by Francine Pascal
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: Mar 29, 2011
Source: sent by publicist
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
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.
I didn't think this book was as awful as the other reviews are making it out to be. However, the author makes really bold choices about her beloved characters, and some of the choices are bound to make long time fans angry. While the book isn't rocket science, it's the equivalent of a juicy soap opera. Lots of fluff, and all the drama you need for a relaxing afternoon read.
It's hard to say that the Wakefield twins have "grown up" but it is ten years later. Elizabeth and Jessica are still caught up in the same type of fluffy, selfish story lines we saw them in during high school. Now the residents of Sweet Valley are cheating on spouses instead of boyfriends and girlfriends. Jessica is still wildly selfish and Elizabeth is still a goody two shoes martyr. As the book itself says "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose," which means "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
I always had a soft spot for Bruce Patman, and he comes out as the 'most changed for the better' from Sweet Valley High. Lila Fowler fans, she barely makes an appearance, much to my dismay. As for the other characters, I won't give any spoilers, but I can see how huge fans of the series who remember every detail from the books would be disappointed and saddened by the direction of some of the characters (cough...Todd...cough).
I didn't care for the New York storyline at all. Elizabeth had moved to NYC, and all of the events and characters from that part of the story seemed so irrelevant to the soapy drama happening in Sweet Valley. Readers want to know about their old favorites not disposable new characters.
Another part of the book that I didn't like was the style of font for the flashback scenes. It literally made my eyes hurt. I don't think it was a proper font for reading such long passages.
Main Characters: 2/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Bottom Line: An angsty, drama-filled visit back to Sweet Valley. The author made bold choices for her beloved characters that may or may not please hard-core fans.