"Sweet Valley Confidential" by Francine Pascal
For any woman who grew up in the 80's, Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal is probably their most anticipated book of 2011. It's ten years later and the girls are adults, twenty-seven-years old, and life has certainly changed since their high school years. Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield have had a "falling-out of epic proportions" and haven't spoken to each in eight months…is revenge in the cards or can forgiveness be shown and life in Sweet Valley get back to the way it always has been?
Okay, seriously cheesy I know. It wouldn't be Sweet Valley if it wasn't. I was born in the 80's so I was more of a Sweet Valley Twins girl, but I did read some of my older sisters Sweet Valley High books. Obviously not enough of them because I couldn't remember most of the people mentioned in this book, but I still look back fondly at the girls and how I devoured all of the Twins books (who didn't want to start a Unicorn club at their school….just me, huh?) But unfortunately, like for many others, Sweet Valley Confidential did not live up to my expectations and memories.
I share the same criticisms as others. The character of Jessica was highly annoying, using "like" way too much and sounding like a whiny teenager. This is supposed to be an adult novel, aimed at the books legions of fans who are now also adults. But aside from the mention of orgasms and quite a few F-bombs, it felt like another teenage novel.
The storyline of the betrayal falls rather flat - for many die-hard fans of Sweet Valley it's hard to believe what took place. And speaking of die-hard fans, if you're looking to catch up with your favourite characters beyond the twins you're either going to be angry at the way they turned out or annoyed that they barely got any mention.
As I mentioned before, I didn't read many of the SVH novels (especially the later ones) but if you read the reviews on GoodReads it turns out there are many inconsistencies in this book.
So after all that can I say anything good about this book? Hardly. It was a nice idea to go back and forth between the present and the past in order to draw out some of the drama of the betrayal. But by doing that AND alternating between the characters it got a little muddled.
I'm not mad that the girls changed quite a bit, how many of us are the same now as we were at 16? Unfortunately, the ten years in between and everything that contributed to these changes were just glossed over. There was big disconnect between this book and the series we all hold so dear to us and that will surely disappoint any fan.