Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Cheerleaders: The Evil Lives!
Everybody at Shadyside High remembers when Corky Corcoran destroyed the evil spirit. The evil that attacked the cheerleaders. The evil that killed Sarah Fear one hundred years ago. No-one expected the evil to come back. No-one knew there was only one way to defeat it forever. No-one knew that the answer lay hidden in Sarah Fear's grave. Now the cheerleaders must discover the secret...before it's too late.
Amanda Roberts is as stiff as a piece of dry spaghetti. Really, she tells us so and that's how we begin this book...this book that will almost certainly dissolve into a heap of stinking doo doo by the time we're done with it. I just get a bad feeling about these Cheerleader books, man. Kick me if I'm wrong! Anyway, Amanda is a senior at Shadyside High and captain of the cheerleading squad which means she'll either be dead or certifiably insane by the end of the book. She's called a Saturday practice and the first couple pages are nothing but the cheerleaders making dirty lustful eyes at the basketball players practicing at the other end of the gym. Two of the guys get into a fight. YAWN.
After practice, Amanda, Victoria, and Janine decide to go to The Corner. Before they leave, Amanda stops to talk to a b-ball player named Judd. Then she turns to see Janine freaking out. She found a little black snake in her gym bag. Two seconds later, a dude named Brandon confesses to putting it there. DEAR GOD I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE BORED. (And I just sat through a three hour astronomy lecture. What did I learn? That I really hate Isaac Newton.) The boys start tossing the defenseless little snake around until Natalie (Brandon is her boyfriend...I think) smacks them in the head with the fact that it's a living thing and she takes it outside.
In the locker room, Amanda finds a duffel bag with a name tag that reads "Corky Corcoran". Inside the bag, she discovers a cheerleading uniform and a photo of five Shadyside cheerleaders. At the bottom of the bag is a small wooden box with a label attached: DO NOT OPEN. EVIL INSIDE. Seriously? No, SERIOUSLY? Is this what the Evil has been reduced to? The disappointment...IT BURNS. She opens the box with the other cheerleaders at The Corner. Inside the box lies a folded letter from Corky along with some other papers. Corky describes the evil that the Evil has wrought. The last line of the letter is "Destroy this box!" I thought Corky drowned the Evil in a toilet or something so how is it now inside this box? Before anyone can look at the other papers, Amanda's raggedy ass boyfriend Dustin interrupts. Amanda doesn't even really like this lump, but he's all over her like white on rice. She only stays with him because he's a basketball player and cheerleaders are destined to be with b-ball players. It's written in the stars or some shit. Anyway, she purposely didn't tell him she was coming here, but he sniffed her out. "I found you." Unfortunately. Dustin gabs on about basketball and Luke and Brandon getting in a fight and then he offers Amanda a ride home because he just assumes it's time for her to leave. She says she drove herself and they walk to the parking lot where she breaks up with him. YES! Dustin goes catatonic, but manages to drive away. YES!
At home, Amanda receives a phone call from a stranger with "a husky voice" so you know it's some kind of creep. "This is the evil spirit, Amanda. I'm alive. I'm coming for you." I wish. WE ALL WISH. But it's just Amanda's friend Keesha. She tells Amanda that Janine has the box and the other papers were instructions for calling the Evil. These idiots decide they'll conjure the spirit with some other cheerleaders the next night. They hang up and Amanda goes down the hall to talk to her sister Adele. Adele is in college now, but she remembers Corky from high school. She tells Amanda about the horrible way Corky's sister Bobbi died and Adele asks Amanda if she's done something to disturb the Evil. Amanda lies and I cries.
The next afternoon, Amanda decides that the box must be destroyed. When she enters the gym for cheer practice, she hears Keesha scream "She's killing her!" Natalie and Janine are beating the shit out of each other which is just so great. The other girls break it up and ask why they were fighting. Natalie's boyfriend (Luke? Brandon? I can't remember and can't be bothered with caring because they all SUCK.) will be playing in a basketball game on Friday while Janine's boyfriend will be bench warming. Apparently Natalie was gloating about it and Janine jumped her. I can't think of a dumber reason for a fight. Practice goes on as usual and at the end, Amanda sees Dustin sitting in the bleachers with an odd look on his face. The kind of look a wolf gets just before it devours a baby bunny's still beating heart.
That evening, Amanda is walking to fellow cheerleader Victoria's house to conjure the evil spirit even though she decided earlier to destroy the freaking box. Evil is gonna get buck wild tonight, kids. Stupid cheerleaders. Before Amanda can get to Victoria's, Dustin pops out of the bushes like a psychotic jack-in-the-box. He wants to "talk". He brings up her crush on Judd and blames that on their break-up and not the fact that he's a nutjob. Amanda ends up running hard to Victoria's house to get away from him. Teenage romance gives me bleeding ulcers.
When Amanda arrives at Victoria's, she's surprised that all the lights are out except for a bunch of black candles. The girls are just preparing to conjure their evil spirit friend which will cast them all into a hell on earth. What, Fear Street not enough for you, hmm? Damn gourd heads. Anyway, Amanda gets really pissed off at the fact that the other girls seem to think it's a big joke. She tells them what Adele told her earlier, but the girls brush it off. The more hysterical Amanda becomes, the funnier they think it is. Of course, in the end, Amanda goes along with them because it's illegal to have a mind of your own. Janine gets the pages with the evil conjuring words and everyone sits in a circle to chant them. A moment later, 2 bright lights flash, the kitchen door bangs open, and a dark figure enters. AIEEE! Never mind...it's just Judd and Brandon. Judd promptly faints like an old lady with vapors. When he wakes up, he says he gets dehydrated after basketball practice. Victoria gives him some orange Gatorade (WHERE'S MY COKE?) while Amanda silently ponders whether it was dehydration or something EVIL that caused Judd to pass out. Personally, I blame his tight little corset.
It is now Friday night and the cheerleaders are at a game. The Shadyside Tigers are playing the Lincoln Hornets. Natalie's boy toy Luke has the ball, but he's not going for the basket. Luke starts to run up the bleacher stairs but trips and slams his head on the edge of a seat. Amanda notices something lying next to him. "The "thing" was the top of Luke's head. His skull. His hair. His scalp--completely torn off." Does this mean the Hornets win?
Four days later, everyone attends Luke's funeral. Afterward, Brandon, Victoria, Keesha, Natalie, Janine, and Amanda hang out at Amanda's house where Natalie accuses Janine of being happy that Luke is dead because now Janine's boyfriend Brandon will get Luke's place on the basketball team. Yes, she IS serious. Natalie runs out of the house and BRANDON of all people decides to go after her. Suspicious? Indeed.
The doorbell rings a few minutes later. It's Judd looking for Brandon. Amanda tells him Brandon isn't there and invites him inside. He goes in and they all talk about Luke some more. Judd tells them they're dedicating Friday night's game to Luke. Soon, all the girls leave and Amanda is conveniently alone with Judd. They kiss and Judd confesses he felt as if he were possessed or something the day Luke died. Amanda thinks it must be the Evil coming through.
After school on Friday, the gym is packed for a pep rally. Janine is depressed about the Natalie situation, but all Natalie is thinking about is the Evil. She wants to tell the principal that they conjured it. WHY? So they can be laughed out of her office? How will that help? The girls start their cheering and afterward, Ms. Oakley (the principal) gives a speech about Luke. Then more cheering. But this time, no-one in the crowd is cheering along. They're all completely losing their shit because Natalie's face and skull are cracking apart, blood pooling at her feet. Everyone flees the gym as the basketball coach covers Natalie's now lifeless body with a piece of canvas. Amanda sees Janine staring down at the body a little too calmly. Automatically, Amanda assumes that Janine is possessed by the Evil and therefore accidentally killed Luke and Natalie. Janine walks over to Amanda and leads her to the locker room. Janine says she's terrified and they really must have brought the Evil back because the tops of heads aren't supposed to pop off and faces shouldn't just crack open like that! The girls think about how they can get rid of the Evil. Amanda remembers that Corky wrote that everything began in the Fear Street Cemetery so they should probably go there...to do stuff...or something. They decide to go now even though it's getting dark and Fear Street sucks even more at night.
The girls stumble through the cemetery searching for Sarah Fear's grave. They soon find it and are shocked to see that the grave has been dug up and the moldy coffin is wide open and empty. DUN DUN DUN! The girls don't have time to examine the grave because they hear someone coming. They run and come face to face with frigging Dustin. He confesses that he followed them here because he's losing more of his mind everyday. Dustin says he wants to talk, but Amanda just wants to leave and says they can talk later. But noooooo. Dustin just stands there so Amanda tries to run around him. She slips and falls into Sarah Fear's stinking grave. She understandably freaks the hell out and attempts to grab Dustin's hand so he can pull her out, but she falls backward and Dustin's face grows smaller and smaller as she falls...and falls...and falls. Somehow.
Amanda swirls through the worm hole at the bottom of the grave until she lands in an old timey town. She immediately spots two girls talking. They refer to each other as Sarah and Jane so Amanda assumes one is Sarah Fear. Sarah rants to her red haired friend Jane about how pissed she is about being forced to marry Thomas Fear and how lucky Jane is to be traveling to London soon. Then Sarah talks about the plan she and Jane recently developed. Since Sarah has never even met Thomas Fear, she's going to send Jane to Shadyside in her place. Jane will pretend to be Sarah, marry Thomas, and the real Sarah can pretend none of this ever happened as she flits gaily through the streets of London (is this during the time of Jack the Ripper?). The two ride off in a carriage while Amanda stays behind to black out. She wakes on a ship that's capsizing in the middle of the ocean. Some girls have all the luck. Sarah is standing at the railing with the other passengers, whining about how she could be on her honeymoon with Thomas Fear rather than facing a watery grave. Amanda and Sarah are thrown overboard and Sarah drowns. Amanda is underwater with her and watches as a green liquid comes spewing out of Sarah's mouth. "It's the Evil!" My friend!
Amanda wakes at the bottom of Sarah Fear's grave. She's soaking wet with Evil water. Dustin drags her out (how long was she gone?) and she tells him and Janine that she travelled back in time. She explains everything including the fact that "Sarah Fear" was actually "Jane Hardy". Janine and Dustin think she's crazy because she was only in the grave for a few seconds. Are they not wondering how she became drenching wet? Janine drives Amanda home and when Amanda gets out of the car, she sees muddy footprints leading to her house. Amanda goes upstairs (she's...HOME ALONE) and hears someone in her bedroom say "Amanda. Come in." She peeks inside and stares at a rotting half corpse, half skeleton thing that goes by the name Sarah Fear. "Come in, Amanda. We must hurry. You and I are going to trade places now." Oh GAWWWWD. Except Amanda just imagined that. She goes into her room where she finds a wet and muddy note from Sarah Fear. "You and your friends have awakened a great Evil. The Evil takes pleasure in killing. You are next, Amanda." Amanda hurries and changes her clothes so she can go to Janine's house because she's the one will all the Evil paperwork. She opens the front door and Judd is standing there with MUDDY SHOES. No! Yes! NOOO! Amanda is instantly convinced the Evil is inside Judd. She flips out and practically shoves him out, saying she's gotta get to Janine's. He offers to drive her and she goes because...she's an idiot? They near Janine's house and see her pulling away in her car with Brandon. Judd follows them and they end up at the cemetery. Amanda leaps out of the car to get away from Judd even though it's probably the other two she needs to worry about. Amanda sees Janine and Brandon near Sarah Fear's grave. She grabs Janine and tells her the Evil is in Judd. He's right behind her when she says it and he's hurt, man, he's real hurt. Amanda changes her mind about Judd when she sees Brandon's eyes glowing bright green. Green is the color of EVIL. Brandon ends up killing Judd and Amanda beats Brandon with a tree branch intil he falls unconscious into the grave. Then Sarah Fear shows up. *sigh* What a circus. Janine and Amanda run, but they turn to look just as Brandon leaps out of the grave and attacks the ragged corpse of Sarah Fear. Amanda realizes that the corpse is Jane and the real Sarah's spirit is in Brandon. The corpse shoves Brandon who grabs Amanda who shoves Brandon who pulls Amanda into the grave with him. (Half of my brain cells just disintegrated.)
Amanda wakes (I feel like I've typed that 500 times) to realize that she's back on that sinking ship. WINNER. This time, Sarah and Jane are there...and Brandon. The two girls are fighting because Sarah is a bitch who possessed anyone she could after she died. They struggle and Jane pulls Sarah overboard. They both drown.
Amanda wakes (AGAIN!) in a hospital where Janine acts completely confused when Amanda mentions the Evil and Luke and Natalie dying. She says Luke and Natalie are fine and she's never heard of a Sarah Fear. Amanda asks to see Brandon who has the same memories as Amanda. Then they both look at each other with glowing green eyes and Amanda says "We can't rest. You and I have so much work to do!" Shit.
Conclusion? NO. If you value any shred of your intelligence, you will not read this book. I repeat, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. I am absolutely dumber for it.
Next time: "The Babysitter III" I will never understand how there are FOUR of these things...