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Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later


Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

Even if you're too young to have read Sweet Valley High books when you were a teen, I'm sure you've heard of the series. Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) is working on a film version many years after the original books were published. SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL takes readers old and new back to the world of Sweet Valley and its two protagonists, twin sisters Jessica and Elizabeth.

This new entry invites all readers to see Jessica and Elizabeth as individuals, something that author Francine Pascal has always done but that maybe fans haven't always acknowledged. They love to see the Twins as one single entity, but now Elizabeth has banished herself to the East Coast and is no longer in contact with her sister. The story concentrates on their two individual lives, instead of making them just the two halves of the famous Wakefield duo. Jessica was always considered the nasty twin, and that hasn't changed much a decade later. Elizabeth is characterized by her seeming inability to do anything wrong. She uses Facebook, thinks about enacting evil revenge, and enjoys a healthy sex life. In fact, there's a lot of sex here --- of the very steamy variety --- so this is not really a book that parents can share with their tweens with happy memories of the original series.

Pascal has carved out a little chunk of the world and made it completely her own. Sweet Valley and all its characteristics follow the sisters on their adventures into the big city. Elizabeth is living in New York, working and enjoying all the many excitements of the Big Apple. She and Jessica haven't been speaking, but eventually Jessica shows up, literally, on Elizabeth's doorstep, and they have to join together again to resolve their differences and make some tough choices.

Life has changed drastically since high school, and the Wakefields have learned and are still learning a lot of new things since they left those vaulted halls. Pascal's flowery language hasn't changed much; essentially, this is a romance novel. It's filled with emotional trauma and young love and other exciting situations. The girls don't always behave themselves, but that's what helps drive the dramatic plotlines.

Fans of the original series will certainly love this book, and those who can't get enough of novels like TWILIGHT will probably embrace it as well. A whole new generation can enjoy the travails of Jessica, Elizabeth and the Sweet Valley story.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on October 4, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later
by Francine Pascal

  • Publication Date: March 29, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 0312667574
  • ISBN-13: 9780312667573