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Blah.  I bought this book with the vague intent of snarking it for 1bruce1, but it's still too soon.


Quick background: Random House decided to reissue the first dozen of the Sweet Valley High series for ... well, I'm sure they had a good reason.  I'm guessing they thought it'd be the perfect thing to bring back to compete with Gossip Girl, A-listers, and other bitchy books.  Only because of my loyalty to 1bruce1 did I spend $5.99 (plus tax) of my money on this slight contribution to the world of YA literature, Playing with Fire.

Jessica Wakefield - sixteen-year-old, party-loving, manipulative, popular cheerleader - has been in love with popular senior Bruce Patman since middle school.  For some reason, he decides to finally act on that and asks her to go out with him (if she's really as hot and flirty as the narrator says she is, wouldn't skirt-chasing Bruce have hooked up with her long ago?).  But there are rules for being his girlfriend - like letting him win every tennis match, dropping out of cheerleading, dressing like the wife of a conservative politician, and basically bending to his will.  Jessica acquieses to every one expect the cheerleading thing.  Jessica's dalliances with her new b.f. land her in trouble with a teacher - she was "forced" to cheat on a test - although the girl she cheats off lands in far more trouble than her.  Her twin sister, the very sweet, logical, equally beautiful but somehow less popular Elizabeth, is concerned and tries to tell Jess to break it off with Bruce.  Finally, when Jessica sees proof that Bruce has been cheating on her, she dumps him then and there.

Also, there's a B-plot that acts like it's way more important than it is: SVH's most popular (and only) rock band is being courted by an agent.  Turns out he just wants to hook up with the female lead singer.  Can you say "skeevy"?

I really hated Jessica's character here.  She treats a lot of people badly and acts like your typical looks-obsessed Mean Girl, but we are supposed to feel sympathy for her.  She only likes Bruce because he's hot, popular, and wealthy.  There's a really sweet, needy girl named Robin who worships her, but Jessica just uses her the entire time and never sees the error of her ways.  There's no "Bruce was awful to me just like I was awful to her" realization at the end, which I kind of expected.  She just never learns.  On the plus side, Elizabeth's character was sincere and the scenes with her and her b.f. are pretty cute.  And Robin sounds like a nice girl who's only real flaw is OMG! being fat (and, because of that, having low self-esteem).  But that's not much of a saving grace for this crap.

Oh, and apparently, Random House isn't publishing any more past the six books it's already published.  Bwah!

Rating: 2 discarded bikini tops out of 5.