March: Fake It to Make It

And so we’re on to March. I was thinking a lot about performance as I was reading this section. Jessica puts up with the Clueless Crew because it’s easier than being alone.  Jessica’s quote unquote friends and parents don’t seem to see through her façade because they see what they expect to see and don’t feel the need to interrogate it. Scotty sees that Jessica doesn’t enjoy hanging out at his house, but he doesn’t do anything to rectify the situation. Hy and Marcus see through Jessica’s performance, maybe because they’re examining her more closely than others or perhaps because they’re actively performing in order to challenge the status quo and recognize that Jessica could do the same. Hy tells Jessica that she could “revolutionize the concept of popularity” (70) and set “the standard for the rest of the millennium” (70). As intriguing as this idea seems, it sounds exhausting to me. Jessica has enough trouble putting up with the Clueless Crew and she can’t envision herself “actually kissing Scotty and performing uh, other girlfriendly duties” (70). Actively dating someone is a lot different than putting on a Backstreet Boys shirt.

Stray Observations

  • I love when Jessica analyzes everyone’s bedrooms. Especially that Manda’s pictures of her ex-boyfriends look like mug shots.
  • I really want to see Pepe’s Elvis impersonation.
  • Poor Len Levy. Why did you attempt a stage dive?
  • The infamous “who says we’re having sex” conversation!

Another book that I think would go well with this section/topic is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. Here’s why I think it’s great:

  1. Frankie is super smart like Jessica.
  2. Frankie is very aware that how she acts affects the way that people perceive her and actively uses that knowledge to direct interactions.
  3. Frankie plans elaborate pranks and tricks an elite all-male secret society at her preppy boarding school into doing her bidding.
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One thought on “March: Fake It to Make It

  1. Yay! I love that you’re giving us your YA recommendations! You really do know all of the books. Your discussions of performance are so spot on — especially because performance isn’t always seen as phony, but often as interesting or aspirational. Jess strives to act like she fits in because she thinks it will be easier on everyone else and she seems to respect Marcus for wearing a Backstreet Boys shirt.

    “Who says we’re having sex?” I love that Jess immediately believes her — that really does a nice job of underlining their friendship.

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