Cool Website Alert: Children of the 90s

16 Mar

Children of the 90s is a blog that I’ve discovered recently via Shannon’s Sweet Valley High Blog, and while both sites are excellent (Shannon has some of the most creative titles for her links. I can’t even tell you how jealous I am that I didn’t think of them first), I wanted to draw particular attention to the recent post about Sweet Valley High on Children of the 90s blog.

Even though the series was born in the 80s and hit its peak during that decade, the series did continue into the 90s and only saw its readership grow for a while there.  I am a child of the 90s, as are many of the bloggers and recappers out there who have devoted so much time and so much love-hate to the series.  The post talks about the the disappointment a reader feels upon revisiting a series that held so much reverence when one was young, and the criticism that can be leveled at the one-dimensionality of the twins.

Children of the 90s writes:

The more I reflect on my former fictional teen idols, the more I realize how insufferably irritating the two-dimensional twins are. What I once thought of as a characterization polarized between social butterfly and quiet serious one turned out to be a divide of selfish brat and sanctimonious prude. Kind of a bummer, right?

I have to agree.  Growing up, I devoured the books and even though my critical 8-year-old mind knew that both twins were kind of annoying and not very realistic, I still wanted to identify with both of them.  I certainly cared enough about them to continue reading the series, and their misadventures kept me (mostly) riveted.  Except the stuff with Enid.  She’s so boring she makes me want to bleed from my eyes.

The author also reflects:

It can’t be all bad, of course–these books encouraged young girls to read, didn’t they? Sure, they may not have been as entrepreneurial and wholesome as The Babysitters’ Club series, but they had an indescribable charm. When you consider the bulk of the series was penned by ghostwriters too ashamed to publicly attach their names to these projects, it could have been a lot worse.

Which is true, to a point.  If it got kids to read, it can’t all be bad.  My one caveat is that the ghost writers weren’t too ashamed to put their names on the books (well, maybe they were), but were contractually obligated not to–and if I recall correctly, the contract extended further in their lives, forbidding them from discussing their involvement in the series.

At any rate, there are lots of gems to be found at both blogs.  Shannon also runs a Gilmore Girls blog where she’s currently recapping all the episodes (again, why didn’t I think of this?) that’s worth checking out.

(Full disclosure: I don’t know either of these bloggers, and I’m not being paid, compensated, or even congratulated for linking to them.  They’re just worth checking out.)

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