Sara's Reviews > Bittersweet

Bittersweet by Francine Pascal
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's review
Aug 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, adult-fiction, novellas
Read on August 12, 2012

Ahh, the conclusion to the greatest digital series of the summer. At least, it's being billed as the final novella in this six-part series, but so many questions are left unanswered and there is a cliff-hanger ending, so this better not be the end! I need more. Immediately.

In true Sweet Valley fashion, everything is wrapped up nice and easily... with the exception of some romantic entanglements (when is romance ever simple in Sweet Valley?). Liz is meddling up a storm, searching for any possible lead in order to prove Bruce is innocent, but she's feeling guilty for not believing him earlier and actually acting against him, behind his back, so she doesn't want him to know that she's now the one who's found the key to proving his innocence. I don't get it, but hey - it's Liz. She can't handle staying off to the side, she doesn't want to announce that she's in the middle of everything and the key to everything, but she also can't handle not getting recognized for her work. It's obnoxious and yet I love it. Very true to the girl she was in high school!

In other true-to-Sweet-Valley-High logic, this installment also features a drug counselor willing to completely ignore laws of patient confidentiality but a restaurant owner unwilling to give out employee phone numbers to random patrons. Somehow this makes sense... right?

Lila's plot line, about being a reality TV star and all the problems she and Ken are having, gets very little page time in this book, basically resolving the plot and that's it. This was definitely the most underdeveloped, yet most awesome, plot of the entire series. I wanted to see more of her reality show, more of her scheming, and more of her plotting alongside Jessica. I felt like this plot had a lot more potential than it actually reached; however, I enjoyed it tremendously despite its all-too-brief appearance, so I won't complain too much.

Jessica is busy working on Bruce's behalf, trying to give him good PR, and also trying to get to the bottom of problems in her own life. Her work-related problems were never really resolved, which I suppose is kinda fitting, considering how little "work" anyone in Sweet Valley does. Still, it was given ample page time and the characters involved were developed, so I expected more of a resolution to this. Her personal problems, involving her separation from Todd and her bad idea to use other dates as crutches to help get her feet back on the ground (and also Todd's poor decision to do the same, only he dated a fellow reporter who was fired for plagiarizing Jessica... oh, the drama!), got more of a resolution. Todd was largely absent from this book, which was too bad considering how much his plot line needed resolution, but let's face it: Todd's an idiot who likes to punch people. On that note, this book was a giant success! Todd gave someone a good ass kicking. I feel like "ass-kicking" is the proper phrase here because right before Todd starts throwing his infamous Todd Punches, he growls, "I do know how to kick your ass!" I actually shrieked with glee at this point and then had to reread the page a good half-dozen times to relive the moment. It was definitely the highlight of the book - and the series!

Anyway, for all the awesomeness this book - and entire six-part series - contained, each installment was too short and the final resolution at the end of this book didn't resolve everything. The very last sentence actually opened a whole new plot line, one that I need to read about immediately! I don't know if further books are planned, but I seriously hope so. I love the fact that despite all the characters now being 30, their lives are filled with exactly the same amount of drama as they were when they were only 16. This short digital series was brilliant. More, please!
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