November 20, 2010

SVH #66, Who’s to Blame?: In Which the Blogger Actually Feels Bad for Elizabeth

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 3:38 pm by Jenn

I know when I'm running away from home, I stop and pose, too

Summary: Elizabeth is all sad because Ned and Alice are separated, and it makes her want to only spend time at home (which ticks off Todd), forget appointments, and do badly in school. Of course, Ned and Alice don’t notice, and Jessica’s too self-centered to notice either. Elizabeth thinks she’s eventually going to ruin her relationship with Todd, so she breaks up with him and starts “playing the field,” which makes Jessica mad (since she’s taking all the eligible guys). There’s a big fight among the three Wakefield kids, and Steven and Jessica tell Elizabeth that they blame her for their parents’ breakup, since she gave out their phone number in Lake Tahoe, and that led to Alice leaving their vacation early.

Elizabeth doesn’t want to deal with the drama anymore, so she decides to run away. Only she sucks at running away, because she only goes as far as Enid’s house, and writes letters telling her family she’s with a friend, so they automatically figure out where she is. But this does lead to the Wakefields all having a conversation, and Jessica and Steven apologizing, and Alice assuring Elizabeth that she would have left even without her role in the situation (or maybe something not quite so harsh). Then Jessica pulls a twin switch, pretending to be Elizabeth to get back together with Todd, then having Elizabeth switch places with her.

Jessica’s having issues of her own – Alice got a huge phone bill and Jessica had to confess that she’s been calling that teen chat line and racking up hundreds of dollars. Alice suspends her allowance, so Jessica plays Mommy against Daddy, first asking Ned to fight the punishment, then getting money out of him for a new outfit. She needs this outfit because she wants to go out with Charlie, the guy she’s been talking to on the chat line who doesn’t seem to want to meet her.

When she does meet him, he’s boring, and completely different from the guy she talked to. That’s because he’s not actually Charlie, he’s Charlie’s friend Brook. Charlie confesses that he pulled a Truth About Cats and Dogs because he doesn’t think he’s good-looking enough for Jessica. (Turns out he’s right, at least in her book.) Jessica sets up a double-date with herself, the two guys, and Amy, so she can be seen in public with an uggo and not feel bad about it. But Brook, Charlie, and Amy all ignore her, so she decides she’s done with men. Yay, Jessica’s going to be a lesbian! No, not quite – she’s going to focus on Ned’s campaign for mayor so that when her father’s running the city, everyone will have to pay attention to her.

Thoughts: Elizabeth thinks something about her makes people mad at her. So I guess she’s been reading about herself on the Internet. (Actually, as the post title says, I felt bad for her in this book. She’s clearly struggling with her parents’ separation, and her family is no help. Not to mention Jessica and Steven are horrible to her.)

Lila has a rule that she never loans money to friends. I’m sure she loans to strangers and casual acquaintances all the time, though.

Really, Amy? You want to go from Bruce to Todd? You know he’s just going to talk about Elizabeth the whole time. (“Elizabeth always cut my meat up for me.” “Elizabeth and I always fed each other dessert.” “You just don’t throw a fork at my head the same way Elizabeth used to.”)


  1. corina said,

    “Yay, Jessica’s going to be a lesbian!”

    I almost killed myself laughing at this one! It’s brilliant 😀

  2. Kate said,

    I like the tear wipe on the cover. So poignant.

  3. Lara said,

    “You just don’t throw a fork at my head the same way Elizabeth used to.”

    I’m here at work, trying hard not to be caught, while reading blogs. but i can’t help laughing at this.

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