This might be the perfect beach read – if you were ever a Sweet Valley High (or any of the other books) fan! So um, I um, yeah uh, see the thing is, UGH!!! Ok where to start where to start? Well I was wandering the aisles of the library trying to help the hubby find a book to read as he’s almost done with the Stephen King he’s currently reading. As we strolled down one aisle something caught my eye it was this book and it’s sequel, I stopped immediately and just stared for a minute before picking up the book all excited. I loved the Sweet Valley High books as a pre-teen and young teen. I owned a lot of them, though not all. I know they were not stellar literature but I really enjoyed them. I identified with Elizabeth when I first started reading them and Jessica drove me crazy. I couldn’t resist these new books so I picked them up.
At first I was intrigued by the summary on the book jacket, I always knew Jessica would do something rotten to Liz some day and the idea that Liz would finally see Jess for what she truly was and have revenge had me turning the pages despite the fact that I quickly realized what a train wreck this book truly is. So here’s the short review: if you loved these series growing up keep that love and DON’T READ THIS BOOK!!! Please for the love of all that is good I beg of you please don’t read this book, unless maybe you were a big Jessica fan.
Now for the long review and um yeah SPOILER ALERT:
First I should say I do like that this story alternates between present day and flashbacks, I enjoy that style or story-telling however when we start out it’s just Elizabeth and Jessica telling the story, then we get Todd talking, and then Steven, and Bruce. It’s too much!
So Jessica and Todd are madly in love and have been since their last year of college when they had an affair right under Elizabeth’s nose. First off um what? Jessica never really liked Todd after like book 1, or at least she did a really good job of pretending not to like him. Jessica may be 27 but “listening” to her talk is nauseating, everything is like this and like that UGH! Elizabeth with her heart broken and angrier than we’ve ever seen her takes off for New York where she becomes someone I never thought she would, she drinks, sleeps with two different guys without being in a real relationship, and is all around pissed off all the time.
I was dealing with this all sort of okay until the phone call between Liz and Momma Wakefield who says they do want her at the wedding. UM WT actual F? Are you kidding me? Really “no it’s ok sweetie we know your b*tch of a sister and the love of your life forever tore your heart into pieces and then stomped on it but we really love her so we expect you to be at the wedding.” Yeah NO, this is not how I would have expected Alice Wakefield to react, I’m sorry I expected her to tell Jessica “No your sister will not be at the wedding, you stole her fiancee, get over it and yourself and grow up child. Accept the consequences of your actions! This is already your second wedding you’re lucky your father and I are willing to pay for it!”
I liked that Elizabeth was planning revenge but then in typical Liz fashion decided it wasn’t going to actually make her feel better instead would probably make her feel worse so she didn’t follow through except that subconsciously she did and Grandma’s big 80th birthday party turns out to be a screaming fest.
Oh did I forget to mention Bruce is now Liz’s best buddy, um what? Ok I get people grow up and change but still… considering what Bruce did to Liz waaaay back in book 2? Again I say UGH!
The writing in this book is bad, for anyone who has complained about the writing in Twilight and the rest of the Stephenie Meyer books this is WORSE. So inconsistent, early on Todd mentions to Jessica in what is supposed to be the present not a flashback (those are in a different font and actually not a bad idea just not used well here) that Cara has brought them pastries again which must mean Steven, the twins’ older brother is cheating again. Oh but wait just a few chapters later we find out Steven is gay now. Ok I won’t judge this part I think it is entirely possible that there are men or women who may not be gay or not realize it until they meet that special someone. Steven is in love with Aaron Dallas, Jessica catches them together and though her brother says he will tell his wife she decides that she is going to be the hero and tell Cara herself this part is all in a flashback so happening before the earlier scene in the book where the comment is made that Steven must be cheating again. This just hurt my head.
As you can guess by this point the review was not going to be favorable but then came the moment I had to hold myself back from throwing the book across the room. Jessica leaves Todd because she doesn’t want to lose her sister and flies to New York to see her. Liz lets Jess into her apartment and in the space of two pages maybe goes from still totally pissed off to completely forgiving Jessica and deciding she wasn’t really in love with Todd anymore anyway they had just become friends. Hello whiplash! Yeah I stopped reading every word and went for the skim just to see how this nightmare ends, Liz goes to the wedding and is the maid of honor and everyone is so happy! Excuse me while I go puke now.
Glutton for punishment that I am I picked up book 2, which is actually a compilation of e-novellas Sweet Valley Confidential The Serial. Yep no, got through one section and never again I’m so done! After all the handwringing, yelling and tears from 10 yrs later ending with the wedding of the year or whatever, NOW Jessica and Todd are separated, Bruce and Liz are together but in the middle of a scandal, and Lila is the new star of True Housewives. Yeah I’m done, no more trashy soap opera for me. This has totally ruined my childhood joy of the SVH series.