The Trouble with Jade Wu

As you can guess, this particular recap is of Sweet Valley High Book Numero 50- Out of Reach.  This blog will be a little different- I am going to have lists of why I like Jade, and a list of reasons why she pissed me off in this book. First of all some background- Jade Wu is the most talented dancer at Sweet Valley High. Jade takes private dance lessons, but her father will not allow her to dance in public- ummm Mr. Wu is a fuckin weirdo because dance is usually shared with the public as an art HELLO- that is the point of dance is you dance for an audience- has he heard of The Nutcracker???? UGH.  Well anyway there is some big dance recital at Sweet Valley High and of course Elizabeth is assistant director, and Jade Wu tries out, defying her father really, and gets to do a huge dance solo.

OK I like Jade- She really wants to dance and will do what it takes to dance in public ( well in the Sweet Valley High recital). She tries to tell her father that dance is an art to be shared with an audience but he refuses to listen to reason. But- I don’t like Jade because when her dad asked her what type of dance Jade would be doing for the school ( and this is after he said he wouldn’t go anyways) Jade tells the truth and says modern dance. Now, Mr. Wu is cool with ballet (well more so than modern) so Jade could have just LIED as teens do anyway and as she did to try out for the show but noooo Jade HAS to tell her dad the truth. If he wasn’t going anyway what’s the harm in a little white lie? Jade needs lessons from Jess Wakefield, obviously. Then Mr. Wu would have probably let her dance!!

Another reason I like Jade- Her history teacher, Mr. Jaworksi, is kind of being a tool. The class is studying China and he wants to use Jade as some token and is all ” Let’s put Jade on the spot. Jade does YOUR family eat traditional Chinese foods or still practice Chinese customs??” And Jade is pretty embarassed as she doesn’t want to be singled out she wants to be an American like the other kids. As a teen, I definitely related to the book, as my parents were both born in Portugal and my mom especially could be quite traditional and I wanted to be fully assimilated into the American culture and I bet I would have felt a little odd if my high school teachers singled me out like that too. BUT- I don’t like Jade- she acts all snotty about it to Mr. J and is all ” we are fully American. My family doesn’t run a laundry or anything”- BITCH ASS!! No reason for that nonsense either. By the way I had no clue that it was a typical thing for Chinese folks to own laundromats until I read this book. But then again I grew up in New England, and the two laundromats in town were run by an Indian man and an Italian couple.

Well about this laundry thing- guess what Jade has a HUGE secret. She wants to be soooo American BUT- her grandparents on her mommy’s side OWN A LAUNDRY!!! OH THE FUCK NO!!! And I FUCKING HATE JADE because she is so embarassed and ashamed of this. Now, Jade is mackin’ on a guy named David Prentiss who is designing sets for the show. Jade thinks David is so honorable because he’s a poor kid who works to help his mom, who is a cleaning lady, pay the bills. So OK cool that Jade doesn’t look down on David for working- for OK ladies let me digress- when I was in high school a LOT of the kids I knew worked and not all of them had poor parents- a lot of them worked to buy clothes at J. Crew or put gas in their cars or to a buy a car or whatever. But in the Sweet Valley world hardly any teen works and if they do it’s this almost shameful or else wicked honorable thing. TOTAL opposite of BSC of course since in the BSC world your ass better be havin’ a job when you are, like, 12!! But whatever- well, Amy Sutton ( who is all pissy because  Jade got the role in the show- and did you know that Amy really can’t dance? Which is odd as most of the cheerleaders I knew also took dance, and Amy was on the cheerleading squad and was even a Booster in middle school and was great at baton twirling. BUT- she did suck ass at ballet in the SVT books so OK continuity I guess). Well anyhoo Amy and her mom are dropping off Amy’s dad’s shirts at a laundromat one day- AND IT’S JADE’S GRANDPARENTS’ LAUNDROMAT!!! OH NO! So of course Amy spreads this crap all over school and for some reason the kids of SVH give a crap.  And since Jade only told David her secret, she assumes David told the school and is all pissed off saying she is ashamed that her parents own a laundry because it reinforces Chinese stereotypes. Well OK to me Jade you are a wench because you should be proud your grandparents came to the US having friggin nothing and were able to own a business. Even at my ” I hate my parents let me be American” worst I was NEVER ashamed of my parents- neither one went to college but my mom busted her ass working up to three jobs so I could have a college education. PLUS- this woman, my mom, came to the USA at 17 and taught herself how to read, write and speak English- she never went to school for it and only got a 4th grade education in Portugal. And now she has a job at an insurance company that one needs a college degree for and she’s probably the best worker in her department. So it kinda hawks me off when people like Jade act all ashamed of their families like that. And Jade even tries telling Mrs. Wu that the Sungs owning this laundry is so shameful and Mrs. Wu says if Jade can’t show any pride for her family, she doesn’t know why she is trying to convince Dr. Wu ( I forgot Dr. Wu has a PhD in Math I believe so therefore he is Dr and not Mr- whatevs) to let Jade dance in the recital.

I also like Jade- She finds it unfair that her dad won’t let her date, and she can only marry a Chinese boy. Mr. Wu whines over how there aren’t enough Chinese people in Sweet Valley. First of all wow CA has a town with hardly any Asians?? Secondly then shit move to San Francisco or San Diego if you only want your daughter to have Chinese friends and lovers OK??? WTF? So I have to also emphathize with Jade on that one, because Dr. Wu is being old fashioned and a racist. But sorry Jade- DON’T LIKE that when David keeps asking her out, instead of Jade being HONEST and saying ” my dad won’t let me date yet” ( which I couldn’t date at 15 either and neither could my best friend so it’s not wicked weird) she just makes up excuse after excuse which makes David think that Jade doesn’t like him even though she does. And though Jade really doesn’t feel this way, David thinks Jade may look down on him because his mom is a cleaning lady. And all because Jade just can’t be honest with David.

Als0- don’t like Jade because she whines and whines over how she wants to look ” Western” and she doesn’t look like those sexy blondes Elizabeth Wakefield and Amy Sutton. Then again in Sweet Valley if you aren’t a blonde you do suck ass so OK I can sorta like Jade just because it’s bad enough being a brunette in Sweet Valley, never mind Chinese. But Jade throws a hissy because she is a huge part of the poster David makes to promote the show, and she feels she looks too ” exotic” and not ” Western” enough. You know if this book were written today, Francine would have had Jade go through leg lenghtening surgery and get that eyelid surgery- such a shame.

Like Jade again- OK it’s the night of the recital and Dr Wu DOES show up!!!!! WOOOOO!!!!! He also meets David and likes him even though he is a skinny white boy and so Jade gets her man!!! This man from a ballet company then goes up to Jade and says that this old lady Amelia Higginson is giving out a scholarship to a promising dance student but basically this old bitch is a racist and the man, Mr. Wicker, says that he can’t tell the old fart that Jade is Jade Wu- he asks Jade to call herself Jade Warren to sound more American. Jade is all fuck you to Mr. Wicker thank God and says ” either I use my real name or I don’t get the scholarship” so OK some props to Jade for standing up to herself and her heritage in the end- FINALLY!!! I will say that in the end Jade Wu is a hell of a lot cooler than Rosa Jameson in Rosa’s Lie- which I’d recap that book but I don’t have it- but the 1 bruce 1 blog in my blogroll does a good recap of  Rosa’s Lie. Rosa is a total cuntbag in that one but I digress.

Do you wonder how Jade and David do get together in the end? Liz mettles of course. Elizabeth ends up telling David that basically Jade’s parents are really strict and may not let her date, but Jade really likes him, and Elizabeth also tells Jade that being Chinese must rock and to accept her heritage. And the cover shot is of a 40 year old looking Liz ( no wonder people think Alice Wakefield is Elizabeth and Jess’s sister if they look 40) giving the most condescending Liz shoulder pat in the world to a tiny looking Jade, who is pretty hot but looks about 12.

There is also a subplot about Ned Wakefield having some midlife crisis, but Liz and Jessica get him to knock it off by taking him to the Beach Disco and buying him ugly neon ties. It’s really not worth going into great detail about but Shannon of her own sweet valley high blog in the blogroll does  good job of recapping that subplot in case you are interested.

So my analysis- I hate and love Jade Wu equally, I guess. It’s the way I feel about quite a few SVH characters in general. Except Amy Sutton- Amy sucks. And she’s a total racist in this book being all ” I would have better for that scholarship I have that all American blonde look” and saying Jade didn’t deserve the lead for not looking American. fuck you Ame- and seriously where are the Asians in Sweet Valley? IT’S CALIFORNIA FOR FUCK’S SAKE! Methinks this book based that Mrs. Higginson on Francine Pascal herself- she seems to hate Chinese folks just as much after all- and ” ethnic” folk in general as is shown in PLENTY of other SVH tales.

Well by Tuesday the latest I shall be recapping Stacey vs the BSC!! Should be fun times!! Other books coming up include- by end of next week but maybe more like beginning of next- Girl Talk #35 Katie and Sabrina’s Big Competition. And after that- here’s what to expect-

Baby Sitters on Board!!

Sweet Valley High #37- Rumors

BSC Little Sister #6- Karen’s Little Sister

Sweet Valley Kids #31- Jessica and Elizabeth Run Away- ( what’s sadder is that obiviously they come back)

Sweet Valley Twins #18- Center of attention

BSC #32- Kristy and the Secret of Susan

Funny how I told ya all I’d be focusing less on SVH and BSC and almost all of my upcoming recaps are SVH and BSC related- though as you see I am doing some Sweet Valley Kids and Twins and you will see a lot more of those as this blog proceeds.  There won’t be as much BSC after awhile either because, again, sooo many bloggers write about BSC books but not to worry some will still be featured as I do have so many!!!

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3 Responses to “The Trouble with Jade Wu”

  1. OMG, of COURSE they own a laundry. Sweet Valley, California, where every stereotype comes to life!

  2. girltalkread Says:

    Well if the Sungs lived in my neck of the woods, they’d own either a Chinese restaurant or a nail salon- and of course it’d be called ” Sung Nail” or something like that. Oh, Sweet Valley!! I was shocked that Andy Jenkins didn’t have gold teeth and a clock around his neck.

  3. >First of all wow CA has a town with hardly any Asians??
    They do actually. It’s called Hollister and I live there. Very few African Americans live is this town as well. It’s only a small town, more than 100 miles south of San Francisco and more than 300 miles northof Los Angeles.

    From city-data.com:
    Races in Hollister:
    Hispanic (55.1%)
    White Non-Hispanic (38.5%)
    Other race (30.0%)
    Two or more races (5.4%)
    American Indian (2.2%)
    Filipino (1.5%)
    Black (1.4%)

    I work in the nearby town of Gilroy which has similar stats:
    Races in Gilroy:
    Hispanic (53.8%)
    White Non-Hispanic (38.0%)
    Other race (27.7%)
    Two or more races (5.3%)
    American Indian (2.4%)
    Black (1.8%)
    Filipino (1.6%)
    Japanese (0.8%)
    Chinese (0.6%)
    Vietnamese (0.5%)

    Again, it’s a rather small town. One of my coworkers who lives in Gilroy moved to that town from Cleveland. He remarked how few African-Americans he’s seen in Gilroy–about only one or two a year.

    And like the other person remarked, the few Asians in Hollister run Chinese restaurants. One of the few Asians in my town worked with me at two different jobs.

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