Sweet Valley Confidential

17 Jun

Who hasn't searched the library shelves for Sweet Valley twins books?!

If you were a fan of Sweet Valley twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield when you were a kid, you were probably excited to hear about Sweet Valley Confidential, the new book from Francine Pascal following up with the girls 10 years after they graduated from Sweet Valley High.

Disclaimer: Stop reading if you plan to read the book but have not yet, as I don’t want to ruin it for you. Check back after you’re done reading.

Sweet Valley Confidential wasn’t a bad book. In fact, it was great to “check-in” with the Sweet Valley twins, of whom I spent much of my childhood reading about. That said, I was a little disappointed by the book. I love a good fiction read, but this was almost too unrealistic even for me. And I find myself off in my own imaginary world so often that my family and friends refer to it as “Lauraland.”

For example, the book starts off with a giant rift between Jessica and Elizabeth, because Jessica stole Elizabeth’s fiancée, but ends with Elizabeth serving as the maid-of-honor in this wedding. There wasn’t much of a storyline developed for this reunion to make much sense. Another odd storyline occurs when the overly cautious, uber responsible Elizabeth invites a New York City bartender that she had met for only a few short minutes back to Sweet Valley with her, to accompany her to Grandma Wakefield’s 80th birthday party.

Finally, an underlying storyline of Bruce Patman being in love with his best friend, Elizabeth is mentioned constantly, unbeknownst to Elizabeth. She doesn’t mention a romantic thought about him throughout the entire book, until a life-changing personal revelation at the end of the story. Bruce surprises Elizabeth by telling her that he has sold his Sweet Valley home and will be moving to New York City to be with the woman he loves (her). Elizabeth instantly realizes that she is madly in love with Bruce & they fly off into the sunset.

Besides the crazy, unrealistic nature of this book, it also seemed very dated. The pictures of the Sweet Valley twins covering the inside of the book had them looking like they just walked right out of 1985. This, along with the description of their clothes and overall appearance didn’t add up to being a worldly woman in 2011.

Many old characters from the old Sweet Valley books made their triumphant returns in the book, which I did think was a great touch. It was nice to get updates on the old Sweet Valley crew.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the book was the storyline surrounding the Sweet Valley twins older brother, Steven Wakefield. He was forced to come out of the closet when Jessica found him frolicking with his boyfriend on the beach. This was an unexpected, but really interesting surprise.

Overall, I’m glad I read the book, even though it was somewhat ridiculous. If there is a sequel to Sweet Valley Confidential, I will likely read it. Yep, I a giant sucker for nostalgia.


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