SVH #36: Last Chance

5 Oct

Estimated Time Elapsed: Four weeks?


Julie Porter’s sister Johanna is a total high school drop-out.  After she discovers her dead mother’s diaries, though, she realizes that her mother wanted her to go back to school more than anything, so that’s what she does.  She’s worried about how hard it’s going to be, but her crush on brainy Peter DeHaven seems to help motivate her to be at school.  Too bad Peter’s dating Amy Sutton.

Peter runs into Johanna in the chemistry lab after school one day, and after droning on and on about his successes and plans for the future, he invites her to drive out to Las Palmas with him.  Amy’s out of town, so she doesn’t know that her boyfriend is essentially asking another girl out.  Johanna’s really excited, but her sister Julie expresses concern that Peter’s not being totally up-front.  Johanna freaks out on her and goes out with Peter anyway.  The two go to a party and then make out at an overlook.

Johanna is sure that Peter is going to break up with Amy and ask her to the upcoming PTA dance, but everyone else has doubts.  When Johanna confides in Liz, she tries to be supportive.  Peter continues to string her along, going so far as to snub her in the hallway and then apologize later, telling her that his breakup with Amy needs to be gradual.  But of course, his behavior doesn’t change, and Johanna tells herself that she’s just lucky he’s showing any interest in her.

Liz tells Jessica about Peter and Johanna, and although Jessica promises not to tell, she has a spat with Amy and spills the beans.  Amy freaks out on Peter, who assures her it isn’t true, and tells Johanna via a note stuffed in her locker that he can’t see her anymore.  Johanna knows her sister would never tell on her, so she assumes it must’ve been Liz, and promptly freaks out on her and thinks that she’ll quit school again.  I don’t know what one thing has to do with the other, but they seem to be connected in Johanna’s twisted mind.

Amy throws a pre-dance party and it’s pretty lame.  Everyone is mad at everyone else.  Amy snarks on Johanna in front of Peter, Liz, and Jeffrey, and Peter doesn’t say anything.  Liz lights into him about what a shit friend he is, which seems to have an effect on Peter, because he approaches Johanna on Monday and wants to be friends.  When he tries a suggestion she had for his computer program, it works and he wants to celebrate with her, but she’s at work and doesn’t want to hear it.  She has an epiphany that she should have gone back to school for herself and not her mom, and lo and behold, the girl flourishes at SVH.  When Peter approaches her again, he’s rebuffed.

The B-Plot has to do with Jessica deciding that Steven and Cara have been going steady for too long.  She decides to insinuate herself in their relationship and try to split them up.  It works, and they both bring different dates to Amy’s party, but they’re totally miserable.  They take some time to dance and figure out Jessica’s shenanigans, get all husky about how they should trust one another, and make up.  Barf.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “The thought of gaining weight was all she needed to lose her appetite completely.  Not that Jessica–a model-slim, perfect size-six–ever had to worry about her weight.” (2) [Blogger’s note: Two pages in and I already want to throw the book across the room.  A new record!]

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Johanna wears a Laura Ashley dress on her non-date with Peter to Las Palmas
  • SVH has apparently entered its second semester

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

I hated this book so much I can’t really be bothered with a critical analysis.  The idea that Johanna lacks enough confidence to realize that she’s a total whiz with computers, science, and math is enough to make me want to beat my head against a wall.  Added to that fact is that she can’t seem to see that Peter DeHaven is a total douche canoe makes things so much worse.  Ugh.  I just can’t, you guys.


2 Responses to “SVH #36: Last Chance”

  1. Leslie September 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    I don’t blame you with this one. This book was horrible and I shake my head at it’s horrible writing.


  1. SVH: Jessica’s Secret Diary, Vol. I | A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - July 18, 2014

    […] Jessica reads about how she tried to break up Steve and Cara.  That was sweet.  Remember when Jessica thought Alice was pregnant again? Because she likes […]

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