Friday, August 28, 2015

Jessica Wakefield, Have You No Soul?

A few girls in my book club decided to do a re-read of this classic that we grew up with.  We live-Tweeted (#SVHAnonymous) it and made up our own drinking game.  Thank God for the drinking game.  The only way to get through this book as a 30-something is to drink.

The series is about Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, 16-year-old twins with "the same shoulder-length, sun-streaked blond hair, the same sparkling blue-green eyes, the same perfect skin."  They were "five feet six on the button and generously blessed with spectacular, All-American good looks."  How precious (PUKE!!!).

This particular gem chronicles the adventures of Jessica not being able to handle a guy not liking her.


My main take from this- Jessica Wakefield is the devil (if the devil were also very, very stupid).  I present you with 5 reasons I came to this conclusion:


1.  She's a damn whiney little brat who cries, bitches, and moans when she doesn't get her way.

Example: 

  • When their mother says Jessica can't drive the Fiat for 3 weeks because she dented the car, Jessica moans about how unfair life is, and then proceeds to steal the keys from Elizabeth and ditch her after school.  Elizabeth has to walk home.


2.  Every time Elizabeth catches Jessica doing something wrong, she pretends like she's going to cry and then turns it around on Elizabeth.

Example: 

  • When Liz confronts her about taking the car and her having to walk home, Jess claims she saw Liz getting in a car with other people, so Liz is actually the ditcher, not the ditchee.  And actually it was Liz who almost got Jess in trouble by MAKING her drive when she's not supposed to!!
  • This whole thing is a lie and Liz knows she's lying, but Jessica just puts it on Liz and quickly changes the subject.


3.  She tries to steal her own twin's crush (Todd Wilkins) throughout all 182 pages.

Examples: 

  • In the opening scene, he calls for Elizabeth, which infuriates Jessica.  She lies and tells him Liz is in the shower and that she'll be in there "practically forever".  And then proceeds to flirt with him relentlessly.
  • She runs into Todd when he's supposed to be meeting Liz after school, Jess moves in, and they end up driving away in the (stolen) Fiat, leaving Elizabeth to walk home.
  • Jessica goes on a date with the high-school drop-out/local date-rapist and gets picked up by the cops at a bar.  She gives the cop Elizabeth's name.  Then she allows the whole school, including Todd, believe that is was Liz.  Of course, this makes Todd say he doesn't "trust and believe in" Elizabeth anymore (because well, Todd has his own issues).
  • Jessica lets Todd believe that she is martyring herself so that he will take her to the dance instead of Liz.
  • When Todd doesn't pay enough attention to Jess at the dance, because he's obviously into Elizabeth, Jessica FREAKS out, fake cries, and tells Liz that Todd basically raped her ("his hands were everywhere and they wouldn't stop").  All so that Elizabeth will not get the guy.


4.  She pretends that a guy did something sexually inappropriate to her just because he doesn't pay attention to her.

Example:

  • A.  See above.
  • B.  I cannot believe I just read a storyline that had someone crying fake rape and it's totally smoothed over like no big deal.


5.  When she's caught in her web of lies, her explanation is sickening.

Example:

  • She says she did it because she knew Elizabeth would have helped her if she asked.  Even though she DIDN'T ask.
  • "I'm sorry, honestly, I swear I am.  Forgive me." Jessica's pleading face was drenched in tears.  "Even when it was happening, I knew it was a horrible thing to do."


Final Thoughts:

So yeah, this book really was something else.  So cheesy and over-the-top with the unnecessary (and unbelievable) drama.  With that said, I had A LOT of fun reading it, because I was reading it knowing what I was going to get.  As a kid, I read the Sweet Valley Twins series (the junior high version) a lot more than this series... and I think that was a really good thing.  Jessica was a way more watered down version and actually learned lessons from the lies she told.  I can't imagine the effect if I read this  growing up and actually thought the things that go on were okay!!



Some Live Tweeting:






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5 comments:

  1. +JMJ+

    When I was younger, I inherited my mom's friend's SVH collection; but it didn't include this one. I recall Jessica behaving terribly in later books, but her behaviour in this one pretty much tops everything else that followed. Everything else combined, even!

    I think I've always had difficulties with Jessica's character. She's so quick to put the blame on others--and totally gets away each time, because she is always forgiven! Her actions never seem to have long-lasting consequences. The only time I ever cared for Jessica was when I was reading Sweet Valley Kids. She learned from her mistakes in that one. I presume that it's set in an alternate universe from SVH and that the nice SVK Jessica grew up into someone much nicer than her SVH counterpart.

    By the way, have you read Sweet Valley Confidential, the book that finally ends all of Francine Pascal's story weaving? It features the SVH Jessica and throws an unexpected (some might say, totally insane) new light on the events of Double Love.

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    1. I read the Sweet Valley Twins books where I believe the girls are in junior high. They also showed Jessica as a much better person who actually faced consequences for things. This book floored me when I saw how she acted and how she got away with it every time!! Infuriating!! I have not read Sweet Valley Confidential, but I've definitely heard of it. Sounds like something I find entertaining after reading this!

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  2. Holy crap on a cracker. I always liked Elizabeth ten thousand times more, but I think I blocked out Jessica's nastiness. I cannot freaking believe that this was placed into a popular series.

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    1. I know right?!?! I had no recollection of Jessica being this crazy and NOT having consequences!

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  3. This post cracks me up!!!! I used to read these... It's funny how things look different as we get older.

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