January 14, 2012
SVH #112, Jessica Quits the Squad: Bring It On
Summary: Jessica is over Jeremy and ready to move on with Ken Matthews. Then we get a total retcon: While Todd was in Vermont, Elizabeth and Ken secretly dated. They never told anyone because Ken was Todd’s best friend, and I guess because Elizabeth is supposed to be so perfect and pure that she would never be with anyone other than Todd (Jeffrey who?). So despite not mentioning the relationship in the previous 60+ books since Todd returned (except in Elizabeth’s Secret Diary, Volume 1, which I have no desire to deal with), Elizabeth is suddenly not sure she’s really over Ken.
Jessica is completely oblivious to this, and distracted by something else anyway: There’s a new girl at school named Heather Mallone, and everyone loves her, except Jessica. Heather is gorgeous, friendly, and good at everything. Oh, and she’s a total bitca. Heather is a fantastic cheerleader, and everyone on the squad wants her to join, but Jessica doesn’t like her. She basically hazes Heather, but everything backfires and Heather passes all her little tests. Then Robin Wilson moves away, leaving Jessica the only captain, and everyone elects Heather as her cocaptain.
Jessica and Heather continue their subtle rivalry, which grows more and more as Heather tries to take over the cheerleading squad. She’s convinced the girls that she can take them to nationals. One day when Jessica’s out sick, Heather kicks Maria and Sandy off the squad, which makes Jessica even madder. However, Heather’s basically a drill sergeant, and Jessica realizes that she just needs to wait things out until everyone else decides they don’t want to work with her. Unfortunately, Heather is also a bit of a cult leader and has everyone willing to do whatever she wants them to do. The last straw comes when Heather has the girls perform a cheer Jessica doesn’t know at a football game. Just like the title says, Jessica quits the squad.
Elizabeth spends the whole book also being a bitca, trying to convince Jessica that she and Ken are all wrong for each other because she can’t stand seeing her sister with the guy she thinks she might still be in love with. Ken appears to be completely over Liz, though, and really interested in Jessica. Jessica finds a photo of Elizabeth and Ken together, then reads Liz’s diary and learns about their secret relationship. So now she’s ticked, which probably means that in the next book, the fur is going to fly.
Thoughts: Robin moves because her father got transferred to Colorado, but we know from previous books that Robin’s parents are divorced and she lives with her mother, so her dad moving wouldn’t affect her. Nice try, ghostwriter.
In most books, Heather would be likable and Jessica’s attitude toward her would be unreasonable. But Heather’s really annoying and I hate her, so I’m on Jessica’s side.
Ken barely seems to remember being with Elizabeth. It would be awesome if it turns out she imagined the whole thing.
I’d love to see the girls try to make it to nationals with only six people on the squad.