Book name: Sweet Valley High Heartbreaker
Author: Francine Pascal
Genre: Vintage children’s books
Publication Date: 1984
Star Rating: 4/5
Heartbreaker is the eighth book in the 'Sweet Valley High' series from Francine Pascal. The story was written by Kate William.
Jessica Wakefield is smarting from rejection at the hands of Bill Chase.
She just can’t get her head around the notion that a boy would prefer surfing and spending time alone to dating her!
Jessica is determined to take her revenge on Bill by making him fall in love with her. And when she’s achieved that, she’s determined to get him running round after her.
Jessica’s twin sister Elizabeth feels insecure and jealous when her boyfriend Todd’s ex-girlfriend Patsy returns from Paris.
She’s never even heard Patsy’s name and is immediately on her guard when she sees how physically affectionate Patsy and Todd are around each other.
Are they getting back together? Is Todd already cheating?
Jessica and Bill are cast in the school play. She’s determined to make sure that they rehearse their kissing scene very thoroughly, and this does have the required effect on Bill.
The need to keep rehearsing also gives Jessica the excuse she’s looking for to ask him to spend plenty of time with her.
Bill starts to fall for Jessica, and she isn’t slow in humiliating him by sending him on errands and finding other boys to date instead.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth can’t find the courage to be honest with Todd about her insecurities.
Patsy is so glamorous and has a wonderful body that she showcases to advantage on the beach. Elizabeth just doesn’t feel she can compete with that!
Elizabeth goes home in tears, and her best friend Enid spots that something is wrong. She avoids Todd, becoming angry when he tries to talk to her and insisting that he leave her alone.
Bill becomes smitten by Jessica, but he’s really mourning the death in a car accident of his last girlfriend, Julianne.
Theirs was a deeply emotional relationship: the couple truly loved each other. Bill is grieving Julianne’s loss and is too vulnerable to see just how cruel and unfeeling Jessica’s behaviour towards him is.
He can’t see that DeeDee’s feelings for him are much more genuine than Jessica’s, and that Jessica Wakefield’s one true love is herself.
He’s partly drawn to Jessica because she is physically similar to Julianne.
Elizabeth falls into the trap of seeing what she most fears: that Todd loves Patsy and is cheating on her.
Everything she sees feeds into that assumption. She just can’t be objective.
Matters come to a head at the school play when a talent scout watches the performance. Will Jessica be offered a chance to act professionally on the strength of her performance?
I loved Sweet Valley High Heartbreaker. Elizabeth’s insecurities were utterly relatable. She’s dating a High School jock, but she is happier being herself rather than being glamorous. However, she isn’t blind to how handsome Todd is and can see how other girls are attracted to him.
Jessica is never slow to criticise Todd, mostly out of pure jealousy because he chose Elizabeth over her. Elizabeth really wants to get along with her twin, but she is angry about Jessica’s meddling. On the other hand, Jessica gets right inside Elizabeth’s head and manipulates her into thinking the worst about Todd.
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