*This cover is just awful. The girl is high on roofies and Mr. Man back there looks like he turns furry under the full moon. Seriously, the hair on his arm is like 10 inches long. Run, little girl!*
Chelsea Richards is shy, lonely, and looking for love. She would give anything to finally go on a date. Soon there are two new boys in town and they BOTH ask her out. Too bad one of them is a crazed killer. Poor Chelsea. Will her first date also be her last?
We begin this tale of deluded teenage love (or something like it) with two horndog teens steaming up the windows of a car. The boy, Joe, pulls away because he's getting a little TOO hot. He feels like he can't breathe and needs to gets away from the little bimbo whose name he can't even remember. She runs her hands through his hair and tells him she likes curly haired boys. Joe is disgusted and can only think "Mom used to do that to me." I'm not sure I want to know what kind of relationship he has with his mother. He finally suggests they go for a walk. As they're getting out of the car, he drops his wallet. She hands it to him and notices that his license says his name is Lonnie Mayes, not Joe Hodge. He lies and says it belongs to someone else because that makes so much sense. He's about to choke the life out of her is she asks any more questions and she must sense that because she shuts up. Yeah, I think it's safe to assume this guy just escaped from the local insane asylum. And Random Teenage Girl is lucky victim #1! They walk for a bit as Joe thinks about how he wiches he didn't have to murder her. But since she was all up in his grill about the license, he really doesn't see any other choice. A moment later, the girl is dead and Joe is on his way to Shadyside. Yee-haw!
Now we meet out "heroine" Chelsea Richards. She's a dullard and a loser. *sigh* I just got finished with a book in which the main character was a boring heap of mud with no confidence and a misguided belief that having a boyfriend would solve all problems instead of creating a whole array of new ones. Guess I get the pleasure of going through it all again. Anyway, Chelsea is practicing saxophone (at least she has hobbies) but stops to tell her mother how much she hates her life and to complain about the family. Instead of smacking her across the face and telling her to grow up like MY mom might have done, Mom quietly tells her she's not in the mood for complaints. She then proceeds to make fun of Chelsea. Ah, now THERE'S the Shadyside parent we've come to know and despise. Chelsea thinks about how dumpy she looks next to her beautiful mother before complaining how much Mom works. But don't worry. Mommy Dearest puts Chelsea in her place: "I'm very sorry, but your father and I have to work very hard. It's not like you're bringing in a fortune with your saxophone playing." BURN. I don't know whether to love or hate this woman. She's so deliciously bitchy. Then Chelsea whines about moving to Fear Street and having to live in a creepy house and why can't her hair be straight like Mom's and why is her hair so mousy colored (for the record, I see a lot of mousy hair in these books and I'd like to remind Stine that fucking MOUSE is a not a color!) and she whines so much that Mom starts throwing out the zingers: "Chelsea, you're a very attractive girl. If you'd lose a little weight and put on some lipstick..." We also have: "Frankly, your looks are great. It's your personality I'm not crazy about." Mama Richards takes no prisoners. She keeps talking until Chelsea starts to cry. Harsh. She gives Chelsea a hug before running out the door. What a bitch. I kind of...love it. I'd rather listen to her insults than Chelsea's whining.
Once alone, Chelsea decides to visit her only friend in Shadyside, Nina Darwin. They met in marching band (Nina plays the flute) after literally marching into one another. OF COURSE Nina is gorgeous, blond, and perky. Because if you're a dumpy brunette, you need something to remind you of how ugly and unimportant you are. Chelsea reaches Nina's house and Nina answers the door with her magnificent blond boy-toy, Doug Fredericks, in tow. They were just headed to Doug's cousin's house and ask Chelsea to come. She refuses and starts walking back home. She's stopped by some creep who calls out "Hey, how about a date?" She turns and sees a Honda Civic full of teenage boys pull up. The greasy one in the passenger seat keeps talking and his friends join in, all of them making sick comments until she freaks out and screams at them to leave her alone. Oily boy flicks a cigarette at her after frying her some chicken with the grease oozing from his fat head. All Chelsea can think of as the boys speed away is "If only I could meet a guy who liked me." Yeah. Too bad no-one will ever take you up on that. Go eat your chicken.
Chelsea is sitting in homeroom ogling the new boy, Will Blakely. *sigh* And it begins. She wants to say hello, but she's too shy. Aw. After the bell rings, Chelsea stands and "accidentally" spills the contents of her backpack all over the floor. Will rushes to her rescue, picking up her crap but never saying a single word to her. Chelsea doesn't seem to realize he's just as shy as she is and mentally kicks her own ass for not thinking of something clever to say. "Nina would have had him asking her out before her stuff was back in the backpack." Would you shut up about Nin already?!?! You're not her, you'll never be her, and you need to accept that and MOVE THE FUCK ON! Ok, rant over.
That evening, as Chelsea is working in her dad's restaurant, she can think of nothing but Will. She daydreams so much that she spills coffee all over the place and runs smack into some "tough guy" (wearing lots of leather and a Metallica T-shirt does not automatically mean you're a bad ass) He orders a burger and Coke and introduces himself as Tim Sparks. "But everyone calls me Sparks." Chelsea is extremely uncomfortable around Sparks because he's such an asshole. A moment later, he shocks Chelsea by asking her out to a movie and when she says nothing, he storms out like a big baby. Yeah, that's the tough guy way. If someone won't give you what you want, run home to your assless chaps. Chelsea continues serving the customers and thinking about Will. She gets all hot and bothered at the idea of asking him out instead of waiting for him to ask her. But she dismisses the thought because everyone knows that's just some scandalous shit right there. *sigh*
It's now closing time. As Chelsea and her father are preparing to lock up, some greasy thugs (because if you're a bad man, it's unthinkable that you would have good hygiene) break in and demand that Dad empty the cash register. He claims there's nothing in it and gets a lead pipe smashed into his head, courtesy of the littlest, greasiest thug. What is Chelsea doing? Screaming instead of calling 911 for her busted daddy. She's probably pissed that the guys are giving her dad more attention than her. I think I hate you, Chelsea. The guys bust open the register, find it empty indeed (oops!), and flee the scene. Once they're gone, Chelsea FINALLY decides it would be in her best interest to call the damn police. Bravo! Dumbass.
Two hours later, Chelsea finds herself home alone and pacing the floors in worry. Her dad is in "serious but stable" condition at Shadyside General under the care of Dr. Kevorkian (come on, you know he worked there at some point). It's nearly 10 PM and Chelsea wishes her mom would hurry home because she hates being alone in this big creepy house. If you want Chelsea to shut her mouth, raise your hand. Anyway, she ends up calling Nina, explaining the situation, and begging her to come for a sleepover. Nina agrees and shows up with her lover Doug because being alone with Chelsea for an entire night is a fate worse than death. They talk about the situation and then Chelsea goes to make coffee. While she's in the kitchen, she peeks into the living room and sees exactly why Nina dragged Dougie along--so they'd have a place to make out of course. Get a room! And they don't stop when Chelsea comes in and turns the TV to MTV. Chelsea doesn't care because she's too busy doing what she does best--moping about how lonely she is and blah blah blah. Shut up and do something about it! Quit whining! Why can't this book be about Chelsea's mom? You suck, Stine. Then Chelsea starts thinking about Tim Sparks and those bad boys that broke in. She wonders if Tim was one of them. How could she not know? They weren't even wearing masks! She starts getting nervous because *gasp* what is he comes back? Two words: who cares? Maybe he SHOULD come for you, Chelsea, you selfish turd. Your dad is half dead and you're whining about your lack of a boyfriend. You deserve a good kick in the ass!
Now we're back to Joe Hodge (or whoever the hell he is). I'm sure you're all dying to know what he did after murdering that braindead bimbo. Well, he's not doing a whole hell of a lot to be honest. He's just wondering around Shadyside...MENACINGLY! Or something. He thinks about how many girls in this town deserve to die. "Girls like you, Mom, he thought." I wanna say his mommy issues are disturbing and uncalled for because usually in these books, that's the way it goes. But it turns out his mom ran away with his sister which left him with his dad who would get drunk and beat the hell out of him. Damn. That's pretty heavy for a Fear Street book. Usually the motives are stupid things like "Once, some girl rode her bike in front of my car and I had to slam on the brakes and I got wicked whiplas. I got out intending to slit her throat and bury her in the Fear Street Woods, but she was kinda hot so we made out even though she was bleeding from a head wound the size of Texas. I was going to let her live, but her mustache rubbed my baby smooth skin raw--RAW dammit!--so I bashed her brains out with my spare tire. I was wearing my lucky X-Men Underoos that day so the cops never caught me." Anyway, the bastard gets a sudden urge to kill and ends up strangling a helpless kitten by the Conononka River. *SOB* Your animal bloodlust sickens me, Stine!
It's now been four days since Chelsea's dad got hurt and Chelsea is back at the restaurant. She doesn't like working there when her dad isn't there, though. Boo hoo. It's nearly closing time and she and Ernie the cook are the only two people there. She thinks Ernie has stepped out for a smoke because he doesn't answer when she calls to him. So she goes back to thinking about Will and the strange tightening she feels in her loins when she pictures his face. What are these strange feelings? I'm not ready for the changes! WAHHHH! *sigh* As Chelsea stands there with her head in the clouds, two guys walk in and since they don't know what the word 'shower' means, we know they must be bad news. Chelsea automatically assumes they've come to rob the place, but they do nothing but stand there and tell her she's kinda cute and ask when she gets off work. She tries to ignore them and suddenly Sparks comes in. The guys leave because their Dave Matthews Band T-shirts are no match for his Metallica shirt. Apparently all you need to be the baddest motherf^&*er in town is a T-shirt advertising a metal band. Chelsea says the guys seemed afraid of him and he says they should be. I just can't take this guy seriously. He's like a caricature of someone tough. Lame! Ernie leaves a few minutes later and Chelsea realizes she's alone with Sparks. She wants him to ask her out, but he doesn't bother and when he leaves, she's all disappointed. I don't get this chick. She was totally repulsed by him a few days ago and now she's suddenly hot for his bod. Her desperation must be getting the best of her.
Now for no apparent reason whatsoever, we get Sparks' thoughts as he enters his crummy apartment. I'm sure this will be ENLIGHTENING. And by 'enlightening' I mean stupid and pointless. He paces around the living room and growls like a rabid dog, all while thinking about how he wanted to ask Chelsea out. He gets pissed off because he didn't do it and ends up ripping the phone out of the wall and throwing it against the window. What a gentle lamb.
The next day, Chelsea searches for Nina after the last bell. She finds her standing against her locker, crying. Apparently her precious Doug has fallen prey to Suki Thomas's slutty siren song. Nina, dear, you should have known this would happen. Suki's vagina is a Venus fly trap--nothing escapes! Actually, all Doug was doing was talking to her so I'm not sure what Nina is freaking out over. Is he not allowed to have female friends? Anyway, Chelsea shows that she really cares by changing the subject to Sparks. As she's babbling about him, Nina is babbling about Doug. You both suck. Nina suddenly spots Doug and runs toward him, leaving Chelsea alone to realize that Nin wasn't listening to her and probably never does. "Nina's a good friend when Doug isn't around, she thought unhappily. But when he's around, I'm invisible." It's time to face facts--Nina has her head so far up Doug's butt, I can't tell where he ends and she begins. He's not going anywhere anytime soon and if that bothers you, make new friends! Just shut up. SHUT UP! Quit whining and complainig about trivial things you could easily change! GRRR. Suddenly Will comes up to Chelsea and asks her if she wants to take a walk. Oh Will. Prepare to have your brain melted and your soul drained. Chelsea eagerly accepts and they walk to the Conononka (I HATE spelling that) River. On the way, Chelsea talks about this and that, but Will barely says anything. It starts to snow and Chelsea says she has to go to work. Before she leaves, Will asks if she wants to go to a movie on Saturday and she spazzes out and blurts "Yeah. Great! My first date!" Will says it's his first date, too, and they should keep it private. Is he THAT embarrassed to be seen with her?
The next afternoon, Chelsea is practicing saxophone when her mom bursts into the house. She's only home to change out of her nursing uniform (the one she's wearing is coated in someone's blood) and then she's going right back to the nursing home. God help those old people. I don't think I have to tell you that Chelsea whines about this. Then she tells her mother that she has a date on Saturday with a real live boy. Mom basically ignores this and says Dad will be out of the hospital in a week or two. She also says she'll drop Chelsea off at the restaurant on her way back to work. Chelsea spends most of her time doing geometry homework...until Sparks comes in. Here we go. Yuck. She gets him coffee and a doughnut and they talk a little. Chelsea asks him if he has a job and he says he just had an interview at the mill...except the mill has been closed for years. Liar! Then he asks Chelsea out for Saturday, she says she already has a date, and he gets incredibly pissed and storms out like the child he is. Have I mentioned I hate this guy? Because I hate this guy.
It's now Saturday night and Will and Chelsea are on their way to Waynesbridge for a movie. These two are about as interesting as a couple of cardboard cutouts. Seriously. My cat speaks more. I understand shyness (more than I want to) but come on! I don't care if you talk about the damn weather or your latest bowel movement. Just SAY something. Anything! Finally they talk about how klutzy they both are and soon they're at the theater. After the movie (which is described as a "comedy with John Candy and at least two Quaid brothers." I thought there were ONLY two Quaid brothers. Huh.) they drive up to the infamous River Ridge where Shadyside teens gather to have unsafe sex. When they arrive, no-one is there and Will kisses Chelsea. Unfortunately, it sucks: "The kiss was awkward and brief." Don't forget dry...oh so DRY. They take a little walk and Will lets Chelsea get ahead so he can take a cord out of his pocket and prepare to strangle her. Yep, Will is Joe Hodge. Chelsea reminds him of his sister Jennifer who got to go away with mom while Will was left to endure nightly drunken beatings. Just as he prepares to wrap a cord around Chelsea's neck, a car pulls up. It's just some naughty teens, but they've stolen Will's buzz and now he just wants to leave. He's sad that he can't kill her and dump her in the river, but then she invites him to her place (her parents obviously won't be there) and he realizes he can just kill her there. Perfect! Chelsea mistakes his evil grin for happiness, happiness caused by being with her. *snort*
Once in Chelsea's house, they make out until neither of them can breathe. She compares it to a magic carpet ride. I doubt it. Will drags out his handy dandy choking cord, but Chelsea jumps up and says she's going to make hot chocolate. Damn. You'd think killing her would be easy, especially for a seasoned murderer such as Will. He decides to try again, sneaking into the kitchen and coming up behind her with the cord. Of course she turns around before he can do anything. This is getting ridiculous. If you're gonna kill her, do it already! What the hell does it matter if she sees you coming or not? It's not like she'll be alive to tell anyone! Anyway, this time he's interrupted by a knock at the door. It's Nina who just had a big fight with Doug. I am so over this crap. Call Gary Brandt. He'd be more than happy to help you through this difficult time. Chelsea heads back into the kitchen to tell Will that their date is cut short and she's sorry, but he's already gone.
It's now Sunday afternoon and Chelsea is playing sax while her mother attempts to read and wonders why she never got an abortion. Chelsea whines about Mom never supporting her and gets this as a reply: "I don't want to encourage you. I hate the saxophone!" Lady, I hate your daughter as much as you do, but that saxophone is the only thing between her and suicide. So chill the fuck out. A few minutes later, Will calls with a pack of lies for Chelsea. He says he told her goodnight before he left and blah blah blah. She eats it up and says they could meet up tomorrow night to continue the date. Yay! NOT. They hang up and Chelsea's mom leaves for work after harrassing Chelsea about her new boyfriend. Nice. Later, Chelsea opens the door to stare out at the falling snow and comes face to face with some psychopath. AHHHH! IT'S THE FEDS! No, really. It's an FBI agent who asks her a few questions about a suspect they're searching for. He gives her a physical description that sounds just like Tim Sparks. Ooo. Chelsea tells the agent, he gives her his card, and leaves a moment later. Are you kidding me? The fucking FBI?!?!
It's Monday afternoon and Chelsea and Nina are eating lunch together. Just another opportunity for Chelsea to bitch and moan: "Nina must think I'm a total pig." Since Nina is on the anorexic diet and is only having an apple and a small vanilla yogurt, Chelsea assumes she's hogzilla because she's having a ham sandwich, potato chips, a chocolate pudding, and a Coke. For the 55849476th time: SHUT UP!!! Anyway, Nina says she and Doug made up last night *wink wink* Then Chelsea quietly chews on her sandwich and thinks about Will and the fact that he wasn't at school today. Who. Cares.
That evening at work, Chelsea acts like a complete spazoid because she's afraid of seeing Sparks. Toward closing time, it's just Chelsea and Ernie who steps out for a cigarette. As Chelsea is emptying the cash register, she hears someone. She shoves the money in a desk drawer and comes out to the counter where she spots Sparks sitting at a table grinning at her. He starts giggling like some demented baby doll and when he's close enough, Chelsea smells the booze on his breath. He tries to grab her and she runs into the kitchen where Sparks ends up burning his entire hand on the grill. Moron. Chelsea runs to call 911, but calls the agent instead who says he's on his way and will call the ambulance. Even though his hand is a crusty, pus-filled mess, Sparks says he'll just go home and slap a bandage on it. Chelsea freaks out because she needs to keep him there. Fortunately, the ambulance comes, they pack him up, and the agent tells him once he's released from the hospital, the FBI has a few questions for him. What the hell? Oh well. Chelsea locks up and leaves. She spots Will on the corner and runs up to him. He's happy to see her because tonight's the night he's going to kill her. How romantic. They go to Chelsea's house and Will can hardly contain his laughter at the fact that Chelsea handed the wrong guy to the FBI. Oops. As Chelsea babbles on about her pathetic existance, Will thinks about his numerous neuroses involving women. I'm losing steam here. I hate every character in this book (except for that innocent kitten. WHY?!?! SOB!) and I just don't give a damn what happens to any of them. Where is the logic, Stine? We're expected to feel sympathy for the poor girl who's inadvertently dating a murderer. So why make her so freaking annoying that you end up WANTING her to die?! *sigh* Anyway, Chelsea finally says something that Will actually pays attention to: "I have a confession to make, Will. I told my friend Nina all about you." And just like that, he decides Nina will also have to die. Did Chelsea not think it was odd when he basically flat out said he didn't want to meet anyone close to her? Plus, she has no idea where he lives or anything about his family. For all she knows, he could be *GASP* a murderer! But of course that will never enter her feeble mind because Will is just so cute and shy. Chelsea goes into the kitchen to call Nina so she can come over and meet Will *cough*and die*cough*. Chelsea hangs up the phone and as she's grabbing Cokes from the fridge, it rings. It's the FBI agent who says Sparks is not their guy. Chelsea peeks into the living room and realizes the killer...is in the house! NOOO! Yes! NOOO! Oh YES! She tells the agent who tells her to get the hell out of there. She runs out into the night, but good old Will catches her. Dammit. Will this never end?!
Will demands to know where she's going, but she doesn't answer so he tries to lead her back to the house. She breaks away and screams that she knows who he really is. Now might be a good time to run, stupid. She wastes too much time thinking about what to do and Will takes the opportunity to wrestle her to the ground and wrap the dreaded cord around her neck. Once he believes she's dead (as nice as that would be, we all know it ain't so) he drags her to the side of the house and decides to wait on Nina to arrive so he can dispose of her, too. It's a party! He ends up going inside just a moment before Nina arrives. He answers the door like he owns the place and tells Nina that Chelsea is upstairs and will be down in a sec. She mentions that Chelsea has said a lot about him and he thinks "I know, he thought bitterly. That's why I have to kill you." Just a barrel of laughs. Nina says she wants to go check on Chelsea, but Will says "Oh. I just remembered. She went out. To get ice cream." You're a terrible liar. Nina knows this, too, so Will lunges at her with the cord. She manages to get away and he says "Sorry." Sorry? SORRY? He tells her he killed Chelsea and grabs her. But before he can finish her off, CHELSEA shoves him away. He freaks out because he thought he killed her. There's some struggle with a knife and then the FBI agents enter. Finally. FINALLY this shit is over. And I still have a shred of sanity left.
Later, Chelsea visits Sparks in the hospital. He tells her his whole life story which is unimportant at this point and then asks her on a date. Her reply? "It's bound to be better than my FIRST date!" Gag me with a chainsaw.
Next time: "All Night Party" Secluded location + psychotic teenager = good old-fashioned fun.
*EDIT* Since I can't find my copy of "All Night Party", the next post will be "The New Year's Party", yet ANOTHER rip-off of "I Know What You Did Last Summer"...sort of. Can you feel the excitement?!? Me neither.