Sweet Valley High: the Sequel Sequel’s Sequel

Book CoverIf Sweet Valley High was your gateway drug to romance the way it was mine (I even reviewed one here a long long time ago), I have some news for you. According to EW.com, and some chatty editorial assistant gossip, the Wakefield twins are baaaaaack, this time as part of Sweet Valley Confidential: “a book chronicling their lives as twenty-somethings. Rumors have swirled for years that SVH creator Francine Pascal was working on a book focusing on the twins and their friends several years out of high school.”

Say it with me now: Oh, Dear Sister!

I usually don’t hop up and down about book news, but this has me wondering how early I can get a review copy. Maybe if I camp out outside the St. Martin’s offices? It’s cold right now but surely someone has a memo or something I can read, right? RIGHT?

I’m not the only one excited, either. Which makes me feel marginally less like a complete and total dork. Shannon’s Sweet Valley Blog was all over the press release, and the surprise news from Ed. Asst. Sarah Jae Jones:

I gotta say, I’m kind of excited about this. For better or worse, I grew up with the damned Wakefield twins and I’ve always wondered how they turned out. Is Jessica a porn star? Is Elizabeth a nun? JJ has promised to keep me updated on what’s happening with the book, and I will in turn keep you all updated.

If Jessica is a porn star, I am going to plotz like plotzing has never been plotzed before.

And for other folks who dig the original books with their illustrationally awesomeness, this week the New Yorker took a look at artist James L. Mathewuse, creator of the original cover illustrations. I wish there were more about him – heck, I wish I owned one of the illustrations. I’d frame that bad boy and hang it next to my giant art piece of DeSalvo wearing a hot pink gladiator uniform. But I do love this line from the article:

Sometimes you can say all you need to with a bikini (promiscuity and California), a plaintive look (gambling addiction), or a perfectly placed, bushy mustache (creep).

Yes. It’s true. With cover art, particularly for SVH, it was all in the bikini, the look, and the mustache. And with romance, it’s the mullet, the shirt, and the potential wardrobe malfunction.



Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    JJ says:

    *waves* I’m your editorial assistant. :) And a big time lurker and sometimes commenter of this blog.

  2. 2
    DS says:

    I wonder what Trixie Belden is up to these days?

  3. 3
    LiJuun says:

    Sweet mother, I am so ready for this!

  4. 4

    Trixie married Jim – and if anyone says any different I’m not listening (covers ears, la-la-la-la-la!!!!)

  5. 5
    Eliza Evans says:

    No, no, no, Jessica won’t be a porn star.  Here’s how it will happen.  She’ll date this guy who turns out to be a creepy photographer, see.  She met him while dancing at a nightclub with a gaggle of girlfriends.

    Elizabeth will have reservations about their relationship but Jessica will brush them off as Liz being jealous while rooting through Liz’s closet for something to wear.  (They’ll share an impossibly large apartment for a cub newspaper reporter and a personal shopper who’s just waiting for her big modeling break.)  Finally, one night, the scummy photog—let’s call him Hans—takes Liz posing as Jessica to the bar and gives her a roofie, intending to take her home and take filthy photos, which will be immediately posted to the internet and dispatched to the email inboxes of everyone Liz and Jess have ever cared about.  This is because Hans is working at the behest of a rich, disfigured heiress who hates the twins because they’re so darn beautiful and a perfect size two. 

    Jessica will be home one night, moping around because Hans won’t answer her calls.  She’ll find Liz’s notes while searching through her room for something wear.  Not knowing what else to do, she’ll call their brother Steven.  Together, they will rescue Liz just in time, breaking down the door as she shakily unbuttons her silk blouse.  Hans’ plans are scuttled but Steven knocks him out with one good punch before he can explain about the mean heiress who is probably also fat.

    So, no, Jessica won’t be a porn star.  She’ll make Liz almost a porn star once again.

  6. 6
    SB Sarah says:

    You’re ghost writing this, aren’t you, Eliza?!

    And hi, JJ! OMG SO EXCITED. My dorkdom knows NO limits here.

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    Ha, I was too old for SVH when they came out, but I devoured Rosamund DuJardin’s teen romances: http://www.imagecascade.com/rosamond-du-jardin-books.html
    in the mid-1970’s.  I had no idea at the time that the books were actually a product of the Forties and Fifties and portrayed a world already long gone.

  8. 8
    Beki says:

    OMG, I’d totally buy that plot!!!  Though I see Jess more as a Hooter’s Girl whilst waiting for her big modeling break.  And possibly that Bruce Patman has come out and is now chasing Steven around in his Porsche. 

    Sigh.  I happily await the day of release.  And if there’s a way to get your hands on an ARC, let me in on it, dammit.

  9. 9
    theladyferris says:

    I still have *no* idea what a lavalier is.

    Trixie definitely married Jim, and Honey married Brian, and Mart married Diana.  They all live in adjacent houses on Glen Road and go horse riding together every weekend.

  10. 10
    JamiSings says:

    Ug. Okay, sorry, but I hated the Sweet Valley Twins. By the time I read them I was already reading “grown up” books like Sherlock Holmes. To me the SVT were just a couple of idiots. I always wanted to crawl inside the books and smack them both upside the heads.

    Not that I didn’t read kids’ books. I was very fond of Encyclopedia Brown and The Three Investigators. (Now I wouldn’t mind finding out whatever happened to Jupiter, Pete, and Bob.)

    That being said I think it’s obvious that Liz, having finally came into her wild side, is now the head of a prostitution ring disguised as an escort agency. She makes extra money by blackmailing some of her richer clients. While Jessica is the head of a Special Victims Unit in their town. The twins will have a reluctant reunion when one of Liz’s girls is brutally raped and murdered – the question is, was it by a client, or did Liz do the deed?

  11. 11
    Karen H says:

    OK, can you post a scan of your “giant art piece of DeSalvo wearing a hot pink gladiator uniform” (or just send it to me)?  Please, please, please??  I’m wracking my brain trying to think of which cover that would be (and, yes, I know you could be just teasing about it).

    I am also too old for the Sweet Valley High series.  I mostly read Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames who was a nurse who had lots of adventures.  I’m wondering if that’s why I was in Future Nurses of America in high school?  Of course, I did do medicine for a while but then turned to computers with which I’ve been playing for quite a few years.

    But I’m happy for ya’ll since I know how much I like hearing how things turned out with characters I care about.  It’s why I love series with characters who appear in other stories to let us know how they’re doing.  Lindsey’s Mallorys and Laurens’ Cynsters are great favorites.

  12. 12
    Laurel says:

    Okay, now I know why I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. It’s because my adolescent brain was absorbing and storing far too many useless tidbits.

    The Wakefield twins were originally a perfect size 6. What about Enid Rollins? I am a bit relieved I recall nothing about their brother Steven.

    I think Jessica should be one of the upcoming Girls Next Door. Definitely there should be a scene involving a mishap in the Grotto. Maybe Holly, in a fit of jealous rage that her own time at the Manse has passed, turns one of the peacocks loose to crap on Jessica’s beach towel. Hef secretly wants Liz but he’s trying to lure her in with Jessica, who flounces out in a huff. Liz uncovers Holly’s machinations and writes an article from behind the scenes in the Mansion which wows the editors at Cosmopolitan who then give her a staff position.

    Okay, I need to scrub the pop culture from my brain now.

  13. 13
    Elyssa Papa says:

    YES! I loved SVH so much. I cannot wait.

  14. 14
    Julie M says:

    Sorry I’m too old for Sweet Valley but I’m thrilled to know that others believe that Trixie and Jim, Honey and Brian, and Mart and Diana are happily ever afters.

  15. 15
    Scorpio M. says:

    OMG, I lived on SVT & SVH throughout my junior high school years. I had the whole set, up to 60 something at least. Did Elizabeth get back with Todd? cause I vaguely remember feeling upset for her second BF who I thought was better looking based on the photo art, lol.

    I will check out the sequel when it comes out.

  16. 16
    JJ says:

    …can I confess that I was actually too young to remember these books? They hit their heyday when I was in elementary school and were summarily banned from our house because my mother thought they were trash.

    I did manage to sneak home a few Goosebumps here and there though.

  17. 17
    katiebabs says:

    I’m in the minority about this. Not happy about a more adult Sweet Valley High. Is Nancy Drew next? Imagine if they do Nancy Drew erotic and gets all dirty with Ned and Bess?

    I bet Jessica becomes a stripper and Elizabeth a teacher at Sweet Valley High. Channeling 90210 anyone?

  18. 18
    JamiSings says:

    @Katie – Actually I read one of the “Nancy Drew in college” books that heavily suggested she was having sex with her boyfriend. One chapter ended with them in her car with him “getting too close.” The next chapter began with her getting out of the car – which she hadn’t driven anywhere – and “adjusting her skirt.”

    I stopped reading Nancy Drew at that point. Not that I cared much for her nor the Hardy Boys. I much preferred the long since out of print Alfred Hitchcock & The Three Investigators.


    More realistic to me back then. None of the kids were rich. Jupiter was actually fat. And adults were always treating them as stupid, even though Jupe was a certified genius. (And in the first few books Bob was in a leg brace. Though he eventually had it taken off.)

  19. 19
    Holly says:

    Thank you JamiSings…. I finally run into to someone else who has read the Alfred Hitchcock & The Three Investigators series and Encyclopedia Brown.  I loved the TI Series until they started using that Hector Sebastian Character instead of Hitchcock.  Strangely though, I’ve never read a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy’s Mystery in my life (although I use to love the Parker Stevenson/Shawn Cassidy show).  Then came 5th grade and the Silhouette First Loves and then SVH and then “grown up” romances, Sci-Fi and mysteries.  But the memories of those first mystery books – what fun – now I need to search the local used book stores to see if I can find one.

  20. 20
    JamiSings says:

    @Holly – We’re out there still. I’ve found some people by Googling who remember Jupiter & company and are constantly seeking the original books.

    In fact, if there ever is a man desperate enough to want me, he could win my heart by finding me all of the original 60 AH&TTI; books in good readable condition.

  21. 21
    Amanda in Baltimore says:

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who fondly remembers The Bobwhites! Also Cherry Ames, who nursed her way around the world, in all the branches of the Services during WWII, and in every freakin’ branch of medicine. If she was still around she’d be Cherry Ames, Labor and Delivery Nurse or Cherry Ames, Proctology Nurse…

  22. 22
    sableheart says:

    I tried buying the complete set of Trixie Belden on ebay, but the bidding got out of control pretty quickly =(

    Poor Dan. Always had a soft spot for him, even if he wasn’t one of the original six.

    As for SVH, they never really got my attention. I was a BSC girl all the way until I went to high school and they didn’t have them in the library =(

  23. 23
    Kim says:

    Count me as another one who loved the Bobwhites and yes, Trixie and Jim, Honey and Brian, and Mart and Diana are all happily raising little bobwhites of their own and still solving mysteries when they get the chance.

    I also loved the SVH series – but looking back, I have to wonder how and why. However, I had a bunch of them (probably around 60 or so as well) and read them every month…

  24. 24
    Karen at a desk says:

    Thread is being hijacked by the Three Investigators, and good. Why not one of those “Three Wild Brothers! Three Incredible Loves!” types of trilogy about the adult Jupiter, Pete, and Bob? My fanfiction sense is already twitching—and an adult (and still fat) Jupe would be hot.

    I think the replies are showing a trend that you like what was current when you were the target age, whatever its actual merits at the time. My mother pressed Nancy Drews on me, my youngest sister abjured my Three Investigators for Sweet Valley High. I will admit that my own tastes were odd for a Teenage GirlTM, heavy on adventure and mystery and full of disdain for the yucky kissy stuff. I remember skimming through the Nancy Drews for the “good parts”, which were basically defined as those that did not involve her Ken-doll boyfriend. What was his name anyway?

  25. 25
    Marissa says:

    Ned Nickerson.
    Ned was Nancy’s “special friend”, if I recall the phrasing correctly.

    I’m on the fence about this SVH thing- I loved the books and remember them fondly (didn’t Enid DIE after sampling cocaine or something at a party?) but I’m not sure if I would read a version of it today. But I’m sure I’d skim though it in a bookstore.

    Anyone out there remember Sunset High books? Those, I loved like crazy.
    Midwestern family moves to Beverly Hills and drama ensues? I was all in.
    This was before 90210… but I watched that too. :)

  26. 26
    JamiSings says:

    @Karen – I don’t know about the books giving away trends. At least not for me. I was born in 1976 so I was reading Alfred Hitchcock & The Three Investigators in the 1980s! When SVT was very popular. LOL

    But then again I’m weird. Last night I was adding Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Ella Fitzgerald to my iPod. I don’t know any other 33 year olds who even know who Glenn Miller was.

  27. 27
    JamiSings says:

    Karen – a few more thoughts if you do write such a fan fiction.

    1: No one ever said what happened to Jupiter’s parents. We know that his father must’ve been Uncle Titus’ brother and Uncle Titus used to work for the circus.

    2: Skinny Norris seems to be the perfect stereotype to go into porn. He’s lazy and not very smart and always looking for easy money.

    3: Pete, for someone who’s the jock of the group, is such a coward. Why?

    4: Since Jupiter used to be a child actor going by Baby Fatso, could he, with his smarts, get the rights to all reruns and video/DVD sales so he could be rich? And would he ever go back into acting?

    5: Does Bob former childhood injury still bother him?

  28. 28
    hapax says:

    No fan of SVH—honestly, Liz and Jessica could be in a menage with Siegfried and Roy for all I care—but I would pay cold cash money for some well written Three Investigators All Grown Up fic.

    I had *such* a crush on Jupes.  And Bob.  And the chauffeur—what was his name?  Surely I wasn’t the only one who wandered about town leaving color-coded chalk question marks, hoping to be swept away by a gold-plated Rolls Royce?

  29. 29
    JamiSings says:

    @Hapax – Worthington.

  30. 30
    SusannaG says:

    I believe there are plans to re-launch Cherry Ames, believe it or not.

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