Review: The Babysitter (Saccharin Valley Twits and Fiends #1) by Polly Esther Rayon

The world of Sweet Valley has been crying out to be satirised for years (after all, now that the fans are grown up, we know just how terrible the books really were,) and Saccharin Valley Twits and Fiends delivers. Introducing the reader to twelve-year-old twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wastefeld, we soon enter a world where we have unprecedented access to laugh at them. Here, the fact that they have experienced multiple Christmases, Halloween's and various other holidays as twelve-year-olds is acknowledged, as is the fact that they never really learn anything from their adventures and the moral lesson is forgotten as soon as their next adventure starts. Add in the fact that this series also sends up the many children's horror novels that were popular in the same era and you have a winning, laugh out loud story.

This one follows a typical plot. The parents of the twins (and of their older brother Steven) are going away for a few days, so naturally they invite a complete stranger to stay in their house and look after their children. The babysitter, seventeen year old Piper is soon revealed to be a witch and happily goes about casting spells and trying to get revenge on the Wastefeld kids for reasons that will be hilarious to anyone who ever read the original series. And despite their all round incompetence, the Wastefeld's find a way to defeat Piper at every turn. The author cleverly plays up some of the plot devices of the original, including one that always bothered me, even when I was kid--how come children in the sixth grade were being assigned books that are well above their reading level. (It's no wonder Jessica struggled at school.)

I enjoyed this one from start to finished and hope to get to the next book in the series soon. 

Recommended.

Comments

Thank you so much for this review! This is awesome. I published my first Saccharin Valley Twits book in 2014 and never dreamed that anyone would "get" it. It's so exciting when someone does!!

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