Sweet Valley High #132: Once Upon a Time

SVH132The Moral of the Story: There’s a prince at the end of every hedge maze.

The Big Deal: Going away party for the twins at Lila’s, big trip to France

Synopsis:

The school year has ended and the twins are off to France to be au pairs for the summer. They’ll be watching the kids of some royal couple, the de Saint-Maries. The night before they leave, Lila throws a big bon voyage bash. Jessica is bored and anxious to just be in France already. Liz isn’t looking forward to being away from Todd for a month and she pulls him away from the party for some alone time. Todd tells her he wants them to see other people for the summer. Liz, who prefers cheating to breaking up, is totally pissed and leaves the party in tears.

The twins arrive in France and get on a train. On what turns out to be the longest train ride ever, Liz sulks while Jessica talks to a cute guy, Jacques, and his father, Louis. Jacques claims his father is the duke of Norveaux, and Jessica is suitably impressed. By the time the men get off the train, Jacques and Jessica are in love and making out. Jacques gives her a huge emerald before he leaves, and promises to come visit her at the de Saint-Maries’ castle. A little while later, a countess on the train starts screaming that one of her gems is missing. The countess is horrible and mean and thinks the twins are scum because they’re not royalty. Unfortunately, the countess and her daughter are also going to be spending the summer with the de Saint-Maries.

The twins’ first day on the job, little Pierre runs into the hedge maze and Liz goes after him. She gets lost for a while, but finally finds the kid peeking through the hedges at Prince Laurent, his half-brother, who is having a little fencing practice in front of a cottage. Prince Laurent de Saint-Marie is eighteen years old and he dreams of meeting a beautiful blond girl with blue eyes and a heart of gold. How convenient. Liz checks him out through the hedges, then Pierre leads her out of the maze. Liz yells at Jessica for letting Pierre run off and the twins start shouting at each other in front of everyone. They decide they can’t work together anymore, so they split the days into shifts so only one of them is with the children at a time.

A letter from Todd comes for Liz, but Jessica burns it before Liz can see it. Damn, I really wanted to know what he had to say for himself. Then Jessica talks to Anna, another servant, and asks what she knows about the duke of Norveaux. Anna says there’s no such thing and Jessica is disillusioned. She can’t believe some guy she didn’t even know would lie to her.

Liz goes to take a walk before dinner one day and gets lost in the hedge maze again. Idiot. It starts to rain and by the time she finds the cottage on the other side, she’s totally soaked and freezing. Prince Laurent lets her in and they spend the entire night talking. When Liz gets back to the castle the next morning, Jessica is so happy to see her that she declares their fight over. Until the next week when Liz skips out on baby-sitting duties to go horseback riding with Laurent. The prince takes her to some romantic spot and tells her he had a dream about her before they met. Liz thinks that’s totally cool because she’d had a dream about him on the plane ride over. They make out.

Back at the castle, Jessica puts the kids to bed and goes up to the tiny attic bedroom she’s disappointed to call her own. Someone grabs her and puts a hand over her mouth. She struggles and squirms, but then a “sexy voice” tells her to be still. She turns around and is overjoyed to see Jacques. She thinks it’s a little weird that he lied about being a duke’s son, and that he sneaked into the castle like a creeper, and that he was going through her bureau, but she makes out with him anyway.

Quotes:

“I just can’t wait to get out of Sweet Valley,” Jessica explained. “I feel like I’ve been dancing with the same ten cute guys my whole life.”

And I feel like I’ve been reading about it my whole life.

Jessica had traveled in the past, and she had even spent some time in England as an intern at the London Times. But still, it seemed strange to be in the midst of a non-English-speaking crowd.

This whole book, the twins act like they’ve never been to France before.

Jessica frowned. She had hoped they would eat with the royal family at the regal dinner table that they had passed.

Why would you assume something like that? You’re the baby-sitter.

“I was dating a guy named Cameron, but it didn’t work out.”

Just in case you were wondering about the relationship Jessica spent the last three books desperately pursuing, it “fizzled out” because Cameron had to travel on business all the time.

The Cover: Jessica, take off that stupid beret and the dumb scarf. You are not really French and your shoes are totally wrong for that outfit. Liz, you just keep on rockin’ your barrettes and floral luggage.

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Comments
  • Sadako December 7, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Ugh ANOTHER prince? I remember one from when they are in middle school. No fair! I still haven’t gotten my FIRST prince.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Me neither! Curse the luck that made me not be born a blond twin in Sweet Valley.

    [Reply]

  • Sandy December 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Yes, Jess, just make out with random guys on the train and tell them where you are staying. Did we not learn anything from the movie “Taken”?????

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    But she’s in love! That makes everything okay!

    [Reply]

  • HelenB December 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t France behead most of their aristocracy a good two hundred years before this book was written? So how are they all hanging out in Nice or wherever?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if you were one hundred percent correct. These damned ghostwriters.

    [Reply]

  • Jannie girl talk December 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    wow these books get worse and worse! Shannon how do you get through them?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    With an iron will and a nearby punching bag.

    [Reply]

  • Maggi December 7, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Oh brother. Of course Liz would find the one guy looking for a blond hair blue eyed blah blah blah. Please tell me her and Todd are broken up for good. And quit making out with strangers Jessica!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I really, really want them to be broken up for good.

    [Reply]

  • Darren December 8, 2009 at 2:28 am

    HOw many times are the twins going to France? Is this the 3rd time already in one year?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Second, I think. Too many, in any case.

    [Reply]

  • Lorelai December 8, 2009 at 5:09 am

    Liz is totally dressed like Maria from The Sound of Music. I’m half-expecting her to whack on a straw hat and start dancing around to ‘I Have Confidence.’

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Believe it or not, that would have improved the book immeasurably.

    [Reply]

  • Lindsay December 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Liz yells at Jessica for letting Pierre run off and the twins start shouting at each other in front of everyone

    How professional.

    This book is getting a serious eye-roll from me.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    For real. I don’t know how they even got hired for this gig.

    [Reply]

  • Darren December 10, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    How much shorter can Jessica’s dress get? I mean, that is so short right now!

    [Reply]

  • Jeni December 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    “A letter from Todd comes for Liz, but Jessica burns it before Liz can see it. Damn, I really wanted to know what he had to say for himself.”

    You and me both, Shannon.

    Jessica is one of those chicks in horror movies that hears creepy sounds from the basement and decides to go down and investigate even though she is HOME ALONE. Then she’s all shocked and horrified when she gets attacked and slashed to bits.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    She totally is one of those girls.

    [Reply]

  • Karla January 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    WTF is up with the black tights and the white dress? And the sneakers and socks? Is Jess trying to look like some ’90s temp?

    [Reply]

  • bayerngirl74 May 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I was an au pair in Germany, and I met no royalty. I feel ripped off. Life as an au pair is hell if you have a shitty family (which I did), so really – why make up stupid drama when you can say how horrible the family is, how crappy it is when you’re upset and none of your friends speak English, so you can’t get across what’s bothering you. I make it sound horrible – being an au pair gave me a chance to experience another culture, which was great, and it was a wonderful experience – but for the family lol!! Then again, I was there for a year, not 2 weeks. No-one hires someone for 2 weeks, and if they do, definitely not from overseas.

    [Reply]

    bayerngirl74 Reply:

    Crap, wait…did I just try to inject some reality into SVH? My bad, sorry.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Shame on you! Check your reality at the door, sister!
    I’m sorry you didn’t meet any royalty in Germany. If you were a Wakefield, you could have counted on falling in love with a prince or two.

    [Reply]

  • Krista November 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    “Todd tells her he wants them to see other people for the summer.”

    Good for you, Todd – a preemptive strike! God, I love it when Todd throws shade at St. Liz.

    “Damn, I really wanted to know what he had to say for himself.”

    Oh please, Todd shouldn’t have had to say a damn thing for himself, since we all (including Todd) know that Liz was just going to end up cheating on him anyway. Todd was basically just giving Liz a summer to cheat free of guilt. She should have thanked him.

    [Reply]

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