Trashy Tuesday – Sweet Valley Confidential

Yay, it’s the triumphant return of Trashy Tuesday!  I can’t guarantee I’ll be writing these weekly anymore (because blergh), but I’ll try to do them once in a while.  For those of you unfamiliar with Trashy Tuesdays, please don’t misunderstand and think that this is in ANY WAY a review.  It is not a review.  Trashy Tuesdays are where I read crappy books so that you don’t have to and then report back.  There are spoilers beyond this point.  If you intend to read this book and do not wish to be spoiled, you probably shouldn’t read any further.  If you read this and want MORE TRASHY TUESDAY, scroll up to the top of the page and hover your mouse over the What is Trashy Tuesday? tab.  I have links to everything in FOLDERS AND SUBFOLDERS because I am sometimes the most organized.

MOVING ON!

ZOMG, Sweet Valley Confidential:  Ten Years Later…  I am not even gonna lie.  When I saw that this WAS A THING I got ridiculously excited.  Like, the only thing that would have made me MORE EXCITED would have been discovering that Ann M Martin had written a follow-up to the BSC in which we learn that Dawn is growing massive quantities of pot in Northern California and Kristy admitted she’d been in love with MaryAnne since kindergarten, but MaryAnne had already had 8 kids (all under the age of 10) with Logan so theirs was a DOOMED LOVE, DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUN.

[ahem]

So, for those of you who didn’t read Sweet Valley High (or any of its eleventy billion spinoffs) when you were growing up, allow me to recap.  The series focused on the lives of young Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, identical size-6 twins with flowing blonde locks and aqua eyes.  They were trashy as hell and I could probably spend years writing Trashy Tuesdays just about their misadventures.  Like the time that Jessica spiked Elizabeth’s drink at a dance, but Elizabeth didn’t KNOW she was drunk so she drove off and GOT INTO A WRECK AND KILLED HER SISTER’S BOYFRIEND!  There was a whole manslaughter charge and everything.

They didn’t SAY the dodisharkicorn was involved, but of course he was.

No, seriously, this is the kind of stuff I read a lot of in late elementary school, and I blame SVH for giving me false expectations of what high school would be like.

ANYWAY, Sweet Valley Confidential takes place (as the name suggests) 10 years after the twins graduated from high school.  Jessica and Elizabeth haven’t spoken in EIGHT MONTHS because Elizabeth is FURIOUS after finding out that Jessica slept with her boyfriend Todd one time while they were in college.

The book primarily consists of flashbacks to this college indiscretion and the time when Elizabeth found out about it.  During the present scenes, Elizabeth is an independent journalist living in a tiny NYC apartment while Todd and Jessica are shacked up and engaged back in Sweet Valley.

It switches back and forth between first and third person like my dad changes channels, and honestly, a lot of it is confusing.

I kept thinking that something was VERY DIFFERENT (aside from all the sexy situations) while reading, and that was when I discovered that this is the VERY FIRST Sweet Valley novel written by its creator, Francine Pascal.   She can’t write.  Seriously, it was horrible.  I was ready to cry reading Jessica’s sections because Franny (I hope she doesn’t mind my calling her that) thought it would be TOTALLY AUTHENTIC to have Jessica THINK “like” in pretty much every sentence.

Without being conceited, I know I’m pretty but not nearly as gorgeous as Elizabeth, who like never has to do anything to look absolutely flawless.

and

It’s like unfair…

and

which is like practically forever

and

there was like so no choice.

ALL IN THE FIRST JESSICA CHAPTER!

So, that wasn’t annoying at all.

The primary conflict here is that Jessica wants Elizabeth to come back to California for her wedding, but Elizabeth thinks her sister is a total ho bag and refuses.

Elizabeth kind of sleeps around to try to forget Todd, but it doesn’t really work.

We get glimpses of current day Sweet Valleyians.  They’re all either assholes, dead or have cancer.  Some were assholes before they died of cancer.  Bruce Patton is now Elizabeth’s best friend (?!) and Winston Eggbert is a RICH asshole who dies by falling off his balcony one night.  Whaaaaaaaaaaaa?

Yeah, I don’t know either.  Of course, Lila Fowler is the sluttiest slut since sluts came to Slut Town, doesn’t matter that she’s married.  Her relationship with her husband is very odd.

Um…Steven (the gorgeous Wakefield brother) is married, but he ALSO sleeps around and his wife bakes to compensate for her depression.

Jessica discovers that NOT ONLY is Steven having an affair, but he’s HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH A MAN ZOMG, and suddenly he’s freaking out because NO ONE WAS SUPPOSED TO KNOW!  OF COURSE Jessica runs and tells his wife.  “Look, it’s totes not you, it’s him HE’S GAY!”

Because Jessica is a selfish twit and thinks she knows what’s best for everyone.

Um…there was more stuff but in an effort to protect itself, my brain has already blocked most of it.

Happy ending for everyone, of course.  Elizabeth forgives Jessica and Todd and falls in love with Bruce and blahblahblah.

40 thoughts on “Trashy Tuesday – Sweet Valley Confidential

  1. “We get glimpses of current day Sweet Valleyians. They’re all either assholes, dead or have cancer.”

    You know, as all your high school friends/enemies/frenemies do.

    I think I’m the only person alive who never read a single one of these. They weren’t allowed at my high school library. TOO SCANDALOUS ZOMG!

  2. I don’t mind if you don’t do Trashy Tuesday ALL the time, as long as you do them at least some of the time. Like once a week. On a Tuesday. That’s not so much to ask, is it? IS IT?

    I’m not so much surprised that Jessica thinks “like” so much as I am that she thinks at all. And what’s with the size six? In California these days, that’s the size where they start Weight Watchers.

    • Well, you know, they started in the 80s, so I think 6 was a reasonable size back then. If it had been CREATED today, I’m sure they would have been a size 2.

  3. I don’t remember Sweet Valley High being made into a television series. Maybe the book cover is using a different definition of the phrase “hit TV series” than that which I am familiar.

    • I KNOWWWWWWWWWW! 12 year old sj was THROWING A FIT!

      I kind of felt bad for Todd, because the time they hooked up in college was a night that Elizabeth was sick, so she had Jessica pretend to be her for some SUPER IMPORTANT BASKETBALL FUNCTION (because you know they have those, of course). I don’t know why he wanted to be with her unless [ahem] she was willing to do other things that Elizabeth wouldn’t.

  4. I can honestly say that I would never read these, not even if you said reading them would make me poop solid gold and I could be 17 again…
    On a side note, what if you wait till I post my whole novel, and then give me a real review… right here… for all to see… warts and all… maybe… huh? Except it would still have major editing problems, which I am hoping this writers workshop will help me fix, but maybe not… so just forget I said anything…

    • If you’d like to do it that way, I’d totally be willing. Since it’s not published, I can’t give it a real review, but I’d be more than willing to talk about it.

      Send me an email and we can talk about it. :)

        • Honestly, I feel pretty horrible because I haven’t sat down and read it yet. I’m going to have to do it in pieces because I really hate reading books on my computer.

          I might actually have time to start it today!

          • I just feel bad for pecking at you all the time. I know you have a life. My insecurities are just getting the best of me. When we were kids, my brothers and I instinctively knew to never let anyone know if we were actually good at anything, because then they would want you to do it all the time. Well, the cat is out of the bag with you, my friend. You have a skill, an art, a talent, a ‘gift’. And with such a gift comes the beggers and the needy.
            Sorry. I still stand by my comment that I can’t be mad at you. It is sort of like when you get a good Christmas gift for someone, and you can’t wait till they see it, but Christmas is still three weeks away. Not that my novel is the best Christmas gift I could ever get you, but that is sort of how I feel.

  5. ZOMG. Like the dodisharkicorn cover of SVH is like amazing. I like never read any SVH or whatever, but like I’d be so totally down for BSC: 10 Years Later. Claudia goes to LA and does a lot of coke and bad performance art, right? And gets a PhD in Art of the Asian Diaspora and cuts off everyone but Jessie?

    • I honestly don’t know that Claud would have graduated. I think she probably took her proficiency exams a few times and moved to New York to create art and mooch off of a sugar daddy.

      • I think Claudia would definitely be a Holly Golightly type. And she probably would have done a ton of drugs. And Janine would have to live with Claudia cos otherwise Claudia couldn’t make her rent, but then she would drag Janine along to some industry parties because that’s the only time Janine ever gets to leave the house. And then Janine would end up getting knocked up by some douchey guy who likes to screw girls with low self-esteem and then never call them again. And then Claudia would become an aunt and clean up her act and it would be a movie of the week.

        • Fun fact: I couldn’t get through more than the first fifteen minutes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so when people say “Holly Golightly” I nod and smile and secretly have no idea what it means.

          But I’m with you on Janine moving in, except I want to say that SHE meets the sugar daddy while Claudia’s busy banging her art/drug dealer in the futile hopes of getting a Brooklyn loft out of it, and Janine ends up super rich and famous and becomes a fashion icon and completely ignores her coked-out sister’s insistence that legwarmers are coming back and it’s be a Postmodernist Happening, man.

          Or else one of them writes a new feminist classic and gets a solo show at the Asian Art Museum in SF. And did anyone else think of a scene where MaryAnne accidentally outs Kristy in front of, like, everyone?

  6. ZOMG I used to be, like, SO TOTES obsessed with Sweet Valley in grade- and middle-school. I was more into the Kids and Twins series, but I did delve into some of the Super Specials of the High series, like the Secret Diaries (omg it’s Jessica’s super seeecret diary, it must be so cool!) and the genealogy sagas.

    But yeah…this book was a leeeettle painful to get through. And…did you know…Pascal just published a set of sequels to this? It’s called “The Sweet Life,” and apparently there is MOAR DRAMA TO BE HAD for our favorite perfect golden-haired, aqua-eyed, supermodel-bodied twins.

  7. My sister read every one of these books and I never read any. Any! I must find a copy somewhere and see what I missed out on. That and VC Andrews. I think I need to catch up on my youth.

    • Well. I’m not going to say that I recommend any of these, but VC Andrews is pretty high on my nostalgia list.

      I even read MORE of her books in anticipation of writing about them for TT, but then got kind of burnt out on the whole thing before I could. Maybe I’ll write one post that covers an entire series? I haven’t decided yet.

  8. I can’t remember ever reading Sweet Valley, but I pretty much read all of the BSC books and Saddle Club was another favorite of mine. I do remember seeing some episodes of the Sweet Valley show though.
    Honestly, I am perfectly fine with you reading crappy books and letting us read them vicariously through you :-) It’s a lot more fun that way.

    • Oh, please do go read through some of the older Trashy Tuesdays. They were a lot of fun to write (if not to read) and are consistently some of our highest viewed posts.

  9. Pingback: The Sweet Valley post « .

  10. Suffering from serious SVH nostalgia, I found your post here and the rabbit hole of awesome that is Trashy Tuesdays. Thank you, m’lady, for the laughs. Also, when are they going to do a Babysitter’s Club 10 years later? That needs to happen.

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