Thursday, October 15, 2015

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns (Goosebumps #48)


Nothing beats Halloween. It's Drew Brockman's favorite holiday. And this year will be awesome. Much better than last year. Or the year Lee and Tabby played that joke. A nasty practical joke on Drew and her best friend, Walker. Yes, this year Drew and Walker have a plan. A plan for revenge. It involves two scary pumpkin heads. But something's gone wrong. Very wrong. Because the pumpkin heads are a little too scary. A little too real. With strange hissing voices. And flames shooting out of their faces...

We begin this pumpkin headed story with Drew getting pissed at her dad for calling her Elf (because she has positively elfin features, see?) before going outside to wait for her friends to come over, admire the scent of autumn air, and contemplate how much she hates Tabitha Weiss and Lee Winston, the corroded pieces of crap who keep ruining Halloween. Two years ago, perfect little Tabby ("perfect creamy-white skin and perfect green eyes that sparkle a lot") and the oh-so-cool Lee ("struts when he walks and acts real cool, like the rappers on MTV videos") invited Drew and her BFF Walker to a Halloween party. They agree to go even though they hate the assholes who just invited them and vice versa. (Really, they should have seen what was coming.) Lee and Tabby got two high school dudes to crash the party by pretending to be burglars (I guess?). They burst in, one wearing a ski mask and the other a gorilla mask, and make push-ups. That's it. Finally everybody looks up and sees Lee and Tabby laughing at them because they're evil little goblins. Unfortunately, Tabby and Lee screw over Drew and her friends the following year, too, by failing to show up to a party where Drew and the gang were going to mess with them. Their ideas were kind of lame, though--covering Lee and Tabby with slime, playing a tape with a creepy voice beckoning them to the grave, rubber snakes, a giant papier-mache monster, etc. It doesn't matter, though, because Lee and Tabby decide to go trick-or-treating with Lee's cousin. Another Halloween down the sloppy, slime covered drain.

Interrupting all the MIND BLOWING ACTION of this book is a nice little daydream sequence that Drew has. In the dream, she, Walker, Tabby, and Lee are trick-or-treating. They've got one more house to go. Unfortunately, it belongs to an elderly couple who plan on keeping all of the children that came to their home for candy. The old lady leads Drew and the other three to a room where her wrinkly husband can see their costumes. The room is full of sobbing trick-or-treaters. Has no-one in this (dream) town taught their kids NOT to go skipping into a stranger's house? I don't care how cute and old they are! Drew really enjoys the thought of Tabby and Lee disappearing forever (in the dream, she and Walker manage to get out of the house...what exactly was keeping the others there then?).

Drew snaps out of it when Walker arrives with their other friends, Shane and Shana (twins whom Drew's charming father refers to as "roly poly"). The twins have the perfect plan for revenge this Halloween, a plan we just have to assume is good because we get ZERO details. The twins promise they'll take care of everything. Walker and Drew just have to get Tabby and Lee to come trick-or-treating. This plan is almost derailed like all the others when Drew's mom says she doesn't want her going trick-or-treating because a bunch of people around town have disappeared. Drew says all those missing people are adults so there's nothing for a young girl to worry about! Yes, I'm sure a small group of 12 year olds wandering around alone after dark wouldn't be a target AT ALL. Eventually, a few days later, Drew's dad thinks it'll be okay if she goes out on Halloween because getting candy is so important it's worth the risk of getting kidnapped. Drew goes over to Lee's house where he and Tabby are working on his bumblebee costume ("He looked really stupid.") and gets them to agree to go trick-or-treating with Drew and Company. 

Halloween FINALLY rolls around. Drew is going as "Super Drew", a superhero who wears boxers on the outside instead of stretchy underpants. There's absolutely nothing else to say about this costume. Drew doesn't give a shit about the costume anyway--this night is about REVENGE. Walker shows up and his costume is far worse than Drew's--he's dressed in all black, even his face is painted black (no comment). He's a dark and stormy night. The stormy part comes in when he sprays you in the face with a squirt gun. If this were real life, Walker would've gotten his ass kicked about ten times by now. 

While Walker and Drew are waiting on the corner for Tabby and Drew to show up, they're attacked by vicious wolves!!! Oh. Never mind. It's just those fuckwits that made them do push-ups that time. Yes, these high schoolers are still doing this. Shouldn't they be getting wasted at a party or something? Maybe they're CONSTANTLY wasted...that would possibly explain why they're so easily talked into doing this crap by a couple of kids. It's also possible they're just plain stupid. Of course Tabby and Lee are close by and pop up laughing while the two morons run away in their wolf masks. They all finally start trick-or-treating even though Shane and Shana never showed up. They don't get too far before two robed figures with jack-o-lanterns for heads block their path. Lee and Tabby automatically assume it's Shane and Shana even though Drew and Walker start screaming like banshees (they also think it's the twins; they just wanted to scare Tabby and Lee which didn't work because they're a wee smarter than that). The pumpkin people lead them to a new neighborhood where they all get boatloads of candy. Eventually, Tabby gets tired and wants to stop, but the pumpkin heads say nay: "You can't quit! You can't EVER quit!" They force the kids to keep going. Drew finally has had enough and screams that the pumpkins can't be Shane and Shana, but Tabby and Lee think they are and in an attempt to prove it, they yank the pumpkin heads off...only to find NOTHING UNDERNEATH! BWAHAHAHAHA! Everybody screams as the pumpkin heads start to giggle: "Hee hee hee heeeeee." Dude. Seriously.

 The pumpkins, now back with their respective bodies, surround the kids and inform them that they will be trick-or-treating forever. They try to tell a couple of adults that they're being held captive by horrifying pumpkin creatures and being forced to trick-or-treat forever, but the grown ups only laugh because they are sane and believe it's just a joke. The kids start complaining to the pumpkins about how heavy their treat bags are. The pumpkin solution: "Start eating." So they do until they're nearly puking their intestines up. Once they stop eating, they beg for their freedom again which is pointless because these pumpkin monsters are really intent on these kids getting all the Kit Kats and Jujubes their little bags can carry. None of this makes any damn sense, by the way. You can't really trick-or-treat forever. People aren't going to keep coming to the door with candy day after day. And what would the pumpkins do if the kids just sat down and refused? So far, they've done nothing but swirl around and harass them with their annoying hissy voices. Then again, it's pointless to search for logic in a book about flying jack-o-lantern creatures so back to the story!

The kids have reached a new neighborhood...and every person who answers the door has a jack-o-lantern for a head. Swing low, sweet chariot... Yes, there are more of these freaking many more. Drew, Walker, Tabby, and Lee soon find themselves inside a circle of flying pumpkin heads who keep chanting "Trick or treat!". Four of the creatures step inside the circle carrying a pumpkin each. "These are for you!" Yeah, no shit, Columbo. They ram a pumpkin on Tabby's head and then Lee's. Both of them run down the street, screaming. Drew and Walker...start laughing as their two pumpkin captors transform into Shane and Shana. All four laugh and laugh because they finally got their revenge on the devils known as Tabby Weiss and Lee Winston. Shane and Shana are literally aliens from another planet who agreed to use their powers to scare their enemies. All those other pumpkin heads are relatives. Drew makes a joke about how she and Walker will get to eat all that candy and she wonders aloud what Shane and Shana eat. Remember those missing adults? "People from our planet only like to eat very plump adults. So you don't have to worry for now." It's always nice to threaten your friends with imminent death.

Thoughts: I really liked this one as a kid, but the story is pretty ridiculous reading it as an adult. That might be one of the craziest Goosebumps twists ever. Damn jack-o-lanterns...WHY JACK-O-LANTERNS, OF ALL THINGS?!

Costumes Found in This Book: princess, Klingon, snowmen, mummy, Silver Surfer or Statue of Liberty (no-one can decide which one this person is supposed to be...), Batman, pirate, "blobby creatures", space princess, Superman, ghosts, milk carton, ballerina, bumblebee, generic superhero, "dark and stormy night", monsters, goblins, skeleton, robots, gorilla, "chubby clown", and about 10,000 giggling pumpkin headed aliens. *sigh*

Hee hee hee heeeeee

Up Next: The Haunted Mask

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ghosts of Fear Street #10 - The Bugman Lives!

- I've only done two of the Ghosts of Fear Street books so far and I'm already embarrassed about beginning those reviews with farts. (But just in case you were wondering, The Bugman Farts! He's also 'Half man, half bug--all farts.' You needed to know that. You just didn't realize it.)

- I'm really into this cover. A giant fly man in an Hawaiian shirt offering you a tarantula. What's not to love?!?

- Confession: this was one of my favorite Ghosts of Fear Street as a kid. I was just a love with a Bugman.

- The plot AGAIN involves a kid (Janet, in this case) doing something kind of stupid which results in a whole lot of havoc. Janet wakes the Bugman and, baby, that just ain't no good. Especially if you hate bugs (or giant bug-human hybrids)...

- This one was written by Carol Gorman who has written tons of books for kids including a book from 1998 titled "Lizard Flanagan, Supermodel??" and one from 1988 called "Pornography" which is not for children at all. But I think we can all agree: Carol is strange and we must love her for it.

- This sordid tale begins with a kid named Carl Beemer trying to impress Janet by jumping a curb on Rollerblades. Janet is more interested in pulling weeds out of her yard because Janet is smart and knows that Carl Beemer is a total tool.

- Dude, his name is CARL BEEMER.

- Carl Beemer makes fat stacks mowing lawns so Janet wants to do it, too. FORESHADOWING ALERT!

- Janet has a friend named Toad who is away at summer camp. What kind of camp do toads attend?

- OF COURSE Janet finds an overgrown lawn to mow on Fear Street. Because Fear Street is total crap, remember?

- Janet mows the jungle of a lawn and accidentally runs over the Bugman's gravestone which lovingly reads 'Here Lies The Bugman. Woe To Anyone Who Wakes Him'. I love that the Bugman is buried in a yard on a residential street. It's like someone found his corpse and just tossed in the first hole they could find.

- "He was odd--didn't go out much or talk to his neighbors. People said he eventually turned into a bug himself." Fear Street logic: a man is interested in insects (and hates his dumbass neighbors) so he's doomed to become a giant fly man.

- The Bugman didn't even live in the house whose yard he's buried in. He lived next door. Again: Fear Street logic. These people are on another plain (plane?) of existence...

- "He could control insects. He could make them do anything he wanted. Sting people. Or spy on them and report back." SPY ON THEM AND REPORT BACK. How in the hell does an insect report something? Morse Code buzzing? Do they gather their insect brethren and spell out words with their bodies?

- Mr. Cooney just moved into the Bugman's house. Mr. Cooney has giant buggy eyes so he MUST be some kind of human-insect hybrid!

He was part grasshopper.

- Janet now mows Cooney's lawn and is horrified when she sees him make out with a tarantula and tell it how much he loves it: "I love you, my baby." Well, at least he's not an abusive, animal hating asshole...even giant hairy tarantulas need love.

- I wish my skin would stop crawling.

- Janet's new friend Willow is a lot like Mr. Cooney: both are bug lovers and fond of thick green smoothies that they weirdly force upon Janet.

- Cooney's green juice stuff makes bugs expand and explode and it gave Janet a scab that oozed bright green crap until she scraped the scab off. Don't read this book while eating.

- Janet sneaks into Cooney's house one night and finds tons of tanks filled with nastiness: cockroaches crawling on rotted meat, a bunny with a fat leech attached to it, and gobs of maggots. Oh, and Mr. Cooney has a damn pincer claw where his hand should be and his skin falls off and OH MY SHIT HE'S A FLY HE'S A GIANT FLY AND HIS EAR JUST FELL OFF AND HE'S TRYING TO KILL JANET BECAUSE SHE KNOCKED OVER HIS DISGUSTING TANK OF MAGGOTS.

- Janet is now home and delirious with fever and a giant weird scab that looks like a beetle shell where the Cooney Bugman spit green goo on her. Am I high right now?

- Later, Janet wakes up outside in a cocoon made of mud and twigs. "The Bugman is turning me into a huge bug. I'll end up exactly like him." This book is the literary equivalent of LSD. 

- Janet is pulled down into the Bugman's grave where she sees that he's a giant beetle thing with breath "like rotting lettuce." Also, Willow is there...she's his daughter. Apparently she's human for two years at a time then a big fat beetle thing like dear old dad for two years and so on and so on. This is a very lonely life and Willow wants Janet to be her friend and live in dirt with her forever. Janet also learns that the Bugman was never actually dead: "I was hibernating. A trick I learned from the seven-year locusts." I...just...WHAT THE HELL?!?

- This is a book for children. I had to remind myself because it reads like it was written by and for aging hippies who destroyed their brain cells many years ago with pot and acid which led them to believe their horrifying hallucinations would make a good book. For kids.

- "Just think of it as a slumber party with our cocoons as sleeping bags." NIGHTMARES NIGHTMARES NIGHTMARES.

- "The Bugman placed a loose hood over her head. It looked as if it were made of spiderwebs." I just lost the ability to sleep EVER AGAIN.

- Janet escapes the clutches of the Bugman, but the weird green juice she drank so much of (where the hell is Cooney? Was he the Bugman or just a minion?) has taken a toll: she is now a buggish human who can climb straight up the side of a tree by using the sticky green crap she makes with her hands.

-Conclusion?: This is a madman's fairy tale, a insane trip through a terrifying hellscape. And it was one of my favorites as a kid. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME???

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ghosts of Fear Street #12: Night of the Werecat

- You know what's coming: Fart of the Werecat

- You know what else is coming: "Beware of the Cat!" is now "Beware of the Fart!"

- Sometimes I really hate myself. Oh well.

Farts For Everyone!

- This cover is COATED in feline. The wallpaper and bed clothes are covered in cats. There's a shelf of kitty figurines and I think there's a kitty rug on the floor. Oh, and the kid is transforming into a giant freak of nature. The items on her desk are odd. A book titled "Cat O' Nine Tails" and a sheet of paper that reads 'Debbie was here laughing'. Okay then.

- This one was written by Katherine Lance who has written a ton of children's/young adult stuff under her own name and under pseudonyms. Anyone heard of the Phantom Valley books by Lynn Beach? They were written in the early '90s and the covers remind me A LOT of stuff by Christopher Pike and our master R.L. Stine.

- The plot of this book once again involves  a kid doing something really stupid and paying dearly for it later. In this case, we have Wendy who has a feverish obsession with cats. She finds a cat charm for sale, but the owner doesn't wanna sell because it's a WERECAT charm and it's dangerous which is why it was just lying around where anyone could grab it which Wendy does after throwing down some dollars. (But that comes a little later.)

- Wendy is into gymnastics but has "never been very sure-footed." Hmm...that doesn't bode well for a future werecat.

-Wendy has a bully named Nancy who enjoys making fun of Wendy's love of cats. A few gems: "Maybe your little cat friends can give you [gymnastic] lessons, Wendy." and "I thought you'd love to be more like a precious kittycat." May you feel the sting of werecat claws in your flesh and acrid werecat urine in your face, Nancy.

- Shadyside has a Cat Circle Breeders' Show.

- A white star shape on a cat's forehead is the mark of the werecat.

- The lady who owns the werecat charm necklace, Mrs. Bast, tells Wendy that werecats are like werewolves except they transform every night and apparently the Fear Street Woods are positively infested with them. Is there anything that Fear Street Woods ISN'T infested with?

- Wendy is shocked when she transforms into a giant orange cat, but everything is immediately made okay by the scent of some nasty ass fish in a garbage can and a mouse murder. The simple life of a cat...I envy it.

- Nancy's back! She takes Wendy's cat shirt and throws it in a puddle in the gym showers. "Too bad. I hear cats hate water." ME-OW.

- Wendy and her friend Tina are so obsessed with cats they watch a nature video about big cats at their sleepover.

- Nancy hates cats so while she's sleeping, Wendy the Werecat sneaks into her room and rubs cat hair all over her school clothes. She also creeps onto Nancy's bed and rubs her furry body all over one of Nancy's pillows. Unfortunately, Nancy wakes up, Wendy hides instead of running, and Nancy slams the window shut so Wendy is trapped inside. Smooth move, were-lax.

- I like cats and everything, but this book is incredibly boring...

- Wendy has a street rumble with another werecat. No-one wins.

- Wendy is kind of an idiot. She totally forgot about the werecat charm. So...I don't really know what her reasoning was behind the fact that she TRANSFORMED INTO A FRIGGING ANIMAL. Did she think if you obsess about cats enough you'll eventually become one? She only got the charm like two days ago!

- Wendy wears a black turtleneck with white kittens all over it. Sounds like something I wore as a kid except my shirt was a pale yellow button down with white shaggy dogs all over it. You can't measure that level of cool. (HAHAHAHA)

- Nancy is allergic to (were)cats and now she's all red and lumpy looking.

- Wendy watches the movie Bell, Book, and Candle which has a cat in it. Because this book is about cats. In case anyone forgot.

- Noises angry cats make: "Mowwwrrr!" and "Ssssttt!"

- Wendy trying to convince Tina she's a werecat: "I'm serious. I turn into a werecat at night. I-I'm covered with fur! I prowl the alleys!" You just described my brother. Does that mean he's a werecat? I always pictured him as more of a werebear.

- Wendy licks a canary. Do whatever you want with that because I sure as hell don't know what to do with it.

- Mrs. Bast steals Tina's cat Shalimar so the girls follow her home, and, predictably, she lives in a shit heap on Fear Street. Oh yeah, it turns out the cat wasn't even Shalimar so they just broke into this old lady's house for no reason.

- The charm is now off Wendy's person (Mrs. Bast showed her "the secret clasp") and yet there are 20 pages left. Ssssttt!

- Cornstarch absorbs dirt. Since when?

- Wendy becomes a werecat AGAIN and tries to kill her reflection. *sigh* Stupid cat.

- A gang of werecats surrounds Wendy the Werecat, but before they can claw her to death or choke her with hairballs, the sun comes up and they all begin to change. Who are the werecats? Her mother, father, and brother. Yes, this crap is hereditary.

Conclusion? - Cats cats cats cats cats. Did I mention cats? Because this book sure as hell did, about 5,678,355 times.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ghosts of Fear Street #3 - Attack of the Aqua Apes

*Because I'm secretly a kid with an enormous fart fetish, I like to play a really stupid game with titles and cover blurbs: replacement of a word with "fart". This explains why I wasted literally SECONDS of my life debating whether I should call this one Attack of the Fart Apes or Attack of the Aqua Fart. *giggle* Attack of the Aqua Fart really does it for me, conjuring images of Aqua Man and brown underwater gas clouds. The cover blurb says "Add Water and Shake." Um, no. "Add Water and Fart." That's better.

* This cover image is frickin' ridiculous. The ape's hairy claws look as if they're growing out of the top of his furred cranium. That goldfish is absolutely horrified at the turn his once peaceful life has just taken. Is that FLAMES coming from the ape's paw? And LIGHTNING flowing from its chin? I...don't know...nothing makes sense in these crazy fart ape times.

* As mentioned in my previous blog post, these books weren't actually written by Stine. The actual author's name can be found on the INSIDE of the book; apparently they weren't deemed good enough for cover fame. This was written by A.G. Cascone who also authored the Deadtime series which was made into a TV show on Nickelodeon some months back (yes, I watched it). Glad to know Attack of the Aqua Fart wasn't the highlight of A.G. Cascone's career.

* The plot of this one focuses on a kid named Scott who is stupid enough to get water from the Fear Street lake to grow his damned aqua apes. A fool! A fool I say!

* Aqua apes come from magic crystals which can be bought for the low low price of $3.95 plus shipping. Magic came cheap in 1995.

* "Yeah, well, they say it's guaranteed. Or you get your money back. They wouldn't say that if it didn't work." Your logic is flawed, Scott. I'll let you pass this time because you live on Fear Street which means your life is shitty enough without some blogger trashing you.

* Scott's friend, Glen, coughs up the cash for the apes (Scott wasted his money on ice cream) so he thinks he has permission to joke about being "a monkey's uncle." It's possible I hate Glen...

* The bottom of the tank to hold the aqua apes and their aqua looks like the surface of the moon. Because that's where AQUA apes come from. The waters of the moon. The dusty ass moon. *sigh*

* The instructions call for distilled water, but Scott's not spending any more money so he and Glen trot on down to the lake buried deep in the Fear Street woods. Again, your logic is FLAWED, Scott! A gallon jug of distilled water is around a dollar yet you would rather risk using the tainted water of Fear Street. I'm beginning to think this kid is incredibly stupid.


* The day after the Aqua Apes show signs of life, they're double the size and one taps on the side of the tank to get Scott's attention (Aqua Apes not only come from the moon, they're fluent in Morse Code).  Then the tiny hairy ape waves at him. Do with that what you will.

* The big-tiny (he's bigger than the other apes, but tiny compared to, say, two stupid boys) waving ape is hiding in a moon crater at the bottom of the tank. When one of the smaller apes swims by, the big ape crushes it in his fist. Ape on ape moon violence!

* The big ape eats all of the other Aqua Apes. So this book should have been called "Attack of One Aqua Ape" or "Big Hairy Cannibal". Oh well...pretty sure I'm the only person on the planet who gives a damn about this.

* Scott names the big ape Mac, but I've been calling him Krakatoa, Cannibal Ape in my mind.

* The Krakatoan is too big for his tiny tank so Scott moves him to an old turtle tank where the ape can spread his wings. Yes, this frigging mutant has little WINGS growing out of his back. His future looks bleak...

* Mac doesn't like the plastic toys in his tank so he throws them out while Scott and Glen are out of the room and replaces them with things he steals from Scott: a rubber ball, an 1879 silver dollar, a watch, some pennies, a pencil sharpener, and a pack of gum. A thieving cannibalistic mutant Aqua Ape who knows Morse Code, has a thing for loose change, enjoys playing ball and chewing gum, and is prepared to sharpen your pencils any time, any place. I think I'm in love.

* Scott attempts to get his silver dollar back, but Mac claws the hell out of his hand and arm...and makes his way to the front of Scott's shirt. Scott pets the ape and plays catch with the rubber ball. Apparently Aqua Apes love balls because Mac goes ape shit over it (see what I did?!?!). Sadly, the little ape gets weaker and shrinks a little the longer he's out of the water so he drags his hairy rump back to his tank.

* Scott and Glen go to the arcade where Scott find the ape in his pocket. It slides into a coin slot and pushes tons of quarters out which Glen tries to steal (the monkey is a bad influence) until the manager, Big Bruno, comes around and stops him. Big Bruno. Heh heh heh.

* Mac is now a big fatty, nearly the size of a rabbit.

* Scott sneaks off to Fear Lake in the middle of the night because he's a genius and is attacked by a King Kong-sized Mac. And that was a just a dream. Shit.

* Scott's sister, Kelly, wakes up to find a thousand knots in her hair. This is what Mac has been reduced to? HE'S A MUTANT CANNIBAL! Give him something to do!

* Fun fact: Aqua Apes don't like prunes.

* Mac destroys a dress that Kelly was going to wear to the BIG DANCE (there's always a big dance), a dress that Kelly's mom has worked on for weeks. He also took the liberty to make markings on it with a big black marker. I would have thought he would have used something else to mark it with.

* POOP. I'm talking about poop.

* Scott tries to kill his furry friend by crushing him beneath the garage door and he DOES, but Mac reforms like T-1000 in Terminator 2. His little mutant body cannot die. Behold the horror of Fear Street! (Or at least one of them.)

* Scott wants to call the police after Mac attempts to kill him by throwing a screwdriver at his head like a spear. One: Scott is only a few IQ points away from being dumber than a rock. Two: is there a chapel in Vegas that will allow me to marry a fictional cannibalistic homicidal ape? 

* The ape has clogged the toilet with its body. Mop up the toilet water, Scott. You are his slave now.

* "Mac had the wingspan of a bat now. He flapped his wings wildly and let out a bloodcurdling shriek. Scott couldn't take his eyes off Mac's glistening yellow teeth. They had grown to the size of fangs." Hello nightmares. Goodbye sanity.

* The best lines of the entire book: "He came back out of the toilet! And now he's trying to kill me!" The ape is smarter than you, Scott. Don't resist and your death will be swift and merciful.

* "Come on, you stupid pig-monkey." I hate you, Scott.

* The boys trap the ape in a cookie jar, duct tape it, and throw it into Scott's closet. Seriously? The idea is that keeping it away from water weakens it, but still!

* Dude. All that's left of the mighty Krakatoa is a small black crystal. He turned into a damned CRYSTAL. I'm going to vomit...

* Call it a COMEBACK! Scott's mom puts the cookie jar into the dishwasher and "a giant monkey claw slammed out of the door of the dishwasher. Mac's giant monkey claw. And he was definitely not waving." YES. HE LIVES. Have fun being maimed by a screwdriver, Scotty boy.

Conclusion? Pure, unadulterated insanity. I'm fairly certain the author was tripping on acid while writing this. But it's fuuuuuuuuun.

Next time: Ghosts of Fear Street #12: Night of the Werecat - Could a werecat kick a psychotic Aqua Ape's ass? I guess we'll find out.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Beach Party

Book Description:

Life is a beach...until you die

It's the ultimate party beach in California, summer fun in the sun to the max. And Karen, who's just broken up with her old boyfriend, means to enjoy every minute of it--especially having two new guys to choose between: one so handsome and one so deliciously dangerous. But the party summer takes a nasty turn when Karen realizes that someone is out to spoil all the fun. As the beach party gets wilder and wilder, Karen realizes that someone very close to her is too close--close enough to kill. Will the next beach party be her last?

My Description:

We begin this tale of hot summer woe with Karen driving like a maniac to pick up her friend Ann-Marie at LAX. Karen thinks she looks pretty good in her blue sleeveless shirt and white tennis shorts. "Not as pretty as Ann-Marie, but okay." Boo hoo. The problems of beautiful people! Karen arrives just as Ann-Marie is stepping through the gate. She's wearing jeans and a sweater even though it's presumably a thousand degrees outside. We get a short description of how beautiful and thin Ann-Marie is. She's like a model and Karen is like a turnip or something. Ann-Marie notices that Karen is wearing a necklace with a crystal on the end. Karen says that Mike gave it to her just before she broke up with him. Ann-Marie makes a smart ass comment about it and apologizes by saying "Sorry. It always takes me a while to lose my New York edge." New York is not to blame for your BITCH Ann-Marie. Now get in the trunk like a good girl and keep your yapper shut until the car stops. The girls talk about Karen's parents who are newly divorced. Mom dealt with it by sobbing while listening to The Beatles for months and Dad entered into a mid-life crisis of sorts. "He's driving a Corvette, for one thing. And he's blow-drying his hair." Horrible! When a man suddenly starts caring about his luscious locks, you know he's lost his damn mind! Anyway, Karen got a Mustang convertible out of the ordeal, probably because a certain someone with incredible Breck hair felt guilty. Karen tells Ann-Marie that Dad has a girlfriend who looks young enough to be Karen's sister who lives with him in an apartment in Venice. Dad and Girl are gone for a few days so the girls will have the apartment to themselves.

That night, the girls go for a walk on the beach which is deserted because of peoples' fear of gangs, according to Karen. Roving sand gangs are the worst. Do you know how hard it is to get sand out of your hair?!


At the mention of gangs, one magically shows up. Five guys decked out in heavy metal T-shirts and jeans (a few even have earrings! NOOO!) with greasy hair and tattoos come out of nowhere. Why does Stine refuse to believe that hoodlums can indeed have good hygiene? His villains are always greasy. Did Patrick Bateman teach him nothing? Anyway, the leader, Vince, starts freaking them out, but they're rescued by two handsome strangers who pretend they've been looking for the girls. The greasers back off and walk away. What a disappointment. The guys, Jerry and Marty, take Karen and Ann-Marie to RayJay's, a coffee shop/pizza place because if you're under the age of 18, it's a requirement to eat pizza at least once a week. BY FEDERAL LAW. These assholes already have dates, though, who are waiting for them at the restaurant. The girls, Stephanie and Renee, warm up to the other girls when they hear about what happened on the beach. Later, everyone leaves and Renee grabs Karen's arm in the parking lot to tell her to stay away from Jerry. "I really mean it. Stay away from Jerry." Heard you the first time, pizza breath.

The next day, Jerry and Vince run into each other on the beach, but there's no conflict because Vince is actually a whiny bitch and Jerry is a muscular surfer dude. Renee is sunning herself on a blanket and complaining about how bored she is. Did I mention Renee is a rich, stuck up brat? Because she is. Jerry doesn't want to deal with her bullshit and they have a little argument before Karen and Ann-Marie randomly show up which Renee doesn't like. Karen gushes about Renee's snorkel stuff and that breaks the ice a little. Renee lets Karen use it and they both decide to swim out to a sandbar. When they're pretty far out, Karen surfaces and realizes Renee is far ahead. Then Karen feels something pushing her. It's the current which pushes her into some rocks and slices a hole in her wet suit. She calls for help and Renee, who has surfaced and is only a few yards away, ignores her. Karen realizes Renee probably knew this would happen and deliberately led her out here. The current tosses her into the rocks and she hits her head. Eventually Jerry sees her and swims out. Renee acts shocked when she sees Karen and swims over with Jerry. They drag a now unconscious Karen to the sand where Jerry gives her mouth-to-mouth. This whole thing is like a "very special" episode of Baywatch (minus the heaving jugs). Two Venice policemen show up and Karen explains what happened. Renee is stared at SUSPICIOUSLY but she's only guilty of being a major bitch and that's not in these cops' jurisdiction. A little later, Jerry invites Karen to come to a beach party (some come to party, some come to die...don't forget it!) on Friday night. She agrees, Jerry walks off, and Renee stares at Karen with a creepy grin on her face that can only mean one thing: DEATH BEACH!

That night, Karen whines to Ann-Marie about Renee and how she knows Renee could hear her yelling in the ocean. After they finish eating ice cream, Ann-Marie leaves to buy some milk because ice cream makes her crave milk. Yeah. Anyway, the moment she leaves, Karen gets the obligatory "threatening" phone call: "Stay away from Jerry." Or what? The caller is obviously new at this because they fucking forgot the threat! There must be consequences, creepy caller, if Karen disobeys your stupid commands! Ann-Marie returns a few minutes later and Karen tells her all about the call. Karen thinks it sounded vaguely like her ex-boyfriend Mike. She thinks she saw him on the beach yesterday, but why the hell would he call her about Jerry? The phone rings again and Karen answers it by screaming "Just leave me alone!" into the receiver. The caller turns out to be her dad. Oops. He called to tell her that he and his woman friend won't be back for another week which means Karen and Ann-Marie will be alone and completely vulnerable to the murder that is almost certainly coming their way. Nice timing, Father.

On Thursday afternoon, Ann-Marie is visiting relatives in Burbank so karen goes shopping. She runs into Mike on the sidewalk. "He was wearing white tennis shorts and a T-shirt that proclaimed in big green letters: GUMBY LIVES." Apparently Mike isn't aware that Pokey killed Gumby in a crack-fueled rage before turning his lethal hooves on himself...the day he found out this book was being published.

Never Forget

Mike is described as looking like Jim Belushi which is just so very unfortunate. Mike says he got a job selling T-shirts on the boardwalk. Karen's first thought is that Mike followed her here, but then thinks that's ridiculous. They talk a little and Mike asks her out. She says they're broken up, Mike replies that he thought they were friends, and Karen says that's just something people say. "But no-one ever really stays friends." Mike won't let it drop, but before he can say more, Vince pulls up on his motorcycle and tells Karen to get on. She does and Mike is, of course, furious.

Vince skids to a stop at the Promenade in Santa Monica. Karen says she wants to go home, Vince gets pissed because Karen isn't into him, and they leave. He drives like a maniac until he reaches her apartment where he lets her off with some parting words: "Say hello to your brother." Uhhhh...I'm guessing that's what he thinks Jerry is. Karen goes inside and is shocked to see words spray painted on the door to her apartment. "STAY AWAY FROM JERRY" The paint is fresh so the culprit is nearby...maybe. I don't care about who's doing these things because this person is lame. No originality, no murderous threats. I bet their lips aren't even dry! And that, my friends, is a crime against humanity. Karen enters the apartment and finds Ann-Marie inside. She didn't go see Aunt Freda after all and is blissfully unaware that someone spray painted the door. Karen shows her and says someone really wants to scare her. Ann-Marie's response: "Is it working?" Well, miss, you just shot to the top of the suspect list. And YES, it IS working!

It's now Friday night and Karen is telling Ann-Marie about her wild ride with Vince. Karen is strangely attracted to him even though he's kind of an a-hole. She wants to know why Ann-Marie isn't going to the beach party and Ann-Marie says she's too tired. "Aunt Freda wore me out." Wow. Then Ann-Marie gets all snippy about how Jerry seems into Karen and blah blah blah. Jerry shows up in a van with some other people and Karen leaves with them for the party. They build a fire on the beach and Karen and Jerry enjoy an intimate moment that I didn't want to be privy to. When they come up for air, Karen is shocked to see Renee watching them. Jerry calls Renee over and Karen actually says "We were looking for firewood." Oh Karen. You are truly a comedian...and kind of incredibly stupid. They all walk back to the fire, Renee clinging to Jerry's arm like the bloody little leech she is. A little later, Renee takes Karen aside to tell her an interesting tidbit about Jerry. "He needs special care." Jerry's brother Todd drowned last summer and something in Jerry's brain pan broke a little because he blames himself for Todd's death. Renee says she's only telling Karen this because she and Jerry have been through some hard times and she's not going to let Karen have him that easily.

Later, Karen goes home and Ann-Marie is out. Karen thinks that's a little weird because it's after 1 AM and Ann-Marie was whining about being tired earlier. Karen picks up some of Ann-Marie's laundry off the floor to put in her dresser where she discovers something strange. "It was a can of black spray paint." GASP...and such.

That night, Karen has a nightmare about getting her skin split open on some beach rocks. She wakes soaked in sweat at 7:30 AM and walks to Ann-Marie's room. Ann-Marie wakes up and tells Karen she hung out on Main Street with some people she somehow knows. Then Karen brings up the paint can and Ann-Marie predictably denies that the paint is hers and says she has no idea how it got in her dresser. She changes the subject and asks what they're going to do today. Karen made plans to rollerskate with Jerry so Ann-Marie rolls over and goes back to sleep because she's being ditched by her best friend for a guy they've known for a day. Good times.

Karen is now hanging out on the boardwalk waiting for Jerry who's over half an hour late. Then she sees Mike who hides behind a rack of shirts when he spots her. Jerry shows up a moment later and they skate off into the sun. Goodbye, Mike. You know we can see you, right?

At 9 PM, Karen says she should get home to Ann-Marie, but Jerry doesn't want her to go so they make out instead. FINALLY she goes home. Ann-Marie is gone and left a note saying she's out with friends. Karen crawls into bed...and jumps out screaming. She turns on the light and sees that the bed is full of jellyfish. "When Ann-Marie walked in a few seconds later, Karen was still screaming." The girls stay up all night. Ann-Marie keeps saying Renee has to be doing all these things even though all signs point to ANN-MARIE, JELLY LOVER.

In the morning, Karen walks to Renee's house to confront her. Except she can't because Renee is lying on the kitchen floor, dead as a doornail. Karen ends up at the police station waiting to be questioned. She called the LAPD immediately after finding Renee. Jerry has already been questioned and it's currently Ann-Marie's turn. Karen's mom is also there. Finally Karen is questioned and she keeps the jellyfish and black paint to herself. 20 minutes later, it's all over and Karen's mom wants Karen to come home with her. Karen refuses because she wants to make sure Jerry is ok. Barf. Karen and Ann-Marie are walking home when a girl claiming to be Jerry's sister pops out of nowhere, asks "Are you Karen?", and proceeds to beg Karen to stay away from Jerry before running away. Since Karen is an imbecile, she will do no such thing. Once they reach the apartment building, Jerry appears out of nowhere (are he and his sister magicians?). Karen mentions his sister and he says he doesn't have a sister. Of course. OF COURSE he doesn't! Why? Because it's Stine's way to make things as unnecessarily complicated as possible. The madness has descended!

On Sunday night, Jerry, Karen, and Ann-Marie are at RayJay's. They're eating pizza (do I even need to say it?) and talking about Renee. Jerry admits he intially thought Renee killed herself instead of being brutally murdered because she knew he was going to break up with her. Because you're so great, eh, Jerry? I spit on you and the ancestors from whose loins you were spawned, you self-absorbed twat. Anyway, Karen notices Mike looking through the window at them. Karen goes outside and Mike runs away because apparently that's literally the only thing he knows how to do.

The next afternoon, Ann-Marie goes for a walk and Karen suns herself on the beach. Vince shows up and he and Karen take a walk together. She asks questions about the police questioning him and blah blah. Then Vince grabs her and kisses her hard. She's confused and torn because of her feelings for both Vince and Jerry so she just walks back to her blanket. She finds a piece of paper stuck inside the blanket that has the words "STAY AWAY FROM JERRY" typed on it over and over. Seriously? Are we STILL doing this? Obviously the passive aggressive bullshit doesn't work with this chick, mysterious weirdo. Get a new M.O. or please feel free to fall off the face of the earth.  A second later, Karen applies some sunscreen and screams in horrible pain at the burning sensation.

At the doctor's office, Karen is treated for burns that resulted from the hydrochloric acid someone dumped in her bottle of sunscreen. She doesn't want the doctor to call the police or her parents because that would be the SMART thing to do and Karen is an idiot with a death wish. So she flees the doctor's office and once outside, comes upon Vince who waited after dropping her off on his motorcycle. As he drives her home, Karen wonders if Ann-Marie could be behind all this. HMM! When they arrive at the apartment, she sees Mike running out the door and away. Are you kidding me? Karen goes inside and finds Ann-Marie behind a chair. She says she was looking for her necklace, but she's bright red and looks like a liar. Karen brings up Mike and Ann-Marie looks embarrassed and says they've been seeing each other. She was never with "friends", she was always with Mike. Karen finds this hilarious because she was beginning to suspect them both of being psychotic maniacs! What a hoot! The phone rings a moment later and Karen answers. It's the girl who claims to be Jerry's sister so Karen hangs up on her.

It's now Friday afternoon and Karen is with Jerry at the beach. They're about to go snorkeling since that worked out so well last time. There are a ton of people around because it's a beach party. Yes, a BEACH PARTY so someone is gonna die. Right? Just let me believe. Karen and Jerry swim out a few yards, but Karen's burnt shoulder and hand start to hurt so she asks Jerry to help her to shore. "I'm not Jerry. I'm Todd." Aaaand we come to the end of the fuckery maze. Jerry is completely insane because he blames himself for Todd's death. He killed Renee because she was too close to Jerry (who now thinks he is Todd) and now he has to kill Karen for the same reason. He says "Jerry is bad." before grabbing Karen's snorkel mask and throwing it away. He swims off as Karen starts to go under.

Somehow Karen manages to get back to shore, though, where Vince helps her out the water. Jerry's sister runs up and asks where Jerry is. She explains that Jerry shut the rest of his family out and thinks he has no family. The three run off to search for Jerry who is close by. He's behaving normally now and allows his sister to lead him away. He tells Karen he'll call her later. Karen asks Vince if he's really someone she can lean on and he picks her up and carries her across the sand like a hero in a movie no-one ever wanted to see.

Conclusion?: This has got to be the dullest thing R.L. Stine has ever written. EVER. My brain cells are dropping like flies...

Next time: "Trapped" Shadyside High's nutty answer to The Breakfast Club.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guest Post #5: Drucilla (Redux)

Hello again! Thanks for the comments on my last guest post. While I was writing my first post, I kept getting ideas of other articles I wanted to write. This is one of them. These are my opinions not this website’s. Do not bash this blog if you don’t agree with me. With this guest post rather than my last one, I’m hoping to encourage more discussion. It would be awesome if someone else did a guest post agreeing or disagreeing with me. As before, my guest blog won’t be hilarious or awesome, but the real blog is and I can’t wait to read more of it.

R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Favs VS. Reader’s Reality…Ding, Ding!

Towards the beginning of this year, R. L. Stine created a Fear Street section on his website. On the page, he added his top eight favorite Fear Street books. Here’s the link to the page in question: I was especially excited to see his favorites as I had been reading and re-reading the original Fear Street series over the past couple of months. For this guest blog post, I will look at each of his favorites, why they’re his favorites, and compare them to a reader’s perspective. There will probably be spoilers and I’m going to assume you know the basic story. I’m linking to this blog’s review/recap when I can so you can refresh your memory if you want. One more thing, if a book has sequels or is part of a trilogy, I’m assuming, for the most part, that Stine is referring to all of them. However, I will address the first book vs. its series in my analysis (yeah, right. Like any of this was done in an analytical way). As I said previously, I hope you guys will join me and discuss whether you agree with his favorites or not.

Silent Night
Silent Night 2
Silent Night 3

Silent Night chronicles ultimate mean girl Reva Dalby. Stine says that he loved writing this character because of her biting dialogue and mean attitude. As an author, it may be fun to write, but as a reader, it is annoying and frustrating to read. Main characters are supposed to be likable and if they’re not, they usually become so over the course of the book. Normally when we have a character as mean spirited as Reva, something bad happens to them as punishment. Throughout this book, we as readers are hoping and praying that Reva is killed or at least punished severely. This is one of only a few Fear Street books where we actually cheer the killer on. Well, I guess you can’t accuse Stine of following the masses. We are subsequently disappointed not once, but three times! Not only are we disappointed in that respect, but we end up reading the same book three times because, even though Reva says she’ll change, she never does. You’ve had at least three people try to kill you because you’re a bitch, maybe you should examine your life (again).

However, if we assume that Stine just meant the first Silent Night and not any of its sequels, I can see why it might be a favorite of his. He gets to have his cake and eat it too. He can write a horribly mean character and have her survive, but, at the end, it’s ok because she said she’ll change. And if we ignore the sequels, who’s to say she doesn’t?

The New Girl

There’s really not much to say for this book. The New Girl has the distinction of being the first published Fear Street novel. It’s interesting looking back because, nowadays, Cory would be considered a stalker and a dangerous one at that. I would have preferred it to actually be a paranormal story and not the same old crazy chick story, but it’s a decent, if somewhat repeated, Fear Street cliché. Stine says he loved the story, though, and I can see why he chose it to inaugurate the Fear Street series.


In an interesting turn of events, while Switched is this blog’s favorite Fear Street book, it’s probably my least favorite. This should be interesting. Stine says on his site that not many people mention this book to him…that’s probably because this book is TERRIBLE! He says he’s proud of the twisty and clever plot. Stine may be proud of it, but from where I’m standing it looks like he threw every plot device and writers convenience into it (everything but the kitchen sink, of course). While keeping your readers guessing isn’t a bad thing, keeping them guessing for the sake of keeping them guessing is. This book is just one of the (quite a) few Fear Street books where the ending twist actually makes the book worse. If it had just stuck to what the plot appeared to be, it would have been a much better and interesting book.

Fear Street Saga: The Betrayal- review/recap coming soon (I’m sure)

The original Fear Street Saga is great. I agree with Stine on this. Every reader loves back story and I love that we get an explanation why all of this stuff happens on Fear street. The trilogy is consistent and, frankly, is a good story. It’s horror, but underscored with a profound sense of tragedy. He says he loved going back to witch burning times and I think he nailed it. If Stine only considers The Betrayal one of his favorites, then I can only guess that it’s because the first one in the series has sentimental value, because the other books in the trilogy stand up to scrutiny as well. However, I can’t just let this examination end on a high note so let’s welcome Fear Street Sagas.

The Fear Street Sagas chronicle more of the Fear street curse and its repercussions down through the generations. I understand the idea behind the series and actually like that idea. It’s a way to give the readers more of what they want and to milk the Fear Street brand for all it’s worth. In the interest of full disclosure, I have actually only read two of the Sagas series, but, unfortunately, one of them was the VERY FIRST ONE. Now, this series is on R.L. Stine’s complete book list so one would assume he wrote it, but the savvy Stine fan knows that he (or more likely the publishing company) employs ghost writers occasionally. However, it is my (perhaps naive) belief that R.L. Stine did write the original Fear Street and Super Chiller books and if he didn’t, then I don’t want to know. *sticks tongue out* This favorites list actually helps me out because I don’t think he would pick a book he didn’t write and if Stine could write a terrible book like Switched and a really good book like The Betrayal, then who knows which books he wrote himself (besides the copyright page, of course)? Why do I bring this up? Because it’s clear from the VERY FIRST BOOK that whoever wrote it didn’t read the last book in the Fear Street Saga, The Burning. It clearly states that Nora and Daniel go to see Simon right after they are married. Unless they consummated their marriage on horseback or in the carriage, THERE COULDN’T HAVE BEEN A CHILD! I’d like to think that Stine would at least have re-read his work before starting on this new Sagas series so I’m going to say this series was ghost written.

Ok, now is the part where I apologize for that last part. I got extremely off topic and I’m sorry. I do want to say that not all of the Sagas are crap. The Awakening Evil tells the story of Sarah Fear of The Cheerleaders fame and it’s really good. Many of our questions about The Evil are answered and it stays in canon.

The Cheerleaders: The First Evil
The Cheerleaders: The Second Evil
The Cheerleaders: The Third Evil
The Cheerleaders: The New Evil
The Cheerleaders: The Evil Lives

Speaking of those crazy Shadyside High cheerleaders, guess who’s also one of R.L. Stine’s favorites? The Cheerleaders trilogy is probably one of the most recognized Fear Street titles. It attracted a myriad of readers and there’s really not much I can say about this series. It’s good. It’s consistent and, over the course of the series, presents some really interesting plot twists and shocks. Honestly, it’s kind of hard to gauge Stine’s thoughts on this series, though. He says he loved the reveal at the end, but that “reveal” seems to be in every Fear Street novel. Surprisingly, the original trilogy isn’t the only Cheerleaders to be good. The New Evil was good as well and actually was quite original. On the other hand, The Evil Lives was a hot mess. You could have been good, The Evil Lives! If only you had made good choices in life…mainly getting rid of the time travel and paradoxes that plagued your short, short life.

Again, if we were to assume that Stine only meant that the first was his favorite, it probably falls into the same category that The Betrayal does. The first in the series has sentimental value and so that’s why it was chosen above all the rest because the others are just as good.

The Secret Bedroom

R.L. Stine’s books are not very long. I think the longest book I’ve ever read by him hovered around the 300 page mark (Eye Candy anyone?). My point is that I wouldn’t have thought it would take very long to write one of his books. Indeed, if this blog is any indication he should probably spend more time writing his books. Nevertheless, Stine is particularly proud of The Secret Bedroom, a book that apparently only took him eight days to write. He says that the story moved really quickly and I’d argue that it moves too quickly. While the story is actually a really good story, I had so many unanswered questions at the end that I felt I must have missed some plot points (in case you were wondering, no, it turns out I didn’t). However, in all fairness had Stine actually answered those questions, it might have proved too gruesome for the YA crowd (wait…is there such a thing for a Fear Street reader?).

The Perfect Date

*Breathes deeply* Ok Drucilla, just like we rehearsed….R.L. Stine says that this book is special to him because his son Matt is on the cover. He doesn’t mention anything else….because….because….I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!! THIS BOOK IS HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOW I SAID SWITCHED WAS MY LEAST FAVORITE FEAR STREET BOOK, BUT THIS ONE FEELS ME WITH SO MUCH LOATHING I FEEL THE NEED TO LEAVE EARTH TO GET AWAY FROM IT! *thump* *crash* Ok, sorry about that. I think I got my anger under cont-IF WE THREATENED THE WORLD WITH READING THIS BOOK, THERE WOULD BE NO MORE WARS! *punch* *crash* *kick* Ok. *catches breath* I think that time it worked. So….The Perfect Date. While the story is decent and does have some potential, it’s full of Fear Street clichés (Fear Street hardly making an appearance, guys two-timing there girlfriends, etc.) and don’t even get me started on the ending. Nothing is explained and random crap happens. I mean, super strength, really!?!? Where did that come from!?!? The twist is completely redundant as well. It adds nothing to the story.


Well, let me go ahead and say it…I think Haunted is one of the better Fear Street books. Granted, it does suffer from some paradoxical problems, but the concept is great. I definitely see Stine trying something different with this novel and while he may not have necessarily succeeded, it’s different enough to stand out in the sea of similar Fear Street titles. He says he’s proud of the plot and tension and I have to admit that this was one of the few Fear Street novels that had me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next.

So honestly, I don’t know what I was trying to do with this article. I agree with Stine sometimes, but more often than not, his choices baffle me. I’m curious as to whether you agree with Stine or not. I guess to be fair here are my favorite Fear Street titles in no particular order (none got a five star rating so here are my four star ratings from Goodreads):

Broken Hearts
The Prom Queen
Double Date  (Because I loved that a Fear Street cheater finally got his comeuppance.)
The Face
What Holly Heard
Trapped -  review/recap coming soon (I’m sure)
Fear Park: The First Scream -  (Just the first book.)

* * * * *

My love for Switched...I will never be able to explain the unexplainable. Thank you for coming around again, Drucilla! 

The next guest post from Fear reader Chris W. will be a very interesting little twist...I'm sure you ghouls will love it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guest Post #4: Sagan

Hello! My name is Sagan, a reader of your blog for about a year now. I got rather excited at the prospect of writing about my own journey through Fear Street, so here we are. (Sorry if I ramble).

So, like many of us out there, I grew up with the Goosebumps and Fear Street Books. I don't remember too much about the Goosebumps books, except acquiring a permanent fear of dummies, becoming obsessed with mummies, and hating how every book ended. But Fear Street? That's where the real magic happened. I was consistently told by my mother that I was too young for Stephen King books, so I had to settle for the next best thing, Fear Street baby. While reading each book, I would picture myself as the heroine, and read their dialogue out loud to myself, (much to the chagrin of my siblings). Each book provided a source of inspiration. After reading Dead End, I tried to be like Natalie, and tried writing poetry. (Such good role models, R.L. Stine provides).

I also tried writing my own horror stories a la The Thrill Club, which usually ended in my mom thinking there was something wrong with me. Needless to say, these attempts at writing were thrown away pretty quickly. I'm pretty sure these books made me awfully suspicious. I would spy on my neighbors, positive that they were up to something heinous. Also, I would get so thrilled for no apparent reason, when one book would mention a main character from another Fear Street novel. I guess I thought Shadyside High was just one big happy family. (Sob).

Though, I have to say, my favorite memory is from 7th grade, when I auditioned for Bridge to Terabithia, with April's "Why I Killed So and So" speech from Truth or Dare. By the time I was done, the director was in tears (from laughing so hard). But I got the last laugh, I was cast as Girl #2, thank you very much. As a freshman in high school, in theatre class, one assignment was to perform one serious monologue, and one comedic one. For my serious monologue I chose Alison's "Why I Killed My Sister" speech from Sunburn. Once I finished that gem, there was silence, and my teacher finally said, "I thought I said one serious and one comedic, not TWO comedic monologues." OK, how dare you insinuate that Sunburn's monologue was comedic.

By the time I was in High School, my mother commanded me to throw away all of the Fear Street books. "Mom, nooo, you don't understand!" I pleaded. "Fine, you can keep 10, but the rest have to be thrown away!" She snapped, and so I chose my precious favorites, which were pretty much all of the "historical" Fear Street Sagas. (I can't tell you how much I love all the Fear Street Sagas, especially The Betrayal, The Secret, and The Burning. Nora Goode, and Daniel Fear = my preteen idea of real romance, how I hoped my future would hold something so beautiful as their relationship, except for, you know, one of them dying. Ditto Susannah Goode and Edward Fier).

Anyway, after that, I pretty much forgot about their existence for awhile, until one day I found myself straining to remember how the Cataluna Series ended, Googled it, and found myself at this wondrous blog, and here we are. R.L. Stine shall remain in my heart forever, regardless of the fact that his books are quite terrible, because when I was young, they were like Dickens to me.

Currently, for some reason, all of my Fear Street novels have disappeared. I suspect foul play.

I suppose that's it! My beautiful personal history involving Fear Street. I hope everyone is thrilled to have read it.

* * * * *

Oh Sagan, this was truly awesome. I especially love the fact that you actually recited a whole passage from Truth or Dare in front of people. THANK YOU.

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns (Goosebumps #48)

PUMPKIN POWER! Nothing beats Halloween. It's Drew Brockman's favorite holiday. And this year will be awesome. Much better ...