Will this book mark the end of Jessica’s first relationship? Is this goodbye to redhead stud, A.J. Morgan? The thing we all saw coming, and yet didn’t… you’ll have to read on to find out. 😉
Sweet Valley Scale: 4.5 out of 5 Twins
Jessica Wakefield doesn’t know how she is going to survive a long weekend without her steady boyfriend, A.J. Morgan. But when she meets Christopher, a good-looking and mysterious boy from the beach, her lonely weekend turns into one of the most romantic times of her life. Jessica knows she will have to stop seeing Christopher when A.J. returns, but in the meantime she is going to enjoy herself. But then, what started out as fun turns into a nightmare. Christopher refuses to leave Jessica alone. He calls her every night and then begins to follow her wherever she goes. Jessica is terrified that A.J. will find out and break up with her. Has Jessica got herself in too deep this time?
A.J. Morgan, Jessica Wakefield’s boyfriend is going to Texas for a long weekend, to celebrate his grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. And Jessica is freaking out. Like seriously. She is pouting and carrying on as if he just told her that he has some terrible disease or is going on a military tour in Afghanistan and will be gone for years. Get it together Jess! She is a whiny bitch for two days and then on Friday she finally agrees to do something with her friends Lila Fowler, Cara Walker and Amy Sutton. They go to the beach, but Jessica is still being impossible so they leave her there and go to the Dairi Burger. Jessica stays at the beach, busy feeling sorry for herself, when she realizes she and a surfer are the only two left there. The surfer comes up to her and starts getting all flirty. Jessica loves it because he is really good looking. He asks her to dinner and she decides, “Why not?” She agrees to meet him in an hour, but knows better than to tell anyone and tries not to think about A.J. because she knows he would be upset. But even with these thoughts, she reasons it is, “no big deal.” Ugh.
After their dinner, Jessica and Christopher walk along the beach and then make out. Christopher seems to be laying it on strong, as he basically pledges his undying love for Jessica and they have only known each other a few hours. If this were real life, this would cue the red flags, flashing in big neon lights. But this is Sweet Valley, where instant hardcore love develops after a single meeting – no big deal. 😛 Jessica spends the entire next day with Christopher and he gets her a bouquet of roses and a stuffed seal and does all of these other romantic things. The next day Jessica finally breaks the news to him. She tells him that she has a boyfriend and that they can never see each other again. Christopher is a little hurt and disappointed, but seems to understand.
Or does he? Christopher is calling Jessica all of the time. He’s being a pain, not to mention obnoxious, and it’s clear to me that he is just a tad crazy. After a few days he starts following her, and Jessica sees him wherever she goes. At this point I would usually advise someone to get a restraining order, but we have seen what the Sweet Valley justice system is like, not to mention their police officers are idiots. They would probably give Christopher pointers and encourage him not to give up on young love. Jessica is terrified that A.J. is going to find out about her weekend with Christopher and she goes back and forth between worrying he’ll find out before the Citizen’s Day Ball or at all. A.J. won an essay contest so he’ll be their king, which will make her their queen and Jessica is desperate to be crowned at this big-deal event that will put her where she belongs, in the spotlight. This seriously irks me. Sometimes she is afraid A.J. will dump her period – end of statement. But most of the time it seems she is worried he will dump her before this big-deal dance. Jessica – I could slap you!
Christopher tells Jessica if she doesn’t tell A.J. about them, then he will. Only he keeps talking the present tense as if they are still a thing, which is seriously creepy. A.J. is trying to sell his car and Christopher calls him, pretending to be interested. Jessica is there when Christopher comes to check out the car (she had no idea he was the guy coming to look at it) and A.J.’s mother calls him into the house to deal with another prospective buyer, but Christopher says he is in this big hurry, so A.J. asks Jessica to go on the test drive with Christopher and she can’t tell him why that’s a bad idea because – duh. On their test drive, Christopher is driving like a maniac. He is switching lanes and speeding and slamming on the breaks. Then in a parking lot he threatens Jessica even more and says if she won’t go out with him he’ll drive into the building on the other side of the parking lot. Then he slams on the gas, driving towards it and Jessica finally agrees so he’ll stop the car. The night Christopher is demanding that she see him is the same night at the Citizen’s Day Ball.
Jessica finally comes clean to her sister, Elizabeth, about everything and Elizabeth tells Jessica she has to come clean with A.J. Once she does, Christopher won’t have any power over her. But again, Jessica is determined to wait until after the dance in a few days. On the day of the Ball, Jessica pretends to be sick so Christopher will let her off with a rain check. Jessica thinks he is handled, but at the Ball he shows up, and sees Elizabeth dancing with Jeffrey. Not knowing Jessica has a twin sister, he mistakes Elizabeth for Jessica and Elizabeth decides she has to play along in order to keep him away from Jess. She motions to Jeffrey that she’s fine, until Christopher is persistent about going for a walk. Seeing no other option, Elizabeth reluctantly agrees.
Back inside, Jeffrey finds Jessica and tells her that Elizabeth went out with some strange guy and describes him. Jessica knows Christopher thinks Liz is her, but the coronation is about to start and she reasons that Christopher isn’t all that dangerous. Which is funny considering, up until this point she kept referring to him as a psycho. Back to Liz, Christopher pulls a knife on her and makes all these threats as she tries desperately to get away. The end result? Elizabeth is locked in Christopher’s trunk. Jessica suddenly gets a flash of “twin intuition” and she knows Elizabeth is in terrible danger. She runs out of the ballroom and searches for her sister, with Jeffrey right behind her.
She gets to the parking lot just in time to stop Christopher from driving off with Elizabeth and he wonders how in the hell she got out of the trunk he just locked her in a few seconds ago. Because being a crazy punk stalker isn’t enough – he also has to be stupid. Jeffrey attacks Christopher who is apparently no match for him, and Jessica gets her sister out of the trunk. Elizabeth tells Jessica to go back to the dance for A.J. and her crown, and she and Jeffrey will wait for help (which means they can’t mean the police).
When Jessica gets back she takes A.J. aside and tells him she can’t accept the crown. This action, because it was genuine and selfless, and so unlike her, makes me forgive her for not telling A.J. sooner just because she wanted to be crowned queen. She tells A.J. she loves him and how sorry she is, but she just isn’t in a place where she can date just one boy. She thought she was, but she wasn’t. I have to say in terms of break up scenes – this is the best Sweet Valley High has seen so far. Touching, sweet, dramatic but not melodramatic. I was actually impressed (and I’m not even being sarcastic). A.J. says he understands, and he is so great about everything it makes me sick. Jess you are making the biggest mistake of your life. If only A.J. was real, and my age (because if he was sixteen when this book was written he would be twelve years my senior) and single when I was single, before I met my actual husband. Sigh, a person can dream. 😛 A.J. tells Jessica that he still wants her to be his queen for the night, in honor of everything they were to each other, and she accepts. They dance, all teary-eyed, saying they’ll never forget each other. For once I actually believe her, because you never forget your first…
I have to say, I am going to miss A.J. I’m guessing that like most of Jessica’s exes who weren’t previous established that A.J. is going to fade into the background. Sad. On another note I have to say that this book was actually written much better than other books have been. The dialogue was actually realistic and it was heavy on the drama, but light on the melodrama. If every book was written as well as this one was, I would not feel so guilty being a fan of the series. It must be a change in ghostwriters – I’m kind of hoping it’s the beginning of a new trend. 😉