Book Review #58: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

4 Sep

Sweet Valley Confidential is pure, unadulterated nostalgia. I grew up devouring the Sweet Valley High Series, following them on to college. They were a few years older in the books than my age, so I felt like they did everything first. I read about their high school adventures while in middle school, and their college escapades while in high school.

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield have the same appeal that the characters of Sex and the City have. Everyone identifies a little bit with both sisters, because they are sort of extreme versions of character traits most of us have. Elizabeth is smart, studious, practical and down to earth. And Jessica is impulsive, emotional and compassionate.

Francine Pascal wrote this recently, and it serves as a “where are they now?” for some of the most beloved characters in young adult fiction. Elizabeth is living in New York City, estranged from Jessica because she found out Jessica was having an affair with her fiance. And yes, that fiance was Todd Wilkins. Jessica is working her charismatic magic as a PR girl in California, but struggling through a dark period as she realizes that her relationship with Todd lost her her sister.

As if you had any doubt, Jessica and Elizabeth aren’t estranged for long. After some epic battles, they resolve their differences, and both girls end up with what they want in life. Jessica has Todd, Elizabeth has a new life in New York and a budding romance with an old friend.

Pascal includes many of the side characters, including brother Steven, Enid, Lila and Ken. And at the end of the book, at Jessica’s wedding, we get a complete rundown of what each character ended up doing with their lives. This book was so much fun to read as an adult, mostly because I have such fond memories of the books from my childhood.

Now they just need to give us an update on the Babysitter’s Club.

3 Responses to “Book Review #58: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal”

  1. violetcorniun September 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    I can’t believe that you stumbled upon this book, too! I was obsessed with the Sweet Valley Twins series growing up (Sweet Valley High was just a side-interest, but I did get into Sweet Valley University for the first 10 books or so). Haven’t read it yet, but now I’m excited to do so! Thanks for the review. 🙂

    (Also, I’m going to sound all pompous and stuff, but isn’t it Todd Wilkins, not Todd Wilson?)

    • HelloKatieO September 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

      Good catch! I was debating whether to Google his name and I decided not to but I was wrong.


  1. HelloKatieO’s #CBR4 Review #58: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal « Cannonball Read IV - September 4, 2012

    […] Take a walk down memory lane… Share this:ShareTwitterFacebookEmailDiggStumbleUpon Posted by HelloKatieO in 4 stars – a great book and tagged CBR4, Elizabeth Wakefield, francine pascal, hellokatieo, Jessica Wakefield, Sweet Valley High […]

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