I’m not going to lie; there hasn’t been a Sweet Valley High book this bad in awhile. It took me a week to get through, because it was just hard to stomach. Hopefully this post can spare you the pain of reading it yourself. 😛
“The Ghost Of Tricia Martin”
Sweet Valley Scale: 3 out of 5 Twins
Steven Wakefield is stunned, and elated, when he meets Andrea, a girl who looks, sounds and behaves just like Tricia Martin, his first love. Tricia died from leukemia soon after she and Steven fell in love, but now he can almost believe that she has come back to him. Until Andrea appeared, Steven was happily involved with Cara Walker. He still cares about Cara, but every time he’s with Andrea, he’s reminded of how much he loved Tricia. So Steven refuses to choose between the two girls and sees them both in secret, until his indecision leads to a dangerous accident that may take all of his choices away!
Steven Wakefield is a moron. Seriously, that is the takeaway from this book. So anyway, this girl who works at Unique Boutique looks a lot like Tricia Martin – at least at first glance. Elizabeth and Steven Wakefield, and later even Cara Walker, initially thought they were staring at a ghost. But upon closer inspection Andrea has different colored eyes, and just similar features. But Steven never gets past that first glance apparently, because he thinks they could be twins – and he has identical twin sisters!
Steven is in major denial. At first he says he is going to go out with Andrea one time, just to prove she’s nothing like Tricia and get over it. But who is this chump fooling? It turns out Andrea talks just like Tricia and has a lot of the same interests that Tricia did, and makes the same observations… she even dresses like Tricia. But again this is all in Steven’s head. Andrea may have a similar style in terms of clothes, but everything else is Steven projecting Tricia onto Andrea. He only takes her to the places Tricia liked, and Andrea is polite. He leads the conversation and only talks about the things Tricia liked or was interested in. The girl he sees in Andrea is his own creation. And he also keeps calling Andrea, “Tricia.” Creepy, and seriously whack.
Also, I should mention that Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield have been fighting like crazy. They have never really argued or had a disagreement in any of the previous books, but now every conversation turns into a fight and the twins and Steven are starting to notice. Usually Mr. Wakefield starts it by saying something shitty to his wife, or by volunteering her for all of these things, and Mrs. Wakefield is in no mood just to take it. Other times, Mrs. Wakefield’s job is being super demanding and Mr. Wakefield is pissed he doesn’t come first. Basically, Mr. Wakefield is being an asshole, and Mrs. Wakefield is not being a doormat. And this of course can lead to divorce. I so love the lessons that Sweet Valley High imparts. 😛
Meanwhile, even though Steven refuses to break up with Cara, he totally ignores her and whenever she calls or when he does see her, he picks fights with her and then tells himself she is too immature. Again, he is busy creating (and destroying) things in his head and projecting. After weeks of ignoring Cara and blaming her for not reading his mind (like when he takes her out for a surprise, which is hiking and Cara is wearing sandals – even though Cara is a good sport and says she’d love to hike), and going with Andrea and trying to shape her into Tricia (she wears her hair up, but Steven actually takes out her hair clip twice because Tricia would have worn it down) he knows something has to give. Up to this point Cara has not seen Andrea and doesn’t know she exists…
But then one day Cara goes to the Unique Boutique with Jessica and Lila Fowler. When she sees Andrea she is taken aback by the resemblance at first. Then she overhears Andrea on the phone with some guy. The guy is home from college and working on a legal ethics essay just like Steven. The guy’s parents are always fighting just like Steven’s parents. And get this – the guy’s name is Steven! Cara is horrified and runs out of the store and takes the bus home. The next day she calls Steven, but has been rehearsing what she’ll say for an hour. She intends to be supportive, but remind Steven he can’t live in the past and this girl is not Tricia Martin. I am so irritated now, and not just at Steven. Cara, you can do better. Dump his scrubby ass. Why are you being supportive of him cheating on you! Ugh.
When Cara does call, Steven accuses of her on spying on him and is a complete douchebag and then he dumps her. HE DUMPS HER! I want to slap the shit out of him. Afterwards he feels kind of bad about it, but shrugs it off and goes to his hang gliding lesson. (That was another fight he picked with Cara. He told her he was thinking about trying it out and Cara told him she would be worried about him because it sounded dangerous. He took this as being her possessive and unsupportive – the ass.) At his lesson, Steve is so preoccupied about his “woman troubles” that he doesn’t pay attention and falls off a cliff. You have no idea how much I was chanting: Just let him die, let him die, let him die. I mean seriously, I am so over Steven Wakefield already. But he doesn’t die. He’s in the hospital and busted his arm and is unconscious for a day. Cara visits him, even after everything, but then he mumbles Tricia’s name and that girl is gone again.
This whole book Jessica has been trying to work her charms on this guy from Palisades High. I love that she acknowledges he is not that cute and there is nothing apparently special about him, but a lot of girls at this party seem totally into him, so Jessica is sure there is something there that she just doesn’t see yet. But this guy is super into the environment. Their first date is handing out a bunch of leaflets on recycling (door-to-door canvassing) and their second is going to some hearing about getting a trash incinerator (they’re opposed) and all this other stuff – it’s ridiculous how much effort Jess is putting into this. Keith! Sorry, I just remembered the dude’s name – he was that forgettable. Then Jessica insists they have some actual fun and go to a movie and he makes a big stink, but Jessica is already tiring of him. When they go, Jessica sees Andrea all cozy with some other guy. And it’s not Steven, since he is bedbound at the hospital.
The next day Jessica mentions it to Steven who gets upset, and goes over to the window. There he sees Andrea in some dude’s car and she kisses him before she gets out. Elizabeth and Jessica leave and go call Cara. Andrea comes in and Steven demands to know who the guy is. Andrea tells Steven he’s a guy she met last week and she really likes him. Steven tries to play the victim, “after everything we’ve been through,” – yes he actually says that, and Andrea finally calls him out. She tells him he was never interested in getting to know her for who she is, and just wanted a reminder of his dead girlfriend (though she said it in a nicer way). Steven tries to deny it at first, but realizes she’s right. What I had a hard time understanding is why Andrea kept seeing Steven, when he was being so creepy. I mean if someone told me I resembled their dead lover, I would be out of there. My first thought would be, “Did you kill her?” And then when I found out she died from leukemia I would feel bad, but not so bad that I would let them try to make me into their dead lover. It’s just wrong on so many levels.
Cara shows up, because Jessica begged her to come see Steven. But she is determined not to go back to him. Of course, that resolve crumbles almost immediately. Cara, I am so disappointed… They declare their love for each other and are better than ever. Please excuse me, while I scream.
If this seems all too familiar, that’s because Steven has done this before in Sweet Valley High Super Edition #3: Spring Break. In that book the girl had the personality of Jessica, but Steven was so convinced she was like Tricia because she looked just like Tricia (she only spoke French so until he had a friend translate he really had no idea). I told you he was an idiot.