Sweet Valley High #134: Happily Ever After

SVH134Read part one of this miniseries here. Read part two here.

The Moral of the Story: If you have a sad enough story, you’re allowed to be a criminal and escape punishment.

The Big Deal: We’re still in France.

Synopsis:

The royal children come down to the dungeon, tie up the guard and unlock the door so the twins can escape. Jessica thinks they should stick around because running away will make them look guilty, but Liz says that without Jacques, they have no proof of their innocence. They take off for town in search of Jacques, but they turn around when Liz realizes she just has to see Laurent one more time. The children meet them outside the castle and one of them goes to get Laurent. He and Liz have a passionate embrace or two and then the horrible countess comes outside and starts yelling at the twins. Jessica tears Liz out of Laurent’s arms and they go running into the woods. After a while, Liz twists her ankle. Jessica builds a shelter out of tree branches and the twins go to sleep.

Later that night, Jacques gets the feeling that Jessica is in trouble. He really loves her, so he steals a horse and goes riding around trying to find her. He runs into Laurent, who is also out searching for the twins. Jacques offers to help, but he doesn’t want Laurent around if he finds the twins, so he sends him back to the castle, saying he’ll contact him in three hours. Laurent talks to his parents, who tell him they can get the countess not to prosecute the twins if Laurent promises to marry Antonia. Laurent agrees. Jacques finds the twins looking for him in town. They yell and scream at him at first, but then he tells him his whole sad story about how his mother died. Jessica cries and gives him a big hug and even Liz feels bad for him. They ask if he has the diamond necklace and he says he has to go get it from his father and he’ll be right back. He comes back with a note from his father that says he took the necklace. Jacques decides to sacrifice himself for Jessica, so he goes back to the castle with them. They get there just as Laurent is announcing his betrothal to Antonia. Jacques goes to the podium and tells everyone he’s the one who really stole the countess’s jewels. The guards take him away and throw him in the dungeon. Jessica tries to break him out, but fails epically.

Laurent decides he absolutely will not marry Antonia. The countess is pissed. She goes to Liz and tells her there will be an “international incident” if Laurent and Antonia don’t hook up, and that will only happen if Liz gets out of Dodge. Liz freaks out, and without even sparing a thought for Jessica, she packs her bags and takes off for the train station. One of the kids, Pierre, overhears all of this and he goes to tell Laurent. Laurent gets on his trusty steed and gallops away. He gets to the train just as it starts moving, so he’s able to be all dashing and jump onto the train and order the driver to stop. He sweeps Liz off her feet and asks her to marry him. She’s a little overwhelmed at this point and can only stutter, so he tells her to give him an answer later. For now, he’ll just go ahead and take her back to the castle.

That night, Laurent wakes up to find a stranger in his room. The man introduces himself as Jacques’ father. He tells Laurent the same sad story Jacques told the twins: his seamstress wife died because her rich customers wouldn’t help pay for her medicines, so he’s been stealing from rich people ever since. Laurent is just as touched by this story as the twins were, and he gives Louis some money and tells him how to break Jacques out of the dungeon. Seriously? I mean, yeah, that’s a sad story, but dude. The guy’s an international jewel thief.

So, in the end, Jacques and his father go free, Liz tells Laurent she can’t marry him, and then she goes home and makes out with Todd. Dammit, I hoped they were really broken up this time.

Quotes:

“Come on,” Elizabeth grumbled. “Let’s find Jacques and get this thing straightened out so I can take a bath and change clothes. I feel totally grungy.”

You’ve escaped from a dungeon and you’re now hiding in the woods. Is your hygiene really the most important issue here?

“You must swear on your sister’s life, Jessica,” he insisted.

He’s so sexy when he’s intense like this, Jessica thought, her heart thumping.

Yeah, my sister’s mortality always whips me into a frenzy.

The Cover: Whenever I look at this cover, all I can think of is These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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Comments
  • Jannie girl talk December 11, 2009 at 11:38 am

    These Happy Golden Years is a much better book, though. Why do all of these guys ask sixteen year olds to get married? Is getting engaged at sixteen really that common? ( granted I knew a girl that- no lie- was engaged in EIGHTH grade- she must have read lots of SVH)

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I was engaged in eighth grade, too. Then he wouldn’t sit by me in the cafeteria at lunch and the wedding was off.

    I love Little House on the Prairie. I wonder if I still have the books somewhere.

    [Reply]

    Lauri Reply:

    I know I still have my LIW books. Please Liz only wishes she could write as well as Laura.

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  • Sandy December 11, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I’m so sure now the ghostwriters know how stupid these books were and laughed all the way to the bank. “Let’s see how far-fetched we can make this one”.
    Oooh, I hate them.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I think you’re right. Jerks.

    [Reply]

  • Freckles December 11, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I’m glad the twins went back to Renaissance era. it’s just so much more intersting this way. Not to mention time travel is so hard! (not that I would know…)

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I just wish there was some explanation of how the time travel took place. Was it on the train ride that took up most of the first book? Did they go through a rift on the plane ride over? I guess we’ll never know.

    [Reply]

  • racheirach December 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    i cant believe it. after the whole vampire debacle they actually made these books worse….

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I know, I didn’t think it was possible.

    [Reply]

  • Maggi December 11, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Yeesh, I’m so glad this one is over. I like the twins much better when they stay in CA.

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  • megan s. December 11, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    i would have married the prince. forget todd!

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    Me too. Prince Laurent all the way!

    [Reply]

  • Jenna December 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Can you imagine the future “Elizabeth’s Legacy”. . . “then Liz cheated on Todd and fell in love with XXXXXX, then she refused his proposal and got back with Todd. Then Liz cheated on Todd and fell in love with XXXXXX, then she refused his proposal and got back with Todd. Then Liz cheated on Todd and fell in love with XXXXXX, then she refused his proposal and got back with Todd. Sheesh! *shakes head*

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    God, that would be such a bad book.

    [Reply]

  • Darren December 12, 2009 at 1:21 am

    I am so tortured right now. How many times must Liz and Todd break up, get back together? ARe you sure this is not some version of wonder Years? How many times did Kevin and WInnie break up on that show? THat’s also funny in Liz’s diary, she almost had a thing for Sam. Maybe that explains a lot that night at the Jungle Prom, or whatever they called it.

    [Reply]

  • Lorelai December 12, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Stupidest. Miniseries. Ever. That’s really all I have to say.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I don’t know, I think there’s an even dumber one coming up. But now they’ve all reached a level of dumb at which it’s hard to tell whether one is dumber than the next.

    [Reply]

  • Sadako December 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    “If you have a sad enough story, you’re allowed to be a criminal and escape punishment.”

    This story endorsed by Roman Polanski.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, so true.

    [Reply]

    Lindsay Reply:

    Ha!

    [Reply]

    Karla Reply:

    Who was hiding out in France, let’s not forget!

    [Reply]

  • Darren December 13, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Isn’t the next series where Lila Fowler has a thing for Steven, and we go Law and Order or CSI? I won’t spoil the outcome, but it certainly was a little obvious as I read 135-137 who the perpetrator was framing Lila, and so dumb too. Does anybody know when they look at Steven on the book cover what actor he resembles or something, if they’re using the TV Series actors/actresses from Sweet valley High?

    [Reply]

  • Christine December 13, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Liz is such a heartbreaker. “Elizabeth’s Legacy” would be lame alright (and I love the Wakefield Sagas in a totally non-guilty pleasure way).

    Don’t you love how the ghostwriters keep trying to give the twins Epic Sweeping Romances where the Prince (or whoever) will disobey his family and renounce his title/kingdom for her (only he won’t have to do that in the end ’cause Liz has to become a Princess!) – only to return to the status quo in the end? ‘Cause the series can’t *end*! I guess they never considered how fickle and shallow this made Elizabeth appear. Or how predictable and pointless the “romances” were, ’cause you *know* she’s never gonna accept any of these marriage proposals and leave Sweet Valley behind.

    I read more Sweet Valley Twins books as a kid ’cause I was in that age-group when they were first released. And I actually *liked* Elizabeth in that series. Y’know why? Well, I delude myself that the ghostwriters were better (the books were more reality-based anyway, less soapy and ridiculous than SVH – at least, I don’t recall any serial killers or vampires 🙂

    …But also…for awhile there, Liz wasn’t interested in boys yet. Jess was the boy-crazy one. So there’s a big ugly character trait of Elizabeth’s… eliminated! No cheating, or leading men on! (or twin-boyfriend-swaps …ewww). Too bad she had to hit puberty, eh? I’m sure the ghostwriters just made more of an effort to keep the books innocent for the 10-12 year olds who were the target readers.

    Girls, wait ’til you’re at least 16 before you start cheating on your steady fella, stealing your sister’s beaus, or leaving a long trail of heartbroken men all over the world, doomed to loveless arranged marriages, because after encouraging them to make all the effort and sacrifice for your sake, defying their parents and years of tradition/royal responsibilities, you decided, “nah, I’m not that serious about him after all. I “love” a lot of guys. *giggle*”

    Gah. It’s just not romantic unless both people are making a sacrifice for True Love. Can’t the ghostwriters see that?!?! Why am I getting so worked up over this. I need a life.

    [Reply]

    Lindsay Reply:

    I remember getting angry when Amy Sutton turned out to be such a CU Next Tuesday in SVH. I missed the innocence SVT offered. And Elizabeth didn’t annoy me as much either, so I know where you’re coming from!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I was also a bigger Sweet Valley Twins fan back in the day for a lot of the same reasons.

    Christine, I love your comments. I just wanted to let you know.

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    P.S. Shannon, I love your recaps! And…you’re making me blush. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    Me too! That was NOT the real Amy Sutton. She was nice, and smart, and a tomboy! Nobody changes *that* much between middle school and high school. Amy must’ve had an evil doppelganger (Amargo?) who pretended to “move back” to Sweet Valley for the SVH series. For what diabolical reasons, I can’t begin to fathom. But I stand by my theory ’cause I loved The Real Amy Sutton (especially that book where she stands up to the snobbery and sabotage of the Unicorn Club to bravely try out for the cheerleading squad – not due to a desire for popularity, but because she’s just damn good with a baton and she won’t back down, dammit! I’m not generally into inspirational-sports-stories, but that one really gets me and makes me want to, well, cheer. :))

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    LOL @ Amargo.

    I agree. That is not the real Amy Sutton.

    [Reply]

    Beth Reply:

    I liked SVT better for the same reasons. Elizabeth truly was the level-headed twin in that series (especially in the beginning), and not liking boys had a lot to do with it. I always liked how she would make fun of the Unicorn Club. She wasn’t being self-righteous like she so often was in SVH; she just thought they were silly. I lost interest in the series a lot when the whole Elizabeth/Todd thing started Back then, she was more honest and called him her “sort-of” boyfriend. Maybe she should have stuck with that. It’s a lot easier to repeatedly cheat on a “sort-of” boyfriend than a real boyfriend.

    [Reply]

    Christine Reply:

    Beth – it’s true. There must’ve been better ghostwriters assigned to SVT…at first. Even when Liz tried to be helpful/was nice to someone the Unicorn Club made fun of, it came across as more sincere, not condescending like in SVH. She still had flaws (like letting Jess get away with crap), but overall I think she was more convincingly relatable to geeky/studious-girls-who-loved-reading-and-writing-instead-of-clothes-and-boys … like me. 🙂 I can understand why people hate Liz in the later books, so I have to clarify which Liz I could kinda relate to. Don’t hate me too!

    [Reply]

  • Lindsay December 13, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Sooo…do people in France not have cars? Seeing as how they’re always running around riding horses and whatnot.

    And seriously? A prince wants to marry you and you’re like “no thanks” and go back to whiny ass Todd? No.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I would definitely marry the prince before going back to Todd.

    I think the lack of cars is further evidence that they’ve gone through a time rift.

    [Reply]

  • Schatzi December 15, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Whenever I look at this cover, all I can think of is These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Too bad the LIW dresses were so much better.

    [Reply]

  • loreene May 16, 2011 at 4:01 am

    I thought Prince Laurent and Elizabeth will marry and happily ever after…………….

    [Reply]

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