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.

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 ...