From the home of Stylist


• Are you a Jessica or Elizabeth? The Sweet Valley High novels centre around the sunny, Californian lives of 16-year-old twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. Jess is a bitch, Liz is a swot, both are physically perfect. In case you forget how perfect, each book contains an explanation of how they’re each a size 6, with cascading blonde hair, aquamarine eyes and matching dimples in their left cheeks.

• The melodrama. Every book is wonderfully-OTT. In Kidnapped! Liz is helping out at the hospital when she is kidnapped by an orderly named Carl. In The New Jessica, Jess wants a new image so she dyes her hair black, wears heavier make-up and adopts a British accent, while in The New Elizabeth Liz wants a new image so she takes up (gasp!) surfing. Read more synopses at the wonderful Snark Valley, a complete list of the books with reviews and publishing dates.

• The hunks. SVH novels are awash with bronzed, floppy-haired hunks, of which Todd Wilkins is chief. Todd is handsome yet bland and soppily devoted to Elizabeth. Bruce Patman is another bit of SVH totty and he’s a rich, handsome snob.

• Their amazing social lives. Jess, Liz and their friends are always going to carnivals, proms, or hanging out at burger bars after school. This was a lovely bit of escapism for us, when we had to make do with eating an after-school Peperami on the 275 bus home.


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