Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Best Friend

This cover is so ugly and misleading. The girl looks like she's a) 30 years old and b) made of wax. And this scene never happens!

Book Description:

Who is Honey Perkins? She's been telling everyone in Shadyside that she's Becka Norwood's best friend. But Becka's sure she's never met Honey before. Honey systematically moves in on Becka's life, copying her in every way. But when Becka presumes to have more than one "best friend," the horrible accidents begin. Does Honey just want a friend? Becka wonders. Or does she want more--much more!

My Description:

It's late Friday night and Becka is sitting with her boyfriend, Eric Fraser, in his car. She's preparing to break up with him because he's hella needy. Oh, and he doesn't listen to her, he just wants to grope her and make out with her 24 hours a day. Typical teenage male behavior. She finally blurts it out ("I don't think we should see each other anymore.") and he giggles (GIGGLES!) and says that's cool. It's pretty obvious things aren't cool at all but whatever. As he drives Becka home, the mood is tense and uncomfortable. They arrive at Becka's house and as she gets out of the car, he says "See you at school. It's been real!" while keeping a shit eating grin on his face. Stop trying to be macho, Eric, it's ok to cry! Eric speeds off, but Becka isn't ready to go inside yet. She decides to drive around town for a bit to calm her nerves. I don't get what she's so upset about...she broke up with him, after all. If you hate something, set it free. Becka gets lost in her thoughts and ends up slamming into a car at an intersection. Ouch.

Apparently Becka wasn't harmed at all because she's telling her friends, Trisha and Lilah, all about it the next day (Saturday) at her house. She brags that only one headlight got smashed and her dad was hardly mad about it at all. Why does Stine always make it seem so much worse? The way the accident was described, I would've thought the damn car was totaled. Anyway, the conversation eventually turns to Becka's break up with Eric. Yawn. They also talk about Becka's ex-boyfriend, Bill Planter. Bill is a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks who was hated by Becka's parents which made Becka want him more. Why the break up? I dunno. It's never explained, but it doesn't matter because Becka wants him back, baby. No-one gave foot rubs like old Planter. *sigh* In the midst of conversation, a girl bursts into Becka's room screaming "Becka! I can't believe it! It's really you!" What the hell, man? Becka is shocked because she's never seen this chick before in her life. We get the following description of the trespasser: "She wasn't exactly pretty. But she was very dramatic looking with her flowing auburn hair past her shoulders, round gray eyes, and full lips coated in a dark lipstick. She wore a bright orange sweater that clashed with her hair and a green miniskirt over black tights." Stine, you need to learn how to color coordinate...orange and green? She looks like a pumpkin! Anyway, the girl just keeps gushing about how excited she is that she moved right next door. WOOO! She doesn't seem to notice that the other girls don't have a damn clue who she is. Lilah and Trish introduce themselves and the girl says "I remember you two. I'm Honey Perkins." HOW does she remember? Everyone else obviously doesn't. And this doesn't seem like a girl who would be easily forgotten. Honey tells Lilah and Trish that she and Becka were best friends in 3rd and 4th grade, but Becka silently disagrees. Lilah and Trish keep trying to make conversation with Honey, but she totally ignores them and zeroes in on Becka. Becka's mom comes in a few minutes later and Honey freaks out screaming "Mrs. Norwood!" and rushing to hug her. Mrs. Norwood is just as confused and disturbed by Honey as Becka is and she quickly makes an excuse to leave. Good one, Mom. Just go ahead and leave your daughter alone with the psychotic nut.

After several more minutes of Honey's incessant, mindless jabber, she finally leaves. Becka drags out her 4th grade class picture and the girls spot Honey. Suddenly they all remember her and what a weirdo she was. She didn't have any friends at all so why the hell was she all over Becka? No answer. Trish and Lilah prepare to leave, but they stop when Becka says "My parrot pin! It's gone!" Just before Honey left, she was trying on one of Becka's pins...guess she stole it. Becka is pissed because Bill Planter gave her that pin, dammit! Did he get it from Claudia Kishi? Because it totally sounds like something from her collection. Trish tells her to go ask Honey for it because it's probably still attached to her sweater. Becka says "Honey looked like a pumpkin in it." Ha, exactly what I said! Trish and Lilah leave and Becka puts on her coat in preparation to jog over to Honey's house. Before she can leave, Bill the Planter calls. He wants her to sneak out and meet him later at the mall, but she refuses because her parents hate him and if they found out, they'd kill her. They hang up and Becka heads over to Honey's house. She gets a shock when she realizes the house is totally empty and Honey lied. LIAR! Becka knocks on the door of the seemingly empty house. When no-one answers, she peeks into the windows, but only sees darkness.

One afternoon, Lilah and Becka are walking home together and gossiping about Mary Harwood who is apparently Shadyside's biggest tramp because she kisses a lot of boys. There's a difference between kissing and sexy time, girls. Mary isn't having sex...just like the rest of you! Then they start talking about Trish's upcoming Christmas party: "It's going to be a mob scene! Trish has invited everyone in the world!" Including Bill. Ooo la la. Becka has already picked out her outfit: a short silky silver dress over a black catsuit. It's only legal for Catwoman to wear a freaking catsuit. Everyone else should be arrested for public indecency (unless it's Halloween).

When Becka gets home, she walks up to her room, but stops when she hears a voice. The door is open slightly and she can see Honey inside trying Becka's clothes on. She rushes in and asks what the hell she's doing. Honey just says that Becka's mom said she could come up, but Mom left a little earlier. Ok, when everyone leaves, that's your cue to leave also, stupid. Anyway, Honey carries on and on about how cute Becka's clothes are and how they used to share clothes (that never happened). Becka asks her about the empty house and Honey says the furnace was out and it was freezing so they had to spend the weekend in a motel. Ok. Then Becka brings up her parrot pin and Honey reaches out to choke her. The fucking nutjob is choking the life out of her over a stupid parrot?! Oh, my bad. Honey was just kidding: "I gotcha that time! Don't you remember our Gotcha game?" No. Probably because it NEVER HAPPENED. Then that little piece of crap tells Becka that she (Becka) gave the pin to her. Whatever! Oh my God, I literally cannot list all of the irritating things that Honey does in just a few short minutes. She finally leaves after running her mouth nonstop. Becka, just shoot her in the head. No-one will notice and if they do, they sure as hell won't care.

After Honey leaves, Becka calls Bill. They discuss seeing one another again, but Becka still refuses to sneak out and Bill is a trifle disappointed because he wants to corrupt her a little. His words, not mine. Becka's mom pulls up in the driveway so she quickly hangs up the phone. Mom comes inside with an armful of groceries and Becka asks her why she let Honey in. Mom is confused because she hasn't been home all afternoon and couldn't possibly have let Honey into the house. Can anyone say 'restraining order'?

On Wednesday afternoon, Becka and Lilah are walking to the bike rack after school when they spot Honey. *sigh* Not again. Honey wants to walk home with Becka, but Becka explains that she and Lilah are riding their bikes. Honey totally ignores Lilah as usual and says she really needs to get a bike. Honey goes away a few seconds later and Becka and Lilah ride away. As they're rolling down a hill toward an intersection, Lilah freaks out because her brakes don't work. She speeds toward the intersection where a brown delivery truck is also headed. Uh-oh. Lilah flies over the handlebars...

...but the next chapter informs us that she's alive. In terrible shape, but alive. The ambulance hauls her away while the cops talk to the truck driver. Becka walks over to Lilah's mangled bike and notices that one of the brake cables is missing. HoneyHoneyHoneyHoney. A police officer comes over and tells her it's time to go home. Of course she calls the magnificent Mr. Planter as soon as she gets there. She tells him that she WILL sneak out on Saturday night and they can go to a movie or something. Yeah, OR SOMETHING. Becka turns and sees that troll Honey standing in the doorway of her room. She hangs up the phone and asks her how she got in. I can't help but laugh at how delusional Honey is. Becka obviously can't stand her yet she just keeps hanging around. Honey expresses her sympathy about Lilah and wraps Becka in a bear hug. How sweet...except for the part about Becka not being able to breathe. Honey lets go and Becka says she really wants to be alone now, but Honey doesn't leave. Becka starts to cry and Honey just pats her on the back and such. Trish comes in then, but Honey takes care of her real quick. She grabs Trish's arm and pulls her out of the room: "Sorry, Trish. Becka wants to be left alone." The audacity! At least Honey is gone...for now. I don't understand why Becka won't tell her to fuck off already!

It's Saturday night and Becka and Bill are heavily making out in her car which is parked on River Ridge. Bill finally has to break for air ("I can't breathe.") and Becka uses this opportunity to complain about Honey. We've already discussed this--either kill her or tell her to get lost! Becka says that since Lilah's accident, Honey calls constantly and comes over to her house every single day and it's driving her nuts. She doesn't wanna say anything because Honey means well. Whatever! Becka, you live on Fear Street. Most people there don't have good intentions and Honey is no exception. Becka then tells Bill about something Lilah said : "Lilah told me that Honey had been asking questions about her bike. A day or two before the accident. You know. Questions about what kind of bike it was, how the brakes worked. Stuff like that." So she's a bicycle aficionado. What of it? "I didn't remember until I talked to Lilah this morning. But Honey was at the bike rack when Lilah and I came for our bikes. She was examining a bike..." I'm surprised it took you this long to figure it out. Next, Honey will be after your beloved Planter! Becka gazes out the window and screams that she sees Honey out there hiding behind a tree. She dives out of the car and runs to the tree. Of course no-one is there and Bill thinks she's out of her frigging mind.

On Monday, Becka is sick and doesn't go to school. Her mom brings her some tea and toast and then leaves for work. I think we all know where this is going. Mom says that Honey will bring Becka's homework to her later. Oh good. Another excuse for her to get inside the house. At a little after 3:00, Trish calls and says she thought Becka would be in the hospital because of her breakdown. Say what? "Honey told everyone about your breakdown." Oh that is it. I have had it with this girl! I've never wanted to kill a fictional character this much. Well, I have, but it's been a while. Trish goes on to say "She said it was because of Lilah's accident. Honey said you totally freaked out. She was telling everyone." What an asshole. Becka says that she only has a virus and doesn't understand why Honey would lie. Because she's CRAZY, that's why. Trish tells her a few more things before hanging up: there will be no adults at the party on Saturday, Lilah is getting better, and Honey looks really different. Spare me. Honey arrives a few minutes later and surprise! She's cut and styled her hair to look exactly like Becka's. Thankfully, the moron doesn't stick around for long.

That night, Becka is awakened by the phone. It's R.L. Stine calling to tell her she's trapped in a shitty novel. Just kidding--it's Honey. She just wanted to tell Becka that she's always around if she needs anything. Unfortunately. She also says that she never said anything about a breakdown and Trish is just a big fat liar. Just be quiet, Honey. Becka attends school the next day even though she feels like roadkill. It's the last day before Christmas break so she'll have plenty of time to lay in bed over the next few weeks. Her friend, Cari Taylor, comes over and asks her how she is. She thought Becka was sick in the head which makes Becka realize that Honey did indeed tell everyone a pack of lies. In homeroom, she sees Honey wearing a blue silk shirt that belongs to Becka (Honey took it home under the pretense of "cleaning it" and Becka was stupid enough to actually believe that shit) and Becka's parrot pin. And Becka STILL says nothing!!! You've got to be kidding. No more nice girl. It's time to lay the smack down, Becka! I can't believe I'm getting so worked up over this...I've truly gone astray.

At lunch, Trish suggests what I suggested earlier: "Why don't we just murder her?" YES! "It was just a joke." Oh Trish, you are a terrible human being. I may murder you just for that. The girls go for a walk outside (they're allowed to do that during lunch?) and Becka spots Honey making out with Eric Fraser (remember him?) Becka freaks out for some reason...I mean, she really hates them both so what does she care what they're doing together? Honey spots them and comes running over. Becka gives her the cold shoulder and Honey gets upset and runs away. That won't be enough to keep her away, though. Trish and Becka go back inside where Becka heads straight for her locker. She finds it completely trashed and assumes this is the work of Honey as payback for ignoring her. She catches up to Honey in the bathroom and verbally abuses her. She accuses her of trashing the locker and Honey vehemently denies it and tells Becka that this is just because she's with Eric now. Becka explodes, screaming that she doesn't care about Eric, she just wants Honey to stay the hell out of her life. Honey starts crying and says "You can't talk to me that way, Becka! I'm your best friend!" Then she reaches into her jacket and pulls out a pistol. A freaking pistol. The damned thing isn't even real, it's just a water gun. Honey starts laughing and tells Becka they used to squirt each other all the time. Becka runs away screaming "No no no!" I can't help but laugh hysterically...I don't know why.

That night, Becka goes to Bill's house for some TLC; after the Honey episode, she probably needs it. But of course once she's there, she only wants to freak out about Honey some more. *sigh* When she mentions seeing Honey with Eric during lunch period, Bill interrupts: "Did you hear about the guys who broke into the school during lunch period today? They ran through the halls, trashing lockers." Worst. Plot. Contrivance. Ever. It doesn't even make any fucking sense! Who were the guys? What motive could they possibly have had for ransacking teenagers' lockers in the middle of the day? Were they searching for something? WHAT?! Anyway, Becka feels bad because she accused Honey of something she didn't do and since Honey is an unstable maniac, Becka will probably suffer the consequences. I look forward to some real action. No fake pistols! Before she leaves, Becka asks Bill if Honey ever came on to him and he says "Maybe. But it was no big deal." Ooooo.

When she arrives home, it's a little late, but her mom is waiting up for her. And boy, is she pissed! Mom rails on and on about Bill being a bad influence and blah blah blah. She's mostly angry about Becka sneaking out so she grounds her. Tragedy = Becka will have to miss Trish's big Christmas party. Becka runs to her room and thinks about how ticked off she is. To make matters worse, Honey was hiding in the closet and chooses this moment to pop out. She says she came over earlier, but Becka wasn't home so she snuck upstairs to wait in the closet until Becka arrived. Why didn't she just sit on the bed or something? Why am I still asking questions at this point? Honey apologizes for telling Becka's mom that Becka was at Bill's house, but Becka doesn't accept the apology. Instead, she tells Honey that they are not friends and never will be. She says that Trish and Lilah are her only friends. Honey stares blankly at her for a second then smiles and says "I broke up with Eric today. Just like you did." Which means that she is now available to prey upon Bill Planter.

On Saturday night, Becka ends up going to Trish's party; her dad convinced her mom to allow her to go. The place is packed with people and a giant glittery Christmas tree. She chats with Trish for a moment and grabs some hot cider before searching for Bill. She finds him goofing around with some guy named David. Looks like he already has a date, Becka. Things are going well...until Honey comes skipping up to her: "Hiya, twin!" Yep, that's right. Honey has on the same catsuit and skirt ensemble as Becka. Becka completely flips out: "Go away! Leave me alone! You're not my friend, Honey! You look ridiculous! You look gross! You look pathetic! Leave me alone! I don't want to see you anymore!" Ouch. Honey runs out of the room and Becka just stands there while everyone stares in shock. But they all get over it and start partying again like nothing ever happened. Becka looks up the stairs and spots Trish coming down with a cake. She also sees Honey standing behind Trish...Honey reaches out and shoves Trish down the stairs. Damn. Everyone runs over to see what happened and someone calls 911. Becka sees that Honey hasn't moved from the staircase. But as soon as she realizes that Becka is watching her, Honey turns on the waterworks: "I tried to catch her. But I wasn't fast enough." Honey, I regret to inform you that you are a lying bitch. Becka looks back at Trish and notices that she's still breathing, but it's loud and irregular. Honey comes up behind Becka and says "You still have a friend. I'm right here. I won't go away. I'm still here." Will she never learn?! Becka runs to the door just as two police officers enter. She tells them that Honey pushed Trish and then she passes out.

Becka wakes up on Sunday morning in her bed. Her mom and a doctor are there with her and Becka asks them about Trish (she broke her neck, but she'll be all right). The doctor leaves a few minutes later and Becka falls asleep. For the next few days that's pretty much all she does. One afternoon, her mom comes in and tells her she's going out for a bit. The moment she leaves, the phone rings. Oh crap...here we go again. I don't even need to tell you that it's Honey. Becka sits silently while Honey tells her that she has a surprise for her and she should come right over to see what it is. Becka doesn't want to, but she changes her tune when she hears a voice that sounds like Bill in the background. She walks over to Honey's house, but pauses at the kitchen window. The window is thinly covered in frost, but Becka thinks she sees Bill and Honey holding hands at the table. Uh-oh. Becka bursts into the kitchen, grabs a knife off the counter, and lunges for Honey. SCORE! Sadly, she's too weak to kill Honey and she collapses to the floor. Bill freaks out and says to Honey "You told me Becka knew I was here! You told me she was coming to see me!" Honey tells Bill to stay away from Becka because Becka is HER friend. She and Bill wrestle for the knife and Honey ends up stabbing him in the chest. And check this shit out--she places the knife in Becka's hand!! I have officially gone insane. Becka is slowly regaining consciousness. Honey hugs her and says "Don't worry. I won't tell the police what you did. We won't let them know you murdered Bill. I'll tell them you did it in self-defense, Becka. I'm your best friend and your only friend." Becka's reply? "Thank you, Honey." NO! Damn this book!

Conclusion? The fact that there is a sequel makes me not want to live anymore. But that won't stop me from reviewing it eventually, don't worry.

Next time: "Truth or Dare"

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

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