We all know that Sweet Valley is a fictional town in Southern California, home of the most famous twins: Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, right? Well, if you haven’t heard about said twins, please crawl out form under a rock that you have been living under for the last 20 years! Because SWEET VALLEY! I guess that statement marks my age – or thereabouts. Let us take a trip on the way-way back and revisit the famous twins of Sweet Valley!
I remember way back in elementary school when a friend introduced me to Sweet Valley Kids, a think it was this special edition (because they have a LOT of those) about the whole gang going to space to save an alien princess. Space? Alien? Twins? I was HOOKED! I gobbled everything Sweet Valley! I started a little late in the series and I think about in third grade. Growing up in a small city where the only bookstore that we had was one that only sold textbooks, I did not have quick access to this series. Good thing we had a small department store that sold the Sweet Valley series and I bought ALL of them!
I’d also like to share a small secret, I used to color the pages of SVK book because there were line pictures of the characters in every other page. GOLD!
I quickly outgrew SV Kids in a few months and started reading Sweet Valley Twins! Ah, the memories. I loved that I was able to relate to Elizabeth, the bookish twin. And waaaaay before the term book boy friend was coined, I had my book boy friend in Todd Wilkins (blush)! I remember thinking their special editions where the bomb! – The Unicorn Club books especially since I got a peek into the world of the popular kids. I remember loving Lila Fowler, the brat we loved to hate. It was at this time where I became a member of a lending library (soooo historical romance, yeah?) and was able to read more SV books.
Before I was in high school, I was already reading SV High and SV University. At this time, I had started to outgrow the entire world but I can still remember the bits and pieces of SVH and SVU. This was already in the last 90s and I had already started reading more adult books (hello Harlequin!).
I fondly remember reading the Sweet Valley Saga, most especially the four books: The Wakefields of Sweet Valley, The Wakefield Legacy, The Fowler’s of Sweet Valley and The Patman’s of Sweet Valley because they chronicle the ancestry of my favorite characters. I could say that this was one of the books that influenced me in loving historical romance (yaaaaaz).
This series also spawned a TV series, aptly named: Sweet Valley High. I think this was during the time of Friends, Melrose Place, and then right after that Dawson’s Creek. I could not get enough of this series! Seeing all my favorite characters on TV was freaking awesome! I devoured this every Wednesdays despite it being a school night. It was a pretty short lived series but I could NOT get enough of it. I guess this is also why I loved One Tree Hill and Smallville.
Every time I see or hear someone talk about the Sweet Valley series, it brings back a lot of nostalgia. I remember saving up my snack money just so I could purchase one book, to the point of not having eating snacks just so I could buy one.
One of the most notable books that I remember is A Night to Remember and Return of the Evil Twin. Oh the drama. The plot holes and thrills. Secrets. Selfishness. Ah-freaking-mazing! I remember that I could not put these two books down! I know I probably will not read another Sweet Valley book ever again, I know I still remember these series with fondness. I feel like back then, I always had a nose in a book and I read a LOT. Despite the impossible plots, I devoured this series like you couldn’t imagine. In fact, if I had the guts, I would have dyed my hair blonde and dressed like Lizzie Wakefield (hello scary Margo).
I think my draw to this series stemmed from all the diverse characters, and all the special editions. Despite it being a SUPER LONG series, it wasn’t boring at all! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read the books in sequence, I was still able to enjoy it.
Have any of you read the Sweet Valley series? What did you think?