Someone Finally Tells Jessica She Sucks: Sweet Valley High #1 Chapters 10-11

"I don't know what that means gif"

[Matthew says: Nope! It’s not Monday again! Ariel is doing both Sweet Valley High posts this week and I’m doing both next week! Not because we’re bad at math or anything! Hahahaha! Not math!]

Chapter Ten

I know this is a stupid book. There’s no question about that, but this chapter really and truly depressed me.

Elizabeth runs into Todd, and it seems like they’re about to talk about everything when of course Jessica runs over and interrupts. Elizabeth, the most spineless person in the universe, just walks away when Jessica shows up. She doesn’t even say hi to her sister, she just runs off to leave those two crazy kids alone. [Matthew says: To be fair, if I had known Jessica for this long I’d probably just walk away when she shows up too.]

What follows is so stupid and so absurd, that I am truly embarrassed that it saddened me so much:

Jessica took a deep breath. “Todd, I can’t let this go on. Elizabeth is my sister. I love her! Todd—it wasn’t Elizabeth at Kelly’s.”

“It wasn’t?”

“No. Todd, it was me!”

“What?”

“Yes. Me. My sister is not going to be blamed for this thing. It’s not fair!”

Jessica was totally amazed at what happened next. Todd Wilkins stared deeply into her eyes for a long moment, then slowly shook his head as though in wonder.

“I’ve never heard anything so noble,” he finally said.

“What?”

“You’d take the blame for your sister? Jessica, I don’t think I’ve ever known how truly special you are until this moment.”

You could say what you want about the last chapter and how no one even entertains the possibility that it was Jessica and not Elizabeth who got herself into a pickle with the police. But for Todd to completely reject the truth for no discernable reason is completely baffling to the mind. If he originally trusted Elizabeth so completely, wouldn’t this explanation cause everything to click into place for him? What a fucking idiot, he and Jessica deserve each other. [Matthew says: The mental gymnastics involved on Todd’s part so that Jessica gets yet another “oh… yes… yes that is exactly what I meant. Nope, don’t need to correct anyone here.” moment are absurd. Guys, this might be more contrived than Beautiful Disaster‘s platonic bed-sharing bet. This might have out-platonic-bed-sharing-ed platonic bed-sharing.]

“But, Todd—” Todd pulled her close, holding her tightly in his strong arms for what seemed an eternity. Then he gently kissed her. He didn’t even hear the whistles and yells from the students who saw the whole thing, right in the center of the campus in the middle of the afternoon. Jessica sat there, stunned. Never in her wildest dreams had she imagined that telling the truth could be so rewarding. [Matthew says: I’m amazed the person who wrote this sentence didn’t drop dead of too much irony.]

“Jessica, you’re wonderful,” Todd said.

“Todd, you’re the greatest guy I’ve ever met, do you know that?”

“Listen! I’m taking you to the Phi Ep dance!”

I feel terrible for Jessica that dumbass Todd is the greatest guy she’s ever met. He’s basically just a giant, steaming pile of poo masquerading as a teenage boy. I know that sounds two identical things, but you catch my drift.

Again, this is completely ridiculous, but when I read this bit, I felt sad:

The first thing Elizabeth heard about as she left the Oracle office was the Big Love Scene between Todd and Jessica on the bench in the center of campus.

Elizabeth might be a complete jellyfish, but damn it, at least she isn’t Jessica and she deserves better than all this.

They [Elizabeth and ugly friend and resident goofy guy Winston] walked down the steps. There, at the foot, Bruce Patman was gliding up to them in his black Porsche.

“Well, well, well,” Bruce said to Elizabeth. “If it isn’t Roadhouse Rhoda.”

Elizabeth froze.

“Listen, I never thought you were such a fast number until now. But from what I hear, I’ve decided you’re my type. I’d like to take you to the dance.”

“Is that so?” Elizabeth snapped.

“Sure. I can’t stand most of these wimpy girls. We can put in an appearance at the dance, then head for someplace where we can have some real fun.”

When I said Elizabeth deserved better, this was definitely not who I had in mind. Elizabeth’s friend Winston jumps in and says they’re going to the dance together already. After Bruce fucks off, Elizabeth agrees to go to the dance with Winston for real, and he’s positively thrilled and has an extremely weird way of showing it:

Winston Egbert stared at the beautiful, popular, intelligent Elizabeth Wakefield and almost fainted.

“OK!” he said, astounded, then turned and raced madly across campus, screaming like a deranged chimpanzee.

"I don't know what that means gif"

I’ll just leave you to digest that.

Chapter 11

This chapter mostly centres around Jessica’s insane mood swings, family drama, and frozen dinners. [Matthew says: So it’s basically most of this book.]

Elizabeth and Jessica continue to have the fakest close relationship I’ve ever seen. Like this series is basically Game of Thrones but for privileged Californian teenagers. Even though Elizabeth’s intentions are arguably purer than Jessica’s, both girls are actually incredibly duplicitous and insincere. Elizabeth pretends to be happy Jessica is going to the dance with Todd, while Jessica pretends to be clueless over the fact that she’s causing her sister so much pain.

Jessica’s mood quickly sours and becomes more sexist when she realizes mom isn’t going to be home to make dinner!

“Where’s Mom? I can’t wait to tell her all about this.”

“She’s going to be late. An appointment, I think.”

“Again?” Jessica pouted. “That makes three nights in a row! I thought mothers were supposed to stay home and fix dinner once in a while!”

Shut the fuck up, Jessica.

Elizabeth wondered how her sister could possibly descend from cloud nine with Todd Wilkins to the pits of depression so fast—and simply because she had to do a little thing like help fix dinner.

Preach it, Elizabeth. Jessica really needs to be diagnosed ASAP.

Also, want to bet either the mom is having an affair, or that the parents have been sneaking around with each other to rekindle the romance? When the twins’ brother Steve shows up, they all start speculating on the father’s affair again, but I think something must be going on with their mother if she isn’t home to make dinner. [Matthew says: At least once every post I have to look up that these books don’t take place in the 50s. I’m still only at “pretty sure?”.]

To shut Jessica up, Elizabeth offers to throw some frozen dinners together for Wakefield siblings. Jessica is such a lazy cow. But why should I insult her when Steve is here to do it for me?

“Isn’t that just like a man!” Jessica spat. “You always stick up for each other! You’re just as bad as Dad. As a matter of fact, you’re just like him. You both have bad taste in women!”

[…]

“Steve, I meant—I mean, I didn’t mean—how can you stand there glaring so hatefully? This was supposed to be my happy day, and now you’re trying to ruin it!” Jessica buried her face in her arms, sobbing helplessly.

“You selfish little twerp,” Steven said, glaring at Jessica.

"ps by the way it's like ridiculous that you could ever want to say something like that gif"

This soon devolves into the girls asking Steve about his new girlfriend, and it turns out she dumped him because he was too embarrassed to be seen with her in public because her family is “trash”. This reminds me so much of Beautiful Oblivion where we were supposed to be invested in Raegan’s relationships that always happened off-screen. I couldn’t give two shits about Steve and his failed relationship.

What’s even odder about the whole thing is that Jessica and Elizabeth thought he was dating one girl who they thought was complete trash, but actually it’s her sister he’s dating! [Matthew says: The one whose existence was never previously mentioned until the book conveniently needed a totally different thing for Steven to be doing.]

“I’m sorry, too, Steve. I shouldn’t have blurted it out like that. But you and Betsy Martin—it can’t be. She’s trash.”

“Betsy Martin? What are you talking about? I’m in love with Tricia Martin.”

“Tricia? You mean Betsy’s sister?” Elizabeth asked, stunned.

“Yeah, Tricia.” Saying her name conjured up memories for Steven. Lovely Tricia with her strawberry-blonde hair, her sweet nature, everything he wanted in this world.

“That’s wonderful, Steve,” Elizabeth said. “Tricia is a terrific girl—one of the best! I’m so happy for you!”

“She’s still a Martin,” Jessica reminded him.

WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS MIX-UP??? “Ohhh I thought you were dating one girl who is trash and her family is trash, but you’re dating her sister? She’s nice but still trash, so mixed feelings.”

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