This book was, like, way disappointing.

That’s how Jessica Wakefield, even at 27 years old, would express my sentiment toward this novel.

Francine Pascal revisits the Sweet Valley twins I grew up wanting to be, ten years after high school graduation. More expert readers have bashed the plot-line inconsistencies. I took issue with the shelving problem this gives librarians everywhere: It’s a novel with adult themes, written in the style of a young-adult novel.

Casual sex and alcohol come up often as Elizabeth seeks a new life in New York City as a writer for a new theater-review publication and Jessica copes with life without her twin, leaning on new-lover Todd Wilkins. (You learn this, if not from the New York Times, by Chapter 2).

For a taste of how Pascal writes for adult readers, behold the orgasm:

And once the love had been established, the excitement took over and spun them out into the wild reaches of the glorious.
At last, Elizabeth knew the splendid, the marvelous, the amazing, the spectacular!
The over-the-top!

No. joke.

The dialogue is fraught with “like,” the narration with descriptions of “true love” and twin-separation angst.

Guess the context:

According to Jessica, they had a most way-perfect movie meeting right outside the apartment.

A quote from a younger character? A flashback to high school?

No, no. That’s a third-person narration of an exchange between 27-year-old Elizabeth and Bruce Patman.

The only demographic I can imagine devouring this book isn’t old enough to drink, but for the of-agers who will read on (I couldn’t be stopped): Please pop open a $1.99 bottle of Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine blogger Robert Dwyer rated it 87 in a blind taste test, so at least the wine can be surprisingly good.

♥ Chardonnay