Thursday, June 12, 2008

Broken Hearts

Book Description:

There's someone out there, someone who kills on Valentine's Day. Josie and Melissa are scared, especially when they receive threatening valentines. Then the murders begin. Who is sending these horrible valentines to the girls of Shadyside High? And who will be the next to die?

My Description:

September (Prologue)

14 year old Erica McClain and her older sisters (who happen to be twins), Josie and Rachel, are going horseback riding with Josie and Rachel's friend, Melissa Davis. We find out that Erica is quite jealous of her sisters and their gorgeous red hair, popularity, and ability to attract/manipulate the opposite sex without even trying. Erica is shocked that the girls even invited her to go with them and has high hopes that this outing will make them view her as an equal rather than a "creepy kid".

On the way to the Shadyside Riding Club, the girls chat about boys and the fact that Josie constantly changes boyfriends. Is that a roundabout way of calling her a slut? Melissa tells the others that they'll really love the blonde stable boy, Chuck. I doubt they'll love the fact that he probably smells like horse shit and shame. When they arrive at the club, Erica starts to get really nervous upon seeing how big the horses are. The others are too busy mooning over sexy, sweaty Chucky to notice Erica's nervousness. Erica's thoughts on him? "Chuck was a great looking guy. Josie sure knew how to pick them." Good Lord! Josie doesn't even know the guy and Erica is already assuming that Josie has dibs. Chuck leads four horses out of their stalls, but shirks his full responsibilities by telling them they'll have to saddle up themselves because he has to help some new arrivals. Everyone except Erica starts to saddle their horse. Erica lies and says she has a stomachache so she'll just wait for them here. Melissa gets a little pissed: "We already paid for your horse." Josie is also ticked off: "Everytime we do something fun, you always say you have a stomachache." Cut her some slack, dammit. Horses ARE kind of big and scary if you're not used to being around them. I practically had a seizure the first time I rode one so shut up!

Melissa says they're wasting their time just standing around and they finally head off on the dusty trail. All of them are wearing helmets except Rachel who doesn't wanna mess up her perfect hair or something. Messy hair or brain damage? Take your pick! As they're riding, they bash Erica ("She's such a kid." She IS a kid, stupid, and so are you pretty much!) and gossip about school, Chuck, and Jerry Jenkman (Josie's current flame). Josie basically says she'd be all over it if Chuck asked her out. Poor Jenkman...caught in a web of deceit. A few minutes later, Rachel's horse starts going nuts and suddenly a dog races onto the path out of nowhere. The horse is spooked and bucks Rachel off. She lands on her head with a "sickening crack". That helmet is looking good right about now. Melissa tells Josie to get help, but Josie is completely freaked out and can do nothing but scream "She landed on her head!" over and over again. *sigh*

Part One: The Following February

The first chapter opens with Melissa having a horsey nightmare. Her mom runs into her room and wakes her up, of course. The parents in these books are extremely attentive, sleeping right outside their child's bedroom door for maximum listening power. Mom tells her it's been five months since the accident and she's still having the same old horse dream, but it will eventually go away. What will her dreams be about then?

Awwwww yeahhhhh.

Melissa tells her mom that Josie blames her for Rachel's accident. Rachel is still alive, but due to brain damage, she has the mentality of a child and doesn't recognize many of the people she was once close to. Mom tsk tsks and Melissa falls asleep again. Wow, that was boring.

Segue to Steve (Josie's boyfriend; Jenkman who?!) and Josie playing snow games IN THE HOUSE. Scandalous! Actually, this "game" just consists of a single snowball that Steve throws at Josie. Snore. Go outside and bury her face in the snow! Shove some down her pants! Pee your name in a snowbank! Steve choose to forego these options, opting instead to make out with Josie. Muggy, Josie's little terrier, comes running in and Steve expresses his dislike: "How can you stand that little rat? Why don't you step on it and put it out of it's misery?" Funny, I was thinking the same about you, Stevie. Josie tells him to shut up and picks Muggy up, allowing him to lick her mouth. Steve says "Yuck. You let that rodent lick you? How do you know what he's been licking before he came in here?" I kinda agree, but Steve doesn't have to be such a douche about it. Muggy makes his escape a minute later. Steve and Josie make out some more and Josie keeps her eyes open so we, dear reader, can learn what Steve looks like: "He's so good looking in an all-American sort of way. Wavy, blonde hair. Clear blue eyes. Perfect straight nose. Lopsided grin. Broad shoulders." What exactly does she mean by 'all-American'? He could easily be from Sweden or something. Blah, who cares? He's just a hollow shell of a man which pretty much sums up every male in Shadyside. Zero substance. Anyway, Steve breaks away and asks if they're "going to the mall or what?" Josie says sure, but she should let Erica know first. She heads for the stairs but stops by the hall table to look at the mail. She got a valentine! Unfortunately, it's anonymous and creepy as all hell:

Violets are blue
Roses are red
On Valentine's Day,
Josie will be dead.

Such a poet. Josie automatically assumes it's from Jenkman; ever since she broke up with him, he's been calling her and following her around begging for attention. Steve tells her to ignore it. Someone sends a death threat of sorts to your girlfriend and you tell her to ignore it? Some might call you an asshole, Steve. They're about to leave when someone wraps their hands around Josie's throat (Stine's favorite chapter ender). It's just Rachel who lets go and laughs gleefully because she scared Josie. Erica and Luke (Rachel's old boyfriend) come downstairs. No, Erica isn't scamming on Rachel's ex. Luke just wants to be there for Rachel which is pretty cool of him. Josie tells Erica that she and Steve are leaving, but Erica says no way: "You promised you'd watch Rachel so I could study for my social studies exam." Josie says maybe another time which pisses Erica off (me too). Erica flips out because she has no life anymore since Josie won't help her out with Rachel. Their mom works long hours and their father is frequently gone on business trips and such so they aren't always around to help out. As those two fight, Rachel picks up the mail and scatters it across the floor. Erica retrieves it and spots Josie's valentine. She reads it aloud and Rachel bursts out laughing. HA! Josie and Steve finally get their lame asses out the door and Erica takes Rachel to her room to brush her hair (Rachel's favorite thing). Erica and Luke talk about Josie's bad attitude regarding Rachel and Luke confesses his belief that Josie was responsible for Rachel's accident because Josie was the one who fastened Rachel's saddle that day. When the horse started to buck, the saddle came loose. I think Rachel would have went flying whether or not the saddle was fastened properly. As Luke rambles on, Erica suddenly comes to the conclusion that he is the one who sent the valentine to Josie. Good work, Columbo.

Wednesday afternoon, the snow is coming down in buckets. Josie is going to meet that goon Steve. Erica comes running up to Josie and tells her she has to go home to watch Rachel because she (Erica) has an audition for the school play. Josie totally blows her off ("Tomorrow I'll watch her. I have to meet Steve.") Erica pleads with her and accidentally lets something slip: "I can't believe you don't take more responsibility for Rachel. After all, it WAS your fault..." SLAM. She apologizes immediately even though Josie is a bitch and deserved it. Before Josie can reply, someone hits her in the head with a snowball. It's like Christmas morning every time karma sticks it to Josie. It was Dave Kinley, Melissa's boyfriend/one of Josie's cast-offs. He laughs at her and Josie storms off. Melissa tells him he shouldn't have done that (and just why the hell not?). He just looks at her and that is Stine's cue to give us the 4-1-1 on Dave's hawtness...or lack thereof: "With his long, scraggly black hair down to his collar, small, round eyes, and a bent nose, Dave wasn't exactly handsome." But thank heavens, Dave has "an easy-going attitude, a winning smile, and a great sense of humor." Yeah, no wonder Josie didn't want him...he isn't blonde, boring, and stupid. Melissa tells him that Josie dumped him HARD so he shouldn't feel anything for her. Dave replies that Josie also dumped Melissa. Deep. He then tells Melissa a story she's heard too many times before: Josie's dad was gonna hire Dave at his hardware store, but suddenly he didn't and Dave thinks it was because Josie convinced him not to. This somehow leads to Dave and Melissa wrestling in the snow. If it were summer, they'd probably be nekkid. Suddenly, they hear the sound of breaking glass. Jenkman just broke a window with a damn snowball. HOW? Unless it was made of solid ice, I don't see how it's possible to break a window with a snowball. Not gonna dwell, though, because my mental state is fragile as it is thanks to these books. "He's scary." So sayeth Melissa.

Josie arrives home at about six and gives Muggy a big wet kiss. Erica and Rachel are upstairs; Josie hears Rachel laughing through the intercom system they had installed after her accident. Josie doesn't bother to join them and I'm sure they appreciate it. She goes to the den to start her homework. Luke comes in and pretty much chews Josie's head off because she never pays any attention whatsoever to Rachel. Josie tells him he's a total loser who is wasting his time dwelling on the past. Luke picks up a silver letter opener and brandishes it as if he's going to stab Josie, but he doesn't because there are over 100 pages left and the "good" stuff never happens this early on. "Almost. Almost, Josie." He jams the knife into the desktop and leaves. After Josie composes herself, she notices that day's mail lying on the hall table. Of course there's another morbid valentine waiting for her.

This Valentine's Day
No memories to save.
The only flowers for you
Will be on your grave.

The cherry on top of a perfect day! *SNORT* Josie is unsettled, realizing that Valentine's Day is Saturday. Will someone actually kill her? Tune in to find out!

That night, Josie is awakened by the sound of the intercom crackling (there's one in every room). She hears Rachel's voice begging her to come to her room. When she reaches Rachel's room, though, Rachel is fast asleep. Hmm. Josie is confused, but she just brushes it off and goes back to bed. A few minutes later, she hears the same thing: "Josie, please come. Hurry." Once again, she walks to Rachel's room only to find Rachel in the exact same position, snoozing away. When she gets back to her room and lies down, she hears soft laughter. Sneaky, sneaky Rachel. This entire interlude was totally pointless...

After school the next day, Erica is brushing Rachel's hair and silently seething: Erica had arranged for a private audition with the drama teacher for the play, but had to break it because Josie decided to run off with Steve or something instead of watching Rachel. Rachel tells Erica that Josie doesn't like her anymore and then starts screaming "I HATE Josie!" repeatedly. She's only saying what everyone else is thinking. The phone rings and Erica runs to answer it. It's Jenkman. He asks for Josie, but that little harlot isn't home so Jenkman asks Erica instead "Did she get my valentines?" Wha? Stupid Stine and his damned cliffhangers!

It's Thursday and Dave and Melissa are headed to math class where a killer exam that is waiting for them. Dave views this as a catastrophic event because he sucks at math. Melissa reassures him that it won't be terrible, but she's full of shit and he knows it. A few minutes after the test begins, Melissa sees Josie walk up to Mr. Millen and from her place in the front row, Mel hears Josie ask if she can move somewhere else because Dave is copying off her paper. After class, Mr. Millen asks to speak with Dave. Ooo! Melissa waits for him in the hal. When he comes out, he announces what we all knew: "Josie turned me in. Can you believe it? Can you believe that little rat would do that to me?" Ok, I hate Josie as much as the next person, but I think she was justified in telling on Dave. Mr. Millen gave Dave a zero which means Dave will probably be kicked off the wrestling team because he won't be able to drag his grade back up and he won't get an athletic scholarship and he'll DIE, he'll just DIE! WAHHH! What were we talking about? Oh yeah. Dave spots Josie walking by and he grabs her and screams in her face "Why'd you turn me in?" Josie doesn't really give him an answer and runs off. Dave goes ballistic and runs away as well. What the hell is in the water?

That evening, Josie is sitting in the den trying to study, but she can't stop thinking about Dave. She can't believe she ever wanted to make that greasy haired donkey her love slave! Or something. Rachel's voice comes drifting through the intercom, cutting through Josie's thoughts. Josie tells her that Erica will help her with whatever she needs. Then she grabs her coat and flees the house because she can't stand feeling trapped. Damn her for turning her back on her family! Out of all of them, Rachel and Erica are getting the raw deal here. Josie has it way too easy and all she does is bitch. Anyway, Josie is OF COURSE making a beeline for Steve's place. Spare me.

Steve and Josie go ice skating and have some hot chocolate in the rink's adjacent cafe. Josie gabs on and on about how she feels guilty over Rachel (yeah right) and how Erica only feeds the fire. She says she stays away so much because she feels sorry for Rachel. You still suck! Steve is uncomfortable and doesn't say anything because he's almost as insensitive as Josie tends to be. Then Josie takes the latest valentine out of her pocket.

Who's sending these cards?
Don't bother to wonder.
On Valentine's Day,
You'll be six feet under.

Steve asks her if she still thinks Jenkman is sending them and Josie says yeah. Steve maintains that they're just some sick joke because to think otherwise would mean that he actually cares about his girlfriend's well-being, God forbid. At this moment, Josie looks up and sees someone peeking around the food stand, watching them. She assumes that it's Jenkman. I am sure this guy has better things to do. She and Steve decide to leave. In the parking lot, Josie lets Steve know that she isn't THAT upset by sticking her tongue down his throat. These people could be on their death beds and they would still find a way to make out with someone.

When Josie gets home, she finds something that makes me want to throw this damned book across the room. Muggy is dead, the silver letter opener buried in his little stomach. What is the dead animal count up to on this blog? I think Muggy is the third. After 'The Stepsister 2' (I'm still recovering from that trash; anyone wanna take it off my hands?) I didn't think I'd be encountering a dead dog so soon, but there you have it. Josie starts screaming and crying and Erica and Rachel come running into the kitchen. Rachel starts laughing at the sight of Muggy and Erica has to drag her back upstairs. Geez. I don't even know what to say about this mess.

Across the street, Melissa is spying on the McClains' house from her bedroom window. Melissa pulls away and decides to call Dave. She called earlier, but his mom said he wasn't home and I guess Mel just wants to make sure he didn't go off and kill someone after school. Dave tells her that he's just been out driving aimlessly. His coach cut him from the wrestling team as he predicted and now he believes his life is basically over. Then he yammers on about how much he hates Josie...yeah, that's getting pretty old. Dave eventually says "I don't feel like talking now." and hangs up on Melissa. He doesn't feel like talking? He was the one who yakked away without letting Mel get a word in edgewise!

Back at the McClains' house, Erica and Josie are talking about Muggy and how one of the policemen looked sick when he saw the dog. They called the cops to get the dog? Ok. I mean, yeah, someone broke in and killed the dog, but what could the cops do about it? There was no evidence really other than probable fingerprints on the letter opener, but the killer could have worn gloves or something...and I think I'm reading way too much into this. Josie tells Erica that she knows who did it: Jenkman. Shut up about him! Why would he kill your fucking dog?! He's in love with you! He wouldn't harm your innocent animal even for attention from you! Erica tells her the same thing basically, but she has the decency to clean up the language. She tells Josie that Jenkman sent some valentines. Not those creepy ones, but some funny ones that he signed 'Secret Admirer'. Josie doesn't believe her, saying Jenkman is a creep and a dangerous liar. She has no proof whatsoever that he's a dangerous liar so I'm not sure where that's coming from. She just assumes things as usual. Their mother walks in then and tells Josie that Rachel wants her to come brush her hair. Josie complains a little ("It's after midnight.") but she goes. When she enters Rachel's room, Rachel smiles at her and says "Somebody hates you. Somebody really hates you." Somebody? Try EVERYBODY.

After school on Friday, Josie goes to the card shop with Erica. When they get inside, they find the place fairly crowded because Valentine's Day is the next day. Erica spots the famous Jenkman and goes to chat with him. Did I mention Erica has a crush on the guy? He's too into Josie to notice Erica, though. He tells her he's buying a card for his mom...he's all twitchy and weird about it. That's sad. He immediately asks if Josie is around and pushes past the heartsick Erica as soon as he spots Josie. Jo totally blows him off by saying "Were you spying on me at the skating rink? I don't believe you. Why don't you get a life? Bye, Jenkman." She leaves and Erica comes stumbling after.

The next day (uh-oh! It's Valentine's Day!), Steve and Josie are performing their usual mouth-to-mouth. They go to Josie's house and run into Luke. He just stopped by to give Rachel some chocolates, but he's leaving now BYE. After Luke is gone, Steve says he isn't sure if Luke is a good guy for sticking with Rachel or just mentally deranged. Josie mercifully changes the subject. She tells him she received another valentine.

Roses are black
Violets are gray.
On Valentine's Day,
You'll start to decay.

Are these empty threats or is someone actually gonna end this chick? I'm getting antsy! The book has been decent so far, but there's little action other than the cards and Josie and Steve's frequent grope fests. Steve asks her what she wants to do and at first, she says "Let's rent a movie and stay in." But when she hears Rachel's voice coming through the intercom ("Somebody hates you, Josie.") she changes her tune and tells him she wants to go ice skating again. Erica's voice comes over the intercom asking Josie if she's really leaving because it isn't fair! Josie runs out of the house like it's on fire, dragging Steve along. And I hate them both.

Erica wakes up at 2 a.m. Her father is on a business trip and her mother is sound asleep as if Rachel. But where the F is Josie? Erica calls Steve and he explains that he and Josie got in a fight at the rink and she left with a group of people. The doorbell rings so Erica quickly thanks Steve and runs to answer it. It's two policemen (the same ones who came when Muggy was killed). As it turns out, those valentines came true: someone murdered Josie. The officers found her body in an alley behind the rink. The weapon? An ice skate. Someone stabbed her in the back with the blade of an ice skate! Will I go to hell if I laugh? Because I kind of can't help it. I was more upset when Muggy died. Mom comes downstairs and freaks out at the news. Rachel also comes down and says "Someone hates Josie." Obviously.

The next morning, Melissa wakes to the sound of the phone ringing. It's Dave and he's done a bad bad thing. She meets him at The Corner and they talk. Mel brings up Josie's death and that's exactly what Dave wanted to talk about. You see, Dave sent those creepy valentines to Josie. He didn't kill her! But he's afraid the police will find those valentines and manage to link them to him. So Dave has a "genius" plan: he'll sneak into the McClains' home while they're at Josie's funeral, get the valentines (if they're still there), and all will be well. Dave = deluded. I think we all know where this is going and it ain't gonna be good.

Just past 11 the next morning, Dave parks across the street from the McClain home. It's dark and stormy outside which sets the mood so perfectly. He walks up to the house and wonders briefly how he'll get inside. He tries the front door and it's his lucky day--the thing is unlocked. In reality, those people would probably have become EXTRA careful about locking up considering how someone once broke in to kill their dog. He makes his way to Josie's room and begins pawing through her things. He never finds the cards, but someone is about to find him. He hears footsteps and starts to panic. He makes it halfway to the stairs when he spots Erica lying in a puddle of blood. Suddenly, two officers are running up the stairs toward him. He's holding a blood covered letter opener...somehow. This whole scene is incredibly confusing. The chapter ends with one of the cops telling Dave that he's "in a lot of trouble." No shit, Sherlock.

Part Two: February, One Year Later

Melissa and Luke are now an item and we learn this because the chapter begins with them making out.The usual. Because couples don't do anything but slobber all over one another like dogs. Anyway, Melissa says she got a letter from Dave. Apparently everyone in town believed Dave was the one who killed Josie/stabbed Erica (she lived!) and Dave was so tormented that his parents sent him to a boarding school upstate where no-one knows his story. Luke has since stopped going to see Rachel which was a "major setback" for her. But he had to move on! Melissa has become close to Erica because Erica is a lonely, miserable girl. Luke tells Melissa that there will be a party on Fear Lake for Valentine's Day. MORE ice skating? There must not be much to do in Shadyside besides killing and stalking...but not everyone is into that. Melissa picks up the mail and notices she has a valentine. Here we go again.

Roses are red
Violets are blue.
On Valentine's Day,
You'll be dead, too.

Erica is brushing Rachel's hair as she does every single day until her arm practically falls off. Rachel asks where Luke is and Erica says "Luke is with Melissa now." Rachel is pissed and starts shouting "I hate Melissa!" repeatedly. I pity Erica. A lot. I know Rachel can't help it, but it would have to be extremely unnerving to deal with that day after day. The phone's Steve. Come on! I thought he would be out of the picture for sure since Josie's mishap. He asks Erica if she wants to go to the V-Day party on Fear Lake with him. At first she says yes, but then has to retract it because she remembers she has to watch Rachel. She returns to Rachel's room, but Rachel is gone. She runs downstairs and finds the front door hanging wide open. She races outside, screaming Rachel's name. Eventually, Rachel pops out from behind a tree. Clever little shrew, isn't she?

After school on Monday, Melissa shows Luke the latest valentine.

Flowers mean funerals
Flowers mean death.
On Valentine's Day,
You'll take your last breath.

At first these things were creepy. Now they're just annoying and repetitive. In addition to killing me softly, they're also making Melissa retarded, as evidenced by the following exchange: "...she turned to him, stood on tiptoes, and kissed him. 'Happy Birthday,' she said when the kiss had ended. She licked her lips. 'It isn't my birthday,' Luke replied. She chuckled. 'So?' " Uh, ok? They turn their attention back to the freaky valentine. Since Dave was the one who sent the valentines to Josie, Luke figures maybe he's sending them to Mel also. Mel mentions she still has the letter Dave wrote her recently. Handwriting analysis anyone? They'll just compare the letter and the valentines and see if the writing matches! Ain't sleuthing fun? Melissa runs upstairs to grab the letter and the phone rings while she's in her room. It's Dave's mom. Dave ran away from his boarding school and his mom wants to know if Melissa has seen him. Apparently he ran away the night before...and the school is upstate...would he have made it to Shadyside so quickly? Well, in any case, Melissa hasn't seen him. She goes back downstairs where she tells Luke that Dave is on the run. They the compare the writing and *GASP!* it matches! Of course Melissa is convinced that Dave is on his way to her house where he will commence with the cutting and slashing. I doubt it...Stine would never allow this mystery to be solved so quickly.

Later, Melissa trots across the road to tell Erica about Dave. Yeah, that's right, Melissa. Just spread the panic around real nice and easy. God knows we all want to hear your paranoid ramblings and accusations without hard evidence. Melissa goes home and a few hours later, Erica's mom leaves also; she's headed to her sister's house for tequila shots and...oh. Never mind. She's just going to look at some fabric samples. A storm is blowing through and the lights are flickering so we know some bad junk is about to go down. Rachel is in bed and Erica is in the living room working on a school report when she hears heavy footsteps in the den. She goes into the den and finds...a big scary monster RAWWWWRRRR! Just kidding, it's only Luke looking embarrassed. He says he just came over to give Rachel a valentine, but he didn't wanna disturb anyone so he was gonna drop it somewhere and leave. Makes little sense but whatever. He hands Erica the valentine and splits.

Melissa is across the street playing Scrabble with her dad. When it's over (she lost), she must be exhausted because she goes straight to bed. Just as she dozes off, Dave climbs through her bedroom window. He smells like fear and onions and is as greasy looking as ever. His eyes are extremely red which prompts the question, who's your dealer? Anyway, Dave tells Melissa that he came back to Shadyside to clear his name, to prove that he didn't kill Josie or stab Erica. Melissa asks about the valentines she assumed he sent to her. He swears he didn't send them and asks to see them. As soon as he looks at them, he declares "Now I KNOW who the killer is!" Rather than enlighten us, Dave jumps out the window. Thanks for nothing!

The next afternoon, Melissa tells Erica all about her encounter with Dave. Erica wants to know who the killer is, Mel says she doesn't know, and Rachel politely informs Erica that someone hates her. Nice. Melissa heads home and Luke comes around the side of the house and tells her he locked himself out of his house. And oops! Melissa did the same damn thing! Instead of doing anything about it, they make out. Good grief.

That night, Melissa is doing her homework when she hears loud noises coming from outside. She runs to her window and see someone with long red hair running across her yard. Rachel? Melissa's parents come running in and then two policemen come knocking. Melissa's dad called them and since the Shadyside fuzz seems to be lurking around every corner, they got there quick. They ask them when they found the body. Huh? "The body of the teenage boy on your driveway." Cliffhangers huuuuuurrrrrt.

The cops show up at the McClain house next. They want to talk to Rachel. They believe she might be connected to the death of...Dave! Mrs. McClain explains that Rachel is mentally disabled and there's no way she could have done anything like that. After speaking to her, the cops realize this and leave. Strange stuff going on here...

At school the next day, the scene on the cover comes into play. After discussing Dave's death with Erica, Melissa goes to her locker and finds the painted heart that's also smeared with blood and the words "You're Dead". Not yet, but she will be when the school sees this vandalism!
It's finally time for the ice skating party on Fear Lake. Melissa is looking totally sexy in her oversized men's wool overcoat. Then again, I might wanna rethink that statement. She and Luke join the others on the ice and someone tells them to stay away from the empty area to the right because the ice is hella thin. Luke drags Melissa over there anyway a few minutes later claiming he wants to give her a private lesson. Ass. Melissa hears the ice cracking around them, but Luke the fluke refuses to go back. He does stop and try to force his tongue down her throat, though. No comment. Melissa tells Luke to get away from her, to skate on and she'll catch up later. As soon as Luke leaves her, she seems someone in a hood skating right towards her and they're holding a giant, gleaming knife. AHHH! As the skater bears down on her, the hood flies back a little and Melissa catches a glimpse of long red hair. "Rachel!" The skater plows into her and as she starts to fall, she pulls the red haired wig off her attacker's head. It's Erica!

Turns out Erica is sick of being a nobody, the one everyone always overlooked. Not anymore! Erica explains that Josie had to die because she never helped with Rachel, she didn't care about Rachel or Erica period. Wow. You couldn't have just TALKED TO HER? Erica has an explanation for everything. Her own stabbing? She did it to herself ( "It was easy compared to the pain I already felt." How emo.) The valentines Melissa received? Erica copied Dave's writing by using the valentines he sent Josie. Basically, she tried to frame Dave in as many ways as she could. But in the end, she had to kill him, too, because he was on to her. And now it's Melissa's turn to die. Why? "You've got everything, Melissa. Poor Rachel lost everything. You even got Luke. You even took Luke away from Rachel. And that made me even more of a prisoner because after you took Luke away, I was all Rachel had left. You have to die, Melissa. It's only fair. You killed Rachel and me. Now you have to die, too." Damn. Melissa asks why Erica wore the wig. "This is Rachel's revenge, too. In some ways, she's here with me." Yeah, it's safe to say the girl has completely snapped. Erica tries to stab Melissa, but suddenly the ice breaks and both girls go tumbling into the water. Luke manages to drag Melissa out, but Erica is nowhere to be seen. Then they see her floating beneath a sheet of ice. She's still alive, but she makes no move to swim free. Melissa and Luke assume she wants to die and I suppose they just let her. I'm speechless. The books ends with Melissa and Luke agreeing to never send one another valentines. "Groundhog's Day cards...what a romantic idea." Give me a break!

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