Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alice's Review: Sweet Valley Confidential - Ten Years Later

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later Summary: Now with this striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the phenomenally successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood.

Review: When I got the opportunity to read Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later, I was beyond excited. I have been a fan of the Sweet Valley series since grammar school. I loved Jessica and Elizabeth’s adventures. I loved how perfect they were: size 6, blue eyed, blond haired beauties. I wish they were my friends; actually I wanted to be the perfect mix of sweet and smart that was Elizabeth and adventure and sex kitten that was Jessica. I couldn’t wait to read what happened to the twins next.

The novel starts 10 years in the future with Jessica and Elizabeth not only at odds, but living on opposite ends of the US. Jessica was up to her old tricks and this time hit Elizabeth were it really hurt, her relationship with Todd. The lovable harlot stole Todd right out from Elizabeth’s nose.

There are a few things about this novel that surprised me. I loved the romance between Todd and Jessica. I know I am in the minority about this (I know it goes against all girl code, sister code) but still Todd and Elizabeth were like watching paint dry. Todd and Jessica are like eating spicy food, there is a touch more excitement there. I appreciated that Ms. Pascal tried to surprise us. There was one surprise I didn’t see coming at all however it was so out of character and really insignificant to the novel. I don’t know why she made it a point other than to add diversity to the story.

The novel flowed easily. I loved the flashbacks told by the different characters’ points of view. It really gave me an understanding of some characters’ decisions. I also like the roll call at the end of the novel giving us an update on what everyone else is up to. It’s nice to get closure. Knowing what happened to some of my favorite characters was quite sad actually. It also made me sad that all these years later, no one really moved past their Sweet Valley lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as nostalgic as the next person but who stays friends with everyone from their high school? I can understand five or ten people, but everyone? I don’t think so. It would have been nice if it was a bit more realistic.

There was one big disappointment I found in the novel, Ms. Pascal’s small-mindedness towards plus sized women. If a character’s weight was part of their journey, I can understand mentioning it. The problem I have is the irrelevance in which she mentions it.

I have major pet peeve too. Elizabeth had too much of that "Kelly Taylor" thing going on. Anyone who watched Beverly Hills 90210 back in the day knows what I’m talking about. Elizabeth was just too perfect; annoyingly so. Even when she was dropping F-bombs, it didn’t seem to tarnish her halo, it only made her more endearing. And seriously, does every single man she meets have to fall in love with her? Gag me. Please.

Overall, I’m glad I read this novel. I was expecting a happy ending and got it. I enjoyed my time with the girls and am glad they each got their happy ever afters in ways neither one of them expected. I think it’s a must read for a Sweet Valley fan.

Final Take: 3/5



Julie April 13, 2011 at 10:20 AM  

Thanks to your review and our side conversations, I don't feel like I need to read this book.

Anonymous ,  April 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM  

I would have to say out of all the reviews I read yours was the best:) I loved this book also, it was a nice surprise to see a different side of Jessica and even though what happened did, she was really in love with Todd. I never really liked Elizabeth's character like you I found her way to perfect, your pet peeve has always been mine also.

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