sweet valley high playing with fire


Playing with Fire is definitely the best Sweet Valley High book so far. And I’m standing by that statement.

When last we left our hero/villain (let’s face it, Jessica is the evil twin), she was sorely disappointed to be Queen of the fall dance because the handsome, rich, charming, and did I mention rich, Bruce Patman was not the king. Her disappointment follows her into this book but she manages to boogie it away at her first royal event, a dance competition. Unfortunately, it’s not through the healing power of dance but the fact that she has finally caught Bruce’s eye and received an invitation to the after party with him.

RELATED Sweet Valley High #2: Secrets Review – If She Gets What She Wants Will She Want What She Gets?

However, it quickly becomes clear to everyone but Jessica that Bruce is only after one thing.

I know I’ve said this in every other review of the Sweet Valley High books but I just love how mature Francine Pascal expects her readers to be. Playing With Fire takes a direct look at an emotionally abusive relationship where the last book, Secrets, only gave it a sidelong glance. This book looks long and hard at how easily a relationship can change even the most confident person. Luckily for Jessica, it also shows how a friend can recognize you being pulled away even if you don’t.

Elizabeth, the “good” twin, mostly takes a back seat in this particular book. Not wanting to harm her relationship with Jessica she agrees not to say anything against Bruce and painfully watches her sister become someone she has never been.

Playing With Fire’s lesson is buried in Elizabeth’s storyline. It’s all about the friends one can lean on and how important they are, another great reminder for the middle schoolers these books are aimed at.

I’d definitely recommend these books for anyone who loved Sweet Valley High or is just now jumping on the bandwagon, like me.

Have you read Playing With Fire? What are your thoughts on Book 3 in the Sweet Valley High series?


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