Review: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal
Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Page Count: 293
Source: Borrowed from library; summer read challenge

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.

Review:  I had high hopes for this book as I read the Sweet Valley books back during my high school days.  Granted those YA books are total mind candy, a lot of fluff, sometime a moral is thrown in.  Now, I wasn’t expecting this return to Sweet Valley to be fluff, but I thought it would be fun to revisit the town and it’s inhabitants.  Too bad the homecoming was pretty painful.

While back in the day, I loved the Wakefield twins, in this book I couldn’t stand them.  Either of them.  Elizabeth, who has some right to be upset from her sister’s betrayal (can’t say I’m spoiling much as you get it from page 1), just can’t let go and whines through most of the story.  And Jessica, is crying over the guilt of her betrayal, but she has it easy since she’s still got the comfort of family around her… and the man.

I honestly had trouble reading this book.  It was a glorified soap opera, filled with at times god-awful prose and ridiculous situations.  Jessica is supposed to be a successful person in the PR field, yet she still speaks like a valley girl (every sentence out of her mouth has either like or so, and sometime both, in it).  I couldn’t stand all the head hopping that went on.  I believe we jumped into at least 5 heads over the course of the book.  And then all the flash backs which caught us up over the past 10 years.  Oy!  Make them stop!

I don’t believe this book would have even come up on my radar if it hadn’t been one of the picks for the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge.  I thought it’d be a fun blast from the past, but instead I’m left shaking my head.  If you want to know what happens to many of your beloved friends from the Sweet Valley books, just check out the epilogue (last 3 or so page) to get the run down and save yourself the pain of slogging through this one.  I only finished it because I wanted to write an informed review… otherwise, I would have likely given up within the first 50 pages.


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