drunk one night and goes to school the next day with a hangover. All his friends ask him what’s wrong and of course he gets all pissed off at them because, as I said, he’s a moody bitch. Tia wants to talk to someone about Conner and the only person she can think of is Angel. When she calls him, he tells her he has a new girlfriend. Tia hangs up the phone and goes to Andy’s. He lets her vent for a while, and then he tells her what he told Maria and the twins that morning, that he might be gay. Tia gives him a hug and feels shitty for going on and on about her stupid problems while Andy’s been dealing with this life-altering thing.

Tia finds Conner one night drinking at the beach. She tells him she’s worried about him and sort of threatens to tell Liz about the drinking. Conner says their friendship is over if she does that. She goes to Liz anyway and says she’s worried about Conner’s drinking, but Liz tells her she’s being paranoid. Conner makes up some lie to explain to Liz why he’s not talking to Tia.

Jade Wu is really obnoxious. There’s a bit about her mother going out with a different guy every night and almost never being home (did she divorce the tyrannical Mr. Wu?), so I guess I’m supposed to feel sorry for Jade, but I just don’t. Jeremy is halfway to falling in love with her, but Jade doesn’t think twice before accepting Josh Radinsky’s invitation to “study” with him after school. Lila overhears this and gets mad because she used to date Josh. Jade does a lot of eye rolling and can’t figure out why everyone is so uptight about their ex-boyfriends.

Lila goes to House of Java and tells Jessica that Jade is cheating on Jeremy. Jessica isn’t sure if she should believe Lila, but she overhears Josh the next morning talking about how he hooked up with Jade. Jessica confronts Jade, and Jade tells her to mind her own business. Jessica tells Jeremy that Jade is cheating on him, and of course he gets mad at Jessica and accuses her of lying because she’s jealous.

There’s some pointless crap about Will and Melissa. They’re planning to go to the same college next year and live together off campus, but Will really wants to go to Michigan and Melissa doesn’t. A football scout from Michigan comes and watches Will play and then tells him he can pretty much get a free ride. When Will tells Melissa, she says she wants to go wherever he’s going and she’s already filling out her application to Michigan. No drama, no excitement. I so don’t care.

Everyone goes to Conner’s gig at The Shack. Liz tells Tia she thinks whatever reason Conner gave her for their fight is stupid and they should just make up. Tia is pissed that Conner lied about her, so she goes backstage with Liz to wish Conner luck. He’s obviously drunk back there, and Liz and Tia try to tell him he shouldn’t go on. He yells at them both and tells them to leave him alone. Liz and Tia sit in the audience worrying that Conner’s going to make a fool out of himself, but he actually sings and plays just as well as he always does. The girls are shocked and wonder if they were mistaken, but Conner yells at them after the show about them needing to back off and quit trying to mother him. He tells the guys he wants to go hang out at Crescent Beach, so off they go.

Jeremy and Jade went to the show together, but Jessica sees Jade talking to Josh. (Everyone’s name in this storyline starts with J. That’s annoying.) Josh wants Jade to ditch Jeremy and join him at Crescent Beach, and Jade accepts. Jade has Jeremy take her home, claiming she has to get to bed because she has an early morning. Jeremy drops her off, and then goes home to find Jessica waiting on his doorstep. She says she can prove Jade is cheating if he’ll just come with her. He goes just so she’ll shut up, and then throws a fit when he sees Josh and Jade together. He tells both Jessica and Jade that he never wants to see either of them again.

Conner’s getting mad because his friends are trying to get him to go home. He climbs up on some rocks and promptly falls off of them. He hears someone say they need to call an ambulance and only then does he notice he’s bleeding from the head.

The Cover: “I’m Conner. I’m deep and brooding. Nobody understands me, so I clench my jaw and make sure everyone knows how miserable I am.”

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #18: As If I Care

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The Moral of the Story: If you act like a total drunken asshole all the time, the girls will be falling all over you.

Synopsis:

Jessica is annoyed about Jeremy and Jade and all the flirting going on at House of Java. Before cheerleading practice one day, Lila overhears Jessica muttering about Jade in the locker room and asks her what’s going on. It’s pretty much the first time Lila has spoken to her in months, so Jessica confides in her. Lila says it sounds like Jeremy is just trying to make her jealous by flirting with Jade. Jessica laughs off the idea at first, but the more she thinks about, the more convinced she becomes that this is actually what Jeremy is doing.

Jessica starts flirting with everyone who comes into House of Java, figuring this is the best way to get Jeremy to notice her again. This plan backfires, of course, because Jeremy assumes all her flirting means she’s over him and it gives him the extra little push he needs to ask out Jade. She says she’ll go out with him Friday night, but then he sees her name on the schedule. Jade tells him she’ll take care of it.

Conner is trying as hard as he can to avoid Tia. He knows making out with her was a big mistake and he doesn’t want to talk about it. He does want to talk to Liz and set things right with her and it seems like she wants to talk to him, too. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to find any alone time. On top of all that, Conner’s mom is driving him crazy by asking him to complete such daunting tasks as checking the chemicals in the pool, and Conner is dealing with it all by drinking the liquor his mom hid around the house back when she was drinking. He finally does get together with Liz and can’t believe it when she tells him she loves him. He says it back and thinks this is it, he doesn’t have to drink anymore. But of course he gets drunk the next time Liz has to work, and then he yells really hurtful things at Tia when she comes over and tries to talk. I can’t figure out why all the girls love this guy.

Jeremy’s date with Jade is kind of stressful because somewhere along the line, Jade has turned into this blunt, sarcastic, adventurous “cool” chick. Jeremy thinks it’s just so neat that she’s using an old camera case as a purse and he almost throws up at the tattoo parlor when Jade gets her bellybutton pierced. After that, Jade suggests going to House of Java. Jeremy guesses she must have found someone to work for her, but realizes that’s not the case when they get there and see Jessica at the counter by herself, totally panicked. Jessica can’t believe Jade would show up after calling in sick, but Jade just laughs at her and takes her coffee out to the patio. Damn, Jade is a little bitch. Jeremy is pissed off. He’s a responsible guy who would never do what Jade just did. He tells her he wants to take her home and then come back and help Jessica close. Jade doesn’t like that one bit and she gets up and storms off to the car. Jeremy drives her home in silence and he’s just starting to gain my respect again, but then Jade kisses him goodnight and he decides he can’t wait to see her again. He goes back and helps Jessica close up shop, and Jessica gives him a hug and tries to kiss him. He pushes her away and tells her they’re just friends. Jessica is embarrassed and hurt.

The next morning, Jessica sees Andy at House of Java and sits next to him on her break. She immediately starts talking about what happened with Jade and Jessica last night. Then Maria comes in and says she’s worried about Ken because his dad is cheating on his girlfriend and Ken got into a fight with him about it. Andy has been trying for a week to get someone to talk to him about his problems, and he’s getting frustrated that nobody will listen to him. He gets fed up when Liz sits down and starts complaining about Tia, and he finally blurts out that he thinks he might be gay. Then he smiles because he’s happy to have finally gotten everyone’s attention.

The Cover: Don’t you smirk at me, Jade. Bitch.

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #17: Backstabber

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

The Moral of the Story: If you make out with your best friend, you’ll become an alcoholic.

Synopsis:

After being caught in Tia’s bed, Conner goes to the Wakefield house and bangs on the door, begging Liz to let him explain. She finally opens the door and he says nothing happened, all he and Tia did was kiss. Liz, who I guess didn’t see the kiss, slams the door in his face. Tia comes over later to apologize, and she’s all hurt when Liz says Conner told her the kiss meant nothing. Oh, Tia, really? Conner goes home and his mom yells at him for staying out all night. Ever since she came back from rehab, she’s been doing this “involved mom” thing and Conner can’t stand it because he’s used to doing whatever he wants. His mother leaves, and Conner goes out to the garage and starts throwing things around. He finds a bottle from his mom’s drinking days, has a drink and then tells himself he’s not an alcoholic like his mom.

Jessica gets promoted to assistant manager at House of Java, but she’s a little upset when she finds out Jeremy was management’s first choice. The only reason he wasn’t promoted was because the boss thinks Jeremy already works too much and she didn’t want to give him more responsibility. Jade Wu gets hired and Jeremy immediately starts crushing on her.

Melissa overhears Jessica telling Maria about Liz finding Conner in bed with Tia. Tia can tell Melissa knows something and she really doesn’t want things to get out of hand. After cheerleading practice, Tia finds Conner waiting for her at her locker. He wants to go for a drive. Tia says she doesn’t think they should hang out until this mess gets straightened out. Conner says, “Call me when you grow up,” and stalks off. Because he’s, like, so mature.

Conner’s having trouble dealing with all this on top of his mother’s newfound sense of responsibility. She gives him a curfew and he sneers at her. The next day, he does a very un-Conner thing and writes a poem to Liz and sticks it in her locker. He can’t believe it when Liz doesn’t immediately come running back to him. He goes to House of Java that afternoon in a terrible mood and loses his temper completely when he sees Tia and Liz having what looks to be an intense conversation. Neither of them is speaking to him and he’s pissed that they’re talking to each other. He goes home and has some Scotch, all the while telling himself he’s not like his mother.

Liz’s talk with Tia is pretty useless. All Liz can think about is the fact that Tia kissed her boyfriend. Tia tries to reassure her that she and Conner have always been just friends and Conner would have said something by now if he liked her. Liz thinks Tia’s delivery is a little weird and asks her if she has romantic feelings for Conner. Tia says she might. Liz loses it and tells Tia she wants her to stay away from Conner. Tia gets all indignant, but Liz tells her that’s the way it is and then sashays out the door. When she gets home, she decides the best thing to do is tell Conner she loves him. What? She starts thinking about when and where and how she’ll tell him. Seriously? You just caught him in bed with some other chick and you want to tell him you love him? Does not compute.

Jeremy and Jade keep on flirting with each other at work and it’s really getting under Jessica’s skin. Jade is way bitchier than I ever thought her capable back when she was just a sad little Chinese-American who didn’t want anyone to know she was Chinese. She knows Jessica and Jeremy used to date, but she doesn’t seem to care. Whatever, I don’t care either.

Conner is hanging out in his garage, listening to the radio, totally wasted. Tia comes over to try to talk things out with him. She knocks on the side door, and Conner pulls her into the garage and starts making out with her. Tia thinks about stopping him but she doesn’t because he’s just so totally hot.

The Cover: I’d be interested in seeing the full version of this picture because it looks badly cropped. Whose ear is that down there?