October 29, 2009

SVH #5, All Night Long: “Strangling Was Too Good for Jessica, She Decided”

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , at 12:59 pm by Jenn


That is one glorious mustache, am I right?

Summary: Jessica falls for Scott Daniels, a college guy with a mesmerizing mustache and no redeeming qualities. She goes to the beach with him (telling her parents she’s going somewhere with Cara Walker), and after he spends some time drinking and smoking pot with his friends, they go off alone together. Scott proceeds to basically attempt to rape Jessica, who whines so much that she scares him off. However, Jessica’s stuck with a bunch of drunk/high fools, so she can’t get home in time to take a test at school that will allow her to be a “tourist guide.” Elizabeth, still suffering from a raging case of doormat syndrome, agrees to cover for Jessica, which requires pretending to be her. Unsurprisingly, it works and Jessica suffers no consequences for her actions, AGAIN. Except poison oak. NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

The beyond-pointless B plot has to do with a surfing competition that involves Bill Chase. Yawn.

Thoughts: Seriously, Elizabeth has absolutely no spine. I don’t get why she cares whether or not Jessica gets busted for lying to their parents. Elizabeth constantly disagrees with what Jessica does, but she never does anything remotely close to making sure Jessica will change. Classic enabler. I think Jessica’s whining has special brain-melting powers. Actually, people just do whatever she wants so she’ll shut up already.

Jessica’s stupidity is at code orange in this book. Her dumbest move isn’t even riding in a car with a possibly under-21-year-old while he drinks a beer. No, her dumbest move is thinking. When Scott pressures her to have sex, she blames Elizabeth for not talking her out of going out with him. Then she tries to get Scott to back off by saying she’ll tell her parents he tried to rape her if he doesn’t take her home. That works about as well as you’d expect. Scott starts to leave Jessica at the boathouse of bubbling desires, but she tells him not to go because she has no way of getting home without him. And he basically holds her hostage by not giving her a ride home. So…good taste in men, there, Jess.

Elizabeth’s stupidity is slightly less prevalent, but she still has her moments. She wants to pretend to be Jessica and take the “tourist-guide” test (seriously, ghostwriter: “tour guide”), and when Todd tries to talk her out of it, she accuses him of being jealous. Say what? And speaking of jealousy and people’s apparent unfamiliarity with it, when Elizabeth passes her test and “Jessica” fails, Jessica accuses Elizabeth of flunking on purpose beacuse she’s jealous of Jessica and Scott. Yes, Jessica, Elizabeth is insanely jealous of Tom Selleck’s younger, skeezier brother. We all are.

Like I said, the surfing competition really serves no purpose, except it gives Todd something to do. We also find out that Bill bought Todd’s surfboard (a gift from his parents – nice one, Todd), which provided Todd with the money to buy a motorcycle, something that will show up again in the next book. That must be either an especially expensive surfboard (purchased by an insanely rich high schooler) or a really cheap motorcycle (also purchased by a high schooler). Either way, that sale makes no sense to me.

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