January 2, 2018

SVT #117, Down With Queen Janet!: No, Seriously, Why Is This Girl So Popular?

Posted in books tagged , at 4:48 pm by Jenn

Horrible girl, cute necklace

Summary: The school year is, miraculously, coming to an end. For real. Janet will soon be moving on to high school, and she’s been asked to give a speech at the eighth-graders’ graduation ceremony. I have a feeling that the students were asked to vote for the speaker they wanted, and they all voted for Janet out of fear for their lives. Janet’s excited about the speech, and about the huge party her parents are letting her throw to celebrate the end of the school year.

She enlists Jessica to “help” with the party planning, which really means that Janet comes up with ideas and makes Jessica write them down and do all the work. The food will be from a local barbecue joint, which seems very unglamorous for Janet, but what do I know? Again, everyone’s so scared of Janet that I’m sure they’ll gush about how wonderful the party was, even if they all wind up with food poisoning.

Janet has been meaner than usual (which I didn’t think was possible), and when Lois Waller spills her lunch on Janet in the cafeteria, she ends up humiliated in front of a bunch of people. Elizabeth stands up for Lois, which just makes Janet turn on her, as well as Sophia. Jess thinks Janet has gone too far, but she’s not about to say anything and become Janet’s next victim.

Elizabeth suddenly wants to befriend Lois, despite never paying much attention to her before. Lois confides that she and Janet were best friends when they were kids, but when Janet started middle school, she was suddenly too cool for Lois. Liz is furious that Janet could treat a former friend so badly, and she wants Janet to be punished. She convinces a very reluctant Lois to throw her own party the same night as Janet’s.

Liz is even more sure of her decision when Janet goes on a rampage of meanness and uninvites various people from her party for dumb reasons. Everyone Janet turns on gets invited to Lois’ party instead. Janet just mocks them all, since they’re a bunch of losers she wouldn’t want to hang out with anyway. Elizabeth tries to drum up support for Lois’ party, but no one wants to get on Janet’s bad side, so they’re still going. They don’t seem to care that Janet’s such a horrible person. I mean, she’s going to have a cool band! It’ll be worth possibly being ripped to shreds in front of the whole school!

Things come close to boiling over when Elizabeth tells Jess she should come to Lois’ party. After all, Janet has been mean to Elizabeth, and Jessica needs to stand up for her sister. Jess thinks that Liz is just trying to be noble, and hasn’t realized that having the party at Lois’ isn’t the way to confront the problem. If no one comes to Lois’ party, she’ll just feel worse than she already does. Liz is the only one who will feel better. This is exactly right, but Liz doesn’t see it. She tells Jess that if she doesn’t come to Lois’ party instead of Janet’s, Liz might never forgive her.

On party night, it looks like Jessica’s prediction might come true, as no one shows up to Lois’ house. But no one comes to Janet’s party either. People start arriving at Lois’, and the party turns into a pretty happening affair. Joe even wants to go, even though he’d implied that some high schoolers might come to Janet’s party. Eventually, Lois’ house is packed, while Janet’s is empty.

Jessica spends the early part of the evening trying to decide what to do. She knows Elizabeth is right, and she should stand up for her sister. But she also doesn’t want to endanger her friendship with Janet. She finally goes to Janet’s…but only to tell her that she’s going to Lois’ party. She’s chosen her sister over her so-called friend. It’s the right choice. I mean, Elizabeth may be boring, but at least she doesn’t criticize Jessica’s clothing.

But Lois feels bad for Janet. She still wants Janet to be happy, despite their ruined friendship and Janet’s behavior toward her. Lois goes to Janet’s house and tells her that if she wants to remain popular, she needs to be nicer to people. Janet admits to being scared about becoming a small fish in the big pond of Sweet Valley High School. Yeah, like that’s an excuse for being horrible to people. Lois invites Janet to her place, and they take the food and band over to Lois’ house to have a joint party.

Jessica writes Janet’s speech for graduation, but Janet ditches it and talks about how she’s only recently realized how important her friends are to her. I guess they all forgive her, possibly because she’s leaving the school soon and they won’t have to deal with her anymore. They probably also go back to ignoring Lois, at least until she throws another party. Middle schoolers are jerks.

Thoughts: Janet’s so obsessed with her party being perfect that Jessica thinks she’s acting like it’s her wedding. Ugh, imagine what a grade-A bridezilla Janet would be.

“There are two parties tonight? I didn’t realize that.” Alice Wakefield, mother of the year. Your daughters have only been fighting about this for a week.

Lois: “All you have to do is start treating them the way you want them to treat you.” Janet: “How do I do that?” Never mind, Lois. She’s too dumb to help.

“[Jessica] had wanted Janet to apologize, and she was glad Lois and Janet had found a way to work things out. But she didn’t want her to go through a major personality change!” Um, why not? She’s awful!

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