Choose your own (mis)adventure: Two Boy Weekend

You’re a popular, blond teenager. Your boyfriend is going to be away for four days. Do you:

  • (A) Pine after him by listening to your favorite songs that remind you of him, and spend the time hanging out with your girlfriends- it’s fun to have some girl time anyway!
  • (B) throw a massive temper tantrum, try to convince said boyfriend to cancel his plans despite it being important to him, practically threaten suicide, and sit on the beach for hours crying and feeling sorry for yourself

Great! You chose (B). Now, while you sit on the beach contemplating how awful your life is, you see a cute guy on the beach. Do you:

  • (C) Be faithful to your boyfriend for two fucking seconds. Maybe just admire him.
  • (D) Decide that he is the best looking guy you have ever seen and declare yourself in love with him. Of course agree to go out with him because he is instantly in love with you.

Great! You chose (D) You guys spend the whole weekend together. He doesn’t share anything about himself, but spends hours listening to you babble on about yourself.  After that weekend, and after your boyfriend returns, this guy, Christopher calls you incessantly after you ask him not too. Finally, you agree to go out with him one more time, and he threatens to smash into a brick wall with you in the car unless you promise to go out with him. Do you:

  • (E) tell your parents and seek help immediately. Maybe even call the police?….
  • (F) Decide to go out with him anyway, because you don’t want your boyfriend finding out about him. After all, your boyfriend is getting an award at a dance at the country club, and that will make you and him king and queen of the party, so you don’t want to miss that opportunity and therefore will continue to let Christopher harass you and threaten you. After all, you got a new dress!

You’ve chosen (F). Great! It’s the day of the party. However, Christopher finds out about the party, since he’s been stalking you. He shows up to break the news to your boyfriend, and probably to physically harm you for not choosing to be with him. When he arrives, he sees your identical twin sister and thinks it’s you. He starts talking to her and trying ti win her over. Should your twin sister:

  • (G) avoid this psycho, reveal herself to be your twin, alert some security at the party…or get the fuck away from this guy, or
  • (H) pretend to be you and agree to take a walk in the deserted woods with Christopher, so he won’t ruin your chances of being queen of the country club dance.

Well you chose…(H). Way to go…I guess? Still thinking your sister is you, he ties her up and shoves her in the trunk of his car in hopes of kidnapping her. This brings up some major issues because this is not the first time your sister was kidnapped. Not long ago, she was held hostage and fed frozen pancakes. Finally, after about an hour of dancing in the spotlight, you begin to feel a TAD BIT worried about your sister. You find her boyfriend and go off to find her. Just your luck! You catch them just as Liz is being thrown in the trunk. Jeffrey punches him out and you free Liz from the ropes. Yay! Does Liz:

  • (I) freak out from the incident, go ballistic on you, screaming for the police and have a flashback to her earlier ordeal?
  • (J) Hop out of the car, smooth her sensible skirt and laugh the whole thing off.

Great, you chose…..give me a fucking break. You chose (J)? Really? Really? Well, ok. So Christopher gets hauled off by security. Turns out he’s an escaped mental patient who has done this to girls before. Tee hee! Silly you! You probably should have asked more about him and not talked so much about yourself. You all head back to the party. Your boyfriend, A.J., asks you where you’ve been. You:

  • (K) Explain that you were cheating on him and because of your selfish actions, almost got your sister raped and/or killed.
  • (L) Say that things just aren’t working out, maybe you need time apart, and end up parting amicably so that the break up is NO FAULT of yours and he actually apologizes to you.

of COURSE you chose (L). You’re Jessica Wakefield.

—-

Francine, stop trying to make rape-chic happen. Seriously, were we supposed to think Jessica was dumb? Or that this was funny? What is the lesson learned? That they should just expect it because they are Wakefields, it’s part of life, if this happens it will all work out? That if they just ignore the guy threatening them, they can work it out themselves? That girls are powerless about the men that threaten violence against them? There was no lesson learned….Jessica has NO consequences from cheating on her boyfriend, not telling anyone about the guy threatening her, almost getting Elizabeth killed. She learns nothing. Elizabeth, as usual, enables her by cleaning up her mess.

Meanwhile, Jessica may be an even bigger sociopath than this Christopher guy. I’ve GOTTA transcribe Jessica’s reaction to A.J. having the NERVE to go away for four days. And when her friends wouldn’t wallow in her self-pity with her.

Her friends’ laughter drifted to her, and Jessica felt a surge of loneliness and betrayal. They were acting as if nothing was different, she thought. They weren’t making the least effort to cheer her up, and they were all going to Ken Matthew’s party later and didn’t even care if she went or not. I could disappear off the face of the earth, and they’d never know the difference. Feeling completely rejected, she dove into an oncoming wave and swam a few quick strokes out. She cut through another wave and felt her hair drag out behind her. They’d be really sorry if I drowned, she added silently. Then they’d wish they’d been nicer to me when they had the chance.

I call your bluff, Jessica. Drown yourself.

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34 thoughts on “Choose your own (mis)adventure: Two Boy Weekend

  1. Rio says:

    The conclusion I have drawn from this book, as well as other examples of passive fictional teenage girls who make stupid decisions (*cough* Bella *cough*), is that most YA writers are unbelievably lazy. It’s too difficult for them to make their characters compelling without being insane, so they just stick to insane. Never mind that impressionable teen girls read these books and have a good chance of internalizing the “lessons” they impart.

    We should all spend a night flipping through every Sweet Valley book we can find and taking one shot per Wakefield twin stalker/kidnapper/general obsessor.

  2. maybeimamazed02 says:

    If anyone’s in Chicago, I am up for an SVH drinking game any. time. We can have it at my place!

    Loved the Choose Your Own Adventure format. God, Jessica was insane.

    Yeah, YA writer laziness pisses me off. Especially since there are people like me who actually write about active, interesting teenage girls who don’t base their lives around boys…and yet I still don’t have an agent. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

  3. K.C says:

    A horrible book! A book that I will never read twice. Totally agree with you, ihatewheat; the domination between the sexes, manipulation, cheating and the deception is just irritating. How on earth does Jess gets away with it? You would think Francine would try to punish her to send a moral message to the readers.
    How many boyfriends/admirers has he had at 16? Good grief.

    This book fails.

    Awesome blog as usual.

    The expression on Jess’s face…..priceless.

  4. Magpie says:

    Love the Choose Your Own Adventure format of this recap! 🙂 It highlights perfectly the fact that we should all live by the philosophy of “What Would Jessica NOT Do?”.

    It irritates me so much that Jessica just swans through life, never having to deal with any of the crap she pulls on other people. Also, essentially the message of the book is “girls, if you find yourselves being emotionally abused and physically threatened, there’s NOTHING you can do about it!”, which is an unbelievably irresponsible message for teenagers to hear.

    Not that I’m condoning dishonesty, but I find it really unrealistic that Jessica didn’t just lie to A.J. about Christopher to dig herself out of the hole. Surely she could have said Christopher was some guy who’d randomly latched onto her and it was all in his mind? He’s clearly unhinged so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch. Not that I need to spend my brainpower thinking up ways to make Jessica marginally less sociopathic!

  5. Neek1981 says:

    I’ve never read this one. The title makes it sound like a threesome. The plot sounds awful. It has all the makings of a typical SVH book:
    1) No boy can resist a Wakefield
    2)
    Liz covers for Jess when she shouldn’t

    • Miss Moppet says:

      Neek, about the title…just exactly what I was thinking!

      Yes, Jess is like a nymphomaniac…only she never has sex, so it’s more a case of narcissistic personality disorder or something. She cannot go one day without a boy to follow her round like a puppy.

  6. Neek1981 says:

    …oooppps, didn’t mean to post the above without these:
    3) One of the twins cheats and gets away with it.
    4) Someone is stalked AND kidnapped.
    5) No PTSD.

    Plus, how can Jess not stay faithful for 4 days??? She’s like a nymphomaniac.

  7. Jen S says:

    Oh, Jessica, I will feel sorry for you. Your boyfreind is going away for FOUR WHOLE DAYS?? That bastard! How dare he! Quick, drown yourself so he’ll feel bad! No, seriously. Drown yourself.

    It is so true that Jess comes across as more of a sociopathic monster than Christopher could ever be. At least he has the excuse that he’s got a diagnosed mental disorder! Everyone in Jessica’s range just acts like her unbelievable narcissim and attention hogging is just normal! Not that there’s any kind of cure for that anyway, so I guess her family/freinds/captives just play along to keep her happy.

  8. Lori says:

    Yeah Jessica’s the real psycho of book at least Christopher had mental problems what’s Jessica’s excuse. It kills me how she always got away with everything she pulled.

  9. Mary Anne Bruno says:

    I love the format!!

    “Francine, stop trying to make rape-chic happen.”
    hahahaha! Awesomeness.
    However, shouldn’t it be addressed to Kate Williams?

    • Janelle says:

      Technically, however, Kate William doesn’t exist- it’s just the pen name for all the ghost writers. Francine, on the other hand, had to okay all these plots…

      • Miss Moppet says:

        I just know that somewhere, sometime, I read an online account by one of the Kate Williams about her experience of writing SVH books. And now I can’t find it! Annoying.

        I seem to recall she said it wasn’t particularly lucrative. Presumably because after Francine’s rake-off there wasn’t much left over.

  10. Mary Anne Bruno says:

    Love the format! So original!

    “Francine, stop trying to make rape-chic happen.”
    hahaha, awesomeness!
    However, shouldn’t that be addressed to Kate Williams?

    I hope that woman suffers from guilt for the remainder of her life for sending such awful messages to teenage girls.
    On the other hand, I came out semi normal and I read these books at an impressionable age…
    Oh wait, I forgot that I have insecurity issues about not being blonde or not being blue eyed, not having a pool, not having endless spending money for burgers at the Dairi Burger (while whining about being only middle class) and not having an adoring fleet of friends and men.
    Hmm…Never mind, I hate you, Kate Williams.

  11. Henna says:

    “I call your bluff, Jessica. Drown yourself”

    I so wish she would. To think when i was twelve my biggest dream was to be like Jess. Oh the shame!

  12. nikki says:

    While none of the SVH books are anything close to great literature, there are only a few that are absolutely dangerously horrifying. There you have Two Boy Weekend.

  13. Roger Patman says:

    I remember (now looking back, with shame) how sad I was that Jessica and AJ broke up. I mean, she was so much less of a whore while they were together. Instead of dry humping the entire SVH male population, she was monogamous.

  14. opangster says:

    actually, not only is this storyline pathetic, i can see this scenario playing out in an actual real life teenager’s life. is it just me, or are teenagers nowadays dumber than we were back in the day? or maybe i am just getting old and cynical.

  15. MT says:

    This book reminds me of “Showdown” where the Wakefields just laughed off that someone had come THIS CLOSE to stabbing Jessica in her neck! The parents weren’t even remotely upset that their daughter was almost killed, or even angry that their underage daughter had gone off with a way older dude to his apartment by herself. Maybe some parents are chill about that stuff, I don’t know.

  16. Whallie says:

    Did this mention where AJ went for four days? If so, was it some place lame with his family? I’m sure he didn’t go pick up hookers with Bruce Patman for Jess to want to kill herself.

    • Annie says:

      That jerk had the nerve to leave Jessica for four whole days just to go to his grandparents’ 50th anniversary party. Can you believe it?

      I re-read this one a few days ago after reading this review. I have very few SVH books left, but this is one I actually still own. I had forgotten how crazy it was until I read the review here, so then I had to read it. The part that stands out the most to me is that in the description of the girls (you know, Jessica is spontaneous and Elizabeth is down to earth, etc), Elizabeth’s interests are listed as having deep talks with Enid and Jeffrey, writing, and practicing her recorder. Fun times!

  17. Beth says:

    From what I remember about Choose Your Own Adventure books, Sweet Valley fits right in. If you make all the wrong decisions and take ridiculous chances, everything will turn out OK in the end!

    I may just have a dirty mind, but in the picture, the way Christopher is holding the end of his surfboard while Jess appears to be about to undo her bathing suit top makes me all red in the face.

    • Neek1981 says:

      “…makes me all red in the face.” I hear ya, Beth. The fact that Jess acts like this and is supposedly still a virgin makes me all skeptical in the head. If there’s a such thing as not LOOKING like a virgin, then Jess sure don’t look like one on this cover. This pic should be in the dictionary under ‘seductress.’
      People have always wanted to ban certain books. I think Judy Blume’s work is among the most challenged by parents. Leave Judy alone. She’s awesome. Why didn’t people challenge this Sweet Valley mess instead? Sometimes I wish I could go back and UN-READ these books. Makes me wanna drag my nails down someone’s face just thinking about it.
      Maybe this entire series is all a colossal joke. Like, maybe the ghosties weren’t even taking this shit seriously. Maybe it’s meant to be poorly written and illogical. Is it a satire? If it IS a satire, it should be making me laugh instead of fume, right? GOD, my head hurts…

  18. Magpie says:

    If I were reading these books for the first time as an adult, I think they would make me fume too. As it is, my rage is balanced out by feelings of childhood nostalgia, which keeps me in a state of equilibrium and stops me from becoming stabby whenever I think about SVH.

    As for Jessica being a virgin, for some reason I don’t find it strange. She would probably feel like it gave her some kind of power over men.

  19. belledame222 says:

    …jesus.

    I ate up the SVH crap like Pixie Stix when I was a kid, but I think I lost interest by the time this one came out (yes, I am *that old* that I read the first editions. Weep for me). God knows why-I was a nerd and a budding queer and I hated everything the Wakefields stood for…I guess I must’ve had a phase where I didn’t. It’s all kind of a blur, really.

    But yeah, talk about your dodgy sexual politics. Ugh. *How* many near-rapes were there in the series? And yet neither of them was ever supposed to have, you know, gone all the way, right? Something.

    Please tell me somewhere there’s a well-done fanfic where all the latent dysfunction in whatsis is made splendidly texty. Mrs Wakefield’s an alcoholic, Mr. Wakefield does unspeakable things with the pool boy and/or the pets (they did have pets? presumably if so they never shed on any of the perfect size six sorry now four outfits). Jessica gets the clap (or worse) but in a hilarious misunderstanding Elizabeth gets her test results and has to explain them to Todd, who soothes his rage and confusion by going on a weekend long meth jag with some biker dudes he picked up behind the alley of the Dairi Burger. Winston turns out to have a crawlspace under the family split-level where he keeps the bodies. Lila has a secret double life as a furry. And so on, and so on, and so on.

    also there is a crossover with Buffy the Vampire Slayer wherein the original Hellmouth was under (whatever the fuck town it is) but the vampires all got diabetes from biting the Wakefields, so went elsewhere.

    but in a hilarious case of mistaken identity, their little burb gets razed to the ground by the Initiative. Oops.

  20. belledame222 says:

    …I wish I could say I was being funny on purpose when I wrote “whatever the fuck town it is.” I need more caffeine. BUT IT’S BECAUSE I WAS FLOODED BY NOSTALGIC LOATHING.

    I wonder if Joss Whedon was at all influenced by Sweet Valley when creating Sunnydale…come to it, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’d actually read them.

  21. KT says:

    The alarming thing is that I read all of these (1-about 60, my friend had them ALL) at age 13, and somehow didn’t even blink an eye at all this stuff. Not that I had any illusions that I would experience any of this drama myself when I turned 16….I am not sure what this says about me!
    Oh, except, yeah – cocaine is bad and you will DIE from one try. That had an effect.

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