Sweet Valley High #13: Kidnapped!

The moral of the story: It’s best to just ignore any sad and lonely people you might come into contact with. You might make them fall in love with you and then they’ll kidnap you and feed you frozen pancakes.

The Big Deal: The book opens with a big party at the Morrows’ house and ends with a celebratory I-just-got-kidnapped party at the Wakefields’ house.

Synopsis: Okay, so the first thing that happens in this book is Jessica asking Steven to zip up her dress. Steven does so while wearing only a towel. I don’t know about anyone else, but my siblings and I would never interact with each other unless we were wearing clothes. Anyway…

The Morrow family just moved to town and they have two children: Regina, who is deaf, and Nicholas, who is handsome. They’re throwing a party for everyone, which is odd since they haven’t actually met anyone yet. But whatever. Jessica is determined to make Nicholas Morrow fall in love with her, so she barely notices when Liz never shows up to the party. It takes Todd pushing her into the pool to get her to notice something is wrong.

Liz, meanwhile, has been kidnapped. An orderly at the hospital where she works takes her from her car and brings her home with him. He does this because he’s in love with her because she’s always been so nice to him. I swear, the Wakefields need to start walking around with bodyguards if they’re going to continue to be so perfect and lovable all the time.

So Carl the orderly plans to keep Elizabeth with him forever and love her and squeeze her and call her George. There is absolutely no risk of sexual violation, of course, because that would be too far within the realm of realism and it only happens with people we know, like Bruce Patman. Elizabeth worries that he’s going to kill her, but he really just wants to be with her. Aww. Liz has trouble eating the frozen pancakes he makes her because they’re not like the homemade ones her mother makes. Spoiled brat. Shortly before Carl is to carry out his plan to take her to a secluded cabin someplace where nobody will ever find them, Todd and Jessica save the day. Elizabeth chooses to celebrate by throwing a party.



The stumble, the lack of response to Jessica-It was only natural to conclude that the Morrow girl was drunk.

Because you’d have to be intoxicated not to be enthralled with Jessica, you know.

A loud pounding on the door was followed by the arrival of the first friendly face she’d seen in almost forty-eight hours. “Are you all right?” the police officer asked.

“Now I am,” Elizabeth responded joyously as the officer began to untie her.

Not even untied yet and she’s over it. Nope, no post-traumatic stress here, not in Sweet Valley.

The Cover: Does anyone else think Liz looks like she’s posing for a pin-up calendar? What’s with the goofy “Oops, I’ve just been caught doing something naughty!” expression? I will say, though, that the ribbon in her hair is better than her usual barrettes. And it matches her shirt, naturally.

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  • Sadako March 22, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Wow, sounds like someone was channeling V C Andrews here!

    And yeah, the cover of this is hilarious! Does not look like a kidnapping scenario at all.


  • Whitney G March 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I can’t help but think that the cover is the top half of an Art Frahm pinup.

    Also…frozen pancakes? Really?

    (Sweet Of Mice and Men reference, by the way.)


  • Shannon March 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Ha ha, it does look like that! Maybe someone was kidnapping her panties…


  • Kate March 23, 2009 at 8:30 am

    That zombie arm coming out from nowhere to scratch her right shoulder really is something else! “Here, let me get that pesky itch for you!”

    And the pinup girls are so funny! It’s like: “Oops! My panties just fell off! This always happens to me when I’m toting a bag of groceries. Every time!”


  • Jeni March 24, 2009 at 9:24 am

    “So Carl the orderly plans to keep Elizabeth with him forever and love her and squeeze her and call her George.”

    I lol’d.


  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 9:15 am

    For some strange reason, Liz’s arm / hand has always bothered me – it’s too … distinct, too detailed? Maybe my malady is that I pore over these book covers too much, too long! 😉

    In Liz’s defense, can I just say that it wasn’t only frozen pancakes she had to put up with, but also second-rate cheeseburgers and inappropriate books to read? I mean, besides the fact that she’s tied to a chair by a mentally ill grown man. What a relief the worst thing he ever did was stroke her hair; I would have been deeply traumatized and scarred for life if Carl had done to Liz what Bruce Patman tried to do in book #7 (Dear Sister). Seriously, no sarcasm here. This whole story freaked me out! :O


    dirtywingsgirl Reply:

    “Liz’s arm / hand has always bothered me”
    Agreed, it’s a total man-hand!

    “I would have been deeply traumatized and scarred for life if Carl had done to Liz what Bruce Patman tried to do in book #7 (Dear Sister).”
    Me too, but it sort of annoys me that Liz & Jess are too perfect to have anything really bad happen to them. They only get near misses, and then inexplicably don’t seem to get upset at all. The only time the rape issue was handled with any ounce of maturity was in “Don’t Go Home With John”. Lila was totally traumatized (as one probably would be), and it took her a while to become herself again. I don’t get why the Wakefield twins had it happen to them a few times throughout SVH, yet never seem to care at all except for being all “Ugh, don’t remind me! Rape is icky! Haha!”.


  • Jenna August 13, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    WTF? I never commented on this one before? Weird. This was my FAVORITE book! It was so exciting! For some reason it always made me want to experiment with chloroform. And frozen pancakes. I read it right around the time those mini-frozen pancakes were popular, and a re-read of this book always called for a mid-book snack.


    Jessica Squits the Quad Reply:

    LOL!! Mid book snack of frozen pancakes, that’s hilarious. Real kidnappin’ food! I always felt so sorry for Carl that he forgot to buy syrup so Liz had to eat the pancakes dry. But as Shannon points out, Liz is a total spoiled brat for making such a big deal out of that!!! It was probably the most traumatizing part of the whole ordeal. But Shannon, you left out the Max Dellon stuff! I thought his interactions with Todd were fun.


  • Anonymous October 30, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Jenna, it made you wanna experiment with chloroform and frozen pancakes? What an awesome and weird desire!
    Also, I don’t think I read this one as a child, but this recap really makes me want to. What’s up with the scene with Jess and Steven? Why is he wearing a towel in her bedroom? I can’t remember which book it’s in, but in one of the earlier books, Jess and Steven have a game where they talk about how ugly the other one is. For instance, Steve might say to Jess: “Hello, you ugly girl.” And Jess will say, “What are you doing home from college, you mutant?” They think it’s so funny, and it’s like their reverse way of complimenting their sibling’s looks. It was strange to me, even when I was a child. The thing about Steven in his towel also reminds me of how whenever we get Liz’s point of view, she thinks inappropriate thoughts about how handsome her father is. She always thinks about his muscular chest and dark hair. Creepy.


  • messigirl May 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Regina, who is deaf, and Nicholas, who is handsome.

    HAHA – these are their only defining characteristics, apparently


  • Kylie90210 July 19, 2010 at 1:52 am

    And Liz gets rescued in such a timely manner too. Soo not realistic!


  • Meredith December 29, 2010 at 12:32 am

    I never say this but I liked the tv show version of this book better


    Anonymous Reply:

    Yep, they actually are upset over what happened.


  • Twisted Sister October 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I hope that severed hand finds its way back to the wax figure it came from…


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  • thepixiechick July 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Love the tags on this post!


  • Erica Chestnut September 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I just got finished re-reading this one and was completely grossed out by the very inappropriate interaction between Steve and Jess at the beginning. I have two older brothers and never would have asked them to zip me up while they were wearing only a towel–one must wonder about the writer’s own family dynamics.

    Also, even more examples of what wonderful parents Ned and Alice are. When they first got home from their own party the night Liz was taken, Alice can tell that Liz obviously never came home and mentions it to Ned. He’s all “You worry too much, come upstairs.” Then, when they realize she really is missing Alice feels it is best to go on with life as usual. She even insists Jessica go to school. Really, WTF, like she could even concentrate. If that were my kids I wouldn’t give a flying crap about going on as usual because life wouldn’t be as usual. I never realized as a kid what horrible parents the Wakefields were and how lucky I was to have good parents.


  • Kanna-Chan February 4, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Nose not too bad this time but she could use a Botox injection to smooth out those forehead wrinkles.


  • Ladytuku December 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

    it was Elizabeth who was apart of this game and it was in the first book Double Love


  • Dane Youssef September 28, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I do remember them adapting this for the TV show. Hell, it was one of the better episodes. They even strung it out into a multi-parter rather than try to tie everything up in a half-hour with commercials.

    The actor who played the orderly (Peter in the show) was pitch-perfect. He put the entire rest of the cast (of gorgeous, photogenic–yet non-actors) to absolute shame. Tragic he didn’t have more of a run. Absolute criminal. But…. that’s Hollywood for you.

    Was this just one more case where “the book was better?” I dunno. You tell me. Really. Didn’t read this one. Episode was okay. Better than average. Well… better than most of the shows, but…

    Hey, the show is available for free on YouTube and… Shannon has the book. Any one of you can pick it up. Here… be my guest.

    –Sincere As Ever, Dane Youssef


  • Jessibeth March 22, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Good thing he did not kidnap Jessica. The guy would probably pay to get rid of her once he realised how awful she is.


  • Sweet Valley Forever April 21, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Why do these silly girls keep getting themselves kidnapped? Jessica was kidnapped by a cheerleader in the Pom Pom Wars series when she quits the squad. She was also kidnapped in Jessica Takes Manhattan. Why do they keep getting themselves kidnapped? Who would want to spend an extended length of time with them?


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