Bags being Jessica!

Look at what I’ve just acquired….


I know, right?! Form an orderly queue because it’s a maximum of four players at a time.

The aim of the game is to find your boyfriend (and a handful of items needed for your date) in the various classrooms at Sweet Valley High.


It’s basically a truly excellent version of Memory with a dash of boyfriend-stealing strategy (or vindictiveness if you’re Jessica or Lila). The risk of detention and the occasional wild card, which feature instructions for particular players, keeps the game lively.

The game is, of course, ridiculously inappropriate – the wild cards say things such as “You give the housekeeper a day off” and “Jessica is spreading rumours so dump your friend”, and every few spaces on the board direct you to switch boyfriends. Nonetheless, it’s my kids’ favourite new game. I woke this morning to my ten-year-old son shouting “But I don’t want to change boyfriends!” and my nine-year-old daughter replying “Too bad! Winston is the worst boyfriend…”. And then, twenty minutes later, my son doing a victory dance and chanting, “I’m going to the prom! I’m going to the prom!”.

So, so good.


Note for fellow Australian SVH fans – I don’t reckon this game was ever released in Australia (because I would have wanted it). I got my set on US eBay but have since seen some more reasonably priced sets on Amazon.

Go on… You know you want to.



13 responses

  1. Cackling with delight at your son dancing and chanting, “I’m going to the prom!” At least some (unintentional) subversion has come out of the game…

  2. I must have read 100 of these books….and also some of the kid ones and middle grade ones and college ones (where I was appalled to learn Jessica had sex) and some of the Wakefield Sagas….I’m so jealous I could rip the contents out of my fridge and fling them off the balcony just to make a mess to express my jealousy. *heading to Amazon…*

    • I read 100 Sweet Dreams and started SVH when they were first released. I seem to recall that they released one a month and I was always waiting at the book shop for it! I think I stopped reading when I got to no.25 or so, therefore never went to university with the Wakefields!

      • I did about 1-2 university books….Elizabeth has no friends and starts getting fat (and by that I mean about 140 pounds) and Jessica dates this guy who doesn’t go to college who is older and obviously a piece of crap. And then….they do it. *gah!*

        I’d never heard of the Sweet Dreams books! Was it annoying to get into a new girl every book, or are they all so similar you could easily confuse them?

      • The Sweet Dreams books were standalone stories, so just like reading a novel. Like Mills & Boon romances, they followed a formula – very predictable, very safe. I look back now and wonder if they set up unrealistic expectations for girls but then think that probably no, the good messages override the rest because although there was always a conflict or roadblock for the relationship, it was never nasty or disrespectful (from my memory, anyway!). This compares to SVH which I do remember had lots of plots fuelled by rumours and innuendo. Maybe that was more because of the fact that they could build the characters over time. Maybe my memories misrepresent the books but either way, both series dominated my reading for years and it’s interesting to think about the messages that stuck with me thirty years later.

  3. Your tweets about this the other day were the best – I felt really invested in them. I never got into the SVH books, but I remember the tv show (but never really watched it). I feel like I probably missed out on something now.

  4. OMG my bestie and I used to play this game ALL THE TIME. We would have sleepovers and watching Newsies and play this game for HOURS. We were roomies in college as well, and even would pull it out as adults and play a game or two. SO FUN!!!

    • You’re the first person I know who actually played it in its day. Must say, it is FUN and I reckon some of my friends might break it out with the gin and tonics one night soon…

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