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SVH: Double Love

Double Love (Sweet Valley High)

by Pascal, Francine
Random House: Laurel Leaf ©April 2008 240pp.
ISBN 978-0-440-42262-4

 

Starting in 5th grade I devoured the Sweet Valley High series.  My mom hated that I read the “drivel,” and I had to hide them from her. I remember getting in trouble for reading one title (Out all Night?) in class behind my textbook.  Worse, when the principal wanted to know why I brought “such a book,” to school, I said it wasn’t mine and ratted out the friend who lent it to me. (I was so mean!  I’m sorry, A. I should have never )  SVH, was not high on the list of upstanding teen literature in my day.  In fact, in the early days of the series, you couldn’t find the books in the public library.  Though by the time I became a (young adult) librarian, I was weeding out the series for more current and popular ones even though many of the spin-offs remained.

 So lo and behold, was I surprised to find out that Random House is reissuing the series for today’s teens.  The school newspaper is now on the web. The girls have cell phones. They eat Mexican food, drive a Jeep Wrangler and are very obviously living in the 21st century.  Fortunately, the attitudes of librarians, educators, and parents have changed much over the years since I was a pre-teen/teen (for the most part). It no longer matters what teens are reading as long as they are reading.  So young teen girls who pick up the reissued series will probably not be met with the same resistance I did. (Though I think my religious upbringing had more to do with it than the quality of reading.)

 And reading the advanced reading copy (ARC) just reaffirmed that Sweet Valley High is nothing more than a fun read, meant to be devoured at the beach. (The fact that it’s about 30°F here didn’t mitigate my enjoyment.)  The Wakefield Twins have not changed in the least.  Jessica is still a self-absorbed drama queen.  Elizabeth is still the smart, studios, but not so self-assured twin who lives in her sister’s shadow. 

 In volume 1, Double Love, Elizabeth is crushing on Todd Wilkins the captain of the football team. When Jessica intercepts a phone call at the house, she sets his eyes on him and decides that she, captain of the cheerleading squad, and him, would make the perfect couple.  There are lots of miscommunications, backstabbing, and fun to be had.  All PG-13. 


I can’t wait until Tuesday – to bring this ARC to work to see if today’s teens and tweens will enjoy this as much as I did (both at that age and today).

Cross-posted to http://cornerbooks.blogspot.com