Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Prom Queen

Book Description:

A spring night..soft moonlight...five beautiful Prom Queen candidates...dancing couples at the Shadyside High prom--these should be the ingredients for romance. But stir in one brutal murder--then another and another--and the recipe quickly turns to horror. Lizzie McVay realizes that someone is murdering the five Prom Queen candidates one by one--and she may be next on the list! Can she stop the murderer before the dance is over--for good?

My Description:

So there's some weirdo murdering people around Shadyside. For some reason, this is big news even though it happens every other fucking day. Lizzie and her friends can't stop talking about it and everyone around town is afraid. I bet the people on Fear Street aren't scared. Because the killer is probably one of them. Anyway, it's Tuesday afternoon and Lizzie and her friends Dawn and Rachel are in the locker room after gym class. These three are all aflutter about the most recent murder: some teenage girl none of them knew. Rachel lives on Fear Street and since the bodywas found in the Fear Street Woods, she's extra scared. I'm pretty shocked at how insensitive all the girls in the room are. Every one of them makes some sick joke about the poor girl's murder. Bitches! It could be you all next! Unless you're a blonde. Rachel says she's getting a dog to guard her and Lizzie thinks about how poor Rachel's parents are. "I doubted they could swing for an alarm system, even with a serial killer on the loose." Did I mention these girls are bitches?

The bell rings and everyone heads for class. As they're preparing to leave the locker room, Dawn brings up prom and brags that four of the cutest guys at Shadyside High have already asked her out. *sigh* Gag me with a rusty spoon. Lizzie doesn't have a date because her boyfriend Kevin is an army brat and his father dragged him to Alabama. No-one cares about whether Rachel has a date because she's the weakest link. The girls finally exit the locker room and go to the auditorium for a prom assembly. The purpose: to announce the five prom queen candidates. Mr. Sewall (the principal whom everyone calls the Muppet) takes the podium and speaks about the most recent murder for a moment before completely downplaying it with a laugh. Are you people kidding me? Nothing about that situation is even remotely amusing!!! If the dead girl's mother knew you were laughing about this, you fat fugly Muppet, she'd probably set your bald head on fire with a blowtorch. Anyway, where the hell was I? Oh yeah, the stupid prom queen candidates. First up is our very own Lizzie McVay who didn't even see it coming. Second is Simone Perry. She has long dark hair and is wearing a silk top and tight leather skirt and totally thinks she's the shit. Third is Elana Potter, a bouncy, perky, popular girl with no brains to speak of. Fourth is Dawn Rodgers, Lizzie's BFF and the new bane of my existence. Dawn gives a few Jersey Shore fist pumps which makes me hate her even more. The last candidate (and certainly the least) is Rachel West which makes no sense whatsoever because Rachel is a wallflower who's ignored by her own friends (as seen earlier in the locker room with Dawn and Lizzie). So how the hell did she manage to become a candidate? Oh well. The excitement dies pretty quickly when Muppet Sewall announces where the prom will take place. "But what you seniors don't know is that as a special treat, I've been able to rent the newly refurbished Halsey Manor House. That should make for quite a party, don't you think?" You cheap motherfucker! First of all, I call you 'cheap' because the place is located in the Fear Street Woods near the place where that girl's body was found so you probably got it for a steal. Second, I don't give a damn if the place is "refurbished" or not because it's still gonna be a dark, dank dump in the middle of the dark, dank woods. The prom is supposed to be fun which means it should NOT take place on Fear Street next to a crime scene. To say you dropped the ball on this one, Mr. Muppetbutt, would be a huge understatement. Everyone in the audience is just as disappointed as me. Lizzie is upset and completely tunes the principal out and thinks about her fellow candidates (note: this is just a plot contrivance so Stine can ramble on about how these girls look which kind of creeps me out). Let's keep it brief:

Simone = dark, dramatic (star of the drama club), and a complete psychopath (a la Fatal Attraction) about her boyfriend Justin.

Elana = pretty, preppy, popular, rich, smart

Dawn = she looks exactly like Dawn Schafer of Babysitter's Club fame, good at sports and snagging guys (is that Lizzie's way of calling her a slut?)

Rachel = poor white trash, shy, red hair, pretty. May I ask why we have to be beaten over the head with the fact that she's poor? I'm still on the first chapter and I've already been told this like five times. Seriously, who cares? Unless Racehl is the killer and she's murdering all the wealthy people that have given her shit over the years. As for the prom queen candidates...well, there IS a $3000 scholarship for the winner. And Rachel could sure use it.

After school, everyone goes to their safe place, Pete's Pizza, to celebrate. Or something. I don't think these people really need an excuse to show up at Pete's. The prom queen girls sit together and the first thing that comes up is the killer. Finally, Lizzie suggests that they do each other's speeches. Simone pretends to be Dawn and vice versa and they both get big laughs (yes, I may have tittered a few times. Yes, I just used the word 'titter'.) When Elana pretends to be Rachel, it's cringe inducing because all she talks about is Rachel's poverty. Then Rachel strikes a nerve when she pretends to be Elana and takes the spoiled little rich girl act a little too far. The table gets quiet until Simone leaps up and screams "No! Stop!" and runs out of the restaurant. She's acting like someone was just murdered, but it's just Justin talking to some cute girl outside and Simone ain't having it. While she's away, Dawn has a dirty little secret to unveil: "I went out with Justin last week." She doesn't regret it, but I imagine she will when Simone puts her in traction. But Rachel drops another bomb. Dawn asks her what she would do if Justin asked her out and she says "He already asked me. I said yes." Bad girl!

That night, Lizzie is back in the auditorium for play rehearsal (she does props). Some dude named Robbie wants to know where Simone is and tells someone to call her. They get no answer so Lizzie decides Simone is somewhere in the school and goes to look for her. She manages to get herself locked in a dark stairwell because she's a genius. Then she starts screaming like a deranged loon because she hears someone coming. It turns out to be Mr. Santucci, the janitor, who wants to know what the hell is wrong with her. Lizzie apologizes and walks out to the parking lot where Dawn is preparing to leave. Dawn is acting an awfully lot like a prom queen killer in Lizzie's opinion. She gets in her car even though it's obvious she sees Lizzie coming, starts the car, and attempts to drive away even though Lizzie is standing right there. Finally she rolls down the window and Lizzie is shocked to see that her face is covered in scratch marks and she's got blood on her shirt. Dawn says she was playing tennis and crashed into the fence surrounding the court. Uh-huh. Dawn drives away before Lizzie can say another word. Robbie and Eva come out to the parking lot and say that rehearsal is cancelled because Simone is a no-show and she's the lead.

Lizzie heads to Simone's place where her dad says she's upstairs in her room. The room is totally trashed and there's a huge puddle of blood in the middle of the floor. Lizzie sees a flash out of the corner of her eye and runs over to the window where she spots some dude (or could it be someone of the female persuasion for once?) running into the woods carrying something wrapped in a big gray sack. I'm sure it's just some dirty laundry, Lizzie. No need to scream so loud.

The next afternoon, Lizzie and pals are at Simone's house eating peanut butter cookies and watching Simone's mom cry over her missing daughter. Assholes. A couple of police officers show up to ask questions. They tell Simone's parents that they've got people searching for Simone. Who cares? She's already dead and even if she wasn't, they'd never find her because they suck. The officers ask everyone where they were last night. Everyone has an alibi so the cops leave. Everyone else leaves a moment later. Outside, some cross-eyed weirdo named Lucas Brown comes running up to Lizzie screaming "I killed her! I killed her!" He didn't. He's just an insensitive ass who thinks that's funny. Lucas badgers Lizzie until she gets into her car. He makes the mistake of putting his fingers on the open window and she nearly crushes them as she rolls the window up. As she's driving home, she remembers something about the person she saw running in the woods last night...and the chapter ends there with giving details. Typical.

Two weeks later, Simone is still missing and no-one seems to give a shit anymore. Once again: these people are assholes! Lizzie claims she can't stop thinking about Simone, but I don't believe it. Anyway, it's Wednesday night and Lizzie, Dawn, and Rachel are driving to Division Street Mall. Lizzie brings up the fact that Lucas Brown (the cross-eyed guy) asked her to prom. The girls find this hilarious of course. Lizzie shot him down because she suspects he had something to do with Simone's disappearance; that person running in the woods with the giant sack was wearing a maroon baseball jacket just like Lucas wears. That proves nothing, Detective Liz. Plus, Lucas dated Simone for a very short time before she dumped him and broke his achy heart so maybe he killed her in revenge. *sigh* Suddenly Lizzie announces they're making a stop at Simone's house. Why? To remind her parents of what they've lost? Dawn bitches about it, but Liz insists. Dawn stays in the car while Lizzie and Rachel go knocking on the door. Simone's dad fills them in on what's been going on (nothing) and shuts the door in their faces. They get back in the car where Lizzie and Dawn exchange some fighting words. Lizzie accuses Dawn of being insensitive about this whole Simone thing which makes me laugh because it ain't just Dawn who's being insensitive. They finally change the subject to prom which is about two weeks away.

When they reach the mall, they make a dash for the prom dresses. Dawn acts like a total bitch, telling the other two girls that they don't look too good. Then Lizzie and Dawn fight over a dress and Dawn ends up "winning" because she's bitchier. Eventually they leave the store and go to the movie theater. Lizzie spots Suki Thomas, Shadyside's notorious harlot, clinging to Justin, Simone's slutty boyfriend. During the movie all Lizzie can think about is those two. Dawn gets up to go get a drink and tramples all over Lizzie, effectively breaking her trance (and possibly her toes). After about 10 minutes have passed and Dawn still hasn't returned, Rachel goes to check on her. A moment later, she comes running back and tells Lizzie something terrible has happened to Dawn. Maybe she drowned in the toilet. Never mind--she just passed out. When she wakes up, she mumbles that some dude came out of nowhere and hit her in the head. The cops come, Dawn explains it all, and the manager offers her free tickets for another movie since she didn't finish this one. Thanks. Cheapskate. (If I almost get my head caved in at your theater, I expect some cash.)

At home, Lizzie sees that she received a letter from her old lover Kevin. Nothing interesting there. Kevin sounds like a 75 year old retiree living in Boca. A storm is raging outside which means something bad is going to happen soon. Lizzie starts a letter to Kevin: "Dear Kevin, Simone is dead." Seriously, that's how she begins. Couldn't she at least ask him how he's doing before launching into the obituary? She doesn't get much further because Rachel calls: "Help, Lizzie--please!" The line goes dead and Lizzie rushes to Fear Street. As she's driving past the cemetery, she runs over something...someone? She gets out of the car, realizes she just killed a raccoon, and almost gets her own ass ran over by a passing truck. Geez. Lizzie manages to get to Rachel's house in one piece. When she gets inside, she runs up to Rachel's room expecting a bloody corpse, but Rachel is fine. So why the theatrical phone call? "Gideon is breaking up with me." That's it?! You call someone screaming for help because your stupid boyfriend is over your mess? Screw you, Rachel. She rambles about Gideon getting with Elana and blah blah it sucks blah blah. Lizzie leaves a few minutes later without beating the fucking tar out of Rachel for being such a whiny little creep.

When Lizzie gets home, her father excitedly informs her that the murderer has been caught. She's disappointed that it's just some nut that broke out of prison and not Lucas. No comment. Lizzie decides to stuff her face with chocolate and veg out in front of the TV to calm herself. She turns the channel to the news and sees the rotten-toothed murderer who claims he did nothing. Lizzie goes to bed, but doesn't get to sleep for long. She hears knocking at the door and she and her parents go downstairs and find a cop on the porch who informs Lizzie that she was the last one to see Rachel alive. Two down...

It's been a week since Rachel's murder (she was found stabbed to death on her bedroom floor) and everything is just peaches and cream. No-one knows what the hell is going on and no-one seems to care. La di da! Side note: I think the killer is Simone...and I only JUST started thinking that because I'm incredibly dense. Anyway, it's Thursday night and Lizzie is checking props for the play rehearsal. Dawn comes up to her and says she never should've taken Simone's part because wearing a dead girl's costume is too creepy. Then she says this killer is obviously targeting prom queen candidates and she could be next! One can only hope. Dawn goes on stage and Lizzie suddenly gets the idea that DAWN could be the killer. Why? "She desperately wanted to win. She was crazy about winning. We all knew that. Crazy... What if Dawn gotsome guy to kill the other candidates?" Why do they aways assume it's a guy? Women are perfectly capable of murder!

Lizzie starts thinking about Rachel's ex, Gideon, and thinks maybe he did it. *sigh* Then a sandbag comes tumbling down to stage, distracting Lizzie and nearly creaming Dawn. After comforting Dawn who makes a big production about someone trying to kill her, Lizzie leaves. As she's driving through the pouring rain, she sees a face pop up in her rearview mirror. It's stupid Lucas who carries on about wanting to get to know her better and blah blah blah. When Lizzie realizes he's wearing a maroon baseball jacket, she freaks out and forces him out. She speeds all the way home. When she gets there, the lights are out and her parents are gone. She turns on the kitchen light and finds Justin sitting there. He tells her that her parents went to the airport to pick up Lizzie's aunt. Why did they leave this fool in their house? Justin starts hitting on Lizzie after mentioning how lonely it's been since Simone went missing. What. An. Asshole. Lizzie tells him to take a hike which he does.

That night, Lizzie has a nightmare about zombie prom queens and wakes up screaming. The next day at school, it's all she can think about. At lunch, Lizzie walks right past Elana and Dawn and sits with some nerdy freshman dude instead who's in heaven because a senior is paying attention to him. Once Lizzie is done eating, Elana comes up to Lizzie and says they need to talk. Since they've got 20 minuest left in the lunch period, they take a walk to Shadyside Park. I'm surprised they're allowed to leave at lunch. At my high school, we were practically shackled to the tables. And the loony (and when I say loony, I mean it. This chick was fucking daffy.) "monitor" Kathy had her beady eyes on you so you couldn't exactly slip away. Anyway, Elana cries over her guilt at dating Gideon (she was the reason he broke up with Rachel) and Lizzie tells her it's ok. You're both bitches. Lizzie asks if Gideon ever mentioned the prom queen contest. When Elana says no, Lizzie says "His family's about as poor as Rachel's, you know." SO?! Lizzie's theory is that Gideon is offing all the candidates except for one who he will seduce so he can steal her $3000 scholarship. Just be quiet, Lizzie. Just shut up for two minutes and think about the crap that's flowing from your mouth. The girls talk about their prom dates. Elana is going with some dude named Bruce Chadwick and Lizzie says she'll probably end up going with her cousin Seth because Kevin's dad won't let him come. Is it a sin to go alone? She doesn't sound too enthused about Seth so why take him? Why am I still asking questions?

That evening, Lizzie drives to play rehearsal and thinks about how comforting Shadyside High is: "I knew that old school smell so well--a combination of floor wax, sweat, peanut butter, and sour milk. How could anything bad happen here?" How could it NOT? And sweat and peanut butter? What the hell? She goes into the dak auditorium, turns on the lights, and begins screaming bloody murder. Elana's twisted corpse is lying on the stage in a pool of blood. The janitor calls an ambulance and when it arrives, Lizzie gets a closer look at Elana's smashed up face...and the swatch of maroon fabric clutched in her dead fist.

As Lizzie is trying to get to sleep that night, Justin calls her because he has no manners and thinks harrassing her in the middle of the night is A-ok. He says he needs to tell her something important, but he needs to say it in person. Lizzie actually agrees to turn her house's alarm system off so Justin can sneak in without waking her parents. Moron. Does she honestly think he just wants to talk? He comes over and just when Lizzie starts getting nervous because he's acting weird, her dad comes in and Justin leaves a moment later Lizzie goes back to bed, but she can't go to sleep because a tree branch is tapping at the window like some grody vampire begging to be invited in.

On Monday, Lizzie manages to avoid Justin all day. When she gets home, she finds a letter from Kevin stating that he can go to prom with her after all. Blah blah dress rehearsal blah blah Justin acting sweaty and weird and asking Lizzie to prom like the jackass he is blah blah Dawn gets stabbed. Yes, some shadowy figure (the Phantom?) shows up, he/she and Dawn struggle, and he/she endsup burying a knife in her chesr. Lizzie watches the entire thingand finally sees the killer's face. It's our darling Simone! I don't want to say I told you so, but dammit, I told you so. Simone is oh-so-pissed: "I'm killing everyone who betrayed me, everyone who sneaked out with Justin." Because that's reasonable. She goes on to say that she's been living in the prop room, sustaining herself on cafeteria food and theater mice. As Simone takes a step toward Lizzie, Lizzie pulls a rope causing a sandbag to come down and crush Simone's dainty foot. Simone passes out and Lizzie runs over to Dawn who is somehow STILL ALIVE. Whatever. Simone regains consciousness, she and Lizzie have the obligatory wrestling death match, and I have absolutely no idea what happens to Simone. Seriously, the paramedics come for Dawn, but there's no mention of whether Simone is alive or dead. LAME!

It's now the night of the prom. Lizzie is dancing with her cream puff, Kevin, and all is right with the world even though people are dead and everyone is in a house in the middle of the Fear Street Woods.

Conclusion? This book is a jerk.

Next time: "Fear Hall: The Beginning" Yes, folks, the Fear family built a college dorm for whatever reason and now someone is killing people who live there. Should be...predictable.

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 ...