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Mother's Helper

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Becky can hardly believe her luck when she's offered a job as a mother's helper on a holiday island. She can work on her tan and earn money at the same time. It's the perfect holiday job, or so Becky thinks.


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Becky can hardly believe her luck when she's offered a job as a mother's helper on a holiday island. She can work on her tan and earn money at the same time. It's the perfect holiday job, or so Becky thinks.

30 review for Mother's Helper

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I thought this would be romantic, she admitted to herself. Keeping an eye on a poor little rich boy, living on a beautiful, remote island, making a ton of money for helping keep a little boy safe... it sounded romantic. Seventeen-year-old Becky Collier is trying to earn some money to go to college next year so she takes a job as a nanny/mother's helper to a sweet one-year-old boy (Devon) on an isolated island called Sebastian. But she begins to find the situation odd... her employer Mrs. Nelson ( I thought this would be romantic, she admitted to herself. Keeping an eye on a poor little rich boy, living on a beautiful, remote island, making a ton of money for helping keep a little boy safe... it sounded romantic. Seventeen-year-old Becky Collier is trying to earn some money to go to college next year so she takes a job as a nanny/mother's helper to a sweet one-year-old boy (Devon) on an isolated island called Sebastian. But she begins to find the situation odd... her employer Mrs. Nelson (Devon's mother) never wants Becky to go out or to be seen. (Mrs. Nelson is hiding Devon away because she thinks someone wants to do him harm and may kidnap him.) Becky is going crazy indoors. Mrs. Nelson goes out a lot to town on business, locks her bedroom door, and doesn't really seem comfortable with her son. Eventually Becky does get out and meets a boy called Cleve who says he has seen Mrs. Nelson sitting at a cafe in town by the dock... she watches to see who comes in on the ferry. But why can Mrs. Nelson go out and be seen but Becky can't? And who is Mrs. Nelson looking for? This was an entertaining, fast and easy read. I liked Becky. She did her best to keep little Devon safe and handled herself well when she discovered the situation she was in. Becky wondered if she could trust Cleve, who she was starting to like. It was sort of obvious who the villain was, though. I also enjoyed the island setting. And the mystery. A fun young-adult read from the 90's.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Mother's Helper is one of those retro 1980's horror novels that I love, akin to a huge array of slasher films of the same era, but it often felt patronizing when I was reading it because its limited vocabulary and cookie-cutter characters seem to talk down to its intended audience of young adults, and the story was surprisingly short.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I think all of the Point Horror books deserve 5 star ratings. A trip back into time, back into the 80s. This was a good book too. A teenager is hired to stay full time as a babysitter for a lady and her 1 year old son. When very strange things start happening and the teen starts discovering the real situation behind why she was hired, its time to do something and fast. Ive just got to read all of these in the set!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    Really didn't remember this one first time around, the story is quite simple and it's not really until the later half that it really gets interesting. The reveal was quite good though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    4 stars bc i genuinely did not see the Big Twist coming. idk what that says about me lol

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paula Brandon

    I think this is A. Bates' best book! (view spoiler)[It probably would have worked better without the lame attempts at red herrings and making it more obvious that Mrs. Nelson was the villain - because it is pretty obvious! More mystery about who Mrs. Nelson was and why she was doing it would have jacked up the tension (hide spoiler)] . I actually had some sympathy for the villain at the end! Bates always leaned more towards psychological thriller than pre-Scream proto-slasher-lite and this is a s I think this is A. Bates' best book! (view spoiler)[It probably would have worked better without the lame attempts at red herrings and making it more obvious that Mrs. Nelson was the villain - because it is pretty obvious! More mystery about who Mrs. Nelson was and why she was doing it would have jacked up the tension (hide spoiler)] . I actually had some sympathy for the villain at the end! Bates always leaned more towards psychological thriller than pre-Scream proto-slasher-lite and this is a star example of it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    Having just "re-read" this for the first time in ... a very, very long time ... I'm not at all convinced I ever read this "back in the day" to begin with. I didn't recall one single thing about the story. So now I'm wondering if this was one of those Point books that my brother bought and read, but I never did. The book was a bit underwhelming when compared with some of my favourite Point books, but it still had its moments. Of course, I guessed who the "bad guy" was about 9 pages in, but at the Having just "re-read" this for the first time in ... a very, very long time ... I'm not at all convinced I ever read this "back in the day" to begin with. I didn't recall one single thing about the story. So now I'm wondering if this was one of those Point books that my brother bought and read, but I never did. The book was a bit underwhelming when compared with some of my favourite Point books, but it still had its moments. Of course, I guessed who the "bad guy" was about 9 pages in, but at the same time I knew I could be wrong so didn't take anything for granted. The book did a decent job of making me wonder if I was right or not ... but still I wouldn't say I was either hooked or duped by the story. Becky at times reminded me of the heroine from My Secret Admirer, Jenny, in that she did silly things I wouldn't have done in her place. She also didn't really strike me as much of a teenager a lot of the time, but who knows what I would have thought back when the book was originally published, if I read it then. So that's another Point re-read (or just read?) ticked off, and now I will leave my notes taken down during the read, behind a spoiler tag (as they do contain spoilers!): (view spoiler)[Mother's Helper - point book - p.6 - how was Cleve "colourful"? Just seemed like a normal dude. - pp.1-7 - in these first 7 pages, there has been HEAPS of internal dialogue. Waaaayyyyy too much. - p.9 - as of now, I think the mum kidnapped someone else's kid and is now hiding. - p.11 - doesn't really sound like a teenager - p.15 - confusing with all the inner dialogue "she" (the mum) then switching back to third person "she" (Becky) - What do we know about her so far? She lives in Seattle, recently dumped by her bf for her best friend (former) ... And has three younger siblings - p.17 - now we find out she can't swim, saved her lil bro from drowning once - pp.18 - 19 - learn about Devon (an heir in hiding?) - p.20 - now suspecting Cleve is a reporter or a cop undercover or something - Becky trying hard to convince herself not to be so suspicious of Cleve - p.29 - whistler, Devon saying "Dada". Is Cleve his dad? - p.49 - Devon calling his mum "Pa-pee", knows she isn't his mum - p.50 - wishing she brought her tape player and some tapes - pp.56 - 57 - is the crescendo gonna happen at Babyface and will Cleve save that day? - p.58 - "till Calvin is up to the capture." Old fashioned dialogue for a teen. Same with Becky and the phone chat earlier - p.97 - this reminds me of stupid Jenny in My Secret Admirer... except I'm not sure if Cleve is a baddie - p.101 - film in camera. Old skool - pp.108, 114 - creepy dolls. Always a good symbolic device 😂 - p.127 - rly? Falling in love so soon? - p.138 - Patricia Nelson. Is the psycho named after me? 🙌 - Hmmm, kind of weird ending. She lets the psycho go? - My prediction at page 9 was correct. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Arkham Reviews

    Although it was more of a thriller than a horror story, Mother's Helper has been one of the better instalments of this series so far. The story is quick to find its feet, introducing Becky and her role as a "Mother's Helper" - which wasn't really a term that I'd heard used before. It's not long before it becomes clear that there is something deeply suspicious about her employer, and finds herself trapped in a rather frightening situation. The novel is fast-paced and maintains its tension well. I Although it was more of a thriller than a horror story, Mother's Helper has been one of the better instalments of this series so far. The story is quick to find its feet, introducing Becky and her role as a "Mother's Helper" - which wasn't really a term that I'd heard used before. It's not long before it becomes clear that there is something deeply suspicious about her employer, and finds herself trapped in a rather frightening situation. The novel is fast-paced and maintains its tension well. I actually finished this book in only two sittings because I was so eager to read on and discover what was truly going on. While I did think that the twist of this story was perhaps a little too easy to guess, it did lead to the most dramatic of Bates's climaxes so far. Yet the ultimate ending was the thing that disappointed me the most. Becky's final actions don't make a great deal of sense, really leaving this book feeling a little open ended. In terms of character, this book is fairly strong for a Point Horror. Becky is strong willed and able to speak her mind, and I liked the fact that her relationship with Cleve built slowly over the course of the story. Mrs Nelson is also a very memorable character, receiving a lot more development than the secondary cast of the last few Point Horrors that I've read... All in all, I really enjoyed this one. Here's hoping that the next instalment is just as strong.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tazzie Dee

    Becky couldn’t believe her luck when she bagged a mother helper’s job in the San Juan Islands. She had all these ideas of working on her tan & shopping for souvenirs in her spare time. But when she got to the island, she was surprised by how isolated it was. Although she enjoyed looking after little Devon, Becky thought of her employer as odd. Why does Mrs. Nelson keep on disappearing? Why is her room always locked? Why won’t the phone stop ringing? And why can’t Becky get any time off? Becky kn Becky couldn’t believe her luck when she bagged a mother helper’s job in the San Juan Islands. She had all these ideas of working on her tan & shopping for souvenirs in her spare time. But when she got to the island, she was surprised by how isolated it was. Although she enjoyed looking after little Devon, Becky thought of her employer as odd. Why does Mrs. Nelson keep on disappearing? Why is her room always locked? Why won’t the phone stop ringing? And why can’t Becky get any time off? Becky knows she has to figure out what the hell is going on before any harm comes to harm or little Devon…. I thought this book was just ok.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tehn Forte

    I read this in about 2 hrs or less today and I honestly wish I could get my 2 hrs back. I only gave it two stars cause the ending was somewhat entertaining. It truly is not a great book, it was oddly written and the chapters were divided really weird. Like 1 chapter would be half a page then the next would be 5 pages. This was my first intro to the author and I hope this isn't a true example of their writing. Maybe it was just a cash grab book. Nevertheless if you just want something to pass the I read this in about 2 hrs or less today and I honestly wish I could get my 2 hrs back. I only gave it two stars cause the ending was somewhat entertaining. It truly is not a great book, it was oddly written and the chapters were divided really weird. Like 1 chapter would be half a page then the next would be 5 pages. This was my first intro to the author and I hope this isn't a true example of their writing. Maybe it was just a cash grab book. Nevertheless if you just want something to pass the time then it is for you. If you are actually looking to enjoy your reading time...skip it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I'm not sure how much I love the actual pacing of this book, but its a rare Point Horror book that explores class, and relationships, and the fucked up world of the rich. And male violence—and female violence! I know! I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror. https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream I'm not sure how much I love the actual pacing of this book, but its a rare Point Horror book that explores class, and relationships, and the fucked up world of the rich. And male violence—and female violence! I know! I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror. https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream

  12. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    Not as interesting as point horror books usually are, perhaps it’s due to being in the same location nearly the whole time or maybe it was the repetitive bits that made it drag on a bit. not bad, but not the best from the point horror series for sure. The twist I saw coming from the very beginning, But it’s 90s YA, it’s a fun read regardless.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This was a really exciting little thriller for this type of teen novel. It had a fairly good plot with a good ending.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Bryan

    I mean. It’s point horror ya so you know what you’re getting.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Becky Collier has left dreary Seattle for the summer to avoid her crush-stealing ex-best friend. She took a job as a nanny to a 1 year old boy named Devon. She thought it would be easy. A nice isolated island off the coast of Washington. She could work on her tan (because we all know it's sunny in Washington state). She could shop the gift stores, go boating, flirt with the weird cute neighbor. But apparently, Mrs. Nelson, Danny's "mother," has other ideas. She wants Becky to watch Devon 24/7 wh Becky Collier has left dreary Seattle for the summer to avoid her crush-stealing ex-best friend. She took a job as a nanny to a 1 year old boy named Devon. She thought it would be easy. A nice isolated island off the coast of Washington. She could work on her tan (because we all know it's sunny in Washington state). She could shop the gift stores, go boating, flirt with the weird cute neighbor. But apparently, Mrs. Nelson, Danny's "mother," has other ideas. She wants Becky to watch Devon 24/7 while she goes out to make important "business calls" in town. You see, the story Becky was told was that Mrs. Nelson and her husband had a scare with Devon. Someone threatened to kidnap him. So she is hiding out on this island, being super paranoid, because she fears for Devon's safety. Sure. Ok. That is suppose to explain why there is no TV set in the rented cabin. Why the only phone in the cabin is locked inside Mrs. Nelson's bedroom, and why she spends most of her time watching the Ferry come and go, observing everyone who comes onto the island. Also, Mrs. Nelson doesn't seem to be too good with her own son. She seems uncomfortable with him, and Devon is more attached to Becky, his nanny, than to his own mother. Stranger still is that Mrs. Nelson didn't bring any of Devon's things. It's all NEW baby things. All bought. Some of the clothes still even have the price tags on them. It's pretty clear from the beginning that Mrs. Nelson is NOT Devon's actual mother. (But shh! That's the big secret that will be revealed at the end of the book!) Right now, the only real mystery for me in this book is WHY was Devon taken, and why hire a nanny, and hide out on an island? While Becky is sunbathing (and listening to the baby monitor) an 18 year old guy emerges out of the forest. His name? Cleve Davidson. Cleve? Cleve? Ok, anyway, Cleve asks a lot of questions. This makes Becky suspicious and paranoid. Becky spends most of her time watching Devon, and occasionally, trying to get Mrs. Nelson to let her go into town where she has a few run-ins with the curious Cleve. One such moment deserves to be laughed at: Becky tries to pay for her own lunch when she and Cleve go out. She drops "a wad" down on the table and leaves. Well, the "wad" she dropped is returned to her later by Cleve. Apparently, Becky tried to give him what is described as a, "napkin wrapped wad" secured together with a rubber band. A napkin wrapped wad? What? Right now I'm thinking "sanitary napkins" and how old is this book? And who wraps them up in a wad with rubber bands? I was so confused. Let me clarify the issue for you. Devon (the little boy she's nannying for) had dropped his pacifier on the floor and Becky wrapped it up in napkins, using a rubber band. Somehow the 1 year old took the "napkin wrapped" pacier and put it inside of her purse, and somehow she mistook it for a wad of money. Yeah. It really makes NO sense. Anyway, as the book progresses, Becky gets more and more suspicious of Mrs. Nelson (her employer). It's a mystery, a little on the boring side for me, but still cheesy fun.

  16. 5 out of 5

    JC

    Read my full recap at http://ogwnostalgia.wordpress.com/mot... I read this as a kid and I guess I liked it okay? But reading it as an adult, it was boring and predictable. The scariest thing that happens is a ringing phone, and it's obvious what's really going on. But at least it continues the Point Horror tradition of garbage male love interests that start off as red herrings, so there's that. Read my full recap at http://ogwnostalgia.wordpress.com/mot... I read this as a kid and I guess I liked it okay? But reading it as an adult, it was boring and predictable. The scariest thing that happens is a ringing phone, and it's obvious what's really going on. But at least it continues the Point Horror tradition of garbage male love interests that start off as red herrings, so there's that.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul Kim

    Hmm. It's not bad but I have trouble making recommendations of reading this book to anyone. For the most part, the book relies on mystery aspect as the main character tries to figure what's going on in some unfamiliar setting with no one she knows and trust and it's until later on that "scary stuff" happens. Unfortunately, the mystery aspect is too minimal and not much action occurs until few pages later. It's overall dry but if you're a reader who likes to take pace reading leisurely, the mystery Hmm. It's not bad but I have trouble making recommendations of reading this book to anyone. For the most part, the book relies on mystery aspect as the main character tries to figure what's going on in some unfamiliar setting with no one she knows and trust and it's until later on that "scary stuff" happens. Unfortunately, the mystery aspect is too minimal and not much action occurs until few pages later. It's overall dry but if you're a reader who likes to take pace reading leisurely, the mystery aspect can be interesting enough to make me read this book. It does help that the book is pretty short and the writing is basic enough but flowing so reading is easier. I enjoyed isolation feeling from the setting the book takes place as it provides some suspense when imagining myself in main character's shoes. The twists were pretty cool, imo. As for the main character, Becky is really likeable. She's pretty level headed when she realizes something doesn't adds up, kind regarding her thoughst on other people, and pretty brash as she's willing to do actions that other people told her not to for her sake. Regarding her issues with her boyfriend/best friend, I like how it comes to play in the end when Becky learns something. Probably the book is best for those who take their pace while reading and for young readers who might be interested in the book. It has boring atmosphere with minimal action but the semi-interesting mystery and really likeable characters make this book far from worst.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Bennett

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reminds me of: BBC TV series Death in Paradise "It was probably just a practical joke" moment: Did someone say this about the broken doll? "You probably just imagined it" moment: Doors clicking shut. Was probably just the wind. Innocent victims?: Becky was as innocent as they come. And baby Devon was frickin' adorable. The bits with Devon in were my favourite. How blindingly obvious?: Pretty damn obvious. But that's not hard when there's one red herring love interest, one non-present character, an Reminds me of: BBC TV series Death in Paradise "It was probably just a practical joke" moment: Did someone say this about the broken doll? "You probably just imagined it" moment: Doors clicking shut. Was probably just the wind. Innocent victims?: Becky was as innocent as they come. And baby Devon was frickin' adorable. The bits with Devon in were my favourite. How blindingly obvious?: Pretty damn obvious. But that's not hard when there's one red herring love interest, one non-present character, and only one other character. Plot holes / Unfinished plot lines: Did Mrs Nelson really have friends on the island? If so, why was she so unhappy about never having any friends? If not, what did she do all day? Who did she call? Who was making the phone calls? Was it Mr Nelson or Mrs Nelson? Inappropriate happy ending: Why the hell did Becky let her go? She kidnapped a baby and tried to kill two people. My only thought was the author was hoping to leave it wide open for a sequel. Is there a sequel? All that dropping hints about pony riding and nights off with the babysitting job from heaven. Heck, I might write the sequel.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chelley Toy

    4 out of 5 Point Horror Book Stars! (I rate these books compared to other Point Horror Books Only) I read this as part of the #pointhorrorbookclub that I run monthly! Want to know more about #pointhorrorbookclub - check this out http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/tales-p... All in all I personally liked this book - classic retro point horror! For more reviews and book chat please visit www.talesofyesterday.co.uk Please be aware that the discussion will contain spoilers! 4 out of 5 Point Horror Book Stars! (I rate these books compared to other Point Horror Books Only) I read this as part of the #pointhorrorbookclub that I run monthly! Want to know more about #pointhorrorbookclub - check this out http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/tales-p... All in all I personally liked this book - classic retro point horror! For more reviews and book chat please visit www.talesofyesterday.co.uk Please be aware that the discussion will contain spoilers!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jewell Moreno

    this was a great short little novel, probably meant to be a horror for young teens, but it's more a mystery. Young Becky plays nanny to a little guy. Hiding with his mother on an isolated island. It is why they are hiding that is the mystery. This story is innocent, and a very easy read. Always loved these types of stories as a teen, still fun today.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    This was the first Point Horror book I read as a child and I still have a soft spot for it - after reading this one I was obsessed with getting my hands on all of them! Looking back it probably wasn't all that well written, but nine-year-old me devoured it so I'm giving it 4 stars anyway.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pollyanna

    The first point horror book I read and definitely the scariest.

  23. 4 out of 5

    S.L.

    This one was all right. Unbelievable, and I could not believe the ending one bit, but it was an okay book. It dragged a little, but overall, I think a 12 year old could enjoy this one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Kind of boring, and the end was horrible The whole story line wasn't believeable. It didn't "suck" me in.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Drummond

    What a swiz! Did not see that coming.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    One of my childhood favorites.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fiasco

    Not a big fan of A. Bates. I probably wouldn't pay for another one of the books, if it fell into my lap I'd read it, but I wouldn't make any effort to obtain another book by this author.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nia Ariel

    I don't remember anything from this book. It was just that boring.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Pennell

    Very predictable and not memorable. I was hoping it would have been more of a thriller, but being predictable, it doesn't leave much to the imagination.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    It was bad. So bad. But it was readable and the story flowed. That's why it has 2 stars. But It was simple. I would give it to a child to read. A nice twist at the end tho.

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