From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Francine Pascal: Sweet Valley High Confidential

I was a big fan of Sweet Valley High when I was a teenager, so I was thrilled when I received email from Goodreads in March letting me know that I was one of the lucky winners of Sweet Valley High Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal. I was even more excited when it arrived in my mailbox at the beginning of May!

It's been ten years since the Wakefield twins, Jessica and Elizabeth, graduated from Sweet Valley High. And a lot has changed.

Once inseparable, Jessica and Elizabeth are no longer speaking. In fact, Elizabeth hates Jessica for committing the ultimate betrayal.

To escape the bad memories in Sweet Valley, Elizabeth heads to New York City where she makes her journalism dream a reality, writing for an online magazine titled "Show Survey: Off Broadway In New York." She attends shows, interviews cast, crew, and fans, and gets behind-the-scenes glimpses of what it's like to put together a play. But she's still angry at Jessica. So angry that she wants to shed her good twin image and get revenge.

Jessica still lives in California and works for MYFACEISGREEN, an environmentally friendly cosmetics company. Despite the fact that she's surrounded by friends and working at a great job, she isn't happy. She's riddled with guilt and misses Elizabeth, longing for her forgiveness and the close friendship they once shared.

The story is told through alternating chapters--New York and Sweet Valley--as the reader gets caught up on what the girls and their friends from Sweet Valley High have been up to for the past ten years.

Each chapter also contains flashbacks that explain not only what Jessica's betrayal of Elizabeth was but how it unfolded.

In short, there was too much going on and it wasn't tied together very coherently.

All in all, I was disappointed. I oftentimes found the flashbacks confusing. I wished more than once that I had every Sweet Valley High book at my disposal to jog my memory (it's been a while since I've them). But, most of all, I didn't like the characters. They were flat. And it felt like they hadn't really grown up at all. In fact, I felt like long-time fans were still being addressed as if we were still teenagers.

If you're a fan of the series, you might get some enjoyment out of seeing where the characters are now. But if you want to keep your childhood memories intact, stay away.

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  1. Wow, really? I got excited when I saw the title for your post! I loved SVH as well. Even though, where I went to school, if you admitted that fact you got beat up. ;) Hmm... I would read it just to see, but if it is how you say, I don't know if I want to.... XD You know, though, lots of adults I know still act like they are in high school. Sad, really.
    Great post, I'll have to make up my mind and decide what I want to do. :D Thanks!

  2. Thanks for your comment. Yeah, it was such a letdown. I hate when that happens. And, sadly, I also know a lot of adults who still act like they're in high school, and maybe that's why it rubbed me the wrong way.

    But different people like different things, so you should probably give it a try. You may love it!


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