Book Review | Sweet Valley Confidential
Author: Francine Pascale
About the Book:
Did you read Sweet Valley High when you were a kid? Well, the Sweet Valley publishing phenomenon returns! Now with SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL: Ten Years Later (St. Martin’s Press, 3/29/11), the striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood.
The Sweet Valley High series had everything important to a young girl – perfect teenage blonde twins, a beautiful California bedroom community, hot jocks, bad boys, sweet cars, school dances and good old-fashioned kissing. Ten years later, which characters will be back? Whose heart will be broken?
I grew up reading the Sweet Valley High books and had the entire collection. I remember my mom taking me to the bookstore and I would buy about 6 or 7 books and then go home and read them all day long. I was a real bookworm and averaged about a book a day! I just loved both Elizabeth and Jessica and all their friends and couldn’t get enough of Sweet Valley High. Of course, as I got older I outgrew the books and moved onto other things, but I have fond memories of my early teen years sitting at home on my living room couch reading.
I couldn’t wait to dive into Sweet Valley Confidential to see how Jessica and Elizabeth’s lives had turned out. I was a bit shocked actually at what a hot mess their lives had become. The betrayal that took place was unforgivable in my mind. I don’t think I would have ever talked to my sister if she had done that to me. You find out within the first few pages of the book anyways so its not really a spoiler- Todd (Elizabeth’s fiance) and Jessica were having an affair for years behind Elizabeth’s back. Elizabeth was of course devastated and fled to New York City to start her life over again.
The book jumps back and forth between New York (Elizabeth) and Sweet Valley (Jessica and Todd) so the reader can see both sides of the story. Jessica is sad and feels bad because she hurt her sister so badly and Elizabeth is upset and angry at her and Todd’s lies and betrayal. At times, I found it to be a bit chaotic with all the jumping back and forth between the past and present and character to character. I would have liked the author to focus on one character for a little bit longer than a few pages or a chapter.
I did like when it referred to other characters in the series like Enid Rollins, Lila Fowler and Winston Egbert so we can see what they were up to. It definitely was NOT what I expected that they would end up like…well for the most part! There’s a big shocker with Steven Wakefield, the older brother of Jessica and Elizabeth. I didn’t see that coming either!
The book was not what I expected and had a depressing undertone. There was so much hurt and negativity and that really wasn’t what I anticipated at all from a 10 years later book about Sweet Valley High. I guess I was hoping that my favourite characters would at least be happy, but that wasn’t the case at all!
If you liked Sweet Valley High, then pick up a copy and give it a read yourself. For more info on the book, please visit the Sweet Valley Confidential website.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*