Boxing Helena 2: This time it’s personal; or #13 Kidnapped!

Kidnapped! With an exclamation point! It’s scary! Firstly, the cover never happened in the book. Liz was abducted from her car and the guy came at her head on with a chloroform-soaked rag. But I am getting ahead of myself. Check out Liz’s arm and hand. It’s freakishly huge.

The theme of this book is that the Wakefield twins are so gorgeous and so desireable that it isactually dangerous for them. Like, people would commit crimes to be with them. It’s like the opposite of a hate crime! Someone pass some laws!

Carl is a loser orderly in the hospital who develops the hots for Liz and decides that he is going to kidnap her because he is in love with her and if he keeps her prisoner, she will learn to love him. When has that ever worked? Okay, maybe once. He keeps her in his loser apartment. Because he’s not a blond surfer and married, he needs to live in complete filth and exile. He feeds Liz frozen pancakes, and she’s really judgemental about it. She tries to talk him out of it, but Liz, this is one situation you can’t counsel/condescend your way out of! Cue the music. I don’t mean to be harsh here, but I think most women’s fear about being abducted by a strange man is some fear of sexual assult. Of course that is never brought up here. Especially after being abducted by a man that is obsessively in love with you? One thing is that Liz has to be freed so she can go to the bathroom. THAT’S THE FIRST TIME ANY CHARACTER HAS ACTUALLY EXPRESSED AN URGE TO URINATE! It’s a miracle. The never mention bodily functions. Except when Jess poisoned her family with her cooking.

Jess lets many hours go by because she is do busy rubbing her genitals up against Nicholas Morrow at his party. The Morrows just moved to town and they are throwing a party. Jess is at home getting ready and is wearing a new dress that “leaves little to the imagination”. Doesn’t she always dress like that? And what does that even mean? Her vagina is showing? She asks Steven to zip her up, who comes out of the shower in a towel to help her. Scuse me what? This gives ghostwriter an opportunity to launch into the perfect-size-6-aqua-eyes-tanned-body description, using Steven’s view as a device to mention it. What? WEIRD! Also, Steven, please go back your dorm for once. Your parents are working extra hours to afford it.

So they get to the Morrow’s house, and the place is so over the top dripping with money it’s like an epi of Cribs. You know, like the one where mariah Carey is drunk and changes outfits about five times. I thought the Morrows were modest: “Flanking the main entrance were twin rows of neatly manicured cypress trees, all planted in huge brass urns. In the center of the circular drive were three pure-white marble fountains that sprayed mists of water into the crisp white air.” Basically, the Bellagio hotel. Furthermore, they have a Ferrari.

Also, Jessica is all judgy when she meets Regina and concludes she is a drunk (not knowing she is deaf). After she finds out, her first thought is gee, I hope Nicholas isn’t deaf! Oh Jess, you never disappoint. Todd is at the party and is all worried about where Liz is, and Jessica only being Jessica lies and says Liz is on her way so she can continue to dry hump Nicholas’ leg. He is so pissed he pushes her into the pool. NOYCE!

Oh, there’s this whole thing where Max Dellon is implicated, snoresville, but he and Jess go to the hospital and Carl thinks its Jessica who escaped from his creepy house and implicates himself. My question is: did he not know they were identical twins? Wasn’t he stalking Liz like crazy when she worked there?

After Liz is rescued, they all have a fucking pancake breakfast at the Wakefields and everyone is ok, making kidnapping jokes. Ok, kidnapping, coma…why isn’t this gal in therapy? Finally Nicholas stops by and of course when he sees Liz is love at first sight. I don’t know why, he’s already seen Jessica and aren’t they supposed to be absolutely identical? Maybe he was attracted to Liz’s barettes and sensible cardigan.

I need to share some direct quotes because I can’t do it justice with a summary:

[Cara] knew that Jessica was like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police- she always got her man.

[Nicholas] was blessed with a full head of black, wavy hair, which he wore swept back off his face, the waves falling in perfect layers down to the nape of his neck. From his piercing, deep-set, emerald green eyes to the cleft in his chin he had a face that would make any male model burn with envy. Nicholas?

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61 thoughts on “Boxing Helena 2: This time it’s personal; or #13 Kidnapped!

  1. Cheryl Slade says:

    Direct quote from the teaser at the end of book 12: “You’ll have to wait an extra month to read the next book about Sweet Valley High, but it will be worth it!” Really? A fate worse than cancer: Liz is forced to eat microwave pancakes!

  2. jamie says:

    OMG! I totally forgot about this book until the “frozen pancakes” part of it. I always thought it was strange how the cover and the details of the Liz-napping were so incongruous. Snap…even that line about Jess being like the Mounties, I didn’t get it when I was a kid but I’m wondering what Harloquen romance novel this ghost writer just finished reading before writing this book.

  3. Krystal says:

    Okay, so he fed her frozen pancakes the whole time and then when she’s rescued the family celebrates with a PANCAKE breakfast? thats just mean. But that way i guess she wont eat and continue to be the anorexic size she is.

  4. Laura @ Hungry And Frozen says:

    I would be so trauma-fied if some creepy orderly kidnapped me. But pancakes make it better!

    I love their descriptions of how beautiful the guys are. Seriously – “he had a face that would make any male model burn with envy” – wtf!

    I think someone mentioned it in It’s Always Sunny in Sweet Valley, but HOW can there possibly be all these impossibly good looking people in one place?

  5. Courtney says:

    I also forgot about this book until I read the frozen pancake part…I absolutely remember the whole thing now, especially Nicholas falling in love with Liz. Goodness, I cannot believe how much I loved these books as a pre-teen – they are more damaging than barbie dolls!

  6. nichole says:

    This was one of my favorites from the series, I re-read it a bunch of times. I think I liked it more than others because it introduced us to the Morrows and Regina was one of my favorite characters in the whole series.

    Its different looking at it with 30 year old eyes, rather than being 14 years old – I totally missed the Pancake Breakfast the first time through. Why would any parent do that?

  7. Amber Tan says:

    “Todd is at the party and… is so pissed he pushes her into the pool. NOYCE!”

    I cheered at this part although it would have been better if he held her head down. 😉

    “I totally missed the Pancake Breakfast the first time through. Why would any parent do that?”

    Yeah, this made me boggle too. I always thought Alice and Ned should have been investigated by CPS…what a great storyline that would have been for the SVT series!

  8. 1979semifinalist says:

    Ah! I totally forgot about this one too until that bit about the frozen pancakes…weird how that was a trigger for so many of us.

    I don’t even know why they bothered with a kidnapping because he was so “in love” if they weren’t even going to begin to graze the issue of a possible sexual assault. Though I love this book, I have vague memories now of feeling like that was weird even at the time. Just because you’re a stupid 13 year old doesn’t mean you don’t sorta know there’s something missing in this whole “might as well be a eunuch” kidnapping caper…

  9. snappleaddict says:

    If this had been a V.C. Andrews book, Steven and Jessica would have totally been getting it on.

    Also, frozen pancakes are good, so STFU, Liz. Carl should’ve made her eat bugs for not approving.

  10. Tiny Pants says:

    Krystal, I was so abt to comment the same thing! If her family had actually done that on purpose as opposed to the GWs ignoring all continuity, that would have been awesome.

    Also, looking at the cover, I’d say Liz’s nightmare has already begun. That outfit is heinous, even for her. Man-arms and kidnappers? Dude somewhat get that freakin’ matching bow out of her hair!

  11. jms says:

    I don’t think I liked this one much growing up, but now I NEED to reread it. I do remember enjoying the scene in which Jessica meets Regina and thinks she’s drunk. Good stuff.

    Ned and Alice seem to think that good parenting consists only of making breakfast for your children. Considering Liz alone has already been stalked and kidnapped and injured in a motorcycle accident and God knows what else, you’d think they’d be a little more concerned about the twins’ whereabouts. Worst parents ever.

  12. ihatewheat says:

    Ok, let me jst clarify- Alice didn’t actally cook a pancake breakfast for Liz when she returned- I just didn’t have the book in front of me. What I meant was that they were jst all sitting arond being happy instead of finding Liz some therapy asap. And the twins decided to plan a party for the next weekend because apparently a dance wasn’t schedled.

  13. Becca says:

    I didn’t like this one when I first read it, but I think I’ll have to give it another try. I didn’t remember all the weirdness with Steven or the abusive pancakes. Also, how odd that Cara compares Jess to the RCMP – do people in Sweet Valley even know where Canada is? It’s usually too cold for bikinis there.

  14. Lila's cleaning lady says:

    LOL! Your comment regarding the cover reminded me of the Seinfield episode re: man hands.

    Just found your blog and absolutely LOVE it!

  15. southcitysadie says:

    I remember wondering about the absence of sexual assault when I read this in 5th grade.

    This cover was kind of awesome, though, with the disembodied hands, Liz’s man hands, and her look of surprise/distaste rather than fear.

  16. Jen S says:

    I never noticed Liz’s arm before, but now it’s all I can see. Liz is She-Hulk!

    “It’s the opposite of a hate crime!” It’s a LUUUUVE CRIME! Cue the Barry White.

    Damn, this is a cold family. “I don’t care that my sister’s missing, I’ve gotta be a little ho for this guy I met twenty minutes ago!” Pancake breakfast for the kidnapping victim! Let’s plan a party! The Manson family had it all over this one.

  17. Abby says:

    Yeah, as another website pointed out (I think it’s the slam book that ihatewheat has linked) about as racy as this book gets is sad sack Carl molests Elizabeth’s HAIR.

    Reading the book now, considering she was drugged and kidnapped, Liz’s biggest concern seems to be not violence, rape, or murder, but rather being kidnapped is just so mind numbingly BORING…he bought her 3 books that she’s not into.

  18. Amber Tan says:

    “frozen pancakes…weird how that was a trigger for so many of us”

    Definitely! And now the “frozen pancakes” is triggering Cartman on South Park. i.e. “And what side dishes will we be enjoying with our frozen waffles this evening?” [silence] “I take it there are no side dishes…?”

    “”If this had been a V.C. Andrews book, Steven and Jessica would have totally been getting it on.”

    Good point, snappleaddict! BTW, I have found my tattered copy of “My Sweet Audrina”. If ever a book deserved to tagged as “WTF?” this is The One. I’ll be happy to recap it in Lost n’ Found for y’all.

    “And there was no syrup with the frozen pancakes!” +”he bought her 3 books that she’s not into” = A Truly Diabolical Scheme

    At this point, I would have probabled chew off my (man) arm to escape Carl’s clutches. For librarians, the latter part of this scenario constitutes one version of hell. 😉

  19. Merrie says:

    southcitysadie, you are totally right. Liz looks like “Ohmigoodness, I hope he doesn’t touch me on all my pristine blue and white glory,” raither than “Holy fuck! This guy is kidnapping me!”

    It’s like the recap of Regina’s death scene on 1bruce1 — Regina’s last wrods were all “You’ve been a good brother” and “It’s no one’s fault”. The recapper said her last words would be “Fuck! I’m dying!”

    Can’t argue with that.

    You know, at least early in the series Francine spread out the crazy books (comas, kidnappings, airplane crashes) among all the sad-girl-loves-popular-boy crap. It was every character for themselves toward the end.

  20. Kellie says:

    I remember reading this as a 10 yr old and wondering why Carl didn’t rape Liz… he’s sick enough to kidnap her, leave her tied to a chair for two days (or however long it was) but does nothing more than molest her hair? And Liz was “disturbed” by his constant “ogling”? Sure, it doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, but considering the situation, it sure beats any alternatives. Even the psychopaths in Sweet Valley aren’t hardcore enough to do anything sexual.

    I always noticed Elizabeth’s man-arm! So out of proportion. But it could be related to one scene in the book – where Liz bolts for the door after Carl unties her. Even as a kid, I thought her plan was so idiotic. Why not just act like you’re in love with him, set his mind at ease and then once he falls asleep for the night, get out of there?

  21. Kellie says:

    Oh and also, didn’t Carl ever go to jail? What happened to him? Why didn’t Liz ever have to give evidence at a trial or anything?

  22. kate says:

    So I didn’t remember the pancakes, but I remember the books! Weren’t they stolen from the gift shop or the kids ward? I seem to recall Judy Blume, but I could be wrong.

    I’ve totally had friends that would attract the weirdest people. Luckily for me, the weird people avoid me on the bus.

  23. Girl says:

    I TOTALLY remember this book! I think it’s the one I have the most vivid memories of… I must have re-read it a bunch.

    I also remember thinking it was weird that Carl didn’t try to assault her. Of course I watched too much late night TV as a child, so maybe that’s why I wanted it a little more sexed up.

    I think this book and “Don’t Go Home With John” are the two books that stick in my brain the most.

  24. BadKat says:

    I never read this one, so tell me, did Liz scream when he was kidnapping her? Or did she just try to lecture him about how it is not nice to kidnap people and he should be getting his life on track by learning to read?

    All of the janitors I have ever known have been really nice, have they really just been out to get me and never had the right opportunity?

    “’It’s the opposite of a hate crime!’ It’s a LUUUUVE CRIME!” – Hilarious, that should be the quote on the cover!!!

  25. Beth says:

    Ha! I soooo remember this one, esp the cover! I was always disappointed with the twins on the covers! For such BEAUTIFUL & PERFECT people, they were pretty fug! And the Steven thing always pissed me off! Go back to school, for God’s sake and stop being so creepily attentive to your sisters! Ick!

  26. Tannaqui says:

    Ooh V.C. Andrews, good call!

    Can you re-cap one of those?
    I remember being in year 7 at an girls catholic high school where that shit was banned, creating a thriving black market.
    Memories…

    Ugh, Steven you need to get out! Stop being such a perv.
    Worst description device ever.
    Might as well get Creepy Collins on the job.

  27. Stasia says:

    “Honestly that description of Nicholas’ hair makes it sound like he has a mullet. Not attractive.”

    I totally agree. You know, I so rarely imagine what these characters look like based on the description in the books, and never like what the cover photo might be. Since so many of these things are repeated book after book, I just skim or skip those paragraphs entirely. But yeah, it was the 80s and I guess that was hot hair back then…

  28. kiwimusume says:

    My students molest my hair all the time. Does that mean I should worry about being kidnapped?

    Also, that Steven scene sounds SO. FUCKING. CREEPY. Does anyone feel like transcribing it?

  29. Magpie says:

    I don’t know how I failed to notice when I was a kid that Ned and Alice are, like, the world’s worst parents. I guess I must have unquestioningly swallowed the ghost writers’ crap about the Wakefield family being like a Norman Rockwell painting.

    Also, you’d think Liz would have better things to worry about than bitching that Creepy Carl’s feeding her frozen pancakes instead of whipping up a home-made batch every morning.

  30. London says:

    It’s strange how you mention that attempted sexual assault never pops up in this book, when it seems to be in every single other book! Sheesh.

  31. Melody_Grey says:

    Sadly, this was one of my favourite books growing up. Why? POOL PUSH!!! Also after Jess goes on her spiel about how her dress MUST be sexy and “alluring, perhaps,” and the “love crime,” I just KNEW someone was getting lucky that night. Ten years later, I realize just how naive I was. There’d be no sex until Jessica gets married & Steven knocks up his girlfriend (which seems as if they should be reversed, doesn’t it?).

    And don’t be so rough on Steve. After all, Jess is the one that barges into his room while he’s getting dressed in something (that in his eyes) barely qualified as underwear, much less a dress.

    @Jane: Yes, they do. Pillsbury makes some great ones.

  32. Shannon River says:

    Heh. This book is just all kinds of wrong. So classic!! That Steven Shower thing… WTH? Geez.

    And I’ve always wondered why the heck I always pictures Nicholas as blond. I have never pictured him as the way described in that book at all, even though I have read the book. That’s really weird on my part.

    Great recap!

  33. LimeGreenTriumph says:

    Isn’t the next book the one where Nicholas will not leave Liz along and makes her go out to dinner with him? What is it about Liz that creates this psycho behavior in these men?

  34. Cheryl Slade says:

    Okay, the Steven scene:

    “Steve, can you help me with this zipper please?” Jessica Wakefield called as she raced down the hall to her brother’s room. With one hand holding up the top of her blue silk dress, she rushed into Steven’s bedroom. (yay, skankadoo already! We should all have to do a shot every time Jessica does something slutty on the first page.) “It seems to be stuck-” Jessica paused as she looked around and saw no trace of her brother. (Knocking helps.) “Steven? Don’t tell me you’ve left already!” She fell on his bed, tossing aside his plaid comforter in annoyance.

    “Hey, relax, Jess, I’m in here.” Steven pushed open the door to his tiny bathroom. His hair still wet from the shower, a green towel wrapped snugly around his waist, Steven stopped shaving for a moment as he spoke to his sister. “Give me another minute. Then I’ll rescue you (turn to page two, expecting the sentence to end with ‘by pressing my burgeoning manhood against your acching female need’. It doesn’t.) from whatever crisis you’ve managed to get yourself into. What is it this time?

    …. “Could you zip up my dress, please?”

    *edit boring crap about what a saint Liz is for being a candy stripper*

    “Sure” Steven said goodnaturedly. He walked up to his sister, who was now standing before the full length mirror on the back of his closet door. He bent his six-one body over the zipper. It took a little manuevering, but he finally managed to zip up the dress without damaging the delicate fabric.

    “Thank you, Steve” she said, admiring herself in the mirror. “What do you think?”

    Steven inspected his sister carefully. Jessica had a knack for picking out clothes that made her look her best – although even a burlap sack couldn’t conceal her perfectly porportioned figure. This dress was no exception. The iridescent material matched her brilliant, blue green eyes, and the neckline of the sleeveless dress was as about as low as a sixteen year old could get away with.

  35. Jamie says:

    I never barge into my brother’s room without knocking….which is for my sake more than it is his, I’m afraid of what I might find!

    p.s. Steve is fucking weirdo. What brother says anything in a ‘goodnaturedly’ way?? He probably just wanted a reason to touch her and was trying not to be too excited about it lol.

  36. Kellie says:

    Okay, Steven inspected his sister carefully, taking note of her perfectly proportioned figure and the fact that her dress was as ‘low as a 16 yr old could get away with’ … that’s um, a little odd.

  37. I like toast says:

    Hahaha!! All this about Steve and Jessica is making me want to barf. How tall are the twins (I can’t believe I can’t remember)? 6-1 isn’t *that* tall where he can’t zip up someone’s dress without “bending over”…unless they’re 4 feet tall. And why would he need to inspect her so closely anyhow? Don’t they live together? And I’ve never ever understood why Nicholas was in love with Elizabeth “at first sight” and not Jessica. They are IDENTICAL. And Elizabeth is boring. I’d at least want the one who doesn’t put me to sleep.

  38. Dwanollah says:

    I am so, so glad I wasn’t the only effed up reader who, at the time, wondered why Carl didn’t go the sexual assult route. Of course, considering his bumbling with the pancakes and the books, God only knows what that might’ve been like. ‘The woman at the sex store said you would like these” he said, pulling out a double-hea-

    Ahem.

    I also love how, for TWO BOOKS, Liz is stalked and obsessed over because she is so beautiful and wonderful, but when it’s Creepy Carl, it’s all KIDNAPPED!!! but when it’s hunky rich Nicholas, it’s a-okay. And of course, a girl who had JUST BEEN KIDNAPPED would find it not at all creepy in the least to have yet ANOTHER obsessed admirer. Plus, in Deceptions, she spends the whole time freaked out that she might hurt Nicholas’s feewings or Jess might be mad at her, and I can’t help thinking, Hi, Liz? LAST WEEK YOU WERE BOUND AND GAGGED BY A PSYCHO! Perspective, sweetie-pie!

    I so desperately wanted an irridescent blue-green silk dress when I was 14. *sigh* Damn you, Jessica!

  39. ihatewheat says:

    “I so desperately wanted an irridescent blue-green silk dress when I was 14.”

    ummmm I HAD one and wore it at my Bat Mitzvah. it was far from revealing though. it had poofy sleeves and a huge bow on my ass.

  40. katie says:

    “She asks Steven to zip her up, who comes out of the shower in a towel to help her. Scuse me what? This gives ghostwriter an opportunity to launch into the perfect-size-6-aqua-eyes-tanned-body description, using Steven’s view as a device to mention it. What? WEIRD! Also, Steven, please go back your dorm for once. Your parents are working extra hours to afford it.”

    I remember that scene….it really creeped me out. Steven, go back to your dorms!! And checking out your sis’s body…*cringe*… what kinda guy does that to their sister? Even weird when in a couple of bks, Liz and Jess admire their brothers handsome face..etc. That family is dillusional.

    God forbids ugly, overweight, guys with issues or disorders to talk to the wakefields. Only perfect, rich good-looking guys.

    Why can’t they put average teenagers as their main characters, having to deal with REAL teenage issues?? I have this love/hate relationship with these bks

  41. Kae-Leah says:

    There’s a new thrift store in my town, and I found this SVH there yesterday, and get this, the former owner’s name in the front cover is Jennifer FOWLER. I thought that was kinda cool, I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone in real life with that last name before.

  42. Regina Morrow says:

    2 words: Frozen Pancakes
    and that just about summarizes this book. Although I kind of liked this one ( either that or I just love the idea of Liz being force fed frozen pancakes), but it was kinda creepy and so that was good. Also it’s only #13 so I think it’s the first kidnapping! book they have ( which warrants it an exclemation point!) so it wasnt a recycled plot just yet. Also I love that Alice thinks its a good idea to make Liz a pancake breakfast after she was just fed frozen pancakes. If I was Liz I probably wouldn’t come near another pancake for the rest of my life. Also I’m suprised the Wakefields didn’t eat at the DB for breakfast. They don’t serve breakfast do they?

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