December 30, 2013

SVU #10, No Means No: Elizabeth is More Awesome Than We Were Led to Believe

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:27 pm by Jenn

Jessica has hot dog legs

Jessica has hot dog legs

Summary: Jessica is nothing if not persistent, as she’s still determined to pledge Theta, even though Alison almost got her arrested. She’s also still trying to get with James the football player, who is slowly becoming creepier and creepier. Now that the charges against her have been dropped and she’s dating someone respectable, Jess thinks she can get in good with Alison. She’s wrong, because Alison is a mean girl. She goes to the Theta house for a party, and when Alison announces that she’s not allowed to repledge, since she didn’t technically complete the challenge to steal the book, Jess outs her for calling the police on her. The Thetas agree to vote on whether Jess can repledge.

Alex overhears Alison and Peter congratulating themselves for calling security on Jessica, which is all the proof anyone needs that Jessica was set up. When the vote is held, half the Theta sisters want Jessica out. Alex to the rescue! She arrives just in time to reveal that Alison set Jessica up. Even though Jessica’s never done anything to help her, and even though she herself is barely still a Theta, Alex leads the charge to allow Jessica to repledge.

Since the Thetas don’t want two sisters who can’t get along, Magda (the president) announces that Jessica gets to decide whether or not Alison can stay in the sorority. Jessica is thrilled to have this kind of power, and I kind of can’t blame her. Of course she wants Alison out, but Isabella and Denise point out that it’s punishment enough just making her wait for the verdict. Eventually Jessica decides that Alison can stay in the sorority, but she has to wait tables in Jessica’s place one night. Not nearly a fair punishment, in my opinion, but whatever.

Back to James. Someone warns Jessica that he turns into a different person when he’s been drinking, but our Jess was never one for noticing red flags. James asks her to dinner at the Mountain Lodge Inn, which is a few miles from SVU, up a winding mountain road. At dinner, he drinks a lot, and Jessica gets more and more turned off.

Through the book, Elizabeth has been working on a class project with a girl named Maia, but they’re not working well together. Elizabeth thinks they should write about how SVU needs a policy on consensual sex. (I’m not sure how such a policy would work – don’t you just tell everyone, “Don’t rape people”? Or would they have to sign a pledge not to rape people?) For a writer, Elizabeth isn’t very observant, as Maia keeps making comments about how she hates athletes and is clearly uncomfortable with the topic of rape, but Liz doesn’t catch on. Not even when Maia sees James, gets spooked, and runs off.

Eventually Maia confides in Elizabeth that she was raped. Elizabeth urges her to talk to someone, but Maia’s worried that she’ll be blamed. Maia even holds off for a while on telling Elizabeth who the rapist is, but when she does, it’s at the worst possible time: It was James, and he’s out with Jessica. They’re even at the same restaurant where he ate with Maia before he raped her. He pulled off at a lookout on their way home and assaulted her.

While Elizabeth tries to get in touch with Tom to drive her to the Mountain Lodge Inn (he knows the roads better than she does, and she thinks it would be safer), Jessica keeps refusing drinks from James. By the way, William is still doing that thing where he sneaks out of the institution, stalks Elizabeth, and – remember, she’s completely unobservant – doesn’t get caught. So he knows she’s looking for Tom, but he doesn’t know why. She takes off, and someone comes to the library to ask if anyone left him a message. He gets the news that Elizabeth wants to meet him at the Mountain Lodge Inn. He says he’s Tom, but William knows he’s not.

After dinner, James and Jessica head back down the mountain. This is after Jessica realizes that he’s not doing too well, and tries to call Elizabeth to pick her up. They pull off at a lookout as Elizabeth heads up the mountain, unknowingly followed by William. At the lookout, James tries to rape Jessica, who manages to fight him off. Then things get awesome: Elizabeth spots their car, grabs a wrench from her glove compartment, and smashes James’ window. Then she grabs him by his tie and uses it to pin him to the side of the car while Jessica gets in the twins’ Jeep.

When the twins get back to campus, Elizabeth tries to convince Jessica that the assault wasn’t her fault. However, she decides not to tell her that she knows James has already raped at least one person. She sensed someone else on the mountain with them (mystery library message retriever, not William), but doesn’t know who he was. Then someone leaves Jessica’s purse (which she’d left at the restaurant) outside their door; inside it is a card for a taxi service.

Lila and Bruce? Still stranded in the mountains, with wolves gathering. Also, no food or water. And it’s cold. Basically, the opposite of the ideal situation. Lila shows some awesomeness by fighting off a wolf with a flare gun, and she and Bruce are getting closer to their inevitable future romp in the sack, so there’s that. Also, he’s turned on by looking at her legs. Who knew Bruce was a leg man? Lila claims to know survival skills because she tagged along on a trip with her father and some executives to the Bolivian jungle. (Which I call bull on – I’ve been there, and no way could she last 30 minutes.)

The survivalists hear a helicopter, but when Lila tries to signal it with the flare gun, she discovers that Bruce didn’t reload it, despite having claimed to. They fight. Aww, it’s like they’re married already. Lila refuses to use her Bolivian jungle skills to snare food, claiming that she doesn’t want to kill anyone, so Bruce says he’ll use his mad fishing skills from the times he went fishing in Nova Scotia. Both of them are lying about their abilities, but Bruce’s lies almost get him killed – he tries to fish in some rapids, trips, falls in the water, and almost drowns. Lila has to save him.

Bruce and Lila would probably kill each other for food if he didn’t have a fever. Lila realizes that without medical attention, food, or water, he’s pretty much toast, so she sets aside their rivalry to take care of him. She later decides to try to go for help, but she’s not in great shape herself, and she ends up having a weird daydream about her dead husband and Bruce. Then Bruce shows up, desperate for her to stay with him, so she calls off her trip to find help.

But then things start looking up. Lila finds some stuff on the plane that she can use for a fire and to hold water. She also finds a stream with fish in it, so that takes care of their lack of food and water. The Lila/Bruce part of this book ends with Lila fishing naked, then lying down with Bruce to keep him warm with her body heat. Someday they’ll tell their children this story. No, wait – someday they’ll tell their servants to tell the children this story.

In other news, Elizabeth is still a virgin. She and Tom keep approaching the edge of having sex, but she’s spooked by the thought of getting pregnant or catching an STD, so she keeps putting the brakes on. Tom is annoyed because he claims she sends him mixed signals. They discuss this a couple different times, but Liz pretty much wins the debate with the point that the victim sometimes gets blamed, which isn’t fair.

Alex has turned into a party girl, drinking to the point of passing out all the time and sometimes waking up in bed with someone else (often Todd). She decides to try to get clean. There’s this guy she likes, Noah, and she makes a clumsy fool of herself in front of him, which embarrasses her enough to make her want to drink again.

Alex has no friends, so she calls a campus hotline to talk to a peer counselor. The guy she talks to calls himself T Squared, since he’s on line 22 (22 = twenty-two = two Ts = T Squared). She tells him her name is Enid, since she feels more like that version of herself than like super-hot, sophisticated Alex. T Squared is super-nice and helpful, and they really hit it off. Anyone who doesn’t get right away that T Squared is Noah, you are too young for this book and should stick to Dr. Seuss. Also, Alex decides to ditch Todd, since he’s still a partying mess.

After embarrassing herself in front of Noah again, Alex starts feeling really sorry for herself. She feels like she did in high school when she got rid of her pot and pills and went into withdrawal. Then she realizes that that’s exactly what’s happening now – she’s clumsy and awkward because she’s quitting alcohol cold turkey. Alex calls T Squared to share her revelation and confide that she has a crush on a guy who thinks she’s a dork. He tells her to tell the guy how she feels. But since he clearly has to be Noah, we know she’s technically already told him how she feels.

Thoughts: “I’m the last one to give out fashion advice, but you’ve been wearing a lot of this big and baggy stuff lately. Have you gained ten pounds that nobody knows about?” Wow. Screw you, Elizabeth. Especially since you recently gained at least the freshman 15.

“Sometimes you say no when you mean yes.” Screw you, too, Tom.

There’s a typo calling T Squared “T Square,” which cracks me up.

“It was one thing to get a little tipsy at a fraternity party – but getting drunk in a restaurant seemed utterly gross.” That’s like Cher saying it’s only okay to smoke pot at parties.

Maia thinks she led James on by wearing a backless dress. I don’t…I…just…no words.

Jessica gets in James’ car after he’s been drinking because she’s afraid her reputation would take a hit if she asked someone at the restaurant to arrange a ride for her. Yes, that would definitely be more horrible than you dying in a fiery car crash.

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1 Comment »

  1. catherine said,

    “our Jess was never one for noticing red flags”

    Hehehehehehe. Understatement of the year!


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