Sweet Valley High
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010)|
|Genre||Young-adult fiction, Romance novel, mystery, thriller|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)
Sweet Valley High is a novel series created by Francine Pascal, who presided over a team of ghostwriters for the entire duration of the series' creation. The books chronicle the lives of identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, who live in Sweet Valley, California. The twins and their friends attend Sweet Valley High.
The series began in 1983 and ceased publication twenty years later with over 152 books to its name. Over the years, the books were written by many ghostwriters (including Emmy-award winning screenwriter Rodney Vaccaro).  The books are generally classified as young-adult or kids' fiction and mostly belonged to the genre of soap opera, romance novel or fantasy-adventure. The series quickly gained popularity and spawned several spin-off series, including Sweet Valley Senior Year and Sweet Valley University.
The novels Sweet Valley Confidential and The Sweet Life, which follow the characters as adults, were released in 2011 and 2012.
- 1 Characters
- 2 Sweet Valley High books
- 3 Spin-off series
- 4 Criticism
- 5 TV series
- 6 Other products
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Ned and Alice Wakefield are the parents of a son, Steven, and identical twin daughters, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. Ned Wakefield, a lawyer, and Alice Robertson, an interior designer, met while they were at college. Flower child Alice was engaged to conservative Henry Patman, Bruce Patman's father, at the time. After meeting Ned, she realized that she did not love Henry and broke off the engagement moments before the nuptials were to occur. She and Ned wed soon after. When the series began, they were said to have been married for twenty years; this would place their marriage in 1963.
Their first child, Steven Wakefield, was named after Ned's late college best friend. Shortly after Steven's birth, Ned became a partner at his law firm. Two years later, Alice gave birth to Elizabeth and Jessica, who were named after Alice's ancestors, Elisabeth and Jessamyn. They were the third set of identical twin girls in her family in six generations.
Their children grew into spitting images of their parents. Blonde, youthful Alice is often mistaken for the twins' older sister.
Ned is a general practice lawyer and the head of a prominent firm in Sweet Valley. Alice works as an interior designer at one of Sweet Valley's major design firms. Although they are quite comfortable, they are not wealthy and have no intention of becoming so. They are, however, close friends of heiress Lila Fowler's family, having come to know them better when the Fowlers housed the Wakefields following the massive earthquake that ripped apart Sweet Valley. Alice has two sisters: Nancy, who has two daughters named Robin and Stacey; and Laura, who also has a daughter named Kelly. Laura was divorced from Kelly's father, Greg Bates, who had a violent temper and lashed out at her. Ned's parents live in Michigan, and he has a half-brother named Louis.
- Steven Wakefield, the twins' older brother. Tall and dark-haired, he looks very much like his father Ned. Although he teases both his sisters equally, he is more partial to Elizabeth. He teases Jessica a lot, but ultimately he understands her more than any other member of their family. In Sweet Valley Confidential, he becomes an attorney, like his father and is married to Cara Walker. During the novel, he realizes that he is gay, and is in love with the twins' schoolmate, Aaron Dallas. He cheats on Cara and the two eventually divorce, and for a while, doesn't speak to Jessica who had told Cara that he was gay.
- Todd Wilkins, Elizabeth's on/off boyfriend. Tall, popular, handsome and captain of the basketball team (as well as wide-receiver for the football team in the revised edition) and fraternity member. He has dark-brown hair and eyes. Todd is initially romantically pursued by both Elizabeth and Jessica, but is always more interested in Elizabeth, and they begin steadily dating in "Double Love". He shares many of Liz's intellectual interests and pursuits. He is a scholar and an athlete. He also has a speech impediment. He even shares Liz's passion for creative writing--he starts falling so deeply into it that he begins to neglect basketball, much to his father's chagrin. He is a notably bad cook--making a mess of every single meal he attempts, even when following a recipe. They break up when Todd and his family move to Vermont, and Todd eventually becomes romantically involved with the terminally ill Suzanne. On Todd's return to Sweet Valley, Todd and Elizabeth reunite. They break up again over Elizabeth's infidelity and later involvement with Devon Whitelaw at the end of Sweet Valley High, but reunite at the beginning of Sweet Valley University, only to break up again when Elizabeth won't sleep with him. He then loses his virginity to Elizabeth's good friend Enid while they're at the college looking for sanctuary and companionship. The two are constantly breaking up and getting back together as well as committing infidelity. Liz cheats on Todd numerous times (as does Todd on her, once even with a supermodel) and is later horrified to find out Todd's been having a recurring affair with Jess on-and-off for a while. And Liz finally finds out only after all the wedding plans she's made for herself and Todd. According to Sweet Valley Confidential, Todd eventually marries Jessica and they have a son, Jake. He eventually gets a successful job as a sports journalist and his column is picked up by several papers.
- Enid Rollins, Elizabeth's best friend when they meet in a creative writing class pre-series, until senior year, where they begin to grow apart. Enid is described as pretty, with curly brown hair and big green eyes. As a young teenager, Enid was a problem user of drugs and alcohol, until she was involved in a bad accident; she has reformed and become a model student, quiet, sweet and straitlaced. She is a member of the Pi Beta sorority, but joined only to lend Elizabeth moral support. In college, Enid reinvents herself and begins to use her middle name, 'Alexandra'. She immediately joins an elitist sorority and enters into a high profile romance with big-shot college basketball player Mark Gathers. Life in the fast lane proves too much for Enid/Alex and she eventually suffers a re-occurrence of her substance dependence. She also has an affair with Todd Wilkins, even falling for him and becoming dependent on him when Mark abandons her. She does patch things up with Elizabeth, but aren't ever close friends again. Later on, in Sweet Valley Confidential, she becomes extremely self-centered and arrogant, becomes a well respected OB/GYN, and has plans to run for City Council.
- Maria Slater In late-series, Maria shares the title of Elizabeth's best friend with Enid. She is a beautiful former child actress and star reporter for the Oracle. Senior year sees her friendship with Elizabeth begin unravel as Liz makes new friends from the school merger but they eventually mend their relationship. Maria holds the distinction of class valedictorian, snatching it out from under both Liz Wakefield and Winston Egbert, who were both considered a shoo-in for the honor.
- Lila Fowler, Jessica's best friend and arch-rival. She and Bruce Patman are bitter rivals, as her family (her father George owns a computer company) wants to modernize Sweet Valley; while Bruce's family wants to maintain the history of the town. This was when canning was the main industry. A "poor little rich girl" stereotype, she is also one of the wealthiest girls in town. The Fowlers and the Wakefields are close friends and even Elizabeth, who usually doesn't move in the wealthier circles, is often friendly towards Lila. At first, Lila is very snobbish and devious, but an attempted rape by John Pfeifer, plus the remarriage of her parents, helped make Lila more sympathetic. In Sweet Valley Confidential, she is married to Ken Matthews and is pregnant.
- Winston Egbert, the class clown, had a major crush on Jessica, mainly during the first few books. He dates a girl named Mandy Farmer, who later moves away, and then begins dating Maria Santelli, a popular cheerleader. In college, he starts going by the name of "Winnie" and clerical error leads to his placement in an all women's dorm, where he meets Denise Waters, a popular sorority girl, and arguably the love of his life. Unfortunately, life after university sees Winston transform from a goofy, cheerful oddball into a mean and resentful businessman whose wealth from the dotcom boom can't cure his loneliness. After a night of drunken debauchery, he falls from a balcony to an untimely death.
- Nora Dalton, a French teacher who once dated George Fowler, Lila's father. Later on in the series it was hinted that there was a romance blooming between her and English teacher Roger Collins.
- Roger Collins, An English teacher who also serves as adviser to the school newspaper, The Oracle and is one of Elizabeth's favorite teachers.
- Mr. Cooper, Sweet Valley's somewhat stuffy Principal, nicknamed Chrome Dome because of his bald head.
- Bob Russo, The sternest teacher at SVH, he teaches Chemistry.
- Bruce Patman, a rich, handsome snob. Considered to be a rival of the nouveau riche Fowler family, as he and his old money family want to preserve the town as it was when canning was the main industry. Once dated Jessica, which ended very badly, making them bitter rivals; and for a time, dated Regina Morrow, who helped him become a bit more sincere, but later, after her death, he fell back into his arrogant routine. He later dated Pamela Robertson. Despite his arrogance however, family means a lot to him and he cares about and would protect his orphaned cousin, Roger. The death of his parents leads to a softer more sincere Bruce, and according to Sweet Valley Confidential, this leads to an eventual romance with his one true love, Elizabeth Wakefield. He and her move in together and despite things working out well initially, he professed to being in love with someone else.
- Olivia Davidson, the arts editor of the Oracle. One of Elizabeth's best friends. She dies in the earthquake that hit Sweet Valley.
- Nicholas and Regina Morrow, wealthy but down-to-earth siblings and close friends of Elizabeth. Elizabeth did not normally move in the wealthier circles of Sweet Valley, but the Morrows' down-to-earth nature won her over. Regina was deaf, but had radical surgery to restore her hearing; she dated Bruce seriously and helped change his personality for the better. Regina got in with the wrong crowd following her break-up with Bruce Patman and experimented with drugs; she died after snorting a small amount of cocaine, which aggravated a rare heart condition. Nicholas once had romantic feelings toward Liz, but nothing came of it as she had a steady boyfriend, and they chose to remain friends. Liz helped Nicholas cope when his sister died.
- Amy Sutton, Elizabeth's best friend in the Sweet Valley Twins books and then Jessica's good friend in Sweet Valley High. Amy returns in the Sweet Valley High books as a completely different character. Whilst she once shared interests with Elizabeth, such as working on the school newspaper, she returned much more like Jessica, a gossip who is a little bit "boy-crazy". Later, she mellows and becomes enamored of her boyfriend, Barry Roark.
- Jeffrey French, Elizabeth's "preppy" ex-boyfriend, the handsome blonde star of Sweet Valley High's soccer team who disappeared from the series following their breakup. They begin a serious relationship after Todd moves to Vermont, but break up shortly after Todd's return.
- Cara Walker, a close friend of Jessica's. Early in the series Cara was a notorious snob and gossip. Then her parents split, separating her and her brother, and this made her more mature. Her maturity impressed Elizabeth so much that they became friends. Cara dated the twins' brother for a time and then moved to London. Steven and Cara almost ran away to get married so that they would not be separated but they realized this was not practical. Years later, they are back together and married, though unhappily. Cara bakes constantly, eating to hide her feelings of hurt and dismay at Steven's rejection of her: the rumors of his cheating run rampant in Sweet Valley. Worse still, is the knowledge that her husband isn't running around with other women at all. His involvement is actually with former SVH soccer star, Aaron Dallas.
- Ken Matthews, star quarterback and dater of several Sweet Valley ladies during the course of the series. In the first few books, he is called "Kenny" by his friends and teachers, though that nickname disappears fairly soon. He is Jessica's steady boyfriend for part of junior year, and also secretly dated Elizabeth after Todd moved away. In Sweet Valley Confidential, he is a famous football player and the husband of Lila Fowler. At the end of the sixth book he learns that he and Lila are going to become parents.
- AJ Morgan, Jessica's first serious boyfriend. Jessica is instantly smitten with the redhead when he moves to Sweet Valley, and becomes shy and demure when he is around, acting more like Elizabeth. Eventually, however, she relaxes enough around him to be herself, and finds that he much prefers her funloving, outgoing personality.
- Sam Woodruff, Jessica's second long-term steady boyfriend and a dirt-bike rider. Sam is killed in a car accident while riding as Elizabeth's passenger after Jessica spikes their drinks with alcohol.
- Chris Sanders, is a handsome, harmless new guy and Elizabeth's crush. He was actually staring at Jessica like her twin sister and intensely crushing on her for ages and years. The character was based on the director and illustrator of the same name.
- Jeannie West, a cheerleader and a friend of the twins. She is best friends with Sandra Bacon. She dated Tom McKay, then began dating Scott Trost.
- Sandra Bacon, a cheerleader who got the spot because of her friendship with Jeannie, despite her poor performance. She and Jeannie were best friends. She was a member of Pi Beta Alpha and initially tried to block her best friend from the sorority. She dated Manuel Lopez but their interracial relationship upset her conservative father, who eventually learned tolerance and acceptance from his daughter's example.
- Caroline Pearce, the twins' two-doors-down neighbor. At first, she was a highly catty gossip, only barely tolerated by Jessica and her friends because of her gossipy nature, but she changed for the better with help from Elizabeth. She has an older sister named Anita. In Sweet Valley Confidential, Caroline becomes a real estate agent, and survives breast cancer.
- Manuel Lopez, Sandra Bacon's boyfriend. Was nearly arrested for an incident, but was saved by Elizabeth and Sandra.
- Sally Larson, Cousin of Dana Larson of the Droids, who comes to live with her family after growing up in foster homes.
- Susan Stewart, friend of the twins; a target of one of Lila Fowler's rumor-spreading schemes and was later discovered to be the daughter of a famous film director.
- Lois Waller, chubby daughter of the school dietitian. Jessica enjoys excluding her and making fun of her, but Elizabeth is friendlier toward her.
- Heather Sanford, girlfriend of Aaron Dallas and a dress designer who becomes Elizabeth's friend.
- Julie Porter, friend of Elizabeth in sixth grade and, to a lesser degree, in her junior year. A talented musician.
- Johanna Porter, Julie's older sister, also a friend of Elizabeth, whom she helped tutor in English. At first thought to be slower in school, but her strengths were discovered to be in math and science. Unintentionally made an enemy of jealous Amy Sutton when she was spending time with the object of Amy's affection, Peter DeHaven. Elizabeth defended her against the snide Amy and the oblivious Peter.
- Peter DeHaven, One of the smartest boys in Sweet Valley High, who has been studying for awards and science most of his life. Was involved with catty Amy Sutton but went on a casual date with Johanna Porter which angered Amy. He ran afoul of Elizabeth, who was Johanna's friend, for his cavalier treatment of her; and she scolded Peter for his disrespect of Johanna.
- Abbie Richardson, cartoonist for The Oracle (she draws the strip "Jenny"), former friend of Jessica and Lila who later became a friend of Elizabeth.
- John Pfeifer, former sports editor for The Oracle, Jennifer's ex-boyfriend, and Lila's would-be rapist/tormentor, later dies in a fire when he tried again to harass and intimidate Lila.
- Tricia Martin, Steven's ex-girlfriend and Betsy's sister who died from leukemia.
- Betsy Martin, Tricia's older sister who was a drug addict; Elizabeth's friend and Jessica's nemesis. She moves in briefly with the Wakefields after her sister Tricia's death, because Steven promised Tricia on her deathbed to take care of Betsy.
- Aaron Dallas A popular soccer player who dated Jessica throughout middle school, and a close friend of Liz's ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey French. Dealt with anger issues due to his parents divorce. Spends most of junior year involved with Dana Larson. In later years, he is revealed to be gay and becomes involved with Steven Wakefield.
- Courtney Thomas, A character in the non continuity Super Edition, Perfect Summer. Courtney is the daughter of a friend of Bruce Patman's family. She is notoriously hellish to her single-parent father, entertainment agent Steve Thomas, especially with her drug dealing boyfriend, Nolan Ruggers. She joins the bicycle trip the Wakefield twins are on and immediately makes an enemy of both twins (marking one of the rare occasions that both twins had a mutual enemy). After starting a fire by carelessly discarding a cigarette, Roger Collins sends her to her aunt's in New Mexico.
- Rene Glize, Elizabeth's friend from Cannes, France. Wears "unmistakably" tight French jeans. At first hostile towards her and Jessica, due to their shared American heritage, he and Liz eventually become good friends, and during her harrowing adventures in London, is shown to be her closest friend and comforter. Rene first appeared in the non-canonical book Spring Break, along with his mother, Avery, and his sister, Ferney, but became part of canon whilst Liz and Jess were in London.
- George Warren, Enid's, then Robin's, boyfriend. Robin and George fell in love while taking pilot classes together. They were hesitant to tell Enid the truth, as she lost the use of her legs temporarily while she was flying with George after he received his pilot's license.
- Christian Gorman, Jessica's boyfriend who died in a gang related fight between SVH and Palisades High.
- Ronnie Edwards, Enid's boyfriend who had gambling problems; a jealous, scheming and selfish troublemaker who dies in the Sweet Valley Earthquake.
- Tom McKay, A handsome tennis player at SVH. First dated Jeannie West, but then later on realized that he was gay. Had a crush on Enid Rollins' cousin, Jake. His best friend is fellow tennis player, Barry Rork.
- Barry Rork, Amy's boyfriend who volunteers at the teen helpline. Best friends with Tom McKay and was one of the first people Tom confided in about being gay, aside from Elizabeth.
- Justin Belson, A boy who used to go out with Molly Hecht; He and Regina became friends, incurring Molly's jealousy and indirectly had a hand in her death.
- Molly Hecht, A reformed drug addict who used to be part of a bad crowd. She hosted the party at which Regina Morrow died from doing cocaine. Her best friend was a girl named Jan Brown, who had a boyfriend named Jay Benson; and she also knew a college aged drug dealer, Buzz Jackson, who supplied the deadly cocaine.
- Claire Middleton, female player on football team and the team's first female quarterback.
- Pamela Robertson, Bruce's beautiful girlfriend from a rival school who comes to SVH to escape her reputation as a slut.
- Heather Mallone, Jessica's blonde, beautiful rival, who tries to steal the cheerleading squad out from under Jessica. She eventually becomes her co-captain and the girls are forced to tolerate each other although their rivalry and tension never really dissipates.
- Devon Whitelaw, A wealthy boy from Westwood, Connecticut, who falls for Elizabeth, but things get complicated as she's still seeing Todd. She has an affair with Devon and leaves Todd for him, but it turns out to be a huge mistake for her.
- Conner McDermott, Elizabeth's senior year love interest who has a brief romance with Maria Slater as well.
- Bill Chase, a surfer. Briefly dated Jessica, because she reminded him of his late girlfriend, Julianne. He later realizes that Jessica has been using him, and finds true love with DeeDee Gordon.
- DeeDee Gordon, Bill's artistic girlfriend.
- Rick Andover, the often drunk bad boy. Took Jessica to a roadhouse, where she passed herself off as Elizabeth, which infuriated her sister. Went on a few dates with the twin's cousin Kelly.
- Penny Ayala, The editor of the SVH school newspaper, The Oracle. Wants to be an editor of an international newspaper; one of Elizabeth's best friends
- Maria Santelli, a politically savvy cheerleader, daughter of Sweet Valley's mayor, and girlfriend of Winston
- Roger Barrett Patman, Cousin of arrogant Bruce Patman. Initially very poor and working as a janitor to help support his mother, Roger was adopted into the Patman family when his mother died and he was revealed to be the illegitimate child of Bruce's deceased uncle. More friendly and sincere than his cousin could be, but is also loyal to him.
- Annie Whitman, A sophomore who at first ran afoul of Jessica due to her bad reputation; after an attempted suicide, which nearly shattered Jessica, she was allowed to join the cheerleading squad.
- Robin Wilson, Co-Captain of the cheerleading squad with Jessica until she moves away. At first, very obese, she was cruelly hazed by the Pi Beta Alpha sorority, most notably, Jessica, Cara and Lila. She lost weight, snatched the prom queen title out from under Jessica, and became instantly popular. Eventually steals Enid's boyfriend George Warren. Ultimately develops an eating disorder.
- The Droids, resident Sweet Valley band, consisting of Dana Larson (vocals), Guy Chesney (keyboards), Emily Mayer (drums), Max Dellon (lead guitar) and Dan Scott (bass guitar).
Sweet Valley High books
Sweet Valley Kids
The twins as seven-year-old second graders at Sweet Valley Elementary School. The series included several Special Editions and "Super Snooper" mystery books.
The books are:
- Surprise! Surprise!
- Runaway Hamster
- The Twins' Mystery Teacher
- Elizabeth's Valentine
- Jessica's Cat (Peter) Trick
- Lila's Secret
- Jessica's Big Mistake
- Jessica's Zoo Adventure
- Elizabeth's Super Selling Lemonade
- The Twins and the Wild West
- Crybaby Lois
- Trick or Treat
- Starring Winston Egbert
- Jessica The Baby-Sitter
- Fearless Elizabeth
- Jessica The TV Star
- Caroline's Mystery Dolls
- Bossy Steven
- Jessica and the Jumbo Fish
- The Twins go to the Hospital
- Jessica and the Spelling Bee Surpris
- Sweet Valley Slumber Party
- Lila's Haunted House Party
- Cousin Kelly's Family Secret
- Left-Out Elizabeth
- Jessica's Snobby Club
- The Sweet Valley Cleanup Team
- Elizabeth Meets Her Hero
- Andy and the Alien
- Jessica's Unburied Treasure
- Elizabeth and Jessica Run Away
- Left Back!
- Caroline's Halloween Spell
- The Best Thanksgiving Ever
- Elizabeth's Broken Arm
- Elizabeth's video Fever
- The Big Race
- Good-Bye Eva?
- Ellen is Home Alone
- Robin in the Middle
- The Missing Tea Set
- Jessica's Monster Nightmare
- Jessica Gets Spooked
- The Twins Big Pow-Wow
- Elizabeth's Piano Lessons
- Get the Teacher!
- Elizabeth the Tattletale
- Lila's April Fool
- Jessica's Mermaid
- Steven's Twin
- Lois and the Sleepover
- Julie The Karate Kid
- The Magic Puppets
- Star of the Parade
- The Jessica and Elizabeth Show
- Jessica Plays Cupid
- No Girls Allowed
- Lila's Birthday Bash
- Jessica + Jessica = Trouble
- The Amazing Jessica
- Scaredy Cat Elizabeth
- The Halloween War
- Lila's Christmas Angel
- Elizabeth's Horseback Adventure
- Steven's Big Crush
- And the Winner is... Jessica Wakefield!
- The Secret of Fantasy Forest
- A Roller Coaster for the Twins!
- Class Picture Day!
- Good-Bye Mrs. Otis
- Jessica's Secret Friend
- The Macaroni Mess
- The Witch in the Pumpkin Patch
- Sweet Valley Blizzard
- Little Drummer Girls
- Danger: Twins at Work
Super Snooper Editions
- The Case of the Secret Santa
- The Case of the Magic Christmas Bell
- The Case of the Haunted Camp
- The Case of the Christmas Thief
- The Case of the Hidden Treasure
- The Case of the Million-Dollar Diamonds
- The Case of the Alien Princess
Super Special Editions
- Trapped in Toyland
- Easter Bunny Battle
- A Curse on Elizabeth (Hair Raiser Super Special Edition)
- Save the Turkey!
- Elizabeth Hatches an Egg
Sweet Valley Twins
The Sweet Valley Twins series features the twins as sixth grade students attending Sweet Valley Middle School. Though the series focuses primarily on Elizabeth and Jessica, it also features stories of their friends and classmates. Some relationships from Sweet Valley High have changed, such as Amy Sutton being a good friend to Elizabeth rather than Jessica, as they are in high school. The series was succeeded by The Unicorn Club and Sweet Valley Jr. High.
The Unicorn Club
The Unicorn Club is a spin-off of Sweet Valley Twins, featuring the Unicorn Club introduced in the Twins series. The series takes place when the twins are seventh graders, still at Sweet Valley Middle School. This series focused on the club members in general, not specifically the twins.
- Save the Unicorns - The Unicorns are ultimately forced to disband, thanks to a dare war designed to elect their new president. In the end, the ban is lifted, and Elizabeth Wakefield and Maria Slater join the Club. (narrated by Mandy Miller)
- Maria's Movie Comeback - Maria is looking to audition for a role in a new movie, but shortly afterwards, she begins to lose confidence in herself and her acting abilities. Near the end, a sixth-grader named Evie Kim joins the Club. (narrated by Maria Slater)
- The Best Friend Game - The Unicorns face the Eight Times Eights on the Best Friends game show, with disastrous results. (narrated by Elizabeth Wakefield)
- Lila's Little Sister - Lila must convince a young girl named Ellie to return home, after Ellie thinks her mother is ignoring her. (narrated by Lila Fowler)
- Unicorns in Love - Four of the Unicorns have found new love, resulting in the ultimate test of their friendship. (narrated by Evie Kim)
- The Unicorns at War (Super Edition) - Kimberly Haver returns and competes against Mary Wallace for Student-Council President, resulting in half the club renouncing the Unicorns and founding a new club called the Angels. (narrated by Mary Wallace)
- Too Close for Comfort - The Unicorns and the Angels are quarantined for German measles. (narrated alternatively by Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield)
- Kimberly Rides Again - Kimberly takes the remaining Unicorns to a dude ranch, where they end up fighting over a cute stable boy. (narrated by Kimberly Haver)
- Ellen's Family Secret - Ellen's parents are getting a divorce, and Ellen tries to convince them not to. (narrated by Ellen Riteman)
- Mandy in the Middle - Mandy Miller finds herself torn in two when she starts hanging out with both the Unicorns and the Angels. She ultimately rejoins the Unicorns after hearing Lila had spent time with a boy Mandy was mentoring. (narrated alternatively by Lila Fowler and Mandy Miller)
- Angels Keep Out - The Unicorns and the Angels hold separate parties on the same night, but must eventually make a compromise. (Narrated alternatively by Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield)
- Five Girls and a Baby - Ellen and the other Unicorns are stuck baby-sitting for a family friend while she is out of town. (Narrated by Ellen Riteman)
- Who will be Miss Unicorn - The Unicorns enter a beauty pageant being held in Sweet Valley, but only one of them can go home with the crown. (narrated by Mandy Miller)
- Lila on the Loose - Feeling neglected by her father, Lila tries everything she can to get him to pay attention to her. (narrated by Lila Fowler)
- Too Cool for the Unicorns - With Amanda Harmon leaving Sweet Valley, the Eight Times Eights must elect a new member and ask Kimberly Haver to join. (narrated by Kimberly Haver)
- Bon Voyage, Unicorns - In a two-part story, the Unicorns go on a cruise, but Ellen feels that there is no room in her life for romance, until the Unicorns each fix her up with a boy that they think she'll like—only to find out that the boy each of them picked seems perfect for each of them. (Note: From this book to the last in the series, the story is not told by a specific book character.)
- Boyfriends for Everyone - The Unicorns finally end their vacation with the boy each of them likes, while Ellen finally finds her soulmate in a boy named Curtis Bowman.
- Rachel's in, Lila's Out - Lila's dad is selling Fowler Mansion to the family of a girl named Rachel Grant, but Lila plans on evicting the potential buyers. Rachel and Lila eventually accept each other as friends, and Rachel joins the Unicorn Club.
- The Most Beautiful Girl in the World - The Unicorns meet Katherine Pierce, a model and spokeswoman for a local health spa, only to find that their idol is not all that she appears to be.
- In Love with Mandy - In a "Cinderella"-esque story, Mandy Miller falls in love with a rich boy named Brandon Jones, but he thinks he is in love with Lila Fowler.
- Snow Bunnies - During a vacation to a ski resort, Rachel has a temporary falling-out with the other Unicorns when she tries to come between Ellen and Curtis Bowman.
- Jessica's Dream Date - Jessica wins a date with her musician idol, Johnny Buck, only to be disappointed by the fact that her musical "Hero" is really a zero.
- Trapped in the Mall - The Unicorns are trapped in the mall after closing time, and eventually must get help when Ellen is badly injured. (Last book in the series)
Sweet Valley Junior High
This series occurs when the twins are eighth graders. Elizabeth and Jessica are rezoned to Sweet Valley Junior High, where a number of new characters are introduced. Elizabeth adjusts quickly to the new school and becomes popular among her peers. Jessica does not adapt to Sweet Valley Junior High as quickly as Elizabeth, especially as she struggles to establish some semblance of the popularity she enjoyed in middle school.
Sweet Valley High: Senior Year
Following the conclusion of the original Sweet Valley High series, the twins' final year of high school was depicted in SVH: Senior Year. After the devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of their friends and destroyed their homes, the damage to the El Carro High forces a redistribution of its students to local high schools in Sweet Valley and Big Mesa. Elizabeth and Jessica find their senior year to be as emotionally tumultuous as the last as new relationships are formed, old ones are changed, and they must look forward to life after high school.
Sweet Valley University
After graduating from Sweet Valley High, Jessica and Elizabeth attend Sweet Valley University, where they begin a new chapter of their lives.
Chronologically the final chapter in the series and the only spin-off that did not feature Jessica directly. Continues from the plot that occurred at the end of Sweet Valley University; Elizabeth flees to London, intending to continue her schooling. The series has six books.
List of novels
|1||University Interrupted||Francine Pascal||Random House||January 9, 2001|
|Elizabeth Wakefield is not going back to Sweet Valley University. Her sister betrayed her. Her boyfriend broke her heart. And her parents are against her. There's nothing for her to go home to. So where is she supposed to go? How about London . . . as far away as possible?|
|2||London Calling||Francine Pascal||Random House||February 13, 2001|
|Elizabeth has no money and no friends and still in London. She takes a job as a maid in an earl's manor.|
|3||A Royal Pain||Francine Pascal||Random House||March 13, 2001|
|He's engaged to someone else. Elizabeth is falling in love. With Max. Heir to the earl's fortune. Fiancé to a duchess. They're completely different. But there's something there|
|4||Downstairs, Upstairs||Francine Pascal||Random House||April 10, 2001|
|She's in trouble. Big trouble. Liz could get deported. Unless someone from Pennington mansion stands up for her. But who? Everyone hates her. Especially Sarah, her boss's daughter, who'd love to see her sent back to America.|
|5||Max's Choice||Francine Pascal||Random House||May 8, 2001|
|Max finally chooses between Liz and the duchess.|
|6||I Need You||Francine Pascal||Random House||June 12, 2001|
|Jessica heads to London, telling Elizabeth to come home and she can explain everything. But will Liz leave Max?|
Sweet Valley Confidential
Sweet Valley Confidential was published on March 29, 2011 and it was the very first "Sweet Valley" book to be entirely written by the hand of creator Francine Pascal herself. The story is set 10 years following the conclusion of the original. Prior to the novel's release, Pascal stated, "I can tell you that what you thought was going to happen to those people doesn't happen. Different things happen. Ten years, from 16 to adulthood, has made very different people. And I'm having kind of good time writing it, doing what I want to do with these people." A review from Entertainment Weekly stated, "Make no mistake: This is a very bad book, bloated and silly and, worst of all, often quite boring."  Most reviews by professional critics have been especially negative. Fans of the series have given mixed reviews, citing many inconsistencies and canonical errors. For example, near the beginning of the book, Elizabeth's ex-boyfriend Jeffrey French is mentioned as being happily married, while in the last "epilogue" chapter, he is "still unmarried and unattached." There are many other mistakes in the epilogue as well, such as what happened to Suzanne Devlin: "Suzanne was forced to leave Sweet Valley but returned 6 months later a changed person; unfortunately, she was ill with multiple sclerosis. She apologized to everyone, then crashed her specially equipped car after taking medication with champagne." Suzanne Devlin was mistakenly diagnosed with MS in the SVH magna edition "Perfect Christmas," but then finds out that she was misdiagnosed, and she and Todd fall in love. In describing what became of Roger Collins, Pascal states that after having been accused of molestation by Suzanne Devlin (book 11, "Too Good to be True"), he "felt too uncomfortable being a teacher and left to become a nonfiction writer." SVHC also says his son's name is "Sam," not "Teddy," as in all the SVH books. Another inconsistency is the way Jessica talks in the book, peppering her sentences with "So," and "like," which is a departure from the way she spoke in the SVH and SVU series.
The story begins with Elizabeth in New York, where she is working on a magazine called "Show Survey," described as "a sort of Zagat for Off Broadway." Through flashbacks, we learn that Jessica and Todd had been having an affair off and on for the last 5 years, and that 8 months ago Elizabeth discovered their duplicity, and has not spoken to either of them since. A few characters from the original series pop up, most notably Winston Egbert, who invested in a dot-com venture with Bruce Patman (also a major character in this book, Bruce's personality changed dramatically when both of his parents passed away suddenly, making him a more caring, sensitive person). Time, unrequited love and other negative life-experiences have morphed Winston turned him into a bitter hateful Scrooge-like miser who womanizes and shows contempt for himself and all humanity. He no longer has any friends. He dies mid-way through the book from an "accidental" drunken fall from his 20-story balcony. Jessica and Todd still live together in Sweet Valley. Jessica has a very successful career for a cosmetics marketing company called "MYFACEISGREEN" and Todd is a successful sports columnist. They are very much in love, but haunted by what they have done to Elizabeth and by the vicious gossip that surrounds them.
The twins are expected to attend their grandmother's eightieth birthday party. Elizabeth is torn, not wanting to see her sister and Todd again, but wanting revenge for what Jessica has done to her. She goes to the party, bringing Liam, a handsome bartender she has met in New York. Liam is very attracted to Jessica and flirts with her during the party, causing a rift between Jessica and Todd, which escalates into a free-for-all between all the members of the family (including older brother Steven, who has recently discovered he's gay). Alice Wakefield, the twins' mother, desperately tries to keep the peace, repeatedly asking the staff to serve the cake, finally losing her cool and screaming to her husband, "Ned! Bring out the fucking cake!"
Later that night, lying in bed, Jessica realizes that in order to get her sister back, she has to give up Todd. She packs a bag and heads to New York to see her sister. Meanwhile, Elizabeth has been doing some serious thinking on the plane, and comes to the realization that she and Todd weren't going to make it work a long time ago, but was too much of a "commitment freak" to admit it to herself. Elizabeth finds Jessica on her doorstep, and at first is very unforgiving, but finally relents and the sisters hold each other, sobbing, and make up. The epilogue takes place at Jessica and Todd's wedding, which many of the characters attend. Bruce Patman professes his love for Elizabeth, and the two of them presumably live happily ever after.
Sweet Valley: The Sweet Life
The new series features six confirmed books and takes place a few years after the 2011's Sweet Valley Confidential. Elizabeth and Jessica are now thirty. Both Jess and Todd have an affair and nearly divorce after their trial separation. They then get back together after they declare their love for one another. At the end of book six, Bruce confesses to being in love with another woman.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2013)|
The series has come under much negative criticism from readers and reviewers, who described Sweet Valley as an unrealistic, almost Utopian setting, and its characters as unlikable and one-dimensional. Criticisms include:
- The twins and a majority of their high school peers being unrealistically beautiful, and physically perfect, without suffering from greasy hair, body odor, weight issues, acne and other typical teenage problems. However, Robin Wilson was overweight, Peter De Haven was described as having acne, and Betsy Martin had greasy hair.
- The implication that happiness cannot exist in a single-parent family, as evidence with Lila Fowler, whose father emotionally neglects her.
- Alice Wakefield being mistaken for the twins' sister, despite her children being in college and high school, making her at least into her mid- to late-forties.
- Sweet Valley High constantly holding dances and proms throughout the school year.
- Jessica deliberately spiking her own sister's drink simply to ensure Elizabeth will not be voted prom queen.
- An obvious lack of ethnic groups in Sweet Valley, as a large number of the characters are white.
- The murderer Margo Black looking like Elizabeth to the point where Alice Wakefield cannot tell the difference between her own daughter and another girl.
- Even though no. 8 Home for Christmas, the Sweet Valley University book mentions Olivia Davidson as alive and well, Olivia was killed during an earthquake in the chronologically earlier book that ended the Sweet Valley High series.
A TV series based on Sweet Valley High ran for 88 episodes between 1994 and 1997. It starred real-life twins Brittany and Cynthia Daniel (formerly Doublemint Twin models) as Jessica and Elizabeth respectively. The twins also modeled for later editions of the book covers. The show ran for 4 seasons.
There were some notable differences between the television series and the books. New characters were created such as Reginald "Shred" Patman and Renata Vargas, while other characters were removed, such Ned, Alice, and Steven Wakefield. Also while the books are classified in the romance, or fantasy/adventure genres, the television series was played out more light-hearted and comedic. The show was made into a sit-com in the tradition of Saved By The Bell more than anything else and most of the characters were made into silly comic-relief.
Only Season One of the show made it to DVD.
Many tie-in products were produced for this series (primarily the Sweet Valley High Run) including a series of puzzles, a board game, audio book versions of selected SVH books, commercially available VHS and DVDs of the SVH TV Series, a CD soundtrack for the TV show, dolls and doll clothing, a neon sign, at least one calendar (for the year 1989/90) and books that were not part of the series (including TV tie-in reprints, a trivia book, a behind-the-scenes book about the TV show, and a "Slam Book").
- Mehren, Elizabeth (1986-04-20). "Publishing's Queen of the Teen Romance Finds Success With a Formula". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- Flood, Alison (2010-02-12). "Sweet Valley High sequel to follow characters into 30s". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- "40 Twins Bring Identical Dreams to Studio City". The San Francisco Times Herald. 1988-06-30. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- Elson, Bymary (1987-03-01). "Queen Of The Teen Romance". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Double The Action At 'Sweet Valley High'". Chicago Tribune. 1994-06-21. Retrieved 2010-10-17.