A 30-something's lovingly sarcastic journey through all of Sweet Valley High, and then some (with lots of swears)

#8 Heart Breaker

This is the last catch-up entry I’m doing today … then I’ll be ready to dive into #9! So let’s get going.
The cover: A very pretty beach blue with Jessica twisting Bill Chase’s gold chain around her finger. Jess’s face looks really harsh. She also looks just like Madonna … Madonna at age 50, that is. Bill is either resting his arm on an unseen shelf or on the back of Jessica’s head. Weird. And, I actually really like Jessica’s bikini!
The plot: Bill is that crazy good surfer boy who barely talks to anybody and lusts for Elizabeth from afar. At the end of Dear Sister, he finally made a play for Liz after his good buddy Todd told him it was fine, but Jessica somehow fooled him into thinking she was Liz and that caused him to fall in love with her, and when she revealed who she really was it was too late … damage was done … that makes no sense … I’ll now end this run-on sentence because that whole premise just kind of hurts me.
So now Bill has been reduced to a bumbling idiot who can’t seem to get Jessica to pay him any attention. The two of them are starring in Splendor in the Grass, and while Jessica makes him rehearse the kissing scene over and over, she won’t kiss him at any other time. Instead, she runs around with Tom McKay the tennis player and basically acts like an ass. All because Bill didn’t want to go with her to some stupid ass dance. Yawn. Meanwhile, we learn about Bill’s old surfer girl lover, Julianne, who died in a car wreck following a jealous fight he picked with her at a party. This has left him with a lot of guilt, and Bill’s thoughts explain that he fell in love with Elizabeth because she looked and acted like Julianne, which means Jessica looks like Julianne, too, of course. (We’ve already learned all about this in Bill’s character profile from a previous book.) Bill’s good, mousy friend DeeDee Gordon is secretly in love with Bill, herself, but Bill doesn’t realize that he loves DeeDee, too, until the end when he saves her from drowning as they practice for the upcoming women’s surfing championship. Then mouth-to-mouth turns into mouth-to-mouth. That leaves Jessica out in the cold, which is funny since she’s actually started to like Bill and dumps Tom for him. Even better, DeeDee’s father, a Hollywood agent, picks Bill as the perfect actor to audition for roles when Jessica’s convinced it’s going to be her. Fail!

The subplot: We haven’t had a good Liz and Todd fight since, oh, last book, so now we get the issue of Todd’s sexy ex-redhead Patsy Webber from ninth grade, who’s moved back to Sweet Valley after living in Paris for a while. Liz is terribly threatened, and Jessica, being a good sister, encourages Liz that Todd is probably cheating on her with Patsy. Eventually Todd explains to Elizabeth Wimpfield that no, he doesn’t want Patsy back, and in fact, she just got dumped by her Paris boyfriend for someone else, thank you very much! Then Patsy spends the night at the cast party for the play dancing up a storm with Tom McKay, so I guess all’s well that ends well.

WTF? I actually don’t have a whole lot of WTFs for this one. I think it’s supposed to be a lighthearted reprieve after the heavyhandedness (I’m being saracastic) of books 6 and 7, but Bill’s story about Julianne is a real downer, dude.
-In one of the earlier books, Jessica was described as a “sensational surfer” but here she is begging Bill for lessons.
-There are some quips about how sexy Richard Gere is. Hehe, Pretty Woman wasn’t even out yet, either.
-We learn that Jessica once blabbed all over school that Bruce was going to take her to the Sophomore Fling (the tenth graders have their OWN dance?) but he took Lila instead. So why didn’t Jessica treat Bruce the way she treated Bill?
-Elizabeth catches Todd rubbing suntan lotion all over Patsy’s bare back. Sexxxy.
In the back of the book we have an order form inviting us to read the first SVH Super Thriller, as well as an order form for the Sweet Valley Twins series! (This printing of Heart Breaker is from 1988 – SVT and the thrillers weren’t out in 1984 at the original printing.)
This book actually wasn’t half bad. It was pretty well written compared to some others, especially since the plot line the ghostwriter had to work with was pretty dull. Of course, coming up next, we have the whole thing all over again, this time with Roger Barrett and Lila Fowler in the roles of Bill and Jessica! See you there.

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