This book features Shakespeare and has two practical lessons in the end. I think it’s the first Sweet Valley High book with a single practical lesson, let alone two. Worth a read!
“She’s Not What She Seems”
Sweet Valley Scale: 4 out of 5 Twins
Jessica Wakefield has landed the starring role in Sweet Valley High’s production of Macbeth, and suddenly she is too busy for anyone except Paula Perrine, a timid new transfer student who seems to idolize Jessica. At first, Paula spends all of her time fawning over Jessica and helping her prepare for the role of Lady Macbeth. But before long, Paula seems to be better friends with Jessica’s crowd than Jessica is! Jessica is pleased that her new friend is coming out of her shell, but when Paula doesn’t tell Jessica that she’s been made her understudy, Jessica begins to wonder if Paula is trying to steal, not only her friends, but her role as Lady Macbeth as well! No one else, not even Jessica’s own twin sister, Elizabeth, believes that shy, sweet Paula could do such a thing. Can Jessica convince her friends of the truth before it’s too late?
David Goodman, some famous bigshot director is coming to Sweet Valley to direct Sweet Valley High’s high school production of Macbeth. Wow, we don’t even get to the second page before I get to yell, “Bullshit!” Why would some bigwig direct a high school play anywhere? And if he did, wouldn’t it be at some snooty private school in New York (or even LA)? Whatever.
Jessica is obsessed with getting the part of Lady Macbeth and like she does with all things, she goes overboard. She totally ignores her friends and blows off everyone in her life, including Liz and her boyfriend, Sam. In the first few chapters, this mousy shy sophomore keeps showing up everywhere she does. Jessica starts to get unnerved by the girl (her friend Annie Whitman tells her the girl’s name is Paula Perrine) and finally confronts her. Turns out Paula is just a rabid fan, but rabid is the operative word here. Like if she really has innocent intentions and this isn’t some sort of wild scheme/plot, then she is working from the Fatal Attractions playbook.
Jessica invites Paula to hang with her crowd while Paula is generous with the praise she gives Jessica. It makes you think she can’t be serious, or she’s deranged or just pathetic, but I can’t tell which of these it is yet. One night, while she is helping Jessica with her lines (Jess made it through the first two rounds of auditions, just one more round to go) Sam calls and Jess leaves her in the living room. Elizabeth is all like, “How rude!” and goes to hang out with Paula, but I don’t see what the big deal is, since Jessica was like, “Paula do you mind? I’ll be right back.” Whatever, I’m overthinking this. I just can’t stand the moral superiority.