Let’s take a moment to examine this cover, shall we? First of all, this image never happened in the book. Jessica and Andrea barely interact at all, and I don’t recall any scenes whatsoever in which Andrea holds a guitar. With that said, I think both girls look really pretty. Andrea definitely has the look of a typical early 90s heavy metal chick, with her cropped black turtleneck tank top thang, and her high-waisted jeans with the thick black belt, and that hair that could double as a metal band dude’s hair if it was just a few inches longer. I like Jessica’s tank top and I have one kind of similar. Hey, they’re back in. The most surprising thing about this cover, and I say this at the risk of sounding creepy, is that for once, both girls on the cover actually have boobs and were not painted completely flat-chested!
So here’s what’s going on with this excruciatingly predictable plot. Hot rock star Jamie Peters has been telling Rock and Roll magazine that he is planning to move from New York to the West Coast to pursue a movie career. Jessica and Lila have been acting like lovestruck 11-year-olds over Jamie, so they’re about to die over the remote possibility that Jamie might move to Sweet Valley (because even though it’s a small town and California is huge, why not? Hello, it’s the best place in the WORLD). Amy scoffs at their adoration. What is up with Amy’s holier than thou attitude lately? The girls lay around listening to his latest CD, Pride, and draping themselves over pictures of Jamie.
Meanwhile, secretive new girl Andrea is getting noticed. She’s very pretty and Bruce Patman asks her out, but she isn’t interested. Liz and Enid invite her to the beach and she says she’ll meet them there. They have a good time and then decide to go to the Dairi Burger later. Andrea again says she’ll meet them there; her house is a mess with all the packing boxes and she’d rather just drive herself. For some reason, this is weird to Enid and Liz. Another day, the girls meet Andrea at the mall where they run into Nicholas Morrow. He and Andrea dig each other and make a date to go sailing, but Andrea declines Nicholas’ offer of a ride. Enid and Liz are freaked out. I have to say I really don’t see what the big deal is. Maybe she just wants to drive more on her own so she can take the time to figure out where everything is. They go sailing on Nicholas’s new boat, Morning Glory, and have a great time. But Andrea gets shy and backs off when Nicholas is about to kiss her. But after he walks her back to her car, she does let him kiss her, and it looks like they have fallen in love immediately, even though Nicholas doesn’t know much about her. That’s the way it always works in these books. Nicholas offers to pick her up for dinner that night and she says she’ll meet him there. He is all wounded by it. I really don’t like Nicholas. He’s so pompous, but we’re supposed to think he’s a noble young man. Anyway, they eat Andrea’s favorite angel hair pasta with fresh herbs and cream sauce at an Italian restaurant called Oggi. (According to Google Translate, that means “today” in Italian.)
Lila drops a bombshell: she saw Jamie Peters at the drugstore! Everyone is skeptical. But then she calls Jessica from her carphone while the Wakefield family is having dinner. Even though the Wakefields have a rule that no calls are to be taken during dinner, Ned goes ahead and answers the phone. Why? If calls aren’t allowed, let the answering machine get it! Lila saw Jamie again and followed him home. That’s kind of creepy. It turns out he lives near Lila. He bought the old Kitterby Estate for $2 million dollars. I can’t help but think that’s not very much for a famous rock star in the L.A. area. Lila used to be friends with Alexis Kitterby and they played hide-and-seek in the bushes all the time, so she knows how to get onto the property. It turns out all you have to do is sneak up onto his back yard from a local park! What the hell? Great job picking out a secure home, Mr. Peters. Jessica, Amy, and Lila hide in the bushes and watch Jamie walk around his swimming pool on the phone, then run away after Jamie hears the rustling in the bushes and looks like he wants to investigate. They let their forgotten friend Cara in on their secret and bring her along for a second visit. They see Andrea with Jamie by the pool. She gives him a kiss on the cheek and the girls freak out. They’re convinced Andrea is the “special girl” Jamie has been telling Rock and Roll about, and that she’s a 16-year-old groupie. The possibility that he could, you know, be her DAD never enters their mind. They’re a pack of idiots.
Andrea is out sick from school for two days with a bad cold. The shit hits the fan while she’s gone. Someone drops an anonymous tip to the Oracle that Andrea has a connection to Jamie. Lila and crew are telling anyone who will listen that Andrea is Jamie’s live-in teenaged girlfriend. Enid snaps at them that it’s “rotten” to say such a thing and Liz gets so mad she goes red in the face over it. Or hey, maybe she’s just embarrassed at the mention of teenage sex. Liz suggests that Andrea could be Jamie’s daughter and everyone’s like, oh whatever. This book is annoying me now.
So yeah, Andrea is Jamie’s daughter, and she’s had a hard time having to move all the time while her famous dad goes on tour. I don’t get why Jamie had to move so much. I mean, do other rock stars move their families all over the country because of their job? That’s what private jets are for. But Jamie and Andrea have lived all over the damn place: Detroit, Miami, Boston, and most recently, New York. Jamie has promised Andrea they’ll be staying in Sweet Valley for good. In case you’re wondering where Andrea’s mom is, her name was Karen Peters and she died in a private jet crash in the mountains when Andrea was four. Everyone Andrea has ever known has only liked her because her dad is Jamie Peters. In 9th grade, Andrea’s best friend Diana Cushing turned out to be a complete fake. Diana was only being friendly so her mom, an entertainment reporter, could get close to Jamie and get a scoop on him. Once her mom got the scoop, Diana stopped talking to Andrea. That seems pretty dumb of Diana. It’s not like Jamie stopped being famous once her mommy got the dirt on him. Well, anyway, Andrea’s been hesitant to get to know anyone ever since. And apparently, she thinks she can really hide where she lives in a tiny town like Sweet Valley. Little does she know everyone’s been gossiping about where she lives and what her dad does and why she is so secretive about it since day one. Liz has to be the worst. She seems like she’s chiding other people for wanting to know what Andrea’s deal is but she is doing the same thing herself! She even discusses what the problem could be with other people, like maybe Andrea’s house is really small and she’s ashamed of it. Oh but it’s okay when Liz does it, because she’s just “concerned.” I hate when people do that, gossip like crazy about someone under the guise of “concern.” You’re still gossiping, so quit acting so high and mighty!
Andrea returns to school to find Amy being extremely friendly to her, Caroline digging for dirt, and Lila blatantly asking for Andrea to set up a meeting between her and Jamie Peters so she can show off her new musical skills. (See the sub-plot.) Lila flat out tells Andrea she knows Jamie is her boyfriend. Andrea is stunned and laughs in her face. At least Enid and Liz are treating her like normal, which I’m sure helps Liz feel better about herself. Then Andrea hears her dad talking to his agent, Leo, about a possible tour in Italy. Andrea assumes her dad is going to take it and they’ll have to move again and is devastated, but doesn’t talk to him about it, because that would just be too easy. Andrea’s day sucks so far, but it’s about to get worse.
Andrea has a date with Nicholas at the Fairmont, an inn that overlooks the marina. They’re going to have tea there and Andrea’s going to tell him the truth about where she lives and then explain her dad is mega famous. But Nicholas runs into Lila and Jessica on the way. He’s carrying a big bouquet of blue flowers for Andrea. Li and Jess tell him that Andrea is a two-timer who’s already living with Jamie Peters. Nicholas BELIEVES THEM the second they say it, and gives the flowers to Lila, then tears off to the Fairmont where he leaves a note in an envelope for Andrea, telling her how terribly hurt he is. This scene made me so mad. Not at the girls, but at Nicholas. What a fucking idiot. The two biggest schemers/liars in the whole school tell him his girlfriend’s cheating on him with a huge rock star that he doesn’t yet know lives in Sweet Valley, and he believes them! I’ve never understood why everyone just takes Jessica’s word especially like it is gospel with all the bullshit she instigates in practically every book!
Andrea is really hurt by the letter and goes missing. Jamie winds up calling the Wakefield house because Andrea has mentioned Liz before … she’s also mentioned Enid but of course she talked about Liz more. Jessica picks up the phone and is in complete shock that Jamie called but has to give it to Liz because he wants to speak with her … Liz, Enid and Nicholas go on the hunt for Andrea, with Nicholas feeling like an ass … good. They find Andrea at the marina thinking by herself, and take her home, and the drama is over. Can’t there ever be a denouement in these books where someone who has been wronged gets an apology because the person realized they were an ass? Not because something traumatic, threatening, or otherwise dramatic happened that must be stopped? While they’re all on the patio talking and whatnot, Jamie reveals he told Leo to shove his Italy tour deal and they are staying in Sweet Valley for at least another couple of years, because he just signed a deal to star in a huge movie. Lila and Jessica are hiding in the bushes listening to all this when Lila pokes Jessica (to make sure she’s listening to something – calm down) and she falls over, and this time Jamie and Nicholas haul them out of the bushes. Hardy har! They’ve been caught! Yawn. Andrea is so happy to stay in Sweet Valley where she’ll maintain her strong friendship with Enid and Liz and be mentioned in every book … right.
The sub-plot: Lila decides to learn a musical instrument to become famous, so that she can one-up Jessica after last book’s fiasco with the Eric Parker Show. Um, okay. Her dad gets Lila to work with a famous instructor named Max Sharpe who will choose the perfect instrument for Lila to learn. It winds up being … the marimba! Lila plays it for Jess and Amy who can’t take her seriously and keep cracking the fuck up, much to Lila’s annoyance. Why doesn’t Lila just zing Jessica by reminding her that she sucked royally at the recorder and Liz aced it? That would get her to shut up. After a lot of harassment, Lila gets the last laugh. She talks to Jamie about her marimba playing when she gets yanked out of the bushes at his house. He thinks she’s so funny that he’s going to try to get her a bit part in his movie as a comically bad marimba player … because she sucks at it.
Other stuff: Lila has a compact disc player her dad got her from Japan that’s wowing everyone. I guess so, I don’t recall CDs becoming the truly trendy music format until maybe 1994. Jessica buys the CD even though she doesn’t have a CD player, which seems stupid to me. Those things weren’t cheap (for teenagers) back then. She says she’s memorized the whole “first side” which is confusing to me. You know, I have some really old CDs somewhere that do say “Side 1” and “Side 2” on the back of the jewel case. What the hell?
Nicholas softens Andrea’s heart with the tale of Regina’s death while they sail on his boat. In every book that he’s appeared in since book 40, we hear how he’s still shaken over his sister’s death which was always “a few months ago”. This time he tells Andrea he never thought he’d find someone since Regina that he considered special enough to take out on his boat, or something like that. I think it’s a line he’s using to get all these chicks. He was hot for Kelly Bates and that Barbara chick, remember? He’s crafty like Bruce Patman, just less obvious.
Even worse, the book says that Nicholas is the first boy Andrea’s had a crush on. What? Raise your hand if you didn’t at least slightly admire a boy before you turned 16!
Andrea has social studies class with Enid AND a class with Mr. Jaworski, who happens to be the history teacher. She takes history AND social studies? I think my last “social studies” class was in 6th grade.
I guess Slade is supposed to be Andrea’s fake last name to protect her from people guessing she’s Jamie’s daughter. But Peters is such a common name! Not to mention that every place they’ve lived prior to Sweet Valley has been big enough that people probably wouldn’t even guess the connection.
There’s another “new” (to us) Sweet Valley restaurant named in this book: the Garden Cafe, which is in the Valley Mall.
Coming up next … Liz runs into Skye Morrow, Regina’s mother, at the end of this book. Skye is going to give Liz something of Regina’s that meant a lot to her … thus, we have Regina’s Legacy.