SVH has Saved By the Bell syndrome. This is a syndrome that affects fictional high schools, where it seems the whole school is composed of 7-10 students, all whom would not actually hang out together in real life. I know you can’t focus a book on every student in the school, but doesn’t it seem the Wakefields and their crew are the only ones that go to the school? Supposedly they hate Bruce and find Winston irritating, but they are always there.
Case in point: they are going on a field trip to some island to study marine biology, and it says that 16 students are going to be attending. I don’t think I can name 16 people that go to SVH. So, I was kind of excited to see who else was there. They further divided into groups of four, and one group was Liz, Enid, Ken Matthews and Tom McKay (who seems to often play the dumb jock space-filler). The other group was Winston Egbert, some science wiz, and Lois Waller, who was “chubby and quiet”. Jaysus, Francine hates overweight people. They are also needy and desperate for friends and approval. And are only accepted when they conform (I’m looking at you, Robin Wilson.)
So, anyway, Jess is mad because she wanted to flirt with Ken Matthews, but Winston is all up in her grill being annoying. I actually think he seems kind of endearing. Trying too hard maybe, but at least as more of a personality than Ken “Ken Doll” Matthews. On their way back from the island, there is a big storm and the boat carrying their class capsizes, and Jessica ends up losing the lifeboat and swimming ashore a nearby island. Winston ends up there too. Winston basically saves Jessica’s ass because he knows survival skills. I am surprised he helped Jessica too because she was being such a cunt to him previously (and every book before this). She wants to sunbathe, but he insists they need to build shelter. Jess whines and whines, and finally he relents and gives her the task of “decorating” the shelter. She is happy, but I think (hope) he is secretly demeaning her.
Threy go off to forage for berries, and they run into a bear (on an island? idk) and Winston freaks out and Jessica actually saves them. Winston later feels like such a failure and is so embarassed and he and Jessica have a heart to heart where Winston reveals his insecurities and why he always needs to be the class clown, making others laugh so they will accept him. But Winston, who makes the clown laugh? He also is scared that his girlfriend, Maria Santelli, will dump him for a much better looking guy. Aw, Win. I think it is great that Winston is fun to be around, but my advice for him is to not be so much a gag-and-impressions guy. It’s like he brings props to school and uses pencils as cigars and breaks out into Groucho Marx impressions.
Meanwhile, Liz and the Wakefields are all worried, but they still go on with their lives. Liz even writes her fucking gossip column, Alice goes on interior-designing, and Ned goes on laywering. Seriously, Jessica could be dead. Finally, Bruce helps out by arranging for them to get on a yacht to go looking for Winston and Jessica. It’s great he cares, despite the fact that he has attempted to sexually assault both twins at one time or another.
Then they are saved, la la, and there are paparazzi everywhere and Jessica takes credit for everything and steals Winston’s thunder. And Winston just takes it. HATE!
Cover: nothing exciting. Jessica looks wet and tired and lost at sea. She looks more bratty than scared.
Jeffrey is such a nerd. Team Todd!
Lila gets very upset when she thinks Jessica is dead, and tries to reach out for Liz for comfort, but Liz totally blows her off. HATE! Liz thinks she is so caring. What a hypocrite.
Winston basically cooks some random fish and pusts them on a palm leaf with some sort of garnish. What is this, Top Chef?
In Sweet Valley world, you need to be blond, thin (women) and super buff (men). Winston, is decribed as “lanky”. Um, that seems kind of hot. In fact, I remember him being hot in the tv show.
Small pic, but he was played by Michael Perl, an obvi Jew. Which leads me to say: anyone get the feeling that Winston is Jewish? He has glasses, kinda nerdy…”Eggbert” is mildly Jewish, is pretty much the outsider in waspy Sweet Valley.