Sunday, April 27, 2008
I can't decide so I'll leave it up to you, readers. Although I think all 4 of you (wow, that's sad considering the number of readers some of these sites get!) will choose Silent Night.
Just throwing it out there anyway.
Monday, April 21, 2008
The lifeguards at North Beach Country Club know they're lucky. While other kids are flipping burgers they're sunning themselves by day and partying by night. So what if some people say the place is cursed, haunted? This is the life! And then, one by one, the lifeguards start to die horrible deaths. Someone -or something- evil is stalking them. They all know how to save other people's lives...but who will save theirs?
The Lifeguards of North Beach Country Club:
Lindsay Beck - Lindsay has short blonde hair, blue eyes, a nose that is too short, and a face that is too round. People always tell her she's cute, though, don't worry! Lindsay is a returning lifeguard, but no-one can find her on the list! And the ID she was sent is two years old! And we'll get back to this later!
Danny - (no last name) Danny is the red-haired head lifeguard who gets a kick out of referring to himself as "the big enchilada" (is he a CRAB enchilada? Or just a regular enchilada?) and "the big cheese". Lame! Danny is generally the most levelheaded member of the group.
Pug - (no last name) Yeah, this guy's nickname is PUG. We never learn what his real name is...and I'm not sure I really wanna know anyway. Pug is described as an "all-American dude. He's got curly blonde hair, dark eyes that crinkle at the sides (he's 17 years old and already has crow's feet?) and a big friendly smile. He looks as if he's never has a serious thought in his life." He's probably never had a thought period. Pug wears a red bandanna everywhere. 'Is he a pirate?' one might ask. Yes. A butt pirate with a beer fetish.
Cassie Harlow - The stereotypical dumb blonde with a hot bod and a voice that's described as "sexy and whispery". Marilyn Monroe wannabe!! Oh, and she's afraid of big scary thunderstorms. Don't worry, baby, Pug-daddy is here...
Arnie Wilts - With a name like that, he's just GOTTA be cool! Not. Arnie is a "little runty guy" who wears a dangly earring and enjoys making truly AWFUL jokes. An example: "Arnie said he liked to swim in lightning storms. He said he got a charge out of it." Horrible! All the other lifeguards are with me. Pug shoves Arnie into garbage cans a few times throughout the book...awesome.
Deirdre Webb - All we get is a detailed description of her hair: short, straight, sleek, shiny, and black. Phew. And she has "amazing pale blue eyes." According to Danny, she's totally hot. Her personality? WHAT personality?
May-Ann Delacroix - She has auburn hair, cold dark eyes (huh?), and is very tall. May-Ann is standoffish and quiet when she isn't waxing psychotic about all the ghosts that supposedly haunt the country club. May-Ann is totally into mice. Seriously. She brought her own mouse, Munchy, with her along with all her mousey figurines and stuffed toys. Uh, no comment.
Spencer Brown - Spence has straight, dark brown hair that he wears in a ponytail. He also sports dark and solemn eyes and a serious face. As exciting as dirty dishwater!
Pete Harris - Not technically a lifeguard, Pete is the "hotshot athletic director" who has tons of energy, a flattop, and is a total showoff. He interviewed all the lifeguards when they applied for the positions...and Pete obviously didn't do a good job of background checks because one of them has a case of mistaken identity and another is a murderer who STOLE someone's identity! Good work, Petey.
"Mouse" - 'Mouse' is the stupid nickname of one of the lifeguards listed above. There are short chapters in the book in which Mouse talks on the telephone to his/her dead friend, Terry. And by "talks on the telephone" I mean that Mouse listens to the dialtone while yapping on incessantly about death and who's going to die next and all these murders are for Terry and blah blah blah. That Mouse was always such a hoot! Mouse's identity is revealed at the end of the book, of course.
Monday, April 14, 2008
They take a walk across campus to search for Holly. Chris says "Sometimes the drama majors sleep in the dressing rooms." Why? Would the school even allow that? Anyway, they check inside the auditorium, etc. No Holly...or any other drama majors for that matter. See?! All they find is a disgruntled janitor pushing a broom...or is it a drama major ACTING like a janitor? *sigh* Moving on. They also check in the cafeteria but find nothing. Chris suggests calling Alyssa Pryor. Why didn't you mention that back at the dorm, genius? Chris gets the number, Tina dials on a pay phone and gets an answering machine. But oh no! The voice on the machine says her name is Alyssa Pryor, but that isn't Alyssa's voice! Ok. At this point I really don't care. I'm more concerned about the fact that there are still over 100 pages left. Tina hangs up and explains to Chris. His lame-ass reply? "You know actresses. Always goofing around with fake voices and accents. Maybe she's rehearsing for a part." Rehearsals are for the stage, not the answering machine. Can we stop talking about the drama people now? Seriously. Tina partially buys this, but she can't help worrying about Holly...or rather the fact that Holly's parents (and her own) will tear her a new one if she loses Holly forever. She acts like Holly is five years old or mentally retarded or something.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Sorry for the incredibly blurry photo. But it's just Lily and what I assume is Mr. Reiner. This scene doesn't actually happen in the book...it's all a dream. Unfortunately!
Everyone thinks she killed her teacher. Intense, competitive, Lily Bancroft had good reasons to hate him. She lives to win, and he was about to destroy her dreams. But murder? That was going too far, even for someone as driven as Lily. She's innocent. But that hasn't stopped the whispers behind her back. Or the weird phone calls late at night. Then someone else is brutally murdered and suddenly Lily is drawn into a nightmare she can't begin to control. Will her final grade be her last?
Lily Bancroft - ANOTHER Bancroft! Lily has thick black hair, just like another Lily I know...
Alex Crofts - Lily's boyfriend. Alex has dark, curly hair and blue eyes...which sounds a LOT like Lily. Perhaps these two were seperated at birth or something? This book would have been much more interesting if that had happened! Alex has a passive-aggressive personality and whines like a baby at times. Lily is so desperate to hang on to him and I really don't see why. Other than the fact that he makes her laugh occasionally, he has no merits.
Scott Morris - Is this our psycho? Why, yes, it is! And a fine looking psycho he is, according to Lily. Scott is the editor of The Forum, the school literary magazine and takes his job very seriously, meaning he's a bit of an ass sometimes. But I suppose trying to balance homicide and editing and school would make anyone into an ass.
Julie Prince - Lily's best friend. Julie is a brunette (have you noticed that there are NO blondes in this book?) with big brown eyes. Her brother was killed during a robbery a few years back and it's a very touchy subject for Julie (as it would be for anyone, I imagine). Julie's hobbies include reading mysteries which she apparently devours like they're "bags of popcorn." and playing detective. I like Julie a lot better than Lily...
The next chapter begins with Lily working the cash register. A man "wearing a tattered denim jacket and a menacing expression" enters the store. He pulls a pistol out of his pocket and points it at Lily. He tells her to empty the cash register. She starts to, but her Uncle Bob intervenes. He pulls his own pistol out of a drawer behind the counter. Show down! Well, kind of. The would-be robber drops his gun and runs out of the store. Uncle Bob's delivery boy, Rick Campbell, chases the "robber" down the street, but loses him. Rick comes back to the store and acts all macho because he chased an unarmed guy down the street. Lily had called the police while Uncle Bob was holding up the robber. They arrive (how close were they?) and do nothing. They tell Uncle Bob that this is the third attempted robbery this week and then they leave. 'Shadyside's finest'...my ass! Uncle Bob goes in the back room to fill prescriptions and Rick starts chatting up Lily. Are none of them shaken by the fact that they were almost robbed at gunpoint? Guess not. Rick asks Lily where she goes to school and tells her that he dropped out of high school. He asks her out, but she declines because she already has one douchebag in her life (Alex) and doesn't really need another one. She starts looking over her calculus textbook and Rick asks her if she actually LIKES studying. She tells him that she doesn't mind it and then complains about Mr. Reiner a little more. Get over it, Lily, please. Rick has to leave to make a delivery and Lily's uncle tells her she can go on home. She catches a bus and uses the ride home to study even MORE. Meanwhile, I was busy trying to keep my eyelids open...
Lily gets off at her stop and starts the short walk home. She hears rustling in the bushes and jumps to the conclusion that someone must be following her. The robber? No, it's just Alex stalking his lady. He tells her that he didn't mean to scare her. Why the hell were you hiding in the bushes in the middle of the night then, Alex? Lily tells him about the robbery and starts crying. Alex comforts her a little, but it's obvious he only wants to talk about the fact that she made him wait for her--he wanted to study, dammit! He walks her home and tells her he wants to talk for a while, but she can't because...well, you know. He tells her he wishes she had more time for him...she says she's sorry...blah blah blah I don't care and you probably don't either. Alex finally takes a hike and Lily goes inside. Her dad comes into the living room and we're given a short description-thick salt-and-pepper hair, sparkling blue eyes, and a high forehead. Ok. Oh, and Lily thinks he's handsome. He asks her how she is; Uncle Bob called him and told him about the robber man. She's fine, everything is all good. She goes into the kitchen for a snack--a meatloaf sandwich and a glass of milk. Just reading that makes me feel sick. After she's done, she goes to her room to do her homework (calculus and Spanish). She's almost finished when the phone rings. She picks up and it's some weirdo who says "Lily, it's me. Someone who knows you, Lily. Someone who knows everything about you. Someone who watches you all the time." What happened to the old fashioned heavy breathers? Lily freaks out and asks who it is. They, of course, simply hang up.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Jessie is that freaky blonde chick wearing a PLAID POWER SUIT. Is that the ensemble of choice for murdering psychos? And Emily's outfit isn't much better--tight spandex with a really short shirt. Hideous? Indeed. On with it!
Emily wants to like her new stepsister. But Jessie doesn't make it easy for her. As soon as Jessie moves in, she takes over Emily's room, starts wearing Emily's clothes, makes secret late-night calls on Emily's phone--and that's just the beginning! Before long, Emily is living in total fear of her stepsister. Emily tries complaining to her parents. But Jessie is such a good liar, no-one will believe Emily. Emily's terror mounts when she picks up Jessie's diary and learns a horrifying secret from Jessie's past. Did Jessie really murder someone? Does she plan to murder again? Emily knows she must find out the rest of her stepsister's dark secret. Her own life depends on it!
Emily Casey - our very insecure lead character. She's a brunette who compares her hair to shredded wheat and constantly rants about how "fat" she is. Her sister, Nancy, doesn't help matters when she tells Em that she's big boned. Good going, Nancy. That's sure to boost her self-esteem. NOT!
Nancy Casey - Emily's aforementioned sister. Nancy is, of course, perrrrrfect. Her copper colored hair is always perfectly in place (and NEVER resembles shredded wheat. Go figure.) and she's petite like her mom. To be honest, Nancy is a bit of a bitch.
Rich Wallner - the Casey sisters' new stepbrother. Rich is 13 years old with zits on his chin and big feet that are usually clad in white sneakers that make him resemble "a cartoon rabbit!" (Seriously, that's the comparison given.) *sigh* Puberty is such a bitch. He's quiet and likes to read Stephen King (sounds a lot like me right there...) Speaking of Stephen King, he is mentioned like 465758 times in this book.
Jessie Wallner - ah yes, our resident psycho. There's one in every house in Shadyside! Jessie has light blue eyes, long blond hair, and a perfect figure (kind of reminds me of Dawn from The Babysitter's Club). Emily thinks Jess reminds her of "old paintings of angels she had seen in a museum." and Jessie's voice apparently fits this image perfectly. Uh, ok?
Hugh Wallner - Jessie and Rich's dad. Hugh is the manager at a furniture factory and is described as "tall, muscular, and balding with a fringe of dark hair around his head. To Emily, he always seemed disgruntled, unhappy about something, about to get indigestion." About to get indigestion? Way to sell him, Stine. Hugh is a complete jerkoff when it comes to his children, especially Rich. He constantly berates the kid for liking to read and being so quiet (GO TO HELL, HUGH!)
Mama Casey - Emily and Nancy's mother. We never learn her name or anything else about her really other than the fact that she is a complete doormat and allows Hugh to walk all over her. She spends most of the book fretting and wringing her hands.
Nancy and Emily's widowed mother (their father died when they were children) has recently gotten hitched to that douchebag, Hugh. The book begins with Hugh arriving home after picking up his kids from the airport. Jessie and Rich are now going to be living with Hugh, his wife, Emily, and Nancy. Apparently their deadbeat mother doesn't want them anymore or something. Hugh begins making fun of Rich right away, commenting that Rich reads too much (fuck off, Hugh!) Berating his son has made Hugh hungry and he and his wifey go off to the kitchen to make sandwiches while Nancy shows Rich to his room and Emily shows Jessie to her's. Jessie and Emily are going to be sharing a room. Upon entering the room, Jessie says "Kind of small." Then she asks Emily "How long have you lived in this dump?" Emily is too shocked to say anything. THEN Jessie proceeds to make offhand comments about Em's mom ("Is your mom always cheerful and enthusiastic like that?" She rolled her eyes. "I mean, wow.") and Nancy ("I never liked red hair.") Seriously, Jessie, shut the hell up already! "There isn't much closet space in here. Where am I supposed to put my stuff?" Close your mouth or so help me, I will cut you. "I'm sorry. Please forget everything I've said up here. I'm just so nervous." Emily is a lot more forgiving than I would be, assuring Jessie that she's nervous, too. Jessie tells Em that as soon as her (Jessie) mom found out her dad was remarrying, she and Rich were shoved off on daddy as quickly as possible. "It's not too cool to find out your own mother doesn't want you around." HAHAHA! You suck, Jessie! I feel sorry for Rich, though...his mother is a bitch, his sister is a bitch, and his father is a bitch. Rich definitely got the shitty deal.
Anyway, Emily's dog, Tiger, chooses this moment to run into the room and jump on Jessie. She freaks out and shoved the poor dog to the floor, saying he'll mess up her sweater. Doubt it. And soon after this, Jessie "accidentally" rips the head off Emily's treasured teddy bear, the one she's had since she was a baby. What the hell? This girl is certifiable. She complains about everything, hurts the dog, and dismembers teddy bears. Emily is shocked as Jessie lets out a "high pitched giggle." Nancy enters the room a few minutes later, tells Em that the head can be sewed back on, and rags on Stephen King (R.L. Stine is obviously threatened by Mr. King, as he well should be.) If you read the last entry in this blog ("The Cheater") then you will be amused by what Emily asks Nancy: "Don't you have a date with Gary Brandt [tonight]?" Remember him? Jill Bancroft dated him! Anyway, Gary cancelled on Nancy (cause Jill is finally ready to go all the way?) Nancy brings up the fact that Emily is dating Nancy's ex, Josh. DRAMA! How could Emily have thought that was a good idea? That's got 'Jerry Springer' written all over it.
The girls go downstairs for cake and ice cream (It's your birthday...we're gonna sip Bacardi like it's your birthday...) I'll sum up the events: they have a Coke toast (Jessie bitches about the fact that it isn't DIET Coke), Hugh makes fun of Rich ("You sound like a boy soprano!"), Rich runs away with his Stephen King book, MORE Stephen King comments (I can't get over how many times Stephen King and Pet Sematary are mentioned in this freaking book!), Hugh brags that he hasn't picked up a book since high school, Emily thinks about how that isn't anything to brag about (EXACTLY) and silently reminisces about the death of her father. And finally it's over. Thank you, God.
Unfortunately, the next chapter begins with the family eating dinner. Pleasepleaseplease don't make fun of Rich and leave Stephen King OUT of the conversation! I never get what I want--Hugh tells Rich he looks like macaroni noodle. When Rich gets pissed, Hugh says it's a compliment. How is that COMPLIMENT? Rich tells Hugh he can shove his compliments. Hell yeah! Rich ruins the moment, thought, by running off to his room like a girl. With Rich gone, who should the fam make fun of? Emily looks like a good target. Her mother makes a face at her and asks "Did you brush your hair today?" Emily tells her she'll wash it later. Ok? Jessie comes to the table wearing one of Emily's sweaters and Emily flips her shit. Jessie denies that it's Emily's and everyone sides with Jessie. Everyone eats in silence. After they're all finished, Mama Casey asks who wants to help clean up? And Hugh says "Not me. That's what I like about living with 4 women--there's always someone to clean up." Oh no you didn't, you fat ugly pig!!! Of course everyone pretends like he didn't say anything at all and everything is dandy. Only Rich sticks up to this jerk!
Emily goes upstairs to work on her report for school. She's been working hard on it for weeks, apparently, and she's almost finished. She types for about an hour and then goes downstairs for a snack (you just had dinner, lady...) Ew, she catches her mom and Hugh making out in the living room. One would think that would ruin her appetite completely, but she fetches herself an apple anyway and goes back upstairs. When she goes into her room, she finds Jessie sitting at the computer. Emily explains that she needs to work on her report and Jessie gets up and walks out. Emily sits down at the comp and tries to bring up the file holding her report...it's gone. Emily freaks out (so would I!) and starts screaming for Jessie. Jessie denies that she did anything (of course) and Emily loses it, lunging at Jessie. Mom and Hugh come in and pull Emily off of Jessie. Emily is crying and tells them that Jessie erased all her hard work. Jessie tells them that she didn't do anything and they believe her. They make Em apologize to Jessie and she does, reluctantly. After the parental figures leave, Jessie tells Emily that she should never do that again. "Don't embarrass me in front of my father," she says. Tiger runs in and Jessie kicks at him. Emily tells her not to touch the damn dog!!! Emily picks the dog up and runs to Nancy's room. Nancy tells Emily that Jessie has emotional problems and sees a shrink twice a week (which obviously isn't working so well.) "Try to keep out of her way, Em. She's a troubled girl." Understatement of the century.
Josh comes over to "study" which results in he and Em making out in the exact spot that she saw her mom and Hugh macking! Like mother like daughter. Emily pulls away from Josh and sees Jessie spying on them. But Emily is an exhibitionist so she doesn't mind that someone is watching and continues to kiss Josh with "renewed passion". Later that night, after everyone is in bed sleeping, Em wakes up and hears Jessie talking on the phone--"I really could kill her." Dun dun dun!
A few nights later, Emily and Jessie are in the kitchen searching for ingredients to make an ice box cake. Never heard of it. And why are they suddenly so chummy? This results in a whipped cream fight, with the girls spraying each other with whipped cream until they're both on the floor laughing. Nancy comes in and they spray her, too. Afterwards, Jessie offers to clean up the kitchen so Emily can go take a shower. When Emily gets out of the shower, she looks in the mirror and starts screaming. "The left side [of her hair] was almost entirely orange. The front was streaked with uneven lines of greenish yellow. The rest of her hair was dotted with blotches of orange and yellow." You think that's crazy? Get this--Nancy thinks it can be fixed with a quick haircut. Nancy is described as being extremely intelligent, but I think she's actually a complete moron. Hugh and Mom come in and Hugh finds an empty bottle of peroxide in the trash can. Someone spiked Emily's shampoo with an entire bottle of peroxide. Once again, Emily points the finger at Jessie and once again, Jessie denies it. But for once, no-one believes Jessie! Nancy mentions that Jessie spent a long time in the bathroom earlier so she must be guilty. Did I mention I think Nancy is an idiot? That really isn't good evidence to accuse someone with. Jessie runs off to her room, crying because everyone thinks she's a little liar. Nancy takes Emily into her room and apparently CUTS EMILY'S HAIR. And it's described as looking all cool and such. What the hell?! That was one fugly mess! I seriously doubt that a few snips with the scissors would have made it so gorgeous! Emily even says at one point that it looks like she got blond highlights. You've got to be joking. Whatever, man.
A few nights later, there is a knock at the door. A policeman is standing there with Rich who shoplifted a cassette tape at the mall. Oh Rich *sigh* Hugh goes apeshit, as is expected, and Rich seems completely nonchalant about it. He just says he's sorry and goes to his room, presumably to read some more Stephen King.
That Friday night is the Homecoming dance. This dance is lame and has the gayest song ever being played over and over--"Pump it! Come on, pump it! Pump it up!" Whoever wrote that song should be shot by firing squad. Emily and Josh only stay for a bit and then he takes her home where they make out in the car. Emily goes inside the house and wonders where Tiger is because he usually runs to greet her when she comes home. She goes into the kitchen and finds Tiger dead, lying a pool of mostly dried blood. He has a deep cut in the center of his chest and with her expert sleuthing skills, Emily comes to the conclusion that Tiger was stabbed. Emily screams and everyone comes running to the kitchen. And we get the usual: Emily accuses Jessie of the act because Jessie never liked Tiger...Jessie denies it...somethingsomethingStephenKingsomethingsomething. Nancy brings up the plot of Pet Sematary (pets being buried and coming back to life) and that's what they use to accuse RICH of murdering the dog! They fear he may have gotten some bad ideas from that book. Once more: SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT STEPHEN KING! Rich, of course, did not do this. And Rich, of course, runs away to his room.
Jessie offers to run Emily a hot bath so she can relax. While Jessie is in the bathroom, Emily picks up Jessie's open diary and begins to read. That's crappy...even nutjobs are entitled to privacy! Nothing too interesting...until she reaches the part where Jessie wrote about people in her old town accusing her of murder. Uh-oh. Emily hears Jessie coming and in an incredibly STUPID move, hides Jessie's diary under her (Emily's) pillow. She's gonna wonder where it's gone, Em, and she'll know you took it! Anyway, Emily goes into the bathroom, looks into the tub, and decides that she can't take a bath in that. What if Jessie poured acid into the water?! Emily goes back into the bedroom and tells Jess she can't do it because she's too tired. Jess takes the bath so as not to let that water go to waste!
Later that night, Emily wakes up after a horrifying dream about being murdered by Jessie. She notices the window is open and sees that Jessie's bed is empty and tapping into her detective skills again, she puts two and two together. She decides to use this prime opportunity to read Jessie's diary. She's horrified at what she reads. Basically, one of Jessie's friends from her old town was in a terrible accident and Jessie just happened to find the girl's corpse so everyone accused Jessie of murdering her. Which is idiotic because no-one had any evidence or anything of this, they just ASSUMED.
The next day is Saturday and Emily tells her family that there is some special "computer lab" lesson going on at school and she and her friend, Kathy, are going. Who goes to school on a freaking Saturday? Emily gets to school, unzips her backpack, and holy shit! Tiger's corpse is stuffed inside Em's backpack! And then the chapter ends so we don't know how badly Em freaked out.
At school the following week, Emily runs into Jessie in the girl's bathroom. She tells Jessie that she's ruining her life and she wants her to leave her alone for good. Emily goes into a stall and Jessie walks out. While Em's trying to have a b.m. she smells smoke. Here we go... She runs out (without flushing or washing her hands?!?!) and finds she can't get out the door--it's been jammed shut somehow. She goes over to the window, but it's been painted shut. She can't get out! The room is filling with smoke from the fire someone started in the wastebasket! She screams for help. Eventually one of her teachers bursts inside and pulls Emily out. The teacher pulls the fire alarm and everyone in the school evacuates. When Emily gets outside, she spots Nancy. Emily tells her that she think Jessie started the fire. Nancy believes her and tells her that she's going to keep her eye on Jessie from now on. They get permission from the teacher to go home. Later, Jessie arrives and runs up to Emily, hugging her and begging for them to be friends. Emily just shrugs her off.
That weekend, Nancy, Emily, and Jessie go to a concert in nearby Waynesbridge. Emily had three tickets and originally invited Josh, but he backed out at the last minute and Jessie begged to go in his place. And Emily's mom forced Emily to give up the ticket to Jess. Moms really suck sometimes. Anyway, they get inside the auditorium and the opening band, The Deltoids (WTF?), are still warming up. They're glad they haven't missed anything. Unfortunately, they have nosebleed seats so it looks like they'll be missing everything anyway. Nancy sees some chick she knows from school and runs off to talk to her. Emily tells Jessie she's going to go grab a drink. As Em stands from her seat, the lights shut off. She stumbles around a bit and then feels someone push her HARD down the stairs. Jessie and Nancy rush down the stairs to help a sister out and Jessie says "It must have been an accident. No-one would do that on purpose. You could have been killed." No shit, Sherlock. And P.S. you don't sound convincing AT ALL!
A few nights later, Emily is returning home from a visit at her friend Kathy's house. It's dark outside and she's kind of freaked out at having to walk alone. As she nears her house, she sees Josh's blue Toyota (fancy) parked outside the house. She gets excited because she thinks he's waiting there to surprise her. Riiiiiiiiiight. She does get a surprise, just not the one she was counting on. She peeks into the window and sees Josh making out with Jessie. They've steamed up the windows pretty good so it was kind of hard for Em to see, but she just KNOWS it's Jessie. She's understandably pissed and runs inside instead of dragging Jessie out and beating her ass like SOME girls would do. She goes into her bedroom and finds Rich sitting on her bed reading the newspaper. Just kidding--he's of course reading the newest novel by Dean Koontz. He gets embarrassed and tells her he heard some weird noises in his room and decided to crash in her room for a bit. He leaves and Emily goes to search through her drawers for a nightgown. She doesn't find one so she checks Jessie's drawers. Instead of a nightgown, she finds a big, bloody knife. Perhaps once used to kill an innocent animal? Yes, perhaps. But we'll never know because the chapter ends here! Mwahahaha!
Hugh announces a few days later that he is taking the entire family on a camping trip to South Carolina (so now we know for sure that Shadyside is NOT in South Carolina. I was losing sleep over that, I don't know about you...) Everyone except Jessie and Mom complain and whine. But Hugh is insistent, of course, and what the sexist pig says, goes!
So they arrive in S.C. and the forest they'll be sleeping in for the next few evenings. Hugh is all nature explorer man, pointing out trees and various bugs and blah blah everybody hates you, Hugh. They come across a cemetary in the middle of the woods...is it a PET cemetary? NO! They hike a little ways past the cemetary and set up camp. Everyone is all complainy and such and Hugh says "What's with all the glum pusses? Come on, gang. How can I get my harem into an up mood?" What the hell? No, seriously, what the HELL? Anyway, Rich, Mom, and Hugh are going to set up the tent while Nancy, Jessie, and Emily go collect fire wood. Emily quickly loses sight of Nancy and starts to feel really nervous being left alone with Jessie. Emily starts running through the woods after Jessie gives her a strange look. When she reaches the cemetary, she trips over a gravestone and FALLS INTO AN OPEN GRAVE. She tries to climb out and almost does until someone BREAKS HER ARM WITH A SHOVEL. Emily falls back into the grave, screaming in pain. When she looks up at the opening of the grave, she sees...NANCY!
Yes, kids. All along it has been NANCY, not JESSIE, doing those terrible things. It was Nancy who was making out with Josh in the car. It was Nancy who killed Tiger. It was Nancy who poured peroxide into Em's shampoo. Why, you ask? Because Nancy believes that Emily was responsible for their father's untimely death. And now she believes that Emily should pay for her sins by being beat to death in an unmarked grave. What a doll. Just as Nancy starts shoveling dirt into the grave while Emily screams, Jessie shows up and tackles Nancy to the ground. Somehow, Nancy ends up in the grave with Emily. Emily tries to climb out, but she can't because her arm is broken. Nancy grabs Emily and starts to pull her down. Then Jessie hits Nancy in the back of the head with the shovel. Girls gone wild!
The next chapter opens with Jessie and Emily sitting in their room having a heart to heart. They hug and it's warm fuzzies all around. Rich comes into the room to tell them that it's time for dinner. He has a book *cough* in his hand. Emily asks him what he's reading. R.L. Stine just HAD to shove Stephen King's name in ONE LAST TIME so Jessie says "Probably one of those Stephen King horror novels." This book has seriously ruined all the love I had for Stephen King. Well, not completely, but it's definitely tainted it! Rich tells them that it's actually a Hardy Boys novel. "Wow! Things really ARE changing around here!" says Jessie and the book ends with them all laughing.
Whew, that was rough. I didn't like this one that much the first time I read it. This time, I liked it slightly more...but I could have went without all the S.K. references! Seriously, what was UP with that? Anyway, a few of you requested this one and I delivered. So I hope you enjoyed it because in re-reading it, I nearly went as insane as Nancy.
Next time: "Final Grade"
Friday, April 4, 2008
Carter Phillips tries desperately to live up to her father's high academic standards, but sometimes it's just sooooooooo hard! Shut up, Carter! She needs to score at least 700 on the upcoming "math achievement test" or Princeton will never send her an acceptance letter. I don't get this math achievement thing. I thought you took the ACTs or SATs or both and were done with it. Oh well. We're talking about Shadyside here...half the population are murderers by profession so college really isn't that important.
Anyway! Carter is great at everything (of course) except math. She knows she'll never score a 700...and then daddio will beat her with his gavel...this whole situation is such a bitch! She brings up the subject to her straight-edge boyfriend, Dan while they're at The Corner (Shadyside's version of the Dairi Burger, for all you Sweet Valley fans out there.) She sheepishly asks him to take the test for her because math is Dan's strong suit. Dan the math whiz acts like Carter has just asked him to castrate himself with a rusty blade. She's surprised at his reaction and pretends that she was just joking. Dan leaves a few minutes later, presumably to do his math homework. Carter is sitting alone with her chocolate milkshake when she's approached by Adam, the rebel without a cause who apparently has a cause after all--flipping (and spitting on) burgers and mixing (and spitting in) milkshakes for rich assholes. He whispers that he'll take the test for her. She asks him why and he tells her that he has something she wants (math wizardry) and she has something he wants (Dan?) She asks him what he wants and he says one date. So she agrees even though she's already dating Dan the "man". Blah blah blah, moving on already!
Adam takes the test for her and scores a 730. Her daddy is oh-so-happy when she tells him that she scored so high and everything is all good. He even gives her a pair of diamond earrings as a gift. Carter goes out on a date with Adam Friday night as agreed. They kiss a little and she feels thrills and chills because he's so much more exciting than Dan. That isn't saying much considering that a fucking PAPERCLIP would be more exciting than Dan, but whatever. When Adam finally takes Carter home, he is asked to drop her off at the curb rather than in front of her house because she doesn't want anyone to see him. Ouch. Before she gets out of the car, he asks her what she's doing the next day (Saturday.) She tells him she's meeting Jill at the country club for a game of tennis (could she be any more cliched?) He tells her he'll be there and drives off before she can protest. But poor people aren't allowed at the club! Poverty is such a buzzkill!
She walks home and finds Adam's freaky ass girlfriend, Sheila, hiding in the bushes smoking a cigarette (only YOU can prevent bush fires...) Sheila is pissed because Carter was out with her boyfriend. Carter tells her that nothing happened. Sheila stomps off after carelessly tossing her cigarette. Dammit, Sheila!
The next day, Carter shows up at the country club and finds Adam standing outside the gates with a guard. The guard didn't believe Adam when Adam told him that he was waiting for someone who invited him. Carter thinks Adam looks totally wrong for someone about to play tennis--black T-shirt, black jeans, black high tops, black soul. Someone has gone a little emo...
They walk to the courts together after Carter assures the guard that everything is cool. They meet up with Jill and a rich, blonde douchebag named Richard Smith. They all play doubles and Adam ends up kicking some ass with his shoddy little wooden racket. After the game, Adam makes yet another date with Carter for next weekend. She doesn't wanna. After all, he only said ONE date. But Adam tells her she'll keep him happy if she knows what's good for her. Holy shit.
So the following Friday, Adam and Carter go see a horror movie that is anything but horror-ible (yeah, I said it) and then Adam drives her back to his "ramshackle" house on Fear Street. Are all houses on Fear Street ramshackle Victorians? Is that supposed to be creepy and forboding? Cause it isn't. Anyway, Adam gets a little aggressive, shoving Carter into a corner and trying to shove his tongue down her throat. Carter freaks out and tells him she wants to leave. But before she does, Adam has a favor (no, not a sexual favor.) Adam tells Carter that his friend, Ray Owens, has a crush on Jill. Adam wants Carter to call Jill and tell her that they're all gonna go out tomorrow (Saturday) night for some fun. Jill is a little upset when Carter calls. She was rounding the bases with some guy named Gary Brandt and Carter interrupted! But of course, since this is Carter we're talking about, she's easily forgiven. Blah. Jill doesn't wanna go out with Ray because he obviously isn't her type (he has 5 tattoos and 3 piercings! OMG!) and she's confused as to why Carter is even asking her to do such a thing. But she eventually consents because...well, you know.
Flash forward to the next night. Jill and Carter arrive at the club, Benny's, where Adam instructed them to meet him and Ray. The place is filled with sneering, greasy punks who are all kicking it under the strobe light. I somehow picture Benny's as being some kind of dive bar, not a dance club. And I don't think that punks hang out at places like that? I dunno, though. Anyway! Everyone starts making fun of Carter and Jill being they're rich and preppy and dressed to the nines--how dare you not show up wearing ripped jeans and flannel shirts like the rest of us (GRUNGE!) Ray gets pissed off at Jill when she refuses his advances. And by "advances" I mean doing that thing that those guys in "Night At The Roxbury" do--bouncing a chick back and forth with your chest. Afterwards...
Notice that they're standing ALONE, Ray. Get me? Yeah, ok. So he does that and Jill freaks out and starts crying. Ray, Adam, and several other freaks make a circle around the girls and won't let them go. Carter finally grabs Jill and plows through the people. I didn't know Carter was on the football team. They run outside to Carter's car and she drives them back to her house. Jill sits in the kitchen drinking a glass of water and crying uncontrollably. Carter apologizes profusely and is forgiven waaaay to easily.
A few days later, Carter confronts Adam at school. He basically ignores everything she says and tells her that he needs some money. $1000 would do juuuuuuust fine. So Carter pawns those diamond earrings her father gave her for scoring so high on the test she didn't take. She gives Adam the money and feels relieved--she's finally washed her hands of this whole thing. NOT. Hahahahaha! Anyway, at dinner that night, Carter's father asks her why she isn't wearing her earrings. She makes up some lame story about how one of them got damaged and she took it to a jewelry store in the mall called Sparkles to get it repaired. He rolls his eyes, but accepts this because Carter has his balls in a vice.
A week or so passes without Adam paying any attention whatsoever to Carter. Things seem to have cooled off. Carter even starts paying attention to Dan again--he was getting suspicious because every weekend she kept making excuses not to hang out with him so she could hang with Adam instead. She goes over to his house one evening to watch movies and eat ice cream. A sleepover! Because they're 12 years old and not seniors in high school! The movies Dan rented? Batman Returns and Wayne's World. Carter likes Batman better...blah blah blah nobody cares. They make out a little--"She put down her ice cream and gave him a big chocolately kiss. Dan let his spoon fall to the floor." Hawt. And then "they snuggled on the couch until midnight." Yeah, I have a feeling they were doing a helluva lot more than "snuggling". Carter finally leaves. On the way home, she is ran off the road by some psycho (another one?) She never figures out who it is, but she thinks it's Sheila or Adam because...well, duh. She never tells anyone about this for whatever reason. When she arrives home, Adam is standing beside the garage, waiting for her. Damn. She accuses him of running her off the road minutes ago. He denies it and gets straight to the point of why he's there--mo' money, bitch! He tells her to bring another $1000 to him the next day or he's going to tell her father about the test. Ok, freeze for a minute. Carter has her father wrapped around her little finger. I seriously doubt that if she just confessed, he would be THAT upset over it. I mean, yeah, he'd be pissed for a second, but he would get over it. She just keeps letting this shit with Adam go on and on and she could easily stop it!
The next day, Carter's parents are off to Carter's cousin's wedding (why isn't she going with them?) They won't be back until late. This is the perfect set-up for something awful to happen and, not to disappoint, it does but not until later.
Dan comes over not long after the 'rents leave and drops a bomb--he's been talking to Jill about how strange Carter has been acting lately and thinks he has figured out what's happening. Good sleuthing, Sherlock. Carter breaks down and tells Dan the entire story while sobbing on his manly chest. Carter tells Dan that she wants to kill Adam and takes her father's pistol out of a drawer to prove it. Dan tells her no way and then leaves like two seconds later. After he leaves, Carter gathers up some jewelry and stuff to pawn for money to give Adam. She finally gets it and goes to Adam's house. She drops the money off and then drives around for hours in a "daze". When she arrives home, Dan is standing by the front door waiting for her. They go inside and then like a nanosecond later, the cops come to her door. The officers inform her that Adam Messner has been shot (!!!!) and they want to ask her a few questions. They get their info and leave Carter and Dan alone. Dan begins to get really suspicious of Carter. "You did go to Adam's house today, didn't you?" he asks. "Why did you lie [to the cops] about it?" Carter tells him that she didn't want to get the police involved. Dan grows cold and leaves as Carter begs him to call her later (no dice!)
The phone rings a few minutes after Dan leaves (all this shit is happening very rapidly.) Carter idiotically thinks it's Dan even though he probably hasn't even gotten halfway down the damn sidewalk yet. The person doesn't give their name. They just say "Carter. I know what you did." and then they hang up. So rude. Nothing weird happens for the rest of the night.
At school on Monday, everyone is staring at Carter and whispering to one another. Carter sees Jill and calls out to her. Jill freaks out and runs away. Then she spots Dan, but he doesn't run like a wuss from the accused murderer. He just stands there and tells her he doesn't know what to say. Then you should have just ran away, Dan, you worthless sack of crap.
That night, Carter's parents leave again, this time for some charity benefit thingy. Carter is watching TV when it suddenly goes black along with rest of the house! She runs to the phone and it's dead! She drops the phone and hears footsteps coming from the basement. Could it get any worse? Of course! Some nutjob emerges from the basement and says to Carter "Careful-or you'll break Daddy's heart." Yeah, because that makes so much sense in this case. He attacks her and while he's choking her (friendly guy--I like him already) he tells her "You were a lucky girl. I tried to run you off the road [so THAT's who it was] but you slipped away. Not this time. This time the message will get through..." I think there are ways to make your voice heard besides killing someone, mister, but whatever floats your boat. And just as Carter thinks she's about to meet her maker...she hears sirens outside! An officer bursts through the door and yells "Freeze!" Another officer pulls the man off Carter. Someone tell me how the cops KNEW that she was in danger. Are they psychic? No. It just so happens that the "burglar tripped the alarm in your basement door. We came as fast as we could. We heard someone scream, forced our way in, and found this man." How convenient, officer. Carter's parents arrive home and her father recognizes the would-be murderer--why, it's none other than one of Henry Austin's thugs! WTF? Turns out Carter's daddy has been presiding over a case and this Henry Austin guy sent one of his minions to scare Carter in order to intimidate Judge Phillips. Ok, I'll buy it, but only because I don't feel like dwelling on this for much longer.
A few nights later, Carter receives a call from Sheila. Sheila wants money. God, is this crap ever going to end?!?! Sheila tells Carter that Adam told her (Sheila) alllllll about the test. "You paid Adam to keep quiet and now you're going to pay me. $500 should do it." At least she isn't as demanding as Adam. Ooo and then Sheila says "Don't bother trying to deny [that you killed Adam]. I was the one who found Adam's body. I was the one who called the police. I know you killed him and I've got proof." *sigh* I was really hoping this shit would be over by now. Adam, you fucker, even in death you cause problems! Sheila tells Carter to meet her by the Fear Street woods with the money the following night (I have no idea what day it is...)
Carter sells her "expensive sound system" for the money. She meets Sheila at the aforementioned location with the cash. Sheila is waiting by the woods smoking a cigarette (ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES!!! Smokey weeps.) Sheila tells Carter to give her the money and she will give Carter the proof. Ok, my friends. This shit is about to go south QUICK. Carter hands over the dough and Sheila hands Carter a necklace that DAN bought for her a while ago. DAN KILLED ADAM IN THE NAME OF THE MESSIAH! I mean, in the name of CARTER. Are you fucking serious, Dan? You're risking hard jail time because of Carter? You're an idiot. Sheila tells Carter that she found the necklace beside Adam's body. She knew it was Carter's because Carter's name is engraved on the back of the locket.
Carter goes home and calls Dan. She fails to mention the fact that she knows DAN KILLED ADAM. She just says that she's going to confess everything to her father the following day (what day is this?!?! Oh, never mind...it says it Saturday.) She wants Dan to come over for moral support. He agrees. The next day, she spills everything to her dad. And OHYMGOD she tells her dad that SHE killed Adam. And Dan, that spineless little shit, goes along with it. He asks Carter's dad if he can get her off the hook. Tsk Tsk. The judge picks up the phone and is about to call the police...until Dan confesses. Finally!! Dan swears it was an accident, though. Shut up, Dan. After this, Carter says "See, Daddy. I was right. I told you he would do the right thing. I knew Dan would confess." So this whole thing was a set-up to get Dan to confess? Why couldn't R.L. Stine have told us this in the first place? Carter's dad tells Dan that he'll get him the best lawyers blah blah blah and all is happy happy. The book ends with Carter and Dan playing fucking chess.
This book seriously angered me (as if you couldn't tell!) I'm glad it's over...until next time when I review The Stepsister. No, I don't remember it being any better than this shit...but it's been a while so I could be mistaken.