Review & Giveaway: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

    First off let me say that I was perhaps not your normal Sweet Valley High reader. I read SVH at a young age. My parents didn’t quite know what to do with me…my reading level was extremely high and I went through books like they were going out of style. In about fourth grade I picked up my first SVH book and it continued on from there. I can still see my little bookshelf with all my pastel titles lined up in a row (in perfect order of course…the librarian within was already emerging). At that time I still played with my barbies sporadically and I remember my favorite Barbie which rotated on a weekly basis was always blonde and always named Jessica. Even at that age I had a desire to be like the beautiful and popular Jessica Wakefield although I knew in my heart I was more of a mix of the famous twins with my book devouring ways and quiet side showing just a hint of Elizabeth Wakefield as well.

When I learned that Francine Pascal was going to be releasing Sweet Valley Confidential, a follow up of the twins ten years later…I was pretty excited. How did the twins turn out? What did life in Sweet Valley ultimately end up being like as adults?

And a question that really popped into my mind was…Why now? Why bring the twins back ten years later? Luckily I was fortunate enough to be able to ask the author this very question. Her response was simple and insightful:

“I’ve been thinking about having Sweet Valley make the leap from teenage to adulthood for a while now, but what really motivated me was the Facebook searches.  Everyone seemed to be looking for their high school mates.  I began to think they might be just as interested in their fantasy high school friends in Sweet Valley and what had happened to those people. I found that for many young women today, those characters had been their adolescence..  And I guess I was right.  The sales of the book have been fantastic.  It made the New York Times bestseller list two weeks in a row. And we’ve gone back for another printing.” ~Francine Pascal

Nothing could be closer to the truth. In our world of technology such as Facebook and Twitter….Sweet Valley High still exists and in major ways. If you’re a Twitter person….you can actually immerse yourself in the world of Sweet Valley. Nearly every character including the major,minor and even dead ones have their own Twitter account where Sweet Valley fans indulge in chatting about the series in character mode. Some of there fans are really knowledgable so you might want to do some re-reading to get the full effect. Also a Sweet Valley High movie adaptation is in the works by Diablo Cody. Whether you’re a fan or not…You have to admit it truly is amazing how the series has endured.

So now go pick up a copy if you haven’t already and I would love to know what you think. I myself really enjoyed the trip down memory lane but I have heard mixed reactions from other readers. There is no denying things have changed in Sweet Valley and in the twins lives. And Francine Pascal has been brave in really truly advancing the twins into their older years and not holding back. There is betrayal of the ultimate kind, love lessons learned and  also question of which twin will come out on top in the end? Fans of Elizabeth and Jessica alike will finally find out just what happened to their “friends” from long ago.

Book Giveaway

Here at Stiletto Storytime I am happy to be giving away a copy of Sweet Valley Confidential to one lucky reader. To enter just leave a comment below sharing your favorite Sweet Valley High memories. Or if you were not a big Sweet Valley fan what other series holds a special place in your adolescent heart? What series would you love to see come back in modern times?

Giveaway ends midnight EST May 18, 2011. US and Canada addresses only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of Sweet Valley Confidential on Twitter

Like the Sweet Valley Confidential on Facebook

Tweet or Blog about the this giveaway (Leave Link)


48 Comments

Filed under Adult Books, Chick Lit, Contests, New Books

48 responses to “Review & Giveaway: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

  1. Are you kidding me? I was a HUGE Sweet Valley High fan. I literally grew up with Elizabeth and Jessica! They were my absolute favorites…

    Yes, I know there are many who call these books really “frivolous” reads, but what else do teenagers really want to read, other than something fun and frivolous? My favorite memories were always the way Elizabeth and Jessica would try to deceive their friends or family about which one was who – given that they were so different. I remember how I had a huge crush on Todd, who seemed like a perfect boyfriend (not so much, anymore, huh?) to a teenager. But what surprised me the MOST was that I always had a wee bit of a crush on Winston, and always had a soft spot in my heart for his geeky/goofy ways!🙂

    I could go ON and ON…but you don’t really want that! lol😛 Oh, I also loved the R.L. Stine “Fear Street” series!🙂

    Thank you SOOOOOO much for this amazing giveaway – so appreciative of your generosity!🙂

    ~Hira~
    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
    Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

    • stilettostorytime

      Hira- I was a huge Fear Street fan as well….I had all of them. I also put those in order on my shelf as a kid. Right now I am collecting all those old series we loved so much…I pick them up when I see them at used bookstores or library sales…makes me feel young again! So nice to meet someone who loved them as much as myself! Good Luck!

  2. haha! The pastel titles lined up on the bookshelf? Me too!

  3. Julie Witt

    I remember my daughters devouring the Sweet Valley High books when they were younger, and now, with the new book release, they are SO excited to find out what the characters have been up to! What a novel idea! People always wonder “what happens next?” and now they get to find out! I would love to win this book to give to my daughters to read. One of them is married now and the other is in college, but it seems like just yesterday they were my little girls, laying together on one of their beds, one head up and one feet up, reading their Sweet Valley books. I have great memories of this series🙂

  4. Julie Witt

    I am a follower of you through your email newsletters🙂 +1

  5. Julie Witt

    I follow Stiletto Storytime on Twitter as jwitt33🙂 +1

  6. Amanda W

    I loved the one where one of the twins met the prince.

  7. Amanda W

    I follow on GFC.

  8. Amanda W

    Follow you on twitter @amandawk

  9. OMG!!! I can’t believe it!
    I started reading Sweet Valley Twins when I was in grade 5 and a few month (and dozens of books) later, I started on the SWH.

    I would so love to win this book!
    I have started following Stiletto Storytime on twitter (not too sure why I was not before already a follower). (jennyjenny99)
    I am now following Sweet Valley Confidential.
    I have ‘liked’ Sweet Valley Confidential on Facebook.

  10. katie miller

    I love the sweet valley series, they are my all time favorite books!

  11. OMGosh! I am too excited! I would be so happy to win this book, but if I’m not the lucky one I will buy it. I loved Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley Twins especially. I read every one of them and collected them all when I was young. I just remember I couldn’t put them down! So glad this book was created! Yay!
    XO ~ Amy Jo (follower)
    amyjrockstar at gmail dot com
    http://lv2scrapandfibrofacts.blogspot.com/

  12. I follow SS. :0)

    XO ~ Amy Jo (follower)
    amyjrockstar at gmail dot com
    http://lv2scrapandfibrofacts.blogspot.com/

  13. I follow SS on Twitter. :0)

    XO ~ Amy Jo (follower)
    amyjrockstar at gmail dot com
    http://lv2scrapandfibrofacts.blogspot.com/
    @amyjrockstar

  14. I now follow SVC on Twitter.🙂

    XO ~ Amy Jo (follower)
    amyjrockstar at gmail dot com
    http://lv2scrapandfibrofacts.blogspot.com/

  15. Eric Patterson

    As one of the few Sweet Valley male readers I have to state that this series helped me to be comfortable in my own skin growing up. I was instantly taken to another world where I felt comfortable. Elizabeth was the character growing up I always identified with because of her sweet and nice demeanor in the books that I have read. There came a day though when my grandmother, who raised me, wouldn’t let me read the books any more because “little boys don’t read girl books”, but I showed her now I collect the series whenever I see them out and about. I also collect Babysitter’s Club and Fear Street. These series defined my childhood because they let me escape from reality, which often was unpleasant in my youth. I appreciate Francine Pascal so much because she helped me to get through the rough years of my life and I appreciate YA fiction because of this as well. I have such pleasant memories of this series and regardless of the outcome I plan on getting a copy of Sweet Valley Confidential so I can be transported back to that secure feeling I got from Sweet Valley High in my youth.

  16. Theresa

    My grandmother was a librarian so I began volunteering at the library. I love the way books smell. I read my first sweet valley high at 12 and was hooked. I loved reading about Jessica and Elizabeth and all their friends! My grandmother would buy me the books each month but then I had to “donate” them to the library lol. I am probably responsible for half of my town becoming interested in sweet valley high. Anyway my grandma passed away recently and I bought a big box of sweet valley high books off eBay. I reread them, now my daughters are reading them! So when they are done I will be donating them again and hopefully starting a new generation f sweet valley high readers!!

  17. Jen Miller

    I love Sweet Valley twins, SVH and SVU!!!! They were my faves!!!! I would go to the local library weekly to get the next book in the series!!! I also liked “The Baby Sitter’s Club” as well as any book by Lurlene McDaniel or Judy Blume!!

  18. Alexis

    Sweet Valley High was solely responsible for sparking my love affair with reading. As a half-Ecuadorian scrawny kid, I could very much still relate to these girls – especially Jessica. Not her physicality, of course, but her dualities. One minute she was a conniving monster, the next she was an emotional wreck: the typical teenager! My favorite day was when Mom would take me to Waldenbooks in the mall and give me a $20 bill. It would take all my energy to not sprint to the back of the store where my SVH and Christopher Pike books awaited me. It was such a romantic time, full of wonder and make believe. That’s why so many of us love the series – it evokes these feelings in all of us.

  19. Alexis

    Following you on Twitter!

  20. Alexis

    Of COURSE following SVC on Twitter.🙂

  21. I grew up on SVH! I remember waiting and waiting until the new books came out! When one was released, I was locked in my room with the Wakefield twins’ latest adventure! Brings back great memories🙂

    I “like” SVH on facebook as well!

  22. Pingback: May Contests and Book Giveaways for Writers : Inky Fresh Press

  23. Mary Archer

    My sister and I began reading the series because of the similarities between Elizabeth and Jessica and ourselves. I, Elizabeth follower, am four minutes older, wanted to be a journalist, more conservative, wore hair back in a ponytail or barrettes, and has a mole on right shoulder. My sister, Jessica follower, was a cheerleader, liked all kinds of boys, hated school, loved drama, wore her hair down, and loved latest fashion. We thought the books were written for us! We collected everything!!! And still have it all! The only thing is, it’s strange for a thirty-something to read books for teens! Thank you for letting them grow up and allowing them to have grown-up experiences.

  24. Monica

    Sweet Valley High was one of my childhood favorites but I never got around to finishing the series! So for the past few months that has been my goal. I have 8 more books until I finish and then its on to Sweet Valley Confidential, so it would be awesome to win a copy!
    I could never choose a favorite twin. I have a little bit of both Liz and Jess in me so I always go back and forth.🙂
    Following on twitter (Monica369) and FB!
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  25. Janella

    I always loved the thrilling scenes! I always felt like I was watching a great movie in my mind. The whole thing just amazes me on how it makes my imagination roll!😀
    The thing about my experience on reading Sweet Valley books is that I inherited the collection from my aunt. Too bad, the university spin-off’s incomplete and I am searching for the other books (including the Elizabeth series) to complete the collection. What makes it more exciting? The fact that I am eager to find out what would happen next leaves me searching for more information. Though all of them are available on Amazon, I just couldn’t buy them all because I have to save money for it first. That’s why winning a copy of Sweet Valley Confidential would save me more money to buy the other books. Thanks for the chance you’re giving to every reader of this wonderful series and THUMBS UP, FRANCINE PASCAL! :))

  26. Ha! Trying to explain to people that the super long book this fourth grader was reading was either Elizabeth or Jessica Wakefield’s “Secret Diary” (and that there were many volumes, as they followed the series for roughly 74 books, alternating perspectives…) As I knew at the young age I was both an over explainer and ought to be ashamed of my reading materials😀 Rock on, Sweet Valley.

  27. Nic

    My favourite Sweet Valley memory is sharing the series with my sister. We’re only a year apart and were best friends – and complete opposites – growing up. SV was one of the few things we had in common and we would spend hours discussing the latest book, or who we thought was the best boyfriend for Elizabeth (I always voted for Jeffrey!)

    The series is a very special part of our childhood.

  28. gg

    i had no clue this existed, the article alone made me nostalgic – some years back, i was rather surprised to see that sweet valley was on-going, i started reading them in elementary school when they first came out in the 80’s – my whole life revolved around the painful wait of a w.h.o.l.e. month before the next exciting adventure, same bat-time, same bat-channel – even worse, finding what fresh creative machinations i could mine to scrape up the… $1.75ish for each paperback? aside from the fact that i only wanted to go to the mall so i could sit in the back of the bookstore, back before they were large centers with tables & couches and just small libraries of stacks, and hide from the occasional clerk scanning the aisles so i could pour through the young adult section, it would break my heart when i didn’t have enough money & had to surreptitiously devour what i could – but i eventually brought it home and placed it on my (soon far-too-small bookcase), prized possession of pretty pastels, especially loved each oval picture of soapy intrigue – i doubt i could ever forget about being the perfect size 6 or identical gold lavalier necklaces – when my little sister was growing up, i discovered they just released something called sweet valley twins so i bought her some to try to encourage a fondness for reading (which she did enjoy the books but never much took to reading) – a bit after, i noticed… packed away in a trunk with other books now but whatever the precise title, it was sweet valley ancestors, liz & jess’s great-great-great grandparents arriving on the scene, i think one girl was named alice like their mother, a star in a horse show, it was pretty fun – my last foray was back when this long story was still short many sentences ago, when i noticed omg, svh still exists? they were up to like 100 something and i hadn’t bought any since they came out with these magna editions (summer this, winter carnival that, etc.), now they had an evil twin? can i resist an evil twin? can vous? i can see the cover, a broken xmas ornament, maybe her name was margo? i really loved it and i believe there might have been a sequel which i just realized must have been sitting in one of my trunks some decade now that i never got around to reading – i briefly noticed when they made the tv show, which was so heinously laughable that i could not watch it even though clearly i was well past their desired demographic – so this is kinda cool to hear someone cared enough to remember us 80’s kids who surely must have made a nice career for francine pascal (if she actually exists, i always thought of her as a carolyn keene, especially a few years into the series as the voices seemed to change so drastically and little attention paid to any storyline bible, but maybe they don’t think pre & teen readers would ever be that perspicacious) – they were definitely my little treasures for quite an epoch, back in the primordial days before amazon and e-readers…. did i mention i was really old?

  29. Mona Garg

    I was a big SVH fan. I used to pick up the books as soon as they came out and usually finished reading them within a couple days. I was going to donate them along with my other teen romance books but hubby insisted I keep them. He sid they were a part of my history and were nostalgic.

    Another series/author I loved were the books by VC Andrews.

  30. Mona Garg

    GFC follower(Mona Garg or MonaG)

  31. Mona Garg

    Follow Stiletto Storytime on Twitter(@Kulmona)

  32. Mona Garg

    Follow Sweet Valley Confidential on Twitter(@Kulmona)

  33. Mona Garg

    Like Sweet Valley Confidential on FB(Mona Garg)

  34. I loved all of the books and even loved watching the show. I remember even reading the series of them being in middle school. My favorite book was actually from the middle school series where they encounter a ghost named Claire from a carnival. It has been many years since I read it but I remember reading it like 10 times I loved it so much

  35. Sweet Valley facebook fan as melissa r

  36. SV twitter follower as @giveawaymommy

  37. i am following you on twitter as @giveawaymommy

  38. donnas

    I loved Sweet Valley High. Looking forward to seeing what happened next. My favorite memory is sitting outside during the summer reading them in the sun.

    Blog and twitter follower

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  39. stilettostorytime

    Drum Roll….Congratulations to Alexis! She’s won her very own copy of “Sweet Valley Confidential”. Thanks to all who entered and keep a watch out for more great giveaways on Stiletto Storytime!

    • Alexis

      SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

      I am almost literally bursting with happiness. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

  40. Michelle

    I’d enter if I didn’t already have my copy, which I’ll hopefully get a chance to read sometime! ^_~ I’m 23 and I’ve always been an avid reader; it came naturally to me, and as a kid, I devoured books of all sorts. Every week I’d pick up another Baby-Sitters Club, Goosebumps, Boxcar Children mystery, Sweet Valley novel, etc. I ordered and purchased from every single Scholastic book sale at school and was more excited than any other kid in class for the arrival of the things that had to be shipped. I can always find my way around a library, and I worked for over a year as a “Junior page,” maintaining the children’s and YA sections of a public library (along with adult audio/visuals and other general work.) Elizabeth was always my favored twin and the one I saw more of myself in.

    Hehe, I had a large Barbie collection too, although I always cared more for the homes, places of business, and little plastic accessories than for the actual dolls themselves. Anyway, I’m definitely excited about this book, which ought to be a quick read for me…I just love springing into the future and finding out more about the lives of characters I already know well and care for. (Not to mention real-life people from yesteryear; thanks to Facebook my classmates are now easier than ever to find and contact, but it won’t make our future reunions any less amazing.)
    Last year it was the awesome Baby-Sitters prequel, now this; which of my beloved childhood series will receive a new installment next year?!😀

  41. stilettostorytime

    Michelle- I was extremely excited about “The Babysitter’s Club” prequel last year too. I immediately bought it for my younger sister. Ann M. Martin also has another series she just started a few years back that is really quite good…it’s called “Main Street”. Thanks for sharing! We sound like we would have lots in common!

    • Michelle

      I think we do!🙂 Yes, I saw the Main Street books at the library, and (shhh!!) oftentimes I would use the ‘downtime’ when I had nothing to do to ‘hide’ in the aisles and flip through interesting books. I actually read some of them that way–very cute, they are. But nothing could ever replace my beloved BSC. ;D Speaking of little sisters, I collected that series too, and anything else BSC-related. ^^ I really loved the prequel, and being able to return for a little while to a simpler time…and I expect to enjoy the new Sweet Valley as well.

  42. I loved Sweet Valley High! I read all the Sweet Valley High, and Sweet Valley Twins. I particularly liked the special books The Fowlers of Sweet Valley, the Wakefields of Sweet Valley, etc.

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