The Adult Life of Teen Classics

As mentioned earlier today on Publishers Lunch, Francine Pascal’s “Sweet Valley High” book series, about a pair of privileged, popular teenagers named Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, may be making a comeback as a series that follows the lives of the twins as twenty-somethings, presumably replete with Gossip Girl-level-debauchery.  I read a number of these books as a teenager, in the wholly indiscriminate way that a lot of adolescent girls probably do, and remember little more than the fact that the covers were always so much more sumptuous and intriguing than the writing (no offense to Pascal, who’s clearly a shrewd woman).  And while I don’t think I’m among the target audience for the new series I’m so happy to have discovered Shannon’s Sweet Valley High Blog.  This one-woman reading odyssey chronicles the author’s experiences revisiting the original books as an adult, and aptly summarizes what I expect my own experience would be, were I to go back to them:

I was saddened to find that the books don’t hold the same magic for my adult self that they did for my adolescent self. Turns out Jessica is a crazy person and Elizabeth is obnoxiously sweet.

Shannon is a sharp, witty companion, and I love her conclusion, upon finishing the entire series a second time: “I can’t believe I made it.  It was a long road, but I think I’m a stronger person for my struggles.  Quite possibly a dumber person, but definitely stronger.”

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