“Sweet Valley Confidential” by Francine Pascal
Oh man. I was so excited about this book. I was an avid Sweet Valley reader back in the day, which was a series that chronicled the adventures of identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. I was more of an Elizabeth fangirl, she was beautiful, smart and had a gorgeous steady boyfriend. What else could I possibly want from high school- or that confusingly American “middle school”?
So when I stumbled across “Sweet Valley Confidential” my eyes almost popped out of my head. Here was a new story featuring the twins, but the twins had grown up alongside me. It was set ten years after the twins left high school.
Unfortunately once I started reading, my excitement faded. And really quickly. The story was overly angsty and featured a “huge secret that had torn the twins apart”, that honestly I don’t think would ever have happened. The writing wasn’t fantastic. And I hate saying something like that because who am I to criticise an author. If you have the willpower to sit down and write a book, and then get that thing published, then right on sister. But this was not great. It seemed to be pitched at the same intelligence level as the previous books for younger readers. The content was certainly for older readers, but not the writing. I actually spent most of the time rolling my eyes because it really was that bad.
It kind of sullied my enjoyment of the previous books and combined with the moroseness of the storyline, I stopped reading. I want to remember my Wakefield twins as those fresh faced blonde twins from high school, not these girls. I’ve evolved from the simplistic writing and storylines of the Sweet Valley series- apparently the Wakefield twins haven’t.
I looked up on the internet what happened in the rest of the book and felt validated that others felt the same as me!
I wouldn’t recommend this book. If you are really hankering to find out what happens to the Wakefield twins, read the Wikipedia entry for this book, don’t read the book itself. Relive the good old days with the Sweet Valley High TV series that I just re-discovered on youtube! Or make up an alternate storyline for the girls. Mine is where Elizabeth becomes a reporter and Jessica finds success on the stage. They both move away from Sweet Valley because really, who stays the same as they were in high school?