Fun fact about me: though I loved and greedily read through the Sweet Valley University series when I was 8-10 years old, I never actually read the Sweet Valley High books. As a result, it should come as no surprise that I liked Tom far more than I ever liked Todd. The experiences that I shared initially with the Wakefield twins that prompted me to request the newly adapted graphic novel Sweet Valley High: Academic All-Star? by Katy Rex, Andres Genolet, and illustrated by Devaki Neogi from NetGalley were all their college ones. Therefore, getting thrown back into Jessica and Elizabeth’s world with many characters I recognized but in completely different points in their lives was interesting. I was thrilled to see, though, that as always I still identified very strongly with Elizabeth, a girl whose name matched my middle one and resulted in that connection feeling even stronger.
The Wakefield twins are back, Elizabeth biting off far more than she can chew with all of her academic and philanthropic projects alongside trying to still make sure she has time for her boyfriend and Jessica acting like her usual boy crazy self and going after a guy far too old for her, her summer school teacher. Very quickly, as you enter this story, you feel like you’re back in the world that you remember from before with characters you never really forgot. I was amazed by how brilliantly the characters were captured right from the get go. And the really brilliant thing about this graphic novel is that the world was updated for modern times.
We’re not just reading about Elizabeth and Jessica, we’re reading about them as they would be if they’d had smart phones and Instagram back when they were teenagers. Phones and texting is a constant piece and it should come as no surprise that Jessica is rather attached to posting her entire life online. And while this adapted piece wasn’t the centerfold of the story, it was really fun to see how the lives of these two girls changed just a little bit with that technology. And as the Sweet Valley High series grows older, it’s nice to see it modified to bring in a new generation of readers.
The artwork is pretty and accurate. It really does an amazing job of moving the story along and I loved seeing all these characters among the pages rather than just across the cover. The story is pretty typical for the characters, matching everyone quite well. I admittedly have moved far past these kind of stories, but it was nice to take a step back to remember what I did love way back when.
I did really enjoy this story. It definitely brought me back to the days of my childhood when I was reading books that were definitely discussing topics a bit too advanced for someone so young. It was a light and fluffy read that I’m really glad to have gotten the chance to read and does somewhat make me wish that I had all those books still–unfortunately, they were passed on to other readers through a thrift shop some time ago. Fun and quick, this is a book that anyone who loves the twins will enjoy reading. And as for new readers, I hope they enjoy it as well.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.