I was totally not allowed to read this one. For the apparent sexual content it promised. BUT….when I did read it, it did not deliver. Jessica was out all night because she wouldn’t sleep with a college guy on the first date and she couldn’t get a ride home until the morning. LAME!
I digress. First, let’s start with the cover. Why did Jessica and her date stop at the Sears portrait studio? Why in the hell does Scott have a porn moustache? He looks old enough to be my father. Or a little bit like a drag king. Creepy. And Jessica and her damn feathered hair.
Jessica hangs out with aformentioned moustached college guy, Scott, at a beach party. They are drinking! SHOCKER! And they are passing around a joint. This is how Jessica knows she is in the “fast lane”. Jessica has no real contact, just talks in sexual innuendos and acts like a third grader, like dumping mud on him and runs away. Hot. I’ll have to try that one. They go to some abandoned boathouse or something and Scott starts kissing her “like he means business”. She protests and he pins her down and threatens that he won’t let her leave until she “gives it up”.
Hold it there. Here is the chance for the issue of date violence and date rape to be addressed, but good old Francine decides to go with the blame the victim route. Scott says, ” Go ahead, Jessie baby. Tell them. Tell them how you lied to [your parents] so you could sneak up here with me. Tell them how you just happened to be in a deserted boathouse, practically naked, when I came along and tried to take advantage of you.” Great. Fantastic. He leaves her in the boathouse to find her way back.
The All Night Long refers to the time it takes Jessica to find her way back and get a ride home. When she gets back she bullies into covering for her. Elizabeth is a total doormat, so does it and has multiple panic attacks in the process. Oh, and fights with Todd. Big shocker. Jess actually makes Liz feel bad for not helping her enough. She even has to pretend to be Jessica in front of her Mom so that she can cover. How does her Mom not know? Jessica basically blames her whole situation on Elizabeth, justifying her dumb actions as Elizabeth not stopping her. Whoa. Some serious denial. And totally yells at Elizabeth that she hates her once she gets back, and Liz just takes it and begs for forgiveness. Based on the novel that is about an inch think, I’ve diagnosed Jessica with Histrionic Personality Disorder:
- Constant seeking of reassurance or approval.
- Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotions.
- Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval.
- Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior.
- Excessive concern with physical appearance.
- A need to be the center of attention (self-centeredness).
- Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification.
- Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear shallow to others.
- Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details.
- Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are.
- Make rash decisions
- Threaten or attempt suicide to get attention
Yep, seems about right.
When describing Olivia Davidson, the arts editor for The Oracle, it mentions that she is “big on anti-nuke rallies and eats alafalfa srprouts and whole-grain breads”. Oh come on, Francine, we know what you really want to say- that she’s a dyke. Just say it.
Enid also recouts a college party she heard about from her cousin. “It was kind of a grown up pajama party, with everyone wearing nightshirts and nightgowns, and on the floor strewn with mattresses for them to sit on instead of chairs. According to Enid’s cousin, things had gotten pretty out of hand, especially with all the drinking that had been going on.” The fuck???
These characters either have no sense of humor, or they were purposely written with the sense of humor geared towards four year olds. When Todd and Liz are fighting over the fact that Liz is being manipulated by Jessica, she calls off their Saturday night date. “I’d rather go out with Jaws!” is her retort. Okay, maybe the reference meant more in 1982. That would mean today, that insult would translate to “I’d rather go out with Shrek!” Okay, it still doesn’t work.
I think Bruce Patman is a thinly veiled allegory for free market capitalism and corporate greed. And Liz represents socialism. It’s like Animal Farm with teenagers.
The moral: if you manipulate and emotionally abuse your sibling long enough, you will finally break them down. Or something.
My grade: B