the_oracle: (plotting)
Head Over Heels
April 1985

   Can Bruce Patman really fall in love?

  Do opposites attract?


     Bruce Patman and Regina Morrow in love? No one at Sweet Valley High can believe it. Regina is beautiful and shy, one of the nicest girls at school. Bruce is a real snow, and the only person he's ever cared about is himself.
    Jessica Wakefield figures the romance can't last. She knows Bruce too well. She's even willing to bet Lila Fowler that Bruce and Regina break up within two weeks. The stakes are high, and Jessica can't afford to lose. If she has her way, Regina and Bruce won't be happy for long.


  Ah, Bruce/Regina. They are probably one of my favorite SV couples, but this book doesn't really do either one of them any favors aside from the cover. Let's begin...
  Regina Morrow has managed to find herself in love with Bruce Patman, but more surprisingly, Bruce is head over heels [sometimes the titles are so easy!] in love with her as well. However strongly they feel about one another, the rest of the school, and anyone who has ever even met Bruce in passing can't help but wonder if this is a sign of the Apocalypse. Bruce... in love? Weird. They're all sure that Bruce will break Regina's heart, and with good reason, given his record thus far in the series. Breaking one Wakefield, nearly raping the other, and being a world class ass to any other female who manages to cross his path. Fun, fun times.
  Anyway, while most people are worried, there are two exceptions. Jessica and Lila are pissed as hell, although for different reasons. Jessica is upset that Bruce seems to have actually changed enough to want Regina, whereas he didn't really want her. Lila is ticked that... well, with Bruce and Regina being a couple, Regina's popularity has soared. You can't go two conversations without someone mentioning the new duo. Considering that Lila is jealous of Regina, this does not sit well with her. So the two make a little wager. Jessica bets that Regina and Bruce will break up before the upcoming carnival. Lila's no fool and says no effing way. For whatever reason, Li decides that betting actual money is no longer kosher, so they they bet term papers. Fifteen pages long term papers. Foolishly, neither girl stipulates that the loser must write a GOOD term paper for the winner. Ah, the folly of youth.

  Thing is, Jessica doesn't plan to fight fair. When it becomes apparent that Bruce is truly enamored of Regina, she decides that since there's no way in hell she's writing Lila's term paper, she's just going to have to help the inevitable along. So she whispers in Regina's ear that if Bruce's lavish gifts are any indication, that it's a good thing no one's really taking the rumours very seriously.
  Regina is a sixteen year old girl and thus immediately demands to know what the hell Jessica is talking about. Jessica stalls and finally confesses that ever since Bruce and Regina got together, Bruce has become even more popular, which is funny considering the timing. What about the timing? Well, he's running for the president of the Centennial student council. Oh, he didn't tell you? Well, it must have slipped his mind. What? No, no, the thought of him dating you just so that people would vote for him IS preposterous. Really, it's just so out there that no one could ever actually believe it. No, you stay there and mull this over. I'll skip back to my car.
  Of course, it works. It's so stupid that it shouldn't. Who the hell would believe that? In what world would this ever actually happen? Oh, yeah, the earlier SVH books would totally have had that happen. Still, it comes across as a rush job and Jessica's lucky that Regina's obviously an idiot. But then again, so is Bruce. Instead of coming clean when Regina flat out asks about it, he tries to avoid the question and then gets really upset when she won't let the subject drop. All because he wanted to surprise her with his win. Why... Ho...Why would that do something special for her? Because it shows that you casually entered a competition and beat someone who actually wanted the job? That's going to impress her? Regina ain't Jessica, jackass.
  Speaking of stupid, we have another fight involving the ever-present love birds, Todd and Elizabeth. This one is so painful that the writer actually has the characters comment on it and my brain melted. Back story: The previously mentioned carnival is a fund raiser to help "handicapped children." No idea what handicaps, maybe all of them, maybe just social ones. Who knows, we're never told. Anyway, Liz is chairperson of the event and as such she's running around trying to get this thing up and running in under two weeks. Skye Morrow has been named parent adviser of this train wreck, although she doesn't appear to actually do anything. In order to work her magic on Regina, Jessica comes up with an idea for the carnival. Mother daughter fashion show! The single best moment in the book is when Liz says that it's a good idea, but do you think Mom would go for it, and Jessica snorts that she didn't mean either of the twins and Alice, she meant the actual models, Regina/Skye. Now, I giggle just thinking about that, though technically Annie and her mother are also both models [former] so it's not like the school is hurting for beautiful people. But asking them wouldn't get Jessica over to the Morrow's estate where she could flirt with Donald. When Liz stops by later, Donald flirts with whom he assumes is Jessica, but it's Liz. Oh those wacky twin mix ups.
  Neither Todd nor Liz remembers Elizabeth has an identical twin and that Donald might have thought he was flirting with her, not the boring, seriously taken twin. So Todd sulks and Liz is down in the dumps until the twins chat again. Then Liz runs off to call Todd and explain the whole mess and Jess is like, "wait, so you ruined my chances? Come back here!"

  Alright. The actual point of the book is that Kurt Morrow has found a doctor who might possibly be able to fix Regina's hearing. At first Regina is just as excited as the rest of her family about the prospect of normality, but then she finds out she'll have to spend a year in Switzerland for the treatments. This would mean leaving Bruce and Regina's not about to do that. So she says no. It's not all about Bruce, though. She likes her life in Sweet Valley, and I don't blame her. She's rich, she's beautiful, and the whole school seems to adore her, aside from Lila, so why would she want to leave for something that might just end up being a giant dud? She doesn't tell Bruce, or anyone else, really.
  When Jessica's plan works, Regina tells her family she'll leave immediately. Liz and Regina chat and Liz is pissed that Bruce would do such a thing, and once more I really question how smart Liz is. On the other hand, she loathes Bruce [for good effing reason] so that's blinding her to the absurdity of the situation.
  Thing is, Bruce is miserable. He actually loved Regina and he has no idea why she dumped him. Liz finally caves and Bruce points out that this is completely stupid and lacking in logic, and Liz tells him about Regina's move. At first Bruce assumes it'll be a short term treatment thing, but when Liz points out that we're talking a year or more, Bruce is less than thrilled. He's also confused. Does he let Regina go because if would be better for her, or does he beg her to stay because he loves her?
  He compromises. He writers her a fantastically over the top letter that explains he really does love her and because of that, she has to give her hearing a chance. Or something along those lines. It's actually kind of sweet. Anyway, he asks Liz to slip it into Regina's luggage somewhere so that she'll see it sometime after she's left.
  Liz agrees and slips it into Regina's scrapbook. On the plane ride, Regina finds it and feels all warm and fuzzy. Awww.


Trivia:

  • Hey, this one mentions Liz's mole. And that sounded really gross.

  • The book takes place over twelve days. [the length of time it takes to plan the carnival before it happens.]

  • The infamous History term paper is 15 pages long and worth a third of their grades. Lila manages a respectable B- while she leaves Jessica stuck with a D. Next time work on the specifics of the outcome, girls.

  • Bruce meets Regina after each of her classes just so he can spend a few extra minutes with her. Wow, the boy must run.

  • Bruce bought Regina a ruby pendant and a diamond bracelet. Oooooo.

  • Mr. Fowler is building another building across from his downtown office. Lila meets a construction worker named Jack there, though he seems thoroughly unimpressed by who her father is. Intrigue for the next book.

  • Jack has honey brown hair, is tanned from all his work outside, and muscled to boot. Awesome?

  • The Carnival Committee is as follows: Mr Collins, Liz, Todd, Enid, Olivia, Roger, Ken, Winston, Regina, and Skye Morrow.

  • Olivia is in charge of the prizes and decoration, Ken is building the booths, Regina and Enid are working the refreshments, Todd and Roger are all over the games, and Winston is the MC, as well as the man behind the pie throwing booth. Later, Ms. Dalton is in charge of the international food booth.

  • George's flying class is mentioned this go round.

  • Ken is running for the Sweet Valley Centennial Student committee president. Later Bruce enters the race and Liz rigs it so he'll win, because of his devotion to Regina. Um, what if Ken actually wanted that position he actually lobbied for?

  • Liz bets Todd that someone would enter the race against Ken. The prize? A hot fudge sundae at the Dairi Burger. Todd better pay up.

  • Regina things Mrs. Patman is nutty. Possibly because she spends half the night yelling at a deaf person and the other half trying to one-up other people's charity work so that she'll seem more important.

  • Donald Essex is eighteen, with thick sandy hair, green eyes, and newly working ears. He's one of the one in a thousand who had the treatments and they worked.

  • Donald also had a girlfriend and didn't want to leave her, but when she found out that he'd never told her about the possibility that he could hear again, she dumped him for being an idiot. Or not trusting her or something along those lines. Essentially, an idiot.

  • Max Friederich is the Swiss surgeon who works the miracles.

  • At last count, 57 people would rather throw a whipped cream pie at Winston, while only 14 would prefer lemon.

  • Bruce writes his letter to Regina at 1AM, and it takes him an hour to do so.

  • Ms. Dalton is the youngest SVH teacher at 25.

  • Caroline is making her disgustingly rich brownies, and Enid and Todd are making pizza. Where is the Enid/Todd hookup diary?

  • One ticket for the carnival costs a dollar.

  • Winston wears his father's oversized tux and red suspenders as his formal MC gear. Bitchin'.

  • When all is said and done, the SVH gang raised "over $800" for the handicapped children.

  • Jess receives a letter from Donald that says he hadn't wanted to lead her on. Jess is pissed and I'm just confused.

  • At the end of the book, there's a preview for the new Caitlin series. Even the reissues kept this, although I imagine Caitlin was long out of print by then.



Say wha?
Marie Patman hated the Fowlers. She hated them so much that she wasn't sure whether it was the idea of the Fowlers or the fact of them that so enraged her. p35

"Well," Jessica began, still out of breath, "what about a mother-daughter fashion show? We would set it up in one corner of the tent or get a smaller tent for it, and charge people a dollar for tickets."
Elizabeth frowned thoughtfully. "Not bad," she mused. "Do you think Mom would do it?"
Jessica burst out laughing. "Not me, Liz," she said, giggling. "And you think I'm vain," she added.
Elizabeth blushed. 65

"Hello, is Regina there?" Elizabeth shot her a look. Jessica's cheeks turned bright red.
Elizabeth shook her head in disbelief. Only my twin, she thought, would ask to speak to a deaf girl on the phone. It just figures. p75


If anyone can botch up a perfect relationship, she thought, grinning, it's me. Jessica knows herself quite well, p76




  Let's start with the obvious. Regina and Bruce are both painfully rich, and both are spoiled quite a bit. Regina due to guilt [dude, Skye? Dieting while pregnant has always been, and will always be an incredibly bad idea. So yeah, you should feel guilty.] and Bruce because he's... Bruce. So the distance might be a bitch, but something tells me they wouldn't have half the problem oh, say, anyone else on the planet would. So I'm guessing a bulk of the "I won't go, you can't make me" angst was in an effort to have your average reader relate.
  Now I ponder, if Liz hadn't meddled and Regina had gone off to have her hearing fixed, would she have come back only to have her heart broken and die tragically? Would Bruce had folded and told her, or would he have assumed Liz had done what he asked and that Regina just didn't care? Oh, the what-ifs...
  Now, in the recap they give for why Lila loathes Regina, the implication is that Jessica knows Lila went to Lane Townsend and tried to get him to use her pictures instead. Thing is, Lila didn't tell anyone, and I can't really see her sharing her embarrassment with anyone. Though maybe she had a diary and Jess read it. Why did we never get Lila's diary? That would have been amazing...

  I have a soft spot for Head Over Heels. Like a lot of SV fans, I love it when Bruce shows some semblance of humanity, and I loved Regina fiercely. [So much so that when it came time for Barbies, Regina was always part of the gang.] The other reason is I loved that this was the book that gave the world Caitlin. She never did live up to the promise in the letter [she softened way too fast] but bitchery in boarding school? I was so there with bells on.

the_oracle: (plotting)
Head Over Heels
April 1985

   Can Bruce Patman really fall in love?

  Do opposites attract?


     Bruce Patman and Regina Morrow in love? No one at Sweet Valley High can believe it. Regina is beautiful and shy, one of the nicest girls at school. Bruce is a real snow, and the only person he's ever cared about is himself.
    Jessica Wakefield figures the romance can't last. She knows Bruce too well. She's even willing to bet Lila Fowler that Bruce and Regina break up within two weeks. The stakes are high, and Jessica can't afford to lose. If she has her way, Regina and Bruce won't be happy for long.


  Ah, Bruce/Regina. They are probably one of my favorite SV couples, but this book doesn't really do either one of them any favors aside from the cover. Let's begin...
  Regina Morrow has managed to find herself in love with Bruce Patman, but more surprisingly, Bruce is head over heels [sometimes the titles are so easy!] in love with her as well. However strongly they feel about one another, the rest of the school, and anyone who has ever even met Bruce in passing can't help but wonder if this is a sign of the Apocalypse. Bruce... in love? Weird. They're all sure that Bruce will break Regina's heart, and with good reason, given his record thus far in the series. Breaking one Wakefield, nearly raping the other, and being a world class ass to any other female who manages to cross his path. Fun, fun times.
  Anyway, while most people are worried, there are two exceptions. Jessica and Lila are pissed as hell, although for different reasons. Jessica is upset that Bruce seems to have actually changed enough to want Regina, whereas he didn't really want her. Lila is ticked that... well, with Bruce and Regina being a couple, Regina's popularity has soared. You can't go two conversations without someone mentioning the new duo. Considering that Lila is jealous of Regina, this does not sit well with her. So the two make a little wager. Jessica bets that Regina and Bruce will break up before the upcoming carnival. Lila's no fool and says no effing way. For whatever reason, Li decides that betting actual money is no longer kosher, so they they bet term papers. Fifteen pages long term papers. Foolishly, neither girl stipulates that the loser must write a GOOD term paper for the winner. Ah, the folly of youth.

  Thing is, Jessica doesn't plan to fight fair. When it becomes apparent that Bruce is truly enamored of Regina, she decides that since there's no way in hell she's writing Lila's term paper, she's just going to have to help the inevitable along. So she whispers in Regina's ear that if Bruce's lavish gifts are any indication, that it's a good thing no one's really taking the rumours very seriously.
  Regina is a sixteen year old girl and thus immediately demands to know what the hell Jessica is talking about. Jessica stalls and finally confesses that ever since Bruce and Regina got together, Bruce has become even more popular, which is funny considering the timing. What about the timing? Well, he's running for the president of the Centennial student council. Oh, he didn't tell you? Well, it must have slipped his mind. What? No, no, the thought of him dating you just so that people would vote for him IS preposterous. Really, it's just so out there that no one could ever actually believe it. No, you stay there and mull this over. I'll skip back to my car.
  Of course, it works. It's so stupid that it shouldn't. Who the hell would believe that? In what world would this ever actually happen? Oh, yeah, the earlier SVH books would totally have had that happen. Still, it comes across as a rush job and Jessica's lucky that Regina's obviously an idiot. But then again, so is Bruce. Instead of coming clean when Regina flat out asks about it, he tries to avoid the question and then gets really upset when she won't let the subject drop. All because he wanted to surprise her with his win. Why... Ho...Why would that do something special for her? Because it shows that you casually entered a competition and beat someone who actually wanted the job? That's going to impress her? Regina ain't Jessica, jackass.
  Speaking of stupid, we have another fight involving the ever-present love birds, Todd and Elizabeth. This one is so painful that the writer actually has the characters comment on it and my brain melted. Back story: The previously mentioned carnival is a fund raiser to help "handicapped children." No idea what handicaps, maybe all of them, maybe just social ones. Who knows, we're never told. Anyway, Liz is chairperson of the event and as such she's running around trying to get this thing up and running in under two weeks. Skye Morrow has been named parent adviser of this train wreck, although she doesn't appear to actually do anything. In order to work her magic on Regina, Jessica comes up with an idea for the carnival. Mother daughter fashion show! The single best moment in the book is when Liz says that it's a good idea, but do you think Mom would go for it, and Jessica snorts that she didn't mean either of the twins and Alice, she meant the actual models, Regina/Skye. Now, I giggle just thinking about that, though technically Annie and her mother are also both models [former] so it's not like the school is hurting for beautiful people. But asking them wouldn't get Jessica over to the Morrow's estate where she could flirt with Donald. When Liz stops by later, Donald flirts with whom he assumes is Jessica, but it's Liz. Oh those wacky twin mix ups.
  Neither Todd nor Liz remembers Elizabeth has an identical twin and that Donald might have thought he was flirting with her, not the boring, seriously taken twin. So Todd sulks and Liz is down in the dumps until the twins chat again. Then Liz runs off to call Todd and explain the whole mess and Jess is like, "wait, so you ruined my chances? Come back here!"

  Alright. The actual point of the book is that Kurt Morrow has found a doctor who might possibly be able to fix Regina's hearing. At first Regina is just as excited as the rest of her family about the prospect of normality, but then she finds out she'll have to spend a year in Switzerland for the treatments. This would mean leaving Bruce and Regina's not about to do that. So she says no. It's not all about Bruce, though. She likes her life in Sweet Valley, and I don't blame her. She's rich, she's beautiful, and the whole school seems to adore her, aside from Lila, so why would she want to leave for something that might just end up being a giant dud? She doesn't tell Bruce, or anyone else, really.
  When Jessica's plan works, Regina tells her family she'll leave immediately. Liz and Regina chat and Liz is pissed that Bruce would do such a thing, and once more I really question how smart Liz is. On the other hand, she loathes Bruce [for good effing reason] so that's blinding her to the absurdity of the situation.
  Thing is, Bruce is miserable. He actually loved Regina and he has no idea why she dumped him. Liz finally caves and Bruce points out that this is completely stupid and lacking in logic, and Liz tells him about Regina's move. At first Bruce assumes it'll be a short term treatment thing, but when Liz points out that we're talking a year or more, Bruce is less than thrilled. He's also confused. Does he let Regina go because if would be better for her, or does he beg her to stay because he loves her?
  He compromises. He writers her a fantastically over the top letter that explains he really does love her and because of that, she has to give her hearing a chance. Or something along those lines. It's actually kind of sweet. Anyway, he asks Liz to slip it into Regina's luggage somewhere so that she'll see it sometime after she's left.
  Liz agrees and slips it into Regina's scrapbook. On the plane ride, Regina finds it and feels all warm and fuzzy. Awww.


Trivia:

  • Hey, this one mentions Liz's mole. And that sounded really gross.

  • The book takes place over twelve days. [the length of time it takes to plan the carnival before it happens.]

  • The infamous History term paper is 15 pages long and worth a third of their grades. Lila manages a respectable B- while she leaves Jessica stuck with a D. Next time work on the specifics of the outcome, girls.

  • Bruce meets Regina after each of her classes just so he can spend a few extra minutes with her. Wow, the boy must run.

  • Bruce bought Regina a ruby pendant and a diamond bracelet. Oooooo.

  • Mr. Fowler is building another building across from his downtown office. Lila meets a construction worker named Jack there, though he seems thoroughly unimpressed by who her father is. Intrigue for the next book.

  • Jack has honey brown hair, is tanned from all his work outside, and muscled to boot. Awesome?

  • The Carnival Committee is as follows: Mr Collins, Liz, Todd, Enid, Olivia, Roger, Ken, Winston, Regina, and Skye Morrow.

  • Olivia is in charge of the prizes and decoration, Ken is building the booths, Regina and Enid are working the refreshments, Todd and Roger are all over the games, and Winston is the MC, as well as the man behind the pie throwing booth. Later, Ms. Dalton is in charge of the international food booth.

  • George's flying class is mentioned this go round.

  • Ken is running for the Sweet Valley Centennial Student committee president. Later Bruce enters the race and Liz rigs it so he'll win, because of his devotion to Regina. Um, what if Ken actually wanted that position he actually lobbied for?

  • Liz bets Todd that someone would enter the race against Ken. The prize? A hot fudge sundae at the Dairi Burger. Todd better pay up.

  • Regina things Mrs. Patman is nutty. Possibly because she spends half the night yelling at a deaf person and the other half trying to one-up other people's charity work so that she'll seem more important.

  • Donald Essex is eighteen, with thick sandy hair, green eyes, and newly working ears. He's one of the one in a thousand who had the treatments and they worked.

  • Donald also had a girlfriend and didn't want to leave her, but when she found out that he'd never told her about the possibility that he could hear again, she dumped him for being an idiot. Or not trusting her or something along those lines. Essentially, an idiot.

  • Max Friederich is the Swiss surgeon who works the miracles.

  • At last count, 57 people would rather throw a whipped cream pie at Winston, while only 14 would prefer lemon.

  • Bruce writes his letter to Regina at 1AM, and it takes him an hour to do so.

  • Ms. Dalton is the youngest SVH teacher at 25.

  • Caroline is making her disgustingly rich brownies, and Enid and Todd are making pizza. Where is the Enid/Todd hookup diary?

  • One ticket for the carnival costs a dollar.

  • Winston wears his father's oversized tux and red suspenders as his formal MC gear. Bitchin'.

  • When all is said and done, the SVH gang raised "over $800" for the handicapped children.

  • Jess receives a letter from Donald that says he hadn't wanted to lead her on. Jess is pissed and I'm just confused.

  • At the end of the book, there's a preview for the new Caitlin series. Even the reissues kept this, although I imagine Caitlin was long out of print by then.



Say wha?
Marie Patman hated the Fowlers. She hated them so much that she wasn't sure whether it was the idea of the Fowlers or the fact of them that so enraged her. p35

"Well," Jessica began, still out of breath, "what about a mother-daughter fashion show? We would set it up in one corner of the tent or get a smaller tent for it, and charge people a dollar for tickets."
Elizabeth frowned thoughtfully. "Not bad," she mused. "Do you think Mom would do it?"
Jessica burst out laughing. "Not me, Liz," she said, giggling. "And you think I'm vain," she added.
Elizabeth blushed. 65

"Hello, is Regina there?" Elizabeth shot her a look. Jessica's cheeks turned bright red.
Elizabeth shook her head in disbelief. Only my twin, she thought, would ask to speak to a deaf girl on the phone. It just figures. p75


If anyone can botch up a perfect relationship, she thought, grinning, it's me. Jessica knows herself quite well, p76




  Let's start with the obvious. Regina and Bruce are both painfully rich, and both are spoiled quite a bit. Regina due to guilt [dude, Skye? Dieting while pregnant has always been, and will always be an incredibly bad idea. So yeah, you should feel guilty.] and Bruce because he's... Bruce. So the distance might be a bitch, but something tells me they wouldn't have half the problem oh, say, anyone else on the planet would. So I'm guessing a bulk of the "I won't go, you can't make me" angst was in an effort to have your average reader relate.
  Now I ponder, if Liz hadn't meddled and Regina had gone off to have her hearing fixed, would she have come back only to have her heart broken and die tragically? Would Bruce had folded and told her, or would he have assumed Liz had done what he asked and that Regina just didn't care? Oh, the what-ifs...
  Now, in the recap they give for why Lila loathes Regina, the implication is that Jessica knows Lila went to Lane Townsend and tried to get him to use her pictures instead. Thing is, Lila didn't tell anyone, and I can't really see her sharing her embarrassment with anyone. Though maybe she had a diary and Jess read it. Why did we never get Lila's diary? That would have been amazing...

  I have a soft spot for Head Over Heels. Like a lot of SV fans, I love it when Bruce shows some semblance of humanity, and I loved Regina fiercely. [So much so that when it came time for Barbies, Regina was always part of the gang.] The other reason is I loved that this was the book that gave the world Caitlin. She never did live up to the promise in the letter [she softened way too fast] but bitchery in boarding school? I was so there with bells on.

the_oracle: (amy thinks)
Deceptions
December 1984

Has Elizabeth found a new love?

A tangled web...


  Elizabeth Wakefield is stunned when Nicholas Morrow asks her for a date. A newcomer to Sweet Valley, Nicholas is fabulously wealthy and extremely handsome. Even though Elizabeth would never cheat on Todd Wilkins, her steady boyfriend, Nicholas is so attractive and sincere that she agrees to go out with him just once.
  To make matters worse, Jessica, Elizabeth's scheming twin, announces that Nicholas Morrow is the boy for her. Suddenly Nicholas is the only thing on Jessica's mind. Elizabeth is terrified to think what will happen if Todd or her twin finds out about her date with Nicholas. But who can keep a secret from Jessica Wakefield?

  Deceptions is actually mostly forgettable. All you need to know is that Elizabeth is guilted into a dinner date by Nicholas Morrow and wacky hijinks ensue. Seriously, that's all this book is, and no amount of fantastic lip gloss is going to change that. With that said, here are the details.
  The book picks up before the previous one ends. It's a bit of a retelling of Nicholas meeting Elizabeth for the first time, but without Liz getting these loud Klaxon warning bells in her head. It's a completely different tone from the last book's version of these events and it is so not flattering to anyone involved. For as rich and as good looking as Nicholas is, he should not have to resort to emotionally blackmailing someone into going out with him, but that's essentially what happens. Using twisty-Jessica logic, he asks Liz out, and when she points out that she's flattered, but also dating Todd and is in no hurry to shake up that relationship, he pushes on. She says no, again, that it would not be fair to Todd, and Nicholas outdoes himself with the single best bit of logic EVER. He counters that it's hardly fair to him if she turns him down. And Liz... falls for it. Liz, honey, the next time someone tries to outfox you with this type of logic, the correct answer is that Todd is your boyfriend and you don't have to be fair to Nicholas at his expense. But she agrees to the dinner date, telling herself that it's really nothing. Dinner. Between two friends. Despite the fact that one of these "friends" is trying to be more than that. Riiiiiiight.
  Naturally, there are complications. For one, Jessica is still head over heels over the boy. She's been like that since she found out about him, which was what, two books ago? Three books hung up on one guy is pretty impressive, even if the first book only introduces the infatuation at the very end. Jess keeps going on and on and on about Nicholas, and Elizabeth is feeling so guilty about accepting his invitation that she keeps snapping Jessica's head off. Luckily for Liz, Jessica is pretty self involved and doesn't suspect the connection. However, when Jessica gives Elizabeth the perfect opportunity to help squash her feelings for Nicholas, Elizabeth choses not to seize it. Instead of saying that Nicholas is a bit overbearing and totally illogical, or any of the millions of things she should be able to come up with, even if she's lying, she assures her twin that Nicholas seems perfectly lovely. IDIOT.
  Then there's the little matter of Todd. While Nicholas is following Elizabeth around all night at her "Yay, I'm not kidnapped anymore" party, Todd realizes Nich has a thing for Liz. Being the jealous couple that they are, Todd growls a bit and tells Liz that he wishes Nicholas would shove off and die in a nice [cuz he's rich, after all] grave and leave the Valley alone. Okay, so I exaggerate, but he's no fan of Nicholas, and Elizabeth freezes. She should tell Todd about her "friendly" dinner, but doesn't. She can't, she reasons, so she'll keep it a secret and he'll never know, and Jessica will never know, and it'll all be fantastic. Right, sure, whatever you say, sunshine.

   Our B story pops up fairly quickly. Elizabeth notices Jessica pouring on the charm and immediately becomes suspicious of her twin, seeing as Jessica isn't known for being nice to the geeks of the world, of which Randy Mason definitely is. She chitters and trills away about computers and when confronted about it, Jessica points out that if Randy knows anything, it's computers, and since Nicholas works for his father, a big computer corporate type, then obviously Nich is only interested in girls who are also big on computers. I follow the logic for the most part, but I did need it explained, seeing as I'd forgotten this bit.
  Randy also knows his math, and as Jessica learns all Randy has to teach about the tech side, she puts in a bid for some help in math. We're not told how successful he is, because Jessica then schemes to have him hack into the school's new computer and change her failing grade to a C-. She's not greedy, she just wants the bare minimum needed so that she won't fail and be kicked off the cheerleading squad. Confusion reigns, seeing as she's still on the squad at the end of the book, so I guess Randy's tutoring helped and she could have had a test big enough to raise her grade to a C- on it's own.
  Thing is, after Randy changes her grade, Jessica immediately blows him off. He takes her home and then proceeds to call. A lot. Seems he got cold feet and went back to change her grade back to what if should have been, but they'd changed the access code and it looks like someone is up shit creek without a paddle. Swim, Randy, swim! Figuring it's best to throw himself on the mercy of the court, he's going to go confess before they hunt him down. He asks Jessica, who is really Elizabeth on the phone, to come with him. Elizabeth promises Jessica will be there, and then drags her twin to campus so she can find a way to get Randy out of trouble. Jessica falters in the charm and resorts to tears, but Elizabeth begs for mercy and cries as well. Because LIZ steps in, Chrome Dome doesn't suspend the kids. WTF? I want that kind of power.
  Interesting parallel can be drawn there. Both Randy and Elizabeth are sweet talked into doing something they know is wrong by someone with more charm than should be legally allowed. Randy tries to rectify his mistake and even comes forward, even though it's not a given that he'd be caught anyway. He accepts his punishment and is willing to go down alone if absolutely necessary. He did the crime and all that, and he's willing to own up to it.
  Elizabeth, however virtuous she's been sold as up til now, will not come clean to her boyfriend or her sister, or hell, even to Nicholas. Enid points out that if she's going to go on the date with Nicholas, she has to tell Todd because secrets like this are HORRIBLE for your relationship. She brings up the Ronnie fiasco again, but still, she does have a point. But Elizabeth never does. She rationalizes that things are going to well, or that they haven't really talked, and she doesn't want to spring it on him. She knows she's doing something wrong and doesn't want to get in trouble for it. Egads, she might be human after all. Thing is, it's annoying when you hold her up to Randy and compare. Hers is the lesser of the two evils, she could easily explain it away, and yet she doesn't even try. With Jessica, I can empathise. She definitely falls under the "tis better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" category, both in how she lives her life and how you should act around her. But Todd? Yeah, would have dealt. Maybe.

  But she doesn't tell him, and instead Elizabeth and Nicholas finally head out to the Cote d'Or, an expensive restaurant an hour away. Thing is, any idiot could see where this was going. The whole reason Elizabeth agreed to a Sunday dinner was [her parents don't feed her on Sundays?] because Todd's family was celebrating his mother's birthday. Yup, that means that while out on her date with Nicholas, she runs into Todd as his family is leaving the restaurant.
  So she does the only thing she can do. She pretends to be Jessica. Nich understands, but Todd is a bit thrown since he was sure it was Elizabeth. Still, racked by guilt over the fact that he can't even tell his girlfriend from her identical twin, he heads over to the Wakefield home to apologize to Liz. Maybe to make out a little, if he's lucky. Jessica answers the door and it becomes immediately apparent what the hell happened. Todd shares with Jessica and both are livid. Todd informs Jessica that he's going to break up with Elizabeth and that they are so over. Jessica fumes until Elizabeth comes home.
  Jessica pounces on Elizabeth and rips her a new one, and it's kind of fun to watch, since Jessica doesn't often have the moral high ground. Jess then mentions, at the end when she's forgiven Elizabeth, that their mother called and that Tricia is getting worse. Liz feels bad, but cannot concentrate on that as she's still so worried about Todd.
  Todd blows Elizabeth off at school and after school, Collins assigns Elizabeth a fantastic story for the Oracle. She's to cover the basketball game that night. She tries to weasel out of it, but can't. So she goes and sulks and cries and Todd is sucking so bad that people are one step away from booing him. At halftime, Nicholas shows up, realizes what he's done, gives a damn, and stalks Todd in the locker room. He explains that he guilted Elizabeth into the date and that the whole time she was all, "But I'm in love with Todd!" Todd cheers up and goes back out to win the game. Yay?
  Elizabeth doesn't know what changed Todd's game, so she decides to skip the after party at Cara's and walk home. Before she makes it too far from the parking lot, Todd grabs her, kisses her silly, and explains why he stopped with the sports suckage earlier. They're happy and kiss some more and then go to Cara's. Shortly thereafter, Cara pulls Liz aside and tells her that Alice called. Jess and Elizabeth go to Cara's father's study and call home. Turns out that Tricia's turn for the worse is heading straight for death.
  Eeep!

Trivia:

  • The Droids wrote a song about Elizabeth. This is incredibly cheesy and a bit painful to read about, even though it's really just a throwaway paragraph, if that.

  • As of this book, Robin and Allen are still together. Aww.

  • Elizabeth likens Nicholas to Adonis, and when Jessica doesn't get it, she has to explain the reference to her twin. Tee!

  • Alice Wakefield is on vacation this week, so the Fiat is at Elizabeth's disposal. Y'know, since Jessica keeps racking up tickets and her parents don't trust her behind the wheel.

  • The Cote d'Or is a fancy restaurant located in Malvina, which is about an hour away.

  • The Morrows [well, Kurt Morrow's company] donated a computer to the school, which Elizabeth wrote a story on, calling computers and such the wave of the future. This is mentioned so many times I thought there was going to be a quiz on it afterward.

  • Todd and Elizabeth see Teenage Terror on their date.

  • When Liz is sneaking out to see Nicholas, she lies and tells Jessica she's going to see Enid.

  • Nicholas and Elizabeth both love Hemingway.

  • Dinner: Smoked salmon. tournedos Rossini with puffed potatoes, haricots verts, and desert is the wild-strawberry souffle. Which Nicholas orders as Elizabeth is busy being impressed by the 'still warm rolls' and rosettes of butter.

  • Speaking of dinner, Nicholas is wearing an ascot.



Quotes:
"Well, he's on his way to tell Mr. Cooper what he did. And you're going with him."
Jessica shook her head. "I can't. I'm really awfully busy right now." Jessica gives somehow the best and worst excuse ever, all at once. p71


137:
"Nicholas Morrow!" she scolded him gently. "Honestly, I've been looking absolutely everywhere for you. You know," she added, tilting her head coyly, "there must be a hundred and thirty-seven people waiting to meet you." p13
"Oh, Randy, what can I do? If I don't pass, my parents will ground me for a hundred and thirty-seven years. And I can't be a cheerleader." p62
"Good old Rollins," Jessica scoffed. "Honestly, Liz, I don't know what you see in her. Enid Rollins is about one hundred and thirty-seven different kinds of nerd." p90
"You must be kidding, Todd! You mean to say you still can't tell the difference between Liz and me?" She wagged a finger at him coyly. "Wait until I tell Elizabeth. Then you'll be in trouble. About a hundred and thirty-seven different kinds." Liz, pretending to be Jessica while on a date with Nicholas. p 101


  This book aside, I've almost always had a thing for Nicholas. I don't know why, as they spend so much time making the poor guy such a jackass at times, but maybe it's because the guy's got so very few friends, and the one person you'd think they'd immediately hook him up with as a friend [Steven Wakefield] is a no show. They make such a big deal about them both being big brothers of the slightly overprotective, overbearing variety that you'd think someone in ghost writer world would sit up and say, "Heyyyyyyyy..." I can see why they didn't, what with Steve angsting and Nicholas surely angsting later on, but still. Wait, no, no I really can't. That alone would give them something to bond over, though I guess by then, Steve is supposed to be mostly over it. Right. Mm.

  Upon re-reading this one, I'm struck by something. The ghost writer apparently missed the memo that went out after Robin Wilson got skinny. This book she's written pretty much exactly like she was in her chubby days, sans the food she was always munching. She's just too, too much over the top and excitable and it's just weird, seeing as skinny Robin was always more subdued and likely to be plotting your murder. Weirdness in the tone of the book. You don't notice it as much halfway through, but that's because you keep waiting for this friggin' infamous date to happen. I'm not sure if it's because we move away from people that make the tone-shift so obvious, or if this was somehow written by two different people. Because really, the saccharine levels are so high that I think I might need to check with my doctor about finding myself diabetic and heading for a coma.
  I can't say I'd recommend this to anyone who hasn't read it and wonders if they should bother. The actual date doesn't happen page 91, which isn't so bad, it's just that reading all that waffling back and forth, given that she has more than a week to wait until the actual date is a bit painful. It has it's moments, I suppose, but it's nothing that dances on it's own and makes it completely fantastic one way or the other. Though reading about the "computer wave" made me laugh and would probably slay any computer geek.

Superficially, the French cover is making my eyes water, and not from amusement. :P And I'm torn, do I include the various color variations they went through when re-releasing the books, when they went bar as opposed to the classic circle? As it is, I try to only go with the ones I've seen/own/or obviously pictures of a real book and not just some promotional thing on amazon.
the_oracle: (amy thinks)
Deceptions
December 1984

Has Elizabeth found a new love?

A tangled web...


  Elizabeth Wakefield is stunned when Nicholas Morrow asks her for a date. A newcomer to Sweet Valley, Nicholas is fabulously wealthy and extremely handsome. Even though Elizabeth would never cheat on Todd Wilkins, her steady boyfriend, Nicholas is so attractive and sincere that she agrees to go out with him just once.
  To make matters worse, Jessica, Elizabeth's scheming twin, announces that Nicholas Morrow is the boy for her. Suddenly Nicholas is the only thing on Jessica's mind. Elizabeth is terrified to think what will happen if Todd or her twin finds out about her date with Nicholas. But who can keep a secret from Jessica Wakefield?

  Deceptions is actually mostly forgettable. All you need to know is that Elizabeth is guilted into a dinner date by Nicholas Morrow and wacky hijinks ensue. Seriously, that's all this book is, and no amount of fantastic lip gloss is going to change that. With that said, here are the details.
  The book picks up before the previous one ends. It's a bit of a retelling of Nicholas meeting Elizabeth for the first time, but without Liz getting these loud Klaxon warning bells in her head. It's a completely different tone from the last book's version of these events and it is so not flattering to anyone involved. For as rich and as good looking as Nicholas is, he should not have to resort to emotionally blackmailing someone into going out with him, but that's essentially what happens. Using twisty-Jessica logic, he asks Liz out, and when she points out that she's flattered, but also dating Todd and is in no hurry to shake up that relationship, he pushes on. She says no, again, that it would not be fair to Todd, and Nicholas outdoes himself with the single best bit of logic EVER. He counters that it's hardly fair to him if she turns him down. And Liz... falls for it. Liz, honey, the next time someone tries to outfox you with this type of logic, the correct answer is that Todd is your boyfriend and you don't have to be fair to Nicholas at his expense. But she agrees to the dinner date, telling herself that it's really nothing. Dinner. Between two friends. Despite the fact that one of these "friends" is trying to be more than that. Riiiiiiight.
  Naturally, there are complications. For one, Jessica is still head over heels over the boy. She's been like that since she found out about him, which was what, two books ago? Three books hung up on one guy is pretty impressive, even if the first book only introduces the infatuation at the very end. Jess keeps going on and on and on about Nicholas, and Elizabeth is feeling so guilty about accepting his invitation that she keeps snapping Jessica's head off. Luckily for Liz, Jessica is pretty self involved and doesn't suspect the connection. However, when Jessica gives Elizabeth the perfect opportunity to help squash her feelings for Nicholas, Elizabeth choses not to seize it. Instead of saying that Nicholas is a bit overbearing and totally illogical, or any of the millions of things she should be able to come up with, even if she's lying, she assures her twin that Nicholas seems perfectly lovely. IDIOT.
  Then there's the little matter of Todd. While Nicholas is following Elizabeth around all night at her "Yay, I'm not kidnapped anymore" party, Todd realizes Nich has a thing for Liz. Being the jealous couple that they are, Todd growls a bit and tells Liz that he wishes Nicholas would shove off and die in a nice [cuz he's rich, after all] grave and leave the Valley alone. Okay, so I exaggerate, but he's no fan of Nicholas, and Elizabeth freezes. She should tell Todd about her "friendly" dinner, but doesn't. She can't, she reasons, so she'll keep it a secret and he'll never know, and Jessica will never know, and it'll all be fantastic. Right, sure, whatever you say, sunshine.

   Our B story pops up fairly quickly. Elizabeth notices Jessica pouring on the charm and immediately becomes suspicious of her twin, seeing as Jessica isn't known for being nice to the geeks of the world, of which Randy Mason definitely is. She chitters and trills away about computers and when confronted about it, Jessica points out that if Randy knows anything, it's computers, and since Nicholas works for his father, a big computer corporate type, then obviously Nich is only interested in girls who are also big on computers. I follow the logic for the most part, but I did need it explained, seeing as I'd forgotten this bit.
  Randy also knows his math, and as Jessica learns all Randy has to teach about the tech side, she puts in a bid for some help in math. We're not told how successful he is, because Jessica then schemes to have him hack into the school's new computer and change her failing grade to a C-. She's not greedy, she just wants the bare minimum needed so that she won't fail and be kicked off the cheerleading squad. Confusion reigns, seeing as she's still on the squad at the end of the book, so I guess Randy's tutoring helped and she could have had a test big enough to raise her grade to a C- on it's own.
  Thing is, after Randy changes her grade, Jessica immediately blows him off. He takes her home and then proceeds to call. A lot. Seems he got cold feet and went back to change her grade back to what if should have been, but they'd changed the access code and it looks like someone is up shit creek without a paddle. Swim, Randy, swim! Figuring it's best to throw himself on the mercy of the court, he's going to go confess before they hunt him down. He asks Jessica, who is really Elizabeth on the phone, to come with him. Elizabeth promises Jessica will be there, and then drags her twin to campus so she can find a way to get Randy out of trouble. Jessica falters in the charm and resorts to tears, but Elizabeth begs for mercy and cries as well. Because LIZ steps in, Chrome Dome doesn't suspend the kids. WTF? I want that kind of power.
  Interesting parallel can be drawn there. Both Randy and Elizabeth are sweet talked into doing something they know is wrong by someone with more charm than should be legally allowed. Randy tries to rectify his mistake and even comes forward, even though it's not a given that he'd be caught anyway. He accepts his punishment and is willing to go down alone if absolutely necessary. He did the crime and all that, and he's willing to own up to it.
  Elizabeth, however virtuous she's been sold as up til now, will not come clean to her boyfriend or her sister, or hell, even to Nicholas. Enid points out that if she's going to go on the date with Nicholas, she has to tell Todd because secrets like this are HORRIBLE for your relationship. She brings up the Ronnie fiasco again, but still, she does have a point. But Elizabeth never does. She rationalizes that things are going to well, or that they haven't really talked, and she doesn't want to spring it on him. She knows she's doing something wrong and doesn't want to get in trouble for it. Egads, she might be human after all. Thing is, it's annoying when you hold her up to Randy and compare. Hers is the lesser of the two evils, she could easily explain it away, and yet she doesn't even try. With Jessica, I can empathise. She definitely falls under the "tis better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" category, both in how she lives her life and how you should act around her. But Todd? Yeah, would have dealt. Maybe.

  But she doesn't tell him, and instead Elizabeth and Nicholas finally head out to the Cote d'Or, an expensive restaurant an hour away. Thing is, any idiot could see where this was going. The whole reason Elizabeth agreed to a Sunday dinner was [her parents don't feed her on Sundays?] because Todd's family was celebrating his mother's birthday. Yup, that means that while out on her date with Nicholas, she runs into Todd as his family is leaving the restaurant.
  So she does the only thing she can do. She pretends to be Jessica. Nich understands, but Todd is a bit thrown since he was sure it was Elizabeth. Still, racked by guilt over the fact that he can't even tell his girlfriend from her identical twin, he heads over to the Wakefield home to apologize to Liz. Maybe to make out a little, if he's lucky. Jessica answers the door and it becomes immediately apparent what the hell happened. Todd shares with Jessica and both are livid. Todd informs Jessica that he's going to break up with Elizabeth and that they are so over. Jessica fumes until Elizabeth comes home.
  Jessica pounces on Elizabeth and rips her a new one, and it's kind of fun to watch, since Jessica doesn't often have the moral high ground. Jess then mentions, at the end when she's forgiven Elizabeth, that their mother called and that Tricia is getting worse. Liz feels bad, but cannot concentrate on that as she's still so worried about Todd.
  Todd blows Elizabeth off at school and after school, Collins assigns Elizabeth a fantastic story for the Oracle. She's to cover the basketball game that night. She tries to weasel out of it, but can't. So she goes and sulks and cries and Todd is sucking so bad that people are one step away from booing him. At halftime, Nicholas shows up, realizes what he's done, gives a damn, and stalks Todd in the locker room. He explains that he guilted Elizabeth into the date and that the whole time she was all, "But I'm in love with Todd!" Todd cheers up and goes back out to win the game. Yay?
  Elizabeth doesn't know what changed Todd's game, so she decides to skip the after party at Cara's and walk home. Before she makes it too far from the parking lot, Todd grabs her, kisses her silly, and explains why he stopped with the sports suckage earlier. They're happy and kiss some more and then go to Cara's. Shortly thereafter, Cara pulls Liz aside and tells her that Alice called. Jess and Elizabeth go to Cara's father's study and call home. Turns out that Tricia's turn for the worse is heading straight for death.
  Eeep!

Trivia:

  • The Droids wrote a song about Elizabeth. This is incredibly cheesy and a bit painful to read about, even though it's really just a throwaway paragraph, if that.

  • As of this book, Robin and Allen are still together. Aww.

  • Elizabeth likens Nicholas to Adonis, and when Jessica doesn't get it, she has to explain the reference to her twin. Tee!

  • Alice Wakefield is on vacation this week, so the Fiat is at Elizabeth's disposal. Y'know, since Jessica keeps racking up tickets and her parents don't trust her behind the wheel.

  • The Cote d'Or is a fancy restaurant located in Malvina, which is about an hour away.

  • The Morrows [well, Kurt Morrow's company] donated a computer to the school, which Elizabeth wrote a story on, calling computers and such the wave of the future. This is mentioned so many times I thought there was going to be a quiz on it afterward.

  • Todd and Elizabeth see Teenage Terror on their date.

  • When Liz is sneaking out to see Nicholas, she lies and tells Jessica she's going to see Enid.

  • Nicholas and Elizabeth both love Hemingway.

  • Dinner: Smoked salmon. tournedos Rossini with puffed potatoes, haricots verts, and desert is the wild-strawberry souffle. Which Nicholas orders as Elizabeth is busy being impressed by the 'still warm rolls' and rosettes of butter.

  • Speaking of dinner, Nicholas is wearing an ascot.



Quotes:
"Well, he's on his way to tell Mr. Cooper what he did. And you're going with him."
Jessica shook her head. "I can't. I'm really awfully busy right now." Jessica gives somehow the best and worst excuse ever, all at once. p71


137:
"Nicholas Morrow!" she scolded him gently. "Honestly, I've been looking absolutely everywhere for you. You know," she added, tilting her head coyly, "there must be a hundred and thirty-seven people waiting to meet you." p13
"Oh, Randy, what can I do? If I don't pass, my parents will ground me for a hundred and thirty-seven years. And I can't be a cheerleader." p62
"Good old Rollins," Jessica scoffed. "Honestly, Liz, I don't know what you see in her. Enid Rollins is about one hundred and thirty-seven different kinds of nerd." p90
"You must be kidding, Todd! You mean to say you still can't tell the difference between Liz and me?" She wagged a finger at him coyly. "Wait until I tell Elizabeth. Then you'll be in trouble. About a hundred and thirty-seven different kinds." Liz, pretending to be Jessica while on a date with Nicholas. p 101


  This book aside, I've almost always had a thing for Nicholas. I don't know why, as they spend so much time making the poor guy such a jackass at times, but maybe it's because the guy's got so very few friends, and the one person you'd think they'd immediately hook him up with as a friend [Steven Wakefield] is a no show. They make such a big deal about them both being big brothers of the slightly overprotective, overbearing variety that you'd think someone in ghost writer world would sit up and say, "Heyyyyyyyy..." I can see why they didn't, what with Steve angsting and Nicholas surely angsting later on, but still. Wait, no, no I really can't. That alone would give them something to bond over, though I guess by then, Steve is supposed to be mostly over it. Right. Mm.

  Upon re-reading this one, I'm struck by something. The ghost writer apparently missed the memo that went out after Robin Wilson got skinny. This book she's written pretty much exactly like she was in her chubby days, sans the food she was always munching. She's just too, too much over the top and excitable and it's just weird, seeing as skinny Robin was always more subdued and likely to be plotting your murder. Weirdness in the tone of the book. You don't notice it as much halfway through, but that's because you keep waiting for this friggin' infamous date to happen. I'm not sure if it's because we move away from people that make the tone-shift so obvious, or if this was somehow written by two different people. Because really, the saccharine levels are so high that I think I might need to check with my doctor about finding myself diabetic and heading for a coma.
  I can't say I'd recommend this to anyone who hasn't read it and wonders if they should bother. The actual date doesn't happen page 91, which isn't so bad, it's just that reading all that waffling back and forth, given that she has more than a week to wait until the actual date is a bit painful. It has it's moments, I suppose, but it's nothing that dances on it's own and makes it completely fantastic one way or the other. Though reading about the "computer wave" made me laugh and would probably slay any computer geek.

Superficially, the French cover is making my eyes water, and not from amusement. :P And I'm torn, do I include the various color variations they went through when re-releasing the books, when they went bar as opposed to the classic circle? As it is, I try to only go with the ones I've seen/own/or obviously pictures of a real book and not just some promotional thing on amazon.
the_oracle: (gasp!)
Kidnapped!
weird, my copy says April 1984, but given that we know that's wrong, we'll say November, 1984

  Elizabeth's nightmare is about to begin...

  A living nightmare...


   Elizabeth Wakefield never imagined that her evening of volunteer work at Sweet Valley's hospital would turn into the most horrifying night of her life. But when a strong hand clamps a chloroformed rag over her mouth and she is pulled from her car, Elizabeth's hellish ordeal begins.
   When she regains consciousness, Elizabeth finds herself tied to a chair in an isolated shack. She has been kidnapped-by Carl, a lonely and disturbed orderly from the hospital. Elizabeth doesn't know what Carl wants from her, but it's clear he's on the brink of insanity. Somehow Elizabeth must escape-before it's too late!


  If you don't know what Kidnapped! is about, you're either incredibly new to the Valley or you're an idiot. It tells you in the title, the cover makes it obvious which twin gets 'napped and everything else is on the back cover. But really, all you need to know, you learned last go round anyway. Carl, the creepy custodian, kidnaps Elizabeth because he likes her. He thoughtfully prepared his van with a mattress in the back so she'd be comfy as he escorted her to the run down section of town [hey, any bets on whether the Martins live close by?] and this is pretty much where we'll meet up with Liz. Later.

  The book actually begins with a cute little scene between Steven and Jessica, both getting ready for their evenings out. Steve has a date with Tricia, his tragically ill girlfriend, and Jessica is going to a party at the Morrows' mansion. So yes, this book picks up as soon as the last one left off. This is starting to become a pattern. Steve zips Jessica's dress up and they chat a bit. Jessica bites her tongue about Tricia, seeing as she's dying and all, and Steve does his best to convince her that maybe she'll be a little chilly in her outfit, seeing as it's so low cut and all. He also offers her a ride to the party, but Jess says she's waiting for Liz who'll be home at eight, so they can go together. Twins making a bigger splash than two pretty blondes arriving separately, I suppose.
  However, Jess sucks at waiting. She picks out an outfit for Liz, to help speed her sister along when she finally gets home. She paces and freaks out by ten 'til eight, and calls Cara to pick her up. That's right. She can't even wait ten more minutes, less if you consider that Cara had to take at least two minutes to drive over. Sigh. Jess leaves Elizabeth a note on the fridge, and heads off to party.
  Introducing the Morrows. We have Kurt and Skye.Tall, dark, and gorgeous would describe them both. They dash out on their way to their own party, and then we meet Regina. At first, Cara and Jessica don't know anything is wrong. That is, until Regina repeatedly ignores anything Jessica says. Jess is a little upset. Why is the new girl being such an unbelievable bitch? Then Regina trips, and instead of figuring that high heels plus a new house might equal a bit of a problem, Jess assumes Regina's drunk. She taps the girl on the shoulder and asks where the booze is. Naturally, with Regina facing Jessica, she's able to read Jessica's lips and tells the blond that this ain't that kind of party. Regina then offers them the non-alcoholic goodies and explains that she's deaf. She can lip read and is all sorts of other fabulous though, so don't worry. Nicholas descends upon the party and he and Jessica immediately begin chatting. Turns out that Nicholas pretty much adores his little sister and when he thinks Jessica is pitying her, he's a bit of a jerk. Jessica points out that with Regina's good looks and obvious fearlessness, the girl is someone to be reckoned with, so pity is so not the word for her. And thus Jessica spends the rest of the night with Nicholas, chatting away.

  Let's switch back to Liz who comes to, briefly, and wonders what the hell is going on. It takes her a minute to remember that she's been kidnapped, but she can't remember who did it. She passes out again, because she's a drama queen. Or maybe the chloroform is that strong. Dunno.
  Todd notices that Liz isn't at the party, so he goes to ask Jess about the whereabouts of her twin. Jess lies and says, "Oh, didn't Liz call and tell you? She's babysitting for Collins tonight." Like hell. Todd figures that if anyone would be worried about Liz, it would be Jessica, so he wanders off to do whatever it is Todds do when not part of Elizabeth+Todd. Thing is, eventually Todd realizes that Elizabeth would have called him [not like, say, when she went off with Todd and didn't tell Collins about the change, right, Toddy?] and he was home all night before the party... So he goes to call her at Collins' place. Mr. C answers and Todd is confused. They have a bit of a moment and then Todd stalks off towards Jessica. He's ticked because Liz is not the sort of girl to be late without letting people know, and when he finds Jessica poolside with Nicholas, and she tries to blow him off again, he shoves her in the pool. Nicholas freaks out and just before he can have Todd kicked off the premises, Todd gets it through Jessica's thick skull that something is WRONG. Jessica flashes back to the last time she screwed Liz over and recalls that the Fiat is a fussy machine, and maybe Liz is stranded somewhere. So off they run to the nearest phone to call home.

  Liz, however, is still stuck with Carl. She's at his home, tied to a chair, and unhappy about it all. In record time, she convinces him to take off her gag and she screams bloody blue murder. He clamps his hand over her mouth and explains that this was so not cool. Again she convinces him that she'll be good and won't do that again. She was just afraid and startled and stuff, y'know? Kidnapping being a little new to her and all. In her infinite wisdom, Liz decides she'll have him untie her and as soon as he's done that, she'll make a break for it. Which sort of works, only she didn't count on Carl having an enclosed porch. Who knew shacks had them? Certainly not worldly wise Elizabeth. Carl grabs her and their moment together is gone. He ties her back up and he goes to sleep in his room.
  Now, I'm not sure whether it's fair to find fault with her plot to run away or not. On the one hand, you want to get out immediately. On the other hand, you should have some freakin' idea of your escape plan beyond, "Well, I escape. That's my plan." Then there's the prospect of sleeping arrangements. If she's not tied up, would Carl expect her to sleep with him, even if it is just sleeping? Or would he be foolish enough to trust her in the living room? Rather than find out, she bolts and it doesn't pay off.
  The next morning, Carl gives her cardboard tasting pancakes because he overheard her telling their boss she loves her mother's pancakes. Sweet, if only not a kidnapper, eh? Liz is shocked that he's going in to work. He points out that he doesn't have a phone so he can't call out, and besides, he's not stupid. If he doesn't show, they'll know something is up. God, get with the program, Lizzie. However, he does have a gift for her. Three books, to be precise. One's a book on investing, one's a bedtime storybook, and the other is a book on raising farm animals. Turns out Carl can't read, so he just grabbed the first ones he saw.
  Liz doesn't even bother to try and read the most promising of the bunch [hello, bedtime stories!] and instead freaks out the whole day. Uh...huh. Cuz that helps so very, very much.

   Now, I should point out, there is one other little problem here. Liz was running late because she had to tutor Max Dellon. When Liz never shows up, Max takes off and goes to look for her. He heads right for the hospital and sees her car. He's ticked. If she had to work late, she should have called. He kicks one of the tires before he realizes that there's a scarf on the ground, the car door is ajar, and Elizabeth's sweater is on the front seat. Something is seriously up. Instead of calling the cops, he breaks into the glove compartment for "clues." Dude, you have to break in, the kidnapper didn't do a damn thing in the car, okay? Leave their stuff alone. Before common sense can pass that message along, the police bust Max. Turns out he'd already run into one of the cops a couple of nights before after a late night with the Droids and a munchies run. The cop stopped him for "suspicious behavior" and Max copped serious attitude. That bites him on the ass and they haul him off to jail for attempting to steal the Fiat.
  Also worth mentioning, the Wakefields [Ned and Alice] return from their party and they're feeling a bit frisky. Alice notices Jessica's note on the fridge and starts to worry. Ned points out that Liz might not have seen it at all because it's a stupid place for a note when Liz was going to just come home to change. Alice agrees, but ever since Elizabeth's accident, she's been secretly Mom-spying on Liz and usually knows where Liz is at any given time of the day. [So do you. At school, at the Oracle office, at the hospital, out with Toddy, probably at the beach or the Dairi Burger, or home, with the occasional mall stop or Oracle research/library, thrown in for good measure. It ain't that difficult.] She's not doing well with this obvious glitch in the system, but when Jessica calls home looking for Liz, she falls apart. Despite a search party, no one can find Liz. The next day doesn't help much either, but Jess does talk to Nicholas who stops by to see how she is and to share a story of sibling guilt.
  It seems that when he was ten and Regina eight, their parents foolishly left him in charge of her one day on vacation. They were firmly in their "I hate you//I hate you more!" phase, so this makes absolutely no sense. My parents wouldn't leave me in charge of my little brother until we were both well old enough to know that juvie would be our best option, and prison would be more likely if we managed to make good on our threats to kill one another. Seriously, we had a babysitter when I was 13, that's how bad things could be. I was a babysitter by then, too. Go figure. Anyway. The two go their separate ways, the loft catches on fire, and Nicholas runs out without even thinking to grab Regina. He won't go back inside and he's sure she was inside and that he's killed her. He's also sure his parents blame him and oh, the angst. Jess says that it's lovely he tried to cheer her up, but fairytales aren't cutting it. He points out that he just shared some serious angst and it wasn't a fairytale for him. She then says that it's obvious Regina lived, seeing as she's met the girl, and Nicholas says yes, she'd managed to sneak out while he was busy ignoring her. Jess is a bit of a bitch and cries, "Yeah, she came back! I may never see my sister again!" and collapses into a tear filled heap. Um, drama queen, table for one.
  After work, Carl brings Liz a lovely sweater of blue to match her eyes. Liz is thinking, "SCORE!" because she's sure that he bought it from the hospital gift shop. Way to assume he has no life outside the hospital and his dreary little home, Liz. Real nice. *cough* Nope, he bought it elsewhere because he's not an idiot... idiot. Liz despairs further when Carl says he's taking her away to the mountains, where she won't be tied up because she won't be able to escape anyway. They're leaving tomorrow. Yay!
  So. Monday brings us no closer to finding Elizabeth, but the high school kids are at school. I cannot see Alice letting Jessica walk out the front door, myself, but maybe I lack vision. Or maybe this is one of those things you just aren't supposed to think about. OR, maybe, it's in some hope of finding normalcy. I don't really know. Todd's there as well, and he walks to the cluster of the In crowd [Lila, Cara, you know the drill] and Lila has a theory. It must be bunnies! Max did it, obviously. He was missing for part of Saturday and so was Liz, obviously, and the cops did bust him in her car, so two and two must equal world's dumbest kidnapper. Duh. Todd mulls this over all day, despite sticking up for Max initially.
  Max, by the way, is having an incredibly shitty day. He had to spend all of Sunday studying Othello and considering he couldn't even begin to decipher Shakespeare two days ago, he's not exactly feeling like he's going to pass Collins' test at the end of the day. If he doesn't, he'll have to go to summer school and he has to quit music cold turkey. Great plan, Dellons. Great, great plan. Anyway, Collins calls Max to the front and Max assumes that Collins, like half the school, assumes he had something to do with Liz's disappearance. Collins doesn't, because it just doesn't make any sense, and SV isn't the sort of place where crazy just happens. Nope, there must be a reason. Right?
  Nope, Collins wants to offer Max an extension. Max blows him off and then kicks himself for it almost immediately. Still, he feels relatively confident that he's actually managed to comprehend the Bard. Who knew?
  After class, he's walking along, minding his own business, when Todd comes up to him and asks for a more thorough explanation of what the hell happened Saturday. Max says he doesn't know, but he really wishes Liz would turn up, especially given how much trouble the girl has gotten him into. Todd freaks the hell out and punches the guy. Jess interrupts and tells Todd that he's behaving totally irrationally and out of character. Uh, no. No, Todd has anger management issues and we've already been through this. Hell, he shoved you in a pool earlier, fulfilling many a fantasy, but still. The dude's not exactly all calm and rational when around either Wakefield, or when they come up in conversation.
  Somehow, the trio decide that since the police are sure that Liz is a runaway and thus there's little point in investigating further, that they will just have to do the sleuthing. So off they race to the hospital. Where nothing, nothing, nothing happens until Max heads up to the third floor. He's about to go talk to a custodian [hi, Carl!] when Carl sees Jessica and flips out. "Elizabeth! What are you doing not being kidnapped!" he all but yells as he runs towards her and then smashes her against the wall. Max tackles him and Jess wonders how Carl could not know that Liz has a twin. How rude, right? Right. Blah, blah, the cops are called, they haul him away and Carl is sad because his love, his Liz, is not Liz, but instead her evil twin. Jess goes with the cops to pick Liz up and upon being rescued, Liz declares she'd like to bathe, eat, sleep, and plan a party celebrating her rescue. Aw.
  The book ends with Liz opening the door at the party, and Nicholas Morrow is there. He's obviously smitten with her, and Liz is a bit worried about this. Note that next book, the tone of this little exchange totally changes.

Trivia!

  • Steve has a plaid comforter and his own tiny bathroom.

  • Steve is 6'1", for those of you playing along at home.

  • Nicholas Morrow grew up in Boston, except that part where he went to an exclusive boarding school in Connecticut, that he graduated from in June. He's taking the year off to study his father's business.

  • Cara and Jessica subscribe to the theory that thou shalt not chase after one another's boy toys. This might explain why Cara and Jess are never as explosively competitive as Lila and Jessica are, eh? Even more surprising, this book claims that they actually adhere to that commandment.

  • Max Dellon is a horrible student, and as he has no interest in school, he's just coasting/failing. But the only teacher who actually calls his parents? Mr. Collins. For shame, everyone else. For. Shame.

  • Max and Guy Chesney starting jamming *snort* together two years ago. At first they'd play Saturday mornings, which would then extend to Sunday mornings, and slowly they acquired Dan Scott, Emily, and Dana. Thus The Droids were born.

  • Evidently, Caroline has a thing for Winston. Poor Win.

  • Nicholas is shorter than Todd by several inches. This could partially explain why Nich has such a problem with Todd. That and Todd keeps trying to assault Jessica in Nicholas' house the first time they meet. Hrm.

  • Ned Wakefield calls Jessica "princess." Hee!

  • Elizabeth is an idiot. She assumes that Jessica was the first person to notice she was missing, and was so worried that she probably missed the party and began the search immediately. Jessica? Miss a party where an eligible rich boy was first appearing? Have you lost your damn mind, woman?

  • Liz wants to spend her first five hours as a free woman in the bath, or at least that's what she's thinking by day two of her ordeal.

  • For their 13th birthday, Jessica gave Elizabeth a bright yellow sweater. Liz wasn't all that fond of the brightness, but it was a gift, so she dealt. Thing is, Jessica borrowed it so much that it became apparent that Jessica didn't give a flying fig about Liz's feelings on the matter and instead, she essentially bought herself a gift. To retaliate, Liz shrinks the sweater, but puts it back in her drawer as if nothing is wrong. When Jess finds out what happened, she flips out and pillow world war 1 erupts. We know this because Liz concentrates on this story as a way to stay sane while Carl is away.

  • Carl lives at the end of St. James Avenue, in the bad part of town. Still, the dude does have a porch, so that should count for something.

  • Also, apparently 5'6" is considered tall, as one of the twins is described as such at the end of the book. ...Right.



Quotable Sweet Valley:

"I'm ready," Cara said with a trace of wistfulness. "Maybe this time I'll find someone who wants me." Poor Cara. p16

"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."
"Jessica, that's morbid!"
"No, that's life, Cara," Jessica said matter-of-factly. "We all know she's going to die, and afterward my poor brother is going to need someone to help him pick up the pieces. It might as well be you." Jessica is, oddly enough, a realist at times. p17


Cara didn't bother to respond. She knew Jessica was like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police-she always got her man. p18



  Kidnapped isn't so bad to re-read. It has it's moments of wait, what? But it's also a bit unusual as we don't really get to see Steve and Jessica interact without Liz there to keep the peace, and this go round they don't even need that. We also don't normally see Ned and Alice without the kids and it's a bit jarring, but hey, they should have lives outside of being parents... Though some might say that it's kind of obvious, given how often they go out to parties and dinner and leave their kids to fend for themselves. Hell, Sundays the twins are supposed to hunt and gather their own meals. I'd forgotten this tidbit, as the Wakefields are always presented as this kind of family you expect to sit down and chat over Sunday dinner, even if they don't attend church, y'know?
  Speaking of the Wakefields, I'd also forgotten that they're a little worried about Liz and Todd, especially how serious the couple is about one another. Towards the end of the book, Alice walks by and sees the couple making out and it's not so much the kissing and groping that bother Alice, but the intensity behind it. If Todd were just a fling, she wouldn't worry so, but he isn't, so I guess she's worried that Liz is gonna sleep with Todd. Trust us, A, that ain't gonna happen, no matter what anyone hopes to the contrary. Kind of funny, and easily mockable, but in the context of the book, it works, somehow.
  Lastly, we have Carl. I always envisioned Carl to be older than the 25-ish we're given. I always tacked on another ten years, because 25 seemed too young, too close to Mr. Collins [and Ms. Dalton] and it seemed weirder that way. Also, how many 25 year olds do you know who just want to occasionally pet some girl's hair, when they've been obsessing? Of course, I suppose you could say the same of a 35 year old. Someone was stunted in their development, which I guess is best for Liz. Don't want to darken the series too much, too soon. I kinda felt bad for Carl, but you don't just go around kidnapping pretty people, even if the cops don't seem to care. Nor do you kidnap other people of the non-pretty persuasion. But the thing I don't get [I know, just one? you ask] is how could Carl not know Liz had a twin? Did he never see Jessica, or interact with her? Cuz she would have blown him off so fast your head would spin clean off. Wouldn't he wonder? Wouldn't that have been a fun twist? If Carl had been okay with stalking Liz, but when he works up the courage to talk to Liz, it's really Jessica, and she tells him to fuck off and die, so he snaps, and the next time he has a chance, he nabs Liz, and it is Liz and she's all, "ohhhh...that darn Jessica!"
  Back to Alice and Ned, isn't it also kinda funny that Alice memorizes Liz's schedule but Jessica always seemed like the twin most likely to get into trouble, and she does [all those older boys, Alice!] but it's Liz Alice obsesses over. Still, Jessica's ability to hide her antics aside, I like my SVH with a dash of realism. Not too much, or you end up with a salty, tear soaked melodramatically overdone bummer that is Senior Year, but a little to balance out the rampant crazy that leaks off the pages when you least expect it.
  The other thing I 'love' is how the back cover gives the impression that it's through any luck or skill on Elizabeth's behalf that she's rescued. Nope, she tries, but is thwarted. Repeatedly. It's dumb luck that saves her.

   Let's look at the newly added covers, shall we? I like how Hungary actually tried to make their Liz looked scared... even if she's apparently being kidnapped while doing the Robot. Russia, you're being fined for making a mockery of Nicholas Morrow. That and the TV show are really harshing my childhood crush, man. Not cool!
  Together with When Love Dies, Kidnapped! is one of those classic early SVH books that every passing fan should read, at least once. Just to say they have.


Kidnapped Non English Cover, part 2
the_oracle: (gasp!)
Kidnapped!
weird, my copy says April 1984, but given that we know that's wrong, we'll say November, 1984

  Elizabeth's nightmare is about to begin...

  A living nightmare...


   Elizabeth Wakefield never imagined that her evening of volunteer work at Sweet Valley's hospital would turn into the most horrifying night of her life. But when a strong hand clamps a chloroformed rag over her mouth and she is pulled from her car, Elizabeth's hellish ordeal begins.
   When she regains consciousness, Elizabeth finds herself tied to a chair in an isolated shack. She has been kidnapped-by Carl, a lonely and disturbed orderly from the hospital. Elizabeth doesn't know what Carl wants from her, but it's clear he's on the brink of insanity. Somehow Elizabeth must escape-before it's too late!


  If you don't know what Kidnapped! is about, you're either incredibly new to the Valley or you're an idiot. It tells you in the title, the cover makes it obvious which twin gets 'napped and everything else is on the back cover. But really, all you need to know, you learned last go round anyway. Carl, the creepy custodian, kidnaps Elizabeth because he likes her. He thoughtfully prepared his van with a mattress in the back so she'd be comfy as he escorted her to the run down section of town [hey, any bets on whether the Martins live close by?] and this is pretty much where we'll meet up with Liz. Later.

  The book actually begins with a cute little scene between Steven and Jessica, both getting ready for their evenings out. Steve has a date with Tricia, his tragically ill girlfriend, and Jessica is going to a party at the Morrows' mansion. So yes, this book picks up as soon as the last one left off. This is starting to become a pattern. Steve zips Jessica's dress up and they chat a bit. Jessica bites her tongue about Tricia, seeing as she's dying and all, and Steve does his best to convince her that maybe she'll be a little chilly in her outfit, seeing as it's so low cut and all. He also offers her a ride to the party, but Jess says she's waiting for Liz who'll be home at eight, so they can go together. Twins making a bigger splash than two pretty blondes arriving separately, I suppose.
  However, Jess sucks at waiting. She picks out an outfit for Liz, to help speed her sister along when she finally gets home. She paces and freaks out by ten 'til eight, and calls Cara to pick her up. That's right. She can't even wait ten more minutes, less if you consider that Cara had to take at least two minutes to drive over. Sigh. Jess leaves Elizabeth a note on the fridge, and heads off to party.
  Introducing the Morrows. We have Kurt and Skye.Tall, dark, and gorgeous would describe them both. They dash out on their way to their own party, and then we meet Regina. At first, Cara and Jessica don't know anything is wrong. That is, until Regina repeatedly ignores anything Jessica says. Jess is a little upset. Why is the new girl being such an unbelievable bitch? Then Regina trips, and instead of figuring that high heels plus a new house might equal a bit of a problem, Jess assumes Regina's drunk. She taps the girl on the shoulder and asks where the booze is. Naturally, with Regina facing Jessica, she's able to read Jessica's lips and tells the blond that this ain't that kind of party. Regina then offers them the non-alcoholic goodies and explains that she's deaf. She can lip read and is all sorts of other fabulous though, so don't worry. Nicholas descends upon the party and he and Jessica immediately begin chatting. Turns out that Nicholas pretty much adores his little sister and when he thinks Jessica is pitying her, he's a bit of a jerk. Jessica points out that with Regina's good looks and obvious fearlessness, the girl is someone to be reckoned with, so pity is so not the word for her. And thus Jessica spends the rest of the night with Nicholas, chatting away.

  Let's switch back to Liz who comes to, briefly, and wonders what the hell is going on. It takes her a minute to remember that she's been kidnapped, but she can't remember who did it. She passes out again, because she's a drama queen. Or maybe the chloroform is that strong. Dunno.
  Todd notices that Liz isn't at the party, so he goes to ask Jess about the whereabouts of her twin. Jess lies and says, "Oh, didn't Liz call and tell you? She's babysitting for Collins tonight." Like hell. Todd figures that if anyone would be worried about Liz, it would be Jessica, so he wanders off to do whatever it is Todds do when not part of Elizabeth+Todd. Thing is, eventually Todd realizes that Elizabeth would have called him [not like, say, when she went off with Todd and didn't tell Collins about the change, right, Toddy?] and he was home all night before the party... So he goes to call her at Collins' place. Mr. C answers and Todd is confused. They have a bit of a moment and then Todd stalks off towards Jessica. He's ticked because Liz is not the sort of girl to be late without letting people know, and when he finds Jessica poolside with Nicholas, and she tries to blow him off again, he shoves her in the pool. Nicholas freaks out and just before he can have Todd kicked off the premises, Todd gets it through Jessica's thick skull that something is WRONG. Jessica flashes back to the last time she screwed Liz over and recalls that the Fiat is a fussy machine, and maybe Liz is stranded somewhere. So off they run to the nearest phone to call home.

  Liz, however, is still stuck with Carl. She's at his home, tied to a chair, and unhappy about it all. In record time, she convinces him to take off her gag and she screams bloody blue murder. He clamps his hand over her mouth and explains that this was so not cool. Again she convinces him that she'll be good and won't do that again. She was just afraid and startled and stuff, y'know? Kidnapping being a little new to her and all. In her infinite wisdom, Liz decides she'll have him untie her and as soon as he's done that, she'll make a break for it. Which sort of works, only she didn't count on Carl having an enclosed porch. Who knew shacks had them? Certainly not worldly wise Elizabeth. Carl grabs her and their moment together is gone. He ties her back up and he goes to sleep in his room.
  Now, I'm not sure whether it's fair to find fault with her plot to run away or not. On the one hand, you want to get out immediately. On the other hand, you should have some freakin' idea of your escape plan beyond, "Well, I escape. That's my plan." Then there's the prospect of sleeping arrangements. If she's not tied up, would Carl expect her to sleep with him, even if it is just sleeping? Or would he be foolish enough to trust her in the living room? Rather than find out, she bolts and it doesn't pay off.
  The next morning, Carl gives her cardboard tasting pancakes because he overheard her telling their boss she loves her mother's pancakes. Sweet, if only not a kidnapper, eh? Liz is shocked that he's going in to work. He points out that he doesn't have a phone so he can't call out, and besides, he's not stupid. If he doesn't show, they'll know something is up. God, get with the program, Lizzie. However, he does have a gift for her. Three books, to be precise. One's a book on investing, one's a bedtime storybook, and the other is a book on raising farm animals. Turns out Carl can't read, so he just grabbed the first ones he saw.
  Liz doesn't even bother to try and read the most promising of the bunch [hello, bedtime stories!] and instead freaks out the whole day. Uh...huh. Cuz that helps so very, very much.

   Now, I should point out, there is one other little problem here. Liz was running late because she had to tutor Max Dellon. When Liz never shows up, Max takes off and goes to look for her. He heads right for the hospital and sees her car. He's ticked. If she had to work late, she should have called. He kicks one of the tires before he realizes that there's a scarf on the ground, the car door is ajar, and Elizabeth's sweater is on the front seat. Something is seriously up. Instead of calling the cops, he breaks into the glove compartment for "clues." Dude, you have to break in, the kidnapper didn't do a damn thing in the car, okay? Leave their stuff alone. Before common sense can pass that message along, the police bust Max. Turns out he'd already run into one of the cops a couple of nights before after a late night with the Droids and a munchies run. The cop stopped him for "suspicious behavior" and Max copped serious attitude. That bites him on the ass and they haul him off to jail for attempting to steal the Fiat.
  Also worth mentioning, the Wakefields [Ned and Alice] return from their party and they're feeling a bit frisky. Alice notices Jessica's note on the fridge and starts to worry. Ned points out that Liz might not have seen it at all because it's a stupid place for a note when Liz was going to just come home to change. Alice agrees, but ever since Elizabeth's accident, she's been secretly Mom-spying on Liz and usually knows where Liz is at any given time of the day. [So do you. At school, at the Oracle office, at the hospital, out with Toddy, probably at the beach or the Dairi Burger, or home, with the occasional mall stop or Oracle research/library, thrown in for good measure. It ain't that difficult.] She's not doing well with this obvious glitch in the system, but when Jessica calls home looking for Liz, she falls apart. Despite a search party, no one can find Liz. The next day doesn't help much either, but Jess does talk to Nicholas who stops by to see how she is and to share a story of sibling guilt.
  It seems that when he was ten and Regina eight, their parents foolishly left him in charge of her one day on vacation. They were firmly in their "I hate you//I hate you more!" phase, so this makes absolutely no sense. My parents wouldn't leave me in charge of my little brother until we were both well old enough to know that juvie would be our best option, and prison would be more likely if we managed to make good on our threats to kill one another. Seriously, we had a babysitter when I was 13, that's how bad things could be. I was a babysitter by then, too. Go figure. Anyway. The two go their separate ways, the loft catches on fire, and Nicholas runs out without even thinking to grab Regina. He won't go back inside and he's sure she was inside and that he's killed her. He's also sure his parents blame him and oh, the angst. Jess says that it's lovely he tried to cheer her up, but fairytales aren't cutting it. He points out that he just shared some serious angst and it wasn't a fairytale for him. She then says that it's obvious Regina lived, seeing as she's met the girl, and Nicholas says yes, she'd managed to sneak out while he was busy ignoring her. Jess is a bit of a bitch and cries, "Yeah, she came back! I may never see my sister again!" and collapses into a tear filled heap. Um, drama queen, table for one.
  After work, Carl brings Liz a lovely sweater of blue to match her eyes. Liz is thinking, "SCORE!" because she's sure that he bought it from the hospital gift shop. Way to assume he has no life outside the hospital and his dreary little home, Liz. Real nice. *cough* Nope, he bought it elsewhere because he's not an idiot... idiot. Liz despairs further when Carl says he's taking her away to the mountains, where she won't be tied up because she won't be able to escape anyway. They're leaving tomorrow. Yay!
  So. Monday brings us no closer to finding Elizabeth, but the high school kids are at school. I cannot see Alice letting Jessica walk out the front door, myself, but maybe I lack vision. Or maybe this is one of those things you just aren't supposed to think about. OR, maybe, it's in some hope of finding normalcy. I don't really know. Todd's there as well, and he walks to the cluster of the In crowd [Lila, Cara, you know the drill] and Lila has a theory. It must be bunnies! Max did it, obviously. He was missing for part of Saturday and so was Liz, obviously, and the cops did bust him in her car, so two and two must equal world's dumbest kidnapper. Duh. Todd mulls this over all day, despite sticking up for Max initially.
  Max, by the way, is having an incredibly shitty day. He had to spend all of Sunday studying Othello and considering he couldn't even begin to decipher Shakespeare two days ago, he's not exactly feeling like he's going to pass Collins' test at the end of the day. If he doesn't, he'll have to go to summer school and he has to quit music cold turkey. Great plan, Dellons. Great, great plan. Anyway, Collins calls Max to the front and Max assumes that Collins, like half the school, assumes he had something to do with Liz's disappearance. Collins doesn't, because it just doesn't make any sense, and SV isn't the sort of place where crazy just happens. Nope, there must be a reason. Right?
  Nope, Collins wants to offer Max an extension. Max blows him off and then kicks himself for it almost immediately. Still, he feels relatively confident that he's actually managed to comprehend the Bard. Who knew?
  After class, he's walking along, minding his own business, when Todd comes up to him and asks for a more thorough explanation of what the hell happened Saturday. Max says he doesn't know, but he really wishes Liz would turn up, especially given how much trouble the girl has gotten him into. Todd freaks the hell out and punches the guy. Jess interrupts and tells Todd that he's behaving totally irrationally and out of character. Uh, no. No, Todd has anger management issues and we've already been through this. Hell, he shoved you in a pool earlier, fulfilling many a fantasy, but still. The dude's not exactly all calm and rational when around either Wakefield, or when they come up in conversation.
  Somehow, the trio decide that since the police are sure that Liz is a runaway and thus there's little point in investigating further, that they will just have to do the sleuthing. So off they race to the hospital. Where nothing, nothing, nothing happens until Max heads up to the third floor. He's about to go talk to a custodian [hi, Carl!] when Carl sees Jessica and flips out. "Elizabeth! What are you doing not being kidnapped!" he all but yells as he runs towards her and then smashes her against the wall. Max tackles him and Jess wonders how Carl could not know that Liz has a twin. How rude, right? Right. Blah, blah, the cops are called, they haul him away and Carl is sad because his love, his Liz, is not Liz, but instead her evil twin. Jess goes with the cops to pick Liz up and upon being rescued, Liz declares she'd like to bathe, eat, sleep, and plan a party celebrating her rescue. Aw.
  The book ends with Liz opening the door at the party, and Nicholas Morrow is there. He's obviously smitten with her, and Liz is a bit worried about this. Note that next book, the tone of this little exchange totally changes.

Trivia!

  • Steve has a plaid comforter and his own tiny bathroom.

  • Steve is 6'1", for those of you playing along at home.

  • Nicholas Morrow grew up in Boston, except that part where he went to an exclusive boarding school in Connecticut, that he graduated from in June. He's taking the year off to study his father's business.

  • Cara and Jessica subscribe to the theory that thou shalt not chase after one another's boy toys. This might explain why Cara and Jess are never as explosively competitive as Lila and Jessica are, eh? Even more surprising, this book claims that they actually adhere to that commandment.

  • Max Dellon is a horrible student, and as he has no interest in school, he's just coasting/failing. But the only teacher who actually calls his parents? Mr. Collins. For shame, everyone else. For. Shame.

  • Max and Guy Chesney starting jamming *snort* together two years ago. At first they'd play Saturday mornings, which would then extend to Sunday mornings, and slowly they acquired Dan Scott, Emily, and Dana. Thus The Droids were born.

  • Evidently, Caroline has a thing for Winston. Poor Win.

  • Nicholas is shorter than Todd by several inches. This could partially explain why Nich has such a problem with Todd. That and Todd keeps trying to assault Jessica in Nicholas' house the first time they meet. Hrm.

  • Ned Wakefield calls Jessica "princess." Hee!

  • Elizabeth is an idiot. She assumes that Jessica was the first person to notice she was missing, and was so worried that she probably missed the party and began the search immediately. Jessica? Miss a party where an eligible rich boy was first appearing? Have you lost your damn mind, woman?

  • Liz wants to spend her first five hours as a free woman in the bath, or at least that's what she's thinking by day two of her ordeal.

  • For their 13th birthday, Jessica gave Elizabeth a bright yellow sweater. Liz wasn't all that fond of the brightness, but it was a gift, so she dealt. Thing is, Jessica borrowed it so much that it became apparent that Jessica didn't give a flying fig about Liz's feelings on the matter and instead, she essentially bought herself a gift. To retaliate, Liz shrinks the sweater, but puts it back in her drawer as if nothing is wrong. When Jess finds out what happened, she flips out and pillow world war 1 erupts. We know this because Liz concentrates on this story as a way to stay sane while Carl is away.

  • Carl lives at the end of St. James Avenue, in the bad part of town. Still, the dude does have a porch, so that should count for something.

  • Also, apparently 5'6" is considered tall, as one of the twins is described as such at the end of the book. ...Right.



Quotable Sweet Valley:

"I'm ready," Cara said with a trace of wistfulness. "Maybe this time I'll find someone who wants me." Poor Cara. p16

"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."
"Jessica, that's morbid!"
"No, that's life, Cara," Jessica said matter-of-factly. "We all know she's going to die, and afterward my poor brother is going to need someone to help him pick up the pieces. It might as well be you." Jessica is, oddly enough, a realist at times. p17


Cara didn't bother to respond. She knew Jessica was like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police-she always got her man. p18



  Kidnapped isn't so bad to re-read. It has it's moments of wait, what? But it's also a bit unusual as we don't really get to see Steve and Jessica interact without Liz there to keep the peace, and this go round they don't even need that. We also don't normally see Ned and Alice without the kids and it's a bit jarring, but hey, they should have lives outside of being parents... Though some might say that it's kind of obvious, given how often they go out to parties and dinner and leave their kids to fend for themselves. Hell, Sundays the twins are supposed to hunt and gather their own meals. I'd forgotten this tidbit, as the Wakefields are always presented as this kind of family you expect to sit down and chat over Sunday dinner, even if they don't attend church, y'know?
  Speaking of the Wakefields, I'd also forgotten that they're a little worried about Liz and Todd, especially how serious the couple is about one another. Towards the end of the book, Alice walks by and sees the couple making out and it's not so much the kissing and groping that bother Alice, but the intensity behind it. If Todd were just a fling, she wouldn't worry so, but he isn't, so I guess she's worried that Liz is gonna sleep with Todd. Trust us, A, that ain't gonna happen, no matter what anyone hopes to the contrary. Kind of funny, and easily mockable, but in the context of the book, it works, somehow.
  Lastly, we have Carl. I always envisioned Carl to be older than the 25-ish we're given. I always tacked on another ten years, because 25 seemed too young, too close to Mr. Collins [and Ms. Dalton] and it seemed weirder that way. Also, how many 25 year olds do you know who just want to occasionally pet some girl's hair, when they've been obsessing? Of course, I suppose you could say the same of a 35 year old. Someone was stunted in their development, which I guess is best for Liz. Don't want to darken the series too much, too soon. I kinda felt bad for Carl, but you don't just go around kidnapping pretty people, even if the cops don't seem to care. Nor do you kidnap other people of the non-pretty persuasion. But the thing I don't get [I know, just one? you ask] is how could Carl not know Liz had a twin? Did he never see Jessica, or interact with her? Cuz she would have blown him off so fast your head would spin clean off. Wouldn't he wonder? Wouldn't that have been a fun twist? If Carl had been okay with stalking Liz, but when he works up the courage to talk to Liz, it's really Jessica, and she tells him to fuck off and die, so he snaps, and the next time he has a chance, he nabs Liz, and it is Liz and she's all, "ohhhh...that darn Jessica!"
  Back to Alice and Ned, isn't it also kinda funny that Alice memorizes Liz's schedule but Jessica always seemed like the twin most likely to get into trouble, and she does [all those older boys, Alice!] but it's Liz Alice obsesses over. Still, Jessica's ability to hide her antics aside, I like my SVH with a dash of realism. Not too much, or you end up with a salty, tear soaked melodramatically overdone bummer that is Senior Year, but a little to balance out the rampant crazy that leaks off the pages when you least expect it.
  The other thing I 'love' is how the back cover gives the impression that it's through any luck or skill on Elizabeth's behalf that she's rescued. Nope, she tries, but is thwarted. Repeatedly. It's dumb luck that saves her.
  Together with When Love Dies, Kidnapped! is one of those classic early SVH books that every passing fan should read, at least once. Just to say they have.

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the_oracle: the cover image from Double Love, classic SVH (Default)
the_oracle

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