Double Love (Sweet Valley High #1)
Bantam Books, 1984
Read in January 2017
Oh, Sweet Valley High, how I adored you back in the late 1980s and through the 1990s! The twins, their family and friends, the town of Sweet Valley, California was everything I had hoped my teen years would be. My favorite twin was Elizabeth; she was good and kind and going to be a writer! She and Todd were meant to be together 4EVER! My favorite side character was Lila Fowler.
Well, I was eight when I first read this book, so cut me so slack.
Re-reading this book at 37, and OMG, this book does not age well. Liz and Lila are still my favorites, but now that is like saying my favorite Real Housewife show is NJ; the sane stuff amongst the shit show is pretty easy to spot and stick to. Yet, Liz does not have a backbone whatsoever; she had fortitude of a doormat. And I can't believe just how much Jessica was as an emotionally exhausting character. You could make a drinking game of just Jessica's personality traits that were repeated ad nasuem (take a shot every time she uses "hundred and thirty-seven" or chug a drink when she starts a crying jag - you will be on the floor passed out drunk in no time). But Todd - holy crap, was he this fucking dumb as a box of rocks or what? Seriously, what did Liz see in him? I'm actually glad Liz dumped his ass in the Sweet Valley University series and got with Bruce Patman (as played by Zachary Quinto in my head) in the newer series - she deserves so much better than dull as a dish rag and just as smart Todd.
The plotline still holds up though; the battle for SVH's football field is realistic for a YA contemporary. The side plotline of a possible affair within the Wakefield marriage was stupid and if Steven would get his head out of his ass he could have put his sisters' fears to rest long before the end of the book. Steven seemed so mature to me back in the day, now he is just as stupid as Todd and emotionally stunted as Jessica - a real gem.
Well, I got some reading challenge mileage revisiting this mess. Glad I stopped myself from buying more than this first book.