Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Review: Sweet Valley Confidential - Francine Pascal

Title: Sweet Valley Confidential
Author: Francine Pascal
Format: paperback
Pages: 293
Genre: Young Adult
Published: 14th April 2011 (LondonArrow)

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.

Okay, so I'm not going to write a summary of the book here because pretty much the whole point of the book is to find out what has happened to the Wakefield twins since their college days. If I even say how the book starts, it's probably going to take some of that away from fans of the Sweet Valley books.

What I will say is: don't expect too much from this book and you'll probably like it. The front cover asks "Have you ever wondered what happened when Elizabeth and Jessica grew up?" and that's basically what it tells you. I was a big fan of the SVH books when I was younger - I couldn't get enough of them. My friends and I used to buy different ones and swap them amongst ourselves. So when I saw this book there was no doubt in my mind that I would read this one. I didn't however anticipate an amazing story so I wasn't especially disappointed. It was however a bit of nostalgic fun and in many ways it was done well because I think nearly every character in the original books was mentioned (and I was surprised to find how many of them I remembered).

One thing I found it strange to get my head around was the twins. When I read the originals, my favourite twin was always Jessica. Okay, so Elizabeth is probably the one I'd be friends with in real life but Jess was the fun, exciting one. Reading this book, I kind of just thought she was a bitch. In fact, I did find the grown up twins kind of annoying. Also, the sisters are living on opposite sides of the country and for me the series was all about the 'twin thing'.

Mostly I missed the High School setting. When I was growing up, SVH was pretty much how I knew anything about American High Schools (that and Saved By the Bell lol) and how much different they were to the British school I went to. It was all about "I wish we had lockers and could wear our own clothes!"

If you loved the SVH series then you'll want to read this to find out what happens to the twins but I'd advice borrowing it not buying.

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