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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White Lies: If Book Covers Could Talk

Jennifer: Sigh.

John: Sigh.

Jennifer: Sigh….Wait, why are YOU upset? I’m the one who should be. I was going to run away with Rick Andover but SOMEBODY caught him stealing from a music store and he was put away. OBVS it was my father because he didn’t want me to see him anymore.

John: Well, it was actually me. See, I secretly love you and reported him so that you wouldn’t ruin your life with a shame on society¬† like Rick Andover.

Jennifer: WHAT? HOW DARE YOU-

John: Shhhhhhhhh, son’t get too mad. We shouldn’t break this pose. Let’s milk this cover as long as we can. You’ll never be heard of again after this book and the next time I appear, I’ll be a rapist.

Jennifer. True. Sigh. You lean real well.

John: Thanks, you- well, I am not sure what is so great about you. You aren’t depicted with any sort of personality. But you ARE blond.

Jennifer: Not true! I play the piano! And I make out with Rick Andover real well!

John: Speaking of, so what happens to him in this book?

Jennifer: No one cares. Because at the end you swoop in and rescue me so it’s a happy ending and tying up lose ends of the plot is irrelevant.

John: Yea, even though you thought it was your father that turned in Rick and then your father had a heart attack and you refused to see him in the hospital on his death bed.

Jennifer; Yea, I am a bit of a drama queen. See! There’s another facet of my personality!

John: Well, if it hadn’t been for Liz, I never would have cleared up everything.

Jennifer: Ugh, I was wondering how she would weasel her way into this plot.

John: Well, she kept showing up mysteriously at my locker and squeezing my scrotum until I would open up to her and tell me my problems.And then she actually showed up at the hospital and faked a card from me to you so we would make up. I think the hospital made her her an honorary surgeon for fixing the love lives of some self-absorbed teenagers.

Jennifer: And I supposed Jessica somehow got some plot in this one too?

John: Yea, something about how she is manipulating her boyfriend A.J. into doing whatever she wants him to and disregarding any of his feelings. You know, a typical weekday.

Jennifer: So what is a White Lie, anyway?

John: Well, we are very white, and lies were told. Maybe it is a play on words? I don’t know.

Jennifer: Well, don’t look at me, you are the Oracle reporter. You read gooder than I do.

The one where Jessica wins the fashion show and the boy or #49 playing for keeps

So this one really bothered me. I mean, all of them bothered me, but this one had my head spinning.

A.J. is cute, for a SVH boy. His hair needs some layering and less feathering. Also, I was promised that he was a redhead. So I was thinking Prince Harry redhead, so I am let down. Also love the matching bland-colored shirts. Jessica needs a better bra.

So after the Slam Book fiasco was resolved, A.J. Morgan and Jessica are dating. But Jessica is putting on the pretense that she is shy, quiet, and studious…like Liz. Everyone is telling her to be herself, but she knows that A.J. doesn’t like obnoxious borderline cases like the real Jessica, and she wants to keep him. I don’t even know why they are dating, because she acts a fool all the time. She reads him bad poetry and tries to talk about wordly things. They even go to a Save the Whales meeting.

Meanwhile, some rich girl Pamela who goes to a private school is trying to steal A.J. A.J. totally wants to bone her, but is trying not to cheat on Jessica. He enjoys Jessica’s seriousness, but is really torn up because he’s a teenage boy and wants to pork a girl. So he is kind of attracted to Pamela.

Meanwhile Lisette’s (you know, the super classy store in the mall) is having a fashion show contest, and the winner gets a custom-designed wardrobe. How does this help the store? Publicity, I guess? Everyone and their mother kisses Jessica’s ass and tells her she would obvs win this thing (ugh) but she thinks A.J. wouldn’t approve. After an awkward double date with A.J., Jeffrey and Liz, she decides to enter. Jessica, honey, it was probably awkward because Jeff is a closet case, not because of you.

So Pamela chick enters the contest, and tries to trip up Jessica by ruining her outfits. The show was ultimate cheese. Pam rips the back of one of Jess’ dresses, so instead of turning around, Jessica “dances” backwards. Also, she models a denim dress that zippers up the sides (classy) but Pam jams the zippers, so Jess belts the dress with it open on both sides. Gross. Finally, she and Pam have a shrieking fight that the audience overhears, and A.J. realizes that Jess is a firecracker and they live happily ever after. And Jess wins a wardrobe of cheap mall attire.

Okaaaayyyyy, so you think the message here is that you should never compromise who you are to get a boy right? Don’t think so fast. Well, you shouldn’t change yourself if you are already shallow, superficial and slutty. So on the one hand we are getting the message that Jessica should be herself, but on the other hand her “act” of being smart and serious is not going to get the guy. Being a superficial, flirtatious slut is what gets the guy. See the twisted logic? This kills me. It’s like Francine was almost on a roll with sending an important message, but then fucks it up with her deluded superficial bullshit.

Other thoughts:

Why the hell doesn’t A.J. hear old stories about Jessica? He doesn’t seem to have any friends. They could give him some general-friends like Aaron Dallas and Tom McKay (when he was straight). Also, I don’t really get what is special about him. He seems rather boring. He makes Todd look exciting, and that is saying something. He’s outdoorsy, we’re told, but whatever.

Elizabeth feels bad that Jessica has to pretend and wants her to be her true self. She “misses the scheming, manipulative Jessica”. And I quote. Wha? She really misses the Jessica that steals her boyfriends and calls people fat? I hate the Wakefield family.

Pamela is a total vixen. She lures A.J. to her house- and get this- one of the straps of her sundress slides down. This is the closest we get to talking about sex since the Bruce-Liz-amnesia thing.

Amy Sutton doesn’t enter the fashion show because she thinks she’s too fat. She has to sit on Lila’s lap in the Fiat and Lila complains how much she weighs. Great friends.

When Jessica enters the fashion contest, the salesperson asks her size and Jess is all “size 6, duh”. As if the salesperson is supposed to have read the series.

Grade: D

The one where Jessica blushes a lot, or #48 Slam Book Fever

Let me start by saying that I love describing anything as ____ fever. I’m going to make a conscious effort to use it in my everyday vernacular. I am moving next week and my apartment is like “box fever”. Like tomorrow at work I am going to casually say, “It’s like paperwork fever in here!” I’ll let you know if it catches on.

Also, this is a PRIME SVH book. Blackstabbing, gossip, crushes, etc.- this is SVH at its best! (worst)

Ok. Amy Sutton wants everyone to start Slam Books. Apparently, they were all the rage when she lives in Connecticut. Wait, hold up. I lived in CT for three years and I did not see one Slam Book. Damn, Francine, everything else is so realistic, why make stuff like this up? For those of you not in the know, Slam Books are where you write categories like “biggest flirt” and “best couple” and all those catty categories and people anonymously write in people’s names.

So, are you ready? This one is confusing. So, Jessica has a crush on the new boy, A.J., but feels all awkward and shy around him, so she doesn’t want anyone to know she likes him. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is jealous because her boyf Jeffrey (Todd moved to Vermont like, 20 books ago) is spending time with Olivia Davidson working on a literary magazine. So, someone writes in the Slambooks that Jeffrey and Olivia are the “couple of the future” in order to make Liz suspicious. So she gets mad at Jeffrey and decides to flirt with A.J. after someone but her and A.J. as the couple of the future, which makes Jessica furious at Liz. Finally, they find out Lila is behind all of it, because she wants Jeffrey for herself. Oh, that Lila. Also, A.J. is interested in Jessica, because he thinks she is shy and reserved, and Elizabeth is too pushy and flirtatious. OH THE IRONY!

Some thoughts:

I love how Amy Sutton introduces the concept to them and is all “make sure everyone knows it was my idea”. That’s kind of something I would do.

I am pretty sure Jeffrey French is gay. I am going on pure stereotypes here, but

1. He insists on being called Jeffrey, not Jeff.

2. He works on a literary magazine.

3. He mostly hugs Liz, whereas she and Todd would suck face all the time.

This was totally fake. A.J. was standing around talking with Aaron Dallas (captain of the soccer team) and som other jock discussung the twins. He says something like “Jessica seems so quiet and friendly. I’d love to get to know her.” Yes, I am sure that is exactly how high school boys talk.

Mr. Collins, The Oracle Faculty advisor, threw a party for Olivia when she finished the literary magazine. As in, brought in tons of food and hung up banners. Get a life! Also, you’re a pervert! Stop spending times throwing parties for high school girls.

Someone wrote Jessica in the category: “Most Likely to Have Six Kids”. Hahahaha, they called her a whore.

At the beach, Lila’s beach towel says “THE RITZ HOTEL” on it, and she perches on the edge so everyone can see the writing on it. Bwah.

Blech, Elizabeth and Jeffrey. Their dates consist of things like a picnic in the park after school. They are sixteen- what happened to groping each other in her parents’ living room? They act like they are 80. I never thought I’d say I prefer to read about her fights with Todd.

Now, the cover.

God, Jessica looks so annoying. By the looks of Amy’s face, you can tell she’s thinking “bitch please, leave me alone so I can write your ass in my slam book.” I also had a sweater exactly like Jessica is wearing. Or did I have it BECAUSE Jessica was wearing it? Hmmmm.

WHERE ARE THE ADULTS TO MONITOR THE SLAM BOOKS? How is this appropriate for school? I also love how when Amy tells them about it, they all think it will be a great idea and it will be harmless fun.

Ok, so you would think the lesson of this story is that slam books and rumors and gossip are destructive. Good old Francine, trying to make a buck. Here was an add in the back of the book. Your for only $3.95! Plus $5.96 shipping and handling!

If you’ve read Slambook Fever, you know that Slam Books are the rage at Sweet Valley High. Now you can have a slam book of your own! Make up your own categories, such as “Biggest Jock” or “Best Looking”, and have your friends fill in the rest! There’s a four page calendar, horoscopes and questions most asked by Sweet Valley readers with answers from Elizabeth and Jessica.

Did she read her own book? Did she not see what damage it did? And before you ask, yes, I do want to get my hands on a copy. I’ve already combed ebay looking for it.

Ok, confession. I read this when I was 10, and I decided to try and start a slam book in my fifth grade class. I wrote people’s names on some pages, but ended up only writing descriptions of the people like, “Sue has brown hair”. God, I sucked at slam booking.

My grade: A-