Remember when you were just starting to read chapter books as a girl, and you met the Sweet Valley Twins? Jessica seemed so cool and you contemplated wearing purple just like The Unicorn Club … unless you were all journalist-wanna-be like me and wanted to be the smart, inquisitive Elizabeth. Either way, you devoured the books, living vicariously through the twins’ enchanting California lives.
Eventually, you outgrew the Sweet Valley Twins series. But fortunately, in doing so you grew into Sweet Valley High. Perhaps you even followed into SVH: Senior Year or Sweet Valley University. Heck, if you’re younger, you might have even started your Sweet Valley crush with Sweet Valley Kids books and dabbled in Sweet Valley Junior High.
And when Sweet Valley Confidential came in 2011, you read it excitedly. Maybe you didn’t love it (or maybe you did), but you had to dig into the adventures of Jessica and Elizabeth for nostalgia’s sake.
This summer, Sweet Valley is back for all us girl-women who grew up with the twins and want a little light summer reading again. And in case you’re wondering, it’s more like the Sweet Valley antics we grew up with — just on a grander scale. Sweet Valley Confidential: The Sweet Life #1 by Francine Pascal is the latest installment in the Sweet Valley franchise. It’s the first part of a six-book novella series. It’s being released this summer as ebooks only, but on October 30, it will be released in a hardcover edition all together.
Jessica is now a mom to two-year-old Jake and separated from her husband Todd. Yes, that Todd. Elizabeth and Bruce Patman are in love and living together. She’s a columnist for a newspaper. He runs Patman Social Impact Group. Lila and Ken are married and living in luxury (could she have it any other way?). And yet, nothing is perfect. Jessica loves her job as a green-centric PR guru, but it creates incredible friction with Todd. Meanwhile, he’s been seen with a new reporter in town, Sarah … and Jessica is not happy about that. Lila is angling to get a role on the new True Housewives of Sweet Valley, and isn’t afraid to play a not-so-pretty part to get there.
This novella isn’t heavy reading. And some of the antics? They are classic Sweet Valley, with bad decisions, bad logic and loads of insecurity. Realistic? Um … Sweet Valley isn’t supposed to be realistic, is it? It’s not.
If you are looking for an intellectual read that will stimulate your mind, look somewhere else. But if you are looking for nostalgic easy reading that will let you slip back into your youth, if only for a little while, this book is perfect.
This book gets high marks for beach reading because it’s just pure fun and perfect for a lazy day in the sand. But overall, it’s not the best written book and the story line (and character decisions) aren’t very realistic — still, that’s not what I am looking for in a book like this anyway. Are you?
Category: Love to Read (Books)