Friday, April 8, 2011

Sweet Valley Returns

This week, I have regressed to middle school.

Kristen's death has obviously conjuered up old memories of my pre-teen years. I have been trading emails with my old childhood best friend. Yesterday I came home from work and took a nap. (I used to be a big after-school sleeper, but I rarely do that anymore). Is it any wonder that this is the week I read Sweet Valley Confidential?

I spent most of my childhood with a nose in a book. While I would like to say I was attracted to quality literature, say Jane Austin or Jack London, I spent most of my time reading cheesy YA series books such as The Baby-Sitter's Club, Sweet Valley Twins, The Taffy Sinclair Club, Sleepover Friends and my all-time favorite, Sweet Valley High. My mother and I would go to Foodtown every Wednesday, and while she grocery shopped, I went to the Happy Booker and bought myself a book. I was obsessed.  The books in each series came out monthly, and there was a time where I was even on the bookstore phone list so they would call me the day the book came in and I would go in that very day and pick up the latest. Couldn't wait until the following Wednesday.  I would be done with my new purchase in about an hour. But no fear, these were books which were read over and over again. Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield were very important people in my childhood.

The original goodness.

So when Kayleen told me that there was a new Sweet Valley High book coming out, and that some of her friends were having a dedicated book club especially for the occasion, I knew I needed to get onboard stat.  Nowadays, I get all my books for free from the New York Public Library, but this was something special. I went to the bookstore within the first week of the book's release, plunked down $22 for a hardcover and spent the week reuniting myself with my two BBF's, ten years later.

I knew what I was getting myself into and assumed the book would be pretty low-brow, but this was something else. It was one of the worst books I have ever read.  It was horribly written, embarrassingly superficial and almost boring. If Sweet Valley High was based on the 1980's, why is 10 years later sometime in 2011? Why does Jessica say "like" all the time? How did Jessica and Elizabeth turn so stupid and shallow and yet everyone falls madly in love with them the instant they meet them?

Was SVH really so bad back in the day, and I didn't know? I refuse to believe that! I don't want to give up any spoilers. The book club meets next week, but if there are any fans out there who have read the book, we need to talk. This can't wait.

No comments: