Friday, March 27, 2009

Seniors #5 - Last Chance

Book Description:

Mr. Morley is so nice when he catches Mary O'Connor stealing a test. He doesn't tell. He doesn't fail her. She just has to do him a favor... But helping Mr. Morley isn't as easy as it seems. In fact, it could kill her!

My Description:

First of all, just what the hell kind of favor are we talking about here? Ew, I have a very sleazy picture in my mind right about now. *BARF* Second, I apologize beforehand for all the cursing and violence in this post. On with it!

Quick note: a while back, I posted a list of all the seniors. We now have a new addition and he is a total NERD:

Justin Thompson

Likes - Computers, that special person, the Beastie Boys, Barry White
Remembers - Don't want to remember anything about Shadyside [AMEN!]
Dislikes - Having my face shoved in the toilet, being chased by Ty and Gary
Quote - "You're my everything"

Wow. That's bleak. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Mary is sitting in the guidance counselor's office because she shoplifted last summer (this little incident was mentioned in a previous book) and seeing the counselor, Ms. Russ, every week for six months is a condition of her probation. Something about that But I'm not dwelling on it, don't worry. Ms. Russ is completely useless and the visit is a total waste of time, consisting solely of Ms. Russ asking Mary if she's ok. Seriously, that's it. After leaving the counselor's office, Mary catches up to Stacy Malcolm in the hall. They chat about Mary's psychosis and then Stacy suggests they hit the mall where Mary shoplifted last summer. Great idea, stupid! NOT. Mary is hesitant, but Stacy says she can't avoid the place forever. And just why the hell not? Visits to the mall aren't necessary to live, Stace. Did I mention I hate the mall? Anyway, they go to Division Street Mall and if you guessed that they head straight for the store that Mary once robbed, you would be correct! Your prize? You have a choice between a half eaten Snickers bar, a copy of R.L. Stine's magnum opus, "The Stepsister 2", or some dead skin flakes from Stine's infamous mole. What? You were expecting gold? Not from this site. It's low brow around these parts. Moving on...I've completely forgotten what I was talking about... Oh yeah, the mall. The girls go inside the store that Mary stole from and Mary acts like a paranoid freak the entire time. I can't really say I blame her, though. As they're browsing the racks, a salesgirl calls out to them and Mary nearly shits her pants because she thinks the girl recognizes her from last year. Turns out the chick is just informing them that two dressing rooms just opened up if they need to try some things on. Phew. Stacy dashes off to try on a sweater while Mary hangs out. She spots some blonde hottie in the doorway of the store, looks away for a moment, and when she looks back, he's gone. She runs to the entrance still holding a sweater she planned to buy and is stopped by the salesgirl because it looks like Miss Mary was about to take off with that sweater. History does repeat itself. Mary manages to choke out "I changed my mind!" and throws the sweater down before running out of the store like the spaz she is. She runs into the blonde guy again, but he's gone before she knows it. I'm assuming he'll be significant later on...

It's now the next afternoon and Mary and Stacy are preparing to head off to track practice to get their jock on. Mary tells Stace that she has to see Mr. Morley about something. Stacy sure loves her some Morley: "Mmmmm-mmm! I wouldn't mind seeing Morley after school, if you know what I mean!" Yeah, we get your meaning, you dirty little harlot. The last time I had a HAWT teacher, I was in elementary school. They all went down hill after that. Anyway, Stacy heads off to the track and Mary makes her way to Morley's classroom. She's in a daze, thinking about how loverly Morley makes her feel: "No-one made Mary feel the way Mr. Morley did. Like she was smart. Special. He never talked down to her the way other teachers did." We're veering into Mary Kay Letourneau territory skin is crawling a little. Ok, a LOT. Mary starts to walk into Morley's classroom, but stops when she sees Trisha Conrad and Gary Fresno making out against some lockers. As we all know, Trisha "stole" Gary from Mary and this whole saga is incredibly dull. Leave it to Stine to water down what COULD be some juicy soap opera goodness. The sight of Trisha and Gary engaging in a public grope fest makes little Mary Jane really sick and full of hatred for the bastards. She turns her attention to Morley's door and walks inside. He tells her he'll be with her in a second and Mary uses the opportunity to admire (i.e. ogle) his good looks for the 5834756th time: "The man is gorgeous, she thought. Tall, muscular, with dark wavy hair, intense blue eyes, long dark eyelashes. Even if he wasn't so incredibly hot, he'd still be the coolest teacher at Shadyside, she thought." *sigh* Get a grip!

Morley turns his attention to Mary and asks her what's going on. She says she's having a bad day and it was made even worse by the fact that she just saw her ex-bf making out with some other chick. I don't know why you would want to tell your teacher these things. It's nice to have someone to talk to and everything, but that's what your friends/family are there for. Your teacher doesn't need to know about your ex-boyfriend sticking his tongue down another girl's throat! Morley seems to know quite a bit about Mary's life: her job, her shoplifting incident, the fact that her father left her family five years ago. They finally stop talking about her personal life and start discussing classwork. He asks her if she's ready for the midterm tomorrow. When she says "I guess I am" he tells her how difficult it's going to be. A second later, he says he's going to get some coffee and he'll be right back. While he's gone, Mary spots a manila folder on his desk labelled "Social Studies Midterms" You idiot, the teacher is right around the corner!!! She quickly slides one of the test papers out and slips it onto her lap. Just as she does, she turns and spots Morley standing in the doorway. Ouch. She silently panics, wondering if Morley saw her, but apparently he didn't. He just gabs a little about how there wasn't any coffee left. Are you asleep yet? My eyes are barely open, this is so boring. I don't care about coffee or how hot Mr. Morley's ass looks in those jeans! I want blackmail! Mary realizes this is her chance to get the hell out of dodge before Morley figures out what she's done so she tells him she really needs to get to track practice. He gives her a little smile and says "See you tomorrow. Don't stay up too late studying." I don't care how hot he is...I get the creeps everytime he speaks!

It's two days later and Mary is sitting in Morley's class waiting for him to return the graded midterms. Everyone else seems really nervous, but Mary isn't--she cheated, after all! Morley takes a sip of his precious coffee and begins handing out papers. He saves Mary's for last and her heart nearly stops when she sees it. He hasn't graded it at all. He simply wrote "Mary--please see me after class. Mr. M." Oh SNAP. The bell rings a few minutes later and Mary waits for everyone else to leave before heading to Morley's desk. She asks why he didn't give her a grade and he replies "I think you know the answer to that, Mary." Mary plays stupid, pretending she has no idea what he's talking about. As if that ever works. Morley continues: "I know what you did, Mary. I know you cheated. You took a copy of the test home, didn't you?" Mary says she studied really hard. Oh I bet you did, dear. Morley just stares at her until she cracks and says she did it, but she'll do a makeup exam or something. Morley says he knows she's been under a lot of pressure, but this is serious stuff. He's acting like she blew up the White House or something. Mary begs him to let her take the test over and he finally laughs a little like he's thought of something she can do. People, this entire exchange is just seriously creepy. I'm surprised he hasn't dropped his pants yet. Morley explains his plan: "Do you know Mr. Wise?" Mary says yes, he's the physics teacher and Morley goes on: "Well, Mr. Wise is very absentminded. A few months ago, he borrowed my best sports jacket. He said he needed it for a science conference he was attending that evening. The thing, and it's so ridiculous really, but Mr. Wise never returned my jacket. In fact, he started wearing it practically everyday. I really want the jacket back, but I'd hate to embarrass him by asking for it. This thing has gone on for so long now. I think he forgot the jacket isn't his. I'd really love to have that jacket back and- No, I just can't. It's too silly." Mary interrupts this ignoramus to ask him what he wants and he finally spits it out: "Well, okay. I'm thinking, Mary, that if you could just get that jacket for me from Mr. Wise's classroom-" Come on! You're a grown man and you can't ask for your own stupid jacket back? Give me a break! And I hate how he keeps giggling about this like it's some big secret mission. Puke. He continues talking: "You didn't let me finish, Mary. You'll also have to write two makeup papers for this exam-" Mary cuts in to ask if she gets the jacket and writes the papers, will he turn her in for cheating and he says no, but he doesn't wanna see her cheating ever again. I think she learned her lesson, El Creepo.

Morley tells Mary that she doesn't have to get the jacket today, but if she wants to, he happens to know that Mr. Wise is busy with the physics club and won't be in his classroom so Mary can just creep inside and grab it. What the fuck? If Morley knows Wise isn't in his room, then why the hell can't he get his own damn jacket??? This makes no frigging sense! *sigh* Mary hurries down the hall to Mr. Wise's room and sneaks inside. She spots the jacket hanging beside a few lab coats and heads straight for it. Just as she grabs it and turns for the door, Mr. Wise enters the room. This chick can't catch a break. Mr. Wise flips out, grabs the jacket, and asks her what she was doing. She explains that Morley wanted her to get the jacket back for him and Mr. Wise says that it's HIS jacket, not Morley's. He then tells Mary that stealing a teacher's property is a serious offense (no it isn't. Not when the teacher is an asshole and totally deserves it.) and Mary will need to see the vice principal on Monday morning. Mary pleads for Mr. Wise to talk to Mr. Morley first and he agrees only because he thinks it will incriminate her even further. What a smug piece of shit! The teachers at this school are addled, man. When they arrive at Morley's room, they see that he's gone.

Mary jogs home to call Mr. Morley and ask just what the hell is going on. She finds the phone book and looks him up. The bastard lives on Fear Street, of course. *eye roll* She gets really nervous and almost chickens out, but finally dials the number. He answers after several rings. Mary cuts right to the chase: "Mr. Morley! I got caught!" He pretends that he doesn't know what she's talking about so she explains. Then he says "Well, I'm not surprised. I mentioned how absentminded he is. I guess I was right. He DID forget the jacket isn't his." Whatever. Mary goes on to say that Wise thought she was stealing the jacket and plans on reporting her to the vice principal. Morley shrugs this off: "Oh, for heaven's sake! That man does everything by the book. Mary, calm down. There's nothing to worry about. It's too bad I had to leave school after we spoke--I had to take care of something right away. Had I been there, you wouldn't be in this jam." Had you been a professional about the situation, she wouldn't be dealing with this stupid shit! Mary is relieved to hear him say that because she thinks he'll talk to the vice principal and everything will be ok. But Morley is a stupid jackass and tells Mary that the v.p. probably wouldn't believe their story. Then this idjit has the audacity to say this: "Well, I do have a reputation among the faculty as a champion for the students. You know, being understanding and sympathetic. Some teachers are quite envious of my rapport with the students and their respect for me." This guy's head is stuck so far up his ass I can't even believe it. I mean, CHAMPION FOR THE STUDENTS?!?!? Are you fucking kidding me?? He's desperately trying to come up with excuse after excuse for involving Mary in something that she should never have been a part of. This isn't about some stupid jacket. I don't even know what the hell is going on, but it pisses me off! As if you couldn't tell *wink wink* I think I need a moment to remind myself that this man does not exist and none of this actually happened. Moving on... Morley tells Mary that the v.p. probably won't believe her story because it's a well known fact that Mary got in trouble for stealing once before. YOU TOLD HER TO TAKE THE JACKET, YOU IDIOTIC FUCK! This man is unbelievable!! I don't care if he's fictional! This is bull! He used the fact that Mary completely trusts him to his advantage. Grrrr. The conversation carries on for a few more minutes and Mary starts to completely freak out because she doesn't want to get into trouble and she doesn't want Morley to get fired. Who gives a fuck at this point? He should never have been hired in the first place. He says that they should meet at his place at ten tomorrow morning to discuss what they should do. There is no discussion! You should act like a fucking adult and confess that you TOLD HER to take the jacket. This is not her fault, you donkey! And the fact that he's inviting a student to his house where they'll be totally alone is a red flag. But Mary ignores this because she's sure Morley will be able to think of a good plan and this entire ordeal will be over. Poor deluded girl.

Mary wakes up the next morning at 8:45. She quietly dresses which leads to our first outfit description of the book: black pants, black boots, and a fuzzy green sweater. Not horrible, I suppose. She tiptoes quietly around the house so that her mother won't wake up and ask her where she's going so early. She catches a bus to Fear Street. The day is cloudy and rainy which makes this trip to Fear Street even more crappy. She finds Morley's house and knocks on the door. She notices that it's slightly ajar so she peeks inside and spots that blonde guy from the mall. Wha? Mary is shocked, but not so shocked that she doesn't notice that the guy is even hotter up close: "Tall, around six feet two. Lean, but muscular, she noticed as she took in his black T-shirt and faded blue jeans. And that soft, wavy blond hair, a little messy. His sea-green eyes gazed intensely at her." Ooo la la. Mary tells him that she's looking for Morley and he introduces himself: "I'm Rob Emerson, by the way. I work for Morley. Odd jobs around the house, that kind of thing." They're probably lovers. Who lets their handyman hang around the house while they're gone? Mary asks when Morley will be back and Rob says it should only be a few minutes. They go inside and sit on the sofa. Mary mentions seeing him in the mall and he remembers her also. Rob offers her something to drink (once again, he's acting like the place is his) and goes into the kitchen to get her some water. Mary gazes around the living room and sees how shabby it is. Snobby much? When Rob comes back, he explains that Morley is an old friend of the family and is allowing him to stay in his guest cottage until he figures out what he wants to do with his life. They chat a bit and Rob ends up asking Mary out. She agrees and silently squees because Rob is such a hottie; she'll forget about Gary for sure. Rob says the only problem they might have is Morley might be weird about them dating. Because they're totally lovers! Rob says "I'm not sure how much to tell you. But there's something you should know about Morley-" Before he can finish, though, Morley enters. Crap. He acts pretty pissed at Rob, but shuts his trap when he sees Mary. Rob takes his exit at Morley's insistance and Morley asks Mary if she wants some coffee. She says no so all the more for him. He needs to lay off the caffiene; it's affecting his ability to function as a normal human being.

They go into his office and Morley actually says something that makes sense: "I'll tell Mr. Wise and the principal that I asked you to take the jacket. I'll explain my side and hope for the best." That sounds too good to be true and, sadly, it probably is. You KNOW he's going to lie to save his own ass. He goes on to say that this situation makes ANOTHER problem he has more difficult. Mary is immediately intrigued and asks him what's wrong. She's so eager to please this piece of crap; it's pathetic! This other situation involves another teacher named Ms. Wilson. Morley doesn't like Ms. Wilson, who is a fellow social studies teacher, because she's a big meanie. He's had problems with her from day one: "Let's just say she hasn't been very generous to me. She refuses to give me past lesson plans, petty stuff like that. I don't understand it. I'm very pleasant to her." Ms. Wilson = HERO. Morley says that Ms. Wilson is trying to get him fired; he thinks she's just jealous. No, she's probably figured out what a perv you are and how everything you do is just WRONG. But if it will help your overinflated ego to say she's just jealous, go ahead. Morley goes on to say that Ms. Wilson even wrote a letter of complaint to the Board of Education all about Mr. Morley. Unfortunately, she never mailed it. She just uses it to threaten him. Finally, Morley gets around to explaining why the situation with Mr. Wise might affect the situation with Ms. Wilson: if Ms. Wilson gets wind of the Wise situation, she'll probably send that letter. We all know where this is going: Morley wants Mary to get that letter. That doesn't make any sense whatsoever--Ms. Wilson can easily type another letter! It's now painfully obvious that Morley is simply trying to make Mary look bad, but Mary is so enamoured with this fucktard that she doesn't care. He acts as if he couldn't possibly ask Mary to do such a thing, but she insists because Morley is her beloved and she doesn't want him fired. GAG! Mary leaves a few minutes later and when she turns back, she spots Morley glaring at Rob who is just standing outside like a moron with his little toolbelt on like he's one of the Village People (there was one that wore a toolbelt, right?) These two are so gay for each other...I love it.

That evening, Mary is getting ready for her date with the flamboyant Rob. Another outfit! "She wore a brown minkskirt and a wheat-colored cropped sweater. Her knee-length brown suede boots looked really cool with that outfit, she thought." Too much brown, baby! Mary walks to Pete's Pizza to meet Rob. Even though the place is packed, she spots Rob right away. She slips into the booth and grins like a lunatic at all the jealous stares she's receiving from some of the girls she goes to school with. Rob is HAWT, after all. Mary is overjoyed when she sees Gary Fresno gazing at her like he wishes he had never left her. In your face!!! Anyway, Mary asks what Rob was about to tell her this morning before Morley walked in and interrupted. Rob says it was nothing which means it was something and immediately changes the subject. They chat about their families (broken) and their pizza (delicious). Then Mary spots Stacy sitting with Ty Sullivan (major asswipe) and asks Rob if he would mind if she went and said hello really quick. He doesn't so she runs over to Stacy's table. They chat for a second, the conversation consisting mostly of Stacy admiring Rob's beauty. *sigh* When Mary gets back to the table, Rob says "Mary! Come on, let's go. We're taking a walking discount." He drags Mary out the door even though she's nervous that they'll be caught. She asks why he did that and he laughs and says he paid while Mary was talking to Stacy. I sincerely doubt that, but whatever. Mary doubts it, too, but that vanishes when Rob kisses her. Memo: Mary is an idiot.

On Monday morning, Mary heads straight for Mr. Morley's classroom. She goes inside and asks if he talked to Mr. Wise. He says that he did and everything has been cleared up. Mary is so relieved, but when she leaves the room, she feels bad because Morley will be in trouble. Oh Mary, snakes like Morley always find a way to slip out of trouble. Like blaming everything on an unsuspecting student. *cough* Mary walks to her locker and as she's opening it, she glances across the hall at Ms. Wilson's room. Mary, please PLEASE don't jeopardize yourself for that asshole!! She does it anyway, of course, digging through Ms. Wilson's desk until she finds an envelope addressed to the Board of Education. She flees the room and rests against her locker until she hears someone call out "Hey! You there! I saw what you did! And you're not getting away with it!" Oh. Shit. Thankfully, it's just a janitor who saw Mary spill some orange juice a few minutes ago and is pissed because she didn't bother wiping it up. And she obviously isn't going to either because she runs off to Morley's classroom. She shows him the letter like a proud child showing off to their parents. He says he told her not to do that, but he takes it anyway of course. It's a five page letter chock full of complaints against Mr. Morley. Awesome. In the first paragraph, it's written that there are two other letters that Ms. Wilson has written and this fact serves to piss Morley off even more. Morley tells Mary that she HAS to get those letters for him and she'll probably have to break into Ms. Wilson's house to get them. You have got to be kidding. You unbelievable jerk! Mary says she can't do that and Morley replies "I'm sorry to hear that, Mary. Because in that case, I'll have to tell the principal that you cheated on your midterm." At this point, she should just let the bastard tell the entire world she cheated. She'll get in less trouble for that then she will if someone catches her breaking into someone's house. Mary, open your eyes!!! Morley the King of Jackasses goes on to say that he'll also inform Mr. Wise that Mary did indeed try to steal the jacket and he was just covering for her. Mary starts to panic because she's on probation for the shoplifting and she doesn't want more trouble. Morley has no sympathy: "Jail is an ugly place, Miss O'Connor." Oh you evil narcissistic motherfu*&er!

After work that afternoon, Mary heads to Ms. Wilson's house. Morley told Mary that Ms. Wilson would be at a faculty meeting until 8:30 pm so Mary should have plenty of time to find the letters. Mary finds Ms. Wilson's house and as she's hiding in the bushes waiting for Ms. Wilson to leave, she starts crying. *sob* Poor Mary. Such a fool! She's startled when she hears someone call out her name. It's Rob and he says he came to stop her before she did something stupid. Ms. Wilson leaves then and Rob tries to convince Mary not to break in. When she insists she has to, he says he'll go with her. They sneak in through the basement window and make their way upstairs. They find Ms. Wilson's office and as Mary searches the desk, Rob searches the file cabinets. Mary finally finds a red folder that contains the two letters. She skims over them and is shocked at what she read. Rob grabs them and reads a few lines aloud: "I don't have the proof I need. But I'm positive that Mr. Donald Morley murdered two students at his previous school. Murdered them in cold blood." What great news. Suddenly they hear the front door open and Ms. Wilson's voice. These scenes always get me--SUSPENSE! Rob and Mary dive into a closet and sit quietly while Ms. Wilson fetches something and leaves the room. They exit the closet and hear Ms. Wilson and her guests downstairs chatting. Rob decides that they should go out the office window, land on the roof of the porch, and run away. Ok, genius, let's see if that one actually works the way you want it to. Someone will definitely hear you two clodhopping all over the porch roof! Clodhop. I'm not sure if that's a word...oh well...enjoy it anyway. Mary makes it out, but Rob is caught. Mary grabs his hands and tries to pull him out the window, but whoever caught him is pulling him back in. He tells her to run so she does. She flees down to the street and hears police sirens the whole way. She sits on a bench in the park for hours until she hears footsteps coming toward her in the darkness. She thinks its Rob, but noooooo. It's Morley: "Rob? Mary, they don't let prisoners out of jail for walks in the park." Uh-oh.

Morley is wearing a trench coat, classic flasher attire. He tells her that Rob is in jail and asks her if he should bail him out. What an ass. Morley says he'll bail Rob out if Mary hands over the letters. Unfortunately, the letters are back in Ms. Wilson's house. This pisses Morley off in a major way and he says he shouldn't do anything for either Rob OR Mary because they were "too harebrained" to do anything he asked. He grabs Mary by the shoulders and she begs him not to do this. He says "Don't what, Mary? Don't do what Ms. Wilson accused me of? Don't add you to the list of students I murdered?" Morley says he'll give Mary one last chance (tying in to the title of the book; isn't that clever?) and she should meet him in his classroom at lunchtime the next day to find out what she'll have to do. HATE.

That night, Mary is lying in bed thinking about how stupid she was to have ever trusted and looked up to Mr. Morley. At least she finally recognizes this. The sound of her phone ringing breaks through the silence. It's Rob. He says he's been worried about her and that he can't tell the police anything about Morley because Morley has decided to bail him out. He goes on to say that Morley will post bail the following afternoon around lunchtime. Mary realizes that Morley won't post bail until AFTER she has agreed to do whatever he asks. Sick!

The next morning, Mary is at early track practice. Her coach is pissed because Mary is being slow: "Now that the anchor's finally here we can begin." A bit of a bitch? I'd have to say so. Mary totally bombs in practice because she's preoccupied with thoughts of her sadistic social studies teacher. It's finally time for her FATEFUL (it adds the drama!) meeting with Morley. She sits down with him in his classroom and he explains what he wants her to do. And it just proves that this guy is batshit CRAZY. His sister (with whom he doesn't get along so well) just moved to town with her two children, ages 7 and 3. He says that she often leaves them alone so that she can go out and "husband-hunt". He's told her numerous times that this is very irresponsible (as if this freak knows anything about responsibility) but she refuses to listen. What does he want from Mary? "I want you to help me teach her a little lesson. She'll stop leaving the kids alone when she learns how dangerous it is. I know my sister is planning to go out tonight. So I want you to go over to her place and bring the kids to an empty house down the block." You frigging loon! Do we really have to involve innocent kids in this shitty mess? Mary says that he is asking her to commit a felony and he replies "It's only a crime if you intend to harm the children." I guess scarring them for life isn't considered harm? He continues: "Then later, I'll show up and tell my sister where the children are. But only after she's been taught a good lesson." GOOD GAWD. Mary completely loses it, screaming that she can't do something like that. He tells her that it will actually be a good deed because she'll be doing those kids a favor. I'm pretty much speechless at this point. He says that Mary really isn't in a position to object to the plan. He hands her a keychain with two keys: one to his sister's house (how the hell did he get that?) and one to the rental house where she'll take the kids. That afternoon, Mary makes the mistake of running to Ms. Russ, the counselor, with her story about Morley. She gets the response we all expected: "Honey, listen. It's been a tough year for you. But making up stories about Mr. Morley--blaming HIM for your troubles--won't help at all." This son of a bitch isn't going down, Mary. Just kill him, dismember him, and bury him in the Fear Street Woods where no-one will ever find him. He won't be missed! I can't believe how far into this story I am mind is officially diseased.

It's now time for Mary to kidnap the kids. This entire scene has to be the most uncomfortable one I have ever come across in any Fear Street novel EVER. It's just so WRONG. She rings the bell and a little boy answers. He's the 7 year old and his name is Jimmy. Mary asks if his mother is home and when he says no, she replies "My name's Laura. Your mom has asked me to baby-sit for you and your little sister." Jimmy points to his little sister, Judy, and says he's usually the one who has to take care of her. Heartbreaking much? Mary feels absolutely horrible, but she goes inside, scoops the little girl up, and tells both children that they're going to go to her playhouse down the street. They all go inside and Mary finds a box of children's books so she reads to them. Mary asks if their Uncle Donald *barf* ever reads to them. Jimmy says he doesn't have an Uncle Donald and Mary says "Sure you do. Your mom's brother. He's a teacher at Shadyside High." But Jimmy is insistent: "I don't have ANY uncles." Could this situation possibly get any worse?? Jimmy continues: "My mom doesn't have any brothers. And my dad doesn't either. So that means no uncles, right?" What the hell?!?!? Then whose children does she have? Mary hears sirens wailing in the distance and is sure that the police are coming for her. She jumps off the couch and tells Jimmy that she has to leave, but any minute a nice policeman will come and help him and his sister. Then she dives out the door and runs.

Once Mary reaches home, she is furious with Morley and hell bent on getting her REVENGE. Finally! As she nears her house, she hears someone say her name. It's Rob and he has some incredibly shitty news for Mary: "Mary...Mr. Morley is going to kill us. It's true. I confronted him when I got out of jail. He admitted to trying to ruin your life. He told me he thought it was fun!" Mary desperately wants to tell the cops, but Rob says they'll never believe them because Mr. Morley is so well-liked in the community. They can't use Ms. Wilson either because she's fleeing Shadyside. Damn. I loved her! Oh well...easy come, easy go. Rob goes on to state the completely obvious: Mr. Morley is crazy and has been for quite some time. He hadn't seen Morley in a while and thought he had changed. Not even close, apparently. Rob says that they have to kill him before he kills them. Mary STILL wants to go to the police. I thought we agreed that you're really stupid, Mary. So let someone else make the decisions for once! Rob says it won't be difficult to off Morley. He pulls out a small bottle of 'instant poison' and hands it to Mary. He says just a few drops will kill a person and it will simply look like Morley had a heart attack. Mary will have to do it because Morley no longer trusts Rob. Rob tells Mary that she can do it tomorrow at school; it's a holiday of some sort, but Morley will be there working on a project. Mary says that she does have track practice so it would be convenient. Run a few laps, kill someone...all in a day's work. Rob tells Mary to put a few drops in Morley's coffee thermos and it'll all be over. Then he kisses her and takes off.

Inside, Mary received a phone call from Morley. *sigh* "It's Morley. You failed me again, Mary. You didn't do what I asked." Mary protests that she did exactly what he said, but those children weren't who he said they were. Morley refuses this: "And you believed a seven-year-old child, didn't you? You believed a little boy, rather than me?" I'd believe a rock before I'd believe you. No, I don't care if that makes no sense whatsoever. Morley continues to say that Mary disobeyed him and she owes him big time: "You owe me, Mary. Owe me big. We'll discuss this further tomorrow. I'll be in my classroom all day working on a special project. I want you in my room at one o'clock sharp. Do you hear me?" He hangs up and Mary decides that she's just gotta kill him. Sounds reasonable.

The next morning, after Mary gets dressed, Rob calls. He tells her she has to go through with everything so they'll both be safe. She asks where he's been staying and he says he rented a room in a boardinghouse in Waynesbridge. Hmmm...I wonder what Rob is hiding. Because it's gotta be something... He tells Mary he'll meet her in Morley's classroom after it's all over. She hangs up and just before she leaves, she buries the bottle of poison in the trash. NOOOOO! Stacy arrives then and Mary hops in the car. Stacy asks Mary if she wants to hit the mall later, but Mary blows her off. She manages to get through track practice without any problem even though she feels totally zombified. Afterward, she trudges to Morley's classroom. He isn't there so she sits down to wait for him. She spots a notebook lying open on his desk and reads a few pages. She's shocked: he's written down all his plans to ruin her. And NOW she wants to murder him. Make up your mind, woman!

Mary sprints all the way home to pick up the bottle of poison. When she gets back to school, Morley is still MIA. She quickly dumps a few drops of poison into his thermos, stirs, and sits down to wait for him. If this piece of crap doesn't drink that damn coffee, I'm setting Stine on fire. She goes to the restroom and when she returns, Morley is sitting at his desk. She plays it cool, talking about her grades and working up the nerve to ask him for help studying. HA! Mary wills him to drink the coffee and he finally picks up the thermos and takes a few big gulps. "I'm practically out of coffee. You know how I love the stuff." Oh we know... He stands and says he's going to brew another pot in the teacher's lounge. But before he can leave the room, he says he feels sick. Then he accuses Mary of poisoning his coffee before collaspsing to the floor. Dun dun dun! Mary grabs the notebook off his desk and shoves it in her backpack. Then she stands around waiting for Rob to haul his sorry behind to the school.

Rob arrives a few minutes later and things get a little confusing for my feeble mind. Rob says it's odd that Morley took off without his thermos. Then he picks it up and takes a big sip. He looks at Mary and says "Wow, it's hard to believe Morley's big psychological experiment is over." Excuse me? "He's fascinated with how people deal with moral issues. How they react when pushed to their limits. It's so interesting. So he told you that everything you've been through has been part of the experiment? Starting with him leaving that folder of midterms on his desk? I thought that was brilliant. A student's worried about her grades. The midterm exam sitting right on the teacher's desk in a folder. The teacher leaves the room for a moment. Does the student swipe a copy of the midterm or not?" Pardon my French, but just what the fuck is going on? Mary finally speaks: "Apparently, if that student is me, she takes it. And Mr. Morley let me know everyone was in on it--Ms. Russ, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Wise, the lady with the two children. You. Everybody knew about it. Everybody but me." You've got to be joking. You MUST be screwing with my mind! Rob says he feels badly about his part in it, but he's Morley's assistant and it's part of his thesis for his psychology degree. Ok, I need to calm down. Surely Stine will NOT allow this crazy ass book to end so mundanely... Mary's eyes fill with tears and she says that Rob shouldn't have let Morley be so hard on her. Rob says he's sorry and oh, by the way, just where is Morley anyway? Mary tells him to look behind the desk. Now it gets good again...

Rob is shocked to see that Mary did indeed kill Morley. Rob is surprised because that bottle he gave Mary only contained water, not 'instant poison'. But after Mary read Morley's journal that he so carelessly left open on his desk, she realized that she had been played all along and she wanted revenge. She decided to perform a little experiment of her own, running home and fetching a vial of poison her mother (who is a nurse) keeps in a medical supply kit. What the hell would you need poison for in a medical supply kit? Ok, whatever, who cares! Rob's mouth drops open as Mary tells him that she dumped all of the poison into the coffee. Rob slumps to the floor as well, having drank the coffee himself. Mary looks down and says "Your experiment worked, Rob. You and Mr. Morley taught me that a person can be pushed too far." BURN.

Stacy comes galloping into the room then, yapping about the mall. What is it with this dingbat and the fucking mall?! She stops and screams when she sees the lifeless bodies lying at Mary's feet. Mary says "You remember Rob, don't you? And you know Mr. Morley, of course." Stacy asks if they're dead and Mary kills my soul with her answer: "No. But they'll both have amazing headaches when they wake up." Mary explains about Morley's experiment and says that she had to get them back for it so she made them think they had been poisoned when in fact they had only received a big dose of sleeping meds. *sigh* The last line of the book comes from our darling Mary Jane: "Don't you know I'll do anything for science?" Well, now I do.

Conclusion? As much as this book INFURIATED me, I have to admit that I enjoyed it. Although some of the scenes made me feel like I needed to scrub my brain with bleach and steel wool to remove the grotesque images.

Next time: I need a break from the Seniors for a bit so I'll be doing "Goodnight Kiss". Everybody loves a vampire.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Seniors #4 - No Answer

Book Description:

Clarissa Turner is NOT crazy! Her dead sister, Justine, really did contact her through a psychic hotline and Clarissa discovers her sister's death was not an accident--it was murder. Now Clarissa realizes that another Shadyside senior is about to die. And it could be her!

My Description:

Why in hell did Stine choose to make Clarissa the main character for this one? She's literally the most boring human being in Shadyside therefore this book is probably gonna be a total snooze. I miss The Thirst already!


Clarissa is at Shadyside Memorial Cemetery with her mom, dad, and a bouquet of lilacs. She's visiting her sister Justine's grave for the first time. Justine died two months ago; she fell down the stairs, effectively snapping her neck. That's a fairly pedestrian death in Shadyside. Anyway, Clarissa has been in a "special clinic" since her sister died because she couldn't deal with it. But she's finally free so look out world! *sarcasm*

Chapter one begins with Debra Lake greeting Clarissa at the doors of Shadyside High. Clarissa is afraid that everyone will think she's nuts. Yeah, they probably will. Get over it. Inside the building, Clarissa freaks out when she sees Josh Maxwell, Mickey Myers, and Matty Winger coming toward her. They exchange a few words, Matty acts like an asshole as usual, and they move on. I don't get what the big deal is. Oh well. Mira Block comes running up next. Debra doesn't care much for Mira: "Debra was always saying that you couldn't trust someone who's been behind the bleachers with practically every guy in school." Nasty! Mira hurries off and suddenly someone comes up and wraps their clammy hands around Clarissa's throat. If I had a dime for every time this exact scene happened in a Fear Street novel, I'd be richer than Stine. It's Will Reynolds, Clarissa's love interest. She takes a moment to admire his "hazel eyes and chocolate colored skin" before heading off to the main office.

At dinner that night, Clarissa tells her parents all about her first day. Then she flips out when they tell her that they're going through with the adoption of a kid named Aaron. Clarissa thinks they're simply trying to replace Justine, but she quickly calms down when they tell her she can have Justine's old room. Ah, the power of bribery. If they had known that a bigger bedroom would cure all Clarissa's problems, I doubt they would have spent all that money on that "special clinic". Clarissa runs straight up to her new room and the next few pages are full of Clarissa reminiscing about the good old days. Then she sees Justine's ghost. *sigh* This entire seqeuence is supposed to illicit some sympathy, but it's just so poorly written that I feel nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Anyway, Clarissa stares in horror at her sister's lumpy, bruised neck as she floats into the room. Clarissa locks the door just in case her parents hear her talking to her dead sister. Justine floats to her desk and shuffles through it as if she's looking for something. Then she disappears. Well, that wasn't completely pointless or anything. A second later, someone pounds on the door. It's Mira and Debra. Thanks, but no thanks. Clarissa, being the moron that she is, tells them about the spectral Justine. Mira and Debra, being crazier than Clarissa, actually believe her and ask what Justine was doing there. Clarissa explains that Justine was searching for something and just before she disappeared, she pointed at an English book. The girls look inside Justine's book and see that she drew pictures in the margins. Yeah, a big deal is made of that, but it's meaningless. Much like the rest of this book. BURN. The girls then spot a folded piece of paper. It says:

Ask her anything
For she knows the future

At the bottom, there;s a 900-number and a scrawled note in Justine's writing: "Call back August 20 @ 4:30 PM sharp!!!" August 20 just happens to be the day after Justine died so Clarissa feels compelled to call this Renata chick because she thinks Justine wants her to. Letting a dead girl make decisions for you doesn't seem like the wisest choice. Oh well. Anyway, I think we all know what happens. Clarissa calls and Justine answers. Ooooo. Justine says she doesn't have much energy so she can't stay on the line for long, but she manages to let Clarissa know that someone pushed her down those stairs: "Moon girl...I was murdered." 'Moon girl' is her stupid nickname for Clarissa. And no-one needed to be told she was murdered--we already learned that from the overly expositional back cover. I really hate this book. Unfortunately, I still have over 100 pages to plod through so I guess I should just get over it. Just as Clarissa begins her obligatory freak out, Renata comes on the line. Of course the magical Renata says that Justine was speaking through her. Damn, Clarissa, you are getting gypped! Ripped off! While Renata is spouting bullshit, the charges are piling up; this is a 900-number, after all. Not that I have any experience with those. *cough* Two words: hang up. Debra tells Clarissa that it's just a scam, but Clarissa continues to listen to Renata. Renata tells Clarissa personal things about Clarissa's life to prove that she isn't a fake. Since Clarissa is basically a cardboard cut-out, these things aren't even remotely interesting. Renata tells Clarissa to call back the next evening and make sure her friends are there because they'll need the extra energy to channel Justine. *sigh*

The next afternoon, Clarissa is sitting in calculus, thinking about--what else?--Justine. The bell rings and Clarissa heads to Pete's Pizza to meet her lover boy Will. When she arrives at the restaurant, she spots Will in a booth and thinks "Would he still want to go out with me if I told him I spoke to my dead sister?" What do you think, genius? This chick has rocks for brains. She makes her way to the booth, they kiss, and Josie Maxwell comes to take their order. Then my worst nightmare is brought to life--Clarissa calls out to Trisha Conrad and waves her over. WHY?! May I ask why you want to ruin your afternoon with the deluded ramblings of a psuedo psychic? Because it ain't worth it, believe me. Clarissa asks about the visions and Trisha says she wishes she had never mentioned them because everyone thinks she's crazy. Well, that convinces me that the person who wrote this Seniors book did not write the three that preceded it. Because Trisha never before cared if anyone thought she was crazy. She was gonna spread her message regardless! Damn you, ghostwriter! How odd to curse someone other than Stine. I'm sure that will come later. Anyway, Gary Fresno comes in then and Trisha scampers off with him. Clarissa and Will eat their pizza then he walks her home. Dammit, Clarissa tells him about Justine and the psychic. He doesn't believe her (didn't see that one coming! Of course not!) and she gets pissed off and teary-eyed over it. Really, though, what did she expect?

That evening, Mira and Debra come over to Clarissa's place for the Renata call. Kill me. Renata tells the girls to hold hands, close their eyes, and think of Justine. Renata begins a srange chant and suddenly she's connected to Justine. Justine says she doesn't know who killed her because she was pushed from behind and didn't even get a glimpse of the murderer. She also says that Clarissa and her friends need to watch out because the killer is going to get one of them. Should be interesting. NOT. Renata hangs up and Deb and Mira leave a few moments later after freaking out a bit. Clarissa snoops around Justine's room looking for any clue that would lead to the killer's identity which seems kind of stupid--even Justine doesn't know so I doubt Clarissa will figure it out so easily. She comes across a loose floorboard in the closet that has a fake ID (Justine was also known as Tania Adams, apparently) and a large hunting knife hidden beneath it. So she liked to play with knives. Who doesn't? Clarissa also comes across Justine's diary and immediately flips it open. The pages mention some guy named Slash who Justine has been sneaking around with. Coincidentally, the word 'SLASH' was printed on the leather sheath holding the knife. Hmmm. I'm not as intrigued as I feel I should be. A few entries later, we find out that Slash gave her the knife as a "token of his protection". Puke. The entires also mention the fact that Justine was also dating some guy named Hammerhead. Are you fucking kidding me? HAMMERHEAD????? Ok, I'm ignoring it. Slash knew about the other guy and got pissed. A few weeks later, Justine went on a date with a bass player named *huge sigh* Strummer. Seriously, I'm dying here. Slash's reaction? He shoved her. Ok then. He turns a little psycho, though, stalking Justine and sending her a dead bird for Valentine's Day. Nothing says love like rotting poultry. Clarissa stops reading when she hears a noise at the window. She turns and sees a pair of gloved hands sliding the window up. Uh-oh. Never mind--it's just Will who almost got his fingers amputated by Slash's knife. He says he just wanted to apologize for being so rude about the Justine thing and he thought it would be fun to sneak in through the window. Is it fun to get your ass stabbed? Because that's what happens when you sneak up on people holding big shiny hunting knives. Anyway, it's kind of ironic that Will comes to apologize for his behavior because he ends up acting the same way, denying that Renata is the real thing and rolling his eyes everytime Clarissa mentions her suspicions that Slash could be the murderer. They argue, she cries, and they make out. A vicious cycle. Clarissa's dad knocks on the locked door and interrupts sexy happy time. Will jumps in the closet while Clarissa unlocks the door. Dad just wanted to let her know that Aaron will be arriving tomorrow and none of Clarissa's friends will be allowed to come over. FAMILY ONLY (dead not included). Dad goes away, Will leaves, and Clarissa reads one last entry in the diary. Someone was prank calling and stalking Justine. That freaks Clarissa out, but it only serves to numb me even further. This is the first time a Fear Street book has made me feel nothing. Usually I at least feel enraged...

Later on in the evening, Clarissa decides to gather Deb and Mira and a couple fake IDs to take a trip to the Zodiac club where Justine used to hang out with Slash. This should be...interesting. They head inside, find a table, and order drinks. Clarissa finds a waitress and asks where the bathrooms are. As she's making her way through the crowd, some guy steps in front of her and won't haul his creepy ass out of the way. He's got a gold tooth and eyebrow piercings with a tiny dagger in each. What a winner. He comes closer and says "Come here. I've got what you want." EW. Just then, Will, of all people, steps in and tells the freak to back off. He tells Clarissa that she needs to leave because it's too dangerous. Ooooo.

The next evening, Clarissa is waiting for her parents to come home with Aaron. When they do, we get Aaron's background. He's five years old and has terrible emotional problems due to the fact that he witnessed his parents' murder. *shock* Two guys tied them up and pushed them into the Conononka River. *more shock* No wonder the child is emotionally scarred. I am just from reading that! Clarissa shows Aaron his new room and he asks to see her room, too. He says that Justine is in heaven with his parents and Clarissa is shocked because she was sure Justine went to hell. Just kidding...or am I? Why does Stine (or whoever the hell wrote this crap) have to drag the kid into this? I swear, I think I've seen a shitty made-for-TV movie with this exact plot. I say that a lot--is that truly where Stine retrieves his ideas? Does it matter? Probably not. Anyway, what happens next pisses me off in a major way. Aaron runs into the room, picks up the phone, and suddenly goes all wonky, crumpling to the floor. He looks up and says "Be careful...Moon...Girl." Really? No, REALLY? This book is going into the fire for sure. Aaron goes on to say "Too late...another murder...too late." then goes limp. Clarissa yells for her dad who rushes upstairs. He thinks Aaron's problem is simply low blood sugar (HA) and takes him downstairs to get something to eat. Clarissa calls Debra to make sure she's still alive (she is). They discuss Trisha's prediction (it all goes back to that) because they believe it's coming true. Of course it is. Deb says she ran into Hammerhead (aka Eddie Robbins) at the mall and he told her that Justine acted awfully strange in the weeks before her death. Well, that solves everything! NOT. It's not even relevant. She was probably on her period or something. Deb tells Clarissa to hang on a sec and Clarissa hears her talking to someone in the background. She says "No. Get away from me!" just before a loud banging noise echoes through the phone. Clarissa hangs up the phone and runs to Debra's house. She bangs on the door, but no-one answers so she uses the spare key. What does she find inside? If you said "Debra's corpse" give yourself a pat on the back. Debra is crumpled at the bottom of the stairs, bleeding and broken.

On Thursday afternoon, Clarissa is sitting at the police station. A detective tells Clarissa that they see no reason to believe Debra was murdered. Unfortunately, warnings from a dead girl aren't enough proof so Clarissa has nothing. The detective believes that Debra simply fell down the stairs and everything Clarissa heard over the phone was a figment of her imagination. Shadyside cops are crap. And that's a vast understatement. Clarissa pretty much demolishes any tiny chance she would have of being believed when she tells the detective about Renata. *sigh* Miraculously, the guy actually agrees to call her. But the biotch lies and says she has never heard of Clarissa OR Justine. Clarissa protests, but the detective brings up the fact that he knows Clarissa spent time in the "special clinic" and for her own good, she shouldn't mention the psychic again. What an asshole! Clarissa gives up and goes home.

Once in her room, Clarissa calls Eddie Robbins (I refuse to call him Hammerhead again) to talk about what he told Debra at the mall. He says he isn't sure that she'll want to hear it, but Clarissa begs. He tells her that Justine had been seeing Will Reynolds. Oh hell no! And good gawd, Justine got around. Clarissa asks if Eddie knows anyone named Slash and does he think Will ever went by that name. Eddie has no clue which renders him useless to Clarissa so she says good-bye. She then calls Mira and asks her to come over. When she arrives, Clarissa explains everything. Mira says there's no way Will would've killed anyone, but Clarissa decides to call Renata to be sure. She asks Renata why she wouldn't talk to the police and her excuse sucks: "I'm sorry, Clarissa. About that and about your friend. But I couldn't tell that I knew you. Most cops don't believe psychics. I just can't afford to get involved with the police." When Clarissa asks her to channel Justine, she says no because she's too tired from another call. Then she hangs up on Clarissa. HATE! Mira says that she can e-mail Will and ask him where he was last night. They're pretty good friends and she doesn't think he'll lie to her. Idiot. She uses Clarissa's computer to send him a quick note and then she heads home. Clarissa lies down and suddenly the phone rings. All she hears is static, though, and automatically believes it's Justine. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? She moves to the doorway and looks down the hall. She goes to the staircase and peers down...and is shoved violently from behind. She falls all the way down and thinks she's dying just like Justine...

AND THAT WAS ALL A DREAM. I'm just going to sit the corner and grit my teeth for a while. Clarissa wakes up and finds Will standing over her. He clamps his hand over her mouth and tells her not to scream. He removes his hand and says he wanted to see her but didn't want to deal with her parents so he snuck through the window again. Okkk....but that doesn't explain why you're acting like a complete lunatic. Clarissa wastes no time in accusing him of being Slash and such. He says he was so pissed when Justine broke up with him that he went a little nuts (which explains the stalking and the dead Tweety) but he didn't kill her or Debra. Clarissa doesn't believe him, though, and keeps throwing accusations. Will gets nasty, telling Clarissa that she should go back to the clinic where she belongs. Ouch. She breaks up with him and forces him to get the hell out. Will says "You'll regret this, Clarissa. You'll regret it until the day you die." before climbing out the window. Yawn. Clarissa's parents come in and she delivers them the same spiel she gave to the detective. This only serves to make them believe she's losing her mind all over again. Will she never learn? She says that she's been talking to Renata over the phone that sits at her bedside. Her parents find that awfully strange considering that phone was disconnected after Justine's death. SHOCK! Her father takes the phone away and tells her he'll make her an appointment with the nice doctor.

Clarissa cuts school the next day. Late in the afternoon, she heads to Pete's Pizza to meet with Mira. Afterward, as they're walking home, Clarissa tells her Will was totally lying about everything and she needs to contact Justine to find out what will happen next. Mira lets Clarissa use her calling card to call Renata from a pay phone. But lo and behold, Renata can no longer contact Justine: "I can't find her. Justine is...gone!" Renata asks about the phone that Clarissa is calling from and says that Justine's "essence" was probably attached to the old phone and that's why the connection was so strong. The search for the phone begins. Yee haw! Or something.

That night, Clarissa and Mira wait until everyone in the house is asleep to begin looking for the phone. They find it in her dad's study, but just as they're making their way through the kitchen (why are they there?) Dad comes downstairs. Mira jumps into the bathroom with the phone while Clarissa stalls. He's too sleepy to suspect anything and goes back upstairs. Ok? The girls go to Clarissa's room and try Renata, but she never answers so Clarissa hides the phone and they go to bed. About 30 minutes later, Mira wakes Clarissa because she heard something outside. They realize someone is climbing to the window and start to freak out. The window is unlocked so WILL just climbs on in. Clarissa grabs the hunting knife, but he just wants to talk. They fight and Will ends up falling out the window.

On Saturday, Clarissa is sitting in Dr. Sayles' office. Turns out Will broke some bones and everyone pretty much blames her so she's back in the clinic. Dr. Sayles tells her she needs to believe that Will is innocent. She also has to call him and apologize for busting him up. The doctor dials Will's room and hands the phone to Clarissa. She apologizes and Will says he's more worried about her than himself. He has disturbing news: "Mira likes me. She's been after me since before I met Justine. I didn't want to say anything because the two of you are friends. I thought Mira would get the hint. But she didn't. And the more I think about it, she made hints... She said things about Justine's death. I never put it together before. Maybe I'd better talk to the police about Mira." Clarissa rejects this idea as we knew she would and flips out on Will: "There's no way I'm going to believe you! Never! Never! Never!" Good thing this happened right in front of the doctor--he'll have to believe you now, Clarissa, you unbelievable moron.

Later, Clarissa's parents come to visit. They bring Aaron probably because they want to get him used to this place now. He'll definitely be staying sometime in the future, let's face it. He's already disturbed and Shadyside will only feed the fire. He'll be the male Nancy Casey. That's a book I'd like to read... Ok, I've lost track. Mira comes along, too. She'll be babysitting Aaron while the parents shop and pretend that their family isn't falling apart at the seams. The group sits in the TV room and discusses Clarissa's progress (or lack thereof). Then Mom and Dad leave. Aaron hears Mira's cell phone ringing and opens her bag to answer it. Clarissa is shocked to see that it's Justine's cordless phone, not Mira's cell. Aaron looks at Clarissa and says "" Justine again. So Mira is the killer. Great. Why the hell do I still have 20 pages to read? Aaron goes to the bathroom and Mira says that she snagged the phone from Clarissa's house so they could contact Justine. Aaron comes back and he and Mira leave while Clarissa tries to figure out what "Believe it" means. Come on! Come. On.

When Clarissa finally pulls her head out of her ass, she decides that she has got to get out of this place and see if Aaron is all right. She figures if Mira really is the murderer, she'll try to destroy the only two connections to Justine: the phone and Aaron. She climbs out the window and runs to her house. No-one home. She heads to Mira's house where Mira's mother tells her that Mira was going to take Aaron to Fear Lake. Clarissa freaks out because Aaron is terrified of water (for the oh-so-obvious reasons) and this could be really bad. Clarissa races to Fear Lake and spots Mira and Aaron in a rowboat. Mira is being a total bitch by rocking the boat back and forth and laughing at Aaron's terror. So evil. Clarissa dives into the water and swims out to the boat. Mira stares at her and pulls Justine's phone out of her backpack. She says "Which one should I dump first? The phone or the little geek?" Why don't you dump yourself and save us all a lot of trouble, wench? Clarissa wants to know why Mira is doing this and the reason is predictably stupid: "You never got it, did you? Will and I were friends for a reason. We were meant to be together. But he ony wanted Justine. He was obsessed with her! You read the diary! You know how he was!" Ok, time out. I absolutely DESPISE this storyline and I can't even count how many times I've come across it in these damn books. No guy is worth killing for!!! You're going to kill an innocent child simply because some douchebag didn't wanna go on some shitty date with you?!?! Get over yourself!! Grrrrrr.

Mira confesses to murdering Justine and Debra. The "reasoning" behind Deb's murder makes me insane with white-hot RAGE: "I didn't want to kill Debra. But I was stupid. Because I admitted to her one night that I was hot for Will. And I couldn't give her a chance to figure out that I killed Justine to get her out of the way."Weak. So fucking weak! Mira drops the phone in the water and turns to Aaron. She shoves him in the water and he sinks, but Clarissa manages to drag him up before he becomes unconscious. Mira pops Clarissa in the head with the oar and Clarissa believes that she and Aaron will die out here. Luckily some random guy saves them. Of course he does! Because random strangers are always floating in the middle of a lake waiting for someone to attempt to murder you so they can save the day! Before Clarissa can get to the man (who already has Aaron) Mira tries to hit her again. This time, Clarissa grabs the oar and pulls Mira into the water. She climbs into the boat and begins rowing away from Mira. As Clarissa nears the shore, she sees her parents, Dr. Sayles, several police officers, and an unconscious Aaron. Mira manages to reach them first and immediately accuses Clarissa of trying to kill Aaron. Here we go... Clarissa screams that it's all a lie, but Mira interrupts by declaring Aaron dead. In a pukeworthy moment, Justine's phone washes ashore and suddenly Aaron is coughing up water and regaining consciousness. Well, it's over for you, Mira. Aaron points at Mira and says "She did it! Mira tried to kill us!" HA.

Later in the week, Clarissa is preparing to go out with Will. Apparently, he's forgiven her for pushing him out a window. And our darling Mira has been sent off to a hospital to get the mental help she severely needs. Happy endings all around. *barf*

Conclusion? This is one call you don't wanna answer, kids.

Next time: "Seniors #5 - Last Chance" This one sounds so scandalous it isn't even funny. Too bad it will probably turn out to be as lame and boring as this one was.

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 ...