Episode 19: Sweet Valley High // The New Jessica


Sweet Valley High // The New Jessica

Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield mostly made twinning look like a dream… but things are rarely as simple on the inside (LOL). In Volume 32 of Francine Pascal’s beloved Sweet Valley High series, Jessica (AKA the impulsive twin) has decided that she’s sick of being one of an identical pair. She takes drastic action to differentiate herself from Elizabeth (AKA the bookish twin). Hijinks ensue, relationships are tested, and everyone is essentially being the most ridiculous version of themselves. Alli and Sweet Valley High enthusiast Gabrielle Moss talk all the good elements of The New Jessica and Sweet Valley as a whole — escapism, fashion, and hilarity — as well as the bad — privileged behavior, disturbing plotlines, and seriously problematic language.

Gabrielle is the author of Paperback Crush and Glop. Follow her on Twitter (@Gaby_Moss)!


The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman


Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ‘80s and ‘90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss

Glop: Nontoxic, Expensive IdeasThat Will Make You Look Ridiculous and Feel Pretentious by Gabrielle Moss


“12 of the Sweet Valley High Books’ Most Ridiculous Plotlines” (Mental Floss, 2017)

“How the Sweet Valley girls grew up” (The Guardian, 2012)

“Confessions Of A Former Sweet Valley High Addict” (NPR Books, 2014)

“Oh Sweet Joy, The Sweet Valley High Books Are Getting A Movie Adaptation” (HuffPost, 2017)

“20 Ways The Sweet Valley Series Defined Our Adolescence” (Thought Catalog, 2015)

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