Well before young tween readers were obsessed with vampires, they were obsessed with a set of blue-eyed, blonde twins with “perfect size-six figures.” Beginning in 1983, the Sweet Valley High series followed the enviable Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield as the girls navigated the tricky world of friendship and boys. Though identical in appearance, the 16-year-old twins couldn’t have been more different in disposition: squeaky-clean Liz had a heart of gold and the grades to match, while devious Jess cared more about her popularity and constantly rotating cast of boyfriends. Add a utopian California setting and plenty of hijinx and it’s easy to see why the series inspired legions of young fans, not to mention nearly half a dozen spin-off series, a board game and a (short-lived, terribly acted) television show.
Luckily, we don’t have to waste time wishing creator Francine Pascal would add to the series. Sweet Valley Confidential hits stores on March 29, offering us both a peek into the twins’ more scandalous lives 10 years later and a chance to revel in some girlhood nostalgia.
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