24 July 2016

Playing with Fire

Author: Kate William
Series: Sweet Valley High #3
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

"Not all of us can walk around cheating and blackmailing and lying and not feel guilty about it."

Are there really people out there as stupid and annoying as Jessica Wakefield?  I certainly hope not.  She is the antithesis of a role model for young girls.  She's conceited, self-centered, self-destructive, and she completely loses herself for a guy who - surprise, surprise - treats her like crap.

Here are just a few of the things she does in this novel:

- ditches Winston at the school dance competition (or whatever it was) to go hang out with Bruce

- ditches Robin time and time again, then only pays attention to her when she wants to use her to steal something at school

- cheats on her tests/quizzes

- bails on cheerleading to hang out with Bruce, who ends up canceling on her all the time anyway

- let's Bruce treat her like %&$^ over and over again, all the time telling herself she loves him.

I'm sorry, but in what universe is this love?  What is the one character trait he possesses that she actually likes?  Oh, right.  His wealth, popularity, and good looks.  Well, okay then.  Excuse me while I sit here and roll my eyes and fake gag.  I really don't understand these types of toxic relationships, or how people like Jessica let themselves think they enjoy this!  I keep waiting for her to redeem herself in one of these novels, to show that maybe she isn't such a turd, but so far, still no luck.

Another thing that annoyed me was how Elizabeth and the others seem to blame Bruce for changing Jessica.  I think that's utter BS.  He didn't force her to change.  Jessica made that decision entirely on her own.  They should be pissed at her for not wanting to be the better person.  They could be pissed at him, however, for how terribly he treats her throughout this entire novel.

The really sad thing is, I don't feel like there was even a moral or a lesson to this story.  I doubt Jessica is going to learn anything from it, which may make it hard for young readers to either.  I just don't know, fellow readers.  I really don't know.  But at least Liz and Todd are still cute together and not completely dysfunctional.

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