August 23, 2011

Sweet Dreams, The Collection

I mentioned in a previous post that my high school years - and the first couple of my college years - were my Sweet Dreams phase. I promised some book blogger friends that I'd write/post about this collection of mine, so here it is. :)

Sweet Dreams is a series of exactly 233 stand-alone young adult (YA) romance novels published by Bantam (with the red rooster symbol) in the 1980s up to the early 90's, written by various authors, some of whom with more than just a couple of titles to their name. After the 233rd novel ("Follow Your Heart" by Bette Headapohl) was published, the series went out of print and was replaced by Love Stories, novels with the same concept and which I also collected (to be the subject of another post). The covers of the Sweet Dreams books are photographs of real-life models made to depict the girl protagonist in the novel. According to Wikipedia, it was through the Sweet Dreams books that another favorite teenage series, Sweet Valley High, was launched.

Of the many authors who have written for Sweet Dreams, my favorites are Janet Quin-Harkin, Sheri Cobb South, Linda Joy Singleton, and Diane Crawford. Janet Quin-Harkin wrote a spin-off series called "On Our Own", which had 6 books. I have 4 out of 6.

The very first book in the series that I read, "Questions of Love" by Rosemary Vernon, was owned by a cousin, and I couldn't find a copy of it anywhere. Then, I began collecting when I was in high school, saving up on my allowance every week so I could buy one book at a time. When I started buying them using my own money, the books cost P54.00 each, and at the time I bought a copy of the very last book, it was already around P150.00 each. Ah, inflation. :)

My collection began from book #179 onwards, because those were the ones that were being published at the time I started buying them. I managed to complete all of the titles from #179 to #233, all first editions. There was a time when Bantam reprinted select titles - the old ones, like #10 "Love Match", #44 "The Truth About Me & Bobby V.", and #15 "Thinking of You", so I bought all those, too. Then I started scouring Book Sale outlets, the internet (eBay, Sulit, OLX, Multiply), and even Amazon (no, I haven't bought anything off them yet) for the missing titles. A few titles were mooched, too. ;)

So far, in the many years that I've spent trying to complete the series, I am happy to report that I am now only less than 20 titles away from completing the collection. The condition of the books vary from mint, to good, to merely acceptable; some have doodles and names of previous owners, but all have the requisite plastic cover. Here are the copies that I own, photographed in batches of 25, albeit with some titles still missing. Please pardon the poor resolution. :)

Books 1-25. Book #1, P.S. I Love You, is at the bottom.



Books 26-50.

Books 51-75.

Books 76-100. Here, the layout and print became more colorful.

Books 101-125.

Books 126-150.

Books 151-175.

Books 176-200.

Books 201-225.


Books 226-233.
One of my most prized copies, "P.S. I Love You", which is the first book in the series, was a birthday gift from a good friend.

P.S. I Love You, now a collector's item.
And here is my super-duper favorite of the lot, one among many books by Sheri Cobb South that I love so much.

My most favorite of all, bar none. I *heart* Bruce and Darby!

Another favorite. Barrie & Paul. :)
The models get prettier every book published, too. These are two of my favorite ones. They're so pretty.

She reminds me of Natalie Portman.

The prettiest model, for me.
This one is a mint-copy edition, and I am so happy to have it. It was shipped all the way from the UK! I'm so glad I joined Bookmooch. ;)

This copy came all the way from London, thanks to Bookmooch!
The evolution of the covers. Compare the cover of "P.S. I Love You" to these two. "Moonlight Melody" is #206, and "My Secret Heart" is #207.

The cover layout changed when the series reached #207.
Bantam also published three-in-one books (they call it "omnibus"), a couple of which I also have. The most expensive book I bought was Janet Quin-Harkin's "California Girl", book #6, for P500.00, from a local eBay seller. 

Photo courtesy
Oh, and did you know that celebrities have also posed for the covers? Can you recognize these two celebrities? :)


So, there they are. The books in my collection, books that I will never, ever part with. I made a separate tab for the complete list here, so if by chance you will trip upon a copy of the titles that I still don't have, I would appreciate your help. :)

Any Sweet Dreams novel you've read? :)

24 comments:

Lynai said...

YAY for your awesome Sweet Dreams collection, Monique! :) I remember borrowing SD books from a classmate in highschool but I haven't really completed reading them. Don't these books just bring back fond memories? ;)

Celina said...

Amazing collection! Have you re-read any of the books lately? I was looking at the titles and I could only remember a handful of them (though I could have sworn I read a lot of these back then).:)

I'll let you know if I ever spot any of the books you are missing.:)

Monique said...

LYNAI: Thanks! Yes, they just bring back memories. High school, kilig-ish memories, haha!

CELINA: I haven't reread any book as of late, but then again, I am not much into rereading books. :)

Yes, please, help me find the missing titles! I will appreciate it very much. :)

dementedchris said...

Did you ever read Heartbreak Cafe? It's not a spin-off like On Our Own (was that Jill and Toni?) or Private Eyes but it's also JQH so I thought you might have heard of it.

I have the entire Love Stories too, but a couple of have escaped my library (books I lent out but were never returned). They had a newer version (starting from The Nine-Hour Boyfriend) but that entire set I sold recently. :(

I've read some of the ones you're missing (like Falling in Love Again and Rocky Romance but I'm not sure if it's because I have them in my collection or not. I'm pretty sure I have Too Young for Love... iyo na lang, if I can find it. :)

Carla Bracale's Dream Date! Hahaha. I thought Bill was so cute. I remember Jesse but I can't remember the name of the first guy.

Monique said...

Hi Chris!

I've heard of Heartbreak Cafe, but I haven't seen copies of that anywhere. The title that's missing from my Love Stories is a Janet Quin-Harkin (can you believe it??) and I didn't buy the trilogies/sets/spin-off titles that they published later.

Oh please help me find the missing SD titles!!!! I would be so very grateful.

To be honest, I haven't read Dream Date yet, haha. The ones that I acquired much later, I haven't had time to read yet. I just want them there to complete the collection. Hehe.

Thanks for dropping by! ;)

dementedchris said...

I don't think it was based on an actual SD title, but it's pretty cute -- a more mature series between a country club girl turned waitress and her bad boy Italian boss. :P

Do you also have the Sweet Dreams Specials? I only have one title (Taking the Lead); I can let go of it to add to your collection. :)

Monique said...

I have a couple of those, I just don't have the titles with me. I guess I put all my energy into completing the series.

But I would love to have your copy. Thanks so much, in advance! :)

jzhunagev said...

Wow! 0.0

I'm still catching my breath. Such collection and such a devoted fan. :)

Sainte said...

I envy you. Been hunting for copies since time immemorial. Actually gave up on it. My only goal now is to look for a copy of PS I Love You. Hope you complete your collection. :)

Linda Joy Singleton said...

So cool to read of your love of Sweet Dreams. I loved writing them and put a little of myself in each book. Did you know that mystery author Rhys Bowen is actually Janet Quin-Harkin. I've talked to her a few times. I know many of the authors of SDs. I still email Diane Crawford and Betty Jo Schuler once a week. I also collect all girl series books so have most of the other books mentioned here. If you have any questions, just ask! Linda
Www.lindajoysingleton.com

Monique said...

SAINTE: Good luck on the hunt for P.S. I Love You! :)

LINDA: Wow! Just.... wow! I am thrilled and honored to have you visit my blog!

I miss reading the Sweet Dreams books, although it may be age-inappropriate for me now. I'm heading over to your site right now! :)

the constant reader said...

wow! what a collection! good luck finding the last few missing books!

( ・ω・) said...

I have so much respect for your goal to complete the whole collection (something I may never accomplish) that I'm compelled to give you my copy of Heartbreak Hill. ...I just don't know how to contact you since I am unwilling to give my contact details online. :3

Analí said...

i read 2 books the other day. my cousin had these books. even though i'm 20 and should probably be embarrassed to be reading cheesy fluff short books, i kinda enjoyed it. the girls in the books i read (cover girl and falling in love again) seemed genuinely nicer and more mature than your current YA heroines which was a (good) surprise.

Prince Villa said...

nice collection

jingelbells said...

hi! at last! after I've scoured the world wide web i have found someone like you! If been looking for copies of Dear Amanda ad Thinking of you, those books I've loved before and I want to have my students read it for a book reading project. I love sweet dreams series but unfortunately I can't find a copy anywhere! could you please tell me where to in these books? looking for pdf versions as well to no avail..

jingelbells said...

is it possible to have it photocopied? I know it's illegal, but i really really really LOVE this books. :(( help po! ^^ btw i'm from the Phils. only in Rizal... thanks

Melanie Vivo said...

I just finished re-reading P.S. I Love You (just got done crying). And it brought me back down to memory lane, that's why I landed in your website. I used to own almost all copies of the Sweet Dreams and Love Stories series but I threw them out (yeah, stupid me!). Now, I'm left with just these two copies, the one I mentioned earlier and Hot Summer Nights. I'm trying to look for copies of my favorites, too. I just couldn't find any :-( If you have any idea where to find them, please let me know. Here they are:
Wrong Way Romance (Demolition Darby and Neanderthal Bruce)
Sharing Sam
Winter Dreams
Summer Dreams
There's one here that I can't remember the title, but it has a poem in it that goes like this "love in a shoe, supper in a tub, swimming in a sink, flying in sub..."
Super thanks! Appreciate your blog :-)

M Owen said...

Hi, do you know if this series is available in ebooks?

Sparkina said...

LOVED Sweet Dreams books as a teen. BTW, the celebrity SD cover girls are
COURTNEY COX with the dark hair and the pastel jacket
DIANE LANE holding the apple

::bebang:: said...

I do collect those too. And I still dont have the first book. If any one knows where I can find one please please please inform me.

::bebang:: said...

Some are available. Ive had a copy of p.s. I love you before. But I really wanted a hard copy.

Noray said...

Hi. I came across your blog while looking for "Wrong-Way Romance." Are you willing to sell them (I believe not since it's your all time fave, too). Do you any1 willing to sell theirs or point where I can find one? Thanks!

yvette said...

Hi! Grabe sobrang inggit ako sa collection mo... I used to have an extensive collection of SD books pero kaunti na lang natira ngayon. Madaming nanghiram at di na binalik :( . I started collecting them when I was in 4th grade (Im 38 now). I used to go SD hunting sa Recto, P10-15 lang noon dun, brand new ones were only P35. My faves were: PS I love you, secret dentity, love match, never say no, daydreamer, priceless love, this time for real, no strings attached, the perfect catch, wrong-way romance, hot summer nights, acting on impulse, on her own, falling in love again, rocky romance, and a lot more (lol). I was such a book nerd. I still am. Good luck on your hunt!