The one with the artifical intelligence science project, or #36, Last Chance

My god, Amy Sutton is a worthless, disgusting, soul-sucking piece of shit. And the thing is, I am not sure if her high school persona is supposed to be hatelful to the reader, or supposed to personify popularity. Apparently in junior high she was smart and nice and driven, and now she is anything but, and that is really never addressed. My god, even Jessica gets annoyed with her. And that’s saying a lot.

The Clark Kent guy is Peter DeHaven, someone who apparently is the shit at SVH and we are only hearing about him now. He’s a computer science genius, and he’s been accepted to MIT. Funny how he’s totally smart and the gals are all over him, but god forbid a girl does well in school and she’s a hideous dog. Oh, and he maaaaayyyy be wearing pleated jeans. It’s hard to tell. The blonde is Amy, duh. The other gal is Johanna Porter, sister of Julie Porter, the one who was caught up in the pledging mayhem.

Jo dropped out of school because she was failing and had no motivation. Her parents and sister Julie were way into music and she wasn’t, so she felt like the outcast of her family. She had no interest in music, so she felt she wasn’t repected. I actually felt for her a little. Then her mother was killed and felt even more alienated and depressed. She has been working as a waitress at the Whistle Stop which she actually enjoyed more than SVH because the people were real and she felt respected. Honestly, she is better off being there and making an honest living. But, she decides to give school another try. Once she arrives every is all bitchy and judgemental. She chats with Pete, who is a childhood friend, but is also going out with Amy. When Amy is away, he and Johanna hang out, although he only talks about himself and doesn’t seem to care about her. Although, she is starved for attention and sympathy and unfortunately totally falls in lurve with him. However, he is a total dick and won’t break up with Amy. He doesn’t even like her, he guesses it is just easier to be with her.

Meanwhile, guess who is assigned to tutor Jo to help her catch up? That’s right, our resident Ingalls, Miss Liz Wakefield. Not only does she tutor her in school, she tutors her in LIFE! Why the fuck does she always have to tutor people? Ken, Annie, and now Johanna! As if Liz wasn’t sticking her condescending nose into everything already, she goes and confronts Peter about how he is treating Jo. Yea, like she has the right to say how to treat people in relationships.

Finally Peter does realize he really does love Johanna but he is staying with Amy because he is not truly interested in her, so he never has to be vulnerable. Finally after Johanna drops out again, he finds her at the Whistle Stop and professes his love for her, but….she TELLS HIM TO FUCK OFF! And that she needs to get her life together for her, and not for anyone else! Can it be true? Does a character actually grow a spine? I am actually overjoyed that things don’t end up in a stupid cliched happy ending with a kiss.

Meanwhile, for now reason other than she is a manipulative sociopath, Jessica decides that she does not want Cara and Steven to go out anymore. She feels that since she got them together, she OWNS them and has the right to break them up. She makes each of them believe that they are seeing other people. They fight about it and when they realize that it was Jessica that was behind it all, she pulls this shit: “I was only testing you two…if you really loved each other, you’d never fall for any of that stuff I said.” And Steven and Cara bend over and take it. Cara: “She’s right, Steve. We’re really the ones at fault. We should have trusted each other.” And Jessica gets way with it!!!! Why does she get all this validation?

Other stuff:

It seems that every character is soooo beautiful and that has to be mentioned a thousand times. Is there anyone at this school who is NOT beautiful? If so, they never get any airtime. In fact, I think they have to take special classes. Joanna’s “long hair made her look old-fashined, and her eyes were such a beautiful shade of green. That afternoon she was wearing a flowered jumper and a Victorian lace blouse. She had a style all her own, which Elzabeth thought was charming. But she couldn’t help thinking that it was a shame it was that Johanna couldn’t show the same independent style when it came to expressing her ideas.” SHUT UP LIZ! Also, I think I wore that outfit for my secind-grade school pictures.

God, Amy is so dreadful. She hates when Peter talks about his science stuff because it bores her, so she doesn’t allow him to talk about it.

Steven has a math assignment from college that Johanna helps him with. It is pictures of pieces of paper with fold lines and you have to imagine the shape of the final folded project. Wtf is that? It’s like an IQ test. And, suddenly after one chemistry test, the teachers claim that Johanna is gifted and enroll her in collge courses. Wow. SVH has some great assessment tools.

The author uses “computer programs” very loosely here. Peter’s science project is one that he is writing a program for a robot psychologist. It will answer yes or no questions and from the answers determine the patient’s emotional state. Yes. The one part he gets stuck on is how to program it to determine love. And Johanna helps him solve that part too, because what do you know, she’s suddenly a computer whiz. And see what we did there? Johanna “helps” him learn love. Barf.

Of course, there is a dance in this book. A PTA dance. What in the hell does that mean? A PTA-themed dance? A PTA sponsored dance? Why in the hell would anyone go to it anyway? Jess and Cara look real classy. “Jessica fluffed up her hair and admired her leather miniskirt and skimpy white top”. Cara was dressed in “a pair of tight black jeans and a sparkly t-shirt” Actually, that sounds kind of cute. Anayway, I’m still baffled over this PTA dance. The Droids are playing, natch.

Did I mention I hate Amy?

Grade: C

The one with all the humiliating pledging, or #47, Troublemaker

So, Julie Porter is a total nerd. She’s mousy, a brunette (which is the kiss of death in Sweet Valley) and she likes to play music. The recorder, actually. Ok, before you judge, my mother runs a recorder ensemble and it’s pretty hardcore. They really practice a lot and perform all over Florida. My mother is also 63.Of course,Liz is friends with her. In fact, they stay after school and play recorder duets together. Ok, again before you judge, I used to stay after school to hang out in the music wing and play string quartets. Then again, I was a fucking loser in high school.

Josh Bowen, another character we haven’t met before this, is a friend of Julie’s and is currently pledging Phi Epsilon, the fraternity. Bruce is being a total dick and giving all the pledges are hard time. They do typical pledge stuff. Ok, everyone say it with me: WHY THE HELL IS THIS ALLOWED? Josh totally hates it but his older bro was in the fraternity, so he wants to get in.

Julie looks about twelve. Josh looks hot, 25, and basically like a gay Abercrombie model. You can’t really tell from this picture, but Bruce’s eyebrow is raised to his hairline. He’s also wearing a sweater cardigan. Which would make him a hipster by today’s standards. Speaking of Bruce, I had mentioned that I was getting a James Marsden vibe, so here are some pics looking all Bruce Patman-esque.

Blah blah blah, Julie hates that Josh is pledging the fraternity. Bruce, for some reason starts flirting with Julie. Because she has zero self-esteem, she goes for it. She invites him to the frat party at his house, and despite every telling her that Bruce is a dick, she goes with him. So, Bruce brings her to this dark room and starts macking, but then gets up to go to the bathroom somewhere. Then someone she thinks is Bruce comes in and they start making out. SURPRISE! It’s Josh, not Bruce. Bruce set it up as a pledging prank because….I don’t know. I don’t even know why it was funny or clever. It turns out he told Josh there was a girl in the room who would be judging them to see who was the best kisser. I think Francine didn’t know how to end the story.

Ok, so the next day at school in the caf, Bruce gives Josh another pledge task: mash a whole bunch of jello together and give it to Julie. That’s uh…horrible? Josh doesn’t want to bother Julie again, and Bruce keeps egging him on, so Josh throws the plate of food on Bruce. Um, chyello? Isn’t that how Jessica got back at Bruce as well? Bruce seems to always have food thrown on him. The manuscript editors should have caught that one.

Ok, stupid sidestory: Jessica wants the lead in the school production of You Can’t Take It With You, but never reads the script and worries about having a good ballet routine. Well, she fucks up the audition, but gets the lead anyway, because the character she is playing is supposed to be clumsy. Jessica, always the brat, throws a hissy fit that she doesn’t want to be portrayed that way. However, she get s standing ovation, and because she is an egomaniacal beast, comes out on top at the end. I HATE when Jessica gets what she wants. Which is like, aways.

Other thoughts:

Bruce wears a gold watch and Italian glove-leather loafers. Not only is he in high school, he’s also a mob kingpin.

God, do these kids really talk like this? Jeffrey and Elizabeth are making out in the hallway, and Enid yells, “Hey, let go of that woman before I report you with intent to kiss!” Elizabeth responds, “Just in time to save me from the Sweet Valley Maniac!” and then Enid says to Jeffrey, “This is a high school, not a professional wrestling arena, you know.” God, I cringed just writing that.

At Bruce’s party, the pledges have to walk around in ridiculous costumes and act as servants. Josh has to dress up like a woman and Bruce keeps telling him he’s made a good housewife. Uhhhh….

My grade: D+