Friday, April 13, 2012
Book Review of #12 Jessica's Secret by Francine Pascal
Author: Francine Pascal
Publisher: Bantam skylark
Part of a Series: Sweet Valley Twins and Friends
Type of book: 1985, teens, menstruation, California, growing up
Year it was published: 1990
Jessica Wakefield has always prided herself on being the more sophisticated twin, but suddeny it's her sister, Elizabeth, who's blossoming. Overnight, something wonderful has happened to turn Elizabeth into a young woman. And now Jessica's sure that if anyone- especially her sister- finds out that it hasn't happened to her, she'll die of humiliation.
Then the twins get permission to travel to San Diego by themselves to visit their cousin Robin. It's the perfect opportunity for Jessica to prove just how grown-up she really is. But will acting older than hera ge get Jessica into more trouble than she can handle?
The characters, although they had to learn the lessons from their misadventures, most likely stayed the same and haven't changed at all. Elizabeth remained sweet as always, and Jessica remained as feisty as always. They did stay in character though.
People mature at different rates and just because something happens to them it doesn't mean they will change instantly. (Really? What about Harry Potter I wonder?)
Although the novel is part of the series, its not necessary to read the previous books, I think. The book instantly starts with the current even rather than rehashing previous ones. The novel is in third person narrative from Jessica's and Elizabeth's perspectives.
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.)
I was somewhat surprised that some situations in the book could be related to teens; that is, even despite the impossible situations, or the very clear morality of "doing the right thing," which this book is lecturing, for me personally, I could relate to it. Maybe its because I read Judy Blume's books which had girls excited about becoming women and getting their periods. There is this idea that when one becomes a man or a woman then one becomes more "mature" yet Elizabeth is shown as herself, as well as Jessica. (The only thing that does change is hormones going crazy...)
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.)