Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Book Review of #4 The Unicorns Go Hawaiian by Francine Pascal
Author: Francine Pascal
Part of a Series: Sweet Valley Twins and Friends specials
Type of book: Sweet Valley twins, California, curses, unicorn club, secrets, 1985
Year it was published: 1991
Just when Jessica Wakefield becomes bored with Sweet Valley, she wins a trip to Hawaii! She brings five of her best friends from the exclusive Unicorn Club, and they're ready to have the time of their lives.
But things don't turn out the way they had planed: Jessica has a streak of bad luck, Janet Howell is convinced that she is a Hawaiian Princess, and Mandy Miller, Mary Wallace, and Ellen Riteman find out a secret that they must keep from Lila Fowler.
The girls don't understand why their trip to paradise is turning out to be the worst vacation ever...until they discover the curse of the Hawaiian volcano goddess!
The characters are very naive and absurd. Janet, one of the Unicorns actually believes she's a princess! Everyone believes they're cursed instead of attributing things to circumstances or coincidences. Again, what is the point of creating characters we'll never meet in the main series? Also, Kenji is a Japanese name. The character must be Japanese in origin and not Hawaiian.
One thing I didn't appreciate is the hypocrisy in the book. Few times it detailed that the girls themselves lied to the boys, exaggerated the events that happened and seemingly they got off Scott-free. Yet when boys exaggerated or took advantage of the girls, lied as well, they get punished. Anyone see something wrong with this? So, if you're a girl and you lie, you get away with it. If you're a boy and lie then you need to be punished.
This is from multiple point of view of the girls in third person and is incredibly absurd. Just because two guys tell you look like a princess you believe that, or just because two same boys tell you that you're wearing a ring that belongs to a dead king you believe them. Are the girls that naive? People may describe me as gullible but I won't believe the things boys told the Unicorns!
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.)
This was my very first Sweet Valley book. I was never obsessed with Sweet Valley series, never cared much for sixth grade series or when they were sixteen, although even when I was in teens those series were incredibly popular. The story was barely memorable and the only thing I enjoyed and still like about the book is the cover of Jessica and her Unicorn twins. I do wonder the point of chillers and specials. They aren't part of regular series and isn't them being twelve or sixteen enough? This is really not a guide to Hawaii and the book itself borders on absurd and incredible suspension of belief is required to enjoy it.
1 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.)