I actually liked the updated, newer Sweet Valley series. For one they were finally seniors! The books changed the characters some (Elizabeth became very different, not changes I particuarly liked, Jessica became more human after a reputation problem) and they introduced new characters like Melissa, a manipulator that reminded me of so many girls I went to school with!
This book deals more with Ken and Maria, which was confusing at first because the old SVH series also had a Maria in it, but definitely not the same girl. Also, Ken is no longer the jock. He's been mellowed after his girlfriend Oliva was killed. So we finally see what he's really like and what a jerk his dad is making him a far more interesting character than before.
So I'd encourage SVH fans to check out this series.