Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: "Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later" by Francine Pascal

I grew up with the Sweet Valley twins. I devoured their books as soon as they made their way into my library. I learned a lot about growing up from them. I have very fond memories of Jessica and Elizabeth, Bruce, Lila, and Todd. I remember being shocked when Regina died from a drug overdose. I was amused by Jessica's antics and I definitely related to Elizabeth. When Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later came out I knew that I would have to read it to see how things panned out in life for the twins.

When the story begins we find out that Jessica has done something to Elizabeth that has sent Elizabeth running to New York. Jessica remains in California while Elizabeth is writing for a small magazine many miles away. The rift between them is huge, and it's quite possible that Elizabeth will not be able to forgive Jessica. When their grandmother turns 80, Elizabeth must decide if she wants to return to California and confront Jessica or if she will forgo the family party and be unable to forgive.

Quite honestly I had a few major problems with this book. My biggest problem was with the overuse of the word "like", especially during the flashbacks. Jessica, and at times Elizabeth, still talked the same way that she did back in high school. It was very annoying, and I'm sure that the author would have been able to portray the twins just as well without resorting to that. I found that endearing when I was reading the books as a tween, but I was expecting a grown-up version of the twins in this modern-day update. My other problem with the book was how quickly and neatly things wrapped up in the end. It was like the author had a certain number of pages to fill, and she raced towards a conclusion so that it fit within certain parameters. I felt like crucial scenes were omitted, and I found that disappointing.

That being said, I'm still glad that I read this book. It was fun catching up with the twins and their friends and seeing where they are now and what they're doing with their lives. I thought that Francine Pascal offered a lot of plausible and interesting updates on everyone. I also thought that the plot, the betrayal, was interesting and it certainly held my attention. Overall, though, I'll just hold on to my fond memories of the twins when they were younger.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge, 2011 Support Your Local Library Challenge

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