Friday, May 13, 2011

Back to School with Sweet Valley High!

Sweet Valley twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later! If you were a child of the 80s or 90s (or had a tween or teen in the 80s or 90s), then you have at least heard about the Sweet Valley twins, even if you weren't a die-hard, devoted fan. For those of you that missed out, I have the joy of recapping the sisters.

Elizabeth and Jessica are identical twins: "blonde hair, blue-green eyes, perfect size six figures." In typical twin fashion, we've got a good girl and a bad girl. See if you can guess which one is which: Elizabeth bakes cookies for the elderly, rescues cats from trees, and befriends the ugly and unpopular students. Jessica frames her sister for crimes and steals her love interests. There really isn't too much grey area, is there?

Nonetheless, my sister and I devoured the Sweet Valley books - the twins, junior high, and high school editions, natch. We felt a great connection with Elizabeth and Jessica because we were twins, too. Since my sister claimed to more Elizabeth-like, that left me with Jessica. This arrangement suited me just fine, as even at the tender age of eight, it seemed like Jessica had all the fun.

The book itself is a scintillating, sugary concoction of twin drama, secret affairs, and high school updates. Yes, it is silly, but oh so sensational. I don’t think I’m alone here, as Sweet Valley Confidential wound up on the NYT bestseller list as soon as it was released. And the good news: with its apparent success, Ms. Pascal, the creator of the original series who must be worth about 80 billion dollars by now, is considering writing another book. Yes, please, although please leave the bland and boring Todd Wilkens out of it!

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