Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sweet Valley University #11: Take Back the Night
Jessica is so upset over her near date rape that she sits around all the time in her dorm room, moping and wearing sweatpants. Um, and she also goes to the Theta house all the time. Liz runs around acting like she was the one hurt and demanding that everyone listen to what she says. She decides that the school needs a Take Back the Night rally, to open everyone’s eyes.
Look, I think it’s really sweet that Liz is trying, but…is this really going to do anything? They did these at my school and the same group of girls showed up, along with some new freshmen who were roped into the event. Everyone else just went about with their own business and kind of forgot it was even going on. You’d come back from econ class and just walk around the gathering of people, irritated that they were taking up so much room.
Anyway….Jess goes to the Theta house and hears that one of her sisters (Mariela) has a date with James. They all try to pretend it isn’t a big deal, but Jess warns her to be careful and Mariela thinks she’s just jealous. Alison acts like Jess is a leper and starts turning some of the girls against her.
On the night of the rally, Jess goes on the college news and talks about her near rape. She doesn’t name James, but gives enough details that everyone knows who he is, like his status in the frat and what sports he plays. Then she decides to press charges against him, which kind of pits the girls in the sorority against each other. Steven, Billie and Liz quiz her on the questions they’ll ask at the hearing and she almost gives up because it’s “too hard”. Yeah, that sounds like Jessica.
James calls Jess up and asks her to meet him, which she does. He acts like she’s crazy and says that he wouldn’t have dated her if she hadn’t made it clear that she was into sex. Then he shows up at her door and says the same kind of things again. Liz starts finding notes and weird gifts left behind and she thinks it’s James when it’s actually William White and Celine.
Maia comes by and apologizes for not standing by her, but then says she can’t come to the hearing because she doesn’t want to relive what happened. The panel asks Jess a bunch of questions about her dating history and what she wore on the date with James. Then they ask him questions and he plays the big man on campus card.
The panel finds for James and it’s actually kind of funny. They apologize to him for getting his name drug through the mud and advise Jessica to seek counseling for her lying ways. I love it! If they only knew some of the other crap she’s pulled, they’d lock her up for good! Then Maia shows up and asks to speak.
Even though they already decided and ended the hearing, they agree to let her speak. She goes off on James for the way he treats women and tells everyone what he did to her and he ends up crying in his hands. The panel apologizes to Jessica (god damn it!) and decide that they’ll decide his fate at a future date.
Lila and Bruce are lost in the woods. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but they’ve been lost for over a week and no one noticed. Jessica calls the Fowler house to speak to Lila, which tips off her mom. The Thetas decide to do something to help locate them, which actually amounts to absolutely nothing. Lila and Bruce share a couple of kisses and then get rescued by a passing helicopter.
They get to the hospital and realize that they can’t handle being away from each other. Lila is kind of sweet here because she defends Bruce when all the Thetas laugh about him being self-centered and wonders what he’s doing all the time. He surprises her with roses and they decide to start dating.
You also have to love Bruce. He goes back to the frat house and learns James was kicked out. The other guys all blame Jessica, even though it was Maia who technically got him tossed and Bruce tells them that if anyone hurts her, they have to answer to him. The book ends with the Theta and Sigma houses having a huge party for Lila and Bruce and everyone laughing about how great life is.