Friday, April 1, 2011

ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY: SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL: TEN YEARS LATER -REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO
BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S
"ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY"
I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THIS FRIDAY'S
"ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY"
AUDIO BOOK CHOICE IS.....

GIVEAWAY ENDED

TEN YEARS LATER
The Audio Book
BY FRANCINE PASCAL

ABOUT THE AUDIO BOOK:
Now with this striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the phenomenally successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood.  WANT MORE SWEET VALLEY RIGHT NOW??  Become a fan of Sweet Valley Confidential on Facebook or Twitter.
Click for an audio excerpt





   
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
FRANCINE PASCAL is the creator of the Sweet Valley High series and one of the world's most popular fiction writers for teenagers and the author of several bestselling novels, My Mother Was Never A Kid (Hanging out with Cici), My First Love and Other Disasters, as well as the series Fearless. Her adult novels include, Save Johanna! and If Wishes Were Horses (La Villa) and the non-fiction, The Strange Case of Patty Hearst. Pascal is on the Advisory Board of The American Theatre Wing. Her favorite sport is a monthly poker game. She lives in New York City and France.
 
MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
ALERT: SPOILERS (but do you care?)
SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal is the greatly anticipated latest update on the lives and loves of the Sweet Valley High group. In the 1980s, Pascal began writing her Sweet Valley High books and before one could say chick-lit, a well-loved and cherished series was born. With over 150 books, Pascal gave a generation a place they could relate to and dream about--Sweet Valley. California. Their heroines were the lovely and lively twins, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. Flocks of young girls for the most part, were raised on the Wakefield gals and couldn’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. It is said that Pascal had ghost writers for many of the books but I am not the expert to know if that is true or not. I am, in fact, such a NON-expert on anything Sweet Valley, because (are you fans seated?) I never read the books! I remember hearing about them but my life was long past that stage when they became popular.

So you will find my review of SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL, the audio book, probably much different than the many that are out there already. I saw some and pretty much they are all the same as they come from people who KNOW the series. I can only review this from my point of view. So, I will tell you, unlike many of the reviews I saw, I thought the audio book of SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL was a fun way to pass time while I worked, did puzzles, or drove my car. As a really simple bit of chick-lit, it didn’t disappoint me because I realized early on that this was not the great American novel but rather an entertaining diversion. I especially liked the audio book format and how parts were divided up “regionally” telling about what was going on in New York and Sweet Valley, back and forth.

I was introduced to the twins and Elizabeth, who I came to find out with the many flashbacks, was the scholarly and “good” twin. She has run off to live in New York where she gets a job working for a Broadway Review paper. Her “escape” to New York is predicated by finding out that her beloved twin, Jessica, had cheated on Elizabeth with her beau, Todd Wilkins. Breaking her engagement, and her heart, Elizabeth wants to be as far away from Sweet Valley, and her sister, as she can. Normally, you’d be surprised that she wasn’t spending more emotional time blaming Todd but most of Elizabeth’s concerns were aimed at Jessica.

Meanwhile, Jessica is beside herself as she loves her sister so much but doesn’t know how to fix this. She loves Todd and they are going to be married but hates what this has done to her relationship with her twin. Todd, seemed to me at least, to be a jock who now lives out his grown-up life as a sports writer, of sorts. Of course, from what I gather from Jessica’s past, this isn’t a first for her. In fact, I believe it will be at least her second or third marriage! Also, Jessica is the talk of all of Sweet Valley as people rightfully side with sweet Elizabeth who has been betrayed by her own sister. Jessica, who works for a cosmetics company, is living with Todd and he seems very attentive and caring. His story is one that is supposed to make you feel his anguish at having hurt Elizabeth but knowing he had no choice as his love for Jessica is too strong. That said, don’t think any of these characters is really as deep as I have made them out to be.

It is eight months since Elizabeth has been betrayed and now she is to return to Sweet Valley for her grandmother’s birthday. She isn’t going to let anything ruin that for her Granny but she is going with much trepidation. Meanwhile, Jessica is having to deal with her rich husband who she actually left without telling him she was going as she had enough of the fun, jet-set, rich life style (huh?). As Elizabeth’s story line in New York goes, she is taking a “friend” with her so she doesn’t have to show up alone.

What happens at Grandma’s birthday is somewhat of a mess! Are we surprised? Well, perhaps by all the screaming in a public place but after all, this is Sweet Valley and it is FICTION! Along with all this sweet familial tale, what appears to be popular regulars from the series are in SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL at least enough to find out what has happened to them. I imagine that had I read even half of the 150+ books, I would want to know as well. Readers will find out some shocking, some sad, and some quite predictable updates on Winston Egbert, Carolina Pearce, Enid Rollins, Cara Walker, Steven Wakefield, and more. Lastly, is the not very nicely portrayed Bruce Patman who, however, turns out to be Elizabeth’s best friend as he evidently changed when his parents were killed in an accident. Now he is supportive of Elizabeth, but also secretly in love with her as well. How the story ends and who winds up with whom is about all I won’t tell you and you will have to listen for yourself. However, I think if you have been a fan, you’d get a kick out of the audio book especially, and if you are like me and want a fun way to pass a few hours with some really light chick-lit that at times is quite laughable, then listen up. Who said every book has to be WAR AND PEACE? I say, have a spring fling and just enjoy this one!
 

GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO STEPHANIE AND THE GOOD FOLKS
  AT MACMILLAN AUDIO BOOKS, I HAVE THREE
COPIES OF THIS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED
AUDIO BOOK TO GIVE AWAY!
 
--U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE
SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT
AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY:
COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL ABOVE BY READING ABOUT IT, AND LISTENING TO THE AUDIO AND VIDEO, THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS AUDIO BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY:
BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY


+1 MORE ENTRY: GO TO SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL TEN YEARS LATER WEBSITE HERE. LOOK AROUND AND COMMENT ON SOMETHING INTERESTING YOU FIND THERE

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, APRIL 17!
GOOD LUCK!!!

36 comments:

~Enamored Soul~ said...

Dear Karen,

If you were here in person, I would hug you, smother you with kisses and then kiss your feet - thank you, a MILLION times, for hosting this giveaway for "Sweet Valley Confidential". I've been waiting for this book for such a long time.

Being born in the 80's, by the time I hit 8-9, the Sweet Valley series had already become quite a hit. I was completely swept up by the fad (this, and R.L. Stine novels). Elizabeth was my favorite character, especially since her love for writing, her intelligence all made me see a lot of myself in her. Never really cared for Todd, because, for all of his perfections, he always seemed somewhat of a fluke to me. Jessica was, and always has been, the selfish one - so this comes as no surprise to me. But Bruce is the revelation of the day here! :D

I could go on and on about my love for the Sweet Valley twins. I read Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley University...I read them all - I am a huge fan. I really want to read and find out how Granny's birthday party, although gone awry, will settle the different factions that may have formed in the Sweet Valley crowd. I would LOVE, love, LOVE to win this book.

Thank you, yet again, for hosting this amazing giveaway!

Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I tweeted the Giveaway:

http://twitter.com/#!/inluvwithbookz/status/53740934554320896

Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I went to the "Sweet Valley Fun" Section. I've been visiting the website for a while now, but I just recently checked out this section. At the bottom of that section is a fun quiz to find out "Who's Your Sweet Valley Fun Date" - and I keep getting Todd, which sort of bums me out since he cheated. Although I am ambiguous on ONE answer, which, when I change it - I find my date to be Winston Egbert - which doesn't surprise me AT ALL, since I am prone to falling for geeky/nerdy guys with a great sense of humor. I was never one to go for looks! :)

However, the point is, that whole section is a plethora of fun facts, and recipes and I really enjoyed it. Also, the AUDIO excerpt just makes me want to read the book SO much more. It is so UNLIKE Elizabeth to try anything raunchy, and that too, with her BOSS? Wow...goes to show, anger can make you do some pretty silly things! :)

Thank you, yet again, for hosting this AMAZING giveaway!!! :D

Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

debbie said...

It would be interesting to read about them as adults.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Ricki said...

I enjoyed the Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High books, and absolutely loved the Sweet Valley University books, so naturally I would love to find out what happened to the twins when they grew up.
rickimc[at]aol[dot]com

Susan said...

I enjoy reading about twins. Twins run in my family. I always wanted to be one.
susanbillietaylor [at] gmail [dot] com

holdenj said...

Oh how funny. It would be a lot of fun to check in on these characters.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Susan said...

I learned the girls are now 27.
If you look hard enough you will find Alice Cooper on the site.
susanbillietaylor [at] gmail [dot] com

Tore said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

fredamans said...

I read these books when I was younger, so to be able to continue the story 10 years later piques my curiosity. It will be nice to see how the twins turned out.

freda.mans[at]gmail.com

fredamans said...

tweet; http://twitter.com/#!/fredalicious/status/53902327060504576

freda.mans[at]gmail.com

fredamans said...

Honestly the most interesting thing for me on the website, is seeing the girls photos 10 years later.

freda.mans[at]gmail.com

chey said...

I want to find out what else has happened in their lives. An what happens at Granny's birthday.
chey127 at hotmail dot com

elaing8 said...

My older sister loved these books and got me to read a few. I even remember watching the tv show.
I really want to find out how their relationship gets repaired(if it does).And reading about how all the secondary characters turned out.
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

elaing8 said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/elaing8/status/53945347277471744

elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

elaing8 said...

When you go to the SVC 10 years later web site you can sign up for free stuff..original stories,quizzes etc..
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Carol N Wong said...

April Fools

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/54582475371978752

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

Like you, I kind of missed this era of books. I was too old for them and my daughter didn't read for enjoyment( much to my dismay) until high school. But I'd love to find out what they were all about. I feel like that one person who says "I never read Harry Potter"
Oh the shame!

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

ktgonyea said...

Count me in - I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE these :)

ktgonyea at gmail.com

ktgonyea said...

GFC Follower :)

Karen Gonyea
ktgonyea at gmail.com

Cuzinlogic said...

I enjoyed the books when I was younger, so it would be fun to see what the twins are up to now.

Cuzinlogic said...

I found the fun facts interesting. They brought back so many memories of how I use to swap books with my friends.
cuzinlogic(at)gmail(dot)com

Lisa said...

My sisters loved this series I used to read out loud to them when my mom was busy. We loved the Twins especially lisapeters at yahoo dot com thanks for the memories

Lisa said...

I love that it sounds as if they haven't changed that much from when I used to read them.

Lisa, bell198(at)aol(dot)com

Lisa said...

+1
I thought is was interesting that the author posted some Sweet Valley recipes. They look yummy!

Lisa, bell198(at)aol(dot)com

lag123 said...

My girls grew up reading about Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. I would love to see what happens in their adult lives.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

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Laura H. said...

I can remember my daughters reading this series voraciously when they were younger. The day a new book would come out we always had to go to the bookstore and get it. I would ♥ to be able to share this with them "for old times sake".

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

Tweeted giveaway: http://twitter.com/#!/MamaHendo3/status/56154795391713280

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

I really enjoyed reading "Remember It". For those of us who aren't familiar with the series it provided a little history behind the characters in the series and a little insight into what fascinated my daughters for years.

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

"I like Bingo on FB." (Laura G. Henderson).

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

P.S. I "vote" for Enamored Soul to get a copy. You can tell she was a serious fan! :-)

bloomerbear said...

Yeah I'm confused about Jessica being sick of the Jet Set life...hmmmmm....I read these books and I got my daughters to read this too ....
VERY GOOD SERIES


pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
thanks bunches

Nancye said...

I would LOVE-LOVE-LOVE to win this book! I read all of these books when I was younger and enjoyed them. Something interesting I learned from the description was that Jessica cheated on Elizabeth with her fiance Todd Wilkins. This made her break off their engagement. I knew Jessica was mean, but not that mean! Now I definitely want to see what happens!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/59668996198367233

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

What a cool website! I especially liked the Sweet Valley Fun section. The playlists (Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper, Paula Abdul. etc) for Elizabeth and Jessica sure brought back a LOT of memories! I cannot wait to read this book!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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