December 19, 2012

SVH #132, Once Upon a Time: French Twists

Posted in books tagged , at 8:27 pm by Jenn

Jessica's shoes make me cry. Elizabeth is the poster girl for '90s fashion

Jessica’s shoes make me cry. Elizabeth is the poster girl for ’90s fashion

Summary: For their 118th summer, the twins will be serving as au pairs for a royal family in the south of France. (Just go with it, as usual.) Just before they leave, Todd tells Elizabeth that she can feel free to see other people during the summer, which she was probably going to do anyway. Only she thinks this means he can’t trust her (…he can’t), so they break up. That means she’s in a great mood on the trip to France.

The girls take a train to the castle they’ll be staying in (Château d’Amour Inconnu), and Jessica meets a guy named Jacques and his father Louis. Jacques is supposedly the Duke of Norveaux. He and Jessica quickly fall in luuuuuuuuv, or at least she does. He’s shady and gives her an emerald just before a countess (who’s traveling with her daughter Antonia and will also be staying at the castle) announces that a jewel she had with her is missing. Jessica is too dumb to put the pieces together.

The castle is really nice, as are the royals, but the twins are put up in a small attic room, which isn’t so great. Also, the kids they have to take care of are brats. They’re all told to stay out of a big hedge maze on the property, but one of the kids runs into it and Elizabeth has to go after him. While they’re wandering around, they spot the kids’ older half-brother, Laurent. There’s some crap about an old love story surrounding the castle, and Laurent dreaming of meeting a blond woman, and Elizabeth having a dream about him, too, but I don’t care. Also, he doesn’t want to be royalty. Again, I don’t care.

The twins get in a fight about how Jessica isn’t doing her share of the work (I mean, obviously), so they decide to split shifts with the kids. Jessica’s so mad that when she finds a letter Todd send Elizabeth, she burns it. Elizabeth is caught in a rainstorm and winds up at Laurent’s cottage, where they get to know each other and, of course, start falling in luuuuuuuuuuuuv. She misses her shift with the kids, but Jessica was worried about her, so it’s all good and they make up. Jess decides not to say anything about Todd’s letter, hoping he just writes back.

While Elizabeth is out with Laurent, Jessica’s in their bedroom alone when someone grabs her. It’s Jacques, who says he came to see her and was only looking through her things (!) to figure out which side of the room was hers. Jessica’s so happy to see him that she doesn’t confront him with the information she’s learned: There is no Norveaux, so he can’t be the duke of it. Dun!

Thoughts: Château d’Amour Inconnu means Castle of Unknown Love. Barf.

Why do royals in SVH never want to be royals?

The ghostwriter has completely forgotten that the twins have been to France before.

After meeting the countess and Antonia, who are completely nasty to anyone who isn’t high-class, Elizabeth thinks, “Thank goodness I’m from America – where everyone is equal!” HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Maybe in Sweet Valley, where there are no poor people or minorities.

I find it hard to believe that no one cleaned the maid’s quarters before the twins arrived. But then again, I also find it hard to believe that French royals agreed to let two random American 16-year-olds watch their kids all summer, so whatever.

“Pierre, the oldest child, was wearing a blue-and-white sailor suit.” Of course. What else do fictional European children wear?

Elizabeth keeps reading this babysitting book, and it’s hilarious. “Children should be reasoned with, not disciplined.” “Children respond instantly to authority.” That book was written either by a hippie or by someone who’s never spent more than two minutes with a child.


  1. Clip Snark said,

    Rich people love them some hedge maze.

  2. bscag said,

    Children respond instantly to authority? Does that mean my two-year-old isn’t a child? What is she, then?

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