Perfect Size Six

August 6, 2010

#8 Heart Breaker (or Surf’s up, Bitch)

“Will Jessica break Bill’s heart, too??”

Once upon a time, Jessica had a crush on Bill Chase, so she asked him to go to the Sadie Hawkins dance with her. Bill turned her down, since he still wasn’t over his dead ex-girlfriend, so Jessica, being the sociopath that she is, has vowed to get her revenge. Mwahaha!

It all started in the last book, #7 Dear Sister. Bill originally had a crush on Elizabeth, and during her breakup with Todd/hoedown, she agreed to go out with him. Liz ended up ditching Bill for Bruce, so Jess went instead, pretending she was Liz.  She then revealed at the end of the date that she was Jessica, so Bill’s affection shifted accordingly.

Wow. That was a lot of set up. I solemnly swear the rest of the book is a lot less complicated.

Bill and Jessica have snagged the leads in Sweet Valley High’s spring production of Splendor in the Grass. (That’s an interesting choice. I love the movie and all, but I would think that the topics therein (including suicide, abortion, mental breakdown, and implied gang rape) would be a tad controversial/ awkward in the world of Sweet Valley. Can you just imagine Jess, the drama queen, delivering these lines:

“No, mom! I’m not spoiled! I’m not spoiled mom! I’m just as fresh and virginal, like the day I was born, mom!”

Plus, it seems like the only scenes they ever rehearse are ones that involve Jess and Bill making out.

At stage left, we have DeeDee Gordon, who’s continuously mooning over Bill. I don’t blame her. He’s definitely one of the dreamiest Sweet Valley males, but remember, this is a world where attempted date-rapist Bruce Patman is the #1 stud. So all bets are off.

To summarize our love quadrangle, DeeDee likes Bill, Bill likes Jessica, and Jessica’s got the hots for (pre-gay) Tom Mckay (he doesn’t “come out” per se, but he becomes “confused” once he meets Enid’s hot, gay cousin in #75 Amy’s True Love. )

DeeDee appears to be making some headway with Bill, after he starts giving her surfing lessons, but Jessica won’t let someone half as beautiful and half as popular steal her manservant away from her!

It’s like whenever Jessica sees the two of them together, she pulls out her bag of tricks and reduces Bill to a puddle. Then, she alternately ignores him and flirts with Tom Mckay. DeeDee, meanwhile, hangs in there, like the masochist she is.

Things sort of come to a head when DeeDee’s Hollywood agent father comes to town. He watches the play rehearsal and declares that one member of the cast has huge star potential. He won’t say who, because he doesn’t want to make them nervous (???) for opening night, when he will bring one of his producer-friends who discovered Matt Dillon. So instead of making one person nervous, he makes them all petrified by default. Nice, Mr. Gordon.

Jessica knows that she’s the only one who could be a Hollywood star, so she starts operating under the belief that she will be the next Jessica Lange.  Who cares about Bill or Tom, when there’s Richard Gere?

A distraught Bill takes DeeDee for more surfing lessons during a storm. He’s so distracted by thoughts of Jessica that he doesn’t notice right away when DeeDee crashes and gets hit by her board.

He realizes he’s in love with DeeDee after a daring mid-sea rescue. He drags her unconscious body to the beach and can’t believe how beautiful she is. He starts performing CPR on her, but it quickly turns into a makeout session when she opens her eyes and says his name. I thought this was soooo romantic as a kid, but it seems really creepy in retrospect. How about you make sure she’s actually okay before you stick your tongue down her throat, Bill? Within five minutes of the near-death experience, they’re both saying “I love you” to one another. That was fast. (Maybe, this is foreshadowing for #22, Too Much In Love, where DeeDee becomes a Stage-5 clinger.)

Fast forward to opening night of Splendor in the Grass. The play’s a hit, and Mr. Gordon announces that the next Hollywood star will be……Bill Chase. Ooooh, burn Jessica.

Jess makes a last-ditch effort to win back Bill, but he very publicly lets it be known at Lila’s party that DeeDee’s his gal. Awww.

B-Plot: Todd’s ex-girlfriend, Patsy Webber, has moved back to Sweet Valley, and Elizabeth becomes extremely insecure because Patsy is so beautiful. She also dated Todd before Liz, which doesn’t help. Instead of discussing her insecurities with Todd, she just freaks out at all of Todd and Patsy’s interactions. Todd is just as inappropriate. If you have a girlfriend, you shouldn’t be spending all your time with your supermodel ex-girlfriend, giving her sunscreen rubdowns and conciliatory hugs.

I’m so tired of the Liz/Todd drama. It seems like they’re on the verge of breaking up over something stupid in every book. Countdown to Todd’s move to Vermont: 15 books.

Oh, hey, it’s Lois Waller (the poster child of Perfect Size Six): “(Liz) was reluctant to confide in Enid in front of the other girls. Lois Waller made her a little uncomfortable—always trying so hard to impress people, to be in the center of things.”

Perfect-size-six propaganda moment: “DeeDee knew she was running off at the mouth, making jokes to cover up for what she was really feeling. It was an old defense that dated back to when she’d been a chubby little girl and the only way she could keep the other kids from making cracks about her was to make them laugh first.”

(As a bonus of sorts, here’s one of the most dramatic scenes in Splendor in the Grass. Jessica would be playing “Deanie,” the girl in the bathtub. Lila would be playing her mother (haha!) Lila always gets the shaft in the plays.


3 Comments »

  1. Between the Harrison Ford mention, and dreamy Bill Chase, I thought this was the mostest romantykal book ever when I was 12.

    Comment by Dwanollah — August 10, 2010 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

    • Wow. I feel like a Sweet Valley celebrity has visited. I’ve been a fan of your website for awhile. In fact, it was reading your SVH snark (and my other favorite, Sweet Valley Diaries) that made me want to pursue recapping.
      So thanks! If it’s okay, I’ll post a link to you in my sidebar. : )

      Bill is definitely one of the dreamiest SVH dudes. There are slim pickings to be had, though. I always liked Guy Chesney—musician who appreciates a non-traditional beauty (if she has a great singing voice).

      Comment by mediumcore — August 11, 2010 @ 7:40 am | Reply

  2. Aw, honey, that made my day! In fact, this week I’ve been pondering un-dead-ing my site; I’ve been having too much fun with all the SVH chatter and want to leave open a venue to recap Confidential, amongst other things. 🙂

    Comment by Dwanollah — August 11, 2010 @ 8:59 pm | Reply


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