Friday, March 20, 2015

Sweet Valley High #49: Playing for Keeps

This is the book where Jessica turns into Elizabeth and becomes way less interesting.

AJ Morgan is brand new in town and tends to like girls who are quieter and sweeter. Jessica decides that acting like her twin will help her win his heart but she goes way overboard. All of their dates involve nonprofit organization and charity meetings, studying, and boring stuff. She even makes him leave the beach early to do some studying at the library. On another date, they take a mile long hike and look for birds.

Everyone pretty much hates this version of Jessica. Lila, Amy, and Cara keep trying to get her goat and make her snap. Elizabeth spends a lot of time writing in her journal and worrying about her twin. She tries to tell her that she can't keep pretending forever and that AJ deserves to know the real her. Yeah, so he would know that she would eventually cheat on him and break his heart.

While jogging on the beach, Jess and AJ hear someone crying for help. AJ dives into the water to save a drowning victim. Her name is Pamela, she's from some snotty private school, and she's gorgeous. She also has big eyes for AJ. Not only does she keep touching him, but she basically acts like Jessica isn't even there. After eying him and treating Jess like crap, she hops in her new Mercedes and takes off. AJ feels uncomfortable because he actually kind of liked her, and Jessica is pissed because the old Jess would have put her in her place.

AJ gets a shock when Pamela calls him a few days later and asks him to come over and meet her parents. Turns out that her parents are actually in Denver. She offers him wine, lounges on the couch half dressed, and acts like a real housewife of whatever city. AJ decides that even though he and Jess aren't together-together that it isn't right for him to go out with someone else. Pamela then invites him to a dance at her school before he leaves to meet Jessica at the library.

Jeffrey, Liz, Jessica, and AJ go on a double date to the Dairi Burger. Jessica pretends that she knows nothing about popular music but agrees to put some music on the jukebox anyway. When Jeffrey goes with her, AJ decides to open up to her twin. He explains that Jess is just too serious for him and that he needs someone lighter. Liz contemplates telling him the truth but decides not to get involved.

Lisette's is planning some huge thing with their resident designer Nadine. They'll have a fashion show with normal girls wearing their current designs, and the winner will get a customized wardrobe designed by Nadine. A bunch of her friends encourage Jess to enter but she isn't sure how AJ will react. While at the store, she has a run in with Pamela, who calls her Jennifer. Jessica immediately goes to sign up, and Pamela decides to enter too.

Since most of the book is just AJ wondering if he should go out with Pamela or if Jessica will ever lighten up, and Jessica worries if he'll dump her, let's just jump the fashion show. Lila and Amy show up to help her change and whatever. They also constantly talk about Pamela and get Liz to do the same thing in the hopes of bringing back her old spirit.

Pamela sabotages a bunch of her outfits. She "accidentally" snags her bracelet on the back of a knit dress Jess wears, and she screws up the zipper on a skintight denim dress. Jessica slaps on a big ass leather belt and rocks the runway. She's so busy trying to stay ahead of her that she can't worry about what AJ will think. She just flirts and smiles her way through each turn.

During the last part of the fashion show, Pamela pretends to accidentally throw a big cup of ice water on her. Jessica finally flips out and calls her out on all her shit. Lila and Amy arrange for the curtains to open so everyone can see them. Jessica just completely cuts the girl down to the point where she runs off in tears. Nadine then announces Jessica as the winner. AJ is so amazed by the real Jess that he falls even more in love.

*Jessica asks Liz to critique a poem she wrote. Liz acts a little pompous because the poem is dark and not happy. She then convinces Jess to write something more upbeat like a poem about rainbows or butterflies. Yes, Liz, because all poems are happy.

*Ha! Lila says, in front of Pamela, that AJ told her he met a girl on the beach who had an ego the size of Utah and a rear end to match.

*I really hate how they did the AJ/Jess end scene. After a whole book of BS between them, all we get is Jessica telling Liz what happened after the fashion show. Really?

*No one really gets a B story here. Liz kind of does, but it's really all about how she thinks Jessica should be more honest.

*Who died and made Liz the ruler of everything? Between this one and Crash Landing, I need a break from her. She spends the whole time complaining about what people should do and what needs to happen, does absolutely nothing, and then acts all smug when something eventually does happen. Bitch, you didn't do anything!

*I like AJ, so I can't believe that in just a few short books, Jessica will screw him over.