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Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

Average Rating 2.5
( 258 )
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5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(65)

2 Star

(46)

1 Star

(72)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Not a bad book

I think if I went back and re-read a lot of the SVH books I read as a teenager I would find the writing style spot on with the new SVC book. I was not looking for a poetically written book, I was looking for a fun read to find out where the Wakefield twins were now. D...
I think if I went back and re-read a lot of the SVH books I read as a teenager I would find the writing style spot on with the new SVC book. I was not looking for a poetically written book, I was looking for a fun read to find out where the Wakefield twins were now. Do not go into this books expecting Dickens and you will not be disappointed.
I will try not to give out any spoilers here...
Elizabeth and Jessica are estranged from each other over something Jessica did and Elizabeth is now living in New York City attempting to earn a living as a writer. Jessica is still in Sweet Valley working for a cosmetics company and doing rather well for herself there.
We get a good glimpse of life for the twins now that they are 27 years old as well as the story behind what happened between Jessica and Elizabeth in flashbacks. I actually like when the author switches 1st person from Elizabeth to Jessica, it seems like they are each writing their own story using their language. For example, Jessica uses the word, "like" a lot and that is just something I would see her saying.
I like hearing about the former characters that I grew up with, I do hope this becomes a series because I would like to see more information. For some characters it really is a quick update on what they are doing and then nothing more is mentioned. It is funny in some cases, when I heard about this book I envisioned where I would see certain characters and was not at all surprised the direction the author took them. Some other storylines just really come way out of left field (such as the Steven Wakefield storyline) but I imagine that Ms Pascal is just setting up a brand new series and will examine deeper as time goes on.
I would recommend the book to any Sweet Valley Fan though!

posted by Kelz72979 on March 30, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

34 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

ABSOLUTELY DREADFUL. SAVE YOUR MONEY.

If the option to give this book no stars had been possible, I would have rated it as such.

As an avid reader and collector of the SVH series in my teens, I was intrigued by the premise of revisiting the SV gang ten years later. The opening was intriguing and showed ...
If the option to give this book no stars had been possible, I would have rated it as such.

As an avid reader and collector of the SVH series in my teens, I was intrigued by the premise of revisiting the SV gang ten years later. The opening was intriguing and showed promise...

The problems become evident almost immediately. First of all, Francine Pascal, or her ghostwriter, does not know her audience. The title and the marketing suggests that the book is aimed towards fans who grew up reading the SVH, SVU series and who are now in the 20-40 age range (around the same age as the twins in the book, or women who started reading the SVH series when it first came out). There are adult situations which preclude the idea that the book is written for younger readers. This is NOT a young adult novel. As such, I would expect the writing for this audience to be thoughtful, stylistically and grammatically sophisticated, and certainly more detailed.. Instead, we're treated to sophmoric, dumbed down writing that rushes through every important plot point and lacks any depth that would suggest the writer even cared about her demographic. The adult language, which appear to be used for the purpose of emphasizing that this is an "adult" novel are instead jarring and about as ridiculous as kindergartener cussing.

The plot device of using flashbacks to underscore current events and relationshpis is a cheap and lazy tactic. Instead of taking the time to unfold the events in narrative, Pascal/ghostwriter has the characters reminisce about particular events. There are way too many character viewpoints and flashbacks! We never really get to care about the characters because their motives are never fully explored or explained.

There's a completely out-of-left field storyline featuring the twins' brother that could have been a GREAT storyline but instead is throwaway fluff. Ultimately, that's one of this book's biggest faults: the plotting is clumsy and there are too many stories underway. Jammed into 205 pages, none of them are resolved with any real depth or intent. Instead, Pascal/ghostwriter wraps everything up with an epilogue that is wince-inducing and awkward. And frankly, infuriating. Why bother investing in characters who aren't even invested in themselves?

And finally - who and WHERE was the editor? This book is chock full of gramamtical and continuity errors that are annoying.

What a disappointment. I was so looking forward to revisiting old friends. Instead, I found myself discovering why some people should be left in the past: they're better in our memories. Instead of the story I hoped to read - what Pascal/ghostwriter delivered was crap.

I've never felt compelled to write a review before but this book is so horrendous that I strongly suggest you save your money and borrow it from the library instead.

posted by Cathy_H98 on March 29, 2011

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    ABSOLUTELY DREADFUL. SAVE YOUR MONEY.

    If the option to give this book no stars had been possible, I would have rated it as such.

    As an avid reader and collector of the SVH series in my teens, I was intrigued by the premise of revisiting the SV gang ten years later. The opening was intriguing and showed promise...

    The problems become evident almost immediately. First of all, Francine Pascal, or her ghostwriter, does not know her audience. The title and the marketing suggests that the book is aimed towards fans who grew up reading the SVH, SVU series and who are now in the 20-40 age range (around the same age as the twins in the book, or women who started reading the SVH series when it first came out). There are adult situations which preclude the idea that the book is written for younger readers. This is NOT a young adult novel. As such, I would expect the writing for this audience to be thoughtful, stylistically and grammatically sophisticated, and certainly more detailed.. Instead, we're treated to sophmoric, dumbed down writing that rushes through every important plot point and lacks any depth that would suggest the writer even cared about her demographic. The adult language, which appear to be used for the purpose of emphasizing that this is an "adult" novel are instead jarring and about as ridiculous as kindergartener cussing.

    The plot device of using flashbacks to underscore current events and relationshpis is a cheap and lazy tactic. Instead of taking the time to unfold the events in narrative, Pascal/ghostwriter has the characters reminisce about particular events. There are way too many character viewpoints and flashbacks! We never really get to care about the characters because their motives are never fully explored or explained.

    There's a completely out-of-left field storyline featuring the twins' brother that could have been a GREAT storyline but instead is throwaway fluff. Ultimately, that's one of this book's biggest faults: the plotting is clumsy and there are too many stories underway. Jammed into 205 pages, none of them are resolved with any real depth or intent. Instead, Pascal/ghostwriter wraps everything up with an epilogue that is wince-inducing and awkward. And frankly, infuriating. Why bother investing in characters who aren't even invested in themselves?

    And finally - who and WHERE was the editor? This book is chock full of gramamtical and continuity errors that are annoying.

    What a disappointment. I was so looking forward to revisiting old friends. Instead, I found myself discovering why some people should be left in the past: they're better in our memories. Instead of the story I hoped to read - what Pascal/ghostwriter delivered was crap.

    I've never felt compelled to write a review before but this book is so horrendous that I strongly suggest you save your money and borrow it from the library instead.

    34 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    Awful. It was like a train wreck that I had to keep reading!

    I agree with the previous bad reviews. I was such a huge fan of the series and this is not how I imagined any of the characters turning out. I felt like the author was going for a shock factor and just threw in bad language, sex scenes and the word facebook or twitter just to make it seem more adult like and with the times! I am going to act as though I never read this book and go back to pretending that the characters were left how I remembered them!

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    Why do I need Updates on Nicky Shepard Betsey Martin & Annie Whitman?!?

    This had to be one of the worst books I have ever read!!! Not only were there very obvious grammatical and spelling errors there was no consistency with the characters or even anything that happened in the sweet valley high series!! I had really hoped to get some closure or at least some idea on what happened to everyone..instead there were 100+ pages of Elizabeth pondering the meaning of love, and on the rest of the pages everyone talking about how Elizabeth is some sort of goddess...I mean I really think the writer is truly obsessed with Elizabeth, it was so boring and kinda disturbing!! Todd is a complete Jerk and my favorite character, Lila, was barely mentioned. The best part about all of this was the terrible "follow up " to some characters...Who Cares about Nicky Shepard and Betsey Martin - they were in all of 1 or 2 books!!! The best is Suzanne Devlin - she dies in a champagne induced car crash after being diagnosed with MS....hmm...I seem to remember that just being MONO!!! Hahaha Also Lila's fathers name is not RICHARD its GEORGE - that was only mentioned in EVERY SINGLE SVH BOOK!! And Enid ..Please..how do you become a Gyno in 10 Years!! HAHAHAHHA too much.... oh wait and I forgot...Apparently AJ Morgan is a BAD BOY and has been with the twins since Grade School Feeling Up Jessica, yet I distinctly remember a whole book devoted to him being A New Student!!!! WOW GET IT RIGHT! The book itself shows no depth of characters or even consistency...in one chapter jeffrey french ( again who cares about him? ) is married, but at the end, in the all important follow up, he was never ever married ---- was this book even edited???? I also love the brief referrals to SVU and then the blatant disregard for some of the series most important events --- apparently Enid drank hard in high school but was never Alexander...C'mon!! Oh and Mr Collins quit right after S. Devlin----Really? And am not going to even discuss poor Winston!It has the feeling of being hurriedly put together in a weak attempt to make some money and its pathetic. At least tell me what happened to the characters who were actually in the books --- Amy Sutton, Maria Slater, Dana Larson..Not Losers Like Roger Barret Patman! By the time I got to the end, I thought for sure I was going to read how Margo was adopted by the wakefields ( yes I know she's dead but at this point in pascal's head anything is possible ) and Olivia Davidson ( dead too I know - although lets not forget she managed to come back to the SVH Class Reunion in a SVU book!! ) is back together with ken. Oh and by the way, did you know Jessica was NEVER to Europe before? I can go on and on and on...Please Don't Waste Your Money on This Book!

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Abysmal and Ridiculous

    I don't know why Francine Pascal couldn't have gotten a ghost writer like she did back in the dad for the Sweet Valley Twins/High/University books. She is a dreadful writer and if Jessica or Elizabeth has said "so" or "like" or "totally" one more time i was going to throw my Nook against the wall. These characters weren't Lizzie and Jess. I don't know who they were. Maybe there could have been some enjoyment if Liz and Jess shared more than 2 scenes together. Mostly this book was just total OMG and in my personal opinion a total violation of the Geneva Conventions.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    bad plot and boring

    So disappointed!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Some things should remain confidential

    I pretty much knew what I was going to write about fifty pages into the story and I've been dreading it and trying to figure out how to sugar-coat it. I didn't enjoy this book at all. My favourite part was the excerpt I read online, I type while cringing.

    This book's potential readers are those who read the Sweet Valley High series when they were younger and are looking forward to seeing how the twins have grown and mature. I didn't read the series, but it wouldn't surprise me if the characters haven't changed much since then. For most of the story I felt like I was reading about kids and not people in their late 20s/early 30s. The word "like" was on every other page, if not every page. The only thing missing was the "totally" that usually comes after it. It wasn't just that which made them seem immature, but their behaviour and attitude.

    I knew when I starting this that Jessica had done something to hurt Elizabeth and that they weren't speaking to each other, but I never knew and what I got to see through glimpses into their past was that she has been vicious to her all their lives. She is selfish and conceited and only does something if there is something in it for her. She hates that everybody prefers Elizabeth, but why wouldn't they since she's not the devil reincarnated. Okay, that was very harsh, but it just shows you how much I didn't like her.

    I always try to finish a book that I've started, but I didn't want to continue reading and had to flip through the last chapters. The ending and how everything just fell into place so easily was too unrealistic to me, just like a lot of events in the whole book are. Why do the people who hurt somebody they claim to love so much get the best HEA?

    I want to explain more, but I can't without spoilers. Don't be surprise if I delete this review. It's hard to write about a book I didn't like, but I'm just giving my honest opinion.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What a waste of time!

    Sweet Valley Confidential confirmed several things for me- first, that Todd is a Loser. Secondly, Jessica really could become even more selfish and obnoxious than her naughty but amusing teenage self, and thirdly, that sometimes nostalgia belongs to the past for a reason.

    I didn't expect this book to be a literary classic. However, I really do believe this is actually written, edited and poorly plotted far worse than the series was back in the day. I truly think there are many various unpublished writers that could have written a far more captivating story to take us down memory lane.

    We start the story by hearing the ever suffering Elizabeth mentally moan endlessly because Jessica slept with Todd and broke up her engagement. In fairness, she has a right to moan. A good friend doesn't go there, let alone your supposedly loving twin. As the never-ending flashbacks continue, we have a wonderful opportunity to realize what a jerk Todd really is, having not only cheated on Liz this go around with Jess, but also in University. Nice. But don't worry readers- he just feels so darn bad about it! It's awful hard to love the saintly twin and lust after the devilish one. RME

    We get to hear Jess whine about how she's suffering without Liz, how she trashed her brother's private life, etc. We also get to suffer through Liz's dead end reporter job in NY, and a few quick thrown in guys. The only upside to all of this was, strangely, how much I enjoyed the very few Bruce scenes. She'd have been wiser to focus on that romance instead of all the NY drivel.

    Do yourself a favor and don't buy this snoozefest, just flip to the last chapter when you walk by it in the store. It'll save you hours of boredom and $10, and tell you absolutely everything you wanted to know about all the characters in the future and who they hooked up with.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    Don't buy this book

    This book was AWFUL

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    A big let down

    I've read Sweet Valley since elementary school and I was so excited when I heard another book was coming out. I was so disappointed. I feel like my view on the characters I once loved was ruined. I see what the author was trying to do but I didn't like it at all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    Horribly Written

    I grew up reading about the kids of Sweet Valley and was very excited when I heard SVC was becoming a reality after it had been talked about for so many years. However, it didn't take long for me to realize my excitement was wasted as SVC is truly awful.

    Though I'm not one to scoff at an author's choices for her characters, some of the major plot points seemed to be in an effort to shock readers only, with no forethought or prior intent. I got the impression that the author was trying to update the story using as many modern societal acceptabilities as possible without thought for who her characters actually are.

    Even though I didn't appreciate some of the choices as far as character development and plot are concerned, I could have accepted the book for what it was and been satisfied if it hadn't been for the horrendous writing style. Flashbacks were the theme and the author often switched POV's so suddenly I found myself pausing to see if I'd missed a key transitional sentence. Additionally, grammar and sentence structure were awful, I couldn't figure out why Jessica said like so frequently, and the story was disorganized and sometimes confusing. It was almost like the author started writing without an outline but had so many ideas in her head that things got mixed up.

    It was a painful read. I recommend it for die-hard Sweet Valley fans who can overlook the writing style for an update on the kids we grew up with, but it's definitely a book that you'll only read once.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2011

    THIS SUCKS

    Just read the title of my review and you'll understand what this is about

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    Sweet Valley Horrible

    I have read some pretty cheesy books--including the complete SVH series when I was younger--and I enjoyed them. However, this one is so poorly written and just plain awful that I am struggling to finish it. I read a few reviews before starting the book and had what I believed were realistic expectations of the book, but it is worse than anything I ever could have expected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    save your money. wait till it in free bin. ehere it belongs

    horrable. sad i paid mmoney fo it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2013

    Big Disappointment

    I loved the Sweet Valley books when I was younger and I was so looking forward to catching up with Jessica and Elizabeth but this book was a big let down. The story line had a lot of potential but was not executed well at all and didn't seem like it was written for an adult audience. So disappointing.

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  • Posted March 21, 2013

    Bad.

    Bad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    *sigh*

    Don't waste your money. I remember this series from when I was a kid and myabe that's where they're better left, as fond memories

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  • Posted August 21, 2012

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY AND TIME

    The grammatical errors and inconsistencies in this book are extremely frustrating. It seems like Francine Pascal took a bunch of cliche ideas and just wrote them all out without any clear organization or fact checking against previous books. Characters that were dead are now alive. Other characters have name changes and drastic personality changes. Some old staple characters are omitted entirely.

    I was very excited to read this book and really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, the book was a horrible mess. Save your time and money and pass on this one. If I could, I would give this book 0 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Eep

    I grew up loving the Sweet Valley series.
    This book has left scars. I could not believe what I read and was left a wreck...and not in a good way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    YAWN

    Wow, was this even written by the same author as the previous books I used to devour? Horrible in every way and not even worth the trip to the library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Just read the epilogue...

    Skip the first 200 pages and just read the epilogue, detailing where each character wound up.

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