Thursday, September 24, 2009

Memories... of Sweet Valley

I've always loved reading, every since I can remember. Probably ever since I could read. The first book I remember reading will always have a special place in my heart - Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.

You know what other books hold a special place in my heart? The Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High series. I remember the day I bought my very first one. It was from a small bookstore in a small mall, and I started reading the book that night. I fell in love right away.



As you probably know, the series was about Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, blonde, blue-eyed California twins. The books were mindless fun, about their adventures in middle school... and all the drama. Well, as much drama as you can have as a 12 year old girl!

Elizabeth was the 'good girl' - the teacher's pet. The one who got A's in school, the one who started up the school newspaper, the sister with big dreams of becoming a writer. She was always rescuing her younger-by-4-minutes sister Jessica, who spent her time shopping, gossiping, and hanging out with the members of the exclusive Unicorn Club. I never did figure out which twin I more closely resembled in character - I think I was a mixture of both, although truly, probably more like Elizabeth, since most nights I'd rather stay in with a good book than go out.

I just want to add here that I also read Wuthering Heights when I was 14 years old, for some credibility. Okay, back to Sweet Valley...

These books were before Beverly Hills 90210, before The O.C., before Gossip Girl - before all that. And yes, I realize they're books, not TV shows, but still. Just like 90210 was a huge part of my Wednesday nights while I was in University, the Sweet Valley books were a huge part of my pre-teenage years. Of course, my friends and I started our very own Unicorn Club, just like we started a Babysitters Club. Both failed miserably, but we tried. I guess I didn't own enough purple clothes!

After reading every single Sweet Valley Twins book, I moved on. Oh yes, it was time for something more grown-up. I graduated to Sweet Valley High, baby!



Sweet Valley High was all about, well, you guessed it - the lives of Elizabeth and Jessica as high school students. And there was some serious drama! Love, betrayal, friendship, heartache, football games, cheerleader practice, school dances, tears, alcohol, drugs and even death.

Amazingly, nobody ever turned 17. For years, everyone was 16 years old. That always irritated me, but I digress.

Sweet Valley High was the grown up version of Sweet Valley Twins. I read almost every single book in the series - and there was well over 150 of them. Regardless of whether or not I could relate to everything in the series, I would always buy the newest book when it came out. Seeing a new book in the bookstore made me so happy! I was like a kid in a candy store...

Now, are you ready for some exciting news? I found out from Scary Mommy on Twitter that Juno writer Diablo Cody is set to write and produce Sweet Valley High for the big screen - and I am so excited about this! (You can even follow the whole gang on Twitter now, too!)

To see Jessica, Elizabeth, Lila, and Todd on the big screen will be awesome. Surely it'll be a good movie, right? At least it will be to all the people who read the books!

I'm feeling very nostalgic right now. And sort of old. I bet the theatre will be packed with more 30 year olds than teenagers, and to be honest? I hope so! I think this movie should cater to the fans of the books, not today's teens. What are today's teens reading now, anyway?

I'm sure I'll be seeing you in line at the box office soon - giggling with excitement and feeling 13 all over again, as we watch the girls we grew up with come to life.

29 comments:

OHmommy said...

No way. I would not miss that movie for the life of me. How exciting to see it all come to life. I have fond memories of reading that series. I hope it's represented nicely.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I am old enough (37) to claim to have been around for the FIRST book's release. It was at my book school's book fair, and of course all of my friends checked that one on the scholastic reader order sheet! Can't remember what year that was though... 5th grade? 6th?

I think that kids today are pretty vampire obsessed. Does anyone read Are You There God, It's Me Margaret anymore? Considering that her maxipad belt contraption was outdated when I read the book, I have a feeling it may have become obsolete.

Amy said...

My "thing" was more the BSC (related: have you read the blog What Claudia Wore? Google it. Seriously.), and my older sister's "thing" were the Sweet Valley series (and my younger sis read the Sweet Valley... Kids, was it?). I read all of them though. It wasn't unusual for me to burn through two books a day during summer, while everyone else was outside playing.

I was definitely an Elizabeth... like 95%.

And what are teenagers these days reading? Us, People, and Twilight. Oh and text messages.

April said...

I do believe I squealed when I heard this news. My poor husband. He just doesn't get it.

Mommy Lisa said...

OMG that is HUGE news. Diablo Cody wrote Juno in the Target by my house. I am sure I saw here there as I go to it - like nearly ever other day - but sad I did not notice her.

Tiffany Lockette said...

How exciting, I can't wait. I loved these books as well growing up. I myself would have rather stayed in most nights curled up with a good book. Thanks for the information.

Avitable said...

I'll admit that I actually read those books too. Along with the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew. And Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, The Great Brain, and all the "manly" books too.

Loukia said...

I read and loved Nancy Drew, too!

Lady Mama said...

Ooh! I want to see it. I read (almost) all the books too, and the Judy Blume books and the Nancy Drew books. Did you ever see the Sweet Valley TV series? I remember watching it when I was a kid...

Chantal said...

how is it that I have never read a Sweet Valley book... Hmmm

Jessica said...

I loved those books, too, and being a Jessica myself and in CA I REALLY loved those books. Too bad I wasn't nearly as cool as either girl, but it was a nice escape! I always wanted a Fiat Spider because of them!

Deb Thaxton said...

-->I read all of them as well plus Babysitters' Club books. Oh the days....
~deb
www.WebSavyMom.com

Theta Mom said...

OMG! First of all, I was a huge Judy Blume girl and then graduated to Sweet Valley High, too!!! I am so excited it will be made into a movie. YAY!

Natalie Rea said...

I read every SVH book that existed - I also remember waiting with anticipation for Francine Pascal to write and publish her next one! Oh how excited we were when the bookstore said, "Yes, the shipment just came in! Come on down!"

Can't wait for the movie, how exciting! I hope it is better than the short-lived show was :)

Yours with a gold lavaliere,
Natalie (@YMCbuzz)
for http://www.YummyMummyClub.ca

jadedperspective said...

OMG this is the first I am hearing of the movie. I read ALL of those books and was seriously sad when I finished them all. I can not wait.

Chelle said...

This is the best news I've heard in a LONG time!!!

I cannot wait to watch this movie...the memories from the books are flooding back thanks to this post--ahhh...Sweet Valley, here we come!

CaraBee said...

I read about that on a tv blog I follow the other day. I LOVED SVH. I read them voraciously. I never watched the 90s TV series of the books, though. I don't think it was very good. I adore Diablo Cody, I hope she kills with Jessica and Elizabeth.

Scary Mommy said...

I have not stopped smiling about that news. I CANNOT wait! So freaking exciting.

2 Little Irish Boys said...

I am sure I read those books because at 13 and still I have always been a reading nut....but don't remember. I do remember Judy, all the little house books, Strawberry Girl--they don't make books like they used to!!

Nap Warden said...

I am such a loser...never read a Sweet Valley book. I will now go sulk in the corner...

(I do love Diablo Cody though)

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

But would Liz be with Todd, or Jeffrey French? Would she still wear a chic, yet stylish ponytail?
What about Lila Fowler and Bruce Patman?
I can not WAIT for this movie!
These are only a few books that I could have read over and over. Never read the Twins, though, just SVH.

Lesley said...

I would sooo be there...I LoVEd the series...I think I read almost everyone of them too....they were fantastic...

humpsNbump said...

What a throw back. Sweet Valley High. Thanks for bringing back some fun, and hilarious, memories.

~ humps

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

GASP! I had totally and completely forgotten about this series, but when I saw the picture of the Sweet Valley Twins book I had an immediate flashback to having the ENTIRE collection of Sweet Valley books on my bookshelf! Oh, how I prided myself on that collection. I have to say, I'm a little surprised Diablo Cody is writing the screenplay. Maybe I'm wrong, but she seems like she would have despised the Sweet Valley series while growing up. Guess I shouldn't judge. She could have been a huge fan.

Long live Sweet Valley!

Brittany at Mommywords said...

I will not miss this for the world. I too grew up reading the twins and then the high and along with Christopher Pike for some scary and Wuthering Heights and Sense and Sensibility for some real cred -I was set. I still LOVE to read and I can't think of a series (maybe the Outlander series) that I have loved as much as the Sweet Valley girls. Yay!

BeachMama said...

LOL, thanks for taking me back to those sweet novels of youth. I should pull one out to read again, I know I have some stashed away in a box somewhere.

Gema McAlister said...

OMG!! I loved these when I was in Middle/High School. I can't believe that they are coming out with a movie eventually. Your post really brought back some great memories from my past...Thank you!

Chrissy MacCEO said...

OMG - I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE these books and I swear I had the whole collection at one time! Thanks for the flashback!

Scattered Mom said...

I never did read Sweet Valley, but I was a HUGE Nancy Drew fan as a little girl. Sounds like fun! I may just have to check out the movie.

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