Book Nerd Out Finalist: Jenny and Kelly Read Books



Always books. Never boring.

Jenny and Kelly Read Books was chosen as one of three finalists in our Book Nerd Out giveaway. The winner will be the one whose entry reposted on BookRiot.com gets the most Facebook “likes” by 11:59PM EST, Sunday, November 13. The ONLY way to vote is to click the Facebook “Like” just above this text on BookRiot.com.


Dear Kelly,

I have been reading a new book blog, Book Riot, for the past few weeks, and they’re offering a $100 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choosing if you win the giveaway. The topic seems like it has the potential to be pretty funny: when’s the time you went crazy nerdiest for a book?

I was thinking it would be amusing, considering how long we have been friends and because we are each other’s primary audience, to reminisce about my early book nerd days.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Jenny of the Sweet Valley High years. I was obsessed–Obsessed! I tell you–with those books. There were so many ways I was nerdy about them that I think I might actually have to make a list.

1) According to Wikipedia, the first book came out in 1983. This makes sense, because I seem to most remember these books in 5th and 6th grade.

2) I still can recite from memory that exposition about those damn twins: Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. Beautiful blondes, they are a perfect size 6 (this is sort of funny, now, right? I’m sure this is fat to today’s teenagers), they are too wonderful to wear something as pedestrian as lockets…these girls have lavaliers!

3) I had my own little Sweet Valley High library. In fact, I used to pretend I was a librarian, and actually put tape at the top and bottom of the spines of each book. The books just looked a little more professional that way.

4) Obviously, the tape was unnecessary given the weirdest quirk I had as a child: I NEVER broke the spine of a book. I used to hate how it looked. When the spine was broken, especially on a longer book, the pages would drift outward at an angle. I liked my book pages to be flat and straight. I didn’t dog-ear, either. The horror! This is beyond weird. Why did I do that? I vividly remember that it drove you crazy because you used to say that you never could read the words in the gutter of the page. I didn’t care, though, I knew it was better to have pristine books.

5) I could read a Sweet Vally High book at light-speed pace. Once, I got the latest release at my mall’s Waldenbooks, I believe it was #10. I read it while my Mom was getting her hair cut. The lady at the front desk watched me read it and suggested that I should just return it and get my money back. After all, it looked unread and it was only an hour later. I was horrified at this suggestion for many reasons. Having a complete, unbroken-spined set meant something to me. And, I was a good girl and that would have been stealing. Or something like that.

6) Despite my love of the physical objects that were the Sweet Valley High books, I don’t quite remember what I got out of them. I identified with Elizabeth, the good twin. That scheming Jessica didn’t deserve her. There was one book where Elizabeth goes bad. Shocking, although I’m sure all was right in Sweet Valley by the end.

7) I started to tire of Sweet Valley High. The thrill was gone, but I was determined to end with a nice round number. I’m pretty sure that I continued to buy up until #30 because I couldn’t bear to end with an random number like 28.

8) And yet, I have no idea where they all went. I must have dumped them at some point…or my Mother did. Too bad. I bet a pristine set of Sweet Valley High books would be worth something on eBay. Hah.

9) Today at the bookstore, I saw the new “grown-up” book meant to appeal to readers exactly like me. It’s called Sweet Valley Confidential, and it was released sometime this year. You’ll be proud to know I wasn’t tempted for a minute. I bought The Marriage Plot instead.

10) Okay. I did pick it up and read the back cover. I figure it will land on the remaindered table sooner or later and I can get it then. I’m only semi-kidding.