November 2, 2009

SVH #8, Heart Breaker: Why Does the Crazy Girl Always Attract All the Guys?

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 5:53 pm by Jenn

Heartbreaker

The artist could at least try to make these two look 16

Summary: Jessica has sunken her claws into Bill the surfer, even though she doesn’t actually like him – she wants revenge for a time when he rejected her. They’re spending a lot of time together, since they’re starring opposite each other in the school play, and Jessica has Bill wrapped around her finger. Basically, when she says, “Jump,” he says, “How high? For how long? Can I get you anything while I’m up here?” Bill is also teaching shy DeeDee Gordon how to surf, and because he’s doing so much with Jessica, he has no idea that DeeDee’s in love with him. Jessica can see it, but DeeDee isn’t beautiful and popular, so obviously she’s collateral damage in Jessica’s revenge-seeking plan.

Bill saves DeeDee from drowning and realizes he’s fallen in love with her, so he dumps Jessica (at a party, in front of everyone, so way to go, Bill!), which means she’ll probably go for an even sicker revenge plot in the future. In the end, Bill is happy, DeeDee is happy, and Jessica is alone. So sad.

There are three B plots, only one of which is actually kind of interesting. In the first, Elizabeth is jealous of Todd’s ex-girlfriend, Patsy, who’s just moved to town and who he’s spending a lot of time with. It’s a typical I-think-my-boyfriend-is-in-love-with-someone-else-but-I’m-too-chicken-to-say-anything plot, and Elizabeth comes away from it looking as dumb as Jessica. In the second B plot, which is pretty brief, Jessica thinks DeeDee’s father, a Hollywood agent, is going to peg her as the next big thing in Hollywood. She’s wrong, and Bill gets that honor, so Jessica loses again. Awesome. In the third, semi-interesting B plot, Roger Barrett is in love with Lila but she thinks he’s a loser. Elizabeth discovers that Roger is secretly working as a janitor (read: he’s POOR) and agrees not to tell anyone.

Thoughts: Bill might be my new favorite character. He rejects Jessica twice and doesn’t seem to care that he could suffer her wrath. She’s the bratty child who wants her way and he’s the parent who’s putting his foot down and not letting her get away with murder. Supernanny fans, we could all learn a lot from Bill Chase. And even if he turns out to be a serial killer or something in the future, he’s already put up with enough from having to hang out with Jessica, so I think we can cut him some slack.

I know where the Roger stuff is going, and I have a feeling Lila’s going to be getting her own comeuppance. Funny how, at least in the Sweet Valley Twins series, Lila was always considered the spoiled brat and the quintessential mean girl, but from my reading, Jessica’s the one who’s nastier. Not that Lila doesn’t deserve being put in her place herself.

The teens at SVH are putting on Splendor in the Grass. Is that really an appropriate play for high-schoolers? I mean, we weren’t even allowed to do Grease in high school. Maybe Sweet Valley is a lot more liberal than I thought.

I have to ask, what’s up with Jessica and the number 137? In the first eight books of the series, she’s used it about 137 times. Maybe I should start keeping track of how many times it pops up.

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