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Playing with Fire
Francine Pascal
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Playing with Fire (Sweet Valley High #3)

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  2,202 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Elizabeth wonders if her twin sister Jessica can handle her new boy friend Bruce, Sweet Valley High's most eligible and arrogant male.
Hardcover, 149 pages
Published September 28th 1989 by Grey Castle Press (first published 1983)
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Cover Models: Bruce strangles Jessica while she tenderly touches his arm. Aww.

Page count: 149

Special Event: A dance contest at the beginning called, and I kid you not, Sweet Valley's Fifth Annual Rockin' Dance Party Contest. Wowzas. Bruce's 18th birthday party at the end.

Number of times "thirty-seven" or "a hundred and thirty-seven" was mentioned: None that I caught. It's possible I missed it though.

Mental Illness of the Week: Jessica, who completely changes her personality for Bruce
An epic sweet valley. Gets one extra star just for Bruce trying to untie Jessica's bikini top in the lake during a crazy make out session. They also rolled around in the woods a bit and Bruce probably got to second base. It was pretty risque for my 12 year old self and I recall re-reading this one often.

Possible first sweet valley mention of boobs? Or that might have been when Bruce was hooking up with Liz after she was in a motorcycle accident and ended up in a coma, which upon waking, had the
Playing with Fire

This book is pretty
Much about Elizabeth
Worrying because

Jessica makes out
A lot with Bruce Patman and
Liz doesn't want Jess

To "get hurt". Did you
Know that, in Sweet Valley, that's
Synonymous with

"Get laid"? It is. SO.
Jess smooches Bruce lots. Bruce is
A controlling ass,

Which causes Jess to
Lose her je ne sais quoi and
Worry Liz to tears.

Also, there is some
Other crap plot line about
This band, the Droids, but

It is too dumb to
Repeat. AND, we're introduced
To new character,

Robin, who is fat
Cate Marsden
Even having adjusted my standards to Sweet Valley levels, that was disturbing. Jessica erases her personality and ditches all her own interests to "date" Bruce Patman, even though dating him appears to consist of supplying sex (or, okay, kisses; "deep, passionate kisses" seem to be the SVH equivalent anyway) on the beach, and never getting taken anywhere fun or expensive or public.

I still don't understand why. Bruce is supposedly rich and handsome, but what good are either of those things to Je
Rachel Brand
Initially I liked the concept of this book. Jessica might well be the most popular girl in Sweet Valley, but she still has flaws - and one of those flaws is her crush on Bruce Patman. This means that when she finally gets him, she's willing to do anything to keep him, even give up her social life and hobbies. This was an interesting idea, but once I got further into the book I got a bit fed up. Jessica really wasn't acting like herself. Bruce wasn't a weakness; he completely changed her. For any ...more
Oct 22, 2008 jenn added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
A truly pivotal entry in the SVH high series, as it marks the entrance of

1. naked boobs


2. blind hatred of fat people

into the world of Sweet Valley.

I read the 1983 version, because I am nothing if not a YA purist, but this is the first SVH that made me wonder about the updated version. Specifically, if the updated version gave any indication of how Jessica and Bruce spent their 8-hour make-out sessions, and if Liz did what I would do in the same situation - shove condoms into Jessica's pock
I know that we're supposed to be sympathetic of Jessica in this book, but really it just proves to me how much I hate her. She's so immature. She really needed to grow a backbone.

Then again, I usually complain that she just steps on everyone, so it was kinda nice to see her be stepped on. However, it was all at the expense of her still being a snob and still blowing off people she doesn't think are "cool enough".

I think there's something going on with Ned and Marianna. I know he and Alice don't
Jessica Meigs
Oh lol. My read-through of the currently available ebooks for SVH continues. I forgot how ridiculous these books are (and I don't remember ridiculous necessarily in a BAD way--just in a soap opera kind of way). Spent 90% of the book wanting to slap Jessica Wakefield. But what else is new?
Sarah B
Never wear a string bikini around Bruce Patman, is what I learned from this one. Is it just me or does Bruce look like John Barrowman?
Jessica finally gets Bruce Patman, but he's distant and cold to her much of the book. She sits idly by the phone waiting for him to call. Elizabeth is worried that the fire has gone out of her sister. Elizabeth discovers that Bruce has another woman on the side and when she sees Jessica pouting at his birthday party, she decides to call him out. The leave the party, come back later, see Bruce with another girl and Jessica dumps soda all over him and lets the air out of the tires of his sleek bla ...more
Jessica has had a crush on Bruce Patman for the longest time and she finally gets to be his girl (funny, I never got that impression of her obsessive crush on him when I was reading Sweet Valley Twins). Finally Jessica lands wealthy Bruce Patman as a boyfriend. Since they are both equally superficial and egotistical, it ought to be a match made in heaven. But Bruce is picky about his girlfriends: they can't beat him at tennis, they have to cater to all his whims, and they can't be on the cheerle ...more
I'd like to say the third book in the series takes a break from Jessica being doesn't, but her evil acts are small compared to the conniving she does in the first two books. In here, she only (only?) completely uses a girl named Robin, who hero-worships her. Actually, in this book, Jessica gets to play the victim, somewhat.

After a long time of pining over SVH's number one guy, Bruce Patman, Jessica finally gains his attention at a dance, and they become boyfriend/girlfriend (sort of).
SVH was one of my favorite guilty pleasures, although you know, not guilty because I don't feel guilty about any of my books lol. This isn't going to be in a normal review format though and I'm not going to super-analyze it like the BSC books, but just have some fun with it and see what happens.

Before Reading: I don't remember this one at all. The copyright date is 1983, which is like whoa! My book was presented to a Baptist church library by The International Order of Rainbow Girls. (Which I n
Tara Calaby
Playing With Fire may well be my most read Sweet Valley novel and I'm not entirely sure why. There is plenty of Bruce here, which is great, and Elizabeth is amazingly non-annoying, but the entire plot revolves around Jessica not being Jessica. Instead, she gives up most of the things that make her so fantastic, in order to keep Bruce's attention.

This is Sweet Valley High, so it isn't exactly a sensitive and educated discourse about controlling partners or abusive relationships. We don't really s
As always, I'll lead off by saying that this is children's literature and I am not a child. I'm a grown ass adult that reads children's book and makes fun of them for fun. Ahem.

Francine Pascal and her ghost writing collective continue to flesh out the "personalities" of the most hateful twins ever invented in the third Sweet Valley book.

In short, Jessica is a psychopath and Elizabeth is a judgy mcjudgerson, EXCEPT when it comes to Jess.

We're introduced to Robin Wilson in this book, Sweet Valle
Lydia Rose
It wasn't great, but it wasn't awful.

Jessica got what she wanted. The school Queen place is now hers, but the man she wanted to sit next to is not the King. The King spot went to a nerd that always had a crush on Jessica, and still does. Now Jessica has to find another way to get Bruce to love her.

She does, but when she does, Bruce takes charge of her. She so in love, she doesn't care what she does. He tells her to get rid of her cloths, and buy new, more expensive ones. She does change most o
Needed a stress release, so I painted my nails lemon yellow and read some SVH.

So terrible. So good. This was the book that introduced breasts and second base to Sweet Valley, although if my memory serves the books get more tame after Jessica and Bruce's mix of petting sessions and bad puns about "chemistry." Maybe there was some criticism?

It was very racy when I was in middle school, after all.

Bruce still blows, Jessica was just weird, and Elizabeth is a crusader for teenage virginity! She's
For me this one was ok, perhaps if I still had teenage hormones running wild I would have felt more enraged with how Bruce was treating Jessica but as it was I just saw it as he's a jerk and she should stand up for what she wants.
Petty drama, sister issues and changing for a boy - not top of my list for my daughter to read. However, its light, fluffy and fairly harmless.
Makayla DeLange

I love this book so much!!!
It is a great book for the people who are in love with Sweet Valley High.
Poor little Jessica. Haha!

I kind of liked this story wherein Elizabeth is acting like a big good sister trying to save up her little brat twin without being humiliated by the crowd. Jessica who is head over heels in love with Bruce Patman, was blinded by his charm and worshipped him from head to toe which made Jessica turned from someone she's not. As usual, she made things just to get what she wants even if that causes trouble to other people.

Her sister Liz, being the nice-and-saviour did not
more lurid tales from the lives of the beautiful Wakefield twins - with fat shaming!
Sweet Vally High ruled my Elementary years. Bruce Pattman forever!!!
It's a dime novel. Decent writing for the genre and lots of nostalgia for me
When I first started reading these books it was later in the series like book 70 something and I always wonedered why all of the girls in particular Lila and Jess hated Bruce for reasons that pretty much described themselves as well. Heck Lila is pretty much the male version of Bruce but then when I read this book I learnt why and it's because he pretty much pumped and dumped all of them.
Want to know the only reason I gave this book 4 stars? The embarassment factor of carrying around a teen (ancient teen at that) book and reading it in public. Other than that, its just good classic SVH fun.

In this installment, Jessica finally wins her crush Bruce Patman, becomes his puppy dog following him around, love struck. Jessica deserves a little of the poor treatment she gets in this book (oh Jessica I just love to hate you). Finally though, she sees Bruce for who he is and ditches him b
Elizabeth Lasso
tercera parte de novelita para niñas
Doris Ware
a quick read. I read it on my kindle.
Not bad as far as these types of books go. I read the updated version. I don't know exactly how the plot compares to the original written in the '80s, but this one seemed just like whoever wrote it dropped in names of new technology, styles, etc. Within the first 20 pages, it had already mentioned that a high school band had been discovered on youtube, the band could open for Coldplay, and someone was going to record a video with their cellphone. It was both laughable and annoying.
Those that know me know that I rarely give a book two stars because somebody took time to write this but this book was so boring. I haven't read this one before and I was a little offended by the blatant hate for overweight people and the controlling nature of Bruce. If this was the way that the 80's were then I'm very glad I was a 90's baby. Jessica was annoying, Liz was annoying and I just didn't care about anything that happened in this book at all. I hope it begins to pick up.
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Francine Pascal (May 13, 1938— ) is an American author best known for creating the Sweet Valley series of novels. In 1982 she created the characters and the stories for the first six books and her agent, Amy Berkower of Writers House sold them to Bantam Books. Book number one is mostly written by Ms. Pascal. From then on she wrote the stories for every book ever published in the series. After the ...more
More about Francine Pascal...

Other Books in the Series

Sweet Valley High (1 - 10 of 159 books)
  • Double Love (Sweet Valley High, #1)
  • Secrets (Sweet Valley High, #2)
  • Sweet Valley High: Three Novels: Double Love, Secrets & Playing with Fire  (Sweet Valley High, #1-3)
  • Power Play (Sweet Valley High, #4)
  • All Night Long (Sweet Valley High, #5)
  • Dangerous Love (Sweet Valley High, #6)
  • Dear Sister (Sweet Valley High, #7)
  • Sweet Valley High Collection: All Night Long, Dangerous Love, Dear Sister (Sweet Valley High #5-7)
  • Heart Breaker (Sweet Valley High, #8)
  • Racing Hearts (Sweet Valley High, #9)
Best Friends (Sweet Valley Twins, #1) Double Love (Sweet Valley High, #1) Fearless (Fearless, #1) Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later Secrets (Sweet Valley High, #2)

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“Jessica was clearly in her element, moving with the music naturally and without effort. Even her lustrous golden hair swayed to the beat, completing the perfect picture of a dancer caught up in ecstasy.” 1 likes
“But Bruce pushed her back ever so slightly. “In dancing, at least, the guy still takes the lead.” His meaning wasn’t lost on Jessica. She’d have to be less aggressive if she wanted to keep him interested. “Then I’ll follow wherever you lead,” she said with uncharacteristic submissiveness.” 0 likes
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