Sweet Valley Confidential is out next year. A sequel’s been talked about for years, so actually seeing it become a reality is slightly bizarre.
I’m kind of intrigued to see how it actually turns out. I was not overwhelmed by the Babysitters Club prequel, The Summer Before, but then again it’s a prequel – we know how it all turns out. I liked seeing a new BSC book, ten years after the series ended, but at the same time there was a sense of “well, but what happened next?”
Elizabeth, who is wise on such matters, noted back then that in many ways a prequel was preferable, if there had to be another book – it means the ‘what next’ is still left up to the reader. Unlike, say, the Harry Potter epilogue.
Still. There is so much continuity to grapple with in the Sweet Valley universe. Olivia manages to be in the SVU (which will always be Sweet Valley University to me, I don’t care how many crime series turn up on the TV) universe despite being killed off in the earthquake in SVH. The Senior Year stuff doesn’t seem to quite fit with the University books, in the same way that The Unicorn Club series (my personal favourites) clashes with the Junior High series. I can’t imagine there’s anyone who’s read all the books, or if such people exist, they must be few and far between. Has Francine Pascal read all the books? Is she actually writing the sequel herself? (An aside: Francine Pascal’s Victoria Martin trilogy, actually written by rather than created by her, is terrific. Fabulous.) She seems to be, which has got to be a strange experience after having overseen rather than write the various serieses.
The way it’s been marketed – 10 years on from Sweet Valley High, rather than any of the later spin-offs – has me thinking that mostly the spin-offs will be ignored. And then, how much of the original series to take on board? How many of the murders, the intrigues, the werewolves, the dead boyfriends, the beautiful-girls-gone-too-soon, the European princes, the love octogons, can you possibly take into account? How many impossibly-glamorous internships at fashion magazines or an inexplicable number of summer vacations and Christmases at age sixteen can you reference in a single book?
I hope the sequel references Margo. Oh, I so hope it does.