About the Book
Title: Love Letters
Author: Francine Pascal, Kate William
Series: Sweet Valley High #17
First Published: March 1985
Blurb: Caroline Pearce has always been one of the least popular girls at Sweet Valley High. But when she invents a new out-of-town boyfriend, people finally start to pay attention to her. Brown-eyed, six foot Adam and his romantic love letters are the talk of the school.
Caroline has everyone fooled – even clever Jessica Wakefield. But what begins as a bid for love and attention quickly becomes the worst jam of Caroline’s life, when her friends insist on meeting the boyfriend she’s been bragging about. Can Caroline keep the truth a secret, or will her lies be her downfall?
For once, Jessica isn’t the worst one ever! Or at least, she’s not as terrible as she usually is.
The nice thing about this book is that we get to know one of the minor characters of the series, Caroline Pearce. Before this, all we really knew about Carolina was that she was the school’s biggest gossip and, because of that, no one really likes her. In this book, we learn that the reason for her gossiping is not a malicious one – it’s how she tries to fit in, by knowing as much as she can about her classmates and spreading the information. She invents a boyfriend to try and fit in, to feel more normal, and to get attention. It’s not a good reason, but certainly understandable given how insecure she is.
The problem is that, of course, as most lies do, it starts to unravel. Jessica finds out that the poetry in Adam’s letters is actually written by the famous poet Robert Browning due to Elizabeth writing a play about him. She suspects that Caroline is lying and schemes with Lila and Cara to set her up. So yes, Jessica is being terrible, but this time at least she has a fairly good reason – the school gossip is lying to all of them and she wants to take her down a peg. Lila decides to throw a big party and have Caroline invite Adam to come. Caroline breaks down and tells Liz about her imaginary boyfriend problem and Liz and Todd surprise her by getting one of Todd’s friends to show up to the party and pretend to be Adam. Caroline is surprised and appreciative, but decides to go ahead and come clean anyway. Besides her and “Adam” (whose real name is Jerry) actually hit it off.
The side plot to this book was the fact that Alice Wakefield gets a prestigious job offer for a design firm in San Francisco. Both of the twins are pretty devastated at the idea of leaving Sweet Valley, which is another reason why I am giving Jessica a bit more leeway in her treatment of Caroline through this – Caroline was actually the one who found out about the job offer (she found a copy of the offer letter at their house) so Jessica sort of links her to the terrible news. The twins decide (and this was brilliant) to bombard their parents with all the good that Sweet Valley has to offer. They get food from the local restaurants, plan a trip to the canyon, even go to the Chamber of Commerce and arrange for a bunch of pamphlets and flyers to be sent to their house showing how wonderful Sweet Valley is. Alice eventually decides to turn down the job for now.
Set up for the next book: sweet Regina Morrow has started dating Bruce Patman. Bruce is, of course, known for being spoiled, pompous, and leaving a string of broken hearts in his wake. What could Regina possibly see in him?
Categories: nostalgic reads