Saturday, April 16, 2011

Are you kidding me? Sweet Valley Confidential

Warning: Spoilers included!

Are you kidding me? That’s what I said throughout this book. I devoured SVH books when I was a teenager. I owned every single one. You would think reading every book multiple times would have given me some insight to the characters, but I guess I didn’t know them at all!

I expected over-the-top storylines, but the plot seems like the author picked random stuff out of a hat. Steven suddenly figures out he’s gay after his epic loves with Trisha, Cara, and then Billie. Yes, I know people come out later in life, but the SVH books had several gay characters. But never a hint that Steven was gay. Jessica falls in love with Todd and chooses him over her twin? Elizabeth is maid of honor for the wedding after a few weeks of “forgiving” Todd and Jessica? There was no development or buildup for these sudden, drastic changes to the characters, especially when the author had years and hundreds of books to develop the characters. I also didn’t like the political push for gay marriage and the comment about Enid being “arrogant and extremely right wing” since the books are pleasure readings. I don’t need to hear the author’s political rants.

The book flip flops between point of view and time. Thankfully, the older memories are in italics, but the switch of narrative was confusing at first. The grammar errors are obvious and the writing lacks thought. (Those are things I expected from SVH and could have put up with if the story was good.) The plot jumps through parts that should be explored—more groundwork to why Jessica and Todd fell for each other would have perhaps helped the reader understand how Jessica could betray her sister. Then other parts, like Elizabeth writing about the play, dragged on.

I do like the growth of Elizabeth in this book. She grows up—from a wimp to a strong woman. I have to say I like how they put Elizabeth with Bruce. That was a nice surprise.

I expected far-fetched storylines. I expected poor writing. I also expected the story to reflect the characters I knew and loved....big mistake.


Dawn said...

You know i read the reviews on B&N before requesting it from the library. They echo what you've said.

Laura J said...

I didn't read the reviews on B&N, but I post reviews on Amazon, so I read those. You may still want to read it, but I wish I hadn't spent my money on it!

Anonymous said...

So disappointing!


Laura J said...

Simply tragic, Jeanelle! LOL!