SVH #13: Kidnapped!

24 Mar

Estimated Time Elapsed: 1 week


Jessica is getting ready for the huge party being held at Regina Morrow’s mansion.  The Morrows are new in town and are richer than like, anyone.  Jessica is wearing a super-revealing dress in hopes of catching Nicholas Morrow’s eye.  Even though she’s never met him and knows nothing about him except for the fact that he’s rich, she’s convinced they’re meant to be.  She reiterates this fact to Cara in the car on their way to the party after leaving the house without waiting for Elizabeth to return from candy-striping/tutoring Max Dellon/saving the world.

Which I guess is supposed to serve as a way to build tension, because a good deal of time passes at the party before anyone starts worrying about where Elizabeth is.  Jessica meets Regina, whom we learn is deaf bu treads lips and seems to speak without any impediment.  Jessica flirts with Nicholas and lies to Todd about Liz to keep him off her back.  When he discovers the lie, he pushes Jessica into the pool (at which point, I am ashamed to say, I actually squealed with glee).  The two of them realixe something is wrong when Jessica phones home and Ma and Pa Wakefield haven’t seen Liz, either.

The community is stunned by her disappearance.  Jessica blames herself and somehow turns the situation into being about her.  Todd gets angry and threatens people.  Mrs. Wakefield makes breakfast.  Mr. Collins looks haunted.  We all have our ways of dealing with grief, I guess.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth is tied to a wooden chair in Crazy Carl the Orderly’s shack.  He loves her and doesn’t want to hurt her, but he wants them to be together forever.  He feeds her frozen pancakes and fast food and tells her about how happy they’ll be together when he takes her to some cabin in the woods.  Liz cries a lot and thinks about happier times when she and Jessica would have pillow fights for hours.  Her attempts to escape are fruitless, and she wonders if she’ll ever be saved.

But saved she is, after Todd, Jessica, and Max go to the hospital and question staff.  Carl mistakes Jessica for Liz and freaks out, and Liz is rescued.  The twins are reunited and throw a party to celebrate.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “‘Look, it’s not my fault my stupid brother can’t see how good you’d be for him. Maybe after Tricia dies, you two could start over again.'” (17)
  • “Roger Collins was still holding the phone after Todd hung up.  He hoped Elizabeth was okay.  He shook his head as he replaced the receiver.  Sometimes being a teacher at Sweet Valley High felt like a twenty-four-hour-a-day job.” (56)
  • “Then she lowered her right arm against the seat of her chair, and with the fingernail of her thumb she gashed out a notch. ‘Day one,’ she said grimly, wondering if there would ever be an end to this horror.” (96)

Trivia and Fun Facts:

  • Steven has his own (tiny) bathroom attached to his room.
  • Max Dellon needs help with English class and struggles to read Othello on his own.
  • The Morrow Mansion is compared to something out of Xanadu.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

Setting aside Jessica’s complete psychosis when it comes to Nicholas Morrow, the only real issue to focus on in this book is Elizabeth’s kidnapping.  To be fair, Elizabeth fares pretty well for herself, given how powerless she is in the situation.  She tries to escape but the house is boarded up, so she works hard to make sure she can keep Carl calm.  Which is fine, except that it doesn’t seem Carl is actually dangerous, just crazy.  He doesn’t seem to harbor any sexual desire for Elizabeth (a sign that tells us this is a book written for 12-year-olds) and he is often referred to as seeming child-like, which also reinforces the idea that he isn’t really dangerous.  I suppose this was a way to keep readers engaged but not terrified.

The real problem, however, are the long passages where Elizabeth is alone in the shack and the reader is treated to long inner-monologues where Elizabeth reminisces about her friends and family.  Not only does the reader come to realize that Elizabeth is boring–really, really boring–but her best memories are contrived.  The story about Jessica and the pillow fight seemed like something schemed up by a writer trying desperately to get into the mind of a teenage girl and failing, miserably.  Oh well.

The moral of the story?  If you’re kidnapped, wait for your twin sister to trick your kidnapper into thinking you escaped and giving himself away.


2 Responses to “SVH #13: Kidnapped!”


  1. Kidnapped! « Not My Typewriter - May 3, 2011

    […] I’m not likely to read every single book in the series as this blogger did, I am looking forward to reading Sweet Valley Confidential, fully aware of the book’s negative […]

  2. SVH #73: Regina’s Legacy | A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - March 21, 2014

    […] to Nicholas Morrow being a recent Sweet Valley High graduate, but that’s not true, because Nicholas moved with his family after he was already done with high school. […]

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