I have written previously about the importance of Sweet Dreams romances and the Sweet Valley High series in my reading history (here, here, here). I make no secret of my devotion to these books, and somewhere along the way, Grab the Lapels recommended Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss to me.
This book is a place of understanding. A place where you can sit down, get comfortable, and talk about…that time Jessica Wakefield accidentally joined a cult while she was at the mall. Here you’re among friends.
I didn’t doubt I was among friends, but Moss confirmed it with this –
I could lose myself in the neon-tinted pop culture of my youth, with all its pointless catfights and ice-blue prom dresses*. I may have learned to read from educator-approved picture books about poky puppies and purple crayons, but I learned to become a reader from Sweet Valley High. In 1989, I begged my parents to buy me #32, The New Jessica, because I thought the girls on the cover had pretty hair. Little did I know that I’d be injecting the adventures of those pretty-haired Wakefield twins directly into my veins for the next four years.
And I was the same (but in 1985). I knew when the next installment was due, and would tear down to Angus & Robertson in Camberwell as soon as school finished to buy it. My obsession lasted at least two years. Continue reading