Regina’s overdose, or #40 On the Edge

Let’s talk about this cover. Regina? Quite pretty in a “normal” kind of way. Also? Not looking like model material. And the pic of Bruce- is that a headshot? I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some made up. Also, thanks to Merrie who pointed out that Bruce looks like a young John Barrowman.

Good call. Also, Torchwood is pretty good.

Bruce, reverting back t0 his old ways, is fooling around with Amy Sutton. They are working on a project together about teen drug use. (Foreshadowing! Dun Dun Dunnnn…) Regina doesn’t know and Liz decides not to tell her. You could say that’s asinine of Liz, but I have been in the same situation and it is hard to be the bearer of the bad news. (Did I just defend Liz?)

So the Wakefields have a BBQ and Amy and Bruce fool around and everybody knows it is going on and Regina feels like an idiot. She gets mad at Liz for not telling her and basically tells Bruce to shove it. And he does, right up Amy Sutton.

Regina ends up hanging out with Justin Belson, who is a troublemaker with bad grades, who also hangs out with Molly Hecht and some badass named Jan. Honestly, these people actually seem interesting. She is invited to a party at Jan’s house, which will be WILD because Buzz the drug dealer will be there. And he doesn’t get his name from a bumblebee, if you know what I’m saying.Everyone warns Regina that he is bad news. God, they are so judgmental! Like BRUCE is so perfect?

So Bruce and Amy meet with Amy’s cousin Mimi about their drug project. I get the impression that Mimi is a social worker or someone who works in drug rehabilitation, but apparently she’s all that ans a police detective or something. She’s all, “we are hearing about a drug deal that is going to go down at a party with some guy named Buzz”. The fuck? Like there is only ONE drug dealer in all of Sweet Valley?

So Nicholas Morrow gets word about the party and jumps in his car and speeds towards the party. He gets stopped by cops because he was doing, I think, a hundred in a thirty-mile-an-hour zone and doesn’t have his license. He’s all “but there is a teenagers having a party! We must stop them!” Instead of cuffing him right then, the cops are all “we MUST get to that party! You’re right!”My head is in my hands.

Meanwhile, the party is in full swing. it seems WAY more fun that any party that Lila has with her fucking finger sandwiches and dumb decorations. Molly is peeved at Regina for hanging out with Justin, who is her ex-boyf and Regina actually feels bad because she knows the feeling. She wants to come clean with Molly, but big mean Jan decides to give her a hard time, goading her on to snort the cocaine. Regina does like three lines in a row, and I am no drug addict, but I know that is kind of a lot. She goes into cardiac arrest just as the cops and Nicholas burst in.

Okay the Scooby Gang are hanging out at Lila’s when they hear the news. Of course, Regina is kind of conscious for a bit and the first person she asks for is Liz. Because of course, the Wakefields are in the center of EVERYONE’s world, and if course you don’t want to walk into the light without getting one last glimpse of their sun-streaked hair!

Anyway, it’s too late. Regina is dunzo. It seems she suffered from a heart murmur and the cocaine gave her a heart attack. Ok, so, if the ghostwriters wanted to send a “drugs are bad” message, they totally fucked up. It comes across as, “if you are going to drugs, make sure you don’t have a rare congenital heart disease. Otherwise, go for it. Especially if you are ugly.”

Liz gets a letter that Regina wrote to her before she went to the party and mailed it. Who MAILS letters to their friends? Oh yea, this is before cell phones and emails. What would SVH look like with that technology? It forgives liz for everything and practically anoints sainthood on her for being a good friend.

Then, as you know, Justin and Molly become outcasts and of course Liz saves the fucking day.

I find it HIGHLY unlikely that Bruce or Lila have never done coke before.

Also, why is Enid and Liz invited to Lila’s? Don’t they all hate each other?

Speaking of Enid, she is all “I know what it’s like to run with the bad crowd”. Oh yea, like that one time you got a parking ticket? Shut up.

Grade: A-

55 thoughts on “Regina’s overdose, or #40 On the Edge

  1. Jessa Fields says:

    “She gets mad at Liz for not telling her and basically tells Bruce to shove it. And he does, right up Amy Sutton.”


  2. Kellie says:

    ***So Nicholas Morrow gets word about the party and jumps in his car and speeds towards the party. He gets stopped by cops because he was doing, I think, a hundred in a thirty-mile-an-hour zone and doesn’t have his license. He’s all “but there is a teenagers having a party! We must stop them!”***


  3. Gretchen says:

    Speaking of Enid, she is all “I know what it’s like to run with the bad crowd”. Oh yea, like that one time you got a parking ticket? Shut up.

    Oh, Enid. You should know by now that when you try to be a sage badass everyone else is tuning you out and thinking of what a loser you are.

  4. Margaret says:

    I went into this awesome used bookstore near me, and found that he still has a lot of SVH for decent prices ($1-2 each). So I’ve begun buying ones that you’ve reviewed and sound particularly awesome, as I don’t want to get into the habit of spending TOO much money on SVH. The worst part is, I didn’t even read any SVH before I saw your damn blog! I was a bit too young (I was more into the twins books), and read the first one AFTER reading your reviews!

  5. LaceyB says:

    Hold up. Didn’t Enid used to do meth? Seriously. METH. That’s pretty badass.
    She be up in the hood, y’all.

    Poor Heroically Deaf Regina. She tried so hard at life, only to fail.

  6. Abby says:

    she did some sort of drugs pre SVH. I don’t think it was meth though. I thought she was abusing prescription drugs. Whatever they where, they were in pill form because one of the books talks about how she flushed the pills down the toilet. I don’t think she was smoking or snorting or injecting anything.

  7. Magenta Galaxy says:

    I hate how Regina died due to complications that involved her heart murmur. You’re totally right! It does NOT send the message about drugs being evil that it’s intended to.

    As for sending letters to your friends…seriously. Just pick up the phone and call. And if that’s too hard to do, leave the note in her locker or something. That’s just…weird. Yet, convenient and oh-so-touching when Liz gets the letter after Regina dies and is thus able to move on, knowing each day that Regina forgave her…blech!!

  8. brandname says:

    I think this was one of the first SVH books I ever read. I think I may have cited this book as a reason not to use drugs during my school’s DARE classes. I was an idiot.

  9. Beth says:

    This book totally freaked me out when I was 12! And yeah, what the hell does Enid REALLY know about drugs? I have flashbacks of Jessie and caffeine pills on “Saved By the Bell”……”I’m so excited, I’m so excited……”

  10. Erin says:

    yeah, so i have had a heart murmur since like birth and when i read this book it terrified me. It is totally the reason I’ve never done coke. That, and I ain’t no coke whore. still…it freaked me out hardcore.

  11. Alison says:

    I think the mystery of why Lila invited Liz and Enid over is probably best explained by the same reason that everyone always invites Bruce Patman everywhere, even though (a) he’s supposedly soooo arrogant and self-centered, and (b) he’s a senior and they’re all juniors. In other words: there is no real reason.

  12. Shannon River says:

    Sadly, I will admit that I used to stare at that Bruce photo and think “yeah, I can see what the fuss is all about”.

    “She gets mad at Liz for not telling her and basically tells Bruce to shove it. And he does, right up Amy Sutton.” PRICELESS!!!!!!!

    I vaguely seem to remember when reading this book, when Buzz got to the party there was like this hushing of the crowd and they acted like he was a king. Which, ok, to druggies I suppose he is. But it was so weird.

  13. nichole says:

    This is one of the SVH books that I remember the most, although for the life of me, I can’t ever remember looking at this cover. I always liked the cover picture of Regina and Bruce, rather than this one. Why the ghostwriters can’t consistently use the same likeness of someone is beyond me.

    This one was one of my all time faves – mainly for the sheer absurdity of the situations, but it still has relevance for me today. I work with college students and I remember the Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor telling a group of my students that you can die from doing coke only once, and I always hear in the back of my head “Regina Morrow did!!!”

  14. amy says:

    On the cover, Regina looks like Val from Sabrina the Teenage Witch… you know, the loser friend who is always told how pathetic and ugly she is? Definitely not model material!

  15. EnidRollins says:

    Enid–or should I say *I* :p–did drugs in a mysterious past before SVH. Jessica tried to ruin my reputation through it in #2 in the story of my life, ‘Secrets’

  16. Jessa Fields says:

    I think there’s some later book–like a hidden diary or super special or something–where Enid gets depressed and reverts to her old ways, hooking up with some old boyfriend and getting drunk/stoned inside his car.

    Or did I imagine that?

    I remember reading this–I think I was ten years old–and getting so confused by the part that says: “The drug dealer is named Buzz. And he lives up to his name, if you know what I mean” or something like that. I thought, Buzz? WTF? Does he have a chainsaw or something? (Because between Regina’s tragic death and my ongoing DARE education, it wouldn’t have surprised me if all drug dealers carried them.)

    I also remember that Regina thought she heard drums–but it was only her heartbeat as she OD’d! The drama!

  17. Gretchen says:

    I have flashbacks of Jessie and caffeine pills on “Saved By the Bell”……”I’m so excited, I’m so excited……”


    One of my college roommates and I used to watch that episode of SBTB at least twice a week. Yes, we were losers.

  18. Merrie says:

    I have flashbacks of Jessie and caffeine pills on “Saved By the Bell”……”I’m so excited, I’m so excited……”

    “I’m so … scared.”

    And then she collapses into a heap, crying in Zack’s arms.

    My brother and I still make fun of this! I wish I could buy him just that episode for a stocking stuffer.

  19. Gertrude Barnes says:


    I believe that the book where Enid reverses to her old ways is “Enid’s Story”. Perhaps you don’t remeber reading this one because it was about Enid and thus was incredibly boring…but you definitely must have it in your parents’ attic somewhere.

    Anyway, her old bf comes back to town so she is tempted by the dark side…and I think she also falls in love with Jeffrey French (again) for a couple chapters, who she thinks is rejecting her for his ex-love Saint Elizabeth, who in turn snubs Enid constantly throughout And as we all know, anytime a character is ignored by the amazing Wakefield twins her only choice is to turn to narcotics.

    It takes place during one of the many many Christmases enjoyed during the Wakefield’s Junior Year.

  20. Margaret says:

    omg that saved by the bell episode is AMAZING! I love when she starts crying. I mean, ok, do a very special episode about drugs, but not caffeine!

    Gretchen, watching that episode at least once a week does not make you a loser. In fact, I’m pretty sure it makes you awesome.

    Does anyone remember the Punky Brewster episode when the “chicklets” (some 6th grade girls club) want to use Punky’s treehouse for their meetings? It turns out that they won’t let them in unless they do drugs, and get mad when they don’t do “nose candy” AKA coke. I almost died when I watched that the first time since I got the DVDs…. hilarious!

  21. Amy Slutton says:

    I remember the resolution of this whole mess in this book pissed me off so bad. How did no one kick Bruce and Amy’s asses? You would think that Nick would have done something. Or that Bruce and Amy would have become social outcasts. But noooo. No one even goes ballistic on them. How pathetic.

  22. StarryEyed says:

    I LOVE that SBTB episode. SBTB was all around awesome anyway.

    I fucking LOVED this book, I must have read it 100 times. I scared the crap out of me when it came to drugs too. I remember being so mad, because I loved Regina’s character. Oh that reminds me, ihatewheat should totally review Hostage!, #26. Another fave of mine. Money is heaven… Monday at seven!!!!!!!!!

  23. kiwimusume says:

    Wai-wai-wait. JAN is the one who pushes Regina to do a shit ton of coke? And then the skank has the balls to turn around and treat MOLLY like a “murderer”? Hello pot, meet kettle.

    And ugh, once again sainthood is anointed on Elizabeth fucking Ingalls. She is quite possibly the most nauseating character I have ever read. Just once, I’d like to see her fuck something up, AND have people stay mad at her for it for more than five minutes.

  24. Jessa Fields says:

    Kiwimusume–Read the first few SVUs, where she becomes a fat (i.e., size eight) loser who won’t put out, gets dumped by Todd and is too lame for Enid Rollins. (I know, it doesn’t seem possible!) To top it off, she’s then stalked by a murderous (yet dashing) psychopath. Granted, Elizabeth actually didn’t do anything to deserve such bad treatment here, but it was still niiiice.

    There is also a bizarre spin-off series where Elizabeth becomes a scullery maid in London. (Seriously. I think this is what ended up killing the whole franchise.)

  25. E says:

    This is absolutely the reason that I haven’t done cocaine for the last, oh, 20 years or so. Not that I had a lot of opportunities to do it when I was 11, but the thought of Regina Morrow dying from doing drugs JUST ONCE has kept me, and likely will always keep me, from doing coke. Thank you, ghostwriters.

  26. Onnie says:

    god, i remember i cried in this one…i really liked regina, and naively thought bruce had changed…he is still an asshole…

  27. Onnie says:

    Jessa: I remember those SVU books when Liz was a big loser. I actually had a bit of sympathy for her…just a bit, but it passed when later on she lost the weight and became “cool” again and Todd and Enid were the losers…

  28. Katie says:

    I’m deaf, and when Regina regained her hearing, I quit reading the series. It was so disgusting how she was miraclously “all better”. And oh, shame, she falls in with the wrong crowd and dies! Poor deaf girl, if only she had regained her hearing earlier…

    From my perspective, I loved Regina BECAUSE she was deaf and I could relate to her. When she became “hearing”, which is impossible (even with today’s advances), it sent me the message that her, as a deaf character wasn’t good enough.

    My heart was crushed that day. For real. Look at it from my perspective, as a deaf person. I do not see it as an affliction. Regina could have found a good life as a deaf person, learned sign language. Jessica and Elizabeth could have learned some sign language, too and everybody would be better for it.

    But no…. poor widdle deaf girl *sob*, poor tragic thing…


  29. Katie says:

    p.s. don’t get me wrong. doing cocaine isn’t such a great idea, but it really was overdramatic, in my opinion. sorry to keep adding stuff. that’s all my thoughts are for now..

    p.p.s. think of it this way, if you were black and you were miserable, and then you were offered a white pill to make your life allll better… wouldn’t you throw out that book in disgust?

  30. ihatewheat says:

    Katie, I am really sorry that that book had an impact on you. It’s true- Regina’s deafness was a “deficiency”- that the ONLY option was to make her hearing again to be “normal” instead of embracing her for who she was.

  31. Veronica Lodge says:

    I too was born with a heart murmur and this book is the one and only reason I’ve never tried any hard drugs! Thanks Francine!

  32. burningsteady says:

    I first read this when I was ten and it absolutely petrified me. And, as dumb as it is, I think the fear stayed with me a little bit.

    In regards to the Saved By the Bell references around — the best part (aside from Jessie crying) is in the No Hope With Dope episode and she says, “You know, I used to have a drug problem…”

  33. James says:

    This book literally drove ME over the edge. how could they take away poor, sweet, Regina? who was so brave simply because she was deaf? And who everyone felt sorry for despite the fact that she was a supermodel? from a wealthy family? who the hell writes this stuff??

    from then on i Bruce and Amy were on my shytlist.

  34. Gwen says:

    I was at a party last year with a bunch of women aged about 25-35, and somehow this book came up. It turns out that every single one of us were too traumatized by Regina’s death to ever try cocaine. Well, all except one girl, who said “Regina is totally the reason I didn’t do coke until after college!”

  35. Marisa says:

    I figured FO SHO old Nick Morrow would lay some serious hurtin’ on Patman and was so disappointed when he pussed out.
    I would also like to strangle Elizabeth with that stupid lavaliere around her neck.

  36. janeprimrose says:

    Re: Regina’s letter of forgiveness that arrives the day after she dies: I used to have a friend who told me that EXACTLY THIS happened to her with a friend she’d had a fight with when she was in her early teens, except the friend died in a car crash, AND my friend had said something like ‘Fuck off and die’ to her during the fight, AND the crash happened on my friend’s birthday.
    I never knew whether to believe that story or not because it was such a melodrama clusterfuck. She always refused to celebrate her birthday and gave this story as the reason. I was caught between ‘I’m sorry, it must have been terrible to lose your friend like that’ and ‘It doesn’t make you Saint Fucking Elizabeth, lighten up about your birthday.’

  37. Melody Powers says:

    It impressed me when they actually killed Regina. SVH really took a risk there, rather than have a happy ending with a recovered Regina having a tender hospital room reunion with Bruce – which is what I was SURE was going to happen.
    Gotta say, Francine, you impressed me there…

  38. weik says:

    One thing I loved about this book is how Regina and Bruce were able to keep their relationship going while Regina was in Switzerland because they were both rich enough to pay for the huge phone bills… And then after Regina comes back to SV, she can hear Bruce’s voice for the first time and it’s like their relationship is all new again. Umm, how did they manage get those phone bills if she only heard his voice when she came back to SV? (There might be interpretors and all that but still.)

  39. LimeGreenTriumph says:

    I love that the drug dealer’s name is Buzz. It’s almost as obvious as the guy selling “Euphoria” on that episode of 90210 who wears a shirt with a 4 on it.

  40. Sonnie says:

    When I read this book years back I was pissed off that Regina ended up dieing. Wasn’t it bad enough that she was deaf and had to lose the love of her life (even if it was Bruce) just to get cured? Then there’s the whole kidnapping thing. I actually like Regina cus she seems the most normal of all. But no, Franny P. had to kill her off because she doesn’t have sun-streaked gold hair. AND I HATE LIZ SO MUCH!!!

  41. katie says:

    “She gets mad at Liz for not telling her and basically tells Bruce to shove it. And he does, right up Amy Sutton.” < Hahahaha! I'm so glad I've found this site.

    I really felt sorry for Regina. I really hated Amy and Bruce.

    Who is Elizabeth? A saint? An angel??

    I was friendly to everyone and was generally well liked (I think so, anyways lol), but not everyone came up to me and asked for advice etc.

    I wish Elizabeth butts out for ONCE!

  42. Neek1981 says:

    Of all of the SV books I’ve read, this one seemed to stay with me the longest, partly because it was referenced in so many of the subsequent books. Even at about age 12 when I read this one, I kept feeling as though Regina was killed off because she gave the twins so much competition. She was beautiful, AND a model, AND rich, AND sweet, AND even her deafness was cured.

  43. Emma says:

    This is my favourite Sweet Valley High book. My favourite part was when Nicholas read out the poem ‘Dirge Without Music’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay. What a beautiful poem! How could you not have mentioned that?

  44. Anonymous says:

    This is true: The first time I looked into the mirror over a line of cocaine, I thought about Regina Morrow… and that I was lucky not to have a heart murmur. Looks like I got the message that the author was trying to send out.

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