Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Book Review of #5 Lila's Secret Valentine by Francine Pascal
Author: Francine Pascal
Part of a Series: Sweet Valley Twins and Friends specials
Type of book: Specials, valentines, intensity, emotions, California, Sweet Valley, 1985
Year it was published: 1995
Lila Fowler is dreading Valentines Day. She has no valentine, and she's determined not to let her friends in the exclusive Unicorn Club know. So she tells everyone that she does have a boyfriend and sends herself flowers and candy to prove it. Her valentine's name is Gray Williams, and he's rich, cute, and completely made up.
The Unicorns are totally impressed, and Lila is thrilled- until her friends pressure her into bringing Gray to the Valentine's dance. How can she bring a date that doesn't exist?
This book explores more about Lila, although Elizabeth and Jessica are also thrown in. I can't imagine the characters changing in any shape or form or even learning from anything, thus the characters are flat and tend to be the same. Boyfriends too seem to be unrealistic and not enough chemistry between Lila and Justin.
No matter what, you'll always have a happy ending. Yeah, right. It's obviously a book for teens or little kids and others. I don't believe that idea.
This is in third person from Jessica, Elizabeth and Lila's points of view, although to some extent this also has Todd. The story is predictable and has a happy ending, although imagined conflict lasted a long time in my view.
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.)
When comparing this book to Unicorns Go Hawaiian, this feels more genuine and real. Jessica and Elizabeth also have problems with their boyfriends around Valentine's Day, and we also see more of Lila and the dignity she exhibits in front of others. (I kind of admired the part where she learns that her crush has a Valentine's yet she doesn't cry or anything of the kind.)
2 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.)