The Wakefields go out of town because hey, if you had the twins as your kids, you need frequent breaks too. They decide that Steven is mature enough to be in charge, and he actually does a pretty good job. After track practice, Jessica runs into Lila, who can't get over how sweaty and gross she looks. Lila mentions that she's having a party that night and invites her over.
When Lila calls that night, Jessica doesn't want to admit that Steven won't let her out on a school night. She lies and says she had a guy over, and she mentions that she might have a party on Saturday. Elizabeth warns her that Steven will never agree to it, but Jessica thinks she can talk him into it. He does but only if she does a bunch of chores for him.
Jessica plans on having a little sleepover with some of her old and new friends. She almost doesn't invite Kristen because she's with Lacey, but she decides to bite the bullet and do it. Lacey invites herself to the party after hearing that her parents are out of town, and things spiral out of control from there. Lacey announces that her boyfriend Gel and all of his high school friends are coming, and Lila tells her that she also invited a bunch of high school guys.
Elizabeth, Sal, and Anna are working on their first issue of Zone, and Anna works up the nerve to show her a poem she wrote. Elizabeth thinks that it's great and suggests that she submit some more work. It turns out that all of her poems are about her older brother who died when a drunk teenager hit him on the way home from a party. She realizes that Elizabeth doesn't know the whole story, but she can't figure out how to tell her.
Sal submits a cartoon that he drew about Elisapeth Warren, aka Wonder Girl. As soon as Anna sees it, she realizes that it's Elizabeth, but Liz the genius has no clue. Anna says that it needs some more work and leaves in a hurry. Sal apparently didn't realize that it was about Elizabeth either, until he saw the look on Anna's face. He later goes over to see her and she's freaking out because her dad expects her to run the house. He feels so bad that he decides to act like her brother.
Because he's a huge moron, he does this all wrong. He shows up to walk her to school and brings her flowers. He then tells her that he likes a friend as more than a friend and gives her a little look, which makes her think that he likes her. In the midst of all this, Elizabeth runs a mockup of issue with Sal's cartoon on the front, even though they all agreed to use Anna's poem on the front page.
Jessica starts realizing that her new friends are slightly better than her old friends. They offer to help and bring stuff to the party, while everyone else just wants to have fun. Kristen, Brian, and Bethel even show up early to help her set out food and get the house ready. Steven, meanwhile, freaks out because his girlfriend Kathy heard he was having a party and thinks he didn't invite her. The twins go overboard to make sure that he never leaves the house because someone might tell him about the party.
Sal buys Anna a little stuffed pig named Carey-y and gives it to her before the party. She spends some time getting ready and putting on makeup, and he tells her that she looks beautiful. Somehow, he still doesn't realizing that she might be reading things all wrong.
Cut to the actual party. Lila shows up with some random guy who knows Steven at the same time that Lacey shows up with her high school guy. They act really bitchy to each other and Lila storms off without introducing any of her guests. More high school kids start showing up, and Jessica realizes that she barely recognizes anyone there. Bethel and Lacey have a minor confrontation, which ends when a high school guy, who knew Bethel's older sister, ignores Lacey for her.
One of the neighbors call the cops, and they threaten to shut down the party. Jessica, Brian, and Kristen pretend that it's a practice for a musical. He doesn't believe them, but he does give them a warning. Jessica tries to turn down the music, but Gel just turns it up. Elizabeth and Sal run upstairs to find some mellow music. They wind up getting close and kissing.
Then, someone spikes the punch. Anna notices it, and feeling crappy since Sal ditched her, she runs away from the party. Jessica asks Lila for help, and she refuses because she doesn't want anyone to hate her. Lacey and Lila get into it again, and when Lila asks her for help, she walks away. She pulls the plug on the music and everyone storms out except for her SVJH friends.
They all start cleaning up the house, and Liz and Sal come back. Kristen realizes why Anna ran off, and they tell the twins about her older brother, which makes Liz feel like crap. The Wakefields come back from their trip, and despite their best efforts, a neighbor tells them about the party. They all get grounded, but Jessica thinks that it's worth it because she is now officially popular.
*I love that Jessica tells Lila she runs track because track is cool at SVJH. Lila totally believes her because Jess basically says that she would never do anything uncool.
*To throw the party, she has to wash his car twice a week and do his laundry every week in addition to all of his regular chores.
*The twins actually make a carb-heavy dinner so that Steven will fall asleep right after dinner. It's kind of funny that they do it so he won't hear anyone talking about the party.
*Lila's double-e friends bring homemade chocolates. Ronald eats them all and goes wild, which is hysterical, especially when he starts crowd surfing.
*Todd and Aaron also come to the party. Jessica walks off with Aaron because he looks super cute, but it's a little weird because she never mentions him again, even in this book.
*Liz flips out because she doesn't know how to introduce Todd to Sal. Once she starts talking to him, she learns that Todd is now a jock who is more concerned with basketball than reading, and she thinks about how cool Sal is compared to him. At least it kind of explains why Todd is a jock in SVH.
*I'm not exactly sure why a bunch of driving-age teens would want to hang out with junior high kids. Even though it's Steven's house, they still know its a SVJH party.
*Yes, and people actually smoke in this book. Someone leaves a cigarette on the couch, which sets a cushion on fire, scandalous.