Aug 7, 2011

Review: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

Title: Sweet Valley Confidential
Author: Francine Pascal
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 3.29.2011
Pages: 293
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No

Rating: C-

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

I grew up on Sweet Valley. I read Sweet Valley High in middle school/high school, every single book. I even read Sweet Valley: Senior Year. As a kid I loved Sweet Valley Twins, S.V. Kids, The Unicorn Club, and all things related to our favorite California twins. I wanted to be as cool as Jessica and as smart as Elizabeth. I wanted a boyfriend as loyal as Todd and as dangerous as Bruce. When I saw that there would be an “adult” follow-up to the series, I swooned.

Unfortunately, that was the happiest I got because reading the actual book was a far greater letdown than anticipating the book.

I understand it’s been years since a Sweet Valley novel was published, but there were a lot of fundamental plotlines that Francine Pascal seemingly … forgot. Her blatant or, perhaps even worse, ignorant retelling of past storylines was insulting to someone who loved this series and spent all her allowance money on the next book. Some of the pairings I just did not get (Lila and Ken? Seriously?) and knew they would never be believable. I will admit that I found the Elizabeth/Bruce romance unexpectedly fun. And Jessica/Todd? I wish that storyline would have taken off in the series. I was stunned by how fabulous they are together.

From a strictly fan point-of-view, it was awesome to catch up with my old friends from Sweet Valley. I seriously love the idea of Sweet Valley Confidential. But I can only wish that Pascal would have done her homework, like say reading a few books from the high school series, before she decided to write this.


  1. It was so disappointing in so many ways, wasn't it? :)

  2. I have all of these books in boxes somewhere. In exchange for being a good student, my mum would let me get one new book a month and it was usually waiting for the new SVU (Sweet Valley University, of course!). That said, I was looking forward to this one and I read Shannon's recap from her SVH blog and was rather glad I didn't purchase it as it just seemed like so many bizarre plot lines.

    But it wouldn't be Sweet Valley if there weren't drama.

  3. I was SO excited to read this one but as soon as reviews started coming out I was like "oh crap". I'm so disappointed that it's disappointing to pretty much EVERYONE, so I figure it's probably not reading. =(

  4. This was one of the worst books I read this year. I too loved this series growing up, I was so addicted and my 1st run copy of the 1st book was so beat up the thing was falling apart. Months after reading this, the disappointment is still acute. Pascal is finally writing again, and she has a new series, but I don't know if I can bring myself to read it.

  5. I LOVED this series when I was younger(still have them in storage somewhere b/c hubby didn't want me to give them away -- such a packrat) but never got around to reading all the Sweet Valley High books. I never even got to Sweet Valley : Senior Year nor Sweet Valley University. I somehow remember a TV show based on the series?

    Anyway, as soon as I heard of Sweet Valley Confidential, I immediately put it on my TBR list. I was very disheartened when I read your review and am no longer inclined to read it.


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