We hear a thousand tiny violins playing for Jessica’s problems, or #21, Runaway

I feel like this storyline is repeated about a thousand times. The best part of the book is the cover.

Jessica actually looks really pretty! And now I see where American Apparel gets its ideas from!

For a mere $78, you can have this ‘Runaway Jessica” ensemble.

Poooor Jessica. No one cares about her. Her parents love Liz more. Whenever Liz says something they take her seriously. Well, Jessica, maybe if you stopped acting like a psychopath slut and manipulating everyone around you for five minutes, maybe they would take you seriously too.

Ok, there is also some big case that Ned is working on involving Ricky Capoldo, and quite frankly, I barely paid attention. There is some custody battle going on. You would think Ned took an oath to keep the details private, but he blabs it to his family. Liz is all, oooooo!!! a chance to meddle in people’s lives. And somehow she is writing about it for the Sweet Valley News. It must be a slow news day. Also, wouldn’t Ricky NOT want this broadcast everywhere? Jess is all grumpy because Ned asked Liz to go and not Jess.

BUT this is amazing, groundbreaking. Ned shows some decent parenting and actually calls Jessica out on her bullshit and gets snippy with Liz when she asks her dad to go up and talk to Jessica. Essentially, telling her father how to parent.

“Look Liz”, Ned Wakefield interrupted. “I know you have Jessica’s best interests at heart, but I don’t think your mother and I should have to bend to her every whim. First of all, you two are very different, and I just don’t think this is the kind of thing Jessica would be interested in.”

“But Dad, maybe if you just talked to her-”

Her father cut her off again. “No, Liz. We’ve always tried to raise you as individuals. Jessica can make up her own mind, and you have to start realizing that. There are lots of times when we do things for Jessica that don’t suit you. If Jess wants to come along, fine, but I’m not going to beg her.”

Hallelujah! So basically the trial happens and it’a all about family values, blah blah blah. Liz talks to Ricky and gives him saintly advice about his family and all is solved blah. Sorry I kinda skimmed that part.

Meanwhile, Jessica is all poor me and distances herself with her friends. She notices Nicky Shepard, who we never heard of before this and of course he notices Jessica. Nicky has a shitty homelife and is planning on running away to San Francisco. I thought that in the eighties, you ran away to San Fran to come out. Jess plans on joining him. Boo fucking hoo.

Jessica write a letter to Elizabeth for the purpose of her finding it and coming to beg her to come home. It’s pretty dumb, but the p.s. is priceless: “p.s., you can have my jeans because they make me look fat”. Jess continues to take the bus and gets more and more upset that her family doesn’t come to stop her. Turns out the letter fell behind the dresser.

She actually gets on the bus to San Fran and no one chases after her HAHAHAHA! Plus she’s stuck talking to an elderly woman. Because no one ever grows old and gross in Sweet Valley. Finally the family finds out and they go apeshit looking for her. Steven and Liz find her at the next bus station and BEG her to come home. Why did they give in to her manipulation and continue to kiss her ass? if I were them I’d be pissed at what a brat she’s been.

After she gets home, the Wakefields have a long talk. That’s exactly what the book says. They don’t even tell us what the talk was about– which is kind of important. Did they apologize profusely to Jess? or did they tell her to stop acting like a brat?

Meanwhile she stops giving a shit about Nicky Shepard, and he is never mentioned, he is probably living on the streets of San Fran now. That would be an awesome spin off.

Grade: C+