The twins are all set to head off to Camp Echo Mountain, a random performing arts camp in Montana. Jessica goes out to pick up new hiking boots and comes home to hear Liz on the phone with someone and talking about how this will be the best summer ever. It turns out that Maria Slater from back in middle school is transferring back to Sweet Valley since moving to New York with her family. She also just so happens to be coming to camp as a counselor with her new best friend Nicole.
Jessica is all down and depressed because this takes place after Christian's death. She heads over to see Lila and help her pack, which mainly consists of taking out all her fancy beaded dresses and designer clothing before telling her that she made a pact for the summer: no more guys. Yeah, right. When Jess isn't looking, Lila pockets her gold lame bikini just in case. Jess is also a little upset that Liz will apparently spend the whole summer with Maria and Nicole instead of paying attention to her poor depressed sister.
Once they get to camp, Jess and Lila immediately put on bikinis and head out for some sunbathing. Liz decides to push one of the beds in the cabin away from the window so she can take the only desk for herself and assumes that the other girls will be fine with it because she needs to write the big play. She puts all her stuff out, including a photo of Todd, and then runs around acting like she should help get things together before deciding not to. She hears someone shouting about fighting and rushes in, only to find Joey, the acting counselor, rehearsing on his own. They do a little mild flirting before she leaves.
Later, she comes back to the cabin to find a girl removing all her stuff from the desk. She says that since she's writing the silly camp play that she needs the desk to herself. The girl then says that there's a contest as to who can write the best play the fastest and that she'll win. Oh, and Joey said he would rather slit his wrists then write a play written by an amateur.
In a nice fit of karma, Maria finally shows up and introduces her best friend from back home, Nicole. Nicole is not at all surprising the chick from the cabin. She and Liz pretty much argue over everything throughout the rest of the book. Nicole makes it clear that Maria is her friend and her friend alone, and she even sets it up so that Maria thinks Liz stole Nicole's diary.
Liz also falls head over heels for Joey and keeps wondering how she could ever feel something for a guy other than Todd. I don't know Liz, maybe because it's a Tuesday? Nicole makes it clear that she has her eye on him and that she always gets what she wants. Lila thinks the whole thing is ridiculous because Joey isn't even that cute.
Her big story is that she sees this guy at the campfire on the first night and falls in luv when he takes his shirt off. When he doesn't approach her, she runs after him. They get some cheesy moment where he strokes her cheek and says people call him Bo. Bo turns out to be super into the outdoors, so Lila pretends that she is too to win his heart.
She and Jess sneak over to the boys' side of camp and hang out with the guys. There's a noise outside, Bo throws himself under his covers while people laugh about it being a prank, and then comes out like nothing happened. Lila assumes that he was making fun of her and runs off in tears. She later gets him alone and makes him tea bark tree, but he freaks out at the sound of an owl hooting and then tells her that he won't sneak over to see her because he's worried about getting caught.
This makes Lila assume that he hates her and think she's silly, so she avoids him for most of the book. While hiding from him outside the big camp dance, Bo tries to find her and starts hyperventilating. It turns out that he's afraid of the dark and doesn't actually do any adventure sports like he said. Bo is the son of a self-made millionaire and is pretty much just like Lila. She tells him the truth about herself, and they fall in love or something.
Elizabeth is so distracted by the thought of Joey and even being in the same room as him that she keeps messing up. Jessica winds up with a group of younger girls who worship her and want to be just like her. Liz's group calls her Dizzie Lizzie and makes fun of her all the time.
During a campfire, Lacey tells them the spooky camp story. There was once a woodsman living near the camp who did odd jobs for them. He fell in love with her head counselor, and Lacey and her husband caught them together. They fired him and forbid them from ever seeing each other again. The girl was heartbroken, but the two wound up disappearing together. They still say you can hear the sound of someone chopping wood though.
Liz decides that this would make the perfect story for her play and skips spending time with her campers to work on it. This leads to Lacey wondering why twins can't be more alike since Liz is a huge flake and Jess is so committed to her own campers. She finishes her play, goes to take a shower, and comes back to find it gone.
While walking through camp, she hears people reading from her play, which Nicole claims she wrote. It turns out that she kept sneaking into the cabin to read it and telling Maria about her “writing” before stealing the finished thing. Liz says she wrote the play, but no one believes her. Joey suggests she write the program, which causes her to run off in tears. When Maria makes it clear that she doesn't know who to believe, Liz explodes on her and basically calls her a bad friend.
Nicole then goes out of her way to antagonize Liz at every turn and keeps bringing up how she stole the play when no one else is around. They get into a fight that causes a huge food fight. Nicole puts the blame on Liz, and Lacey acts all disappointed in her yet again. They have yet another fight over it, where Nicole claims she covered all her tracks. There's a noise outside but they never find out the source.
Jessica has her hands full with campers who want to be just like her. Tanya, one of them, tries to dye her hair blond like Jessica has with a bottle of peroxide. It just so happens to be the weekend of some big family party, so Jess has to go . with her when her brother picks her up. Paul winds up being super hot and not the big dork she assumed, but he explodes on her about being a dumb blond and letting her sister do something so stupid. He threatens to turn her in to Lacey and instead just leaves.
Tanya comes back with all these stories about Paul and how he couldn't stop talking about Jessica. This makes Jessica realize that she's in love with him and how he's the perfect guy for her. She remembers that one of her campers kept filming everyone and uses her video to see him again but then sees something different. Jessica makes a big production of bringing everyone to the main camp house to watch the video. They all see the Nicole and Liz fight and Nicole admitting that she stole the play.
Though Nicole tries to sneak out, Lacey catches her. She gets a whole two weeks of kitchen clean up duty and nothing else. Joey stops by and asks about Nicole before running off. Liz assumes that the two are still together and mopes around but does make up with Maria. Joey comes to her that night and tells her that he called around. He found out that Nicole stole plays from other people but was somehow never caught and that now he knows Liz is the one she's supposed to be with. The only problem is that he heard about this Todd guy. Liz tells him not to worry because she can see other people. Right before they can kiss, kids interrupt them, and he tells her they can continue it later.
Jessica borrows Lacey's car to sneak into town and goes to the family restaurant where Paul works. He explodes on her about how she's a terrible counselor and basically stealing from her boss, so she too runs off in tears. She gets a flat tire and freaks out until Paul shows up. He apologizes for being an asshole and says that she realized Tanya probably told her how he felt. Not only does he change her tire, but they then make out. What the hell?
Liz and Joey wind up together in the end. He sneaks over one night so they can head down to the lake and make out because teenage boys apparently love making out in the middle of the night when no adults are around and then stopping at the appropriate time. They go swimming the next day, but when they head back, she stops at the sight of a black BMW. Todd, who is right next to Nicole, suddenly looks up and tells her that they need to talk. Dunh dunh dunh.
*The camp cook Bernard is super friendly but described as being a terrible cook. Lacey keeps him on because he's so sweet and nice to the kids. Yet, their first meal consists of corn on the cob that he burned black, potato salad made with so much mayonnaise that it's runny and under cooked potatoes, and chicken that splinters when you cut it but is still bright pink and raw on the inside. How is that safe for kids?
*Lila gets concerned about Jessica's no boys this summer rule and explains that she went through several of her boy fads in the past like when she dated commoners instead of royals, two or more guys instead of one, or younger guys instead of older guys.
*Lila grabs the gold lame bikini because her father told her that a Fowler is always prepared for any situation and she never knows when a situation might call for her to be sexy. As an adult, the thought of teens trying to look sexy really creeps me out.
*The play thing makes no sense. The winner is whoever writes the best play the fastest. So, which is it? Is the winner the first play they get or what?
*The twins aren't the only ones with doppelgangers! Jessica gets paired with this counselor named Derek who conveniently looks exactly like Ken. He has a major crush on her, but she keeps freaking out about it.
*Jessica feels bad about her relationship with Ken ended and describes what happened as her meeting Christian and how they had a flirty friendship. Yeah, totally not what happened. Does she seriously not remember constantly cheating on Ken with him?
*Elizabeth literally thinks that she fell in love with Joey at first sight and wonders how she could ever fall for someone else when she's in love with Todd. I guess she forget the dozens of other times that she cheated on him with some other rando.
*How would Liz possibly get away with this? Both Aaron and Winston, one of Todd's best friends, are counselors. Does she expect Winston to just not tell him?
*Paul really really irritates me. He talks down to Jess and actually calls her a dumb blond, but she falls in love with him after one meeting. He then screams at her and says a bunch of rude shit to her, but she forgives him and makes out with him all because he says he wants to kiss her “devastating lips” later. Oh yeah, he's totally an improvement on Ken.
*Nicole is apparently not an amateur because she had a ton of plays produced at theaters in NY. It takes Joey like three calls to find out that she stole the work other people did. Yet somehow, no one ever had any evidence to prove it. Sure.
*Liz borrows an outfit from Maria to impress Joey, which is a stretchy black miniskirt and a silver silk tank top, and then she wears Jessica's hot new bright green bikini to swim with him. It kind of sounds like he's more attracted to Jessica then Liz!
*Todd and Liz go to makeout point at the beginning, and she keeps going on and on about how she's always felt like something was missing since Maria moved. Todd gets kind of ticked off, and so would I, especially since she hasn't mentioned Maria in 36 years. She also says that Maria was the only friend she could talk to about writing, but she had friends on the newspaper and Maria later got back into acting and not writing.
*Liz gets annoyed with Todd for doubting their love and thinking she might cheat on him at camp. She does remember what happened in the past every time he left town, she left town, or they spent more than 20 minutes apart, right?