Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Review: Double Love by Francine Pascal

Double Love by Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley High #1)
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publish Date: September 1, 1984
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages

My Review:
Wow - the memories this book brings back.  I think I read most of this series when I was in middle school/high school and enjoyed it so much.  I actually had to pace myself I was going through them so fast.  I kept the books too, until our house and property was flooded during Hurricane Isabel and the box all the books were in became a casualty of the flood.

So awhile back I saw a post on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books about a new Sweet Valley series that would follow Elizabeth and Jessica in their 20s.  I was intrigued.  I knew the Sweet Valley High books were no literary masterpiece, but I remembered them as very enjoyable and why else do I read but to enjoy and be entertained.

So I found Double Love on and ordered it.  It sat on my shelf for a few weeks, and I kept trying to get to it, but there are so many other new books to read out there I couldn't seem to make time to read a book I read before.  Then came the read-a-thon and I was getting tired.  I figured this took little concentration so I grabbed it and started reading it.

The memories came back, except now I absolutely can't stand Jessica - she is so horrible, self-obsessed and conniving and Elizabeth is so sweet and understanding.  I don't remember hating Jessica before, in fact I think I kind of wanted to be her.  Now I think back to how deranged I must have been.  But I was a teenager and what teenager doesn't want to be the prettiest, most popular girl in the school.  I just don't think I noticed how self-centered she was before.

So there is a great juxtaposition of the twins - one sweet and kind, the other self-absorbed.  Double Love was a fun book to introduce us to the twins and I enjoyed reading it once again.  Looking back now I think 90210 must have used some of the ideas from these books for their shows (though most of it is universal teenage themes - so I'm not accusing them of plagiarism).  Just put in fraternal twins instead of identical twins.  One is brainy and works for the school newspaper and wants to do good, the other wants to be popular and will do what she has to be that way.  It's just funny to see it now.

So Double Love is good, it's a quick read and suitable for teenage girls.  The language is not rough, the situations are typical and the books do teach a little in the end.

I'm looking forward to reading Secrets next and I just received it from PBS.

My Rating:  3.5/5

About the Book:
Will Jessica steal Todd from Elizabeth?

Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are identical twins at Sweet Valley High. They're both popular, smart, and gorgeous, but that's where the similarity ends. Elizabeth is friendly, outgoing, and sincere -- nothing like her snobbish and conniving twin. Jessica gets what she wants -- at school, with friends, and especially with boys.

This time, Jessica has set her sights on Todd Wilkins, the handsome star of the basketball team -- the one boy that Elizabeth really likes. Elizabeth doesn't want to lose him, but what Jessica wants, Jessica usually gets ... even if it ends up hurting her sister.

Meet the Wakefield twins, their guys, and the rest of the gang at Sweet Valley High....

About the Author:
Francine Pascal (May 13, 1938— ) is an American author best known for creating the Sweet Valley series of novels. In 1982 she created the characters and the stories for the first six books and her agent, Amy Berkower of Writers House sold them to Bantam Books. Book number one is mostly written by Ms. Pascal. From then on she wrote the stories for every book ever published in the series. After the first book ghostwriters were hired and edited by Dan Weiss' packaging company.

Ms. Pascal was married to writer John Pascal (July 8, 1932 - January 7, 1981), and her brother was Broadway lyricist Michael Stewart (August 1, 1924 – September 20, 1987).

She now divides her time between homes in New York and the south of France.

FTC Information: I received this book from through for my own bookshelf.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Check out the revamped cover below:



Katy said...

"Now I think back to how deranged I must have been."

LOL! This part cracked me up.

I remember reading this book! I never really stuck with the series, just read a few of them. It's been so long that I can barely remember the details.

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

I agree about the twins--one so good and the other selfish. I need to reread this series too because like you I read them all too.

fredamans said...

I read these when I was pubescent. Great reviews, and thanks for bringing a blast from the past!

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