Alex's Reviews > Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal
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Apr 18, 11

Read on April 16, 2011

I am possibly more excited about this book than ANY other coming out in the next few years. What does that say about me...

UPDATE:

So the library was taking entirely too long to get this in, and the reviews (and spoilers) were all over the Internet and hard to avoid. So I actually went and bought it this weekend, which I haven't done since the BSC prequel. How I love my childhood books, I guess.

This book is kind of impossible to rate. It was not very good, but come on, it's a Sweet Valley book. Who was expecting amazing writing? Anyway, here are my very convoluted thoughts. There might be spoilers, but I will try my best not to list them.

To start, it was extremely awkward to hear about pious, judgmental, clutching-her-pearls Elizabeth having "omg the sex!" and telling us she cries after orgasms (I don't know about you, but I could have gone the rest of my life not knowing that). I applaud Francine for making them real 27-year olds instead of the Pleasantville-type teenagers they were, but it was so far from the way they were written as 16 year olds that it was a bit jolting.

I'm not really going to touch on the main plot, since I don't want to spoil it. But let's just say it was a major "WTF".

Continuity problems, anyone? Francine mentions in the acknowledgements that some person helped her with all the random Sweet Valley trivia so she didn't mess anything up. Obviously she should have hired me instead, a self-proclaimed SVH trivia nerd. Here are just a few of the errors:

Lila's father is listed as Richard Fowler. Um, excuse me? George Fowler will not be pleased.

Mr. Collins' son is named Sam now instead of Teddy.

Suzanne Devlin apparently died after being diagnosed with MS and crashed her car. Um, I thought it turned out her MS was mono (I know, WTF indeed but that book was stupid). I don't remember her dying.

They do a tribute at the end to those who died. Where the hell was Olivia? Not to mention Sam Woodruff? He was my favorite!

Elizabeth mentions that she has never kissed her now-best friend Bruce Patman, except one time when she was passed out. (Um, you mean when he tried to rape you that one time, Liz? What a best friend.) I'm calling bullshit on that. How about that entire story arc where you two fell in love when you found out that Alice and Hank almost got married? Yeah, there was lots of making out there. Come on now.

Elizabeth says she fell in love with Todd in kindergarten but he never paid attention to her until high school. Really this is a continuity fail from back in the day. There was Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, and Sweet Valley University. None of these series could ever keep their history straight. In SVH, Todd had just moved to town. In SVT, Todd gave Elizabeth her first kiss after moving to town. I think in SVK, he was in their school already. Whatever. That made it really awkward in this book when she would mention something from one of the series that contradicted other parts of the series.

(I also like that on the front page it listed the other series and it doesn't even acknowledge SVH Senior Year, SVH Junior Year, or the Elizabeth series.)

It kept trying to throw in random scenes and characters that either moved away later in the series or were only relevant in the early books, etc. Nothing after book 90 or so was acknowledged at all, even though scenes from SVU were. I think Francine likes to pretend that the books after #90 (the Margo arc, werewolves, vampires, cheerleading, etc.) never happened. Well I may be in the minority, but those were my FAVORITES. It sucked that those events weren't even touched upon.

But then she randomly threw in Elizabeth's relationship with Sam Burgess, which was VERY late in SVU. Why would you put that in, but not explain how her and Todd are even together later in life? They were very broken up at the end of SVU. And she lost her virginity to that Max dude in the Elizabeth series, dammit!

Cara Walker is randomly back in these books with Steven. Didn't she move away to London? What happened to Billie Winkler?

On another note, EVERY chapter from Jessica's point of view is filled with the words "like" and "so." It, like, got so , like, annoying.

It did mention Jessica's marriage to Mike McAllery though. Heh.

I forgot about my favorite error. Elizabeth saying she had never cheated on Todd. HAHAHAHAHAHA. That's all I have to say about that.

In spite of it all, I devoured this book and couldn't put it down. I just had to know how it would end. It kind of soured some characters for me (Winston, anyone?) but this isn't how I am going to imagine it ended anyway. I kind of thought of this book as fanfic, and I am going to keep going in my mind with how the characters ended up, who they married, etc. Elizabeth and Todd are together, Jessica is with either Nick Fox or Jeremy Aames, Lila and Bruce are married, etc. I like my version better.
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Good review! You HAVE to turn this review into a letter to Francine and to the publisher. You are right in that you would have made a much better editor! I think you should write them and explain that their mistakes are a disgrace to the series!


kingshearte Your version does sound much better.


Jennifer I hated how they tried to claim that Lila and Bruce's college relationship was just a fling. They gave up MONEY for each other, moved into a crap apartment and thats not love? Please.


Alex YES! I was so pissed off when Bruce dismissed their relationship as a fling. They were the strongest couple throughout the whole SVU series - and how many "thriller editions" did Bruce risk his life for Lila!?


Tamsen This CRACKED me up. Thank you so much for remembering all the tidbits about their "lives" from the other books - you're right, continuity was never Pascal's thing. And yeah, I doubled over laughing at the entire Liz-never-cheated-on-Todd thing too. Um, OK. :)


Alex Aww, thank you!

I read something once in an SVH snark blog (yes, I'm a dork) about taking a shot every time Liz cheated on Todd during the series. No one could do it though, because by the end you'd have died of alcohol poisoning.


Tamsen Oh my god I bet I read the same snark blog! It was a livejournal community... I think it was named after Bruce's personalized license plate. Bruce1? And I'm a dork too, because it'd be fun to play that drinking game. :)


Jennifer I love that blog. Its called 1bruce1 - totally hilarious.


Alex Yup, that's it! That blog is hysterical.


message 10: by Jennifer (last edited May 16, 2012 01:44PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jennifer Wait... when was there ever a SVH Junior Year series? If I missed that, I'll be upset. Unless you mean the Sweet Valley Jr High series?


message 11: by Alex (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alex D'oh! I meant the Jr High series.


Laura Beth This was the perfect review. Hope you'll be reviewing the e-series.


message 13: by Alex (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alex Aww, thank you very much! I don't know if I can handle the e-series yet, but never say never… =)


message 14: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Pamuk The synopsis for Elizabeth's First Kiss (Sweet Valley Twins) says Elizabeth knew Todd since kindergarten but only now wen't whoo! Anyway, even though I obviously don't know you, I'm sure you could write a better Sweet Valley Adult fanfic than this sap. I cannot believe she thanked someone for helping her "keep the details straight" hahaha! She should've gone online hunting for a Sweet Valley lover and begged them to move to her side and fix her problematic book. (But that'd be creepy, to be honest.)


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