A 30-something's lovingly sarcastic journey through all of Sweet Valley High, and then some (with lots of swears)

#19 Showdown

This is the most disappointing book I have read yet. I wasn’t really expecting much from the others, but I couldn’t wait to get into a good old catfight. Nope! Not only is the cover a sickening shade of Pepto-Bismol vomit (which unfortunately doesn’t show up well here), but it’s totally misleading. Jessica and Lila never actually confront each other and … oh, let’s just get into it already.
Jessica hoes herself out to Lila’s new love interest, construction worker Jack Howard, right in front of Lila at Lila’s thousandth party this year, and Lila just gets annoyed. Come on, bitch-slap a ho! Jack agrees to go out with Jessica when Lila isn’t listening. He makes out wildly with J on their romantic beach date, and names a fucking star after her. Jessica is amazed that he isn’t trying to get in her panties, as am I. Come on, she practically offered him her vag at Lila’s party!
Jack promises to break up with Lila that weekend but instead spends the whole weekend with her. Jessica pouts and Jack says he just had a hard time because she was so upset or something. Jessica buys it because she is a complete moron and they make out some more and probably do a little finger banging. Gross, I’m grossing myself out. Okay, so then …
Lila gets more serious with Jack and he winds up asking her to marry him. The scene is ridiculous as Lila gets all giddy about her new fiance and then barely appears to shed a tear when Liz finally informs her what is really going down. WTF? Of course, maybe she did cry, and we were just robbed of that scene.
Jack turns out to be a knife-wielding drug user (pills and pot! oh my!) who likes to rob girls at knifepoint. We first become aware of this when Nicholas’s old richie school friend, David Matson, visits and thinks he knows Jack. Then he remembers and tells them the story. They rush to save Jessica and there she is with Jack’s knife to her throat.
Now, what’s the aftermath of all this? Well, the Wakefields just laugh off Jessica’s nearly getting killed. Her parents don’t appear to be even remotely upset at how close they came to having only one twin, nor do they even get mad at the fact that their jailbait is hanging out at some 19 year old’s place. Maybe my parents are the only ones who weren’t chill about that shit, who knows.
Here are some other things I said WTF about: Jack steals Mr. Fowler’s cufflinks collection, never has any money while he’s with Jess, and has red eyes all the time, yet no one guesses he’s not what he says he is. Oh yeah, not to mention he’s a CONSTRUCTION WORKER who wears nice clothes. Well, he did make up a story about leaving his wealthy family to strike it out on his own, which is why Lila finds him acceptable. It turns out his little sister died and he went crazy afterwards, or something like that. I’m too lazy right now to go dig out the book and find out.
There is a tickle fight between the twins which grosses me out.
The subplot is ridiculous. Penny Ayala’s little sister, Tina the freshman, takes mysterious “photos” anonymously for the Oracle and leaves it at the office while Penny is sick. Liz finds out it’s Tina; Tina explains Penny would just make fun of her if she knew. Of course, one of the photos is of George Warren making out with Robin Wilson which segues into our next book. Tina confesses to Penny, Penny of course is delighted and Liz angrily confronts the CHEATERS all CHEATERS TV show style … yeah no but that would be hilarious! George promises to tell Enid when he takes her up for her first (and last) flight with him. (Robin has already broken up with Allen.) Liz agrees to keep quiet until then, but is tormented. And so you also have the lead-in to the next book … can you guess what might make this break-up a thousand times worse?
The back of the book has the same shit as the last one, with the Caitlin preview and all.
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Comments on: "#19 Showdown" (1)

  1. I absolutely love this blog! I am 34 and loved reading svh when I was around 10 to 12. I was looking online because I was interested in reading them again but I found this which is even better! Love your writing. I never really realized back then how stupid some of the plots were…I got a warped impression of HS at a young age!

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