Sweet Valley High #3- Playing with Fire

Yes I know, I know- I am back already. Well I am not really prepared to discuss more of my personal life I will just say that things are great, great great in that area and I don’t want to say why or anything at this point. I just want all of you to know that I am doing much better and I do thank everyone for the support. 

I had planned to do this full, long recap of ” Playing with Fire” but fuck it I am not motivated enough do that especially as this damn book contained 2 subplots and one was especially stupid and I don’t feel like fully recapping it.

Now as a kid, I never read SVH books 1-6.  I am not rsure why- maybe because I started the series at Book 41 and not book 1 like I did with so many other series? So I didn’t realize how very stupid- yet totally 80’s and so craptacular they rock- early SVH books were. And Sweet Valley Twins books were great in the beginning so with SVH being soo.. well OK let me finally get to the recap of this book!

First of all- the cover. Jess and Bruce both look to be about 35 years of age. Bruce has the whole sweater  tied ’round the shoulders thing going on- hot. Jessica looks all smug and ” aww yeah I got my man” and Bruce looks even more smug- and strangely like John Travolta- as he has Jessica in, like, a half chokehold.

So we begin this book by learning that Jessica has been trying to land Bruce Patman FOREVER but he doesn’t pay her any mind. Bruce has dated Lila and Cara briefly and many other nameless blondes, brunettes and redheads, but won’t give Jess a taste of the Patman dick and Jessica is all ” Blanche Devereaux and Ham Lushbaum ” about life and is all ” Bruce is the one man I can’t conquer- the ONE!” but it’s even more than that- Jessica has a major, major crush on Bruce Patman and just HAS to have him as her boyfriend.

The book starts at some big school dance. Jessica is Homecoming Queen and Winston is the king so for some asinine reason Winston and Jessica have to go to every dance together. Winston has a huge crush on Jessica, as he has forever, and Jessica knows this, but she ignores Winston the whole night. BUT- Bruce Patman FINALLY notices Jessica and decides he MUST dance with her as she’s the best dancer in school ( by the way Liz Wakefield is almost as good a dancer of course just in a less sexy way) and he wants to win the dance contest. Everyone else CLEARS the dance floor ” Teen Witch ” style  ( God I hope that song ” The Finest Hour” was playing)  to watch Jessica and Bruce dance because they are that good.

From the dance on, Bruce and Jessica are the hottest couple at SVH. Jessica skips tons of her classes to make out with Bruce during school. And I guess we readers are to believe Jess never skipped school till Bruce came along? Elizabeth is worried as Jessica has started to totally change in personality to please Bruce- she lets Bruce win at tennis as not to damage his male ego, she starts shopping at stores that sound like Chico’s instead of her usual sexy Forever 21 like clothing because Bruce prefers a more conservative style of dressing, and Jessica has stopped going to cheerleading practice because Bruce doesn’t like Jess to be hanging around those ” fat cows. ” Jessica waits by the phone nightly for Bruce to call instead of hanging with friends, and no matter what time Bruce calls, Jessica is right there to see him at a moment’s notice. Elizabeth gets even MORE worried when guys like John Pfeiffer and Ken Matthews start saying that Bruce is telling all the guys that Jess ” will let Bruce get as far as he wants” and that all Jessica and Bruce do is go to Miller’s Point- Bruce never takes her anywhere. Elizabeth finds that hard to believe as Elizabeth would never believe that Jess isn’t a pure virgin ( hey it IS Sweet Valley- do Alice and Ned even fuck?) and Jessica always expects boys to wine and dine her and Bruce is so rich. Elizabeth tries talking to Jess a couple of times about how Bruce is controlling and manipulative but Jessica refuses to hear it. And yes this is the book where Bruce ties off Jessica’s bikini top- and where Bruce ” kisses Jessica hard, his mouth demanding what his body wanted to take.” So Bruce wanted to date rape Jessica? Ugh.

So yeah really it’s sort of sad that Jessica is letting some guy be so douchy toward her but she’s just so in love she has complete blinders on when it comes to Bruce, no matter what Lila, Cara or Liz try to say. Jessica is failing chemistry, so her grand plan (well Bruce’s) is to get  a copy of Mr. Russo’s chem test from last year as he GIVES THE SAME TEST EVERY YEAR ( we see where this is going) make Robin Wilson put a copy of the test in Emily Mayer’s locker ( they also have plots later on believe me) and then Jessica blackmails Emily by saying Jess best be able to copy off Emily or Jessica will tell Russo Emily stole  a copy of the test- and besides since Emily has been practicing with the Droids tons lately ( do ya think Verizon named their new phone after the Droids BTW? seriously, what are your thoughts?) and hasn’t really had time for studying so a copy of the test would SURE come in handy, huh???? Well on the day of the test Jessica and Emily both fail because naturally it turns that Russo changed the test this year. So Jessica tells Bruce she really has to buckle down and study or her parents will kill her for failing chemistry, but Bruce couldn’t care less. He’s all ” oh school is more important than me, baby?”

Jessica FINALLY sees that Bruce is a dickhead the night of Bruce’s 18th birthday party. Bruce makes it seem initially that he and Jessica will be alone together for Bruce’s birthday and they will have dinner at the country club. Well instead Bruce is having a HUGE party at the country club with all of his friends. Bruce ignores Jessica for the whole party and  dances with every other girl but Jess, but Jessica still doesn’t see that Bruce is a jerk.  At Guido’s Pizza Palace afterward, Elizabeth concocts a plan to get Jessica to see what scum Bruce is. Bruce claims that he has to leave Guido’s early because his grandma is sick. Todd and Liz offer to take Jess home and Bruce doesn’t object. Elizabeth thinks Bruce is up to something so on the way to the Wakefield home Liz pretends she forgot something at Guido’s so they have to go back there. Well, when they return, Bruce is at Guido’s snuggling with some redhead!!! Jessica is FUMING!!! Jessica dumps a whole pitcher of soda all over Bruce’s head and gets her comeuppance. I do have to love that Bruce being an emotionally abusive a-hole and controlling wasn’t what took Jessica over the edge- it was Bruce cheating on her. Sadly that can be typical at times even in real life. I do love that scene though- and it means the old Jessica is back!!!

OK on to the stupid subplots. The night of the school dance, some random band manager is at the dance and spots te Droids. He keeps telling them they are really talented and he will get them all these gigs in LA and a record contract. Instead, the Droids play at these wicked dingy clubs and never get the exposure they thought they’d get. And the band members are constantly arguing with each other because Guy Chesney is the one who initially is always talking to this manager, and Max, Dan and Emily wonder when the hell the band will get good gigs. Then we learn that Guy has quite the crush on Dana Larson and flips because the band manager keeps calling Dana instead of Guy. Well turns out this band manager had been fired from where he said he worked, and he only wanted to get in Dana’s pants. And during this whole thing, Elizabeth wants to do an article on the Droids, and for some reason in this book and in this book only Emily and Elizabeth are super close buddies. 

The other subplot- a rather long lead in to the 4th book in the series, Power Play. Robin Wilson is the new fat girl in town who wear s tent dresses and is convinced she and Jessica Wakefield are best friends because Jess allows Robin to get her dry cleaning. Robin REALLY wants to be a member of Pi Beta Alpha and will do anything to join.  That is why Robin was more than willing to put that copy of the chem test into Emily’s locker. Robin also has a huge crush on Winston ( not at all mentioned in Power Play) but Winston doesn’t like Robin because she eats too much for his taste and he doesn’t like girls that eat too much. Shit, then you would hate me, Winston. He also feels Robin is too eager to please, though it seems Winston often acts that way himself. Winston is none too pleased when one night Todd and Liz invite Robin to come along to a dingy club to see the Droids. Robin is all trying to chat with Winston and he ignores her. Besides, he’s still pining for Jessica. Wow half this book is all-   Robin hearts Winston. But Winston hearts Jess. But Jess hearts Bruce Patman. Bruce hearts 1 Bruce 1. Guy Chesney hearts Dana but she doesn’t notice he’s alive. UGH 

At the end of this book, Robin tells Elizabeth that Jessica has promised to put up Robin’s name at the next sorority meeting so that Robin can become a pledge of PBA.  Elizabeth really doubts this as more than once Jessica has told Liz how Robin is way too chubby to ever fit into the exclusive sorority. WHY DOES A HIGH SCHOOL HAVE A SORORITY?  And soooo….. we will get Power Play!

I am going to try to recap Power Play tomorrow if I am up to it, because it probably won’t take that long- so many other bloggers have recapped the book that I don’t feel I have to write a whole bunch on it. But I will definitely have to write about because Goddamn that book is fuckin classic. 

And by early next week I will start the Xmas book series- the books I will be writing on in celebration of Christmas are ” Karen’s Wish” from BSC Little Sister, Sweet Valley Kids Super Snooper ” The Case of the Secret Santa” and SVH Super Special ” Special Christmas.” And for New Year’s I am going to be recapping ” Dawn’s Big Date!” – another fuckin classic. Also coming up soon- well most likely in early 2010- Sweet Valley Twins #68 The Middle School Gets Married, SVT #42 Jessica’s Big Secret, Freshman Dorm #20 Freshman Affair, and BSC #87 Stacey and the Bad Girls. I also do plan to recap more Sleepover Friends books in the coming year! Stay tuned! I don’t plan to close this blog for QUITE awhile- and now sad face- no more ” Sheep Are In” blog 😦 😦 I grew to LOVE that particular blog! I am so glad we still have BSC Snark and BSC  Chronologically!!!) I hate when YA bloggers leave us I really do!

And in closing- this is for YOU Jessica Wakefield and Brucie Patman!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzGFJaJ_MR0

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5 Responses to “Sweet Valley High #3- Playing with Fire”

  1. Glad to see you back again! Hope all is good.

    Anyway, despite never reading these, am I still entitled to say that I HATE their treatment of fat people? Like, they’re supposed to be so grateful that the “beautiful people” let them hang around them and oh so insecure? there are so many overweight people who could pwn the Wakefields.

    The BSC was kind of the same way though there wasn’t even an overweight girl/guy their age. I did hate how Norman Hill got treated by his parents/sisters and how the writers portray him as this tubby shy kid who always stuffed his face. Enough with the stereotypes! okay end rant!!

    • girltalkread Says:

      Sadako rant all you want b/c you are completely RIGHT! I also despise how Norman’s parents and sister treated him and yeah both Norman and Robin just stuff their faces all day- ugh!!!! And yeah many MANY overweight folk could easily pwn those Wakefields!!!! But yeah Francine Pascal pretty much hates fat people especially women. And Robin Wilson is just a pathetic figure, whether fat or thin.

  2. That “Blanche Devereaux- Ham Lushbaum” reference made me lol. Awesome.

  3. SuperPana Says:

    Is Jessica’s Big Secret in SVT that she didn’t get her period? I swear I remember a book where everyone assumed because Elizabeth got her period that Jessica got hers on THE SAME DAY. To which I saw OMGWTF Wakefield parents!

    • girltalkread Says:

      YESSSS!! I read this like on Monday when I had a sick day from work- I also could not believe that Liz and her parents just assume Jessica got her period JUST BECAUSE Elizabeth did- I mean they are twins so I guess they must bleed at the exact same time the first time! UGH- I just don’t get why they all assumed that. And Mrs. Wakefield makes the BIGGEST deal out of their damn periods too- at almost a creepy level! So yep Jessica’s BIG SECRET is that she doesn’t have her period- when I was like 10 I had thought she was pregnant before I read this!! LOL

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