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...

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 ...