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

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23 thoughts on “The one with the artifical intelligence science project, or #36, Last Chance

  1. EnidRollins says:

    Before you yell about this book, you must know the SVH Rules:

    1. All thin people must be beautiful, and all *fat* people ugly.
    2. Jessica is never wrong, her bitchiness is just the way she is.
    3. Liz is the solution to all your problemas.

  2. Shannon River says:

    So tell me, how do you feel about Amy?

    Har har.

    Yeah, I think I read a Twins book before a High book, and so I was baffled at this turn around with Amy Sutton between the years. It’s really strange.

    You know… seriously… no wonder I feel like crap about myself if this is the stuff I was reading when I grew up. As if we didn’t have enough bombardment from advertising and magazines…
    Man.
    Makes you think. I wish I could go back in my childhood and NOT read these books, in a way.

  3. kiwimusume says:

    Ooh! This one’s in my Thriftbooks stash! *starts reading*

    So Jessica wants to split up Steven and Cara because…GASP!..they’re restricting themselves to ONE PERSON?! And it’s “ruining Cara’s social life”? Dude, these twins sure like to stick their noses into shit that’s none of their business, don’t they?!

    Also, I love Amy telling Peter that Jo’s too dumb for him. Hello pot, meet kettle!

    Also, is anyone else wondering if Jessica’s latest exciting new craze involves bicuriosity?

    “Susan Stewart is obviously incredibly highborn. Just look at her posture! Look at the way she dresses! She’s got class written all over her! Mmmmmmmm.”

    WTF?! O_o

  4. Merrie says:

    I always wished we would have had an Amy Sutton super special.star or whatever those books were called so we can see how/why she got so messed up!!!

  5. Jessa Fields says:

    I remember it said that Johanna’s mom used to read Russian novels in the original Russian. I also read Russian novels in the original Russian (you know, when I’m not reading SVH). Unfortunately, I still think of Johanna’s dead mother every time I do so. It is totally possible that she gave me the idea. SVH has tainted so many things for me: I will forever associate Elizabeth Barrett Browning with the death of Regina Morrow, Emily Dickenson with that loser Lynne Henry (pleeease do that one, I want to see those song lyrics again!), and Splendor in the Grass with (bleccchhh) Jessica Wakefield and Bill Chase. Not to mention Andrew Wyeth with that cutting-edge artist Claudia Kishi…

  6. Lynne Henry says:

    Day after day I’m feeling kind of lonely
    Day after day it’s him and him only
    Something in his eyes
    Made my hopes start to rise

    But he’s part of a world that doesn’t include me…

    (Oh, I can’t remember the rest)

  7. Gretchen says:

    Totally know where you’re coming from, Jessa Fields. I always associate Christina Rossetti with freaking Elizabeth Wakefield and how Todd solemnly, soulfully read her “Remember Me” poem on stage in front of everyone as his way to tell Liz he was moving to New England.

  8. Jessa Fields says:

    OMG Lynne Henry thank you! Although seeing them written out makes me remember that at the time I actually gave them a melody… Ugh. Now it’s stuck in my head. Where are the Droids when I need them? Or Johnny Buck. (Remember Johnny Buck? Even at the time I thought that sounded like a porn name.)

  9. Dwanollah says:

    I’d forgotten how much I loved Johanna for her “take a flying fuck” response to Petey. She’s one of my favorite secondary characters! And secretly, I still love her wardrobe, too.

    Lynn Henry, however, was not. 😉 I’ve mentioned before, but 1) of COURSE in SVH, all it takes is some hair conditioner and lip gloss to turn a seriously homely girl into someone magically glamorous by Wakefieldian standards, and 2) WAY TO MESS UP THE MEANING OF DICKENSON’S POEM, DAMMIT! Although SVH is a pro at messing up literary references. I’m still baffled at Liz being “inspired” by her “hero” Dick Diver, even 25 years later….

  10. Anonymous says:

    PTA Dance=”Prostitutes Training Anonymously” Dance, from Jessica’s outfit description. Sadly I cannot comment on Cara’s outfit description, as I am right now wearing a sparkly tshirt with a purple miniskirt. WTF is wrong with me.

  11. kiwimusume says:

    OK, I finished the book last night and, um, WTF?! The reason she never did well at maths and science despite being super-duper good at them is apparently ’cause she thought “pfft, it’s not music so the ‘rents won’t give a shit anyway, so why bother?” But at the beginning of the book it says her mum was super-encouraging of her and constantly told her to find something that she liked and go for it. So, um, what?

  12. MaggieCat says:

    “Susan Stewart is obviously incredibly highborn. Just look at her posture! Look at the way she dresses! She’s got class written all over her!”

    I believe you’ve located a very rare creature that almost never finds SVH a hospitable habitat: foreshadowing. (Assuming I’m right and this is the book right before Rumors… which Google confirms it is! Score!)

  13. Annie says:

    Wow I’m a hideous bitch!! I don’t allow my fiance to talk about his boring computer work b/c it is so goddamn boring and I can’t follow a thing he says. I mean, of course he is allowed to talk about it with other people, but I interrupt him when he starts a long winded story about computers. I need to get some tutoring from Liz.

  14. Amy Slutton says:

    LOL, this one sounds hilarious! I don’t have it. I may have to buy some of the older ones that I’ve never gotten to read 🙂

  15. Naomi says:

    “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.”

    Somehow I feel this is the only way Amy will get married later on in life. She’ll just go on and on and on and on and on until the guy she’s seeing says okay to shut her up.

    Maybe she has the same power as the Hypnotoad in Futurama, cause I don’t see why anyone would want to be around her. And I liked her so much in SVT…

  16. Enid Rollins says:

    Com…pu…ter? What a novelty!

    Smack. Lila is the only Sweet Valley girl I like, and Jessica in certain books\moods.

  17. Karla Keffer says:

    “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.”

    So, what – Peter DeHaven invented Dr. Sbaitso? Rilly?

  18. Deitra says:

    I read that book and I admit I like that flowered jumper and victorian lace blouse and I admit that is something I would wear in fact I have a flowered jumper

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