Sweet Valley EVERYTHING. At various times I was reading three or four of the series at the same time. I only stopped reading Sweet Valley Kids because the book sellers started looking at me funny. For anyone out there who missed the Sweet Valley craze, there was the original Sweet Valley High, followed by Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley Kids, a mini-spin-off with Jessica and The Unicorn Club, Sweet Valley University (SVU), Sweet Valley Jr. High, Senior Year, a mini-spin-off where Elizabeth goes to London, and a tv show. There were Special Editions, Super Editions Chillers, Secret Diaries, Thrillers, Super Star Editions, Magna Editions, and Sagas.
And a fan club. Did I mention I was in the fan club? I think it came with a pencil box, a bookmark, and a sticker.
Throughout middle school, I read at least a book a day, starting with Sweet Valley Twins, followed by Sweet Valley High—close to a hundred each. And when I was done, I had to twiddle my thumbs and wait until the beginning of each month, when the newest book would be released. That's right—a month. Back then, you didn't have to wait a year or longer for the next installment of your favorite series, by your favorite authors. You only had to wait a month for Sweet Valley, Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Thoroughbreds, The Babysitter's Club. But it still felt like forever—A whole MONTH before the next one came out!??!?!?!!?
Yeah, I was a Sweet Valley junkie. Completely addicted.
I don't know if they were moments of weakness or strength, but I managed to wean myself off of each series, one-by-one, only to go through withdrawal, be sucked back in at various intervals, and have to repeat the entire process.
And I know that even though they lived in California it was ridiculous for them to have ten summer vacations and four Christmases, six Halloweens, and five Spring Breaks in the same year* (*I totally just made up those numbers, but they probably aren't bad estimates). I know that it was basically a sitcom format, where something crazy happens, the twins get in trouble or stir up trouble, or have to get someone out of trouble, and everything gets resolved. Voila! Happy ending. Their friends were basically like special guest stars—Someone was vain or spoiled or a troublemaker, but then you'd find out they were sensitive underneath, or had a problem, which is why they were acting out. And it was mostly quantity—I couldn't get enough.
But I have to say, it wasn't without quality. Because besides the familiarity and knowing what to expect, besides the novelty of twin sisters who were beautiful and could switch places and impersonate each other, there was something else that kept drawing me back to their world. Something fantastic and amazing and endearing. And I couldn't get enough.
And I still can't. I thought I made a clean break several years ago, when I left for college. At one time I had two book cases devoted to my devotion, but I went through all of them and traded the majority in to a used book store. Now I hear that there's a new book coming out—Sweet Valley Confidential—Ten Years Later. [EXCERPT] And I feel myself being sucked in all over again.
I've switched over most of my books to my Nook, which is the main reason that I haven't started re-acquiring the series, but I can't say that if the Sweet Valley books were reissued in digital format, I wouldn't snap them up in a heartbeat.
And so, close to ten years after I thought I'd kicked my habit, I find myself eagerly anticipating the newest release, and possibly another series.
—Ten Years Later, as the title indicates, is set to take place ten years after we last saw the twins. Now because of the many various series, I'm not sure if that means ten years after Sweet Valley High, the main series, which took place during their junior year of high school; Senior Year, or the SVU series which took place when they were in college. So that would put them somewhere in between 26 and 32 years old, give or take. And apparently, Jessica and Elizabeth, who were always close, despite their differences, have become estranged. Jessica still lives in Sweet Valley, while Elizabeth is off in New York. But it sounds like Elizabeth is about to make a trip back home—Class reunion; maybe? Or revenge?
One thing is for certain, it's never boring when Jessica and Elizabeth are together!
Oh, and another thing...People.com just revealed the new cover!!!!
It's completely reminiscent of the old school original Sweet Valley High covers. Judging by the hairstyles, I'm guessing Elizabeth on the front cover, Jessica on the back—Jessica and wavy hair being more high-maintenance; Elizabeth being more practical, more subtle. Is it sad that I know that?
So, are they still the same girls they've always been? Did they get married? Have kids? Was there just a simple misunderstanding (like there usually was)? Or are the twins finally going to turn Sweet Valley upside-down????
I don't know, but I can't wait to find out!!!! Can you?!?!?!
Sweet Valley: Confidential—Ten Years Later is set to be released March 2011 from St. Martin's Press.