Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How I Broke Up With Ernie

Book Description:
After a year of going steady, Amy knew that breaking up with Ernie would be hard-but she never expected this! Ernie doesn't yell, he doesn't protest, he doesn't even ask what happened. But then he doesn't stop coming around either. Suddenly Ernie is like a bad case of hiccups [or herpes]...Amy just can't get rid of him! Amy is afraid she'll never get to know Colin, the new guy in her life, with Ernie tagging along on every date. To make matters even worse, her parents seem to be on Ernie's side! She realizes that breaking up with someone is supposed to be painful. But it shouldn't be impossible, should it? When Amy finally does break up with Ernie, you'll break up, too-with laughter!

My Description:

HAR HAR HAR! I'm just beside myself with the giggles! *sigh* Amy Wayne has just announced to her friend Regina Green that she's decided to end things with Ernie. Regina is shocked because Amy has been dating this weirdo for over a year and in the land of teenagers, that's practically an eternity. Thrown in with Regina's proclamations of disbelief, we get descriptions of the girl. Predictably, Amy is the prettiest, blondest girl at Seaview High and Regina is just her dark haired, less attractive friend who lives only to serve Amy. BARF. Anyway, Amy explains that she's bored with Ernie and lately everything about him gets on her nerves. Like what? you may ask. Well...his curly hair (I take offense), the way he clicks his tongue, the amount of freckles he has, and the fact that his nickname is Bear. "It's a perfect nickname. Ernie looks like a bear!" No, Regina. He really doesn't. He looks like a goofy, less attractive version of Robert Patrick circa 1991. Amy says she's hesitant to break up with Ernie Bear because she doesn't wanna hurt him. I guess she doesn't consider the list of insults hurtful? The girls change the subject to the upcoming spring dance and Regina grabs Amy's new yearbook to take a look at who Amy wants to take. She spots Colin Sturbridge's photo and the message he wrote above it:

Amy-
Love ya,
Colin

What a dish! A man of such thought provoking, passionate words! (WARNING: SARCASM) Regina flips out because she's not a fan of Colin's: "Amy, really! That YUPPIE! He wears designer gym socks!" She also says he's a stiff who probably doesn't bend at the waist. So...he's a rigor mortis stricken corpse? I thought this was a comedy, not another poorly written attempt at horror. Regina also hates the fact that Colin drives a Saab, a car of "upward mobility and crass materialism!" Dammit, will you chill the hell out? You hate him--we get it! Just as Regina is about to apologize for being such a harpy, Amy's psychotic younger brothers (a.k.a. the dead-eyed little bastards on the cover) come barging in wanting to know where Bear is. She says he's coming later and pushes them out of her room. The girls start thinking about ways for Amy to end things with the giant freckled furball known as Bear. Amy gets pissed when Regina suggests that Ernie is too unrefined to be dumped in a fancy French restaurant. "Don't make fun of Ernie. Just because he's big and grins a lot doesn't mean he's dumb." In this case it does. Suddenly a bright idea dawns on Amy's dusty brain: she'll just sit down with Ernie and break it to him gently. Brilliant!

Amy leaves immediately, leaving Regina to be devoured by her demonic fork-tongued brothers. On the way to see Ernie, Amy thinks about what she'll say to him. Everything she comes up with is ripped right out of every cheesy romance novel in the world. As she walks along, we gets descriptions of the town which is just Shadyside in an alternate universe. Seriously. They have an Old Village and Pete's Pizza Heaven which is the main hangout because no matter what town they live in, teenagers need that sweet sweet nectar (known in some circles as GREASE). Amy has arranged to meet Ernie here because it's a public place and there will be witnesses in case he loses his freaking mind. And how could he not? Amy is such a catch. HA. Anyway, she finds him and immediately upon sitting down, she starts thinking about how annoying he is. The poor sap has barely opened his mouth! They have a short discussion about the ingredients of Coke, the beauty of hot pizza, and Amy's hair before being interrupted by Ernie's doofy friends, Buddy and Greg. Amy sits by while the three bears talk and stuff their faces. Finally she and Ernie leave and start walking home. Ernie makes a detour to the hardware store to get oil for his beloved lawn mower. As they're passing other stores, Amy thinks about how annoying he is. That's getting really old...plus, at this point, I find Amy about 3648576383 times more annoying than him.

When they eventually reach Ernie's house (Amy literally spends the entire walk thinking about how annoying he is. He's not even doing anything!) he says he'll see her later. He comes to her house every night for dinner because his parents only feed him dog food or something. As Amy is trudging home, Colin pulls up beside her in his shiny, crass, materialistic Saab (get out of my head, Regina!) and Amy nearly wets her pants because he's oh-so-pretty with his dimples and cleft chin. He asks her if she's free on Saturday night because some dude named Rob Litton is having a big party, but Amy declines because she's going out with Ernie. Ok, I don't get this chick. She never shuts the fuck up about how horrible Ernie is and desperately wants to rid herself of him and go out with Colin yet she just had the opportunity to do both and didn't take it. Amy, you're breaking my brain box.

When Amy arrives home, she gets a nice little surprise: "She found [her brothers] standing on chairs in front of her dresser mirror. They had taken out her makeup box. They had opened every tube and jar. Max had covered his forehead in purple lipstick. His cheeks were covered in blue eyeshadow. Mike had an enormoud black mascara mouth that ran down past his chin. He had bright red dots all over his cheeks." Rather than murdering them both in cold blood, Amy yells for a second until they tell her that they're supposed to be flowers and then she just laughs. Good save, creeps. I just can't see a teenage girl being so cool about her little brothers trashing her makeup supply. They all run downstairs when her father comes in from work and he gets pissed at Amy because he thinks she's the one who emasculated his sons which makes her throw a fit because she gets blamed for everything! WAHHHHH! Ernie shows up a minute later and the entire crazy family sits down to dinner after Amy's dad offers Ernie a beer which is a running joke between the two. Yeah, moving on... As Amy watches Ernie goof around with her family, she wonders how they'll take it when she breaks up with him...when she eventually gets around to it. Regina calls during dinner and wants to know if Amy cut things off yet and if not, why? Why is she so worked up over it anyway? This isn't a threesome. When Amy returns to the table, she suddenly gets the notion that her mom and dad are in a conspiracy with Ernie. What the hell is wrong with her? A conspiracy for WHAT?! It doesn't help matters when Amy's father says he wants Ernie to work in his office this summer. Amy is completely losing it inside, but she just smiles and nods.

After dinner, Amy gets Ernie alone and attempts to break up with him, but he just wants to make out and then Amy's bros come running in screaming "Bear!" *sigh* Ernie tucks them into bed after wrestling with them (he struck the child!) and finally seems like he's gonna listen. But he doesn't. He just keeps running his yapper, telling Amy he wants to give her his letter jacket and Amy is so touched that she can't possibly break up with him! Excuse me while I rip every last strand of hair from my aching head.

Amy is sitting in her fourth period English class fighting to stay awake. The occasional thought drifts through her sluggish brain: how her teacher closely resembles a sea gull (Stine is always comparing people to birds. How the hell can someone look like a damn bird?), the ocean, and Regina who she passes a note to which is intercepted by the cranky, menopausal teacher. The bell rings, but she says no-one is leaving until Regina reads the note aloud. All it says is that Amy couldn't break up with Ernie and she'll have to try again today. Apparently the whole school knows about Amy and Ernie and are in awe of their superfantasmagorical relationship. So when the class hears that Amy wants to break it off with Ernie, they react as if someone just declared World War 3.


It's time for lunch and Regina tells Amy to just get it over with. Once again, she tries...and actually succeeds! Unfortunately, the dumb bastard thinks it's a joke and walks off with a big grin on his face which means we have to endure about 100 more pages of this crap. Do I sound bitter? Well, it's only because I'm bitter.

After school, Amy blubbers all over Regina because break-ups are haaaarrrrrd. Yes, she thinks Ernie got the message and it's over. They're both idiots. The girls sit on the sidewalk and talk about what happened until Amy gets freaked out by a seagull that's giving her the evil eye so they part ways and go home. At dinner, BEAR shows up at Amy's house for his table scraps. Of course Amy silently fumes instead of telling that dum dum to get lost. The family treats Ernie like a saint, as usual. After dinner, he asks Amy to help him with his homework and AGAIN Amy momentarily forgets that she hates this guy. You have got to be kidding me. I hate this book. Comedy my ass. Anyway, Regina shows up and Amy invites her to join them. Ernie goes to tuck in Amy's brothers and Regina uses the opportunity to passive-aggressively berate Amy for not getting rid of him. Shut your face, Regina. Since you seem to be the filling in this shit sandwich, why don't YOU break up with him?!? She leaves a moment later and Ernie soon follows. Then Colin calls and Amy says yes to a date for Friday night.

Flash forward to Friday night. Amy is getting dressed and admiring herself in the mirror. "She was wearing a black silky blouse and a faded denim miniskirt over black tights. She walked over to her dresser and picked up a pair of dangly, blue plastic earrings to add a little color." Meh. Amy calls this look "sophisticated but casual. Sexy but not obvious." Her self-worship is interrupted by one of her little brothers asking when Bear is coming. Amy says he isn't and kicks the kid out. A moment later, Colin shows up and the kids are disappointed by how lame he is. He won't even wrestle them! After being disrepected by the Turd Bros., Colin leaves with Amy on his arm. As soon as they're outside, Ernie comes running up. The stupid fucker climbs into the car with them like he was invited and neither Colin nor Amy tell him to get lost. I would've broken his legs and dumped in a ditch. I can't even recap the date...it's everything you'd think it would be, only worse.

After the movie (which was some clay animation thing that Amy hated) Ernie meets up with his stupid friends, Buddy and Greg, in the parking lot while Amy and Colin hurry to the car hoping to ditch him. Sadly, one tire is flat. Ernie changes it because Colin doesn't want to soil himself and afterward, they all head to Pete's Pizza Heaven much to Amy's ANNOYANCE (what else is new?).

The next morning, Amy wakes from a nightmare about Ernie. She decides she's got to find a way to get rid of him because he's ruining her life. She walks over to the window and sees Ernie washing her dad's car. She throws on her clothes, races outside, and tells Ernie she doesn't wanna see him for a while. He seems to get it this time and actually leaves.

Later, Amy and Regina go to the beach. Regina can't get over how pale they both are: "We look like Puffed Rice." Uh...good one? Suddenly Colin appears out of nowhere and he and Amy apologize to each other for the night before even though it's ERNIE who should be apologizing. Speaking of him, he's lying nearby reading a magazine. *sigh* After Colin decides to go for a swim, Amy goes to confront Ernie. But she doesn't get a chance because the waves carry Colin out too far and apparantly there are no lifeguards around. But it's ok because Ernie is nearby and he used to be a dolphin before he sprouted fuzz and became a bear so he dives right in and saves the day. When they get out of the water, Colin says he would've been fine, but he was grateful for Ernie anyway. *cue "The Wind Beneath My Wings"* They talk and Amy walks off to find Regina. She's stopped by a girl named Julia who says she's Ernie's cousin. She also says she heard that Ernie and Amy broke up and when Amy confirms this, Julia says something that makes me wanna stab Ernie in the face: "It isn't really any of my business. But if you broke up with Ernie, it isn't very nice of you to keep forcing him to tag along with you everywhere you go." RAGE!

We are now at Amy's Sweet Sixteen party which is proving to be quite lame--the girls are entertaining themselves with the anchovies they plucked off the pizza. Bitchin'. The doorbell rings and Amy goes to answer it, finding a delivery of balloons on the other side. They're from Ernie...who shows up a moment later...which makes me want to break my skull and liquefy my brain so I don't remember any of this...I think I'm depressed...I hate you, Ernie. When he tries to give Amy a present, she freaks out, throws it at him, and screams at him to leave. Finally. Once Amy is alone (I guess her friends didn't wanna be alone with her anymore) she decides to go to the beach and finds Colin there. Do I even have to add that Ernie is also there? Mercifully, the chapter ends there.

A few days later, Amy and her family go on a camping trip. Most of the talk is about...bears. *sigh* Which is perfectly fitting because they find Ernie lurking in the woods. Stalker. This entire scene was totally useless...except to show that Ernie is obviously losing the last shreds of sanity he has. We're immediately taken to a few days later. Amy and Regina are sitting in Amy's room talking about Colin and the upcoming spring dance. It's not long before the subject changes to Ernie. Amy begs Regina to ask him on a date in the hopes that he'll say yes and get the hell out of Amy's life. Yeah, pass the insane stalker on to your friend. Real nice. The girls go downstairs and find Ernie's ass on the couch even though it's 10 PM. Amy leaves Regina alone with him and runs back upstairs. A few minutes later, Regina comes in and says Ernie rejected her because he's still getting over Amy. HA!

Amy's at her locker (no clue what day this is) worrying about homework and quizzes and blah blah blah. Eventually Colin comes up and ends up asking her to the dance. Amy says yes and tiny woodland creatures and sparkly butterflies fly out of Colin's ass to carry her down the hall in a cloud of shiny pixie dust. In other words, she's deliriously happy. They kiss and Amy turns to open her locker door only to find a big fat ugly Bear hiding inside. Ernie pops out, screams "Gotcha!", and runs off. Colin asks Amy if she'd like him to straighten things out with Ernie and she eagerly agrees. Good luck, buddy.

Walking home from school, Amy takes a detour past the Snack Bar and spots Colin and Ernie inside talking and laughing. This sickens Amy because laughter is poisonous and joy kills the soul.

Well, it's now the night of the big dance. I pray we make it through. (If it becomes too painful, just lie back and think of England.) Once again, Amy just can't get over herself: "She knew she looked wonderful in the flowing satiny white dress with its short-waisted, glittery, black sequined jacket. Just clingy enough, just sparkly enough, just romantic enough for dancing all night." Do you ever QUIT? She and Colin are dancing when she spies Ernie loping across the floor in their direction. Amy snaps: "No, Ernie, no! You can't do this to me! I broke up with you, Ernie! Do you hear me? Do you understand English? I broke up with you. We don't go together anymore! You don't have the right to follow me here, Ernie! You don't have the right! I broke up with you! Do you understand? I'm going to make sure you remember! I'm going to teach you to leave me alone once and for all!" She grabs a big white cake off a table and dumps it on Ernie's head. His reponse? "I was just bringing my date some punch." Turns out he's here with some chick named Ingrid and wasn't even thinking about Amy. BURN.

A few days later, Amy and Regina are walking home together and Amy says she was at Ernie's house the night before studying with he and Ingrid. Colin told her he didn't wanna see her anymore because she's a violent psycho. The book ends with Amy thinking about how cute Ernie's smile is...

Conclusion? How the hell does shit like this published? It was so bad, I was forced to kill Ernie.



Next time: "The Cataluna Chronicles: The Evil Moon" Vroom vroom kill.

31 comments:

  1. What the hell is this? Why was this even written? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, RL STINE?

    I love your Ernie headstone.

    And how funny does Stine's name look on the cover, in cursive script surrounded by hearts?

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  2. Shannon--I know! That was my first thought. It looks like some lovesick girl was doodling an "I <3 Stine" type deal on her book. Which is...nauseating to think of.

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  3. Ernie sounds like a saint in human form! I don't get what the problem is with him.

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  4. Shannon and Sadako, it is pretty sickening :(

    Anon, we can't be friends anymore.

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  5. i lol'd so hard on that headstone
    PS Cataluna chronicles? Oh boy I have a feeling there will be lots of stephen king references

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  6. Your Ernie tombstone killed me dead.
    The cover font looks like it was yanked from these teenage romance novels I read in fifth grade. They all had titles like "Nina Likes Lucas." Stine, please do not try comedy ever again. Or romance. Or horror.

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  7. That seemed so painful. Congratulations on getting through the whole thing!

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  8. moon baron, As soon as I read he description for The cataluna Chronicles, I immediately thought of "Christine".

    Moxie, the cover really does suck.

    Amiee, thanks :p It hurted a lot.


    ** I'm glad some people like the tombstone. It's an intricate work of art that I am extremely proud of. *snort* **

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  9. the tombstone was awesome.

    found your blog a while ago and read a few of the reviews, and actually found some time tonight to read some more - really loving them!

    As for this book.. yikes. Stine doing comedy just doesn't cut it. I did momentarily wonder how the hell he wrote for humour magazines for so long, but I think we can answer that one with "70s" and "Pot".

    "Trapped" was always one of my favourite Fear Street books.. any chance of that one getting a review? Either that or the somewhat recent 'Fear Street Nights' series - he really brought it into the 2000's by using the word "slut" a few times. Way to relate to the kids of today, Jovial Bob.

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  10. Really enjoy reading your recaps - spares me from having to endure Stine's writing style - I tried, borrowed a few from the library years ago...SO BAD. So many repeated sentence fragments. Done for creepy emphasis. Creepy. Sentence fragments. Repeated for emphasis! ;) And he's always ripping off old movie plots he figures kids won't recognize, which pisses me off.)

    So, this book proves there's a fine line between horror and romance... at least, the way Stine writes 'em. It's not hard to cross genres, really (especially if you're not concerned about depicting positive, healthy relationships in any of them!) And so, the stalker becomes the stalkee. The nightmare isn't over...oooh. Moral of the story? Guys who won't take no for an answer are awesome, obviously. If you've got a guy who won't leave you alone, gets along with your parents, and likes wrestling with children and tucking them into bed (That's future-husband material! Either that or he's a pervert) ...don't be an ungrateful bitch and attempt to make your own choices in life! You'll just end up begging the stalker to take you back, like the brainwashed, psychologically scarred zombie you are. (Do you think R.L. Stine was trying to get back at some beautiful blonde who rejected him when he was a creepy teen? I think so.)

    Christine

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  11. That headstone is hilarious.

    I read this book years ago, but I do not remember anything about it.

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  12. Anon 1, I think your pot theory is hitting the nail (mole?) on the head.

    Anon 2, he was totally rejected!! He had to be! He has such a thing against the girls in these books...

    Zanne, forever cleanse your mind of this mess.

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  13. Romantic comedy IS horror. Stine is deep. And I think he's scared of girls (and the feeling's mutual).

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  14. This would be a Fear Street book if only someone started waving a knife around at the end. Maybe the odd creepy phone call. He probably rewrote it from a Fear Street book.

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  15. This sounds worse than I remember it. Did you ever read Phone Calls? I found that one moderately amusing. I never got the end of the Cataluna Chronicles series, but i liked the first two. Looking forward to the recaps. ^_^

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  16. Omg what the hell was that? That was god awful! Amy was a self centered bitch who needed to shut the fuck up and regina just needed to shut the fuck up! Seriously! Who the hell compares themselves to puffed rice? Wtf? And don't even get me started on Ernie(nice tombstone by the way! I lol'd so hard at I do not miss you!) Okay time for my smile to be wiped off my face. The ending wad HORRENDOUS and SHITTY! I am so pissed right now! That book was so terrible it might've gave me the flu! Comedy my entire ass! That book was just a shitty fear street book gone shittier! May no innocent eyes look upon this crap lest they suffer from a severe case of frustration such as I!

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  17. Do you want to be REALLY grossed out vis-a-vis Stine?

    I follow his tweets and this is something he retweeted:

    RL_Stine

    RT @tinadearing @RL_Stine wrote the first sexy scene I read that made me feel funny down there. RL: Tina, I'm blushing.

    yes, some girl tweeted that she enjoyed a sexy scene that Stine wrote. Stine is blushing. Good god.

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    Replies
    1. What was it exactly? Or am I better off not knowing?

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  18. TOO MUCH INFORMATION

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  19. "But it's ok because Ernie is nearby and he used to be a dolphin before he sprouted fuzz and became a bear so he dives right in and saves the day."

    I choked on water when I read that, lol.

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  20. @ Sadako: EEEEEEEEEW! That is so upsetting. I can just imagine him in his turtle-neck and with his mole responding to that.
    And Christopher Pike's sessy scenes were much better than Stine's.

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  21. On the bright side,Stine told us the name of Horrorland #19. The good news:I'm the one who asked him! YAY!

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  22. I always knew he was a freak...

    His "love scenes" are so painfully awkward and DRY (don't EVER forget dry!) I don't know how anyone could possibly *cough* feel funny down there. I need to scrub myself with bleach just from reading that. Bad, Sadako! :p

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  23. Whoever was that lady that "felt funny down there" is the one who needs to be cleaned w/ bleach.....or at least go visit a gynecologist.

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  24. Obviously this was in the days before text messaging and email. It's so much easier to dump someone now lol

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  25. Love your blog, but why do you read these books if you hate them? Guilty pleasure? ;)

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  26. Well if anything this book proofs Stine is not a bad horror writer, he is a bad writer period.

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