Sweet Valley High #4- Power Play

Oh wow, wow, wow, where do I begin in terms of discussing this shitty, anti- feminist, self esteem crushing book? Well, to begin as I recap ” Power Play” I am chowing down on raw cookie dough, probably soon ballooning to the size of ” chubby- no MORE than chubby” Robin Wilson. You see I don’t care.

Now if you will remember, Robin Wilson is the overweight girl from ” Power Play” that is new to Sweet Valley and worships the ground Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield walk on. Robin’s dream is to join Pi Beta Alpha, the exclusive SVH sorority. Elizabeth is a member in ” name only” as we are reminded many times throughout the series, and considers the PBA’s to be shallow, materialistic snobs. Jessica is the president of PBA this year because some chick moved. Robin is convinced that since Jessica is her ” best friend” and the president, Jessica is sure to nominate her to join Pi Beta Alpha. Elizabeth is not too sure of this. Robin comes over to the Wakefield home loaded down with Jess’s dry cleaning, and then says that since Jessica is always so busy she may ” forget” to nominate Robin, so she asks Liz if she would so. Liz readily agrees as she feels Pi Beta needs a nicer image, and because Robin is just so nice and really smart ( yep so smart that she aches to be friends with Jessica Wakefield) and what does it matter that Robin is chubby- well MORE than chubby? And that condescending two faced bitch Elizabeth is all repulsed watching Robin chow down 2 big candy bars.  Remember, kids, in Francine P’s world girls are only fat because they eat sweets ALL THE TIME- unless they are Jessica and Liz Wakefield- now these two perfect size six Cali blondes can eat at the Dairi Burger and Casey’s Place daily but they are so blessed and perfect that they keep gorgeous figures- and let’s not forget they frolic in the California sunshine and play hours of tennis as well. Though I neve remember hearing that Liz actually PLAYED a tennis game- they talk about it but has Liz ever actually played? Ah I digress.

Jessica is LIVID when Elizabeth nominates Robin to be a Pi Beta Alpha pledge. Elizabeth tells Jessica that she has to support it because gosh Jessica and Robin are totes best friends, right? And Jessica does like having an errand girl around! Jessica, Lila and Cara decide that Robin is not going to exactly have an easy time of pledging the sorority because no overweight girls can be in sororities dontcha know. So Jess, Lila and Cara decide that Robin’s first pledge task will be that she must run around the Sweet Valley High track while wearing shorts. As Robin huffs and puffs, Bruce Patman is hanging around calling Robin all kinds of names and Robin is humilated. Liz and Todd watch this debacle but Liz does nothing to stop Jessica or anything.  Robin still doesn’t get that Jessica totally doesn’t want Robin to join PBA she just figures all of the girls have to do hard pledge tasks. Why is this now having shades of Sweet Valley Twins #1 Best Friends? Remember that it also featured a fat girl ( Lois Waller) and Lois was as eager to please as Robin, and Lois wasn’t trying to be a Unicorn but Lila wanted Liz to put shaving cream in Lois’s sundae to well humilate a fat girl! UGH

Next, Jessica and her evil bitch cronies have Robin wear a bikini to the beach. Of course Robin’s 2 piece yellow bathing suit is very unflattering and doesn’t fit well, but Elizabeth and Todd take Robin to the beach and allow her to play volleyball with them, and Robin has some fun. Then Elizabeth thinks about how Jessica never has to worry about how she looks at the beach because her body is so damn perfect, and Jessica should think about the poor suffering fatties at the beach.

Robin comes crying to Elizabeth one day. Jessica wants Robin to do the IMPOSSIBLE- she wants Robin to ask BRUCE PATMAN to the big dance!!!! Bruce would NEVER go with Robin and now Robin can NEVER have tea parties and participate in literacy fundraisers and keg parties with frat dudes with the other Pi Beta gals!!!! Robin is devestated and can’t believe her  ” best friend” would want her to do something soooo hard to prove herself. Because Liz wants to prove some point and beat Jessica, and not really because she likes Robin, Elizabeth decides to sort of blackmail Bruce to get Bruce to take Robin to the dance. Liz promises to write a very flattering article about Bruce in the Oracle if he will accompany Robin to the dance. Bruce agrees, and Robin is damn thrilled. What I don’t get- remember how in ” Playing with Fire” Robin has the absolute hots for Winston Egbert? ( or  ” the warms” as Boner from Growing Pains would say). Why wouldn’t Jessica just have Robin ask Winston? I mean wasn’t it common knowledge at SVH that Winston doesn’t like Robin because she’s a fatty? Well, I guess because Bruce is just so sexy, it’d be harder to get Bruce to take a tank butt to the dance.

Because Liz is stupid as fuck,  it never occurs to her that Bruce would humilate Robin at the school dance. GUESS WHAT??? Bruce takes Robin onto the dance floor- and again students CLEAR the dance floor for Robin and Bruce- and Bruce says ” OK I took the whale to the dance. Who wants to sail the Queen Mary  now, folks” and walks off and leaves Robin standing. And this is after Robin wore her hair up and wore a ” tent dress that was prettier than usual!!” Robin runs out of the dance, but not before Liz gets Allan Walters,  he of the ” I date the girls who are all downtrodden when Sir Rich Boy dumps them, and I swoop in to save them” see SVH #37 Rumors) to run after Robin. Allan does, and realizes that Robin is actually sort of pretty. Robin and Allan talk about old movies, and even dance for awhile. Robin thinks Allan is sort of cute too.

After the horrid dance, it is time  to vote on who will actually be let into Pi Beta Alpha. Everyone is obviously going to vote for Robin because ” no one crosses a Wakefield” and Jess and Robin are best friends- wow the PBA’s are this fuckin dumb? Well…………. I guess someone out there doesn’t like Robin too much despite ” not crossing a Wakefield” because Robin gets BLACKBALLED a la Steve Sanders! Every girl wonders who would blackball Robin aka Jessica’s bestie!!! Jessica doesn’t seem too upset. After hearing this news from Jess, Lila and Cara, Robin is wicked despondent. Robin is pretty much on the brink of suicide and ” goes away” for awhile per Robin’s mom, who decides to keep calling Elizabeth to tell her the girls at SVH are so snotty and mean, and all Robin wants is to be popular. I really don’t get how Mrs. Wilson decided to be besties with Liz of all people.

Robin does return to SVH and with a VENGEANCE! Liz starts to notice that Robin is running the track willingly on her own every morning and afternoon. Robin always looks determined and ” steely” now and tells Elizabeth not getting to be in PBA has given her new resolve. Robin is now seen eating only lettuce leaves and no fat yogurt in the cafeteria and in the matter in about oh 2 weeks Robin has lost TONS of weight and looks totally sexy.  She wears tight jeans and sweaters and the boys are all GAGA  over Robin now, especially Bruce Patman.

Apparently, as soon as a woman loses weight she gets INSTANTLY athletic. Bullshit Francine- I was a size FOUR in high school and fucking hated sports and barely got a C in gym, OK? Robin joins the cheerleading squad and is instantly made co-captain- alongside JESSICA!!!! Then, we hear that there is a Miss Sweet Valley pageant- I believe Miss Sweet Valley basically just waves a lot during halftime at football games. A lot of girls want to be Miss Sweet Valley, but Robin starts saying that the PBA’s only want their girls to enter the pageant and it’s not right. Anti PBA people start really rallying for Robin to win, which irks Jess to DEATH as Jessica is convinced that SHE should be Miss Sweet Valley because she has pretty much given hand jobs to every member of the SVH football team and she wears tight Jordache jeans. It’s the day of the pageant, and half the football team has signs that say ” Robin has us THROBBIN!!” SWEAR TO GOD! THROBBIN??? UMMM WHY? And the other half of the team- I guess the guys who came after a Jessica W handy- have signs that say ” Jessica is Just Right!” Mr. Cooper announces the winner- ROBIN WILSON!!!! Jessica is steamed, and in an ending that would make any teen movie proud, Bruce Patman asks if Robin wants him to accompany her in the procession for Miss Sweet Valley. Robin pwns Bruce and is like ” no way” and has ALLAN WALTERS drive with her  in Bruce’s Porsche after he offers to take Robin in it!!! So Robin Wilson goes from fat, unpopular, nerdy and a pathetic wimp to a hard bodied cheerleader who makes boys ” throb” but her heart only belongs to Allan Walters- at least until SVH #20. 😉

Incidentally, Cara, Li and Jess are disgusted when they go to Robin’s house to say she can be a a pledge because Robin offers to make them milkshakes and says she has ice cream sandwiches. Shit, this girl is  a great fuckin host- wish Robin was MY best friend.

So what lessons does Power Play teach us? If you are a fat girl, you are NOTHING! Jerry McAllister can be fat and popular ( well he was in the Sweet Valley Twins series) but a fat girl- she is NOTHING. Your self esteem will ONLY increase if you lose weight, wear tight Jordache jeans ( or I guess now you’d be wearing tight Abercrombie or Bebe  jeans), and have every boy in school wanting to do you.  If you are smart  that’s not good enough unless you are also thin like Elizabeth. If you are smart and MORE THAN CHUBBY, you suck- you such so bad in fact that not even Winston Egbert wants you.  We also learn that both Jess and Liz Wakefield are CUNTS- Jessica is the more obvious cunt by humilating Robin for no reason and using her to run errands, plus the fact that she assumes she will win everything all the fucking time, and she’s a cocktease and a half- but Elizabeth is not exactly Miss Sweet if you think about it. I mean Bruce Patman making fun of Robin was the ultimate humilation, and Elizabeth made that date happen- and not really because she wanted to help Robin, it was more to prove a point. And Jessica does call her out on that! Plus, Liz is the one who keeps thinking that Robin needs to stop stuffing her face and how it’s a such a shame how a smart girl with a ” pretty face” is so fat. And of course we also learn that fat girls only wear tent dresses- NO FLATTERING CLOTHES FOR FAT GIRLS! JUST MUMUS! God, what a piece of crap this book was- I am so glad I never read this as a kid because my self esteem sucked ass in middle school as it was- though gee I was THIN- the last thing I would need was to read this book on top of it! Reading about how Melanie Edwards was fat and worthless, and then was only cool when she lost weight, was bad enough! And shit why wasn’t I cool back then- I was thin after all!!! Ahhhh doesn’t matter now….

And does anyone wonder if Robin ever gets to join PBA? Well once Robin wins Miss Sweet Valley, Lila, Cara and Jessica practically BEG her to join and Robin is all ” fuck you, bitches.”  This leads us to believe Robin is now ” empowered”. Right…… oh Robin Wilson you are really such a horrid character and it’s not fair to you. I want to be able to LOVE you. SIGH!

Speaking of horrid characters, I am recapping ” Karen’s Wish” next in honor of Christmas!! I should be getting to that next week- I am really busy and have a jam packed weekend coming up this week, so it’s gotta be next week- maybe Tuesday.  I will also try to get to the Snooper special from Sweet Valley Kids that is also Christmas themed- I read it just last night it is a pretty cute story!  Sort of ” Santa Clause” ish- but good.

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6 Responses to “Sweet Valley High #4- Power Play”

  1. “and in the matter in about oh 2 weeks Robin has lost TONS of weight and looks totally sexy. She wears tight jeans and sweaters and the boys are all GAGA over Robin now, especially Bruce Patman.”

    God forbid anyone be sexy and wear tight clothing with some extra weight. Ugh.

    And I hear you on the athletic thing. I was uber skinny in high school and still am but back then not athletic at all. I was the Couch Potato of the World.

  2. i snarked this on good reads, and someone commented, trying to justify that Robin lost weight in a healthy way.

    I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. Even at the age of 12, I knew what Robin was doing was bad, and not something I should try to emulate.

    Serious body issues Francine, serious body issues.

  3. Heh. Jessica is a cunt indeed. Jessica Wakefield is the inspiration for the Cunt Log on my own blog. I believe the first time I ever used the word cunt on my blog was to say “Jessica Wakefield is an insufferable cunt.” And that was from an SVT book…before she even became cuntier in high school!

    And I love how only once a girl loses weight can she become empowered!

    • girltalkread Says:

      Nikki she’s SUCH the cunt. As is Jana Morgan from Fab Five I agree w/ you on that one too! And the worst thing is- Jessica is a horrid cunt but everyone just adores her and lets her do whatever she wants! Come on in high school many folks do adore the cunty popular girl but a lot of ppl also hate her!

  4. hatcitynikki Says:

    Every time I saw the letters ‘PBA’, I read them as ‘PBR’, which, after hearing about this book, I could totally go for. Or several. Way to perpetuate eating disorders, Francine! Tres classy!

  5. Lindsay a.k.a Busty St. Clair Says:

    Oh, God, I HATED this book when I was a kid. It was horrible and demeaning and I never wanted to murder a fictional character so much in my life.

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