SVH #30: Jealous Lies

14 Jul

Estimated Total Elapsed Time: 2 weeks

Summary/Overview:

Jean West and Sandra Bacon are best friends and are totally inseparable.  The only thing that the two don’t do together is attend Pi Beta Alpha meetings, because Sandra’s a member and Jean is not.  Everyone knows that Jean wants to pledge, and everyone expects Sandra to nominate her, but Sandra doesn’t want to, because it’s the only thing she has that Jean doesn’t.  So she decides to secretly sabotage Jean’s pledge tasks, but she feels really bad about while she does it.

Jean’s biggest task is to get the aloof Tom McKay to go to Cara’s pledge party with her.  With the help of Lila, she gets him to agree only to have Sandra let it slip that it’s all part of a pledge challenge.  Tom stands her up, citing food poisoning (which she finds out is a big fat lie), and she’s totally crushed, but the PBA girls want her in the sorority, so they tell her to chat him up the next week at school in hopes that he’ll dance with her at the Friday the 13th dance at school.  The idea is she’ll dance with someone else instead, and it’ll be a big dis.  Sandra is not positive about this, and the two of them fight about it but then make up.

The night of the dance, Jean decides she can’t go through with the plan because she has real feelings for Tom.  She dances with him, making the PBA girls get all atwitter and mad, but Sandra comes forward and begs them to accept Jean and kick her out for her own bad behavior.  The two girls make up for real when Sandra finally articulates her feelings of inadequacy, and both girls are in PBA and Jean and Tom are in love and everyone is happy.

The B-Plot involves Steven Wakefield and his latest plan to drop out of college to work on an ocean-liner called the Bellefleur.  He thinks it’s a great plan, and the Wakefields are understandably concerned.  Elizabeth comes up with the brilliant idea that they should reverse-psychology him into staying in school, so everyone pretends they think it’s a great idea, too.  They spend his week home from school (does the boy ever have class?) helping him pack, giving him advice, and planning a bon voyage party.  The plan works, and Steven decides he’d better stay in school.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “He was exactly the kind of guy most girls dreamed about, but he seldom dated.  The last girl he’d gone out with was Jessica Wakefield, and a few people joked that she had turned him off the female sex forever, having strung him along until someone better came along.” (20-21)
  • “No wonder Tom didn’t have many dates.  He sure had some weird ideas about what was fun.” (83)

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Both Dana Larson and Jean West were born on a Friday the 13th, and somehow their birthdays always fall on those dates?  Maybe it’s a Sweet Valley thing.
  • At breakfast one morning, Jessica Wakefield inhales two helpings of scrambled eggs and a bagel smothered in cream cheese.  My mouth waters.
  • I hated this book so much I didn’t collect any other trivia.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

There’s something to be said that while Sandra tries to sabotage Jean throughout the book, she also feels really guilty about it and comes clean at the end, ready to face a real consequence and not just paying lip service to get off the hook (see: Wakefield, Jessica).  The two girls seem to have a real friendship, and I actually liked the little detail about how they spent most Friday nights together, watching movies and eating junk food, because that’s what my high school best friend and I did most Friday nights, too.

That being said, this book could not have held my interest less.  I didn’t care about the central problems, and I didn’t care about the characters.  Even after slogging through the entire story, I STILL can’t tell Sandra and Jean apart.  Even during this recap, I’d have to check the names to make sure I hadn’t inverted them.  That’s how much I don’t care.  I’m glad this one is over.

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