SVH #14: Deceptions

25 Mar

Estimated Elapsed Time: 1 week

Summary/Overview:

Nicholas Morrow is completely taken with Elizabeth Wakefield from the moment he sets eyes on her at her Welcome Home from Being Kidnapped Party.  He follows her around the party and monopolizes her time, dancing with her and showering her with compliments.  She’s flattered but uncomfortable and yet can’t seem to tell him straight-out that she’s not interested.  Nicholas asks her out and she says no, but he pressures her and tells her she’s too young to be going steady with just one guy.  He then throws in the fact that he’s fallen in love with her, and though she says she’ll never feel the same way, he convinces her to at least give him one date.

This is problematic for several reasons, the first of which is the issue of Todd.  He’s not thrilled with the attention Nicholas has been giving Liz, and she doesn’t know how to tell him she’s agreed to go on a date with him.  Although Liz wants the advice of Jessica in this situation, she can’t tell her twin about it because Jessica has proclaimed her love for Nicholas.  So Elizabeth spends the entire week leading up to the Sunday date with Nicholas in a state of near-constant anxiety.  She tries to find a way to tell Todd but can’t.

The date with Nicholas takes place at a fancy restaurant in a town called Malvina.  Cote d’Or is the most extravagant restaurant Liz has ever seen, and she’s so intimidated that she lets Nicholas order for them.  He orders a ridiculous amount of food, and the two of them have a nice conversation about books and his interests.  At the end of the meal, Elizabeth reiterates the fact that she’s not interested and Nicholas accepts it.  Thinking she’s free and clear, Liz relaxes until she sees Todd in the restaurant, finishing a meal with his family in celebration of his mother’s birthday.  When he sees her, she pretends to be Jessica.

Todd is so confused about what he’s seen that he heads over to the Wakefield house and kisses Jessica, thinking it’s Elizabeth.  Of course the whole thing comes out then, and Todd is absolutely furious.  So is Jessica, but her anger sizzles out soon after Liz comes home and explains the entire situation.  It seems Jessica has already lost interest in Nicholas.

But Todd is so mad that it has an effect on his performance at the championship basketball game against Big Mesa the following day.  SVH is losing at half-time when Nicholas approaches Todd and sets the record straight.  Todd feels enormous relief and bounces back in the second half to bring victory to SVH.  Liz and Todd make up and head off to a party at Cara Walker’s house.

The B-Plot involves Jessica flirting with Randy Mason, a computer nerd at SVH.  She uses him to gain information about computers, hoping to impress Nicholas.  When she finds out she’s failing her math class (which would mean getting booted from the cheerleading squad), she convinces Randy to hack into the school’s computer and change her grade.  He’s so wracked with guilt that he confesses to Principal Cooper, as does Jessica when Elizabeth finds out.  Both of them are let off with a stern warning.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “‘That doesn’t matter,’ Nicholas said. ‘I fell in love with you the minute I saw you!'” (18)
  • “‘I’m getting at the fact that I don’t like it one bit.  Not one teensy bit. Your going off with my boyfriend.'” (110) [Ed. note: Psychotic Jessica rears her ugly head.]

Trivia and Fun Facts:

  • Liz wears a natural-silk shantung dress the color of her honey-blond hair with matching shoes, a gold belt, and a bracelet on her date with Nicholas.
  • Todd says “Omigod” and I nearly die.
  • Another reference is made to one of the twins holding out for Matt Dillon.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

Deal for a second with the entire premise of this book.  Nicholas Morrow falls in love with Elizabeth after laying eyes on her for a mere second.  She is the identical sister of Jessica Wakefield.  He knows nothing of her personality or what she is like.  Based on physicality alone, he has fallen for her.  This book could be resolved simply by him going out with her IDENTICAL sister who is actually into him.  Case closed.

That being said, the entire thing is creepy.  Nicholas essentially bullies Elizabeth into going out with him.  While I believe that if Liz had actually taken a second to grow a backbone and had been firm with him in declining none of the other drama would have happened, I’m not the writer and so what I want rarely happens.  Instead, we end up with this contrived story in which she tries to hide the truth from everyone and ends up hurting nearly everyone involved.  It’s lame.  It’s self-serving, and it’s uncharacteristic of Liz to do such a thing, even if she tells herself that she’s staying true to a promise she made to Nicholas.  Bullshit.

Moral of the story? When a really rich and handsome guy wants to take you out even though you have a boyfriend, make sure he takes you to a restaurant that your boyfriend won’t be at with his mom.

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One Response to “SVH #14: Deceptions”

  1. Nikki July 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    What is it with the guys in these books showing no interest at all in Jessica who basically throws herself at them, making it known she’s available and interested, but fall madly in love with Liz on sight? Seriously, what’s that about. I haven’t read these books in years, but I still remember noticing that was a common theme throughout the books back then. It’s like the writer wanted to make it known w/o saying it that Liz was clearly the more desirable/attractive twin. Matter of fact, now that I think about it, I seem to remember it mentioned once that Jess secretly always felt Liz was the “prettier” twin that just woke up beautiful, that’s why Jess wore all the make up and went overboard with the interest in fashion and hair and obsessed over looks.

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