Skip to main content

Book 14 of 52: Sweet Valley Saga: The Wakefield Legacy: The Untold Story

On January 3, Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches sent out the following tweet: "Okay, I may regret asking this, but what's the weirdest sex location you remember from a romance novel?"

Her followers had some interesting answers, including on the back of a galloping horse and a camel. My answer, though, brought me around to re-reading Sweet Valley Saga: The Wakefield Legacy: The Untold Storythis week. That answer was a building that collapsed during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (apparently, Sweet Valley is not the only book to, uh, tackle this situation).

This book was published in 1992, what I'd consider the tail end of Sweet Valley's dominance over teens and tweens at the time. I was 12. I read this and the first Saga, Sweet Valley Saga: The Wakefields of Sweet Valley, after I'd read just about all the "Sweet Valley Twins" and "Sweet Valley High" books available. The Sagas tell the history of Jessica and Elizabeth's ancestors, making stops in history along the way. Here, we have the great flu epidemic of 1918, the crashing of the Hindenburg, WW II, Southern California hippies, and the 1906 earthquake.

The first saga book tells the twins' maternal history, and this one the father's. The stories overlap in many places, suggesting that destiny wanted these two families to be together at some point. Yes, there is a woman's story told here - you can guess what happens to an 18 year old who has sex the morning of her wedding, and what happens to the father. This is a "saga" after all. There are two more after this - for Lila Fowler's and Bruce Patman's families.

The book is much cheesier than I remembered, but 12-year-old me was much more susceptible to melodrama. It was so scandalous back then. Broken love affairs! People having sex! (even though you don't read anything about it, just what happens after) HIPPIES! It was a nice step back in time for 32 year old me.

I'm bummed the reboot of Sweet Valley didn't work out, at least for me. I hated Sweet Valley Confidential and didn't even know that there were more new books under the series "Sweet Life." Diablo Cody insists that she's still working on a movie musical version of the series.

Hopefully, that'll fare better than the book reboot did. The original series was so fun, as were these Sagas. I want the brand to consider, but in the right way (and to show that I'm still invested in this...I've been thinking waaaay too much about casting).


Popular posts from this blog

Book 23 of 52: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

More romance? Of course! The world is on fire, and I can't ingest all the fires all the time. Sometimes I want to turn to genre fiction as an escape, even if an escape is into a patriarchal society where it's SCANDAL that a woman sometimes, when riding a horse, wears pants. Because of Miss Bridgerton is the first book in Julia Quinn's Rokesbys Series , which are prequels to her enormously popular  Bridgerton Series  (and now a  Netflix show ). These books are similar, of course, but instead being set in the Recency era of the 1810s, these books take place at the same time as the American Revolution (though still in England).  Here we meet Sybilla "Bille" Bridergton, who is stuck on the roof of a building because she chased a cat up there. She climbed up herself (scandalous woman!) but also twisted her ankle in the process, which is why she needs help to get down.  That help comes from George Rokesby. Their families are neighbors, and they've known each other

Book 26 of 52: The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown

I'm not going to write a long review of Tina Brown's The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil  for two reasons. First, it's been hashed to death already, as anything about the royals is, by people who are far more invested in this whole thing than I am. And second, I'm in the frantic "do I really need a jean jacket AND a windbreaker" level of packing before a long trip. I can say that I didn't mind listening to this nearly 18 hour audiobook while the rest of the world is on fire, although of course they are not insulated. We can pretend that the Royal Family lives in a bubble, but they are enormously influential; touched by the same issues of race, class and gender; and Queen Elizabeth II is one of most influential politicians of modern times — and she is a politician, no matter what anyone says. Her death will be a global, cultural moment. Same thing with the Pope, on both fronts. I listened to Brown's  The Diana Chro

Book 12 of 52: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi is an author and graphic novelist who grew up in Iran and, as a tween and teen, lived in the country through  the Iranian Revolution before her parents sent her to Europe for school, and for her safety.  As an adult, she wrote Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood ,  a nonfiction graphic novel, originally in French. I read the English translation, which was published in 2003, three years after the original. It was a critical success, won a slew of awards, and became a movie . I haven't read the sequel, Persepolis 2 , but I hope to (you can also  buy them in a set . I found Persepolis  in a Little Free Library, or I'd have bought them combined).  In the tradition of Art Spiegelman's  Maus , which is about the author's father talking to him about the Holocaust,  Persepolis  is a memoir of trauma told through a mix of images and words that when combined, combust into powerful, beautiful and soul cracking art.  For example, Satrapi portrays the 1978 Cinema R