Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential Review

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Year Later
-          Francine Pascal
Publisher: UK – Arrow
It’s been ten years since the Wakefield twins graduated from Sweet Valley High, and a lot has happened. For a start, Elizabeth and Jessica have had a falling out of epic proportions, after Jessica committed the ultimate betrayal, and this time it looks like Elizabeth will never be able to forgive her. Suddenly Sweet Valley isn’t big enough for the two of them, so Elizabeth has fled to New York to immerse herself in her lifelong dream of becoming a serious reporter, leaving a guilt-stricken Jessica contemplating the unthinkable: life without her sister. Despite the distance between them, the sisters are never far from each other’s thoughts. Jessica longs for forgiveness, but Elizabeth can’t forget her twin’s duplicity. Uncharacteristically, she decides the only way to heal her broken heart is to get revenge. Always the ‘good’ twin, the one getting her headstrong sister out of trouble, Elizabeth is now about to turn the tables...

Sweet Valley High was such a large part of my childhood, that when I heard that there was going to a new book set ten years after, I knew not only would I have to get the book, I would have to read it as soon as possible. I have to admit that I gobbled up the story and I finished it in a couple of days (wishing I didn’t have to get off the train for work so I could finish the book!).  
While not the best written book, I loved catching up with the twins and their friends and family to see what had happened with them. Lots of old friends are mentioned with Todd Wilkins, Kim Matthews, Lila Fowler and Bruce Patman all taking part along with the twins’ brother, Steven Wakefield. It was a huge flashback for me and at times I felt like I was reading a fan fiction book – not part of official cannon. Some of the dialogue is truly terrible and is like, so not how twenty-eight years old talk (at least not in London!) and on occasion the plot ‘twists’ are so cheesy that must be made of stilton! However, none of that seemed to impact my enjoyment – the joy of seeing the twins talking about sex and Elizabeth furious at Jessica – I loved seeing Elizabeth angry and wanting revenge!
I don’t think this is a book for anyone who didn’t read the original books as the writing and story on their own probably isn’t strong enough to hold up. I read it with rose tinted glasses and as such had a fun time. Plus I love the retro cover on the UK version which mirrors the circular pictures on the front of the original series in the UK. Like a glass of cream soda this was a sweet, fizzy read that reminds you of the long summers of childhood!
Recommended for fans of Sweet Valley High only. 7 out of 10


  1. Hee hee... love the food metaphors. I think I need to reread at least one of the old books before I read this one. Hm... will need to think about this one. :)

  2. I have heard the writing and the way they talk were horrible. And I would have expected more from Elizabeth, also yes I read spoilers and I just did not get her and her guy after something he had done to her in the past