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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty awful, yet wonderful escapism!
Despite having read some really critical reviews of this book, I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. My opinion may be affected by the fact that I devoured this novel while drugged up on paracetamol and ibuprofen while I was battling a virus, but during my period of illness it kept me entertained, and that's what's important.

I'm a bit of an odd Sweet Valley fan -...
Published on 13 May 2011 by Amazon Customer

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck! Sullies my '80's Childhood Memories...
Like many posters, when I heard this book was coming out I was really excited. As thirty-something, I was reading the original Sweet Valley High books in the mid eighties when I was a young teenager and was completely absorbed in this glamorous sunnny place which was worlds away from my real life growing up in the Midlands. Eventually I grew out of them so didn't read any...
Published on 22 Jun. 2011 by Howdy Cowgirl!


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck! Sullies my '80's Childhood Memories..., 22 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High) (Paperback)
Like many posters, when I heard this book was coming out I was really excited. As thirty-something, I was reading the original Sweet Valley High books in the mid eighties when I was a young teenager and was completely absorbed in this glamorous sunnny place which was worlds away from my real life growing up in the Midlands. Eventually I grew out of them so didn't read any of the subsequent follow-on novels and the TV series in the 90's wasn't my cup of tea so I've no idea about what happened after the twins left High School. Maybe the readers who rated this book more highly are younger and have read the subsequent follow-on books?
On the book itself, I must agree with the other posters as well that the writing in this is AWFUL - really, really bad. It makes me want to go up into my parent's attic and re-read the original series to see if they're as abysmal as this - I can't believe my teenage self would have been so taken in if the original books were this bad. The characters are so one-dimensional, and yes, the cultural and sexual references seem totally shoe-horned in, inappropriate and misplaced. I've finished the book but I think I'll try and disregard this and keep my nostalgic, '80's impression of Jessica and Elizabeth as this book honestly doesn't add anything to their story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not up to standard, 28 Dec. 2011
By 
T. Avgerou - See all my reviews
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Having been a huge fan of Elizabeth and Jessica in my teen years, I was incredibly excited when I came across this book. Only to be completely dissapointed when reading it! I found that the writing style put me off. It switches between present day third person and flashback first person which I found ruined the flow of the book.

As the other reviewers have said, the holes in the character storylines and plots were ridiculous. I also felt that a lot of characters who had previously been adored, became quite unlikeable in this book. I am not against swearing in books however felt that in this book it was used a bit too much and did not seem necessary. As well, the constant references to blackberry, ipod, iphone, facebook etc seemed to be out of place.

For a reader who has never read any of the previous Sweet Valley Books, it might be an enjoyable read but for a fan I would say don't bother. I dislike giving bad reviews, as I managed to read the whole book but in this case I was thoroughly dissapointed!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
You may also read my review here: [...]

How excited was I when I first learned of this book coming out? OVERJOYED!! The original Sweet Valley series (Sweet Valley Twins) was the very first series that I ever read. I truly believe that this series started my love of reading... the desire to get more information, read further. These two were my friends while I was moving all over the place through my tweens.

After reading a number of reviews from like-minded individuals; others who were excited to read the 'where are they now' novel, I was so worried about it. Let's just say, they weren't overly kind. However, I was pleasantly surprised and actually found myself enjoying the book.

Now, it wasn't perfect. Seeing Elizabeth, the perfect, do-no-wrong sister, in a completely different setting/light - in the fight of her life with her sister, Jessica; having moved across the country; and dealing with a break-up with her long-time boyfriend, Todd - I felt a little violated. Elizabeth doesn't swear; Elizabeth doesn't hate; Elizabeth doesn't drink, sleep around or even think of it. That's just not the 'down-home' girl that I grew up admiring. It was so strange. Jessica, yes; Elizabeth, NO WAY! But, that's who she was now and as I got into the heart of the matter, it made sense.

The back and forth between current and past (high school/college) was great. Having not read all of the Sweet Valley High books, it was nice to have the reminder of what was going on 'back in the day'. In fact, my favourite part of the book was the recap at the end... finding out where all the characters, that I knew and loved, were and how they were fairing in the current world.

One change that I would make, the pictures on the inside front & back of the book. Really, these two use Twitter and Facebook... nope, can't see it. Some updated pics would have gone a loooooong way for me. But, then again, these are the girls as we remember them.

Overall, the book was worth the read. Would I recommend it to anyone... no, but if you were a Sweet Valley fan, you'll want to read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let's remember our childhood - by reading the original books, not this one, 21 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High) (Paperback)
I was a die hard Sweet Valley fan when I was young. I used to take them out of the library repeatedly, and I would say I have read the majority of them. I even managed to keep a few of my favourites but they are well hidden in my bookcase now! Away from people's prying eyes. I always related more to Elizabeth (the bookish, good girl at school), but I wanted to be Jessica (the bad girl, in case you have forgotten).

When I found out this was coming out, I was so excited, but ultimately, so disappointed by the time I got around to buying/reading it. First of all, I found it hard to re-immerse myself in the Sweet Valley world - I couldn't remember some of the characters (but I did remember the important ones!) Events seem to have moved on quite severely in 10 years, to the point where I think I definitely missed some of the later Sweet Valley University books.

My second problem was that at times, it read very much like a Jackie Collins book. Yes, I know it's probably aimed at the readers of Sweet Valley, now older and more worldly wise - a chaste kiss on the lips just won't do! But right down to the language used and the obligatory Jackie Collins style epilogue (which included updates about characters I did not remember!), it just didn't seem right. Sure, aim for the older audience but step away from the Jackie Collins style which is so obvious! (I'm a big fan of Jackie also, no offence to her, but she does have a particular style and formula to her books.)

My third problem is the "flashbacks" - they appear frequently, detracting from the original story, and in just a slightly different font to the story, so you'll be reading for at least half a page before you realise you're in "flashback mode" and have to go back to the beginning of it so you can keep the story straight.

Lastly - there were many discrepancies in this. Weren't Aaron and Jessica nearly always a couple during the earlier books? How come they hate the sight of each other now? Didn't Olivia Davidson DIE in one of the books? (Yet she's alive and kicking at the end of this! Is she related to Bobby Ewing [Dallas]!!) I seem to remember Bruce Patman and Lila Fowler being the big couple during some of the later books, but this is now just a brief college fling.

There's also a couple of surprising events that happen. Two characters I never dreamed would end up together ... end up together. (The basis of the whole book.) The fact they couldn't stand each other, and totally weren't suited at all doesn't seem to come into the equation. One character, a favourite of mine in the original books, not only doesn't appear in person but gets undramatically killed off and another one gets well and truly "outed". There's been no hint at him being gay throughout all of the books. It seems like a last minute addition to make the book seem more "adult". What's even more shocking that it appears he just realised he's gay. REALLY???!! The last two events were unnecessary, trying to provide something "shocking" but it doesn't work.

Was this just a cheap cash in? Considering Francine Pascal didn't write some of them and most were written (or at least co-written) by other authors, maybe it is. Even she admits in the acknowledgements she had a hard time remembering various things about the Sweet Valley world SHE created.

I hope this is the last of the Sweet Valley re-imaginings, as it did ruin the world for me slightly. It was nice to revisit Elizabeth and Jessica, but it could have been done so much better.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marmite for Sweet Valley Fans, 19 April 2011
This review is from: Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High) (Paperback)
Sweet Valley fans will either love this book or hate it - I personally enjoyed it for what it was, a bit of a catch up on the lives of the twins who I had read so much about in my own high school years. Everything in the good old days in Sweet Valley, California was so impossibly perfect, give or take a murder or two, perhaps an affair here and there - well, fans will get my drift.

I think 'so what' if there are inaccuracies, bearing in mind the original series was around 150 books (I got too old before reading them all so think I stopped at about 101), with numerous spin offs about various times in the twins lives. Given that they were written by ghost writers there are bound to be inconsistencies - even in the spin-offs there is a lot of inconsistency about the characters.

Personally I like the fact that their lives haven't turned out perfect, it makes the fiction so much more interesting. It does make you wonder, however, who the calm and reliable twin really was - perhaps their relationships with men was the main difference between them. My personal pet hate however was the outing of a couple of major characters - doesn't make sense except to add unnecessary diversity to Sweet Valley.

A bit of fluff, although not perfectly written, just go with it - it certainly kills a couple of spare hours anyway.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, weak and inaccurate, 6 Jun. 2011
By 
cupcake girl (The Provinces, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High) (Paperback)
I was a Huge Sweet Valley fan back in the day, I read all of the books including the spin off series' so imagine my delight when i discovered this, a new SV book after 8 long years! i read the reviews on here b4 i got the book so i was expecting some inaccuracies but i was shocked at how apallingly awful it was. Did Francine Pascal actually read any of the books b4 she wrote this one? it says at the beginning of the book she had researchers help her, well they didn't do a very good job, she should have let the fans do it, i for one would have volunteered my services for free!

Here are the errors/inconsistencies i spotted:

There were the obvious ones, Roger Collins' son was called Teddy not Sam and Lila's father was George Fowler not Richard!

. At Lila's party, Jeffrey French is there with his wife whose name Jessica can never remember but when he accompanies Lila to Jessica's wedding he has never been married! Did nobody proof read this book? Obviously not.

. Elizabeth claims she's never kissed Bruce while conscious but as i recall they had a fling in 'Almost Married'.

. Jessica says 'Caroline told everyone AJ Morgan touched my breast in 7th Grade' but how could he do that Jessica when if my memory serves me correctly he didnt move to SV until your junior year in 'Slam book fever'?

. AJ had short auburn hair, he never had long blond hair, dirty or otherwise.

. Jessica said she never liked Aaron but he was her BF back in 6th grade!

. Elizabeth claims she's never cheated on a boyfriend ever but she cheated on Todd several times back in high school, she had a brief daliance with Bruce and Ken, she kissed Jessica's BF Sam Woodruff and had flings with Joey Mason and Devon Whitelaw and i'm sure there were others, i just can't remember them all.

. Why did Enid start being called Enid again when she changed her name to the much cooler sounding Alexandra at Uni?

. What was Robin Wilson doing back in SV when she moved with her family to Denver in 'Jessica quits the squad'? She was replaced on the cheerleading team by Heather Mallone, Jessica's nemesis.

. Likewise Cara, she moved to London with her mom in 'Steven's Bride'. Why on earth would she leave London to move back to SV? Again, not explained.

. Why was Cara no longer friends with Jess, it says she preferred Elizabeth, since when?

. Annie Whitman and Charlie Markus broke up in high school and Annie started dating Tony Esteban who took steroids.

* Turns out i made a massive error previously in my review, it was just pointed out to me that it wasn't Charlie Markus who saved Annie in high school, it was Ricky Capaldo! Worse still, i can't even remember who Charlie Markus is! Perhaps i'm not a total geek after all...............

I know all this makes me sound like a dreadful geek (im actually not) but like i said before, i was a huge fan! Now onto dissecting the plot: The storyline was very weak, Jessica and Liz have fallen out and Liz has moved out to NY to get away from her sister and Jess is still living in SV. They fell out because Jess had a secret affair with Todd 5 years earlier and although they havent touched each other since Liz is mad. Im not approving of their affair but it was a really damp squib when Liz found out, there was no catching them in the act or anything, it was just really dull.

Liz decides to get revenge on them both 8 months later and being Elizabeth it's a very poor revenge if you can even call it that.

As previous reviews have mentioned, many of the characters have changed (and not for the better) Steven Wakefield has turned gay! And his lover is Aaron Dallas! Yeah right.... I also don't believe that Ken and Lila would get it on (what happened to Maria? and Lila and Bruce were a great couple, why did they split?) And dont even get me started on what they did to Winston! There's an update at the end of the book on some of the original characters which i enjoyed but many of my favourite characters were missing, what happened to Conner? He was sexy(for a character in a book) Jessica should have slept with him instead! (that would have been more believable) Where was Amy Sutton? Tom Watts? Melissa Fox? Will Simmons?

SV was a truly magical place that you could escape to whenever you picked up one of the books and it played a huge part in my childhood but i believe it does not belong in the modern world. It has had it's day, times have changed, we should not try to modernise SV, we should just appreciate it for what is was. That said however i think us fans could have done much better, what do you think?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely spoilt the other books for me!, 3 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High) (Paperback)
Oh my goodness I can remember in the not too distant past when I was a teenager and one hot summer I read all the Sweet Valley books, loved the books at that time. When I found out that Francine Pascal was going to be doing a book which was 10 years on from the 16 year old twin's Elizabeth and Jessica's lives, I jumped at the chance of owning a copy, which I was lucky enough to find second hand.

What a disappointment, the book was not structured very well, it was quite difficult to make out what the characters were speaking about, and the amount of foul language, just put me off some of the chapters all together, I did enjoy the bit at the end of the books where characters lives were caught up on.

The foul language was the most disturbing part for me, there was no need and to have the twin's mother swearing in one part of the book decided me that I was not going to be keeping this one to add to my collection, and I shall be sending it with great joy to the second hand book stall.

All in all a disappointing effort from a really good author, I am off to read the original Sweet Valley High books just to make sure that my memories are not changed forever!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Disappointing, 6 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High) (Paperback)
Having been an avid Sweet Valley reader through most of my teens I was very excited to hear the news that a new was being released. However after reading only 3 pages of this book I was extremely disappointed. The story line is completely unrealistic and is filled with inconsistencies. Characters have completely changed personalities and some important ones are not even mentioned. Francine Pascal has let Sweet Valley fans down!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just don't read it!, 20 April 2011
This review is from: Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High) (Paperback)
When I heard that `Sweet Valley Confidential' was being written, although excited, I told myself that I wasn't going to read it as I didn't want to ruin a childhood memory. Well of course that didn't happen which is a shame as I wish that I really hadn't read it! Yes it is poorly written (the ghost writers should have written it!) and there are many technical inaccuracies but the worst part about reading the book was that it showed that Francine Pascal knows very little about the actual series, her characters or her fans.

Firstly, the Senior Year and SVU seems to have been forgotten completely (not a bad thing) but since they were written, don't they need to be mentioned? Secondly, the editorial is very sloppy; characters undergo name changes so that Mr Collins's son, formerly Teddy is now Sam and Lila's father, formerly George Fowler is now Richard Fowler. If I can remember that than shouldn't the creator of the series be able to do the same?

There are many inconsistencies in the characters too. For example, apparently Jessica never liked Cara, although they were really good friends during High School and Aaron Dallas and Jessica apparently have also always hated each other, although they dated during the `Twins' series.

However the worst part of this book is that the characters have lost all their charm. Yes they've grown up but does that mean they have too be shallow and stupid? Very little time is devoted to the old characters that you remember, Bruce, Lila, Ken etc and that's a shame because they were as much a part of SVH as the twins. It's also a same how some characters turn out especially characters that had formerly been such a big part of SVH and were popular characters (Winston or Enid anyone).

In addition, the plot surrounding Elizabeth and Jessica and her great betrayal is far too unrealistic. (WARNING: touches on spoliers) Pascal goes back and re-writes or presents a different point of view of events that happen during the series and frankly the fans don't want that. The twins had this great bond, and for Jessica to choose someone else over her twin just feels wrong. And yes, I accept that people don't stay the same and relationships don't stay the same but there are some people you just wouldn't date and the pairings at the end feel superficial. Pascal obviously wanted to shock but instead you are left feeling annoyed.

If you are hoping for a slice of nostalgia, than this is not the book for you. Instead I'm sure there is some good fan fiction out there where writers know the characters, can remember their correct names and actually understand their personalities. Sorry Francine, but I really wish you had let the ghost writers handle this one, you would've gotten the credit anyway and you wouldn't have ruined two of my childhood favourite characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Valley Confidential, 13 Nov. 2012
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Firstly, I'll try not to spoil it for people who have yet to read this, but I can't keep my mouth shut!

I've been an avid fan of all Sweet Valley books, starting right from Sweet Valley Twins through to Sweet Valley University. I read the books and watched the TV show, then I grew up and the series became a fond memory of times past where I would have lunch with my friends and discuss the latest plot. It was only today when an offhand comment made from a third party had my friend and I discussing everything from Sweet Valley to the most excellent Point Horror stories, and thus prompted me to look for Kindle versions for my new gadget.

How happy I was to see Sweet Valley: Confidential and I immediately purchased it, then opened it right up, ready for a stroll down memory lane with beloved characters from my teen years. I wasn't three pages in when I knew what had happened and what was going to happen. For most books, the predictability would go against it, but a Sweet Valley book wouldn't be the same without a huge cliche.

Francine keeps most of the characters true, except for some slipping here and there, but what I found hard to swallow was the fact that despite the ages of some, there was very little maturity and quite a bit of whining in parts. Combine that with the the excusing of truly selfish actions by the word love and we have something very flimsy.

It's a great little book if you can get past the moments where you want to scream at the characters. There's a great deal of emphasis on the separation lasting eight months, but that level of betrayal by the person you're supposed to be closest too simply can't be brushed aside or glossed over by characters stating they knew they were selfish and the fact that they were truly in love.

I get the fact that this supposed to be for the young adults and to me, this is when young adults need good and strong role models, not those who give a brief nod of acknowledge towards their faults and the word "Love". Maybe I'm over-thinking this and maybe I'm not. I just expected a little more from a book that is as much for the grown up fans of Sweet Valley as it is for the new ones.
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Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High)
Sweet Valley Confidential (Sweet Valley High) by Francine Pascal (Paperback - 14 April 2011)
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