time for a makeover: Sweet Valley High the Sequel?

A book from the Sweet Valley High series (image courtesy of theredcouch.wordpress.com)

**(thanks to my friend Jacqueline at Social Convergence for posting this news on facebook)**

According to Jezebel and Entertainment Weekly the Sweet Valley High series is getting a reboot. This will not be like the Babysitter’s Club series in which the original series is getting a modern makeover and will be repackaged for contemporary audiences. Instead creator Francine Pascal is working on a sequel to the SVH series due in February 2011, tentatively titled Sweet Valley Confidential. The sequel will focus on sisters Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, and their lives as twenty-somethings.

Admittedly I know very little about SVH – for one reason or another I never read any of the books in the series and haven’t a clue as to what a typical SVH narrative entails. All I have to go on is the description of the Wakefield sisters as “identical twins with blonde hair, eyes the color of the Pacific Ocean and ‘perfect size six’ figures” from Entertainment Weekly. Of course a size 6 by today’s standards is considered fat (crazy I know!!) according to this letter sent to journalists by Random House. The letter addresses some changes the publisher would like to see in the sequel of the series, including dropping the twins from a size 6 to a size 4!!!! Though I was unfamiliar with the books as preteen, this doesn’t mean I was completely unaware of the SVH’s existence. After all there was a huge marketing campaign behind the series that included tie-in products like clothing, dolls, and of course the SVH board game . . . how could any child who grew up in the 80s and watched a decent amount of television have missed this commercial and others like it:

Plus there was also the Sweet Valley High television series that aired from 1994 – 1997 that could have spawned renewed interest in the books and generated a larger fan base. Apparently the show is still popular enough that a DVD package of the first season was released (see the clip below). Even if I was more Babysitter’s Club geek than SVH chic, plenty of adult females who grew up with SVH continue to proclaim their fandom for the twins and the series, by posting SVH related news on their blog (titled Shannon’s Sweet Valley High Blog) or on website devoted to all things related to the series and characters (here are two examples: Sweet Valley High Unlimited and website from Random House). Moreover, there are rumors circulating that Diablo Cody (the screenwriter behind Juno and Jennifer’s Body and the creator behind the Showtime series United States of Tara) is set to adapt the SVH series for the big screen. Who knows maybe Cody’s film will be my gateway into the series.

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~ by actyourage09 on February 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “time for a makeover: Sweet Valley High the Sequel?”

  1. One of my very favourite Sweet Valley sites is The Dairi Queen, which I have been looking at since early 2008.

    And also there is a great deal of snark about them, like in 1Bruce1.

    I first got to know the Sweet Valley in 1991-1992. In 1995 when reading a Sweet Dreams book, I saw the promotion for Double Love as it was originally sold to the audience by Bantam. This book was in 1983-1984?

    Would really love to read about Jessica and Elizabeth in their twenties.

    • Thank you for sharing! Especially about 1Bruce1 – I love the tagline at the top: “Elizabeth and Jessica are better than you” and the sarcastic descriptions of the books.

      • 1bruce1 really can make readers think more critically about the books and their time and context.

        I am intrigued to see what they decide will be the greatest Sweet Valley book written.

        It seems to be split between Evil Twin and Dear Sister.

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