March 13, 2011
SVH #83, Steven’s Bride: And That’s Why You Never Listen to Jessica
Summary: Cara’s moving to London. Oh noes! Steven’s sad, and compares the situation to Tricia dying, which is stupid, but that’s Steven. Jessica points out that if Steven and Cara get married, Cara can stay in Sweet Valley. Steven is not that bright, so he proposes, and Cara accepts. Clearly neither has thought this through logically. Jessica isn’t helping, as she acts as a wedding planner (hey, that should be her career!) and finds them a chapel in Nevada. The lovebirds decide to tell their families they’re going on a ski trip and elope just a few days before Cara’s supposed to go to London.
Jessica’s sworn to secrecy, but that lasts about five minutes before she starts telling people about the engagement. Elizabeth finds out and – you may be surprised to learn – is against the idea of a high schooler marrying a 18-year-old doof. But she does agree not to tell Ned and Alice. Cara’s father calls to tell her he and her brother are coming to visit, and for some reason Cara thinks that her parents are going to get back together. Yeah, this girl is really not mature enough to get married. Cara also thinks that that means they won’t move to London, and she won’t have to marry Steven. It turns out her father’s actually engaged to someone else, so the wedding’s still on.
Steven’s been working toward a special law program, but when he gets accepted, he realizes that he wouldn’t be able to balance it with marriage and the part-time job he’ll need to get to support himself and Cara. He lies and tells his parents he didn’t get accepted, but Jessica finds the acceptance letter and tells Elizabeth he lied. Jessica realizes that Steven and Cara getting married is a bad, bad idea, and it’s time to convince them of that. She has Cara take a babysitting job with difficult kids to show her how unprepared she is to have her own family, and drives home how much she’d be giving up to get married. It doesn’t work, though, and Steven and Cara head to Nevada.
The twins finally decide it’s time to tell Ned and Alice what Steven’s doing. The four of them and Mrs. Walker head for Nevada to stop the wedding. It turns out that Jessica’s machinations have actually gotten to Cara, and when it’s time to say “I do,” Cara says she doesn’t. Steven’s ticked until Cara gives Elizabeth a message to give to him, saying that she still loves him. Steven dusts off the rushing-to-the-airport-to-stop-her-from-leaving cliché so he can say goodbye to Cara. Who I will miss, because she’s the only one of Jessica’s friends who’s semi-normal.
Thoughts: If this book had been written today, Steven and Cara’s issues would be pretty nonexistent. They’d be able to communicate via text messages, the Internet, and Skype. I mean, they would obviously end up breaking up anyway, but at least they could drag out the inevitable.
Reason #137 why Jessica can’t be trusted with secrets: Elizabeth asks what gossip she’s hiding, and Jessica replies, “There isn’t any! And it doesn’t have anything to do with Steven, either!”
Elizabeth finds out about the engagement because a woman from a jewelry store calls and says she needs to talk to Steven about his wedding rings. How does she know Elizabeth isn’t Steven’s fiancée and she didn’t just ruin a huge surprise? And why is she calling the Wakefields’ house anyway? He doesn’t live there.
“Steven’s expression was neutral, masklike.” Yes. He’s a robot.
At Cara’s bridal shower, Jessica gives her Barefoot in the Park. Because we all know how 16-year-olds love Neil Simon.
The ghostwriter says straight out that Steven and Cara haven’t slept together. Of course not – who is she, Annie Whitman?
Cara’s father gets engaged before he even tells Cara he’s dating someone. Wow, he sucks. And her mother isn’t any better of a parent, letting Cara go off alone with Steven on what she thinks is a ski trip.
I love how Todd tries to get Elizabeth to calm down about the elopement: Basically, “Eh, it’s not going to work out. Your family can go to Steven’s next wedding.”