As a former Sweet Valley High reader I was thrilled to hear that Francine Pascal was going to give us a glimpse at what life was like for the Wakefield twins ten years after high school. Sweet Valley Confidential is by no means a literary masterpiece but for fans of the Sweet Valley series it was just what we needed after such a long absence.
At 27 years old, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are living on other sides of the country and haven’t spoken in eight months. Jessica is still in Sweet Valley, Elizabeth has fled to New York City and it isn’t too hard to figure out exactly what happened to cause the rift. The novel is told from the perspectives of both girls in the present day as well as through flashbacks from high school and college.
Liz is now writing for an online magazine that reviews Off-Broadway shows and trying to get on with her life in New York. When she gets a phone call from her mother to come home for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday she is at first hesitant, but decides to go so she can seek revenge on Jessica in the form of her date, a bartender named Liam. Of course things don’t go quite as she planned but Elizabeth goes back to New York and realizes that she is finally able to get on with her life. Shortly after returning though she discovers Jessica waiting outside her apartment door and it seems that after everything the girls are ready to put the past behind them and move on. The girls both head back to Sweet Valley for Jessica’s wedding and Elizabeth discovers a love that she didn’t even know was there all along.
These are not exactly the same Wakefields that we all remember. They drink, swear and have grown up relationships. Yes, there are some inaccuracies with supporting characters and events that happened in previous books, but overall everything seemed so familiar. I don’t know that I would recommend this book to anyone new to the Sweet Valley series, or even to those fans that will be able to spot everything that is wrong with this book, but as someone who has fond memories of times spent with these characters this book is a must read.