Wed, June 22, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal Review

Sweet Valley Confidential
By Francine Pascal
March 29, 2011
St. Martin’s Press, 304 pages

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.

— Amazon.com description

In the past year or so, two of the best series from my childhood have staged a comeback: The Baby-Sitters Club (Ann M. Martin) and Sweet Valley High (Francine Pascal).

Baby-Sitters Club succeeded awesomely. Sweet Valley, not so much.

The main difference was in approach: Martin took readers back to a pre-Baby-Sitters Club era and reintroduced us to the characters we loved for so many years. It was sweet and nostalgic, while opening the door for today’s young readers to fall in love with the series.

Pascal opted to jump to the future, setting her book in the Sweet Valley of the future, with aging the Wakefield twins up to their mid-20s. What does that mean? Sex, drinking, cheating, lies. To be honest, it grossed me out. Plus, it left no opening for a younger generation to get to know the Wakefield twins, which is such a shame.
Granted, Sweet Valley has always been more soap opera and Baby-Sitters Club more Sesame Street, so perhaps it’s unfair to compare the two. But I felt this book was, sadly, a missed opportunity and — unless you’re a superfan — not really worth the time.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Get Red PR for my review copy of this book.

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: francine pascal
6

6 Comments

  1. Sarah said:

    I'm so sad it's not great! I will try it anyway though because, well, I still have my SVH collection.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, June 22, 2011

  2. Tara said:

    That is super disappointing to hear 🙁 I have certain memories of SVH and I don't want that to change…so I will probably pass on this one.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, June 22, 2011

  3. thelibrarianreads said:

    Wow, so disappointing. When I saw this post on my feed I was kind of excited to see what the book was all about. It's always sad to see a great book memory/series fail. Really too bad…

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, June 22, 2011

  4. Jayme @ Horribly Bookish said:

    The BSC was always better in my opinion, but I have a little love for Sweet Valley too. I'm sad to hear Pascal butcher her characters like that 🙁

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, June 22, 2011

  5. Kathy said:

    I have heard mixed things about this book. I loved the series when I was younger, but this book doesn't sound very good. Thanks for the review!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, June 22, 2011

  6. Kelly said:

    I agree 100 percent. The BSC was my favorite series when I was growing up. I bought the prequel and loved it. I didn't like Sweet Valley as much when I was younger, but I liked it a lot. I thought Sweet Valley Confidential wasn't what it needed to be for longtime Sweet Valley fans or for potential fans.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, June 22, 2011

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