That's not even the A plot, sadly enough. But it's the part of the book I remembered most, I think because it surprised me Sweet Valley actually acknowledged that some people prefer their own gender. It doesn't hurt that I kind of like Andy. He's slightly less annoying and much less angsty than the rest of the gang.
The A Plot:
Well, it seems we've finally found someone more conniving than Jessica Wakefield, and her name is Jade Wu. Not surprisingly, Jade is a friend of Jessica's, and it seems Jade has her eye on Jessica's ex-boyfriend Jeremy. Jade starts feeling out how Jessica would feel about Jade and Jeremy dating (so much alliteration is hurting my head), but I'm not sure why she bothers, since she makes it clear she'd date Jeremy even if Jessica hated the idea. And of course, Jess does hate it, but she tries to pretend it doesn't bother her. Because in Sweet Valley, honesty is a crime punishable by death.
Jeremy has noticed Jade's flirting, and he's tired of always being the nice guy. He feels boring, and women want mystery! Drama! Spontaneity! So he oh-so-spontaneously consults with his friend what he should do about the pretty, flirty girl at work. After all, she's not his usual type! His friends roll their eyes and tell him to ask her out. Now that he has their approval, he can go ahead and date Jade. Ahhh, high school.
Jessica is angsting over the mutual flirting, because she still really likes Jeremy, despite everything that's gone on. At this point, Lila randomly shows up out of nowhere and decides the whole Jeremy/Jade thing is just Jeremy's way of trying to make Jessica jealous. Jessica decides it makes way more sense than him being into another girl, because he's supposed to be in love with her! And she is JESSICA WAKEFIELD! But instead of actually talking to Jeremy, she decides to start her own flirting, to see if it bothers him as much as it bothers her. Now that's true love, inflicting pain on each other purposely.
The next shift at work, Jeremy asks Jade out, and she of course, accepts. Jeremy's psyched; it's the first date he's had since breaking up with Jessica. Like a responsible little worker drone, he double-checks the schedule to make sure he's not working on Friday, and he's free. He can't help but notice Jade is scheduled to work Friday night, but she tells him it's not a big deal, so he ignores it.
Jessica puts her flirting plan into action. She doesn't have a specific target in mind, though, so she pretty much hits on everyone who comes into the coffee shop. Jessica is classy. She's pleased to note that it bothers Jeremy when she flirts with others, and unbalances him when he's the target. Initially Jeremy is conflicted, since he has a date with Jade that weekend, but eventually decides she's just being flirtatious Jessica. He also decides to ignore the part of him that gets jealous over her flirting.
Jeremy takes Jade out to a hip new restaurant on Friday night, and she even convinces him to try new food (oysters). Jeremy's breaking out of the box now, I tell you! Jade starts gossping about their co-workers, which makes him momentarily uncomfortable, but he gets over it when she decides to pick the next place they go: the tattoo parlour, to get her bellybutton pierced. How romantic. Also, I'm pretty sure those places require ID before they're willing to jab needles into you, but I guess anything goes in Sweet Valley. Jade seems to have been here before; she was probably about six years old at the time. For some reason, Jeremy is impressed with her courage and spontaneity. Piercings take a special kind of courage, you know.
Meanwhile, Jessica is having the worst night ever. Since Jade called in sick about ten minutes before her shift started, and the only other person scheduled to work is the obligatory slacker who happens to be related to the boss, they're severely understaffed. It's Friday night, so everyone else on the staff list is out, and she can't call anyone in last minute. On top of it, they're ridiculously busy. The line to order drinks stretches all the way out the door. I have no idea why these people are so desperate for coffee they're willing for that kind of a wait. Maybe they put special vodka in it or something, I don't know.
So in the most brilliant stroke of genius ever, Jade decides she needs to celebrate her new bellyring... by going out for coffee. At the place she works. After having called in sick and leaving her co-workers in the lurch. I want to know why she's not fired on the spot. Jessica is furious. I would be, too, actually. Jeremy is shocked that Jade had called in sick instead of switching shifts. He feels bad, because it's obviously all his fault, so he offers to come in after he takes Jade home to help clean up. Jessica starts to tell him no, since it's his only day off all week, but he insists.
Jade is not pleased to hear this. She whines and complains, and Jeremy has no idea what to do with her. He ends up taking her straight home and, as promised, returning to help Jessica. Jess starts trying to gripe about Jade, but Jeremy doesn't want to hear it. When they're finally done closing the shop, she thanks him, and tries to kiss him, but Jeremy shoots her down. Jessica's hurt, but she tries to play it off casually.
The B Plot:
Andy has come to the conclusion that he's gay. (A Sweet Valley book that simultaneously features an asian girl and a gay guy? The world just may be coming to an end.) Andy hasn't managed to tell anyone his recent realization yet, though, and his many attempts are thwarted. Everyone's used to him being the go-to guy for other problems, and every time he tries to go to talk to one of his friends, the conversation turns the other way and he ends up being the sounding board once again. As this goes on, Andy gets more and more frustrated, and starts resenting his lousy friends who can't even talk to him long enough to find out he's got issues he'd really really like to talk about. The final scene in the book made me giggle: Andy's sitting in the coffee shop by himself, and one by one, the others come in to sit with him, each obsessed with their own problems. Jessica starts ranting about Jade, Maria's worried about Ken (D plot), Elizabeth is freaking out over Tia and Conner (C plot), and they all start getting louder and louder, despite Andy's repeated requests for them to quiet down. And... I have to quote this part of the book, because Andy is awesome.
"Hey," Andy yelled. "Would you guys shut up?"
They ignored him.
He grabbed the spoon out of Jessica's hand and banged it against the side of his mug.
Nothing. He might as well have been invisible. He couldn't take it anymore. He just couldn't--
"So, you guys," he said in a normal voice. His friends continued to talk.
"And then he said--"
"I never thought--"
"If she would only--"
"I think I might be gay."
Maria dropped her spoon. Elizabeth's hand hit the table and knocked over her glass of water. Jessica didn't move. In fact, no one moved for a good ten seconds.
Except Andy. Andy smiled like he'd never smiled before.
The C Plot:
Conner and Tia had a naughty, drunken make-out session earlier, despite the fact they're supposed to be platonic best friends and he's dating Elizabeth. Conner is hungover, grouchy, and desperate to avoid Tia. He doesn't want to talk to Tia about what happened. And he really doesn't want Tia to talk to Elizabeth about what happened. Because despite the drunken kissing, he's pretty sure he's in love with Elizabeth. And he's thrilled when she says she loves him, too. Ahh, love. It's even better when he's drunk. And he's nearly always drunk these days. Duhn-duh-duhn!
The D Plot:
Ken Matthews is having daddy issues. His single father has been dating a woman named Asha lately, who Ken's decided he likes. Asha's good people. But now Ken's father is cheating on Asha with Faye, who routinely kicks Ken out of his own house so she can have "alone time" with his dad. One night, Asha shows up at the house, all prepared to cook dinner... and Ken's dad is out with Faye. Ken tries to cover, more to protect Asha's feelings than for his dad's sake, and confronts his dad on the issues. Ken's dad explodes, shouts about the worthless son he has, how the back-up quarterback has no call to be judging anyone, based on his mediocrity. Ken's dad is a real winner. I wanna be just like him when I grow up.
And on a side note, Enid actually was briefly mentioned in this book. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've seen her come up at all in a Senior Year book, even if it was just a passing reference.