Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later
Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

There are so many reasons I did not enjoy this book. The first reason being that perhaps I did not connect with it the way readers who grew up with the various Sweet Valley series would when presented with an "all grown up" Elizabeth and Jessica novel. Growing up I read The Babysitters Club, which many feel is like the "gateway drug" to SVH and it's spin-offs. But I never got into SVH. I remember seeing them in the school library and I remember hearing other girls talk about them. But for some reason or other I never picked them up. So recently I read the first in the SVH series [b:Double Love|529252|Double Love (Sweet Valley High, #1)|Francine Pascal||3257147]to get a general idea of the content of the early books. (I know the later ones became much more....serious)So I kinda had an idea of Elizabeth and Jessica's character, the world building, and the plot setup.

The main reason I did not like this book was because of the characters. I just could not connect with either of the twins. And I could not find myself relating to their issues even though I am the same age as the twins. And it was nothing to do with who they are, they are still the same characters from the first book. Elizabeth is still a good listener and considerate of others and Jessica is still rather..selfish. Yet they have changed so I give the author credit for that. They have become more mature. Elizabeth has taken on a more cynical view of the world. Yet she is filled with feelings of revenge (not the little revenges she did during the SVH series) and to a degree, self-loathing. Jessica has learned to be a little less selfish and a lot more loyal.

The plot also got to me. It got to me hard. The way it was set up was interesting. With flashbacks in relation to the current events. But I felt too much time was wasted on the build up. If the facts were laid bare and not so much time was spent beating around the bush, the novel would be cut in half. When the finale finally did happen, everything was wrapped up into too nice and neat of a bundle. It felt to gushy romance at the end and my black as night heart was choking on the lurve being put out from the couples. And too many plot twists and character personality changes. It's like someone decided to flip the script on every single person in Sweet Valley. Their motives have become question. Their lives have become fictionalized too far in the opposite direction. And the only thing that drove the plot was would she forgive or would she continue to harbor a deep hatred. It lacked complexity.

I hate giving low ratings and it made me sad to do this. I even looked at the book entire as a standalone with no relation to the SVH series. I just could not bring myself to enjoy it.

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