The book "Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later" was published on March 29, 2011. The story is set 10 years following the conclusion of the original Sweet Valley High series.
Background[edit | edit source]
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."
Plot[edit | edit source]
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 five years, and that eight months ago Elizabeth discovered their duplicity from Jessica's husband, Reagan, 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 died, making him a more caring, sensitive person). Time, unrequited love and other negative life experiences have turned Winston 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 midway 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 her friend, Liam, a handsome bartender she has met in New York in order to have him flirt with Jessica and get her revenge for the affair. However, it proves to be a failure as he instead flirts with her older brother, Steven(who also comes out as gay). Liz's actions ends up causing a rift between Jessica and Todd, which escalates into a free-for-all between all the members of the family. 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!"
After the party, Ned and Alice reprimands Elizabeth for her behavior. They blame her for not only ruining her grandmother, Marjorie's birthday party, but also humiliating their family and trying to ruin Jessica and Todd's relationship. Fed up with her family for defending Jessica and not understanding where she's coming from, Liz prepares to leave for New York. Before she could leave, Bruce sympathetically talks to Elizabeth and convinces her to take a long hard look at herself by using their old friend, Winston, as an example. He explains that he has noticed some of Winston's negative traits in her and is worried that she may make the same mistake as he had. Bruce mentions that he doesn't like seeing that in Liz because he's always liked the compassionate and kind person she is inside.
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 at Bruce's admonition. She finally comes to the realization that she and Todd were long over and that they have fallen out of love with each other. However, Elizabeth was too much of a "commitment control freak" to admit it to herself. She finds Jessica on her doorstep to apologize for what happened. Elizabeth surprises Jessica by telling her that she has already forgiven her. When asked about her sudden change in attitude, Elizabeth apologizes to Jessica in ruining her relationship with Todd and explains that Bruce had talked some sense into her. She accepted that she and Todd were long over, but was an extreme commitment control freak to admit it. She gives Jessica her blessing to be with him.
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.
Criticisms[edit | edit source]
Reviewers have not been kind, with Entertainment Weekly saying, "Make no mistake: This is a very bad book, bloated and silly and, worst of all, often quite boring."  Fans of the series have given mixed reviews, citing the many, many glaring inconsistencies and canonical errors. Much of the book didn't play out or end the way most wanted it to. Many were aghast and furious at Jessica and Todd having an affair and winding up together. As well as Winston Egbert turning into a callous miser and dying. Not to mention Enid and Elizabeth never really mending their friendship.
Anachronisms[edit | edit source]
- The wedding takes place approximately four months after the main events of the book....probably. Steven states he has been living with Aaron for a year by the time of the wedding and he had only left Cara eight months before the events of the book, conversely in Caroline's epilogue she refers to the incident where Jessica attacked her verbally at Lila's only taking place a week before the wedding, however prior to going to Lila's, Jessica states they are getting married in four weeks time(?).
- 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 unnattached."
- 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.
- 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." but in Sweet Valley High he had continued teaching through the rest of their Junior year.
- Confidential incorrectly names Roger Collin's son as "Sam" rather than "Teddy".
- Jessica talks inconsistently 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.
- AJ Morgan was the sweet, shy redhead who was the first boy Jessica dated seriously. He was smart, gorgeous, and kind. In "Confidential" he is identified as the irresistible badboy from high school, now a dumb loser who can only sell shoes and sporting long, gross, blonde hair.
- Jessica also states that AJ groped her breasts in 7th grade, however AJ did not arrive until their junior year at high school.
- Enid Rollins who changed her name to Alexandra (Alex) Rollins during SVU has returned to being called Enid. She and Elizabeth bury the hatchet, but more or less go their separate ways.
- Confidential claims that Enid was best friends with Elizabeth since grade school, however Enid did not transfer to Sweet Valley High until 10th grade, a sophomore at High school, and met Elizabeth in a creative writing class.
- Annie Whitman is married to Charlie Markus who is mentioned as being the one that saved her in high school, when in fact it was Ricky Capaldo.
- There is mention that Bruce never kissed Liz while she was conscious, referring the memorable scene in #7 "Dear Sister" but they had a brief fling in one of the later books (actually a trilogy) when they believed Alice Wakefield was having an affair with Bruce's father.
- The entire Senior Year series is ignored.
- Lila's extremely serious and believeable relationship with Bruce in college is downgraded to a brief "fling" back in college.
- In the list of deaths, Olivia Davidson and Sam Woodruff names are a glaring omission.
- Lila's father, George Fowler apparently had a name change in the past ten years, because his name is now Richard Fowler.
- It is stated that Aaron Dallas and Jessica ever much liked each other, but they were a couple most of the way through Sweet Valley Twins and they dated anytime Jessica needed a last minute date in High School.
- According to Confidential, Jessica and Todd never happened until college. However, they had a secret fling in "Jessica's Secret Diary II" during high school and also when Jessica seduced him from Liz after Sam died.
- Steven marries Cara Walker though he was last seen in a steady relationship with Billie and Cara was living in London.
- In confidential, Cara loves Elizabeth but never liked Jessica. However Cara was Jessica's best friend in high school first, not Elizabeth's although they did become friends later on and became closer when Amy Sutton became a closer friend to Jessica.
- Elizabeth lives in a midtown apartment with a doorman and takes $20 cabs everywhere, despite being a sort of writer for a struggling magazine.
- The Wakefields were never previously members of the Country Club.
- Roger Barrett-Patman is listed as fine, despite dying during the book series.
- At the end of the book it states that Bruce had feelings for Liz for 10 years since his parents died, however it originally stated that his parents died 5 years before.
- Jim Roberts: Called Jim Regis and his tall basketball playing ex-girlfriend Shelly Novak, is referred to as Lianne Kane.
- Jessica speaks of Winston's misogynistic ways as a result of being rejected by so many cute girls at high school, yet Winston does actually date attractive and popular girls including steady girlfriend Maria Santelli in high school and Denise Waters in college.
- Ned thinks about how he is walking Jessica down the aisle for a third time, however Jessica eloped with Mike McAllery for her first marriage.
- According to "Confidential," Todd and Jessica never got romantically involved until college--despite the fact that they had been having a continuing affair since the series premire "Double Love. They also shared a romance in "The Sam Chronicles" ("A Night To Remember" to "#97--The Verdict) as well as "Jessica's Secret Diary II."