I stayed up late last night to finish Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal.
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.
*************There are major spoilers in this review***********
Oh man, writing this review makes me so sad. But I haven't felt this strongly about a book in a while and it's not a good thing.
I grew up reading Sweet Valley Twins, then Sweet Valley High, then Sweet Valley University. And then in a college course a couple of years ago, I had to write about books that I read when I was younger and I wrote about these series, which made me start to read Sweet Valley University again. And it brought back a rush of good emotions. I was addicted to this series! I watched it on TV, I had the board game, I wanted to name my first daughter Elizabeth. I missed these characters. So when I read that my beloved series was going to have a new book out, set ten years later, I absolutely couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
So I sat down, all excited to dive in. And was immediately disappointed. And it only got worse. The whole book was about cheating and betrayals. I mean, there was always drama in the books before, but it was Sweet Valley. There was always some sunniness to the book. But not in this one. There was just anger and sadness and it was depressing. There were so many times that I wanted to throw the book across the room. And there were so many times that I rolled my eyes. If Jessica said "like" one more time, I was going to scream. That phrase is like, very old, and like 27 year olds don't really, like, use it. Grr.
And the characters. I get that people change. But there wasn't one character that stayed the same. And with the exception of Bruce, they were all worse as older characters. I wish that this was more of a reunion book and that the characters had stayed the same. Elizabeth--I get that she wasn't going to stay completely goody-goody, but now all of sudden she's sleeping with guys right off the bat and drinking and cursing. Jessica---what a whiny brat! I get that she's sad and upset that she hurt her twin but the old Jessica would have found strength and gone to get her twin back. Winston---umm, still can't see him being a jerk like he apparently was after college. Steven--gay. Okay, didn't see this one coming. And there was no mention of Billie at all. I dunno, I could go on and on. And then at the end, Elizabeth forgave her twin just as soon as she showed up on her doorstep. Come on!
I really don't think it was necessary for Francine Pascal to write the book this way. The book never really needed to be written. I think she did it for her fans, who missed the twins and Sweet Valley. And if thats the case, then she should have written for her fans, many who I think would have liked a happier version of the grown up Sweet Valley.
I gave this book a rating of 2/5.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 49
*FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of the book for free for an honest review.