Sweet Valley Confidential: 10 Years Later
If you don't know who Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are, you probably didn't grow up as a girl in the '90s -- like NH copy editors Cheryl Sadler and Danielle Capriato. Liz and Jess were the stars of the Sweet Valley books by Francine Pascal, a series with multiple spin-offs following the twins from about second grade through college. St Martins press recently announced the release of a new book, called "Sweet Valley Confidential" to be released in March of 2011. The new book will feature the Wakefield twins about 10 years after the original high school series as the girls adjust to life in their late 20s, early 30s. Here, Cheryl and Danielle discuss their epic excitement for the release and their plans to revisit some of their favorite books in the Sweet Valley series.
Cheryl: My initial reaction to the news was OMG!!!! I so fondly remember reading all about Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield throughout elementary and middle school and had several of the "Sweet Valley Twins" books on my bookshelf (and even some from the "Unicorn Club" series). I remember the characters and their characteristics almost as much as I remember my own classmates. So I am preeeeetty excited about diving back into the world of Sweet Valley "10 years later" to see what's happening with my favorite twins.
Danielle: My initial reaction? "I. HAVE. TO. READ. THAT. NOW!" Of course, since "NOW" was not an option, I instead opted for a massive Google search for all things Sweet Valley. I had intended to refresh my memory about the Wakefield twins, their friends and love interests so that I could get properly psyched for "Confidential." The Internet, as it usually does, hosted a wealth of information regarding developments in the fictional town of Sweet Valley. For example, in 2008, 15 years after the initial release of the Sweet Valley High series, Francine Pascal approved an "update" to the original texts. The books were given a modern look, and were infused with current cultural contexts to appeal to today's reader. Changes included giving the girls a red Jeep in lieu of the red Fiat featured throughout the series, and apparently putting the girls on a diet and slimming them down from "a perfect size 6" to "a perfect size 4." I also discovered that Diablo Cody (of "Juno" fame) is working on a movie adaptation based on the Sweet Valley High books. Of course, this just made me that much more intrigued to read the new book.
Cheryl: As Danielle and I were walking down memory lane, I realized that I might not have ever read the "Sweet Valley High" series books. Although I'm sure I made my way through most of the "Twins" and "Kids" spin-offs, I don't know if I read about the girls' high school adventures. So from now until March 29, 2011, I am going to be reading as many of the high school books as I can. It might not be the best literature I could be consuming in my free time, but I'm looking forward to revisiting a couple of the girls I grew up with.
Danielle: Cheryl and I have made a list of all the Sweet Valley High books and intend to check as many of them out from the library as possible (even if we are totally embarrassed to be checking them out) over the next few months. Of course we will continue to update here as we go, so you can follow along with us as we reacquaint ourselves with all things Sweet Valley.
Cheryl: You can request the first chapter of "Sweet Valley Confidential" here for free, which I did. They send you the pdf via e-mail, and it took me only a few minutes to read. Danielle didn't want to see it, and I can understand why, because now I'm pretty eager to know why Elizabeth and Jessica are in the positions they are in.
Danielle: I couldn't bring myself to read the free first chapter, because I knew that I'd be freaking out over the next 245 days to get the rest of the book. That's right--there are 245 days left in the Countdown to Sweet Valley Confidential. You can check back here periodically for updates on our journey.
Are you as excited as we are for the release of Sweet Valley Confidential? Let us know!
-Cheryl Sadler and Danielle Capriato