If you’re reading this blog, then it’s likely that you, too, grew up with Sweet Valley High and its various spin-offs. I first discovered the series at age 5 or 6. My sister had started reading them, and I was fond of browsing through her collection. The first SVH book I purchased for myself was the fourth SVH Super Edition, Malibu Summer. I still remember how excited I was to own my very own Sweet Valley High novel at the age of 6 or 7! Later on, we also started reading Sweet Valley Twins.
Now, like many people these days, I’m re-reading the entire SVH series. I’m admittedly obsessed with pop culture, especially retro pop culture, so this is more fun for me than I may let on. But why the fascination with this particular teen series? Lord knows I read a ton of series books as a kid. Well, the truth is that the trials and tribulations of the Wakefield twins, however ridiculous, are a welcome escape for those of us who feel jaded and world-weary by our adult lives. War. Global warming. The health care debate. Terrorism. The recession. Job losses climbing. Foreclosed houses everywhere. Have I depressed you yet? But in the midst of it all, we have the stories of two blonde twins who can go through any number of terrifying incidents and get over it in a snap. Being kidnapped four times in less than ten books? Hey, no big deal. It all works okay in the end in Sweet Valley. So why not escape for a bit to a favorite childhood haunt, and remember (what seemed like) a simpler time?
At the same time, many of us re-reading the books have noticed things we probably didn’t as kids. Why, for example, are the Wakefields so preoccupied with weight and physical appearance? Why is everyone else so obsessed with the twins and desperate to be and look just like them? And how many crazed killers can they escape, anyway? Yeah, the twins stand out – not necessarily for the right reasons, but they stand out regardless.
I’m a stickler for detail and a huge nerd at heart, so you are going to see lots of random details chronicled in these books. You might like this blog if you want to know whom so-and-so dated at any given time, or if you want to know the names of all those minor characters that were mentioned just once before vanishing for good. Do be warned that I have been known to cuss like a sailor and can be pretty vulgar out of the blue.
A final note: I read a lot of SVH books, but I was primarily concerned with horror novels (Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Caroline B. Cooney, Dean Koontz) as a pre-teen/tween (God I hate that word!). So there are a lot of them that I’m reading for the first time. I never read ANY SVH books past the early 90s – that means the whole “Night to Remember” prom bit and all the books that came after are brand new to me. Yes, this is going to be … interesting …
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: The author of this blog has no connection to, nor was paid by the brand or product described in this content.