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Sweet Valley Confidential

February 13th, 2010 (04:28 pm)
thirsty

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Roman Holiday score music

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are all grown up. At least, they will be in 2011, when St. Martins releases Sweet Valley Confidential, an all-new novel by Francine Pascal which takes place a dozen years after the Wakefield twins' graduation from Sweet Valley High.

To quote The Guardian, which, in turn, quoted the publisher, the book will see "the real world intrude after a perfect childhood."

Will it, though, acknowledge everything that happened in followed SVH? In other words, will this book mention events from Sweet Valley Senior Year, Sweet Valley University, and the short-lived Elizabeth series?

Will a year be mentioned? Sweet Valley High began in 1983, so if the new book takes place 12 years after the books began, that would be 1995. If we put it 12 years after the publication of the final book in the Sweet Valley Senior Year line, Sweet 18, that would be 2015. Will it, perhaps, be 12 years from now, or even later? We shall see. In the meantime, I'm amused by the idea of Elizabeth and Jessica being From the Future, making friends with Jenna Fox (from The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson) or perhaps riding on hoverboards with Tally Youngblood (from the Uglies books by Scott Westerfeld).

Something else to consider: The book's potential audience. It will be about adults and shelved in adult fiction. Will it attract teens, or mostly just the adults who read the original series growing up? Will new readers (and Gossip Girl and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants readers and watchers) feel the need to pick up the old series after reading the new book?

When the publisher re-released some of the early SVH titles in 2008, they didn't just put new covers on them -- they also updated some of the text to reflect brands, technology, and trends that had changed since the books' initial publication twenty-five years earlier. I did not read the new editions because the press release emphasized that they had made the girls skinnier. Yes, you read that correctly: They changed the girls from "a perfect size 6" to "a perfect size 4." See the chart of changes from the official press release. I was appalled. From then on, I launched into a "Just be healthy!" rant every time a customer picked up these new editions.

Also in 2008, series creator Francine Pascal mentioned her hopes of opening Sweet Valley High: The Musical in the fall of that year. The musical has been in the works since at least 2002, when it was tentatively titled Fastbreaks. I wonder if they are still working on it. It would be interesting to see how it was done, and if they made it serious or a delightfully self-aware comedy, both teasing and respecting the original novels.

More from the recent article in The Guardian: "A film based on the Wakefield twins' high school years is also in the works, written and produced by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody." I wonder how much of it will be from the original books, or if it will simply be loosely based on the series. It could be like the TV series Sweet Valley High, which had the same main characters and occasionally used some basic plots from the books but incorporated new stories, elements, and characters as well. Again I say, we shall see, and acknowledge the fact that Gossip Girl fans would be drawn to that movie.

Want a sneak peek at Sweet Valley Confidential? Visit http://www.sweetvalleytenyearslater.com/

Question:
Which Wakefield twin did you prefer, Jessica or Elizabeth?
Leave your response in the comments below!

Related Posts at Bildungsroman:
Article: Flashback Romance
Booklist: Juvenile Series of the 80s and 90s

Comments

Posted by: Melissa Walker (mewalker1999)
Posted at: February 14th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)

I was ALL ABOUT Elizabeth. Jessica always scared me. But the truth is, I want the twins and their perfect dimples to stay teenagers. As adults, I think they'll really bug me.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 14th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)

Should be interesting, to say the least.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 27th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)

i think ill be happy as long as they dont make like, elizabeth a drug addict and jessica a prostitute or something...

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 28th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)

*shudder* I hope not!

Posted by: e (esc_key)
Posted at: February 14th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
SVH (Sweet Valley High)

We've been discussing Sweet Valley Confidential and the film a lot at 1bruce1. I think we're excited yet cautious. I mean, the reissue books really didn't work. But people definitely remember Jessica and Elizabeth! Maybe an adult hardcover book could work (that's what the press release said it would be) based on the nostalgia factor alone! Plus, it could be the kind of chick-lit-y beach read book that people sometimes want!

I was relieved to hear from Diablo Cody's twitter that she's setting the film in the 1980's though. Size four instead of size six was wrong. And can you imagine the twins with cell phones? It'd ruin half the plots.

I loved Elizabeth most when I was a kid (I always wanted to be her when we played the board game). But as an adult, Jessica was clearly better.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 14th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)

Congrats on the continued success of your community.

I'm glad to hear that the movie is going to be set in the 80s. Thanks for the news!

I just had a flashback of the one time I played the board game, when I was visiting my mother's workplace and her co-worker's daughter had the game. Wow. I hadn't thought about that in years!

Posted by: e (esc_key)
Posted at: February 14th, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)

I just had a flashback of the one time I played the board game, when I was visiting my mother's workplace and her co-worker's daughter had the game. Wow. I hadn't thought about that in years!
The board game was amazing. You had to collect an outfit, supplies, a boyfriend and a teacher for your date. I mean you collect a boy like a dress! And who takes a teacher on a date?!?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 14th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)

*shudder*

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 27th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)

im 28 years old and grew up with the wakefeild twins.ive been reading the books since first grade so i cant wait for the new book!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 28th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)

:)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: April 5th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)

im only 13 but i love the series. like the tv show too.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: April 5th, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)

:)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: April 8th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
i'm so excited

I grew up reading these books too. I discovered them when I was 10. So I started with SVKids, Twins when I turned 12, etc. I can't wait for this series to come out. I'm now 25 years old and I think it would be interesting to have the twins my age again. Yay. =)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: April 8th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Re: i'm so excited

Shall be interesting!

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