Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sweet Valley High

There are a lot of really popular YA series out right now, many of which I will hopefully talk about at some point. But my first real introduction to YA lit, was through the oft bashed, wonderously comical and insanely contrived, world of Sweet Valley. I actually read Sweet Valley Kids and S.V. Twins first, but, being a precocious child, turned to the high school tales of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield when I was a mere tween. Oh the Wakefield twins, blond, skinny, popular and AMAZING. I always loved Elizabeth, she was the nice sister, and far more easy to relate with. Just like me, she loved reading and writing, but unlike me, she had a perfect boyfriend and millions of friends. Jessica was a different story, I HATED Jessica. She was coniving, evil, superficial, and an all around bitch. The two of them went on some completely ridiculous adventures, (vampires, werewolves, princes, doppelganger stalkers) and both of them almost died at least 3 times. Jessica had particularly bad luck when it came to men; a final talley puts her total of dead boyfriends at 5, what a black widow! And while I recognized that these stories were highly unbelieveable, that didn't stop me from loving them unconditionally, as I would an insane, bipolar older sister. The memory that haunts me the most is reading a three arc series, loosely based on West Side Story (or Romeo and Juliet, whatever) where Jessica falls in love with a student from a rival high school. As I read this arc over and over, I listened to Elton John's "love songs" on repeat. To this day I cannot hear ' Don't let the sun go down on me' without imagining the paramedics sadly pronouncing Jessica's beloved, "D.O.A." (Thus starting my fascination with all things relating to criminal procedure.) Sweet Valley, you were my first true love.

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