Who remembers the Sweet Valley twins? Francine Pascal’s fictional Southern Californian sisters Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield were everything when I was in middle and high school. The books were super-quick reads and it seemed like a new one was always dropping, with new scandals, new angst, and new rivalries. More than other prolific book series, the Sweet Valley books had that rare quality of making you feel like the characters were growing up in tandem with you. The middle school books gave way to the high school books, and there was even an extensive series that followed the girls’ college careers.
Of course, by the time I was college-aged, I’d long left the Sweet Valley twins behind (I devoured most of their university books in ninth grade, believing they’d give me some insight about what to expect in college). But last year, when Pascal returned, boasting a new novel where the Wakefield twins were in their late twenties, my nostalgia nerve started to tingle. I devoured Sweet Valley Confidential in a day. Though it seemed rushed and poorly written, I couldn’t suppress my glee as I found out what the Sweet Valley community had been up to all these years. Just like old times, Pascal managed to pull the hat trick of making readers feel that, in the intricate fictional universe she’d created, her characters had been aging alongside us.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who bought into the nostalgia Sweet Valley Confidential evoked. The one-off novel did so well that Pascal responded to fans’ pleas and wrote a few more books. According to Entertainment Weekly‘s Shelf Life blog:
On July 15, St. Martin’s Press will launch The Sweet Life, a six-part series for e-readers that picks up three years after Confidential left off. And you won’t have to wait long for each new installment — the first two books debut July 15, with a new novella ($1.99 each) following every Sunday through August 12.
The new series picks up three years after Sweet Valley Confidential, making the Wakefield twins 30. As usual, Pascal’s timing is perfect. The entire series run will occur before summer ends, and since this is the best time of year for such fast, fluffy chick lit reading, she’s sure to procure a record number of downloads.
Were you a fan of the Sweet Valley High books growing up? Which of your favorite teen book series would you love to return, with adult characters? Will you read Pascal’s latest books?