Over at Racialicious, there's a post up about the rereleases of Sweet Valley High. Now, while I was never particularly inclined to read Sweet Valley High (I'm going to guess I wasn't the target market, there), I'm pretty sure my sister did. I may ask her about it.
But, the thing that actually really caught my attention was comment number one: My idea of "brainless" reading was Christopher Pike... which in retrospect probably can be torn down as much as SVH.
I looooved Christopher Pike!
And, yeah... I'm going to guess that there are probably some problems in the old Pike books. As I recall, they were very white and very heterocentric. The Final Friends series are the only books I can remember of his that strongly featured any characters who weren't... well... white. And of course they (Nick and Maria, I think?) end up dating. Who else would they date?
Still, I'm tempted to go find my copies and reread them. It's possible that they're better than I suspect. But I doubt it. Looking back, I seem to recall that a most of the characters were sort of annoying stereotypes. There were, as I recall, a whole lot of upper-middle class white girls obsessed with being popular and pretty, and guys who were into sports, or were outcast nerds. Probably a lot like Saved By the Bell meets Nightmare on Elm Street. Or something.
I make no promises, but if I find a Pike book while I'm packing... I may give it a quick read.