Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Sweet Life by Francine Pascal


Three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. But Jessica, now a mother, finds her marriage to Todd hanging by a thread. Meanwhile, Lila Fowler, reality TV star extraordinaire, embarks on a risky scheme that could win her fame but cost her everything. And the scandal rocking Sweet Valley deepens for Elizabeth and Bruce, who find themselves at odds when loyalty conflicts with the need for the truth.

The Sweet Life
The Sweet Life begins three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential; Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. Things are looking up for both twins: Elizabeth is a star reporter at the LA Tribune with a popular blog, and Jessica's PR career is on the fast-track. But while the professional lives of the Wakefield sisters are secure, their personal lives may be in jeopardy. Jessica, now a mother, finds that managing parenthood, marriage and a job is harder than she expected, while Elizabeth and Bruce must face a scandal that could strengthen their bond ... or tear them apart for ever.
Meanwhile, life goes on in Sweet Valley. Families are made, hearts are broken, and ... Lila Fowler is a reality TV star? Some things never change.

Todd & Jessica are separated with a 2 year-old boy, Jessica is a big-shot VP in the marketing department for a green company owned by Lila's dad. Elizabeth is living with Bruce and working as a reporter at The Tribune. Steven and his partner, Aaron, have a daughter by a surrogate mother. Lila Fowler is married to a football player and, after auditioning, gets a starring role in what sounds like possibly the most BORING TV show in the world, on which she puts down her hubby constantly so he leaves her. After Jessica discovers a reporter who has a thing for Todd has plagiarised her and get the reporter fired, Todd decided Jess is just vindictive and is disgusted by her, Jessica decided there's no chance of a reunion. Bruce gets accused of attempted rape by an intern at his company and Elizabeth sets out to clear his name with Jessica's help but after hearing the intern's side of the story, she doesn't know who to believe.

Lies & Omissions
Three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. But Jessica, now a mother, find her marriage to Todd hanging by a thread. Meanwhile, Lila Fowler, reality TV star extraordinaire, embarks on a risky scheme that could win her fame but cost her everything. And the scandal rocking Sweet Valley deepens for Elizabeth and Bruce, who find themselves at odds when loyalty conflicts with the need for truth.
After Todd tells Jessica he wants to work things out, she decides not to tell him that she had sex with Liam but of course he finds out anyway (cue the town gossip, Caroline). Elizabeth, still unsure about her feeling for Bruce, helps his accuser by signing a lease for a new apartment so she can escape the newspaper reporters. Bruce discovers the accusers name and where she's staying with the help of a PI and, after getting drunk, shows up at her house and gets arrested. After trying, and failing, to win her husband back, Lila stoops to the ultimate low and fakes a pregnancy.

Too Many Doubts
Three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. But Jessica, now a mother, finds her marriage to Todd in jeopardy after she makes a terrible mistake. meanwhile, reality TV star extraordinaire, Lila Fowler's fame-seeking scheme backfires in the worst way. And the scandal threatening to tear Elizabeth and Bruce apart only gets worse when the District Attorney gets involved.
After discovering that Elizabeth has been talking to, and helping, his accuser Bruce loses his temper and hurts Liz so moves out but continues to work on his story, meanwhile Bruce flees the country. Jessica starts dating Liam and Todd lets Sarah (the reporter that Jess got fired) move in with him after she loses her apartment. Steven and Aaron hire a nanny and she manages to leave the baby with a stranger and she gets kidnapped, turns out by the surrogate mother who then hands her back a few hours later 'cos she cries too loud (?!) Jessica tries to get Todd back again but backs off when Sarah answers the door in her lingerie.

Secrets & Seductions
Three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. But Jessica, now a mother, is trying to reconcile a colossal mistake that may have cost her Todd forever. Meanwhile, reality TV star extraordinaire Lila Fowler's in desperate straits after her fame-seeking scheme has unexpected repercussions. And Elizabeth and Bruce struggle to cope with the fallout of the scandal that's torn them apart, made worse after Bruce makes a shocking decision.
Lila fakes a miscarriage but the town gossip finds out and tells Ken who leaves her ... again, but then Lila finds out she's ACTUALLY pregnant and doesn't tell Ken 'cos she doesn't know whether she's going to keep it or not. Elizabeth quits the paper after they find out she knew who Bruce's accuser is and she didn't tell them, trying to help Bruce, she sends Aaron undercover to Bruce's enemy's company to see if he has a link to Bruce's accuser. Jessica and Todd both think the other filed for divorce so Jessica asks her boss on a date and Todd sleeps with Sarah, turns out it was Sarah that spread the rumour about the divorce so she could have Todd.

Cutting the Ties
Three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. But Jessica, still paying for her mistakes with Todd, finds herself at a crossroads in a new relationship. Meanwhile, reality TV star extraordinaire Lila Fowler is facing a life-altering choice. And as Elizabeth fears Bruce is slipping away, she makes a bold decision to act that could change the course of their lives.
After dating her boss and he becomes distant with her, Jessica goes on a date with a co-worker of Steven who also doesn't respond to her texts and calls so she continues to date Liam, much to Todd's anger after their son tells him he's scared of Liam. Aaron discovers that Robin (Bruce's accuser) isn't who she says she is while Elizabeth goes back to "Robin's" home town to dig around a little.

Bittersweet
Three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. But Jessica, now a mother, finds herself in grave danger when a man she trusts betrays her. Lila Fowler's shocking secret comes to light. Elizabeth learns the dark origins of the scandal that's ravaged Bruce's life, but is it too late?
Ken finds out about Lila's pregnancy and they get back together .... again. Elizabeth discovers that "Robin" (actually Mona) was blackmailed into accusing Bruce of rape by his enemy/competition in the business field and manages to get Bruce's name cleared and even though she wants her name kept out of it she thinks he knows during a press conference but he actually ends up announcing his love for another woman. Jessica tries to break up with Liam but he won't take it and she discovers it's his fault that her 2 dates went badly and Lila fell out with her - he made a fake Facebook profile for her and got nasty. When he gets angry and tries to rape Jessica, Todd arrives just in time to save the day and knock Liam out - apparently this is exactly what their relationship needed and they get back together.

Did you read all that? Can you believe there are so many little intricate stories in these six tiny little novellas? Yeah, I really couldn't either.
I LOVED the Sweet Valley books as a kid so was hella excited last year when Sweet Valley Confidential came out and was very excited again when I saw The Sweet Life was coming out - I though it was one book but then when I was looking for it, I saw it was 6 novellas that were being bound together in one book and re-released so I quickly downloaded all six.

I was disappointed to say the least. As a huge fangirl, I was really let down by these stories, it's disappointing that the characters don't seem to have grown up - they've just gotten older. I hated Lila (she was never my favourite character when I was growing up anyway), she was immature and more spoiled than ever. The mini storyline of Steven and Aaron's daughter being kidnapped had absolutely no input to the novellas - it was a couple of chapter total and it didn't add anything - seemed a weird storyline to put in the middle of all the other storylines that were going on. I mean, LOADS of them!

One disappointed former Sweet Valley fangirl right here.


Book Depository: The Sweet Life: The Serial
Amazon UK: The Sweet Life 1
The Sweet Life 2: Lies and Omissions
The Sweet Life 3: Too Many Doubts
The Sweet Life 4: Secrets and Seductions
The Sweet Life 5: Cutting the Ties
The Sweet Life 6: Bittersweet
The Sweet Life: The Serial

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