Friday, April 8, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal (review #116)

by Francine Pascal
St. Martin's Press - Fiction

I'm not going to lie to you, when I saw this book at my bookstore, I squealed. Thank goodness we were not open yet and there was no one to witness my craziness. How did this escape me?
Well, gee, I'm not 16 anymore so that may have something to do with my
Sweet Valley radar slipping.

I immediately paged my boss, who too was an 80s child and loved all things Sweet Valley and exclaimed "Why is this book NOT on display? It MUST be!" She laughed and said, "I knew you'd get it. I brought it to everyone's attention last week at the meeting and NO ONE got it. NO ONE. " She thought to herself, Michelle would. Michelle would.

So I checked it out. One of the pleasures of still working in book retail.

And well, shoot...I wasn't but a mere 15 pages in and those darn twins do I say this? Bitchy and self absorbed. Were they always like this and I was just blinded by acne and hormones?
To give you a little heads up and unfortunately, a few spoilers...the plot goes like this. It is indeed 10 years later. Jessica and Elizabeth are at war. Turns out Todd...yes, the Todd Wilkins is in love with Jessica...always has been. What?!
Yes, and they want to be together. Elizabeth is pissed and vows to not talk to her sister again...
for REAL, this time.
Elizabeth works in the theater biz and now lives in New York and of course, everyone else still lives in Sweet Valley, including Todd and Jessica.
Ma and Pa Wakefield are still there, successful and gorgeous as ever. Lila is STILL Jessica's best friend. One thing that I got a chuckle at was that Enid was now a ball busting Republican and a success junkie. HA!

Anyhoo, the plot thickens with their new found reason to be mad at one another. It starts with the present and then it slips in the first part of Double Love, Book 1 of Sweet Valley High.
We get read about them having sex, drinking too much, etc and that just feels weird. I don't remember a lot of the Sweet Valley University books but this was just a little too adult wonderland for me. I found I wanted to keep those lovely little blonde twins safely tucked in their Sweet Valley home, sixteen years old forever.

I confess I skimmed the rest of the book and settled on reading the ending which gave a quick "Here's what happens next for everyone" snips. Did you know that Steven Wakefield is gay? Shh, don't tell. How exciting!! (total spoiler, I know)

In the end, Elizabeth becomes more like Jessica, having lots of sexy romps with Bruce Patman and Jessica marries Todd. Sigh. Okay, I guess.

Overall, it was a silly fun little scan through a time machine. Insert twins into present day with Twitter and Facebook and Justine Timberlake and sex. (how could that be? Wouldn't it be like 1995 or something if that was the case, ten years later? oh well, details)

Some things are best just left in the past. It was fun to see the gals again but I prefer to page through my ratty 75 cent paperback copies I got from my school's book fair.

Of course, I will see the movie, if they ever make one.

Check out her website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Haha. I've been wondering, I'm so glad you enlightened me. I though Elizabeth was the smart one and Jessica was the selfish one. I can't visualize this new storyline because it doesn't seem to stay true to the original characters. Todd with Jessica? Meh! Great post and thanks for the spoilers. They were very much necessary.

Rachel said...

I loved those books. SVT 4ever, dude.

Jenny said...

Hehe I loved reading this review! I can't believe all the things that happen!!! Except for the part about Enid, I could see that, LOL. I'm thinking I'll stick to reminiscing with the Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High books though!

Amy J said...

*GASP* OMG! I need to read this! I must own a copy! I so get it girl! I would have been asking the same dang thing to my boss!

Senator said...

Hahaha, I had the same "WTH?" reaction when I read the final Daughters of the Moon book (GREAT series btw) a few years ago. Weird how even if you might not like it, you try to get all the updates!!

Misha said...

I used to love the Sweet Valley High books! I must own a copy of this, even though it's not as good as the original series.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Ewwww I had such high hopes and now I'm not so sure. Thanks for the honest review and giggles :)

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

As a long time fan of SVH, I too rushed to read this book... and I didn't like it. I have never liked Todd (I was a Jeffrey fan), so I was even more peeved that he didn't stay with boring twin Elizabeth, but was instead bent on domesticating Jessica (really, marrying some old rich guy?). I would have been okay with the whole Stephen is now gay storyline, but I've always loved Cara and Stephen, so I was sad that he was all using her as his beard (plus when I heard the rumor that someone in the Wakefield family was now gay I totally assumed it would be their mom- No, I don't know why). And Winston's now a jerk?! The only thing I liked was Bruce, but Elizabeth was almost too annoying to hook up with him.

That said, I agree, I'll watch any movie and/or any sequels because I still have much Sweet Valley love. :)