Book Review: Sweet Valley Confidential: 10 Years Later, Francine Pascal

Cannonball Read: 40

I don’t even know where to start. This book was just awful. I fully expected that coming in based on a review of the book I read here as well as publisher reviews and reviews on Goodreads, but this… This book is so much worse than the reviews say. I couldn’t even suspend my horror in an attempt to enjoy the nostalgia of the books I grew up.

Since there’s no redeeming quality, I am just going to list what sucked about this book in bullet form, since reading it has decreased my brain cells my about 15%:

  • The writing. Oh my grace (that’s a Bumped reference for you guys!), it was just bad. Tragically bad. Like, I just wanted to rewrite the book so its plot was the same but its writing was horrifying. One of the biggest problems has to do with voice. Jessica and Elizabeth’s section sounded essentially exactly the same, so Pascal and/or the ghostwriter who helped with this trainwreck peppered Jessica’s sections (both as her 27-year-old self and her high school/college self) with the word like. And it, like, totally, like, didn’t work. An example: “… there is no weather. It’s all like sun. And more sun. More silence. We are two very uncomfortable people. The evening that could have been like a fun idea isn’t turning out to be as easy as it sounded.” And so on and so on.
  • The dialogue is painful. For instance, Elizabeth says to Bruce, her BFF, “I have to get out of here. I need action, best friend.” WHO SAYS THAT?!?!??!
  • There are just more weird and uncomfortable phrases, such as this gem: “She cried after every orgasm.” Okaaaay, Francine Pascal. This isn’t Summer Sisters, where that sentence would have made sense.
  • The resolution of Jessica and Elizabeth’s epic eight-month fight is single-handedly the worst resolution I have ever read, and I read a lot.
  • The few sex scenes contain the most cringe-worthy writing. I mean, for real? “The heat and sweat of their fervor combined to fling them onto their own trajectories and land them together at almost the same time.” Also, just so you know, after their trajectories combined, Elizabeth was tear-free this time.

Some might argue that I shouldn’t be so hard on a book that wasn’t really written for its literary merit. Fair enough. But I was expecting something a little better than this. I mean, I wasn’t as avid a SV/SVH/SVU reader as I was all things BSC, but sheesh… even those original novels weren’t this horrific.

Rating: 1/10 (1 because the characters were at least similar to those in the original novels)


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One response to “Book Review: Sweet Valley Confidential: 10 Years Later, Francine Pascal

  1. Pingback: Krista’s CBR-III #40 – Sweet Valley Confidential, Francine Pascal | Cannonball Read III

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