Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Book Review of #5 The Curse of the ruby necklace by Francine Pascal
Author: Francine Pascal
Publisher: Bantam Skylark
Part of a Series: Sweet Valley twins and friends super chillers
Type of book: horror, mystery, death, Sweet Valley, supernatural, young adult, 1985
Year it was published: 1993
Identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are thrilled when they land small parts in a movie being made in Sweet Valley. The film is based on the true story of the mysterious death of twelve-year-old Lillian Keller, and it's being filmed at the creepy old Keller mansion.
One stormy afternoon, Jessica finds an old necklace on the beach near the mansion. She puts it on, and that very night she has a terrible nightmare about a girl falling to her death. She becomes convinced that someone-or something-is trying to tell her that the mystery of Lillian Keller's death is far from solved. But can a necklace really hold the secret to a murder?
The characters, as in previous super chillers, don't really change and what you see is what you get basically. I think to an extent the characters are predictable and all. Elizabeth stays an angel, and Jessica is shallow and tends to be superficial.
I was supposed to learn something from it? What was I supposed to learn? That things aren't what they appear to be? That justice comes to all?
Third person narrative from Jessica and Elizabeth's points of view. Previous super chillers not expected, as this can be a sort of a standalone novel.
Francine Pascal (born May 13, 1938) is an author best known for creating the Sweet Valley series of young adult novels. Sweet Valley High was the backbone of the collection, and was made into a popular television series.  There were also several spin-offs, including The Unicorn Club and Sweet Valley University. Although most of these books were published in the 1980s and 1990s, they have remained popular such that several titles have been re-released in recent years. (From Wiki.)
Despite the slight suspension of belief that's required towards the end, this is a pretty good book, better than the Carnival Ghost and christmas ghost. I remember when I first got it in 1998, the cover was what attracted to me the most to it. (I admit to being a fan of the cover.) I don't like that the twins consistently stay the same age throughout the book, which is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. (Honestly, how many spring breaks and holidays will it take you to become a year older?) Also this can be an interesting guide, of sorts, on how movies are made.
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)