Monday, December 22, 2008

Seniors #2 - In Too Deep

Book Description:

The doomed class. The class that won't survive senior year... That's the furthest thing from Kenny Klein's mind. He's too busy with his camp counselor job. And way too interested in Melly, the hot new girl he just met. Kenny has only two problems. The strange boy in his group--the one that always wears a mask [Jason Voorhees?]--and the fact that someone at the camp is trying to kill him.

My Description:

Kenny and Jade Feldman are cuddling. And I'm puking. It's a vicious cycle, kids. Anyway, these two lovebirds are a little sad because they won't be able to spend their summer together--Jade is vacationing in California and Kenny is going to be a counselor at Shadyside Day Camp. He'll be in charge of a group of 9 year old boys, one of which I am pretending is a young Jason V.

RAWR. Kenny and Jade kiss which makes Kenny all contemplative and shit: "He gazed over her shoulder into the front yard. It was a hot night late in June, with a bright moon and no wind. Perfect for a late night swim [skinny dippers!] in Fear Lake, he thought. The water was freezing, but so what? They could cuddle together under a blanket afterward." Please, no more cuddling. It's too early on in the book for me to start getting angry! Sadly, they can't go to the lake because Jade has to get up early in the morning for her flight. They kiss a bit and then Jade makes Kenny promise that he won't look at any other girls this summer. Well, we all know how THAT turns out.

The next morning, Kenny joins his fellow counselors at Shadyside Day Camp. He immediately recognizes a few people he knows, most notably Dana Palmer and Debra Lake. They come running up, quite enthusiastic for a couple of schmucks who are going to be spending their summer dealing with a ton of crazy, hyped-up kids for hardly any pay at all. Remind you of a certain group of underage girls? All Kenny can think about is his lady love: "Jade's plane was probably taking off right now." *sigh* I hope you're not going to mope around all summer, Ken. Craig Sherman, the camp director, comes running up to greet everyone. Kenny tunes Craig out and uses the opportunity to gaze at his surroundings. Typical camp fare: cabins, an infirmary, recreation hall, archery range, etc. Craig tells everyone to put their bags away in their cabins and feel free to take a look around the place before the kids arrive. As Kenny is making his way to Cabin 5, Craig comes up and reminds him that he's got a troubled kid to look after. TROUBLED, dammit! I'm sure this will be important later. Kenny wonders just how troubled this kid is and in what way. Apparently he received profiles of his campers in the mail, but he never bothered to even skim over them. Good one, Ken. He trudges to his cabin, throws his bag in, and walks over to some guy hanging tetherballs to ask if he needs help. Tetherball boy's name is Tyler Sullivan: "Call me Ty." Ty will be transferring to Shadyside High in the fall. Yeah...might wanna rethink that one, my friend. I think you'll find that Shadyside High absolutely SUCKS. After more meaningless chit-chat, the boys play a rousing round of tetherball. *snore* A group of counselors gathers around to cheer them on and Kenny realizes that Ty is really REALLY into this. "Ty's jaw was clenched and his eyes were narrowed, glinting fiercely." I wish I were joking. Because this shit is bananas. I mean, who gets worked up over a freaking TETHERBALL game?! Kenny punches the ball and it slams into Ty's face, turning his nose into a bleedy bleeding fountain of blood. Kenny runs over to apologize and offer the bleeder some tissues, but Ty just smacks them out of his hand. Kenny swears it was an accident and Ty says "There's no such thing as accidents." If that were true, Ty, your mom wouldn't have sued the good folks at the Trojan company for that broken rubber way back in '80. Yes, I'm implying exactly what you think I'm implying. BURN. Anyway, Kenny is shocked at Ty's accusation and Ty storms off after telling Kenny "Just watch yourself, understand?" Boooo! Kenny decides to take a peaceful walk down to the lake which is where he spots a gorgeous girl walking along the shore. *cue violins* Kenny runs down to greet her and surprises her so much, she drops the flowers she had been picking. They make some awkward conversation and introduce themselves. Her name is Melly and she's an arts and crafts counselor. Kenny brings up the Ty incident because he wants to look real macho I suppose and Melly tells him to watch out for Ty because "he has a real cruel streak". They talk some more, Melly flashes her pearly whites, and Kenny conveniently forgets about the fact that he has a girlfriend. Jade who? Unfortunately, they hear Craig's whistle and have to head back.

Craig asks Kenny to help Ty over at the storage shed. Of course Ty acts like an asshole, glaring at Kenny and kicking things like a tempermental 5 year old. Kenny struggles to break the ice, but Ty ain't having it. As Kenny is helping Ty shove some stuff into a trunk, he spots a girl walking by--it's Melly--and gets distracted. Unfortunately, in his distraction, he slams the lid of the trunk right on Ty's hand, effectively breaking it. Damn, Kenny! First you bloodied his nose and now you've broken his hand. Something tells me Ty doesn't like you very much. Kenny helps Ty to the infirmary after breathlessly apologizing; Ty is too pissed off and in too much pain to really care about what Kenny has to say. At the infirmary, Ty goes to have his hand fixed and Craig comes up to Kenny to see what happened. Blah blah blah. When will the murders begin? These little "accidents" aren't doing anything for me. The nurse says that Ty will be sent to the hospital for X-rays and such. Craig tells Ty that if the hand is broken, Ty is probably gonna be out of a job. Ty is upset, but since he's a swimming instructor, he realizes that he would be pretty useless with a broken hand. Kenny walks outside and runs into Melly. He says that Ty's hand could be broken and Melly says something surprising: "He isn't Ty. He doesn't look anything like Ty!" Uh, what? Instead of finding out just who the imposter is, we get a plot contrivance thrown at our heads--the buses have pulled up with the kids and Melly has to go. Dammit.

The kids file off the buses. No, that sounds a little too formal. The kids come barrelling out of the buses like a herd of buffalo. That's better. Craig blows his whistle and divides them up into groups, assigning a counselor to each group. Kenny's group consists of seven boys: Graydon, Dan, David, Matthew, Charlie, Simon, and our resident troubled child, Vincent. Vincent is missing (OF COURSE he is) and Craig goes to search for him while Kenny breaks up a fight between Graydon and Charlie. Craig comes over a minute later and tells Kenny that he found Vincent hiding behind a bush. Why? "He wears a ski mask. To cover his face. You read Vincent's profile. You know about the accident." Oh hell yeah. This book just took a turn for the better. A disfigured kid in a ski mask with serious issues? Things are gonna get ugly. Also, replace that ski mask with a hockey mask and once again, I have to make the comparison:

Anyway! Craig trots off to fetch Vincent and Kenny uses the opportunity to tell the other boys about Vincent. He makes sure to tell them that they really need to be nice to Vincent. This illicits only one reaction (and it unfortunately comes from Graydon, the Eric Cartman of the group): "Why can't we have a cool group? Why are we stuck with a freak?" Charlie tells Graydon "You're a freak, too, lard boy. So why don't you just shut up?" Ouch. Kids can be so cruel. The two almost get into another fight, but Kenny breaks them apart. Craig finally arrives with Vincent in tow. He's small, skinny, and wearing jean shorts, a white T-shirt, and a red-and-white ski mask. Normally people in ski masks crack me up for some reason, but there's no way I'm laughing at this poor kid. The other boys are gonna eat him alive, man. Speaking of the other boys, they're actually being nice FOR NOW. Kenny rounds all seven of them up and they head for the cabin to drop their backpacks off. All the boys except for Vincent run ahead. Vincent sticks close to Kenny who is a little unnerved by the way the kid is staring at him so intently. After their things are dropped at the cabin, the group goes out to explore. They come upon Dana and her group of 11 year old girls also doing some exploring. The groups go their seperate ways. Kenny points out everything on the grounds with Vincent staring at him the entire time. Creepy. Kind of. The boys announce that they're bored so Kenny points out this cave. Vincent is suddenly very enthusiastic and runs toward the cave's entrance before Kenny can stop him. A moment later, Vincent starts screaming inside the cave: "Bats! The bats! Help! They've got me! Let go! Let go!"

Kenny relays the story to his friends that night at Pete's Pizza. After screaming his head off, Vincent ran back to the cabin. Kenny investigated the cave like a good little sleuth and found no bats whatsoever. Ha. Conversation quickly turns to Mary Connor, some chick who was recently caught shoplifting. THE HORROR! They're all shocked because Mary is so shy and quiet and unassuming. So? As Mickey Myers points out, "You can be shy and quiet and still be a klepto." Yes, sir. Kenny spots the wonderous Melly standing at the counter waiting to order. She glances his way, but doesn't recognize him. *snicker* He asks Debra if she knows Mel, but she doesn't. He decides to shut up about Melly because he's afraid someone will tell Jade about his crush. All of them except Debra (she has a date with Count Clarkula!) decide to go for a nighttime swim in Fear Lake. This is sounding more and more like a slasher movie. At the lake, Melly ends up showing up. Like we didn't see that coming. Kenny steps out of the lake and his dreams suddenly come true. Melly says "I've been thinking about you all day, Kenny." then kisses him. Bad Kenny! BAD! Control yourself! They keep kissing until Kenny breaks away to get back in the lake, probably to hide his raging erection. But Melly has other plans. She dares him to climb atop a high boulder and dive into the lake. He doesn't really wanna do it because he could smash his brains out on the rocks below so he counters her dare with one of his own: they'll climb the boulder and dive off feet first together. Because four broken legs are better than two! They dive and Kenny feels a blast of pain in his head. He struggles to the surface and his friends come crowding around him screeching that his head is bleeding and he could have a concussion. He wonders where Melly is and they tell him that he was the only one up there. OHHHHH.

Kenny arrives at camp the next day with Melly on the brain. His head is fine, it was only a small cut so he's certain he dived with Melly in spite of the fact that his friends think she's simply a hallucination of his. Kenny comes upon Ty in the office and asks him about Melly. Ty says that he saw her earlier. What the hell, man? Is she real or isn't she? Anyway, Kenny asks about Ty's hand. It's broken, but Craig allowed him to stick around anyway. Ok then. Kenny suddenly remembers that Melly told him the day before that this guy isn't the real Ty. So Kenny says "I was talking to some friends yesterday. They told me they thought you were somebody else. Somebody with another name." Ty, as is his nature, gets pissed off and says "Well...I'm also known as Superman. What is this--an interrogation?" then takes out his license to prove his identity. Kenny is satisfied and prepares to leave, but before he can go, Ty says "Stay out of my face from now on." Asshole. Kenny goes to round up his group. Vincent immediately plants himself right beside Kenny and doesn't take his eyes off him. Weird. Kenny leads them to the arts and crafts cabin, but finds it deserted. Kenny tells the boys to stay put while he goes to find the counselor (which happens to be Melly), but Vincent clings to him like a leech and doesn't want him to go. He finally shakes him off and steps out. He finds Dana who tells him that Melly is indeed around somewhere and she'll tell her she saw him. Or something. I've been awake for about 24 hours straight so my mind is muddled and running like a slug. Anyway, Dana walks off and Kenny suddenly hears a piercing scream coming from the arts and crafts cabin. He runs to the cabin and finds Vincent lying on the floor covered in blood. He asks the other boys what happened, but they say they were checking out the stuff lying around the cabin and when they turned around, he was on the floor screaming and crying and bloody and such. Kenny soon realizes that the "blood" is actually paint. He loses his cool (what little he had of it) and grabs Vincent's shirt, shaking him and telling him he's had enough of this crap. Vincent is obviously scared now and Kenny apologizes and lets him go. Vincent's reply? "You shouldn't have left me." Kenny assumes that this was an act of revenge for leaving the boys alone earlier. *snore* Vincent is making for a boring weirdo.

Vincent goes to clean himself up and the boys help clean up the mess on the floor. Melly walks in then and Kenny is ten shades of relieved. He explains the Vincent situation then asks Melly what happened the night before at the lake. She says she never dived off the boulder. Instead, she ran to get help because she thought he had seriously hurt himself. Weak! They share a "special moment" *barf* but Graydon mercifully interrupts by saying "Oh, yuck, are you guys gonna start smooching?" Yes, dear, they were and they don't care WHO'S watching, even if it's you kids! Kenny decides to leave then and let Melly do her art thing. They plan to meet later, though, don't worry!

After the buses have came and the kids are gone, Kenny rushes to meet Melly on the nature trail. Always with the desecration of nature! Kenny thinks about Jade and feels that he should tell Melly about her, but he can't because what if Melly doesn't wanna see him anymore? Kenny, you're a jackass. He walks past the office and on a whim, decides to go inside. He spots a list of counselors on a bulletin board, finds Melly's name, and copies her address (she lives in Waynesbridge--yuck!) with the intention of "surprising her one night." Outside the office, he runs into Dana and Debra. Why are they ALWAYS around every corner? Stalkers. Debra walks on, but Dana stays behind to share something with Kenny: "I was just joking about you and Melly before. Now I see it wasn't a joke. Jade's your girlfriend, Kenny. If you don't have the guts to tell her about Melly, then I will." Ooooo. Kenny watches Dana walk off and thinks "Would she really tell Jade? Or does she just enjoy having something to hang over my head? I can't be sure. But I don't want to stop seeing Melly. I just have to be more careful from now on." You're a real class act, Ken. And by 'class act' I mean 'moron'. Dana is like the freaking wind, man--she's everywhere! It doesn't matter how careful you're being. She'll still find out! Melly comes up then, kisses him, and asks what's wrong. He simply says that Tyler has it out for him which is true. Melly tells him that Ty is evil and vicious and Kenny should stay far away from him. I don't feel suspicious of Ty. I feel suspicious of Melly. Something ain't right here. Oh well! They walk into the woods until they see that cave that Vincent ran into. Melly tells him that it's haunted: "Nobody talks about it, of course. But a little boy got lost in that cave one summer. He died in there. They buried his body, but his spirit lives on in that cave." That spirit needs to get his ass in gear and start wreaking some havoc! NOTHING has happened so far! I wanted this book to be gooooood. But so far it's just seriously boring. Anyway, Melly runs ahead and says they should see if the spirit is in there now. Kenny follows and ends up falling and busting his ass. He calls Melly's name and sees that she's standing above him in the exact spot he fell from. She pulls him up and he wants to get the hell out of this creepy, dark cave, but Melly doesn't wanna: "I like being with you, all alone in the dark. Well, almost alone." She's talking about the stupid spirit, but Kenny spots Graydon hiding behind a rock and calls him out. Graydon missed the bus, saw Kenny and Melly walk into the cave, and decided to follow. Melly leaves and Kenny walks Graydon out. Graydon asks about the overnight; apparently the camp has an overnight once a week. Yee-haw. Better be something good happening. Otherwise I might ACCIDENTALLY throw this book into the fire. Kenny drops Graydon off at the office and when he comes out, he spies Ty standing next to the building beside a stack of paint cans. Kenny apologizes yet AGAIN, but Ty dismisses him. Before Kenny can walk away (I swear, this is like the fiftieth time this exact scene has been played out. These two are like fueding lovers.) Ty says "Melly's a nutcase. I told you she keeps giving me the evil eye. But I ran into her a few minutes ago. And this time she did more than stare at me." Melly tore his ass up! "Ty stuck his arm out. Two long scratches ran up his forearm. Blood still oozed over the ragged edges of skin." Ouch. Ty says that Melly is evil and asks if Kenny believes him. Although the chapter ends there, I think we can all agree that Kenny will never believe anything bad about his precious Melly.

It's the night of Shadyside Day Camp's little slumber party and the boys are gathered around the campfire listening to Kenny tell a scary story. Vincent is sitting a little apart from the group. He's pissed because Kenny is being an asshole and wouldn't let Vincent sit next to him. Kenny is scared of this poor kid. Vincent gets up to go the bathroom and Kenny feels glad that he's gone. Damn, Kenny, I must admit that you are one of the most unlikable characters I've come across in these books. (Side Note: to bring in the New Year, I'm compiling a list of the Top 10 worst Fear Street characters I came across this year and of course the Top 10 best. Kenny, you suck so go ahead and take a guess at where you'll end up!) Kenny leaves his little group and walks over to Debra's. Then he walks around aimlessly until Melly sneaks up behind him. Kenny brings up Ty's claw marks and Melly is ready with an excuse: "I did scratch Ty. I bumped into him and he started yelling at me. Then he grabbed me. I had to scratch him to get away. I told you he was dangerous." Everything out of her mouth seems like such a contrivance, a lie. Melly touches his arm and Kenny automatically believes everything she just said. Whipped much? Eventually they seperate and Kenny heads back to the fire. The boys were telling scary stories and now they're all lurching around like Frankenstein.

"Me love you long time"

But the fun ends when they all spot a big ugly snake slither near the fire. Kenny the Boy Scout (no, really: "I learned it when I was a Boy Scout. This one's really dangerous.") grabs the damn thing and says he's taking it to the rec hall where they have cages and such. Why the hell don't you dump it back in the woods from where it came? I hate you, Kenny. You've stolen the last precious flakes of my sanity. Anyway, Kenny the Super Boy Scout takes the snake to the cage and when he comes back, Graydon is pretending he's a snake trying to bite Vincent. Kenny stops him, but Vincent isn't satisfied: "Is that it? That's all you're going to say?" Kenny tells him to forget it, but Vincent isn't letting him off THAT easily: "You didn't stick up for me. I won't forget it." The other boys start getting restless and Vincent says they should play cards. No, we're not talking about Crazy Eights or Old Maid. These are Doom Cards and according to Vincent, they "predict the future. And they're always right." I already know what's going to happen: Vincent will see Kenny's impending death in the cards. I hope. Kenny goes first. He chooses three cards from the deck without looking at them and lays them facedown in the dirt. As Vincent turns over each card, he looks more and more horrified. See, Kenny drew three black skulls and for our resident Super Scout, that means instant death. I love the fact that Vincent can't supress at smile at this news. I know, I'm a cold hearted snake (look into my eyes!). That little asshole Graydon interrupts and grabs all the cards. Vincent tries to wrestle them away from him and Kenny intervenes, telling them both to cut it out. Vincent puts his cards in his back pocket and straightens his ski mask. Love it. Kenny puts the fire out and he can't get those skulls out of his mind.

Later that night, Kenny takes a call from Jade in Craig's office. Jade is all "I miss you" and Kenny is blushing 758676 shades of red because he's a filthy cheater. After talking to Jade for a bit, Kenny realizes that he genuinely misses her and decides to tell Melly about Jade this very night. Yeah, I'm sure that's gonna go over well. She'll claw his eyes out! He meets up with Melly and immediately cuts to the chase, telling her has a girlfriend. But Melly, the little tramp, doesn't care. Kenny tells her he doesn't want to get involved with someone else right now, but Melly says she doesn't believe him: "You don't want to break up with me. You just think you should." Kenny reiterates that it's over, but Melly just kisses him and says she can change his mind and then walks away. Did I mention I hate these people? Kenny heads back to cabin where a snake is waiting for him. No, I don't mean Melly. I mean a slithery snake. It crawls up his back and almost bites him, but he throws it to the floor just in time. The boys wake up and Kenny tells them the snake is stunned. So he grabs it and takes it to the rec hall...and finds the cage he put the snake in earlier empty. That thing wanted revenge, Kenny! It knows you suck and don't deserve to live! Kenny thinks that it was Vincent who set the snake free and decides to keep a much closer eye on him. When he gets back to the cabin, he finds the black skull cards lined up on his pillow. Oooo! Or something.

The next morning, Kenny spends some alone time down by the lake. Until Melly shows up at least. She asks what the problem is and Kenny tells him about Vincent. But Melly doesn't really listen. She just wants to make out, but Kenny pushes her away and reminds her that it's over between them. But she still refuses to believe that and continues trying to kiss him. Kenny gets pissed and says "Get lost, okay? You're not as hot as you think you are. NOW do you get it?" Burn! Melly completely flips out and says she'll die without him. Puh-lease. She starts clawing at her face, drawing blood and repeating that she can't live without him. Kenny runs away, thinking about how right Ty was--Melly really is psycho.

At the end of the day, after the campers have left, Kenny heads for his Jeep. He passes Ty on the way who's holding a can of paint. Kenny flips when he finally gets to the parking lot. Across the hood of the Jeep someone wrote 'You're Dead' in white paint. Kenny immediately blames Ty for the obvious reason and runs to Craig's office to confront Ty. Ty has no idea what Kenny is talking about. He says he was carrying that paint can out of the parking lot because he had to go buy more; he's been painting cabins for two days and he ran out. Craig breaks up the fight and Kenny finally leaves. Ok, there are only about 50 pages left in this book and absofuckinglutely NOTHING has happened! Nothing supernatural. Nothing scary. I'm hurt, Stine. Deeply. Yeah, yeah--you don't care because you know I just keep coming back for more. But someday you'll rue the day you ever wrote these books and hurt me so badly! RUE! *sob*

On Saturday afternoon, Kenny is hanging out in his room, bored and ruminating on who painted his hood. He thinks of Melly and decides he should call her and apologize. What the hell for? He calls, but he only gets a recorded voice that says "The number you have dialed has been changed. No further information is available." So he grabs his keys intending to pay her a visit. Kenny finds her house and when knocks on the door, a woman answers. He asks for Melly and the woman gets a little crazy: "Are you crazy? Get away! Get away from here! Or I'll call the police!" Then she politely slams the door in Kenny's face. Wow. Kenny is totally confused and speeds away.

On Monday morning, Melly is nowhere in sight. Kenny believes he knows where she's hiding, though, and he heads there. To the Bat Cave! Or rather the lake. When he gets closer to the shoreline, he spies a yellow shirt and thinks it's Melly. Suddenly he feels a sharp pain in his shoulder. The pain intensifies and he passes out. Ok then. When he wakes up, he's in the infirmary. Turns out someone shot him with an arrow. He goes to the cabin to lie down and finds those three black skull cards lying in a row on the floor which leads him to believe that Vincent is trying to kill him. Because all 9 year olds are murdering psychos. So Kenny hunts for Vincent and finds him eating lunch. He says "I know what you're trying to do and I'm warning you to stop." Vincent is confused and with good reason. As we all know, Kenny is a fucking moron. He keeps pointing fingers at everyone EXCEPT the one person who is causing all this shit to go down: Melly! Kenny brings up the cards and Vincent tells him that he doesn't even have those anymore. Someone took them! Kenny leaves early for the day and decides to go to Melly's house again. That same crazy lady answers the door and gives Kenny this interesting little tidbit: "My daughter Melly is dead! She died when she was eight years old. She drowned at Shadyside Day Camp." So Melly is the ghost. Goody. Is the show over yet? Well, there's still about 40 pages left so I suppose the answer is a big NO.

When Kenny gets home, he sees Ty come out of the garage to greet him with a baseball bat. Unfortunately, he says it was lying in the driveway and he just wanted to get it out of the way before someone ran over it. Ty throws it in the garage and says he wants to call a truce. He says he knows Kenny didn't slam the trunk on his hand and he swears he never painted Kenny's Jeep. Kenny says he suspects Vincent of painting the hood. Ty says he better keep a close eye on Vincent especially on the canoe trip tomorrow. Conversation then turns to Melly. Kenny tells Ty about going to her house and Ty says the whole family must be nuts which makes Kenny feel much better. Yes, I always feel comforted by the thought of a household full of psychos living right down the road from me. I hate Kenny.

The next night, Kenny is sitting around the campfire with the boys and Vincent says he got a new deck of Doom Cards. He wants Kenny to try them again to see if his fate has changed. As further proof of Kenny's stupidity, he honestly believes that a 9 year old's dollar store deck o' cards are really predicting his future. Of course Kenny once again draws three black skulls. He has a bad feeling about tomorrow's canoe trip...

It's the next morning and the campers are out on the dock preparing for a peaceful canoe ride down the Cononka River. Kenny ends up in a canoe with Matthew and Simon. Almost immediately something bad happens. A speedboat crashes right into them on purpose, spilling them all into the water. Who was behind the wheel of the rogue speedboat? Why, Vincent of course! Kenny and the other two boys are ok and they all swim to shore. Unfortunately for Kenny, no-one has tried to stop Vincent and he's coming back for more. Kenny can't dive because of his life jacket, but manages to pull the thing off just as a wild-eyed Vincent bears down on him in the boat. Kenny throws the jacket at Vincent's face, causing the boat to swerve and miss Kenny. Somehow Kenny manages to get into the boat with Vincent and wrestles him away from the wheel. Kenny notices that Vincent has gotten noticably bigger. He's meatier and the scars on his neck have disappeared. Kenny realizes that this isn't Vincent at all. It's Graydon. Why was he trying to kill Kenny? "Because you deserve to die." Simple enough. A bit later, Graydon, Kenny, and Craig are standing on the dock waiting for Graydon's mother who has the crappy task of taking the little cuckoo nutso home with her. Graydon finally gives a reason for wanting Kenny dead--because Kenny pays too much attention to Vincent and never to anyone else. Are you fucking joking, kid? Kenny sucks. You have no reason to want attention from him. Seriously. Graydon confesses to putting the snake in Kenny's bed, too. AND he painted the Jeep's hood AND he got Kenny with the arrow. All this time, I was so wrong! Craig pipes up after Graydon leaves: "I warned you that he was disturbed. Didn't you read his profile? It described how troubled he is." Well, I'll be damned! Vincent is just a scarred little kid, not a nutjob. I feel quite guilty for automatically assuming he was the one. Forgive me, Vincent. I heart you. And I still hate Kenny. Kenny decides he should find Vincent and apologize. But before he can he spots a body floating facedown in the water and it looks like Melly. He hops into the motorboat and speeds toward the body. He hauls her out of the water and once in his arms, she opens her eyes and says "I'm not alive. I'm dead." She finally tells him the whole story of she died when she was eight. Turns out she and Kenny spent a summer at Shadyside Day Camp together. He finally begins to remember. She mentions a counselor named Ty Gruman who died a few years back. Kenny finally realizes why she was so shocked to hear Ty's name earlier--she had him confused with some dead guy. Melly tells Kenny that she had a huge crush on him (Kenny) and she's shocked that he can't remember her death. He claims that the counselors never told the other campers. Then Melly drops a bit of a bombshell: "I borrowed this girl's body from the cemetary so you would like me. I hope you like me. Because you're going to come with me now." She pulls him down into the water with her. After some underwater wrestling, he finally pulls away from her and spots Ty speeding toward them in another boat. Kenny hauls himself on the deck and thanks Ty: "You saved my life. She was pulling me under. She would've killed me." Ty informs him that there is no-one else out here. Kenny babbles about Melly, but Ty just thinks he's crazy and says he'll get him some help.

Ty drops Kenny at the shore and Kenny dozes off. He awakens to see Vincent standing over him. Vincent tells Kenny that he has to come with him and holds up a big knife. He attempts to stab Kenny, but Super Scout gets away. Vincent comes at him again and Kenny struggles with him, choking on the foul odor of Vincent's breath which means he's probably also a ghost because that's something Stine always does in these books--discriminates against those with poor hygeine. After some wrestling around, Kenny rips Vincent's ski mask off and is shocked at what he finds: "The face of a corpse stared down at him. Green mold covered the skull. Its eyes oozed a thick yellow fluid that dripped down its jaws. Decaying lips peeled back over blackened teeth in a hideous smile." Yuck. Then the oozey corpse speaks: "It's me, honey. It's Melly." So. Fucking. Predictable. It huuuuuurts! Melly explains that she snagged two corpses from the cemetary in order to be with him almost all day. Then she tries to kiss him with those nasty rotting lips. Kenny gags and turns away, nearly puking. Melly begs for him to come with her, but Kenny has other plans. He drags her over to the speedboat and drops her onto the blades. "The blades sliced the body's head from it's neck. The skull flew up, then splashed down--and sank like a stone. The blades spun, slicing off an arm. A leg. Another arm. Blood spurted into the air, spattering the boat and the riverbank. Shreds of decayed flesh rained down on the water, floating on the surface like pieces of confetti. Black smoke began to spew from the motor. Its whine turned to a growl. As a chunk of bone rattled against the blades, the motor finally died." Kenny sits quietly for a moment and suddenly hears a faint voice: "Don't forget me this time, Kenny. Please dont forget me!" Get off the stage!

Conclusion? The awesomely gruesome ending didn't make up for the 140 pages of absolute boredom that preceded it.

Next time: I have no idea. It'll be a (terrible) surprise.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Book Description

Marty never liked the cat--it always got in his way at basketball practice. But he never meant to kill it. Now Marty thinks he's going crazy. He sees cats wherever he goes. He has nightmares about them. He knows they want revenge. Too bad Marty doesn't have nine lives. Because his first one is almost over.

My Description:

*I have to say that this book pissed me off so very much. I can't even explain how much. So to ease the pain that this book inflicted upon my hapless, animal-loving soul, I'm inserting random cute kitty pictures. This blog is so hardcore.*


Marty hates cats. He's allergic--"Put me in a room with a cat and I'll start to cough and sneeze. And my face will puff up like a marshmallow." He hates the way they walk--"Why do they have to slink around so silently? As if they have some kind of guilty secret." He doesn't like the looks they give him--"They're too evil looking. Why do they have stare like that?" You get the picture. Marty's father is always telling him to chill out and Marty knows he should, but he can't help but lose it sometimes. Like the time he killed that stupid cat... *segue to chapter one*

It's Tuesday afternoon and Marty is at basketball practice having his head torn off by the coach: "Marty! What's your problem today? You and the other two stooges get off my court! See if you can figure out where your passing game went!" Meow! (Yeah, I said it.) Marty and his two friends, Dwayne Clark and Barry Allen, get off the court and plant themselves on the bleachers. Dwayne is blond and chubby and Barry is tall and looks like Clark Kent.

According to Marty, they're the best three players on the team. Yeah, that's why you're being benched for sucking so hard--because you rock! Two chicks walk into the gym--Gayle Edgerton and Riki Crawford--and Marty's mood takes a dive. Gayle is one of those really annoying journalist types who uses the fact that she's on the school paper as license to meddle in people's business. She's got braces, too, and reminds me of Toby Walters from Romy & Michele's High School Reunion. Anyway, Gayle wants to interview Marty, Dwayne, and Barry for the paper and Riki wants to take photos. Marty and Riki went on a few dates, but Marty stopped calling her for no apparent reason and she freaked out. So this awkward for Marty. Boo fucking hoo. Suddenly, Barry elbows Marty and tells him to catch that cat! Huh? Marty looks up and sees a black cat darting across the court. All three boys start to chase it as usual. Yes, AS USUAL--the cat is always around. Why the hell is there a cat living in the school? Wouldn't the thing crap and pee all over the place? Someone would eventually remove the thing. This book is already getting on my nerves. Poor kitty. Apparently the cat has been living under the bleachers for over a month; kids give it food and water. Once again, there is no way the school would allow an animal to live in the gym like that. Anyway! The coach finally distracts these goofs by telling them they can get back in the game. As Marty is running down the court, the cat darts in front of him. He trips over it and ends up spraining his knee. Tee hee. The coach informs him that he won't be playing in the big game on Friday (of course it's the BIG game) which pisses Marty off. Marty blames the stupid cat, but the coach says it had nothing to do with the cat, it's Marty's fault for horsing around. Marry me, coach, and we can hate on Marty together forever. After seeing the nurse to wrap up his knee, Marty prepares to go home. As he walks to the doors with Dwayne and Barry, he spots the cat staring at him and tells his friends to get it. Leave the fucking cat alone, asshole! It's just a CAT! It didn't intentionally trip you up! The boys chase it up the bleacher steps and corner it so Marty can grab it. It slashes his forehead open with it's claws and Marty drops it. The poor thing falls with a crack. Marty killed it. You fucker!!! Oh kitty, why'd you have to go? *sob* Gayle is furious and says that Marty did it on purpose. Dwayne and Barry find the whole ordeal hilarious: "How about some roadkill stew?" The cat didn't die on the road, you dumbass. It died because your friend is a dumb motherfucker who doesn't take responsibility for his actions! Ok, I'm calm now. I think. Marty argues with Gayle saying he didn't do it on purpose. Liar. Gayle explodes when Dwayne holds up the cat and asks if she needs a new fur coat. What. An. Asshole. My fury level is at 1075745%. Marty tries to gain sympathy from everyone by pointing out his hurt knee and bleeding forehead, but nobody buys it because he's a dirty cat killer. Gayle tells him that he won't get away with it and storms out of the gym with Riki by her side. Cue kitty pic.

On Wednesday morning, Marty heads to school with the intention of finding Gayle and trying to smooth things out with her. He realizes fairly quickly when he arrives at school that Gayle has spread the word. Several of his friends ignore him and give him dirty looks and one of his favorite teachers bites his head off because he's late and tells him he should he ashamed of himself. Gayle = HERO. At lunch, Marty tells Dwayne and Barry about what Gayle has done, but they really don't care. They just keep stuffing their faces and making stupid/sick cat jokes. After lunch, Marty passes a bulletin board in the hall that has a big poster tacked to it. It says "Cruelty To Animals!" and has Marty's name above pictures of abused and tortured animals. *sob* All Marty can think is "If this gets on my school record, there's no way I'm going to get a scholarship!" Shut up, man. Seriously. Later, Marty finally catches up to Gayle who ignores him at first, but finally lowers herself to speak to him. All she says is that she isn't his friend anymore and Marty tells her she's a real jerk. Ha. Dwayne and Barry come up and drag the near hysterical Marty away. He spots Riki and begs her to talk to Gayle for him, but Riki hates him, too: "I hate to break it to you, but I'm on Gayle's side. I think you're a sicko for what you did to that cat. I think you deserve to be punished. But I don't want the team to miss the play-offs because of you." What the hell do the stupid play-offs have to do with anything? Oh well. Riki gets distracted by the blood that is suddenly trickling down Marty's face from where the cat scratched him the day before so Marty ends the conversation and heads to the bathroom to wash his bloody face. As he leaves the bathroom, he spots the coach standing at the door of the cafeteria, seemingly looking for someone. Marty tries to go the other way because he doesn't wanna talk to the coach, but Coach spots him anyway and tells him to come here. Of course Coach asks about the cat thing and Marty rehashes the story. Coach's response? "Do you realize how lame that story sounds?" Marty says yes, but he swears he didn't kill the cat; after all, he has a pet of his own. A dog, of course. Coach finally says he believes Marty didn't do it. BUT HE DID! You people suck! Coach then tells Marty that the Animal Rights Club (led by Gayle) has made a huge deal of it and now the principal wants Marty to face the charges in Student Court tomorrow. Wow. This news calls for another kitty pic.

Marty meets the Student Court in the gym the next day during lunch period. Riki, Dwayne, Barry and Gayle serve as witnesses. When Gayle gets up on "the stand", Marty flips out yet AGAIN because he thinks she's nothing but a liar. Marty is questioned next and feebly tries to defend himself, but manages to make himself look more guilty than ever before. The Student Court finds Marty innocent of the cat murder, but guilty of animal abuse. His sentence? 30 hours of community service at Shadyside Animal Shelter. You're going to make someone who's guilty of animal abuse work at a shelter where he might abuse more animals? IDIOTS. Have I mentioned that I hate this fucking book? Truly. I'm going to build a bonfire and burn this thing and every other Fear Street book I own. Then I'm going inside to hug my kitty. Moving on. Marty glimpses a pair of glowing green eyes staring at him from beneath the bleachers and flips out. Unfortunately for him, everyone thinks he's simply being an ass. At basketball practice that afternoon, Marty sits on the sidelines studying for history. Why didn't he just go home? Some girl named Jessica Wells who is a "lawyer" for the Student Court and questioned Marty earlier, comes to sit beside him and apologizes for being so tough. She walks off a few minutes later and when Marty is alone, some girls behind him start making noises--meows and hisses and such. Blah blah blah. After the practice in which Marty didn't practice anything at all, Coach comes over to tell Marty that he's a good kid. And to think I used to like you, Coach. That evening, Marty is in his room studying when the silence is interrupted by the phone ringing. Could it be a raspy-voiced anonymous caller? Close--it's a GRUFF-voiced anonymous caller. "You're going to pay, Marty. Do you hear me? You're going to pay for what you did!" The voice, although gruff, is distinctly female and Marty suddenly recognizes her--it's Riki. Surprisingly, she isn't pissed off about the cat. She's mad because she saw Marty talking to Jessica Wells in the gym. THE HORROR! IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD! SAVE ME, STINE! IT'S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO! Riki mentions that Gayle saw Marty out with some girl named Lisa Greene on a night in which he told Riki he was "sick". Riki, seriously, you're not missing anything special. Marty is, in the words of Sarah Silverman, a douche wibbler. I don't care if that makes no fucking sense whatsoever; it just fits. Riki ends up screaming that she hates him and Marty tells her to get a life. She hangs up on him and he goes to bed. *sigh*

The next day goes well for Marty. People are finally getting off his case and he can live once again in relative peace. Or so he thinks until he gets to that night's basketball game. Everyone in the bleachers meows and hisses when they spot him. Marty is totally embarrassed, but it eventually dies down. Jessica comes up and they have some boring conversation that really doesn't need repeating. Speaking of boring, this review is drowning in Dullsville. Are you still awake? Huh? Are ya, punk? Ok, good. Marty gets home late, decides to study some, and is promptly interrupted by the noisy sounds of a couple of cats fighting nearby. Marty shuts his window and a few minutes later, the yowling stops. Marty decides he's too tired to continue reading and calls it a night. Before he can get into bed, though, he hears something scratching at his window. Oooooo. Marty goes to the window, peers out, and I'll be damned if it isn't those assholes Dwayne and Barry. They were throwing stones at his window. He jumps out the window to greet them and they all randomly decide to go to the Corner for some pizza. What, no Pete's? All they talk about is that cat and I'm just not even going there. On the way back to Marty's house, a cat jumps out of a tree and onto Barry's head. Sweet. Marty manages to yank the thing off Barry's head and it runs off into the bushes. Marty could've swore that was the SAME CAT HE KILLED. Whatever.

The next evening, Marty begins his community service at the shelter. All he has to do is sweep the floors and feed the animals. He arrives at 7:00 pm and gets to go home after a few hours. THIS is his punishment? Not good enough! As he's sweeping, something makes the animals go INSANE. Dogs are barking and snarling, cats are hissing and yowling, and Marty is freaking out and screaming "Help!" He runs to call Carolyn, the manager. Predictably, as soon as Carolyn arrives, the animals calm down and Marty looks like an ass. Tee hee.

On Monday, at lunch, Marty relays the story to Dwayne and Barry who only shake their heads and say "Weird." On his way out of the lunchroom, Marty runs into Kit Morrissey, a new girl whom he's spoken to only a few times. He ends up asking her out and she agrees because she has mental problems. After school, they go to the Corner and talk and talk. Zzzzzzzzzz. As they're leaving, Marty glances back and sees Riki sitting in a booth alone. But he doesn't really care because Riki is a loser. He walks Kit home and she invites him inside. If this weren't a Fear Street novel, I think we all know what would be happening now. *cue cheesy porn music* The mood is ruined by the fact that Kit has like 5 cats. They all start meowing their heads off when Kit and Marty come in and Marty whines like a little bitch: "Get them away from me!" Kit laughs at him and says they're just hungry. Marty, you just ruined any chance you had of getting Kit alone and nekkid. Marty absolutely freaks out when MORE cats enter the room and he flees the house.

The next day,Marty is hanging with Dwayne and Barry before practice. The Animal Rights Club is having a meeting and the boys are preparing to teach Gayle a lesson of some sort. *eye roll* They end up setting a bunch of rats loose in the room where the club meets. Totally lame. Gayle finds out that it was Marty and she tells him that he'll pay. Later, Kit and Marty laugh about this story at the Corner. I'm surprised Marty can even show his face around Kit after what happened at her house. She even kisses him and agrees for a Saturday night date. He walks her home and then heads for his own house. On the way, he's stalked by a ton of cats. Yes! They come out nowhere and start chasing him. He runs home and when he turns around, there's nothing there. Disappointment!

The following day, is pretty uneventful. Gayle ignores him in spite of her threats to get back at him. Riki makes clawing motions at him because she's nuts. Jessica acts cold toward him because she probably heard that he's now dating Kit. He practices with the team after school like he used to. He and Kit study at his house and make out before she leaves. At 1:37 am, Marty gets a strange call. The caller simply meows and hisses before the line goes dead. Sounds dull, but it freaked Marty out so I guess it was effective?

At school the next day, Marty overhears Dwayne and Riki arguing. Dwayne tells her to stop the "cat nonsense" because Marty won't be able to concentrate on the BIG game which happens to be tonight. Riki just says that he can't make her stop and then walks off. So very lame. Riki doesn't come to the game, but Gayle does so I think we can assume that shit is about to hit the fan at some point. Shadyside ends up winning the BIIIGGGG game and everybody celebrates. Marty drives home feeling pretty elated, but remembers he left his backpack at school and he needs it. I smell a plot contrivance (and it stinks). He goes back for it and sees Gayle running away from the building. Marty, confused, goes inside and spots his backpack beside the bleachers. When he goes to fetch it, he notices it's sitting beside a pool of blood. He bends and sees Dwayne's mutilated body. His skin has pretty much been shredded off. That must sting. Back at home, Marty is questioned by the police and such. Barry is there and he's pissed because Marty neglected to tell the cops that he saw Gayle fleeing the building moments before he discovered Dwayne. Marty insists that Gayle is no murderer. *sigh* Marty decides to pay Gayle a visit, though. She answers the door sobbing and Marty gives her a hug before releasing her and saying "I saw you running from the gym. Just before I found Dwayne's body. What were you doing there?" She says that she hung around school after the game to use the weight room. She changed clothes in the locker room and ran out of the school because she was late for a babysitting job. Ok?

Dwayne's funeral occurs on Monday morning. Marty goes and then comes to school to mope through the halls. At practice, Coach gives everyone an armband to wear in memory of Dwayne. Marty confesses to the Coach that he may not be able to play and Barry gets all pissed off at that. I wish I cared. After practice, Barry asks if he can hitch a ride home from Marty. Marty agrees and tells Barry to hurry up. While he's waiting, Marty talks to some kid named Kevin outside. Kevin leaves and Marty spots Gayle hanging around like she's also waiting for someone. Marty gets tired of waiting for Barry and heads back to the locker room to see what's holding him up. He finds Barry making out hot and heavy with Riki. Meow. Marty says he can't take Barry home because he has to get to work so Barry will catch a ride with Gayle. Blah blah blah boring boring. Marty ends up being late for "work" (it's not like he really does much of anything) but Carolyn is cool with it. She says they have a new "inmate"--it's a HUGE dog named Brutus. Sadly, Brutus is dangerous and the vet is coming the next day to put him down. Sadness! Marty feeds all the animals and then starts sweeping. Suddenly the cages holding cats are opened somehow and all the cats come crowding around Marty. This again? Two cats leap and dig their claws into Marty's chest; he bats them away with his handy dandy broom. Then Carolyn comes in and everything goes silent. She's pissed because the cats are out, but all Marty can say is that someone else must have gotten in and let them out. She says the door is locked and no-one could have came in. She then asks to have a word with Marty in her office. I guess we're letting the cats roam free? Ok then. She tells Marty that he was the one who let those cats out and she saw him attack them with that broom. Hahahahah. Carolyn tells him to go home, maybe see a doctor, and not come back until he feels ready to. Which will probably be NEVER.

Marty leaves, but he doesn't wanna go home so he heads to Barry's house where he lets himself in without knocking first. Rude much? The house is dark and Marty trips over a rolled up rug which he irrationally assumes to be Barry's body. Then he hears Barry's voice from the back of the house and Marty tells him that it's just him. He walks into the den and finds Barry and Riki looking hot and bothered. Ew. Marty finally gets the hint to get the hell out so they can get back to their kissing and groping. Outside, he bumps into some guy coming up the walk. It's just a neighbor who saw the door hanging open and wanted to make sure everything was ok. Why wouldn't it be?

The next morning, Marty's mom wakes him up at 7:00. She's crying and asks him to come downstairs. Uh-oh. Two police officers are waiting to ask him a few questions about his whereabouts the night before. I assume Barry and Riki are dead as doornails. When Marty asks what's going on, one of the officers tells him that Barry was found clawed to pieces. Yeah, that's been happening lately. I wish I cared more. The cops ask Marty more questions and then they tell him that the neighbor Marty ran into told them that Marty looked positively cuckoo nutso the night before. Marty is angry because he believes they're accusing him of something he didn't do. They inform him that they are aware of every incident he's been involved with in the past few weeks: the cat murder, the Student Court session in which Marty flipped out because he thought he saw the dead cat hiding in the bleachers, and when Marty found Dwayne's body. Carolyn also told them about Marty setting the cats loose and batting them with a broom. I am so bored. Before the cops finally decide to leave, they tell Marty that the killer was already in the house. I don't know how or why and I don't care and it doesn't matter because I just want this stupid book to end. School ends up being canceled and Marty holes up in his room all day. The next day, the school holds an assembly to memorialize Dwayne and Barry. Marty goes up to Riki and Gayle afterwards and they cheer him right up by telling him he might be next. After all, he, Dwayne, and Barry were known around school as the Three Musketeers.

The next evening, Marty is right back at the animal shelter. He's surprised to see that Brutus is still there. Carolyn says that someone decided to adopt him at the last minute; they wanted a big, scary guard dog. Anyway, Carolyn goes to her office and Marty is left to sweep and such. As usual, the animals go nuts and as Marty is yelling at them to shut up, he spots Kit step out from behind a cage. "It's your turn, Marty." He doesn't understand and then Kit tells him that he killed her while Dwayne and Barry laughed. You've got to be kidding me. Seriously. The fucking cat is Kit?!?! The dead cat was reincarnated as this dumb bimbo? I hate you, Stine. Kit explains that she is one of the last shapeshifters on earth. She says she lived as a cat beneath the bleachers simply because she wanted to be close to him. "That's true love, Marty. And how did you pay me back? You dropped me off the bleachers. You tried to kill me. You didn't know that I'm blessed with nine lives." Shut. Up. She suddenly transforms into a cat and starts clawing chunks of skin off Marty's face. Marty sinks to his knees and Kitty Kit gleefully claws away at him. Marty crawls over to Brutus's cage and jerks open the door. Brutus promptly grabs Kit and snaps her kitty neck between his big teeth like it's a chicken bone. Goodbye for now, Kit. Marty makes it to the hospital, his wounds are treated, and he goes home. The next night, Marty plays in the basketball tournament. During the game, he glances at the bleachers and spies Kitty Kit! "I stared at the cat. She raised blood-smeared claws. And I started to scream." Oh sweet Kit.

Conclusion? This book was HORRIBLE. Stine should hang his warty head in shame for writing such an abomination. The ending was pretty sweet, though.

Next time: "Seniors #2 - In Too Deep" A murderer at summer camp? Gimme!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Best Friend 2

Book Description:

Becka is so relieved. She's finally ready to forget all the horrible things her "best friend" Honey did to her real friends. She can even forget the way SHE was blamed for it all. She's completely over it. So why does she keep seeing Honey everywhere she goes? At first she thinks it's her imagination. But then the threats begin. The phone calls late at night. The terrifying messages left in her locker. Honey is back. And this time she won't stop until Becka is dead.

Letter To The Reader:

A few years ago, I wrote a book called The Best Friend. And hundreds of you wrote to tell me how unhappy you were with the ending. You thought Honey Perkins should pay for her crimes.

But I needed your help. I wasn't sure exactly what should happen to Honey. So we held a contest to let you decide. I got thousands of great ideas. It was hard to choose, but I finally picked my favorite. A girl named Sara Bikman from Grafton, Wisconsin, sent in the winning entry. Thanks, Sara!

So here is the book you've all been waiting for. Honey is back--and she's after Becka Norwood. But this time, Honey will get what she deserves. Won't she?

R.L. Stine

My Description:

* Sara Bikman, for the love of all things good in this world, do not disappoint me. *

Part One

It's the first day of school and Becka is feeling pretty nervous. After all, she's new. Yes, after the events of the last book, Becka was so traumatized that her parents moved to nearby Waynesbridge. You're joking, right, Sara Bikman? I mean, come on. Everyone knows that Waynesbridge sucks! No murdering psychos, no Fear family curses, no raspy-voiced crank callers. It's just isn't Shadyside! And I never thought I would say this, but I miss Shadyside already. *sigh* Becka goes to the guidance counselor's office and is asked to talk once more about Honey. Becka basically rehashes everything from the first book which I find incredibly pointless especially since the counselor, Miss Englund, completely dismisses it. Becka steps out into the hall and spots three boys rounding the corner. She freaks out because one of them looks exactly like Bill Planter. Now we all know old Planter is dead and gone, but Becka goes running up to the poor unsuspecting boy anyway: "Bill! Bill!" She throws her tentacles around him and sobs into his shoulder a bit before finally realizing that it isn't Bill at all. The boy is totally embarrassed and his friends are laughing their asses off at this spectacle. Becka just lies on the floor and cries some more while the boys tell her that the guy's name is Steve. Ok, go away now. Becka finally gets her shit together and Steve is nice enough to show her where her first class is. She has a man named Mr. Wright for history and you can already tell he's going to be an asshole. Becka enters the room and Mr. Wright has already begun teaching. She apologizes for being late and he snottily tells her "You're about three weeks late." because she just moved here. Becka takes a seat and a red-haired girl named Glynis Quinn introduces herself and tells Becka to take good notes because this course apparently kicks everyone's ass. Glynis says that Wright only lectures, he never asks questions or even acknowledges the class. I find that highly unlikely in a high school course. After a while, the bell rings and as Becka glances down at her notebook, she realizes in horror that she didn't take notes at all. She simply scribbled the word 'BILL' over and over again. Stop yanking my chain, Sara Bikman.

At the end of the day, Becka is standing at her locker when Glynis comes up. They chat a little before being interrupted by some grungy guy named Frankie. Becka thinks he's pretty cute with his silvery eyes and grubby flannel shirt. To each his own. Or HER own. Turns out Becka has biology with Frankie and he asks her if she likes to cut stuff up. What a winner. After he and Glynis get all lovey dovey (VOMIT!) Becka realizes that they're together so she may as well stop looking at Frankie likes he's a delicious T-bone. He invites Becka to come with him and Glynis for Cokes and pizza which convinces Becka that he's into her even though he already has Glynis. I don't remember Becka being so pathetic in the first book. They walk a few blocks to a place called Pizzaz (Waynesbridge's version of Pete's Pizza) and take their seats. Becka freaks out for the 36474 time when she spots Eric (that dude she briefly dated in the first book) enter. I don't get what her deal is. Seriously. She never really liked Eric all that much, but her head is about to explode from the happiness she's feeling at seeing him. She runs up and hugs him and asks if he wants to join them. He declines and says he was just driving around. Then why the hell did he come inside? And what's he doing over in Waynesbridge? Oh well. She asks to come with him and he agrees. As soon as they get inside his car, she grabs him and kisses him HARD. I'm beginning to think Sara Bikman didn't even read the first book. He asks her out for Saturday night, she says yes, and then she gets out of the car and walks home. Why? Wasn't he going to drive her? Ok, whatever. No more questions! Maybe. When she gets home, Becka starts exhibiting shades of Honey's behavior. Uh-oh. She thinks about the shade of nail polish that Glynis wears and how Glynis styles her hair and decides that she will start painting her nails with that polish and straightening her hair to look like Glynis's. She doesn't really wanna be like Glynis, though. She just thinks that it will attract Frankie. Poor little creep.

After school the next day, Becka rushes to the mall to buy the nail polish. At home, after she finishes painting her chewed fingernails, Frankie calls. Their conversation is so awkward and lame that it makes me cringe. The gist of it is that Frankie has noticed Becka no-so-subtly staring at him and he just wants her to know that he feels the same way. "I just felt something, I guess. Like a flash." I'm feeling a flash, too. A flash of total sadness at how poorly this book is playing out. Then again, what did I really expect? ANYWAY! What happens next irritates the crap out of me: "And then I realized I was fantasizing the entire conversation." NO! Is this really where this book is going? Becka believes she's going crazy just like Honey which leads into a flashback to the night of Trish's Christmas party when Honey pushed Trish down the stairs. She snaps out of it and turns her attention back to her nails. She walks over to the mirror to check them out and flips out when she sees what she's done. She somehow wrote the word 'BILL' all over her freaking face with nail polish. Please. No more of this. I...just...can't!

It is now Thursday afternoon and Becka is stuck in Miss Englund's office. She isn't too worried about what Englund has to say--it's 4:00 and she's supposed to be meeting Glynis. So Becka tells Miss Englund everything she wants to hear: "Mainly, I've been feeling really happy. I don't imagine that I see Bill everywhere I go. And I hardly think about Honey at all. It's like I'm heading in the right direction now." Lies! All lies! Eventually Becka makes her way to Glynis's mansion. In a scene ripped straight from the first book, Becka tries on some of Glynis's clothes. Glynis's mother comes into the room, laughs, and tells the girls that they look so much alike which upsets Becka for some reason: "What's funny about it? We're friends, aren't we?" Glynis goes downstairs with her mom to help her hang a poster (that seems like a one person job) and while she's gone, Becka helps herself to a shirt and sweater from Glynis's closet, shoving them into her backpack.

On Friday night, Becka goes shopping with Frankie and Glynis. On the way to Division Street Mall, Glynis asks Becka if she borrowed some of her things and Becka is quite honest about it: "Yes. Do you need them back right away?" Glynis says no and Becka tells her "I'm going out tomorrow night with a guy I know. I thought maybe I'd wear your stuff. But it's way too warm." Anyone who thinks Becka deserves a bitch slap, raise your hand. They finally reach the mall and Becka gets nervous because she's afraid of seeing someone she knows. They're afraid, too, trust me. At a store called The Clothes Hangar, Becka is startled to find Eric. He works there on Friday and Saturday in the stock room and says he gets paid really well. I need a moment to laugh my ass off. *a moment* Ok, I'm good. It's just that Eric acts as if he's a fucking millionaire or something. Anyway, Frankie and Glynis come over and Becka introduces them before they run off to the food court. What happens next is a total WTF moment. Eric says "Why did they call you Becka? You heard me, Honey. Those two kids--why did they call you Becka? Did you tell them your name was Becka? Honey, are you pretending to be Becka? What's going on?" This can't be happening. I don't know whether to cry or vomit or both. I really truly hate this book. The worst part is, it really IS Honey pretending to be Becka. Honey freaks out, screaming "I'm Becka!" while trying to choke Eric, but she freezes when he tells her that she can't be Becka because the REAL Becka is right behind her. Swing low sweet chariot...come and take me home. Honey completely freaks out further, grabs a long string of beads off a rack, and begins choking Eric with them. What the hell did HE do?! His face turns purple and blood drips down his neck where some of the beads broke and cut into his skin. Becka only pulls Honey off him AFTER he's dead. Good work, moron. Honey is still insane with rage and throws the bloody beads at Becka while screaming "You killed Eric, Becka! And I'll pay you back! You murdered Bill and now you've murdered my new life!" Employees of the store FINALLY take notice (is everyone here completely braindead?) and come running. Honey runs to the entrance and points at Becka who is stupidly standing over Eric's body holding the bloody beads and says "She killed him! Stop her!" As soon as Becka saw Honey in the store, she should've gotten the hell out of there so whatever happens next, she deserves it. Of course I don't find out because...

Part Two

Thanks for the cliffhanger, Sara "Stine" Bikman. NOT. I'm so pissed off at this book that I really don't care what happens now. I think the story is now being told from the REAL Becka's point of view. It's Monday afternoon, the day of Eric's funeral. Trish, Lilah, and Becka are sitting in a church pew crying over Eric which I find strange because none of these girls really gave a damn about him. Maybe that's why they're crying? Becka is more upset over the fact that Honey has once again wormed her way into Becka's life. Apparently Honey ran away from the mental institution where she was being housed (where was she living? That's never explained.), enrolled at Waynesbridge High using Becka's name, and forged transcripts and such. Wouldn't the school have required her parents to do the registering? This crap is so full of plot holes, I don't even wanna think about it. The girls rise and start walking toward the front of the church when suddenly Becka turns and spots Honey standing in the doorway. This chick has nerves of steel, man. Oh wait. It was just Becka's overactive imagination. Damn this book. They finally leave the church and HOLY SHIT--Bill Planter is alive! He comes running up to the girls and chats for a bit, but Becka wants nothing to do with him. She's over their relationship and is now dating a guy named Larry. Bill finally takes the hint and gets lost. BOOOO! I miss Planter! *sob* Becka tells Trish and Lilah that she can't be with Bill because it brings up too many bad memories. How the hell do you think he feels? He was the one who was stabbed! Becka gets home and goes to her room. The phone rings, but don't worry--it's a just a heavy breather. I welcome this after all those raspy-voiced fuckers that seem to plague these books.

Becka has an afterschool job because her doctor recommended she do something besides sitting around crying and moping and generally getting on everyone's nerves. She works at--get this--The Hackers Cafe. *sigh* Tuesday afternoon, Larry comes to visit while she's at work. Larry is a goofy, red-haired, Bugs Bunny look-a-like. No, I'm serious. Becka actually compares this poor soul to Bugs because his two front teeth stick out a little. Becka acts like a total bitch to him because he has no money and can't order anything. As he leaves, she tells him she'll call him later. Don't bother! Becka's shift ends at 7:30 and it's already getting dark outside. As she's walking to her car, she hears someone behind her. It's just my man Bill. He desperately wants to talk to her for a second and she finally agrees. He basically reiterates that he wants to be with her and ends up grabbing her arm. She freaks out and tells him to get away, but he won't until she agrees to be with him again. Bill, you're becoming difficult to like. Don't give up your title as The Only Likeable Person In This Piece Of Shit Book! The amazing Larry comes running up out of nowhere and shoves Bill. Bill takes off like a wimp (you totally could've beaten his ass, Bill!) and Becka unlocks her car. She screams her head off when she sees the damage that has been done. Someone cut the seats to shreds and laid a dismembered rat on the front seat. Yum. Becka repeatedly screams "Honey!" and Larry manages to get her inside the car (after disposing of the rat carcass I pray?) . He drives off and Becka can't help but think how an angry Larry looks nothing like Bugs Bunny. *sigh* Once home, Becka jumps into bed and takes some sedatives. After a bit, she calms down and starts thinking about what Larry must think of her now. He probably didn't think much of you to begin with if that makes you feel any better. Becka decides that she has to know if Honey is now living next door again. As she prepares to go over and take a look, the phone rings. Of course it does. It's Trish who is calling to report that Bill was just at her house and he's a total mess. He told Trish that Becka's rejections hurt more than being stabbed. Becka just repeats what she said earlier about him bringing back too many memories. That's an excuse! That house he was stabbed in is right next door to Becka yet she says nothing about that place bringing back bad memories. Go to hell, Becka. She ends up hanging up on Trish because Trish feels really bad for Bill and Becka doesn't like that. What a bitch! The phone rings again a few minutes later, but this time it's some RASPY-VOICED weirdo: "You killed Bill!" Say it ain't so!

I guess Becka is choosing to ignore the psycho caller because she simply heads on over to Honey's house instead of checking to see if something really HAS happened to Bill. She sees a light in one of the windows and creeps over to it in the hopes that she'll be able to see inside. She trips over a bag of fertilizer, but doesn't break her ankle or anything good like that. She catches herself before she falls and manages to peek inside the window. It's just Honey's dad who has fallen asleep in front of the TV in his armchair with his beer can in hand. Becka slips away from the window and is about to drag her sorry ass up to another one when someone grabs her from behind. It's Lilah. WTF? She says she came over to Becka's house because she needed to show her something, but she saw her creeping around over here and decided to see what was going on. Before Becka can answer, Honey's dad opens the door and asks who's out there. He gets a little crazy when he spots Becka. He doesn't want her anywhere near him because of the trouble she's caused and he thinks she knows where Honey is but isn't telling. He finally goes back inside and the girls go back to Becka's house. Lilah tells Becka that the man over there isn't really Honey's father. She shows Becka an article that apparently proves this fact. The article is about this girl named Hannah who witnessed her father shoot her mother, her twin brother, and then himself. Becka and Lilah knew Hannah and her twin brother; the murders occurred when they were in 4th grade. Hannah was a nerd who was big and clumsy and no-one liked her. Becka and some of her shitty little friends told Hannah that they wanted her to join their club. She was excited about the prospect of having friends and decided to go through with the initiation which consisted of her climbing onstage during a school assembly, getting on all fours, and barking like a dog. Poor Hannah. Of course the entire thing was a joke to embarrass Hannah in front of the whole school. As Becka remembers all this, she's ashamed. Not ashamed enough! Of course Hannah is Honey. OF COURSE. So no wonder she wants to kill Becka. The phone rings yet again and it's another weirdo: "It's me. I'm coming to see you, Becka. I have something for you. Something shiny and sharp." Yay!

Part Three

The next day, Becka pays a visit to her therapist, Dr. Perlberg. She tells him all about the recent events involving Honey and asks him for more pills cause she needs a fix, dammit! He writes her a prescription and she leaves. That's it? He didn't even give her his thoughts on the whole Honey thing. How worthless of him. She walks out to her car and freezes when she hears someone coughing. It seemed like the noise came from behind her car. She calls out "Honey" and Honey comes bounding out roaring like maniac. She chases Becka across the parking lot and tackles her. She sits on top of Becka and punches her for a bit. Then she grabs her head and begins to twist. Becka pleads with Honey to stop and says she knows that Honey is really Hannah and she's so sorry for all the things she did to her in the past. Honey responds by screaming "I'm Becka!" and slamming the real Becka's head into the asphalt. Ouch. She keeps ramming Becka's head into the ground until Becka is knocked unconscious. She wakes up later, alone and in a lot of pain. She retrieves her keys and manages to drive herself home. Later, she calls Trish to report the news. Her mom took her to the emergency room and her dad called the police to report the incident. She needed stitches, but she's basically ok. I'm surprised she isn't absolutely catatonic at this point...

On Sunday night, Larry picks her up in his dad's Range Rover and they head for the theater. Becka's paranoia kills the mood, though. She's terrified that Honey will be lurking around, following them all night, waiting to kill them both. Why the hell would she kill him? It's YOU she wants! After the movie, a girl accidentally pokes Becka with an umbrella and Becka basically brings the place down with her screams because she thought it was Honey and a knife. Shut up, Becka. They go to a diner to have some coffee. Predictably, Becka flips her lid in the first five minutes they're there. She mistakes a waitress for Honey and starts screaming her head off. *sigh* "I'm not okay! She's crazy! She's trying to kill me!" That poor waitress sure as hell didn't sign on for this crap. Larry drags Becka out and drives her home. Her parents aren't home and she refuses to allow Larry to stick around so I think we all know what's going to happen here. She goes upstairs and climbs into bed without turning on the light. She immediately feels something gross and squishy all over her back. She flips on the light and sees that her sheets have been slashed and soaked in blood. Sick. Written on the mirror in blood are the words "This Is U" Uh, ok? Her parents enter the room then just as Becka completely loses it. They fill her with pills, but it doesn't help much. The next day, she stays home from school and sleeps the day away. Trish and Lilah come over in the evening to give her the assignments of the day. She also receives another call: "It was so easy to get into your house. Wait for me, Becka. Your best friend is coming over tonight. Tonight's the night, Becka. Wait for your best friend." Oooo. Becka runs downstairs (she's alone; I have no clue where the parents are), opens the door, and finds Bill standing on the other side. She frantically explains that they have to leave NOW and Bill says they can go to his uncle's cabin in the Fear Street woods. You're starting to smell fishy, Bill. The phone rings AGAIN and Becka answers, but it's just Lilah and Becka hangs up on her. Nice. Bill and Becka jump into his car, but they're blocked from getting out of the driveway by another car. It isn't Honey; just some people turning around. Yawn.

They make it to the cabin. Bill tells Becka to make herself comfortable while he goes out to fetch some firewood. As soon as he exits, the phone rings. I'm getting extremely sick of the phone calls. It's Lilah. How would she know the number for this place? Why do I expect any logical explanation? And furthermore, where am I? Lilah tells Becka that Honey was arrested; they caught her upstate two days ago. Lilah says they must have caught her the day after she kicked Becka's ass in the parking lot. How could she have gotten that far away so quickly? Becka freaks out because now she has no idea who broke into her house and smeared blood all over her room and made those threatening phone calls. Bill creeps up behind Becka and tells her to put the phone down. Oh Bill. Come on, man. NO! Why does it have to be you? Why does Sara Bikman hate men? That's another poorly written story for another day I suppose. He rips the phone out of the wall and hurls it across the room. She asks him why he's doing this and why he called her. He tells her he didn't call her at all. So who did? Trish comes inside then and confesses. Dammit! The two characters I liked the most! Well, now I guess I like them more... Trish is pissed off at Becka because Becka wasn't there for her when she was in the hospital after Honey pushed her down the stairs. She says that Becka has hurt both she AND Bill and they're sick of it. Trish brings out a knife and in another scene ripped out of the first book, Bill is confused and says this wasn't part of the plan. She stabs Bill right in the chest for his insolence and says to Becka "Look what you did, Becka! You stabbed him again!" Ok, I think Sara has no idea how to end this crap because now she's just robbing scene after scene from the first book. Just as Trish is preparing to cut Becka's throat, sirens begin wailing in the distance. Becka figures that Lilah called the cops. Somehow Becka gets the knife and cuts Trish's neck a little. Trish cowers into the corner while Becka crawls over to Bill who is miraculously still alive. The last line of the book? "I'll be a good friend. I promise."

Conclusion? Kill me.

Next time: "Cat" A story of a dead feline's revenge. Can't be any worse than this crap...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Seniors #1 - Let's Party!

Book Description:

Is the senior class doomed to die? Josie Maxwell's sure of it. Trisha Conrad had a vision. A vision of the whole Shadyside High senior class lying in coffins! And Josie's afraid she's done something to begin the horror. But her stepbrother, Josh, doesn't believe it. Senior year's going to be the best time of his life. But what if Trisha's prediction is true? Will the seniors die one by one until there's nobody left to graduate?

My Description:

Part One

It's the last day of junior year and Josh Maxwell is pumped. The bell rings and everyone goes crazy, even the teacher who practically stomps the kids to death on her way out the door. Josh and his friend, Mickey, slosh Matty Winger with a water balloon for no reason other than they're assholes and they can. Then they make fun of him because he's going to fat camp over the summer. Nice one, guys. They finally get lost when Josh remembers he has to meet Debra Lake at the tennis courts. When he reaches the courts, he sees Debra talking to Clark Dickson. Clark's nickname is Count Clarkula because he always wears black, slicks his hair back, and reminds everyone of a geekier version of Bela Lugosi.

Clark leans in toward Debra and Josh sees this as his cue to intervene. Debra tells him that Clarkula was just helping her get something out of her eye, but Josh is still suspicious. Clark takes off a few minutes later after some painfully awkward conversation and Josh mentally scolds himself for even thinking that Debra could be interested in such a geek. They play for a few minutes until Debra says she doesn't feel like it. Before Josh can ask what the problem is (it's you, Josh. The problem is YOU.) his stepsister, Josie, comes running up. She's freaking out because she got a D in trig. She makes wild threats to clip her teacher's head off with his own nail clippers and runs off. Ok then. That wasn't totally pointless or anything. Debra and Josh get a little flirty, but they're interrupted by Trisha Conrad. Trisha calls out to them and then sinks to her knees. They run over to see what the hell is happening, but she's ok. It was just another one of her psychic visions. Everyone considers Trisha's visions to be a total joke (her last one was of Godzilla stepping on the school) but she's serious this time: "I do believe that our class is cursed. That terrible things are going to happen. That...that we're not all going to survive our senior year." Since this is Fear Street we're talking about, I'm surprised any of you even made it to 12th grade without getting killed/mutilated/psychologically scarred for life along the way. Once Trisha calms down, conversation turns to her party. Her parents will be in Japan for a few weeks so Trisha is throwing a huge party. Unfortunately, she's so freaked out about one of those stupid visions that she's thinking of cancelling the party because she "doesn't want anyone to die". But Josh and Debra convince Trisha to go through with it because they really don't care if anyone dies--they just wanna have fun!

After dropping Debra off at her house, Josh heads to Mickey's place. *sigh* I really hate these two, I must admit. Josh is disappointed to find Matty there, too. Matty is desperate to be friends with these creeps for some reason and although they think he's a total nerd, they tolerate him. Josh is all mopey and tells the guys about Debra and Clark. He says that she acts weird and she's all pale and has no energy. The guys tell him that Clark really IS a vampire and he's obviously gotten to Debra. Mickey pretends to bite Josh on the neck which pisses Josh off so he storms out and drives home. The phone is ringing when he gets in. Who's calling? Just a friendly anonymous caller who wants Josh's blood: "Debra is mine. If you try to stop me, I'll drain you. I'll drain you, Josh."

Part Two

While Josh is tied up with his anonymous vampire, Josie is still at school preparing to talk to her trig teacher, Mr. Torkelson, about her D. She runs into Clarissa Turner who runs out of Torkelson's room screaming "He's a jerk!" She refuses to explain to Josie what happens so Josie just heads on in. Torkelson is a sexy piece of work: "He was a stocky, middle-aged man. He always dressed casually is baggy, wrinkled khakis and large, plaid sport shirts that pulled tight at his big belly. He had a graying flat-top haircut over a big, square head." I prefer triangular heads, but whatever. Torkelson says he was surprised that she got such a bad grade because she was usually such a good student. Then he dares to compare her to Josh who is an excellent math student. Josie imagines smashing Torkelson's head with a vase on his desk because she's a psychotic fruit loop, but instead she turns and runs out of the room. What the hell is her problem? Yes, a D sucks, but at least she passed. Torkelson doesn't deserve to have his big square head bashed in when he was only doing his job. Josie runs into Jennifer Fear and Dierdre Palmer. She tells them that she had a vision of smashing Torkelson's skull and they just laugh and tell her she would be a hero if she did it. You people are insane. Truly. Josie goes on to say that her life is ruined. Because of a stupid D. If that's all you have to worry about, Josie, I should think you would consider yourself lucky--some people have REAL problems. Dierdre tells Josie to come with them to Jennifer's house. The girls tease Jennifer about being a Fear, saying that she can cast a spell on Torkelson. Blah blah blah. The only Fear I care about is Robin.

At Jennifer's house, Dierdre and Josie sit in Jen's room waiting for her to come back with their Diet Cokes. They get bored and decide to explore the creepy old house (OF COURSE it's creepy and delapidated! Those crazy Fears!) and stumble upon a big black door. Jennifer comes back then and freaks out because Dierdre just pushed open the door. I don't know what she's so worried about--it's just a library. Maybe that's where she keeps her porn stash. Anyway, the girls find all sorts of books on witchcraft. Jennifer demands that they get the hell out of the room. While she and Dierdre argue, Josie grabs a book and finds a spell called 'DOOM SPELL'. Dierdre comes over and says they should try it on Torkelson. *sigh* Will you people leave this man alone? Don't you think he has enough problems what with his square head and all? Jennifer is growing more and more pissed off, but the other two don't listen. They find a box of black candles (the cliches are endless) and set them in a circle for the spell. As they begin casting the spell, strange things happen. The room gets very cold and a breeze blows the candles out. The girls sit quietly as thudding footsteps get closer and closer...who could it be? It's...Jennifer's mom! OH NOOOOO SWEET BABY JESUS! I'm disappointed. Dierdre screams her head off because she, like me, was expecting a ghost or something. Mrs. Fear asks if the girls would like to stay for spaghetti, but they decide it's time to leave. Everyone steps out of the room...everyone except Josie who decides she's going to finish the spell and get her revenge on old square head once and for all. She closes her eyes, finishes the spell, and when she looks up, a menacing figure in a red cloak is hovering over her. The figure slips the hood back and Josie gets a good look at what's hiding beneath the cloak--a nasty rotted skeleton crawling with snakes that really wants to choke the life out of her. The thing giggles (yes, it fucking GIGGLES) as Josie struggles to get away. Suddenly she hears someone calling her name. She opens her eyes and sees Jennifer instead of a freaky giggling skeleton monster. Josie isn't sure if she was hallucinating or if it was all real, but she's certain that she's started something horrible.

Part Three

It's Friday night and Josh, Josie, and Mickey are headed to the mall. Yawn. They spot Marla Newman in the parking lot. Just for the record, Marla is a total bitch. She insults Mickey and makes fun of Josie's clothes. She also brings up that stupid trig grade of Josie's. How the hell do these people know these things? And why do they care?! They finally get away from Marla and head inside the mall. Mickey heads toward a record store and Josie goes off to fill out some applications. Josh starts to go inside the record store behind Mickey, but stops when he spots Debra and Clarkula inside. Oh here we go again. And they're *gasp* looking at CDs together! Shock! Horror! Scandal! Memo to Josh: get a freaking life. Josh walks up to them and Debra gets all blushy and weird. Josh cuts to the chase and asks Clark if he called him the other day. Clark says no way, but Josh doesn't believe it. Clark is uncomfortable with Josh's death stare and ends up walking off. Josh fixes his "wrath" on Debra and asks her what's going on between she and the Count. She claims that she feels drawn to him/sorry for him, but Josh ignores this and chooses instead to focus on the tiny red bump on her neck. She says that it's a mosquito bite, he proclaims that he doesn't want her to talk to him anymore, and she gets pissed. It's all very overwrought and teenage angst-y which reminds me why I kinda love these books even as I curse them. Debra storms off and Josh leaves the store and searches for Mickey for about five seconds before deciding that the poor schmuck can find a ride home with someone else. Wow. On the way home, Josh can think of nothing but Clark and how weird he is. Ok, just because someone dresses entirely in black, writes/reads poetry, and creates bitchin' moonscapes using only black and gray paint does NOT mean they are of the vampire variety. At home, Josh receives another creepy call. This time, the little nut has this to say (in a raspy voice, no less): "I'm so thirsty, Josh. So thirsty... Debra is mine now. She's mine. Not yours. I'm so thirsty. I'm coming, Josh. I'm coming NOW." If someone called me up and said that, I'd probably crap my pants on the spot. But Josh plays it cool because he believes it's nothing but a stupid joke...until he looks out the window a few minutes later and spots Count Clarkula on the porch.

Part Four

So we don't get to find out what happened with Josh and Clark? Curses, Stine!! Curses, I say!! It is now Saturday morning and Josie wakes up feeling like shit because she has no life and no job and no prospects on the immediate horizon. I feel that, lady. *sob* After Josie showers and eats breakfast, Clarissa calls. She wants Josie to meet her at school to help her carry home a huge sculpture she made in art class. The janitor will be there to let them in or something. Oh check this out--Josie asks Josh what Clarkula was doing at their house and Josh says "Returning a sleeping bag he borrowed." You've gotta be joking! Is Clark a frigging vampire or not, Stine? Stop torturing me! Stop dangling these creepy phone calls and late night visits in my face! Stop mocking me! Why am I bothering with this again? We go through this in every book and I never get anywhere. I'm gonna divorce you, Stine. I swear, I'll leave you high and dry! *sigh* Moving on. Josie heads to the school and spots Torkelson's car speeding in the parking lot. She watches in horror as his car skids out of control, bounces off the parking lot wall, and skids into the street where it's promptly hit by a red moving van. Josie runs over to the wreckage and sees that Torkelson is missing a hand. Blood is gushing like a fountain. She spots the hand lying in the street and as she stares at it, the damn thing starts CRAWLING TOWARD HER. Yes, you read that correctly. Josie freaks out because she knows this is a result of the almighty Doom Spell. The next hour is a total blur as police and an ambulance arrive on the scene. Alas, poor Torkelson didn't make it. We'll all miss his big square head. They don't make 'em like that anymore. Josie makes her way home in a daze and tells Josh what happened (including the night she cast the spell). The insensitive bastard just laughs and asks her if she could cast a spell on Clark. Grrr. Josie runs to Jennifer's house where she finds Jen and Dierdre waiting for her. She blurts out that she killed Torkelson with the Doom Spell and now she'll have to kill her bastard brother because he knows too much. Sorry...I must have dreamed that. Josie flips out whilst the girls try to reassure her that it wasn't her fault, but Josie isn't having it. Back at home, Josie calls Marla because apparently not only did she cast the spell on Torkelson, she also cast it upon Marla. Uh-oh. Marla acts like a total bitch and ends up hanging up on Josie before Josie can even get a word of warning out. She deserves whatever she gets!

That night, Josh is at the movie theater waiting for Debra who is over 20 minutes late for her date. Tee hee. He finally leaves and drives by Debra's house on his way home like a freaky stalker. When he sees that her car isn't in the driveway and the house is totally dark, he gets his suspicions on yet AGAIN and drives to Clarkula's house where--surprise surprise--Debra's car is parked. Instead of ringing the doorbell like a normal person, he creeps around the house and peers into the windows until he spies Debra and Clark making out on a couch. Josh is so shook up, he stumbles over a clump of dead flowers (don't ask; I sure didn't) and falls on his ass. It just gets better and better! Josh runs back to his car and crouches low in the seat as Debra and Clark step outside and get into Deb's car. They drive off and Josh heads to Mickey's house even though Mickey does nothing but smoke the dope and play video games so he won't be much help. Josh explains to both Mickey and Matty (who is apparently homeless--he never leaves!) what happened and these boneheads decide that they'll go back to Clark's house and break in to search the place for hard evidence that Clarkula is indeed a vampire and wants to make Debra one, too. This should be good. They manage to get into the house through a window and once inside, they have no clue what to do. They eventually fumble into a room that appears to be Clark's bedroom. Draped across the bed is a black silky cape. AND the bookshelf is full of books about vampires. AND there are clumps of dirt everywhere including a giant pile in Clarkula's bed. Ooooooo! Before the boys can look any further, they hear a door opening and someone coming up the stairs. Suspense! The guys decide to make a quick exit out the window even though they're on the second floor. Not the sharpest tools in the shed, are they? They step out onto the roof...somehow? And manage to swing themselves onto a tree branch and down to the ground. They run back to the car and Mickey and Matty are totally pumped; they're certain Clark is a vampire. Josh agrees, but he isn't as excited. He's sure that Clark knows they were in his room and now he's going to hunt them all down one by one. Josh drops Matty and Mickey off and then heads home. Of course as soon as he walks in the door, the phone rings. *cue spooky music* Fortunately for Josh, it's just Trisha. She's just calling to confirm that he can come to the big party that is still on in spite of Trisha's morbid visions. They hang up a few minutes later and then Debra calls. She's totally pissed--she saw him spying outside Clark's house. Ouch. Josh spits and sputters for a moment before making the mistake of blurting "Clark! He's a vampire!" This only serves to further piss Debra off and Josh ends up hanging up on her. Like five seconds after hanging up, the phone rings again. Josh assumes it's Debra, but...: "Did you like my cape, Josh? Will you like it when it's wrapped around your throat and I'm drinking you dry?" Chills.

It's now next Friday and Josie has a job interview for a position as summer intern at a law office. I thought Josie desperately needed interns even get paid? I thought internships were only for experience? I don't really know and I live under a rock furthermore. Anyway! Josie goes into her interviewer's office, but it's empty. Something is, however, lurking behind the curtains. It's the return of the giggling red-cloaked skeleton from hell! It slips out from behind the curtain and makes it's way toward Josie, giggling all the way. It manages to rip her blouse open (pervert) and that's all she can take. She runs out of the office and across the street without any idea of where she's going. She ends up running all the way to Fear Street, to Jennifer's house. Jen isn't home, but her mother lets Josie in and asks her what the problem is. Josie says she needs to get into the library and look at the spell books, but Mrs. Fear won't allow her to so Josie leaves.

Part Five

It's now the night of Trisha's fateful party. Josh has just arrived and he can't help wondering where The Great Clarkula and Debra are. Before he goes inside, he spots Mickey and a red-haired girl fighting. She shoves him against the house and he shoves her back hard. Josh starts to go over and see what the problem is, but Phoebe Yamura steps in his path. They make some pointless small talk and finally Josh breaks away. I suppose he's completely forgotten about Mickey and the red stranger because he walks over to a table to get a Coke instead of worrying about the fight. After a few minutes, the red-haired girl approaches him with a smile on her face. The smile quickly fades, though, as she says "You're not on my good list." and gives him a shove. Awesome. Unfortunately for me, she's just joking around. She saw him watching she and Mickey and she just wants him to know that she doesn't remember what they were fighting about. Uh, ok? Her name is Saralynn (Josh can't believe it--"Two names in one?" These two idiots are made for each other.) and she's a cheerleader from Waynesbridge. As Saralynn blabbers on and on about absofuckinglutely nothing, Josh spots Debra and Clark over by the garage. He decides he'll try to make Debra jealous by having a good time with Saralynn. He goes to get another Coke and when he comes back, Saralynn is gone. He doesn't have time to worry about that, though, because a thunderstorm has just broken out and he has to make a run for the house.

Inside the house, Trisha informs everyone that she has a game planned. Oh no no no. And it's a MURDER game. This won't be good. The game sounds pretty crappy anyway. Everyone takes a white index card with a word written on it (victim, suspect, investigator, etc.) and whatever their card says, that's their position in the game. Just as everyone is getting kinda worked up over this crap, a big boom of thunder sounds and Mickey comes running through the doors. He's soaking wet and has blood flowing down his face. He claims that he bumped into something, but everyone sees the deep scratches. Maybe Saralynn (who is conveniently missing) is a werecat. Trisha doesn't really give a crap about Mickey...she just wants to get on with the game. Marla is the victim and Trisha directs her and everyone who has a suspect card to go to the dining room. That group has to come up with a murder for everyone else to solve. This is incredibly lame and everyone except Trisha seems to think so, too. A few minutes pass and suddenly Josie starts screaming for help from the dining room. Everyone runs inside and finds Marla lying motionless on the floor. She's D-E-A-D. For real. No joke this time. An actual death in a book that keeps toying with death (and my emotions). Trisha immediately flips out saying "Noooo! My vision! It can't be! This is just what I saw. A of us...lying dead on the floor. This is what I saw! I knew I shouldn't have had this party! I knew it!" Just what the hell happened to Marla? Mickey says that they all left the dining room for a moment for some reason and when they came back in, Marla was just...dead. Josie starts sobbing and says she killed her with the Doom Spell. What a mess. Josh walks over to the phone to call 911, but it's predictably dead. Trisha runs to find her cell phone and while she's gone, Mickey tells Josh that they gotta get the hell out of this house because SOMEONE or SOMETHING killed Marla and they could be next.

The entire group ends up running outside with the intention of getting to a neighbor's house. Unfortunately, someone has padlocked the gate so they're trapped. Trapped with a killer! Inside a spooky mansion! During a thunderstorm! I really meant it earlier when I said the cliches abound. They all crowd into the library and Josh notices that Clarkula is missing. Oh good. Then they all realize that Marla's body is also missing which just upsets everyone even more. People turn accusatory eyes on Mickey when they see that he isn't soaked, meaning he didn't run outside to the gate with the rest of them. Trisha accuses Mickey or killing Marla and then removing her body. You people are losing it. Mickey is probably stoned out of his mind--I doubt he even knows Marla is dead! Trisha is distracted by a smear of blood on the closet door. She yanks it open and out tumbles a corpse...SARALYNN'S corpse. I think it's time to enlist Scooby and the gang, kids. Suddenly Mickey freaks out and says he DID kill both of the girls. He runs around in circles like a rabid retarded dog for a moment before bursting into laughter. The little bastard was joking and Saralynn and Marla were in on it! They're alive! My feeble mind can't take much more of these lies. I am but a mere mortal, after all. These foolish games are tearing me apart, Stine. Really! Of course everyone is totally pissed off and shocked. Trisha was also in on it. In fact, she was the one who got the guard to keep the gate locked. Oh you people sicken me. Clark chooses this moment to make his appearance at the top of the stairs. He floats down the stairs and once at the bottom, bares his fangs. It's...a...joke. I have officially gone cuckoo nutso. It's true. I know, I know, I ALWAYS do this! But this time, I think my mind is broken beyond repair.

Josie is finally calming down when the red-cloaked giggler makes an appearance. Everyone assumes that this is another joke. Gary Fresno grabs the thing and starts twirling it around. The fun ends when the cloak's hood falls back and everyone sees the rotted skull. It lifts Gary off the floor and throws him against the wall where his head makes a nasty splattering sound. Holy. Shit. Trisha makes the mistake of telling the thing to get the hell out of her house. It responds by first ripping off her ear and then her scalp. Yes, the thing just SCALPED her. It proceeds to ram it's fist through Marla's chest causing her heart to fall onto the floor. It gleefully makes its way to Phoebe and twists her head off. "Phoebe remained standing for a moment, blood gushing like a fountain from her open neck." I am speechless. The thing smashes Dierdre's and Jennifer's heads together so hard that their eyeballs pop out. It rips Josh's arms off before finally turning its attention to Josie. It tells her that she summoned it and she just can't take anymore. She runs from the house and dives into Josh's car which conveniently has the keys still in the ignition. She speeds to Fear Street and pulls up to Jennifer's house. She prays that no-one will be home so that she can be alone in the library and find a spell that will undo all the damage. Jen's mom is home and Josie tells her that she just came to pick up some CDs for Jennifer. Mrs. Fear lets her in and Josie rushes straight to the library. She finds the book she used to cast the Doom Spell and finds another spell called the Time Spell. If it actually works, it will allow Josie to turn back time. She tries it and it works!

Josie is magically back at Trisha's house; it's one hour earlier. Everyone is alive and well. Josie wastes time wondering around staring at everyone in happiness and before she knows it, the hour is almost up. She gazes at the doors where the skeleton entered the first time and sees that it's just outside the door. Do something!!! For some reason, the thing backs away and leaves on it's own. Josie is relieved that everyone is safe and runs around hugging everyone. Meanwhile, Josh is standing nearby watching. He takes a step forward and feels something crunch under his shoe. He bends down and picks up a package with a set of plastic fangs inside. Trisha tells him that those are Clark's and he forgot to put them in earlier which means...? The End!

Conclusion? A crawling hand. A bloody massacre. A red-cloaked giggling skeleton. Creepy telephone calls from a vampire. What's NOT to love?!

Next time: "Best Friend 2" Oh my my, oh hell yes!

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 ...