Well, despite our best selling storylines that have made me rich by not even picking up a pen, I got some word that we have to add some “diversity” to our books. I am not even sure what that means. Apparently the one about the poor boy who works as a janitor didn’t count. I thought maybe something about Lila’s maid would be fun, maybe a storyline where Lila loses some designer shoes and blames the maid, but that didn’t sit well with my publisher. So I am throwing it out to you all. We should have a dance in there. And maybe a desciption of Lila’s house. Make sure there are no fat people involved. Have it on my desk by Tuesday. If you need me, I’ll be out shopping for taffeta skirts and culottes.
I was really wanting to hate this one. I mean, it was no literary feat, but it actually had- gasp!- a positive, healthy message. When I read the back cover I was fearing (hoping) that they would use every stereotype under the sun. Well, they did and they didn’t. Jade is Chinese-American and her parents keep her sheltered. Her father is strict and only wants her to interact with other Chinese-Americans. This has made Jade really reserved and shy. Oh, she’s also a good dancer. So, SVH is putting on a dance showcase (uh, why) and Jade auditions and gets the lead, but doesn’t tell her Dad. She also kinda gets cozy with the set director, David Prentiss, who is poor and has a single Mom and has to –GASP!- work a part-time job after school. What a FREAK! Because of the uptight classist wasps at SVH, he keeps it a secret. Jade keeps rejecting his invitations for a date, because her dad doesn’t allow her to date non-Chinese men, but Davey thinks it’s because he’s poor. Star-crossed lovers!
So Jade is all happy that she is involved with the show and it brings her out of her shell and introduces her to a lot of new people. She is rully excited to get to hang out with Liz Wakefield, cuz she’s soooo pretty and popular, Liz is the stage manager, obvs, and acts like typical Liz and a total meddling mother and takes jade under her wing and acts like she’s ten years older. Ugh. Jade doesn’t want people to know about her strict family, especially that her grandparents run a laundry business- because it is so stereotypical, I guess. So, Amy Sutton, mega-sociopath, is toooootally jealous that Jade got the lead over her, finds out about it, and sreads the rumor everywhere. Okay, so they are petty close-minded high school students, but why is this the talk of the school? I know kids can be cruel and incredibly racist, but it disturbs me that SVH would totally alienate someone for this. . But maybe I have too much faith in Chrome Dome’s leadership skills as a principal. You also gotta remember that they gave a crap about Enid and her letters to George and that was the talk of the school.
So, finally Jade’s dad comes around and comes to see her in the show and is really proud. Also, a talent scout for a dance fellowship is in the audience, and offers the opportunity to Jade, but is all, we don’t want someone too…ethnic, you need to change your name. Jade is all, fuck you, take me for who I am or don’t take me at all. That was actually the one moment in SVH where I actually was proud of one of the characters. Jade learns that she should be proud of who she is and her heritage and is all “yea so my grandparents run a laundry business, wanna make something of it?” Like I said, it’s kind of a positive message, I have no criticisms. But wait…I’ll try.
So Jcredibly strict parents do a complete turnaround and let her dance her heart out anywhere and give David their blessings to boink their daughter. That was a little much.
Ick. I can’t stand Elizabeth’s condescending look. Jade is pretty. Nice mock turtleneck, Liz.
Not much Jessica in the book, there’s a stupid side story about how Ned Wakefield has a mid-life crisis over his twentieth high school reunion and tries to act all young. Alice and the twins hatch a plan to help him realize he should be happy about his age. So Jess takes him out with her to the Beach Disco and loud concerts and stuff. So then…oh wait, it’s just so dumb I can’t even get into it.
So, David’s set design is a picture of jade dancing, which will go behind Jade when she dances…yea, it’s really stupid.
Fucking Liz. She’s so perfect and give Jade a pep-talk about accepting her identity. Like Liz has ever been oppressed.
They actually give Jade’s Dad a history. He got his doctorate in physics and then worked as a consultant. I’m surprised they didn’t give him a fake university.
On the whole thing about Jade’s dad wanting her to meet more Chinese-Americans- they’re in Southern California for fuck’s sake, not Nebraska. I’m preeeeety sure there may be just a couple Asian-Americans living in the area. Just get her into another school district. Get her out of Sweet Valley while you still can!
Have you ever noticed the obsession with eye color? How many times do we have to hear about their sea-green eyes. Or they are always like “Todd’s brown eyes softened” or “Enid’s green eyes widened.” Amy has grey eyes. To be honest, I am not sure if I have ever met anyone with grey eyes. Then again, I am super-short, so I am usually looking at someone’s chest when I talk to them.
Aaaaaaannnd I am pretty sure jade will never end up in any other books.
My grade: B+
Next time: Bitter Rivals, where Amy moves back to Sweet Valley and we can delve into her complicated psyche.