Friday, February 26, 2010

Sweet Valley University #10: No Means No

This book should be titled “How Elizabeth Wakefield Turned Psycho and Jessica Wakefield was Almost Date Raped”. Of course it doesn’t matter what happens to Jess because you know she’ll rebound. It’s almost a good thing that the books tackled the subject, but not the way they did. You just know that after one book, she’ll completely forget it ever happened and Liz will only mention it as part of her “my poor sister has had such a hard year”, along with her two-week mistake of a marriage, as it’s now described in the books.

Basically Jess and James Montgomery are now a couple, kind of. They go out all the time, everyone thinks they’re a couple and for the last two books, Jess has made it out like they were a couple. Now though, she worries a little because she thinks that he’s more serious about her than she is about him.

They go out and he’s all over her and not listening to what she says, which is red flag #1, but of course she doesn’t pick up on it. Red flag #2 is when her sorority sister says that he acts different when he’s drinking and #3 comes when she notices for herself that he gets grabby and mean when he’s drinking. Yet once again she completely overlooks all that because he’s a cute, football playing frat boy.

There are a couple of other storylines going on here that I might as well mention before I forget. Alex/Enid realizes how much she’s drinking, but only because Isabella points it out. She basically tells her that if she doesn’t knock it off, she might get kicked out of the Theta house. She starts calling the campus hotline, which gives her enough courage to stop drinking, call off her “relationship” with Todd and starts crushing on Noah, a guy in her psychology class.

Lila and Bruce were flying back to campus together in his small plane when they crashed in the wilderness. Yes, apparently there’s a vast wilderness between Sweet Valley and Sweet Valley University. Lila claims that she knows how to do all this survival stuff like trapping small animals and making a shelter, but then can’t help Bruce when he asks her. They start developing feelings for each other, but don’t know if they’ll ever get home.

Jess has the chance to pledge the Thetas again, but only if a majority of sisters vote for her. Alison Quinn turns a bunch of girls against her. Basically they think she’s trying to take down the sorority because of what happened with the professor in the last book. Most of the girls vote against her and then Alex turns up. She conveniently heard Alison and Peter talking the night before about their plans to set Jess up and she tells Magda, the president about them.

Magda believes her, votes for Jess to become a pledge again and then lets the other girls change their vote, with everyone but Alison voting for her. Jess becomes a pledge again and then Magda decides that Jess has the final say over Alison’s fate with the house and she can even decide to blackball her and kick her out. Look, I’m not sure why they would have let Jess back in, in the first place because she was a terrible pledge. She lied all the time, blew off almost every event and spent more time making out with her husband/boyfriend than doing anything else and yet they actually want her back. Whatevs.

Liz was assigned a report on gender issues with Maia and they act like it’s the be all and end all of papers. It’s a 1,500 word report, which really isn’t that big when you’re in college and they seem to have weeks to work on it. Liz keeps getting annoyed because Maia blows off every idea she has and seems more quiet and sad than usual. Liz gets her to go to a frat party, where she runs off after seeing James and then she refuses to go to a game because he’s there and yet Liz, who’s oh so smart, doesn’t put two and two together.

So Jess finally goes on a big date with James, to a secluded mountain top lodge. Maia stops by Liz’s room and finally confesses that James raped her and right after taking her to the same restaurant. Liz tries to get Tom to help her, but just leaves a note for him at the library and takes off. William White, who’s completely stalking her, overhears it all and then sees a mysterious stranger getting the note and also taking off. Now I know that it’s rude to wish date rape on anyone, but in Jess’s case…

She constantly picks up on the red flags, but then ignores them. He drinks way too much, but then acts normal around a sorority sister so she thinks he’s okay. Then he gets grabby with her, but she thinks he’s just really into her. Basically he keeps rubbing her, drinking and then just gets behind the wheel like it’s no big deal. Jess worries, not because he had like 7 beers and then some hard liquor but because she worries about what other people think.

James takes her up to a secluded lookout area and throws himself at her. She tries to run and he slams her to the ground. It’s actually a little graphic about how he pushes her around and drags her back to the car. Just as he’s about to rape her, Liz shows up and throws a rock through his car. See? Superhero. James starts coming at them again, but Liz pushes Jess towards the car. He’s about to grab Liz, when the mysterious stranger shows up and hits James.

The twins get home and Jessica cries. Not too hard though because she’ll forget all about it within a few weeks. They discover that she left her purse at the site, but then someone (I.e. the mysterious stranger) drops it off. That leaves it open for the story to continue in the next book…and the next…and the next…