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

#15 Promises

The plot: Hey, Betsy! You’s a ho! HO! You’s a ho! I said that you’s a ho! Okay, so that’s the jist of this whole story. Good night.
….Oh, alright. So, Betsy Martin is Tricia’s older sister. She graduated from high school already, and she lives at home with angelic Tricia and their drunk father, who can’t get over their mother’s death from cancer, years ago. So now Tricia is dying of cancern as well, but Betsy is too busy drinking and carousing to be at the hospital with her. Yet, after she hears that Tricia is dead, she busts into the hospital crying and screaming, with her shirt pretty much hanging open and alcohol on her breath, wailing that she wasn’t with Tricia when she died and what a horrible sister she is. Of course, we see all this through the eyes of Jessica the Bitch Twin. Jessica despises Betsy, seems secretly relieved the Wakefields are no longer associated with the Martins, and is more concerned that she can’t figure out what to wear to Tricia’s funeral than she is that her brother is in deep mourning. Well, joke’s on you, bi-otch! Turns out Steven made a promise to Tricia when she died that he would take care of Betsy, and Betsy just moves right in with the Wakefields!
Jessica is just horrified at having the town tramp in the house! It’s true that Betsy is a prickly pear, because she thinks everyone is assuming she wants to do them and snort all their cocaine. But Jess is really horrified when Betsy starts hanging around Steven every waking minute, and appears to be crushing on him hardcore. At Lila’s suggestion, Jessica snoops through Betsy’s luggage, thinking she’ll find some drugs there that can be used to get Betsy kicked out of the house, but there’s nothing. Why the hell didn’t she just go get some pills or something from her old friend Rick Andover, and plant them in Betsy’s things? Jessica isn’t about to give up, but thankfully for Betsy, she has good old Elizabeth meddling in her business, and of course, there’s a hidden talent (art) and a potential love interest, college student and local art teacher, Jason Stone. Betsy decides to start taking Jason’s class, but flips out when he asks her out on a date, and then again when she thinks he’s just fucking with her about trying to get into the Los Angeles Academy of Fine Arts. Her smartassed reactions are actually really hilarious. She gets so mad at Jason she starts mimicking him to his face, and openly states that he just wants “a night alone with me.” And at the breakfast table! HAHAHA! Anyway, Saint Liz, Jason, and Steven concoct a plan to secretly get Betsy into the art school, but then Jessica spoils it by telling Betsy about Steven’s promise to Tricia. Assuming that Steven doesn’t really give a crap about her but just feels bound to Betsy (which, honestly, he probably does), Betsy takes off to the Shady Lady bar for some good old fashioned drinkin’ and fuckin’ two guys at once! Needless to say, the boys show up, a fight ensues, Jason wows everyone with his karate skills (yes, really), and Betsy realizes they really do care. Jessica cracks me the fuck up by thinking, Spare me the corny make-up scene when Betsy apologizes to Steven.
The sub-plot: Winston Egbert attemps to break a world pizza-eating record at Guido’s Pizza. And, he fails to break the record. That’s all.
WTF? Jessica starts dating Neil Freemount in this book. I guess he’s just some random character inserted to keep her occupied until she goes after someone more notable.
*Betsy laughs when Liz suggests they have a brownie and milk together, and calls milk “The good girl’s drink” HAHAHA! No 40’s in this household, Betsy!
*The Triad of Evil (Jessica, Cara, Lila) try to find out why Bruce Patman’s family is paying for Roger Barrett’s mother’s operation. (This is the lead-in to the next book) They elect Cara to go ask him, and she wails, “Why me? Bruce Patman has never even stopped to give me the time of day!” Yes, he has — she went on at length in Book 3 about how she dated him for a while and he was an ass to her! Lila went out with him, too, but Jessica is the only one who refuses to ask because of her “history” with Bruce. Jess is self-centered enough that it makes sense she thinks she’s the only one who was hurt enough by him. She’s probably just the only one who actually banged him.
*Tim Houseman gets together with Dana Larson. Okay, who really cares about Dana Larson? And who the fuck is Tim Houseman? There’s already a Tim Bradley in the series.
*Jessica remembers the time she got a speeding ticket on the way to Miller’s Point, and it wasn’t worth it because Paul Sherwood is the worst kisser alive.
*Jessica says that Betsy was at Miller’s Point with “Charlie Cashman and Jim Sturbridge … Both of them. At the same time.” Wow, that’s a direct reference to a threesome.
*Betsy says she’s going to smoke some “dynamite” pot and she gives Crunch and Charlie “wet” kisses in front of Steven and Jason. WTF!
*There’s another dumb dancing scene at the Beach Disco. I can’t remember when they stop talking about the Beach Disco in the SVH series, but I kind of hope it’s soon.
From the mouth of Lila Fowler: “Why, our stable boy has more class than Betsy Martin.”
The cover: Yes, that’s really Betsy. Totally awesome facial expression! “Duuuuur?” Her shirt is Miss Goody Goody though. Why isn’t Liz wearing it? Hell, Jessica’s little tank top is skimpier! The artist should’ve opened several buttons and shown major cleave. Maybe he did originally, and they made him change it!
What’s next? Roger’s mother dies of heart problems, and … dun dun dun … it turns out he’s not who you think he is!
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