Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal
Release Date – March 29, 2011
Publisher – St Martin’s Press
Pages - 293
My Rating- 6/10
Nostalgia rating - 8/10
Obtained - from the library
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Flashback to when I was 14 years old. I went to yard sale with my mother and saw a large box of books that had pretty blonde twins on the cover. Curious, I picked one up, read the back and turned to my mother to beg for the ENTIRE box. Luckily my mother was a big fan of me reading and forked over the money to purchase the entire box of books. I had just purchased the entire Sweet Valley High series (up until that point anyways, this was when they were still be published). I devoured them. I purchased the new ones as they came out and in fact still own this large box of books until this day (it’s in storage at my mother’s house). The point I am trying to make is that I have a HISTORY with these characters. I grew up with them in other words.
I found out that Francine Pascal was releasing a more “adult” book with Jessica and Elizabeth as almost 30 somethings. I was BEYOND excited. I always wondered what happened to some of my favourite characters. It would be like meeting up with an old friend to catch up.
I wish I could say this book as well written…it wasn’t. There were parts that were good, but if I didn’t have the history with these characters that I did I might have not finished. The positive side is that it’s a short novel, and you can easily polish it off in an afternoon.
We start the book with Elizabeth and Jessica not speaking to each other. We find out that something happened that caused Elizabeth to move to NYC and stop talking to Jessica. These Wakefield girls are not the Liz and Jess we remember. Liz drinks, swears, has casual sex. It was a little jarring to see them as adults and not the teenage girls I remember. Jessica was similar to her high school self. She has been married TWICE and is pretty much what I expected an adult Jessica to be.
Slight spoiler - Jessica is with Todd now. I was always more attached to Elizabeth than Jessica. I am more of an Elizabeth, so that might be the reason. I adored Elizabeth and Todd together so that part of the novel was not a big hit with me. I also have to admit that I would not have been able to forgive as easily as Elizabeth seems to. It just seemed that she didn’t really care at the end.
Did I enjoy this book? Yes. Was it because of my previous history? Totally. Would people who haven’t read the other books, or had no connection to the characters enjoy it? Probably not. If you loved Sweet Valley High though it’s nice to return to Sweet Valley and catch up…..just make sure you have a drink on hand.