Thursday, December 20, 2018

Throwback to the Books: The Face on the Milk Carton and Sweet Valley Twins

For this round of reading, I decided to take on some of the throwback reads that I've picked up in the last few months.

First up, it was revisiting The Face on the Milk Carton. I can remember this book being one of those books that we ALL read in elementary school, so I was excited to revisit it and its sequel Whatever Happened to Janie.

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney is a book that's fascinating to read as an adult. There were moments where I had to stop and think, "Wait, I read this as a kid?" I mean, I also watched a tremendous amount of Rescue 911, so this explains my fears of kidnappings and robberies. ANYWAY. If you're not familiar with this one, this is about Janie who sees a face on a milk carton (remember when that was a thing y'all?) and feels like it might be her. She starts doing some digging and asking some question finding out that her life is not at all what she thought it was. Also, I definitely didn't remember the cult connection in this one, and that was quite intense! Going back and revisiting this one, I loved it. It reads like a Lifetime movie (in fact it was a made for TV movie), and I was so here for that. This one just has a nostalgia and thrill that I love.

So, then it was onto the sequel!

Whatever Happened to Janie? by Caroline Cooney wasn't as fresh in my mind. I'm sure I read it at some point obvs. In this one, Janie has returned to her biological parents. She's adjusting to her new normal. Except this is a lot more difficult than she realized. The Spring family had gotten used to life without her, and she is used to who she was. Again, for something I read as a kid, this was complicated emotions. However, I dug it. 

I also learned that there are three more of these books in the series, so definitely plan on checking out the others.

Then, I decided to head back to Sweet Valley (Sweeeeet Valley, Sweeeet Valley Higggggh). When it comes to this series, I actually read way more of the Sweet Valley Twins books than Sweet Valley High. I really didn't remember much of this series other than that it involved the Wakefield twins. I quickly realized I was way more of a Elizabeth than a Jessica. 

The Christmas Ghost by Francine Pascal was your classic take on A Christmas Carol. It was a Super Chiller(!) which really just meant it was longer than some of the others. In this one, Jessica is jerk. Elizabeth somehow gets a famous actor to agree to come by her house to talk about the fundraising she's doing for a children's hospital. When he doesn't show up, Elizabeth is bummed. She leaves the house, and Jessica stays around. Well, turns out the dude had car trouble, so he shows up late. Jessica decides she won't tell Elizabeth and is going to meet him for dinner the next day. Jerk move, right? Well, she goes to bed, the ghosts of past/present/future meet her as they do, and I bet you can guess how it ends. Predictable? Yes, but I kind of liked that about it.

Holiday Mischief by Francine Pascal was a Super Edition which apparently just meant the girls went on a trick. Y'all, this one was just a little too outlandish - even understanding the audience. The girls' friend Anna wants to go on the choir trip, so she can go to DC and meet her long last sibling. Um, what? A foreign embassy is involved, the girls sneak out of the hotel (y'all, they're 12), and it was just a little much. Well-intentioned, but it was just too many "Wait, what?" moments for this me.

So, tell me, where these books you read as a kid? What do you remember? 

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