Monday, 18 April 2011

Review - Sweet Valley Confidential


Readers, Beware! This Review Contains Spoilers.


Ten years has passed since the blonde California twins, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield graduated from Sweet Valley High, and many things have changed. Elizabeth, now 27-years-old, has been living in New York for the last few months working as a writer for the online magazine Show Survey: Off Broadway, a weekly magazine that is struggling to survive in the rocky economy. Elizabeth moved away from Sweet Valley eight months ago after she learned that her on and off again high school boyfriend, Todd, and love of her life, had a one-night stand with Jessica. To make matters worse, Jessica and Todd are in love. Even more shocking, is that Elizabeth’s best friend is Bruce Patman.

After a short-lived marriage to an older man, Jessica is struggling to enjoy her life in Sweet Valley with her fiancé, Todd. Elizabeth will not return her calls and Jessica feels the guilt of betraying her. Their Sweet Valley friends are gossiping about the affair, and question what Jessica has done to her sister.

Elizabeth wants to return to Sweet Valley for her grandmother’s birthday, but does not want to see Jessica and Todd. Elizabeth comes up with a plan, well it is more like revenge. She brings along a good-looking male actor friend, Liam, who is just like every other boyfriend Jessica has had. Elizabeth’s plan backfires, as Liam actually finds Jessica attractive. Todd gets jealous and causes a big scene. In the end the twins make up, Elizabeth ends up with Bruce and Jessica marries Todd.

When I started this book, little did I know of all the controversy this one book has caused for the fans of Sweet Valley High, and the horrible reviews from critics. I have not read a Sweet Valley High book since I was in middle grade, so I do not recall very little detail, but I have recently watched the first season DVD of the series. The narration of the twins is completely different from the other books. I would say the reason would be that all the other books were ghostwritten, and Francine Pascal, the original creator, writes SVC. There are many continuity errors through out the book, some names changes, facts changes, years forgotten, and some characters have even come back from the grave. In Sweet Valley High, Bruce Patman was the rich, male version of Jessica, but in SVC he is a nice person who is in love with Elizabeth. I know things can change, but this is weird. One of my favorite characters in SVH was Todd’s best friend Winston Egbert, who in dead in SVC. He only appears in flashbacks, and has become a horrible person. I also did not care for Lila Fowler becoming a rich, spoiled brat again, and with little to do with SVC. Enid Rollin is no longer Elizabeth’s friend and is now a doctor. Considering all the characters around 27 to 28 years old, I really doubt that Enid is already a doctor. In addition, I almost forgot to mention that Steven Wakefield came out of the closet; I did not see that one coming. I can understand why diehard fans are ticked off with the new version of Sweet Valley. The book is clichĂ©d, bloated, and at times horribly written. Have you ever heard of the expression, Show Don’t Tell? You will find plenty of telling through out SVC. I enjoyed revisiting Sweet Valley, and getting updates about Jessica and Elizabeth, but I cannot recommend this trashy book to anyone.

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