Wednesday, November 18, 2009

High Tide

Book Description:

Adam Malfitano still has nightmares about the night his girlfriend, Mitzi, died. He sees the blood. He sees her in the water. He is a lifeguard and he can't save her. He wakes up screaming. Even worse, he has begun to see Mitzi while he is awake. He knows it is impossible...but she looks so real. He can see her face decaying. What does she want from him? Why won't she leave him alone? He tried to save her--doesn't she know that? [Obviously not, genius.]

My Description:

Part One

Adam and Mitzi are misbehaving on the ocean on a water...scooter? Never heard of it. "Talk about a great summer!" Oh Adam, I hate to crush your sunny-eyed optimism with the news that your girlfriend will soon croak, but yeah...she's as good as dead, dude. Anyway, Adam is a lifeguard who met Mitzi on the job. Mitz is a hot piece who gets wolf howls wherever she goes and Adam was no exception. He couldn't believe how hot she was: "Long blond hair, legs that went on forever, and a smile that almost knocked me out of the chair." Is that Mitzi up there on the cover? I think so and she doesn't look very tall or hot to me. In fact, she looks like a scared 12 year old who really wishes she hadn't taken a ride on the crazy man's scooter. Too late! Speaking of the cover, I think it's hilarious. I love how they're just speeding past the chick who looks like she's about to be eaten by Jaws or something. Anyway, Adam and Mitzi continue their joy ride until Adam says he has to head back to the beach for his shift. Unfortunately, they're hit by a couple of waves, Mitzi flies off into the water, and when Adam turns around to get her, he runs over her. The blood, the carnage...what a nice day. Adam sees Mitzi frantically splashing in the water, blood gushing from her huge head wound. He dives in to save her and ends up getting his leg sliced open by his beloved scooter. It's possessed by the spirits of everyone else you killed, Adam! So yeah, there's a scooter showdown and Adam wusses out and pulls himself and Mitzi down down down...

...and that was all a dream. A fucking dream. This is why I'm not sure you deserve to live any longer, Stine. Your only goal in life is to hurt people. HURT! *sob* You've made me a mental case with your damn dream sequences. Anyway, Adam wakes up screaming "We're drowning!" until his roomate Ian shakes him out of it. Adam calms down and looks around to see he's only in his apartment, not cutting his girlfriend's face off with a scooter. These nightmares started last summer after Mitzi died. Adam really DID slam into Mitzi with a scooter which lacerated her face, crushed her skull, and sent her to a watery grave. I know it was an accident, but did he receive any punishment beyond the constand psychological torment of knowing he killed his girlfriend? Oh well. It's only 6 am so Ian and Adam decide to try to go back to sleep. As Adam starts to throw his sheet back (he's still in bed) he completely flips out: "My legs! They're gone! My legs are gone! Help me! Ian, where is the rest of me?" They're under the sheet, you imbecile. Dammit, do I REALLY have to spend over 100 more pages with this dumbass?!

Adam goes to visit his psychiatrist, Dr. Thall. The good doctor listens to his maniacal patient's most recent issues and recommends that Adam quit the lifeguard thing and get the hell away from the beach for a while. Since Adam is the star of a Fear Street novel and has next to no working brain cells, he says he's staying put. After the session, Adam heads for the beach. *sigh* He's afraid he'll be late and a big scary lifeguard named Sean Cavanna will give him hell about it. Ok, Sean is just another lifeguard. He's not Adam's boss or supervisior or whatever so who the hell cares what he thinks? Apparently Adam isn't so scared after all because he stops to shoot the breeze with the girl he's been dating this summer. Her name is Leslie Jordan (save yourself, woman!) and she's really smart which means she's not as good looking as Mitzi. I'm not even gonna comment on that bullshit. They sit and talk for a bit before Adam says he's gotta go. He reaches the sand and freaks out because he sees Mitzi...or what passes for Mitzi these days: "Empty eye sockets stared back at me. Dark, empty holes in a gray-white skull. A skull. A skeleton's head with strips of gray flesh dangling from the gleaming bone. Shredded, rotting flesh. Mitzi cocked her head. Her rotting lips, black and peeling, drew back, exposing jagged, broken teeth." Do you still think she's hot, Adam? "Nooooo!" That's what I thought.

Part Two

As a treat, the first few chapters of part two are from Sean Cavanna. I can tell you're excited by the way you're walking away from your computer. Sean is lounging in his lifeguard chair, checking out some girl named Alyce Serkin. "Alyce is a major babe. She's hot!" Thanks for that absolutely useless bit of information. He sees that Alyce is packing up to leave so he jumps from his chair to run to her. What follows is a sickening exchange involving the words "You really are an animal." and a make-out session. Be still my heaving stomach. Sean asks Alyce if they're getting together later. When she says she has other plans, he goes a little psycho, grabbing her arm and saying "I'm warning you. I see you out with another guy, I'll kill him. I really will." Because murdering random people who MIGHT be giving your girl the side eye is always the right thing to do. Nothing too interesting happens. Sean plays his "episode" off as a joke and STILL won't leave the girl alone even though she obviously wants to leave. Finally Adam comes along and interrupts which pisses Sean off so he screams that a shark is a attacking a girl in an attempt to get rid of Adam. Obviously nothing is happening and Adam knows it. I hope Sean drowns...or gets eaten by a shark...or stung by a jellyfish on his private no-no parts.

Alyce leaves and Adam and Sean stand there like trees for a moment before getting back to their chairs. In the mean time, 10 people drowned because they weren't as special as Alyce's ass. Only joking...but that doesn't that sound like something that would happen with these incompetent slobs "on guard"? The guys talk about Alyce and then Sean shares an experience about an ex-girlfriend: "Cindy. Funny, sexy, a great dancer. Crazy about me. At least I thought she was. I actually thought we'd be together forever. She sneaked out on me with some other guy. We were supposed to go to the movies, but at the last minute she said she had something else to do. I knew she was lying. You can always tell, right? I followed her to make sure. I saw her meet up with this guy from school." Blah blah blah she sucks face with the guy, Sean follows them to an amusement park, and his rage makes him act like a gorilla gone wild. So he harrasses the guy constantly at school and finally takes him out to the woods and nearly beats him to death. Adam asks Sean why he's telling him this and Sean replies "Because I saw the way you were looking at Alyce." Alyce seems to really hate you...when she's not sticking her tongue down your throat. Never mind. I'm not analyzing their fucked up relationship.

Later, as Adam is jogging home, he keeps thinking about what Sean said. I don't wanna hear another word about SEAN. At home, Adam and Ian talk about hot chicks, order pizza, and brag about their dates for tonight. Adam is going to be cheating on the brainy Leslie with the Playboy pin-up Alyce. Ian...well, I don't really know what he's doing because all the focus is on lame ass Adam. Adam goes to take a shower (calm down, ladies) and as he steps out, the bedroom phone rings. He yells for Ian to get it, but Ian doesn't respond because Ian is as dead as a doorknob. Adam freaks out...until he sees that what he's looking at isn't Ian's lifeless body, it's just some crumpled clothes. What the hell? I'm really beginning to hate this book. The damn phone is still ringing so Adam picks up and it's Leslie. He tells her what just happened and she says he should be spending more time with Dr. Thall. Then she asks if he'd like her to come over, but he refuses because he has another dish on the side. He gets dressed, realizes he's still hungry (because 500 pieces of pizza just isn't enough), and throws out the rest of the pizza because it's cold. Maybe it's just me, but I love cold pizza. He picks up an apple and notices that it's, um, changing. "I was holding a green, rotting skull. I could smell it. Moldy and putrid with vacant eye sockets and shreds of skin dangling from stumps of black, twisted teeth. As I stared in horror, the wet apple jaws began to move. "Help me, Adam!" a hoarse voice inside the apple croaked. "Help. Don't let me drown!" Wet apple jaws?!? Am I really expected to take this seriously?!

Dammit, more from Sean. I think I'd rather listen to the apple. He's on his way to Alyce's place where he's sure to find something that'll make him quite upset. He pounds on the door screaming "You asleep or something? Wake up, babe! Time to party!" Somebody kill him. Kill him good. Alyce's roomate Kathy opens the door and informs the screeching idiot that Alyce is gone and she doesn't know where she went. This, like so many other things, enrages Sean and he heads for the local movie theater to see if Alyce exits with a guy. He nearly rips some poor guy's head off over a stupid parking spot before marching into the lobby to wait. Eventually Alyce comes out and she's never says. I'm assuming it's Adam, but maybe Stine decided to mix it up a little and add another schlub to this mess. Anyway, Sean completely loses his mind and decides to beat the shit out of this guy. All over a girl who hates his guts. *sigh* He runs into Leslie and barrels past her without stopping to talk. Some teenager makes the mistake of getting in his way so Sean politely shoves the boy into some trash cans and proceeds to beat him bloody until Leslie runs over and begs him to stop. Now might be a good time to look into those anger management classes you've been putting off all these years, Sean, you damn douche.

The next morning, Sean is lounging in his lifeguard chair thinking about last night. After beating the hell out of that kid, Sean kindly gave him $50 to keep his mouth shut and sent him on his way. Tool. Finally Sean snaps out of his thoughts long enough to do his job; he sees that it's HIGH TIDE! and puts out the red warning flags. As he's doing this, he spots Adam flirting with a few girls who are all over him. What is this guy's appeal? He's like this potato chip I once found that kind of resembled Luke Perry--interesting to look at, but lacking in personality (maybe that describes the actual Luke Perry, too. I wouldn't know.) Someday that chip will grow old and stale and then what do you have? Nothing! Where the hell am I and what the hell am I talking about? Oh well...

Now we're back to Adam's point of view which is just awful. As I said before, he's flirting with some gutter skanks named Joy and Raina who seem to have some kind of freakish obsession with him. Ian joins them and they all have an incredibly vapid conversation about boats and Shadyside High which is how these girls know Adam. They used to think he was sooooo hot, but never had the courage to talk to him. Give me a break. Gary Brandt, Shadyside's favorite man whore, is also mentioned. I think this walking STD shows up in every book. Ian gets bored and wanders off while Adam makes a "date" with Joy and Raina for 7 pm at the Sea Shanty. Nothing like a good shanty to turn the ladies on. The girls take off and Adam turns to see a furious looking Sean heading for him. But then Sean turns and runs away for no reason. I am completely over these idiots. Adam gets back to his post and dear sweet merciful Poseidon, there's a rogue water scooter on the ocean! With a phantom driver! Never mind. It's just another one of Adam's hallucinations.

Later, Adam visits Dr. Thall who, like all psychiatrists that pop up in Fear Street books, has absolutely NOTHING useful to say but encourages future visits because his fat chunk of change ain't fat enough. Flash forward to 7 pm--let's all head on down to the Sea Shanty! Yeeeeeee hawwww! Please kill me. Adam sits down to eat with Raina and Joy after dancing for a while. At one point, he looks up and spots Leslie. Remember her? The GIRLFRIEND? She walks over looking totally pissed, tells him off, and shoves him into the table before storming off and yelling "You hurt me, Adam! And I'm going to find a way to hurt you back!" I look forward to it.

The next day, Adam and Sean get in a little tiff. Sean attempts to impale Adam with one of the high tide flags, but alas, he misses. A few moments later, Joy and Raina come running over to make fun of him for cheating on his girlfriend. I hate these airheads. To make this wonderful day even better, Adam gets distracted by some kids arguing over a red bucket and when he looks back, Joy and Raina are being swept under by the waves. If this is another hallucination, I'm smashing someone's face with a hammer. They're out there drowning so Adam gets his Baywatch on (heaving Pam Anderson boobs not included) and begins running out to them. He's pissed because Sean is nowhere to be found and keeps blowing his whistle as if that'll work. He grabs Raina and Joy pops up, panics, and starts clawing at him like he's a damn scratching post. Forgive me for laughing while Adam screeches like a girl and attempts to get away from her before she drowns him. He manages to swim away with the unconscious Raina who miraculously regains consciousness when they reach the coast. Adam swims back to find Joy, but apparently she's already drowned. You suck, Adam.

Part Three

Adam has just awakened from a dream and is, as usual, shocked to find himself in his apartment instead of dying on a beach somewhere. He begs Ian to tell him that Joy didn't drown after all but of course she did. "I've killed another girl!" Looks that way, don't it? Ian tries to calm him down, but Adam says he just wants to be alone so Ian reluctantly leaves. Why couldn't he be the main character in this farce? He's actually a pretty decent guy. Unfortunately, you don't get your own Fear Street book unless you're a psycho or just a total dumbass. Adam lays around for a while thinking about what a filthy murderer he is before getting up for a bowl of cereal and listening to some heavy metal. Then the phone rings. *sigh8 "Adam, you're going to pay for what you did to me. I promise you. You're going to pay soon." It appears Leslie has gone totally Fatal Attraction. Adam thinks it has to be either Sean or Leslie, both of which would like to castrate him. But then he brushes it off as a prank call. Yeah, that won't come back to bite you in the ass. Fool.

Later, Adam decides to go jogging. At night. After someone just called to threaten his life. If you got any smarter, Adam, your head would explode. He runs along the beach (yet another "D'oh!" moment) but stops when he sees a figure emerging from the fog. It's Joy's mother f*&^ing ghost. She disappears after stating the obvious: "Adam, you let me drown!" No shit, Grossilocks. Adam is actually relieved it was just an hallucination, but when he glances down he sees Joy's footprints in the sand. "Since when do hallucinations leave footprints?" Since the Hallucinations Act of 1995. No, I don't care if that made no sense. I've come undone!

Back at ye olde apartment, Adam is busy losing his freaking mind over the footprints. Finally he wears himself out and goes to bed. But what would a night be without dozens of horrible nightmares? He dreams about the sccoter heading straight for Mitzi, but this time it isn't him at the wheel; it's some stranger whose face he can't see clearly. Mitzi dies as usual and Adam wakes in a sweat, relieved that for once, HE didn't kill Mitzi. No comment. Suddenly he spots someone at the foot of his bed! It's...just Ian. They both fall asleep. (No, not in each other's arms.)

The next morning, the rain is pouring so the beach is closed to swimmers and such. Adam is relieved that he doesn't have to work and gets up for a shower and his morning gruel. Unfortunately, the food supplies are running low so Adam decides to eat at a local restaurant...the one where Leslie happens to work. Before he can leave, though, he gets another call. Ooooo. The creep just tells him to be careful and he'll find out soon what Creepy wants. Ew. Anyway, Adam finally gets to talk to Leslie and is pretty much shot down. Then he mentions Joy's death, Leslie brings out a newspaper, and Adam is shocked to see that there is no mention of it whatsoever. Was Joy always a ghost? Does anyone besides Adam care? Is the fact that I'm paying more attention to an episode of The Simpsons than this book affecting this review? (Probably, no, and most definitely. GO HOMER!) So Adam starts his usual freak out (this guy spend 95% of his life in state of hysteria) and runs away, finding himself at the Boardwalk (down by the seeeaaa...come on, sing with me! It dulls the pain.) He sees foggy Joy again and repeatedly tells her he tried to save her which is kind of a lie, but she disappears. Pointless much? He goes home and finds a interesting surprise. "A butchered sea gull. Its head chopped off. Its body ripped open. It's feathers slick with blood." Oh, and there's a friendly note: "This is you. You're next." Why couldn't the psycho have spared the innocent bird and went right for Adam? Why are the animals always caught in the crossfire?! *sob*

The next day, Adam is back at the beach and Raina immediately runs up to him and tells him to meet her tonight at the dock. She runs off and Adam takes his post. He attempts to make conversation with Sean for some reason, but Sean completely ignores him. Adam keeps on talking, though, because he's such a lonely boy. Sean interrupts with "It's my break time. Be back in twenty minutes." Good riddance.

Later, Adam trudges home, gets some water, and turns to find someone standing in the doorway holding a butcher knife. Run on home, Michael Myers. Even you don't deserve this kind of torture. The intruder attempts to stab Adam, but he runs into his bedroom where the guy slashes up his bed and pillows instead. Yeah, it's Sean. Adam wants to know what the hell is going on. Turns out Sean wants IAN'S head on a stick, not Adam's. Ian has been sneaking around with Alyce. So instead of trying to murder the guy, why don't you go have a talk with Alyce? I didn't think Sean and Alyce were officially a couple anyway so what the fuck does he care? Plus, teenagers never have sex. Ian and Alyce are probably just building birdhouses or something. Adam is shocked to hear the news (I don't know why. Ian is the only guy around who acts like he has any damn sense. No wonder Alyce wants him over Sean or Adam) and wants to know why Sean has been harrassing him instead of Ian. "Because he's your roomate." Heaps of logic. Adam finally gets this nut out of his apartment by promising to talk to Ian.

Ian comes home a little while later, but instead of telling him to take a plane to Mexico and hide until Sean decides he doesn't wanna murder him anymore, Adam says he's got to go meet Raina and leaves. You couldn't AT LEAST warn the guy that someone wants to kill him? People like you disgust me, Adam.

So now we're at the dock. Oh how I'm dreading this shit. Raina says she owes him an apology. "Actually, we BOTH do." Just as she says this, Joy comes walking down the dock. Adam, I fear you are screwed, buddy. Turns out the whole drowning scene was an act and get this shit: "It was Dr. Thall's idea. He asked us to do it. He asked Ian to help, too." You have GOT to be kidding me. I told you this "doctor" was a piece of shit. I doubt he's even a real doctor. Grrr. There's some more crap about Dr. Thall which causes Adam to go crazy and jump on a water scooter tied to the dock. As he's riding along, he sees Ian riding on a scooter and this triggers a memory for him. He stops and Ian comes riding over. Another showdown at the Shithead Corral. Adam remembers what actually happened that fateful summer Mitzi died: Ian borrowed Adam's scooter, took Mitzi for a ride, and Mitzi never returned. Ian ran over Mitzi with the scooter, rode back to the dock where Adam confiscated said scooter to search for Mitzi, and Adam went berserk and convinced himself that HE had killed Mitzi. How stupid and painfully convoluted. Anyway, Ian guns his scooter toward Adam who flies into the water. I guess he's trying to kill him because he knows too much. *snort* Somehow Ian ends up in the water with a broken leg and Adam pulls him to safety. An ambulance arrives a little later and drives away with the busted Ian while Adam walks along the beach until he comes upon Alyce and Sean. They talk a little about what happened before Adam starts walking to his apartment. Once there, Leslie comes to visit and they make out. The end.

Conclusion? Normally I'd be pissed that I wasted so many precious minutes on something so crappy. But this thing is so lame and boring I just feel sorry for it.

Next time: "The Prom Queen" Dead girls in prom dresses. How sad.

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