20 August 2016

Power Play

Author: Kate William
Series: Sweet Valley High #4
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

All Robin Wilson had ever wanted was to be popular, but it seemed she had been going about it the wrong way.  All she had to do was be confident, take care of herself, and treat the people around her the way they deserved to be treated...

I liked this series growing up, didn't I?  I could swear I did, but I am finding it harder and harder to remember why.  I know I liked the Sweet Valley Twins that I read, and I was obsessed with the SVU for a while, but maybe I never actually read the series when they were in their prime in high school.

Oh boy, so here we go again.  Let's start with Robin this time.  She wants to join Jess's Sweet Valley High Beautification Committee (only started so that Jessica can run for Miss Sweet Valley High since she has been too self centered to have any extracurriculars on her resume), but Jessica and her elite snob jackwad friends don't think Robin is the 'right type' of person to join the club, so they make her go through a whole song and dance of high school hazing that is pretty messed up, hoping she will drop out on her own accord.  Robin, obsessed with popularity, goes along with humiliating herself (because why not?), then - when things don't exactly go her way - she drops out of school to be homeschooled and hit the gym and get a makeover, so that maybe she could be popular.  I'm sorry, but exsqueeze me?  How is this the message we want to send to teenage girls?  If you get bullied in high school but a bunch of bitches, just drop out and buy into the whole stereotypes of beauty, stripping yourself of your identity, and then you too can be popular!  Ummm, f*&^ no.

Jessica is as much of a brat as always.  How have her parents not sent her off to a boarding school yet to get her attitude adjusted?  Even Elizabeth is a little annoying in this one.  Miss Goody Two Shoes wants to be helpful, so she meddles in the Robin situation which, surprise, surprise, backfires completely.  Like we couldn't see that one coming.

Where are the parents in this series?  Is it just me, or do these books tend to teach the wrong kind of moral story?  The only one I almost want to feel sorry for in this novel is Lila, but she's such the cliche of a spoiled rich kid that I can't.  These characters are all archetypes without any depth.  And whenever you think they might develop into an actual human like character, it always seems to go sideways.  Another disappointing letdown.

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