Has it really been 10 years since we last heard from Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield?? I grew up—and was obsessed—with the Sweet Valley books, having first been introduced to the sisters as they embarked upon junior high school in the Sweet Valley Twins series. With their blonde hair, turquoise eyes, perfect figures and coveted California zip code, they were the quintessential all-American girls, and I couldn’t get enough of their early-teen drama. Then I graduated to Sweet Valley High, which brought even more trials and tribulations (usually instigated by “evil twin,” Jessica and resolved by her saintly sister Elizabeth). Through boy troubles (hello, Bruce Patman), back-stabbing friends (yeah, you, Lila Fowler), motorcycle accidents, amnesia, kidnappings and more, I went along for the ride and loved every second of it. And who could forget those covers?!
Upon hearing that my (Peter Pan) prayers were being answered in the form of a new installment of my all-time favorite series, I must admit I wondered, “Can you really go back?” Though the scenery has changed, our favorite characters are all accounted for, and as I made my way through the book, it felt like a high school reunion: people you knew in the past, cast in a new light. The twins are all grown up, and are now dealing with grown-up problems. Elizabeth, always the goody goody, remains near-perfect (though, she has added a couple notches to her bedpost), while Jessica continues to stir up trouble left and right. As we get glimpses from the past ten years of the girls’ lives leading up to the complicated drama that consumes them today (and what drama it is!), Sweet Valley Confidential stays true to the formula that worked so well 25 years ago. Thank you, Francine Pascal, for taking me back. It’s been a great ride.
More Sweet Valley Confidential talk from around the Web:
EW's Jennifer Armstrong waxes—what else?—nostalgic in 'Sweet Valley High' returns: Or, why nostalgia trumps taste.
Smart Bitches' Sarah writes about wanting to pick up the latest book in the series she calls her gateway drug to romance novels.
Time takes the opportunity to look at the big picture (so unlike them!) with a list of the Top 10 Kids' Book Series We Miss.
CNN talks to Francine Pascal herself about the series, its affect on young women around the world, and what's up with that Diablo Cody film adaptation.
So tell us: Will you be picking up a copy of Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later?