Friday, December 23, 2011
Sweet Valley High #4: Power Play
Jessica is now the president of PBA, which is amazing given that she just became a member three books ago. Mrs. Wilson asks Liz if Jessica plans on nominating Robin because her daughter is contemplating dropping out of school. Consider what that school is actually like, I suggest Robin run for the hills. Robin worries about the nomination too and Liz finally decides that she will put her name up for nomination.
Jess is shocked because Robin is fat and can’t possibly make the sorority look good. She breezes through their next meeting, trying to finish before Liz arrives from a newspaper meeting, but she gets there in time. She nominates Robin, pointing out that she is Jessica’s best friend, so of course no one wants to say anything bad.
Jess, Lila and Cara create the three challenges that Robin must do before becoming a member. Liz finds her crying because she has to wear a bikini at the beach. Liz, Enid, Todd and George take her to the beach and help her feel better. I wonder if George remembers this later when he starts fooling around with her.
The next task involves running five times around the track every day for a week. A bunch of people show up, including Bruce Patman, calling her fat (I told you) and generally picking on her. The last task devised by Jess herself, requires Robin to take Bruce as her date to the next big dance. Robin cries constantly because she just can’t do it.
Liz goes to Bruce and makes a bunch of comments about his skills as a tennis player. At first her thinks she’s Jess coming back for round two (tee-hee) and then thinks Liz is hitting on him (tee-hee again). She promises to write him up and get a picture in the paper if he takes Robin to the dance and he agrees. Robin is shocked that he agrees, but goes all out on the night.
Bruce is a complete and total dick, of course. He walks Robin is, calls her Shamu, tells someone else to take her off his hands, and points out that he promised to take her, not stay or dance with her. I hope you remember this moment when he goes down on you Liz! Robin runs off and Liz grabs Allen Walters, the paper photographer to follow her, while she yells at Jess. Allen runs outside, Robin snaps at him and then feels bad because he’s an outcast too. He convinces her to go back inside and dance with him.
Everyone votes on Robin and all the PBA girls are petrified because Robin is Jessica’s best friend. When Jess opens the ballots, she finds a ton of white marbles and one black, meaning someone blackballed her. Liz accuses Jessica of using Robin and Jess claims Liz made her think she had a chance, when she never really did.
Robin is heart-broken at first, but then something changes. She puts up a wall and keeps to herself, not even talking to Liz. She runs around the track every morning, starts watching what she eats and in roughly two weeks goes from fat-fat to the object of everyone’s eye. The cheerleaders host open auditions and not only does she nail a spot on the squad, but she also gets voted co-captain.
I have to ask, how the fuck does this cheerleading squad work? Did Jessica always have a co-captain and she just randomly left? Or was she doing such a bad job that they decided she needed one? Plus, when the series started, Jessica was already a cheerleader and they had a squad, so why did they suddenly need new girls? Don’t forget that they hold auditions in book ten too.
Anyway, it’s around homecoming time and everyone has to vote on Miss Sweet Valley High. Jessica assumes she has it all wrapped up, but then Robin throws her hat in the ring. She puts up a notice saying that the PBA said no one outside the sorority could win and suddenly everyone hates PBA. Jessica has half the football team on her side, but the other half go for Robin.
Bruce is crazy about Robin because he isn’t fat-fat anymore and he follows her around all the time. At the big football game, they announce that Robin won. She skips the traditional limo ride around the field and asks Bruce for his Porsche. He runs to get it, but when he comes back, she announces that Allen is her escort. Bruce has to drive them around the field, which I really love.
The B-plot is all about Jessica showing up with expensive jewelry and clothes. She keeps saying that Lila got it all from her aunt, but Lila doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Liz learns at the mall that someone keeps stealing from stores and stealing the same stuff Jess has. Before she confronts her sister, she sees Lila stealing something.
Jessica gets busted instead of Lila and Liz rushes to the mall. They let Jess go, but make Lila wait for her dad. Mr. Fowler asks Liz for advice and she suggests he spend more time with his daughter. She goes to court as a character witness for Lila and Jess pitches a fit because they won’t tell her anything about what happened. Lila acts super nice to Liz, but reveals that her dad is going back to his old ways, which explains why she stays a lovable bitch throughout the books.
Oh and Jess gets over her heartbreak at losing the Miss Sweet Valley High title pretty fast because she meets a cute college guy. The book ends with Liz wondering if her sister is getting in over her head. Nope Liz, not at all.