Sweet Valley Confidential

Book Cover Tomorrow, a whole mess of books I want to read go on sale, including Sweet Valley Confidential, the story of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield 10 years later. I read the PDF first chapter awhile back, and Elizabeth is as uptight as ever, and I am sort of peeking-through-my-fingers curious as to what happens in the story. On one hand, the Sweet Valley books were totally my gateway drug to romance novels, but on the other hand, I might like my own version of what happened later better than the novel.

There’s going to be a big ol’ media push with the new book, and I imagine it’ll get some coverage since it has that wonderful nostalgia factor to it – that sort of, “OMG I haven’t thought about those in YEARS” memory jolt. And then you remember just how much you remember about Sweet Valley and wonder what you might have done with that memory cell instead. This is one of the commercials that’s going to appear for the book:

You know, I didn’t think Jessica (I am presuming that’s her with the curls and the red lipstick) would grow up to look so much like Heidi Montag. 

So, are you going to pick this one up? Did you read the SVH series and have fond memories like I do? I’m really on the fence here – my imagined future for the SVH crew (without the falling refrigerators) vs. the updated novel. What do you think – should I read it?



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  1. 1



    You must read it.  Yes, you should.

  2. 2
    Carrie S says:

    I missed Sweet Valley.  I was reading Dr. Who novels at the time.

  3. 3
    Jess says:

    You MUST read it. I am practically salivating with want at the moment, having already pre-ordered it on my Nook. SVH books were also my romance novel gateway drug, but also my introduction to sociopaths (Jessica), doormat passive aggressive frigid bitches (Elizabeth), date rape (Bruce Patman. Always Bruce Patman), and the horrors of drug use (Poor Deaf/Dead Regina). Seriously, I credit the ghostwriter of “On the Edge” for not only making me terrified of my heart murmur, but terrified of taking anything stronger than baby aspirin just in case it reacted with my heart murmur and KILLED ME.

  4. 4
    jinni black says:

    So is it written by Francine herself or a hired author like they used to use?

  5. 5
    Jess says:

    @Jinni – I actually read in an interview on The Daily Beast that this is the FIRST Sweet Valley book Francine has ever written cover to cover. She just created the characters in depth and wrote detailed plot outlines for the original series.

  6. 6
    SusannaG says:

    I won’t be getting this one – I missed the Sweet Valley High phenomena in the first place.  I think I was just a few years too old for it.

  7. 7
    Amber Shah says:

    Um wow.  This doesn’t sound interesting at all, beyond the nostalgia factor.  Even though I was hooked for awhile, I don’t know if I remember enough details to get any inside jokes.  And if it’s not about the history, then what’s the point?

    You know what I would like to read is grown up Nancy Drew.  That girl knew how to find serious trouble.  And what sort of man could keep up?

  8. 8

    Oooooo, @Amber Shah, that would be good. 

    I would also love to see a grown up Trixie Belden.  That would be FANTASTIC.

  9. 9
    orangehands says:

    Oh Hell Yeah you must read this! Because I’m not spending money on it and I gotta know. :)

    I remember the college years (oh gods) better than the high school years, so I would like both memory cells back, thankyouverymuch. (Oh geez, as I sit here more and more is coming back and its scaring me. *shudder*)

    So did anyone read her other series? Fearless? I liked it more, but then the soap opera factor became too overwhelming…overwhelming like a safe hurdling from the sky, a safe holding all my precious memories of books long past, long like the neck of a giraffe eating leaves off a…oh wait, wrong thread.

  10. 10
    HelenMac says:

    @orangehands OH EM GEE, the University years. There are times, no lie, when my brain skips a gear or something, and I think the SVU in ‘L&O:SVU’ is Sweet Valley University, not Special Victims Unit. I don’t even.

    @SB Sarah. Read it! You muuuuuuuuuuuuust! And if you hate it, just write it off in your head as poor quality fanfic and keep your head-canon the way it is right now.

  11. 11
    Hannah says:

    I second the request for a grown-up Trixie Belden!
    I requested the new SVH from the library, so I’ll read it sooner or later. I don’t want to give any more of my money to the SVH franchise though.

  12. 12
    Jayne says:

    I think the hundreds of dollars I wasted on Sweet Valley books and merchandise as a preteen were enough. I plan to catch the recap on 1bruce1! http://community.livejournal.com/1bruce1/

  13. 13
    Shelly Quade says:

    I think that if you don’t read it, your curiosity will eat you up from the inside as though your stomach had become the lair for hungry baby cobras.

    So read it, and save your stomach, because it’s (your stomach’s) important for eating & stuff.

  14. 14
    Amanda says:


    So did anyone read her other series? Fearless?

    I DID!  I DID!  I think I read the first 20 or so, and then the soap opera factor got me too.  But seriously?  Teenage girl is spy against Mother Russia?  YES PLEASE.

    I actually thought about these the other day and how badly I wanted to read them again…

  15. 15

    I think I read a SVH once at my cousin’s urging. She was the one that had all these – and the boardgame too. I have a vauge memory of the two of us playing the SVH game at my house one afternoon. I was a Hardy Boys fan, then moved on to David Eddings and Tom Clancy with a few classics on the side every once and a while.

    I so wasn’t with most of the “in” things back then. Well, aside from dinosaurs, Star Wars, and My Little Pony—who all ganged up and made war on Barbie-ville. Needless to say, Barbie and Ken almost never survived (sure my mother was surprised the living room did some afternoons).

  16. 16
    Jessica says:

    I’m going to read it as soon as it get delivered!! so excited!

  17. 17

    I loved Sweet Valley Twins when I was younger! I’m totally getting it!

  18. 18
    sugarless says:

    I LOVED the Sweet Valley books! I read their middle school (Unicorn Club, right?), high school, and even college series.

    (Yes! I was another Sweet Valley University fan. I remember my mom being vaguely concerned about me reading about college girls and their exploits when I was in like 7th grade. She never tried to stop me from reading them or anything, but I still remember the mild alarm that crossed her face when I’ve told her I’d moved on to SVU)

    And I read Fearless for a while too! I loved that series, but after a while it was a little too much for me.

  19. 19
    sugarless says:

    Man, this is making me nostalgic. Anyone remember the Boxcar Kids? (or was is Boxcar Children?) Another series I loved.

    I was a big fan of Nancy Drew too. Ned was a little dull for her, I think.

    But seriously, I didn’t think anyone else had read Fearless. No one I’ve ever mentioned that series to has ever heard of it.

    Okay, it’s a little sad how excited I am thinking back on all of my beloved old series. And despite the fact that they were so bad if I tried to read them now, I would probably lose brain cells, I remember Sweet Valley so fondly. They made up a big part of my childhood.

  20. 20

    No question about it – read it!! :-)

  21. 21
    Diana says:

    I never read Sweet Valley High, but I did enjoy Sweet Valley Twins back in the day and watched the TV show Sweet Valley High here and there.  I will probably pick this up because I’m way too curious not to want to know what has happened to the twins.  I think you should read it, Sarah!

  22. 22
    KarenF says:

    If it was a series, I read it… Bobbsey Twins? Check. Happy Hollisters? Check. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators: check, check, check.  The Belgariad. The Mallorean. The Xanth books. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy… The Dark is Rising… I cried when I read the last Judy Bolton book (the very BEST of all the series I ever read).

    So OF COURSE I read all the Sweet Valley books, in every incarnation. 

    And I’ve already pre-ordered SVC for my Nook (the sample chapter got me… Elizabeth and Bruce Patman are besties?  How did that happen?  Must read to find out).

  23. 23
    Hell Cat says:

    Oh. My. GOD. This come out?? I must go to the library and sign up for it. Cause, really. It’s SVH. Jessica might be a psychopath, especially with her BFF Lila, those are some badass bitches. Don’t Go Home with John is still a favorite. Over-the-moon in cheese, but glorious. (According to Library, I’m the 9th request. Let’s hope I get it quickly so I can run to 1Bruce1 and read. There’s 6 copies available, so I should have it soon.) I can’t stand Elizabeth, never have. Or Enid (/Alex in SVU).

    I read SV Kids, Twins, Club, High and University. I never read the other series. I liked the original cast. Even crazy Margo and Nora. I also wanted a boyfriend like Sam.

  24. 24

    I am sooooo excited!  I hope Amazon sends it to my Kindle straight up at midnight tonight. :)  We better find out about the rest of the group too- Enid, Bruce, Lila, Jeffrey (still breaks my heart that Elizabeth chose boring Todd over him:().  I can’t wait to read it!

  25. 25
    Lexie says:

    Okay,I admittedly understand why someone would want an updated version but i seriously read them from when I was really little with Sweet Valley Kids,during my first years of reading then I read Sweet Valley Twins,once I got into middle school is when I read Sweet Valley High and promptly went onto Sweet Valley University during my first year of high school! I devoted my summer to reading the Super editions and adored the thrillers,just enough thrill to scar a thirteen year old girl but now that I am almost twenty years old,I really don’t think I wanna knew what happened to my beloved characters after all these years,It would be like reading The Babysitters Club after they have kids,it would just be weird!! But anyone who doesn’t really knew the series should check it out,because she is a really good writer through I personally think they should read the other part of the series

  26. 26
    mollificent says:

    @Amber Shah,

    You might like this:


    (P.S. Can’t remember if it’s verboten to post links or not. Feel free to delete me if so. ;))



  27. 27
    TracyP says:

    I say go for it.  If it was something you read as a kid, then you may get a nostalgic kick out of it.  I personally could never get through one of them, but then, I didn’t read romances until I was in my twenties (Crusie was my gateway drug).

  28. 28

    Mollificent beat me to recommending Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, which is an autobiography of Nancy Drew that works amazingly well and follows the character well into adulthood.  (Many other teen sleuths and their relatives also appear, including Trixie Belden and Encyclopedia Brown.)  Not to be missed.

  29. 29

    OMG I went over to Amazon to check this out, and I saw this…

    Jessica …apparently has done something unforgivable to her twin.

    Like everything she did to Liz in the original series WASN’T?! LOL

    I devoured Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, SVH and *cough* Cheerleaders. I always wanted to be a cheerleader. LOL.

  30. 30
    Ellen Brand says:

    Heh. I avoided SVH like the plague, because Elizabeth and Jessica seemed way too much like the Mean Girls who made my life miserable. Especially Jessica. Mostly, I was reading Fear Street… more gore, and the really unpleasant girls and boys usually died horribly. It made a nice safety valve. :)

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