June 19, 2013
SVH #143, Party Weekend!: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching. Because They’re Not. Because You’re In the Dark
Summary: Apparently the weekend after prom has been designated Monster School Competition Weekend. There’s a big fair with all the local high schools, and then the juniors have their own competition. This year’s is a talent show; each school can only have a certain number of students involved, and they have two days to put together an act. Olivia has been elected SVH’s team captain. Of course, the other juniors on SVH’s team are all characters we know: the twins, Lila, Maria Slater, Winston, Ken, and Devon. Ken, Olivia, and Devon will do the behind-the-scenes work while the others will do a stupid group dance.
Things get off to a bad start. Jessica meets Erica, the captain of El Carro’s team, who’s a horrible shrew to both Jess and Olivia. Ken meets her and doesn’t think she’s that bad, so Olivia’s ticked that he doesn’t hate the same person she hates. Olivia’s totally a mouse through the book, and she thinks she’s not an “A-lister” like the twins and the other people involved with the act. It’s pathetic and annoying, and I never thought Olivia was this bad before.
Ken and Olivia’s relationship hits more rocks when Jessica “accidentally” spills grape juice on Erica, and Ken says Olivia should apologize. Wow, Ken’s annoying, too. Then he’s upset that Olivia won’t go to a dance celebrating the Monster School Competition Weekend. To be fair, they only have two days to get everything ready for the talent show, and Olivia’s making everyone’s costume, so Ken should probably shut up.
Jessica’s been having some tough times, too – the competition between the schools makes her think of Christian, whose death was the result of school rivalries. She also keeps thinking she sees him. The night of the dance, Jessica has a date with a guy named Josh, who goes to Palisades, Christian’s school. Josh brings a guy along when he picks up Jess, and he looks so much like Christian that it makes her faint. It turns out the guy is Christian’s never-before-mentioned brother, Jason, who was at boarding school when Christian died. Even after that drama, he’s barely mentioned again in the book.
Anyway, at the dance, a girl from El Carro tells Jessica that she should check out SVH’s practice room. Jessica thinks she’s being lured into a trap, so she ignores the girl. Then she changes her mind and finds the room destroyed. El Carro has vandalized a bunch of SVH’s stuff, including their props. The twins were using some stuff from their bedrooms as set dressing, and Liz had brought Christian’s surfboard along. Jessica’s devastated to see that it’s been ruined.
Jessica, Maria, and Lila decide to get revenge that night, but then Jessica has a dream (or possibly a hallucination) where Christian reminds her that vengeance can get out of hand and lead to violence. Jess tells Maria and Lila that the revenge plan is tabled, and they’re kind of hilariously ticked.
The SVH kids keep working on their act, and for some reason Jessica wants to make a grand entrance via rigging that will allow her to fly. I don’t know. The El Carro kids find out, and Erica schemes to cut the power during SVH’s act so Jessica will be stuck up high in the dark. Ken overhears and realizes that Olivia was right about Erica being a bitca. He tells Todd, who’s been randomly hanging around during the book.
Little does Ken know that Jessica isn’t going to do the entrance – Olivia is. Jessica gets sick at the last minute and convinces Olivia to take her place. Ken arrives just as the lights go out, and he manages to rescue his girlfriend. Now, of course, everything’s okay. A bunch of kids start fighting, so Jessica and Josh project a picture of Christian on a screen to remind them where violence can lead.
There’s some dumb stuff sprinkled in the story about the Liz/Devon/Todd triangle (Todd’s mad at Elizabeth, and kind of depressed all over the place), but it doesn’t go anywhere. Basically, Todd ends up feeling like an outcast because everyone else has bonded over the talent show and he didn’t participate. Also, Devon and Elizabeth got to spend time together, so he got the short straw there, too. Pretend you care.
Thoughts: I don’t get why this book is called Party Weekend! when there’s…no party.
Maybe schools in the area shouldn’t have big competitions anymore, considering all the violence that’s erupted due to school rivalries. Christian’s death wasn’t the only time the rivalries got out of hand; there was also the incident at Jungle Prom.
You know, I didn’t think about it with the last book, but why is Todd mad at Elizabeth? The twin switch didn’t involve lying to him. Shouldn’t he be happy about it, since it a) embarrassed Devon and b) allowed him to go to the prom with Liz?
Winston drives an orange VW Beetle. Of course he does.
Elizabeth: “Just don’t get carried away.” Jessica: “I’d love to see Erica and her team carried away – on stretchers!” Lame, Jess. You can do better.
After the SVH kids decide not to get revenge on El Carro, I don’t get why they don’t rat El Carro out for vandalism. Elizabeth admits later that she’d like to see them get disqualified, so…get them disqualified. I’m sure they want to compete and beat them, blah blah blah, but people who play that dirty shouldn’t be allowed to play anymore.
SVH didn’t even get to finish their performance, but the judges score the other schools anyway. Shenanigans! I call shenanigans!