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Best Friends

(Sweet Valley Twins #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  8,644 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Growing apart...

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield feel special because they're identical twins. For twelve years they've dressed alike, shared a room, and done everything together. But when they start Sweet Valley Middle School, everything begins to change.

Elizabeth wants to work on the class newspaper, but Jessica doesn't. Jessica would rather join the Unicorns, a snobby a
Paperback, 112 pages
Published July 1st 1986 by Bantam (first published 1986)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  8,644 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Courtney Stanton
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who's already read it once, but for the love of god keep it away from young girls now
Just as excellent as it was back in 1986 when I first read it. Also, Jessica Wakefield is a sociopath.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Loved this book series when I was young! Hard to rate the books, but I remember them with so much joy that at least 4 stars are they worth even though I probably wouldn't appreciate them now as much as I did when I was a teen. ...more
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was a really powerful book for me because I felt psychologically pulled to identify with both Jessica and Elizabeth. Consequently, this sweet valley duality was the fountainhead of many years of existential anxiety for me. You see, what Pascal does that is so brilliant, is to present you with the choice between good and evil. Will I identify with wild, rule-breaking Jessica, popular and exciting? Or peaceful, rule-abiding Elizabeth, successful and righteous? It really tears you apart b/c yo ...more
Monica Johnson
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These were my favorite series of books from my tween years. How I yearned to be the best friend of Elizabeth Wakefield, or possess the power over the prepubescent boy crowd, like Jessica could. I have to give the 4 star rating based on how I devoured these books as a 11 year old girl, but in all reality I probably wouldn't want my daughter to read them. ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Instead of a synopsis, I am going to do things a bit differently this time. Even though SVH came first, chronologically this is where it all began (oh shut up, I don't care about Sweet Valley Kids). Jessica seems to be the most sociopathic during the first 30 books of each series (not counting SY and JH). Here she's on a crusade against fat people, just the same as in "Double Love." I won't tell you the plot - it's pretty obvious anyway. Jess and Liz are growing apart for the first time in their ...more
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review stands for the whole series. Between the ages of 12 and 13 I maniacally sought and read all of SVK, SVT and SVH. There was magic in being a twin, and I wished I was one. I really identified with Elizabeth, bookish and clever who had great besties and an entertains sis. Then I started high school and realized that there were books out there that would make your mind explode. I outgrew the Wakefield twins long before they went to SVU.

These books were a part of my childhood. I remember
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oh, a trip down memory lane. I loved these and the SVH books as a kid - gobbled them up. And apparently I still love them because once I started reading, it all came back and it read just as well as they did then. For being turned out like they were, I can't help thinking they are pretty well done.

I did not realize what a sociopath Jessica was when I read them the first time around, but that girl is so beyond mean girl it isn't even funny. She fat-shames other students and is a selfish bitch, bu
Amanda Lasen
This book was written the year I was born :o Crazyyy. What's even crazier is that it's still totally relatable today. It turns out in the past 27 years not much has changed with sibling relationships and middle school friendships. I don't remember if I read any of the Sweet Valley Twins series as a child, I do remember owning a few of the Sweet Valley High books. I thought I'd start with the Twins and bypass the Sweet Valley Kids series.

I read this book in one night, I can't say how long it rea
Lisa Polley
One of my favorite series when I was younger.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiddie
I've been wanting to read this series again (because I'm overly sentimental). So I'm starting with book one, and all I can say is I must be getting old because Jessica annoyed me to no end! 😩😂 ...more
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-books
Oh my. Where to begin. I started reading these books when I was in second grade. I got the first four for Christmas and devoured them. And then they went around to every other girl in my class. The stories are a nice, sweet escape for an eight-year-old going through a tough time. Elizabeth and Jessica took me through many adventures through six years: starting with Twins, moving up to Sweet Valley High, then on to the Sagas and Sweet Valley University. The Sweet Valley Twins books remained my fa ...more
Marie Grace
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I LOVED the Sweet Valley Twins Series. I think I started reading them in Grade 4-5, along with the Baby-Sitter's club books. They were totally formulaic but the nice thing was you didn't necessarily have to read them in order. Elizabeth was my favorite twin. Jessica was kind of mean. I felt like I hit the jackpot if I found at least one in the local library. They were easy to find by their pastel-covered spines along the rows of books.

By grade 6 I think I read them all and started reading the Sw
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's weird to see that school in Sweet Valley seems like it will benefit them more in life. Yeah we get to choose one of our electives but they have cooking as a class which seems more helpful in life than building a rocket. I'm saying this because when you,hopefully, graduate college you might need to make a fancy dinner. Cooking is more useful than building a rocket, unless you are a rocket engineer. ...more
Katey Lovell
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it

I knew this wasn't my favourite but it has more redeeming features than I remembered. It also made me think that Jessica was a real piece of work! Love the scene setting and character building and it made me reminiscence about how much love I had for this series.

And the Dairi Queen revenge scene - I cheered. #saynotofatshaming
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This might not be considered a great book in itself - it was pretty typical of YA novels in the 1980's, but as the debut to the Sweet Valley Twins series, I can not help but give this book five stars. ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Read this series in elementary school.
Kylie Abecca
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Jessica and Elizabeth are such cliche twin characters, one being the sweet and innocent one, while the other is vindictive and sly. I found the book to be very predictable and the characters lacked any real depth.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A crazy blast from my teenage past! It would be considered an un-pc book today but it was the high jinxs from my adolescence!
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
jessica wakefield is a terrible person.
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cliquey-pizza
A strange re-hash of the first Sweet Valley High book: club pledging , mistaken idenity that tarnishes Liz's rep , starting a paper/writing for the paper - but when I was young , I didn't notice or care. Finally the twins were my age!( for more svh svt madness - check out my site - It's embarrassing to recall just how influential this series was to me and my friends. For a while we even started a Unicorn club - it quickly went ka-put... who could find that muc ...more
I'm only adding the first book because I think I read about sixty of these when I was eleven or twelve, and I really don't feel like searching through them all. I loved this series, though, and I think to some degree it actually ruined my life. See, I started reading these in fifth grade, and I looked forward to going to middle school the next year because it would be OMFG JUST LIKE SWEET VALLEY. Yeah. It wasn't. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice books were much closer to reality, but I didn't dis ...more
May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
I didn't have an interest in reading these books, but I think one of my sisters must have because sometimes they were around the house and I was the kind of kid who'd randomly pick up and breeze through anything that was sitting there. Twins were a subject of mild interest to me, since my younger sister and I always pretended to be twins even though we weren't, so I related to the main problem of the book which was when the twin sisters who'd always done everything together started to grow apart ...more
Michaela Branum
Ohmigoodness! I loved this book! Lol I am only 10 but I read stuff from way back in the 1900's I even read Anne of Green Gables! OK,so,I thought it was sad that the twins were drifting apart. I thought it was stupid that Jessica wanted to be in a snobby girls club called the unicorns. (BTW,I hate Jessica) Elizabeth was trying to be nice to Jessica about the newspaper,but Jessica screams in her face and says no. Elizabeth is disappointed so she asks her friends to help her. Then Jessica gets thes ...more
Melissa Mckee
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Pascal, Francine. Sweet Valley Twins. New York: Bantam Books, 1986. Print.
Genre: Children’s Chapter Books
Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal is about two twins that have been so similar throughout their whole lives. When they move and start a new school they find out their interest are different and this raises a problem. This book gives readers the opportunity to look at the life of a teenage girl. Readers can relate to the characters in this book by age or the situations that they come in co
Kymberli Williamson
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read the whole series in elementary school. I would highly recommend this book to all young girls because it teaches good, core values. Like respecting your elders, respecting your parents, how to deal with siblings and the bonding of sisters, meeting new friends, and basically all the things that young girls might not know very well. My sister while growing up was 5 years older than me. I loved being around her, watching her, i guess being the typical annoying younger sister. While we did form ...more
Newport Librarians
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think the four stars might come from nostalgia, but even re-reading this I thought they were done well - for their time, especially from a mill churning them out like candy.

I still really enjoyed reading it again, and I think tweens are really going to be able to relate to Jessica and Elizabeth, even after all these years. I just did not realize how much of a sociopath Jessica was as a kid - she is so beyond your average mean girl! Some of the stuff is outdated and we probably wouldn't want t
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: childhood
It was with these books that I realized just how much I would love reading. In third grade I used to sneak them to school and read them under my desk until I got caught. I enjoyed them as much for their moral lessons as for the entertainment. I can't speak to the quality of writing (because I'm sure if I went back to read them they wouldn't hold up) but they meant a lot to me at the time. My dad used to buy my sister and I new ones when we got good grades or for good behavior. I read almost ever ...more
Tess Majestic
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this book when I was about nine or ten, and obsessed with all things 'twin'. Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield certainly fit the bill. This is the first book in a very long series about their adventures at Sweet Valley Middle School. Here, we see Elizabeth and Jessica begin to claim their individuality, particularly when Jessica joins an elite club called "The Unicorns". I still remember the three initiation tasks she has to do. The whole book was quite interesting, and let's not forget the ...more
Megan Gray
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This series began the year I was in 6th grade and was where I found all my advice on being what we then called a pre-teen (now: tween). Also prompted my best friend and I to begin our own private Purple Unicorns and wore purple every day somewhere on our bodies to show we were member for six months. We even made a clubhouse. Um, we were the only two members lol.
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm using this is a proxy for the first 29 books of the series, which I read in middle school. I was thinking 3.5 stars, and started to round down, then I realized this series had kept me engaged enough to have read more pages in this series, than from any other author, before or since. (JRRT is likely competitive on word count.) ...more
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Francine Pascal (May 13, 1938— ) is an American author best known for creating the Sweet Valley series of novels. In 1982 she created the characters and the stories for the first six books and her agent, Amy Berkower of Writers House sold them to Bantam Books. Book number one is mostly written by Ms. Pascal. From then on she wrote the stories for every book ever published in the series. After the ...more

Other books in the series

Sweet Valley Twins (1 - 10 of 118 books)
  • Teacher's Pet (Sweet Valley Twins, #2)
  • The Haunted House (Sweet Valley Twins, #3)
  • Choosing Sides (Sweet Valley Twins, #4)
  • Sneaking Out (Sweet Valley Twins, #5)
  • The New Girl (Sweet Valley Twins, #6)
  • Three's a Crowd (Sweet Valley Twins, #7)
  • First Place (Sweet Valley Twins, #8)
  • Against the Rules (Sweet Valley Twins, #9)
  • One of the Gang (Sweet Valley Twins, #10)
  • Buried Treasure (Sweet Valley Twins, #11)

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