Every now and again, I will catch my boyfriend rummaging through a small pile of my SVH books. He does this for his own great amusement, making fun of the covers and titles, and it’s kind of a riot to be honest with you. This week, we laughed and laughed about how the title of this book sounds like a porno flick and talked about whom we would cast. Later on, I was working on the computer and all of a sudden I heard him go, “Damn, Jessica’s a bitch!” I looked up in surprise to find him reading the back of this book and shaking his head. So, because he was so very interested in this particular book, I solicited Eric to offer his thoughts on the plot, too! (No, I didn’t make him read the story!)
Jessica and A.J. Morgan have been dating since book 49 and they are in love, but the ghostwriters have made it clear that Jessica is too much of a flirt/cocktease to stay with just one man. But even Jessica doesn’t realize this yet; in fact, she thinks she’s going to DIE when A.J. goes away to Texas for all of three days. She is so upset that she can’t even properly congratulate A.J. on winning some stupid essay contest (subject: “Sweet Valley in the Year 2000” … ba ha ha) sponsored by the Sweet Valley Samaritans Club. In fact, she didn’t even READ his essay, and just wanted him to enter because if he wins, he’ll be crowned King of the Citizens’ Day Ball at the Country Club, and he’ll get to choose Jessica as his Queen … alright, hold up. Who gets made a king of a dance for winning an essay contest? What the fuck? In case you’re wondering how A.J. won instead of Liz, we get a convenient explanation of Liz thinking to herself that she thinks she’ll sit this contest out. How amusing is it that they knew we’d be wondering why Liz didn’t win?
With A.J. gone, Jessica proves to be the type of annoying sad sack she bitches about her couply friends being. She’s really, really terrible. UGH. She is completely melodramatic and whiny, bitching at Amy, Cara, and Lila for not going out of their way to cheer her up. She sits out some party Ken Matthews is throwing because A.J. can’t come. She’s just a general pain-in-the-ass. She even wanders out into the ocean, convincing herself that her friends wouldn’t care if she drowned. At this point her thoughts are verging on suicidal and I’m wondering what the fuck point is supposed to be made by this. Eric says: “Who cares, I wish she did drown.”
Jessica’s friends leave her alone at the beach to mope and feel sorry for herself while they go off to the Dairi Burger. And by that, I mean that Jess voluntarily chooses to stay behind and think about how much her life sucks! I keep waiting for Nicky Shepard to appear and ask her if she’s ready to reconsider moving to San Fran with him. Instead, a surfer she’s been watching, named Christopher (no last name) walks up and asks her out for that night. Jessica decides the best cure for her blues is to have dinner with this guy rather than fucking going to the Dairi Burger and shit. She rationalizes the whole situation in her head, telling herself it’s just dinner even though Christopher is all about telling her how hot she is. She goes home to get ready for dinner and Liz starts asking questions about where she’s going, and Jess knows she has to hide the truth. “Her twin would no doubt bring up ethical issues and problems, like whether this dinner was an actual date and if Jessica was planning to let A.J. know about it.” Hehe, well, if Liz did bring that up, she’d be a hypocrite and a half. To avert suspicion, Jess tells Liz that she’s going out to eat with a person she met on the beach named “Chris.” Liz is so dumb she thinks Jessica just met a new girl friend to hang out with. This is further proof to me that Elizabeth doesn’t really know her sister.
Christopher takes Jessica to some restaurant outside of Sweet Valley called the Casa Sur (which means the “South House”!). They have a great meal and make out on the beach, and Christopher is already obsessed with Jess and insists on taking her out again the next day. They spend all the next day together, walking around downtown Pacific Shores (another random town). Christopher buys Jessica a huge bouquet of roses and a stuffed baby seal, and they make out some more instead of going to Ken’s party. Then he wants to see her again the next day, but Jess still hasn’t told him about A.J., and A.J. is coming back to Sweet Valley early the next afternoon. Rather than just ditch Christopher now, Jessica misses her chance and goes ahead and agrees to see him in the morning on the Sweet Valley beach. So she shows up to the beach, tells him she has a boyfriend, and walks away. Wow, way to waste his time. Eric says: “This girl is stupid.” A.J. comes home and Jessica is sure her secret is safe for her to pine over while trying to force herself to pretend she still loves A.J. She knows she’s just hanging in there so she can win the stupid ass crown and all that.
Christopher ignores Jessica’s command never to call her or see her again, and starts calling her nonstop, at first acting nice but then threatening to tell A.J. about them if she doesn’t see him again. He sends flowers to the school out of nowhere, and Jessica runs into A.J. while she’s holding them. She has to give them to Cara and make her pretend that Steven sent them for her. (Cara is hella confused.) Christopher starts showing up in the Dairi Burger parking lot and following Jess around. And Jessica never told him she had an identical twin, so sometimes he follows Liz around, like when she’s in the mall bookstore with her little sister (from the last book). Then Jessica is at A.J.’s house helping him wash his car, which is for sale, so that some dude can show up and look at it. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the dude is Christopher. Christopher acts like he’s never met Jessica, but then when A.J.’s mom calls him back in the house to talk to another potential buyer on the phone, Jessica has to go with Christopher on his test drive. Christopher drives pretty fast (like 75 mph on the freeway – big deal), swerves around in a parking lot, and drives super fast toward a brick building, threatening to crash the car unless she agrees to go back out with him that Saturday. (Reminds me of Tarantino’s Death Proof!) Jess says okay just to stay alive and all, but she knows she can’t really go out with him, because that’s the night of the Citizens’ Day Ball. She goes home all shaken up and finally tells Liz why she’s been acting so weird the past week. Liz says Jessica can stop the whole thing by telling A.J. the truth so that Christopher can’t blackmail her into dates (and who knows what else) anymore. Even though Jessica is terrified of Christopher, she decides not to tell A.J. until after the ball, because she’s afraid he won’t want her to be his queen anymore. So clearly, your life is not as important as being crowned on stage, dancing in front of people, and getting your picture in the paper. Lesson learned. Meanwhile, Liz seems to think there’s nothing seriously wrong with Christopher, he just can’t take a hint, that’s all. “He’s not a psycho, Jess.” Sure, his actions thus far have been very reasonable. I know when I can’t get what I want from somebody, I try to kill us both by driving head-on into a brick wall.
The night of the dance, Jessica bows out of her date with Christopher by pretending to have strep throat. She really thinks that has gotten rid of her stalker once and for all. She goes to the dance and waits inside with A.J. for the crowning ceremony to start. Meanwhile, Liz and Jeffrey dance outside and Christopher walks up out of nowhere and cuts in. Liz decides it’s best to pretend to be Jess, because if she doesn’t, Jess will have her night ruined and will lose out on being Queen of the ball. These chicks are hopeless. Liz keeps giving the Jeffrey the “OK” sign as she dances with Christopher, and he just steps back and takes it, even when she walks off into the woods with Christopher. Jeffrey is worried, so he runs inside to find Jess to help, but – I’m SERIOUS – she declines to look for Liz, because she’s afraid she’ll miss being crowned Queen! Eric says: “Wait, let me get my crown first … and then we’ll look for my sister … gee, hope she’s not off getting raped!” She tells herself she’s sure Liz is just fine even though she’s obviously unsure of her thoughts, and Jeffrey’s just like, ok, and walks away. When did Jeffrey lose his spine? I don’t remember him being this wimpy before. Todd would’ve like, shoved Jess into a bowl of punch to get her attention.
So while Jess is anxiously awaiting her fucking plastic-sequined dime-store crown, Liz is being dragged off to Christopher’s car at knifepoint. He ties her up and shoves her into his trunk. She is freaking out because she’s being brought back to the events of book 13 when she was kidnapped, as opposed to the more recent incidents of books 51, ST 1, ST 2, ST 3, and whenever else this shit happened! Eric says: “Oh I get it! I get it! [Jessica] is, ‘She’s always been through this before, so it’s okay, she’s used to it.’ [Jessica’s] crafty. That’s a smart girl.” But then Jessica’s magical twin intuition fires up and she knows something truly awful is happening to her twin, so she sprints out of the ball and stops Christopher from driving off with Liz by throwing herself right on his hood. She and Jeffrey overpower Christopher, who’s very confused, and save Liz. Christopher moans Jessica’s name before being knocked out, and Liz weakly tells Jess to go get her fucking crown before it’s too late. Eric says: “WHAT – THE – FUCK??” Then some security guards rush up all, “What’s that scream we heard?” and Jess is, “Oh, my sister’s back there and she can tell you what happened. I’m off to get my crown!” Eric says: “Yes, my sister’s back there, with her tattered clothes. She’s the girl that looks like me after I’ve been beaten, sobbing hysterically. Gotta go!” A.J. and Jessica are crowned King and Queen and dance while Jessica cries because she knows she has to break up with him, which she does. A.J. doesn’t find out about Christopher, so he’s saved that devastation, but he is still upset of course. Yet he readily agrees Jessica just wasn’t meant to be a one-man woman and they assure one another they’ll never forget their love. I can see why Jessica is such a sociopath. She never has to answer for her actions because people just don’t think she should. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the Wakefield parents have to say about this? They never find out. It would just be too upsetting for them to know, so the twins agree not to say anything. I guess the twins will find a way to keep this incident out of the newspaper! Eric says, “But why would the local news want to ruin Jessica’s special day by putting that in the paper?”
So that was Two-Boy Weekend. Man. Nobody can break up “just because” ’round these parts, can they?
The sub-plot: None at all.
The cover … yeah, I don’t really have anything to say. Jess looks pretty, but can she please get a new hairdo? Christopher … does not look like he was worth cheating on A.J. I mean, his hairline is receding … something he and Jess have in common.
WTF? We’re really supposed to believe that A.J. is the first guy Jessica has truly fallen in love with. More evidence that “Jessica is in real love with Jean-Claude” was just an excuse for Elizabeth to wimp out and cover for her back in France that one time.
We’re also supposed to believe this is the kind of thing that Liz would never do, that Jessica is having an appalling lapse in ethics by cheating while hiding her relationship from the other man. But this is the sort of thing Liz did first. Eric Hankman anybody?
So why was the stupid ball so important to Jessica, other than her just being Jess? Because it had been such a long time since she had any real attention on her! Yes, all the way back to her winning the fashion show that got A.J. to want to bone her so bad in the first place.
I have no idea if this book was supposed to be a warning to teens on stalking or obsessive mentally abusive boyfriends, or what. Eric says: “Uh … young girls were reading this?” If so, it failed miserably. The worst part is probably how many times we got it drummed into our heads that Jessica was powerless against her stalker because it’s more important to maintain her social standing rather than you know, her life … or her sister’s life. Oh, and what happens to Christopher after he gets arrested? Well, he immediately confesses to everything and begs for help. It turns out he has mental problems. And he just readily admits to everything so that he can become a productive member of society again. You see, he’s not really that bad a guy … he just couldn’t help it, but he knows it, so it’s okay that he terrorized two young women like this! Gee, that seems to happen with every crime. The would-be killer (or flat-out killer) isn’t such a bad dude. He’s rehabilitated within seconds of the police catching him; that’s all it takes for him to do a complete 180 and feel sorry for his actions. Welcome to Sweet Valley, where even the bad guys are good guys.
Is it terrible of me to secretly hope that since the twins couldn’t bother to tell Ned and Alice about Christopher, that he will show up on their doorstep looking for Jess one day, and they’ll just let him in to hide in her closet or something because they didn’t have a clue?
Next up: Shelley Novak needs a date for a dance but is too tall, or some shit.