I’m an SVH purist.

Hey all, I’ve been getting some questions about my opinions about the released versions of the books. Love that you value my opinion! However, I will not be reading nor recapping these versions. My reasons and motivations for this blog are to relive the books that I read in the past and to reflect on those and I want to concentrate on the originals as they were. I think you already know my strong feelings against the rerelease of the books because (a)it is a totally dumb idea and the updates are ridiculous and unbelievable (even moreso than the plotlines in the original!) and (b) there is much better literature that should get the effort to be marketed to teens and (c) the motivation seems purely monetary for Random House.

However, it is clearly a great topic of interest to many of you and quite frankly my reasons for continuuing to do recaps is because of the support I’ve received on this blog. So, I’ve set up a place over here for you all to discuss it and post your own recaps. Please don’t take it personally if I do not join in!

Also, be sure to add your best SVH book never written.

10 thoughts on “I’m an SVH purist.

  1. Laura @ Hungry And Frozen says:

    I can completely see where you are coming from. Although we may not even get these books in NZ…I can’t see why they chose to do this. There are plenty of bitchy backstabby YA novels around if girls want to read that sort of thing, and frankly some of the changes sound faintly ridiculous and will date swiftly. Are the youth of today completely unable to appreciate reading books set in different times? Besides…that junior high/senior year SV series is hilariously ‘modern’ for those that want that sort of thing. I always chuckle to think of the twins going to junior high around 2000, before zooming back to 1984 to start high school…

  2. Stacey says:

    Yeah Jessa! I am so excited to hear about Sweet Valley Confidential! But a musical, WTF is that about? Cashing in on High School Musical much?

  3. Jessa Fields says:

    Well, they already have one awesome song: “Could there be two different girls who look the same at Sweeeet Valley, Sweeeet Valley Hiiiiiiiggghh….”

    Oh kill me. I haven’t been able to get that out of my head since 1995.

  4. Amber Tan says:

    Cool — thanks for the link, Jessa Fields!

    High School Musical + High School Confidential = SVH Confidential. Or maybe the producers got the idea from the Gangs of Sweet Valley post. 😉

    “I haven’t been able to get that out of my head since 1995.”

    Bless your heart, Jessa Fields. FWIW I’ve found that humming “My Sharona” to be an effective antidote in these situations. And 100% guaranteed to drive your friends, family, and co-workers up the proverbial wall!

  5. BurtonFanatic says:

    Amber Tan- I’ll confess, I love My Sharona. It’s sexy/naughty/catchy/poppy.
    Bitsy Shram ruined it a bit for me though. 😦

  6. Sara2008 says:

    The following is a review by the Fug Girls on the new editions of the books, remarking on all differences. I’m a reader of their blog, and their style is similar to that of this one, so here it is:

    As ardent fans of Sweet Valley High, we eagerly awaited this week’s rerelease of the prudishly soapy, good-twin-bad-twin saga’s first two books, freshly modernized to appeal (and pander) to kids today. The plotlines remain the same, but tiny details have been updated: The school paper is a blog, top band the Droids have been renamed Valley of Death, and yes, there is one mention of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield’s new, smaller, “perfect” size 4 figures. They’re even allowed to say “crap.” But who cares about that when there are clothes to be discussed? With eighties fashions again at the forefront — we still can’t forgive Leggings 2.0 — we compared the crazy-bad outfits in the original eighties Sweet Valley High books to those in its supposedly with-it progeny. Did Elizabeth’s infamous tuxedo outfit survive? Read on — and bring a hanky.

    The Twins: Probably to prolong their shelf life, the books are now tragically vague when it comes to fashion. For instance, in the original series debut, Double Love, Jessica longs for an outfit of Elizabeth’s that involves a tuxedo shirt, matching pants, and a bow tie. (What, no cummerbund? Horrors!) In the revamped edition, Jessica 2.0 is seduced by a mere J.Crew skirt. Right. The follow-up, Secrets, turns Jessica’s burgundy ribbed sweaterdress into a black wrap; otherwise, she mostly prances around in miniskirts and halter tops, while we hear almost nothing of Elizabeth’s wardrobe unless she’s doing her homework in sweatpants. (Get it? She’s SMART, and therefore drab, while Jessica is SUPERFICIAL and shows more skin. Some stereotypes never go out of style.)

    The Adults: Back in the day, falsely accused student-romancer Ms. Dalton “never looked prettier” than when chaperoning a dance in her long velvet skirt, an old-fashioned blouse with “lots of ruffles and tucks,” and a fake rose pinned over one ear. To avoid modern-day confusion that she is either Amish or a refugee from Anne of Green Gables, she now wears an eggplant sheath. What, no leggings? And yet a lawyer whom the twins wrongly suspect of seducing their father has not been rescued from the indignity of an “ice blue suit,” though the new version swears it’s “gorgeous.” Doubtful then, doubtful now.

    The Boys: BMOC Bruce Patman once made Jessica melt at the sight of him in cream-colored cords and a blue sweater, but no male wardrobe merits much mention anymore. Pay heed, Project Runway: Nobody cares about menswear. (Lascivious Bruce also lost his Porsche in favor of a Cadillac, and there is no mention of his 1BRUCE1 vanity plate — both are deeply mourned losses.)

    The Tertiary Characters: Elizabeth’s BFF, Enid Rollins, a walking nap before, is now even duller: We never thought we’d miss her pale mauve off-the-shoulder gown with mother-of-pearl hair combs, but then New Enid went and wore yet another slinky black number in its place. Boring. Even Valley of Death’s outlandish singer is tamed. Where we once had black velvet jeans, pink sparkly leg warmers, and a purple satin blouse, we’re left with nothing but references to heavy eyeliner. They made the poor girl Pete Wentz.

    The References: Adios to fictional boutique Lisette’s; enter real brands like J.Crew, Juicy, and Roxy. At least two guys are described as being Abercrombie-hot — so, we guess they’re saying the dudes are pretty, ripped, and homoerotic? — and whenever there’s a sexual undertone to anything, it’s slapped with some comparison to Maxim. But our favorite ham-fisted update: Describing Jessica’s awed expression, rich-bitch Lila says, “Wow, Jess, you look like you just saw your first Roberto Cavalli.” Yes, and that Bob Mackey sure is a dream. —The Fug Girls


  7. Shaun says:

    “Now, Jessica says things like: “Then why do you keep looking at me like you’re a fat chick and I’m a fat plate of evil carbs?”; Elizabeth has changed her news medium from newspapers to a Web site and blog; and there are countless references throughout the books to BlackBerrys, Coldplay, Maxim magazine and even Prince William.”

    Great… sounds like a real winner!

  8. Laura says:

    Because being fat remains as much of a sin as ever in Sweet Valley. *Rolls eyes.* Maybe I should go into a corner and eat myself into a stupor. I’m a size 16, after all. I don’t think size 16 women exist in Sweet Valley…(except maybe on the other side of the tracks, in the trailer parks…but they never leave their trailers because of the shame so Saint Elizabeth doesn’t get a chance to skinny them up).

  9. Holly says:

    I like the idea of Sweet Valley Confidential. I wonder if they’ll keep Liz and Todd as wishy-washy/running hot and cold for each other but still OTP as before.

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