Books, Films, Pop culture, TV

Sweet Valley High

I loved Sweet Valley High as a young teen. The series about two California twins Jessica and Elizabeth, who was gorgeous and popular. It was completely unrealistic and often laughable but strangely compelling (like a bad soap opera) and mainly focused on their love lives and twin squabbles.

Last year, the series was reprinted making changes to bring it up-to-date, for example, adding in mobile phones. Completely pointless in my opinion. What I enjoy about books is they capture a moment in time, making tweaks to appeal to the “youth today” defeats the object. Alongside SVH, I used to read older school books like Malory Towers or Famous Five and the thought of adding Facebook to a midnight feast scares me!

The reason I brought this up was there’s been two recent developments in the Sweet Valley High franchise. Sweet Valley High has had a new book added to the series. Sweet Valley Confidential covers the twins as grown up women. I won’t be reading this. Some reviews on Amazon describe what I thought it would be – a lesser addition to the series, breaking the twins up and bringing them back together. How many times can they do that? There’s no need for us to see them as adults, the whole point was to experience their growing up years with them. We want to remember them as teenagers!

The other development is a film is in the pipeline. At first, I thought ooh no. Anyone remember the TV series back in the 90’s? It was really poor. Obviously the source material wasn’t Shakespeare but they made the characters vain and shallow and unlikable and didn’t follow the book story-line.

However, they have brought in scriptwriter Diablo Cody, who penned the fantastic Juno. This means the SVH movie may actually be trendy and fun with witty dialogue and well rounded characters. Of course, it’s likely to mean it’s not similar to the books, which were very cheesy. And what plot will the film follow? After all, there were about 100 main line books in the series plus spin-offs following the twins at middle school and college.

I vote for my favourite of the SVH storylines – the Prom killer series where after Elizabeth kills Jessica’s boyfriend in a drink driving accident (after Jessica spikes her drink), the twins are estranged and new girl Margo appears on the scene – she looks exactly like them expect she has dark hair and plots to kill Elizabeth then steal her identity. Brilliantly crazy!

Were you a SVH fan? What do you think about updating series and turning them into films?




21 thoughts on “Sweet Valley High”

  1. omg, I LOVED SVH. I mean LOVED. It was one of my fave tv shows growing up, I so wanted to be the beautiful one (with brains, of course). I would think about seeing the movie, but then again I wouldn’t want to read the new book….

    aww, I want old episodes back on sky, along with sister sister, saved by the bell and hang time. Shall we start a petition to get all the old tv programs that we used to watch as kids on a new sky channel….? (I used to watch trouble so I can watch the old shows, until they closed down).

    *sigh* if only kids have access to shows of yesteryear….!!


    1. Hehe excellent! I used to watch all those shows too, we need to add Clarissa to that list. Saved by the Bell was great. I def think shows were better back then 🙂 Maybe you need to set up a new TV channel!

  2. omg. I had, still have at least twenty of the Sweet Valley High series! I haven’t read them in years though. The new book sounds pretty awful, I agree. I never actually saw the TV show… not sure if it aired in Australia or not. But tv and movies are never as good as the books, (in my experience anyway) so I think I’ll steer clear of those too. Totally going to have a read of some old SVH books tonight.. x

  3. I really loved the books – used to save up my money to buy them… I sort of identified with Elizabeth 🙂 never watched the tv show though, so it might actually be fun to refresh my memory with a new show!

  4. I’ve never seen the series or read the book, but I do like books to reflect the time period. I suppose they tweaked it to make it more current, to keep it popular with today’s youth, to keep the revenues coming in.

  5. love all your posts.
    nostalgia….sweet valley high…i had a lot of their younger and teenager books…my sister gave me a “sweet valley twins” book called “one magic christmas” for christmas one year and i loved it…when the girls are younger and they fight at christmas…and jessica has a dream on christmas eve night involving toy soldiers and a magic land…such a sweet book for christmas…

    remember nancy drew? fear street?
    books were so magical back then…to be a kid again

  6. I remember the twins, but I don’t think I read too much of that series. I may not have been the best young adult audience. I think I used to read it if I needed a quick book report to turn in, totally useful for that. 😀

  7. I’m a big fan of SVH too! I even read the SV Twins series. Nope…I’d love to remember for what they were in those books, no films, no additions thank you very much 😉

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