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June 30, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential- Ten Years Later

I was a big fan of Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High and Middle School books when I was growing up.  I would drag my parents to the book store on a regular basis to get my Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield fix.  As a New England girl stuck in some seriously snowy and cold winters, the Wakefield twins sunny, So Cal life could not have been more different from mine.  My curiosity was peaked when I was asked to review Sweet Valley Confidential-Ten Years Later.  Would it still hold the same charm?  I've lived in So Cal now myself.  Would I still root for Jessica over Elizabeth or vice verse?

As soon as I started reading this latest S.V. book I was filled with nostalgia.  All the old characters are still there and I mean, still in Sweet Valley.  They have inter-married, Jessica is on marriage deux, and no one seems that happy.  Including Elizabeth who has moved to New York after being betrayed by her old flame Todd who is now with her twin sister, Jessica.  Ah, the same story lines still hold true.  The only difference?  Bruce Patman is now nice and (spoiler alert!) Steven Wakefield is gay.  With mentions of Facebook and other social media trends the characters have modernized a bit but the quiet life of Sweet Valley is still there.  The characters haven't evolved that much beyond high school and that was disappointing.  It is billed as a young-adult book and it is in that realm but fans of old might be looking for more than Pascal has offered in this simple look forward. 

If you are looking for a quick, nostalgic read or want to get acquainted with the Wakefield twins for the first time Sweet Valley Confidential-Ten Years Later will do that for you.  The character updates in the back of the book are fun too.

MPR Rating:  Three Stars.

Disclaimer:  MPR was not paid for this post.  Products received are for review purposes only.  Opinions are MPR's only.