Secrets, Book 2 – a Sweet Valley High Review

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Secrets is the second book in the Sweet Valley High series. I reviewed the first novel, Double Love,
and any subsequent reviews of the series can be read {here}.

Secrets by Francine Pascal

Beautiful and ruthless, Jessica Wakefield is determined to be chosen queen of the fall dance at Sweet Valley High. If she can win the contest, she’s sure to win Bruce Patman, the most sought after boy in school.

The only person standing in Jessica’s way is Enid Rollins. When Jessica discovers the truth about Enid’s past, she knows the crown is within her grasp. She doesn’t care that Enid is her twin sister Elizabeth’s best friend–or that revealing the secret may cost Enid both her reputation and the boy she loves.

Only Elizabeth can save Enid from Jessica’s vicious gossip–but can she stop her scheming twin in time?

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (September 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553266217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553266214

Initial Thoughts

Secrets by Francine Pascal Jami's WordsIn the Sweet Valley High novel Secrets, Jessica Wakefield is that meddling youth who makes the reader want to scream. Jessica’s identical twin Elizabeth is the total opposite; Liz is friendly and calm, while Jessica is conniving and tornadic. She is the character you just want to snarl at. Thank you, Mister Bean, for such a perfect example of my expression.

Jessica and Elizabeth are high schoolers. Right away in Chapter One, Elizabeth’s friend Enid Rollins has a problem. Enid has a shady past–a SECRET–and it doesn’t take long for Jessica to find it out and exploit it. Consequently, a dramatic crescendo of the story leads to an explosion of trouble for several people. And who is at fault? That’s right. Jessica.

Jessica makes it her job to ensure that in Sweet Valley High, there are no secrets. What Jessica wants, Jessica gets. Clearly, she didn’t learn her lesson from Book One where her plans all backfired. Does Jessica reap the consequences of her actions? Oh yeah.

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to read of a tale of a relationship between a teacher and student. It was a story concocted by (you guessed it) Jessica, but yet I was a bit shocked to see the author throw that kind of controversy into the novel. Sure, it was 1984. Maybe that makes a difference. Oddly, I don’t remember having read these scenes, so it must not have made an impression on me as a twelve-year-old. However, now as an adult, I’m kind of scratching my head over the fact that Ms. Pascal didn’t write in some adult reinforcement from the principal. In today’s world, such a vicious rumor would be squashed in a moment by school administration. Strangely enough, the principal–whose nickname in the story is Chrome Dome, by the way–was not involved.

In conclusion, the major theme words I take away from Secrets are trust and honesty. Obviously, those are two words that are key in relationships. Elizabeth proves over and over again that she values those words. Sadly, Jessica exhibits a lack of trust and honesty.

All in all, I really enjoyed Secrets. I look forward to reading book three–Playing with Fire! I hope you’ll join me for that review in two weeks!!

Check back next week for a fun post about Secrets!

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