Sunday, October 31, 2010

Still More Tales To Give You Goosebumps

* I meant to post this hours ago, but it's still technically Halloween so let's get on with it! *

Reader Beware--You're In For Ten Halloween Scares!

Will Charlie's recipe for pumpkin juice cause him some hair-raising terror? Are Dave's awesome ants biting off more than they can chew? Can Max's Halloween wish turn him into an endangered species?

1. Pumpkin Juice

"I screamed when I opened the kitchen door." Too bad it's only Charlie's friend Frank in his goofy alien costume and not something SCARY. They're going trick-or-treating together soon, but first Frank wants to show Charlie a recipe he found in Monster Brews to Bring out the Best in You on Halloween. He flips to a page with a recipe for something called Pumpkin Juice Supreme. He brought a pumpkin with him so they could make this disgusting concoction. Ingredients: flesh of ripe pumpkin, milk, molasses, butter, garlic, and chicken broth. (I'll give my copy of this book to anyone who tries that.) Barf-o-rama. They mix it all together, trash the kitchen in the process, and each have a couple cups. They both thoroughly enjoy because they're dirty little monster boys. Eventually they set out for a night of trick-or-treating. Charlie suddenly feels like he's starving and begins devouring his candy like it's going out of style. He notices Frank doing the same thing. Frank's insatiable hunger causes him to shove open a woman's door for more candy because she didn't give him enough the first time. At the next house, Charlie gets pissed at a little boy who tried to give him a stinking LOLLIPOP so Charlie shoves past him, runs into the kitchen, and starts gobbling eggs and raw liver. GAG. He stops only when he sees thick black hair sprouting out of his hands. As the little boy's enraged mother swats Charlie out of her kitchen with a broom, Charlie has an epiphany: "The booklet didn't promise to bring out the best in me. It promised to bring out the beast in me. And it worked!" Outside, Charlie slurps a worm right off the ground before getting into a fight in an alley with an incresingly furry Frank over a stupid cookie. They eventually stop fighting, go to Charlie's house, nearly eat his cat, and realize there must be something in the book to cure them. Of course there is and the cure is basically the ingredients for pumpkin pie which Charlie's mom has just baked. What a coincidence. After eating some pie, the boys are back to normal. Unfortunately, Charlie's mom drank some Pumpkin Juice and is now devouring raw hamburger.

Trick or treat? A stomach churning TRICK.

2. Attack of the Tattoo

No joke. That's really the title. Anyway, Jeannie is really disappointed in her Halloween haul. The only thing of any interest in her trick-or-treat pillowcase (NO BAGS!) is a temporary tattoo of an evil looking snake. "It was the coolest tattoo I'd ever seen." Then you obviously haven't seen many. She runs to the bathroom for a wet washcloth to apply the tattoo (this is really taking me back to the years when I thought Lisa Frank temp tattoos were the shizz. Rainbow unicorn rocks.) but the directions say "To apply, use water scorched by the sun." This is the morning after Halloween so the sun is shining bright. Jeannie takes a bottle of water outside, lets the sun shine through it, and dumps the entire thing on her arm to apply the tattoo. It works. What a waste of water. She's incredibly excited and bikes to her friend Maggie's house to show it off. On the way over, she feels something slithering over her legs. She screams and pulls the bike over, but sees nothing and continues peddling. Maggie takes a break from wolfing chocolate to admire the tattoo: "Jeannie, that is the coolest thing I've ever seen!" What is it with these kids? Turns out Maggie also got a tattoo, but hers is just a centipede. A centipede. A CENTIPEDE. Which is why she didn't bother applying it.

That night, Jeannie wakes up to three black snakes slithering through her bed. She freaks out, wads them in the sheet, and tosses them out the window. She runs to the bathroom to scrub the eeeeeevil tattoo off, but it stays put.

The next day at school, Jeannie runs to Maggie to tell her about the sun water, the snakes, and how she can't remove the tattoo. Maggie tells her to read the directions. Genius! After school, Jeannie finds the paper which reads "To remove, use water struck by the full moon." Original. Jeannie calls Maggie to tell her and asks when the next full moon will be. Maggie checks the calendar...the moon will be full TONIGHT.

Once the moon is out, Jeannie goes outside where a snake begins working its way out of the tattoo. Then another and another until Jeannie is surrounded. And the tattoo is STILL there even though it just gave birth to a bunch of full grown snakes. Hm. Jeannie kills the snakes with her potent moon water and rinses her tattoo away. Yay. The next day at school, Jeannie finds that everyone has applied their evil tattoos. Some dude named Zach has two sun water soaked tattoos for Maggie (a tarantula) and Jeannie (a rat) and he immediately slaps them on their arms. "Maggie, is the moon still full tonight? Or do we have to wait a full month?"

Trick or treat? A slimy, itchy, creepy, crawly trick.

3. The Wish

Max's shitty 15 year old brother Eugene has locked Max in a closet. He's screaming for help because he's going to be late for trick-or-treating with his friend Alex. Max's mom lets him out of the closet and laughs when he says Eugene locked him in. Parent of the year. Finally Max and Alex leave and Max thinks about how cool his mask is: "A long scar ran down one side, dripping with blood. Warts and boils covered the other side. Totally gross." Indeed. The boys cover the whole neighborhood and end up with loads of candy. Unfortunately for Max, Eugene knocks the bag out of his arms and candy spills all over the street. He walks off eating Max's favorite treat, a jelly apple. Max spots a house he and Alex must have missed so he runs over to get a little candy (some is better than none...although he could have just gathered it off the street). A nasty old lady who is nearly bald and closely resembles a skeleton answers the door and drags Max closer. She gives him a jagged rock as his "treat" and tells him "Don't throw away the power!" before cackling and slamming the door. A mental patient escapee. Always a Halloween favorite. Max runs home and throws the rock out the window after wishing he was an only child.

When Max wakes the next morning, things are very off. Eugene's room is a study and Max's school is missing and every person that Max comes into contact with runs away screaming! A group of angry adults begin chasing him so he dives into Ms. Greenway's pet store. He tells her he needs help, but she immediately lets the adults in and they trap him in a net. He sees the weird old lady holding her rock of power and Max realizes his wish came true and he should never have thrown away the power. Max is the only child on planet earth and now resides in a cage labeled 'Endangered Species'.

Trick or treat? A trick of epic proportions.

4. An Old Story

Tom's neglectful workaholic parents forgot to go the store again so he and his brother Jon have resorted to fighting over a few Oreos. The doorbell rings and Tom peeps out a window to get a look at the visitor. It's a tall old woman in a blue coat and floppy black hat pinned with a rose. Jon says not to answer the door because that old hag is a STRANGER! But Tom says she's just a defenseless old lady and opens the door. The windbag seems to know them both and introduces herself as Aunt Dahlia. She says they probably don't remember her because they were little when she last deigned to make a visit. She barges in and makes them cookies with giant prunes in the center. "Don't skip the prunes. That's the best part." LIAR! Dahlia sticks around for weeks which gives Tom's parents permission to work even more than usual since they now have a crazy lady who babysits for free and makes sure their sons are getting their nutrition by shoving prunes down their throats every day. One morning, Tom and Jon wake up feeling stiff and elderly. They're also balding and going deaf. Prunes really are the devil. Tom wants to go to the doctor to flush the old out of his system, but Aunt Dahlia says he isn't going anywhere. Her crusty friends have arrived for a rousing game of bridge and they're going to teach Tom and Jon how to play. The old crones flirt with the youngish oldish boys and when Dahlia asks if one of them will run out for some milk, Tom quickly volunteers. The cashier at the corner store offers Tom a senior's discount on antacids, but he refuses. He catches his reflection and sees that he's extremely wrinkled now. "I was turning into an old man!" It's the demonic PRUNES! Jon is also changing rapidly. "His face was wrinkled up--like a prune." NOOOOOO! Jon and Tom decide to search Dahlia's room for proof that she made them old. They overhear one of the old ladies say that she wants to marry Tom. "Aunt Dahlia was turning us into old men--so these old ladies could marry us!" EW. They still have the minds of kids, no matter how wrinkled and decrepit they become! The boys hear Dahlia say the old ladies can have them after they pay her fee. "Aunt Dahlia is selling us to those old ladies! She turned us into old men so they could marry us and move to Florida!" Where old boys go to die. The two find some anti-wrinkle cream; Aunt Dahlia enters the room and attempts to take it, but they smear it on and instantly become young again. After a heated chase, the boys end up splashing prune juice on Dahlia which causes her to disintegrate. Later, Tom's stupid parents figure out that Dahlia was in no way related to this family. *sigh*

At school on Monday, Tom notices that his crush Becca has a prune loaded lunch, courtesy of her old auntie Susan: prune juice, prune cookies, and prune on rye. Tom hands her a ham sandwich and tells her to run for her life.

Trick or treat? This story is a mixture of dirty tricks, mothballs, and PRUNES PRUNES PRUNES! The only thing missing? Any mention of Halloween.

5. The Scarecrow

Darleen, Scott, and Melanie are on their way to school, but have gotten sidetracked by the scarecrow in the hundred dollar scarf on the lawn of the old Swofford place. They think it's strange because no-one lives in the delapidated house. Also, the damn thing has an expensive cashmere scarf tied around its neck. Seriously. It's also wearing a red baseball cap and blue leather gloves. Coincidentally (by 'coincidentally' I mean 'not coincidental in any way') the scarf is just like one that Melanie has been coveting, the hat is like the one Scott has been looking for, and the gloves are the ones that Darleen has been admiring for a while. But the kids think nothing of this and run off to school where they're late and assigned detention. That afternoon, Darleen and Scott realize that Melanie didn't show up for detention. When they pass the scarecrow on their way home, they see that the straw man's designer scarf is missing. A moment later, Melanie jogs up wearing it, not remorseful at all that she stole it. She tells Scott and Darleen to take what they want. After all, anyone stupid enough to put nice things on a scarecrow deserves to get robbed! Neither Scott nor Darleen takes anything. Darleen does, however, get up in the middle of the night to stand in front of the scarecrow and admire the gloves. But her mom yells at her to get inside.

The next day, Melanie calls Darleen and says she has a horrible sore throat and asks Darleen to get her homework for her. Darleen agrees and leaves the house. She sees Scott wearing the red hat and he tells her to take the gloves, but she says she'll wait until after school. At the end of the day, Scott has become very rattled in the brain, confused and forgetful (has he been eating prunes?). Darleen drags him home, drops off Melanie's assignments, and doesn't steal the gloves because the scarecrow is too scary. Booga booga!

The next day, Scott is worse and Darleen decides to steal the gloves because she hasn't been paying attention to the irony of her friends' situations. She takes the gloves, the scarecrow grabs her and she passes out. When she wakes up, Melanie and Scott are standing over her. Everything was just their idea of a Halloween joke. (How the hell did they get the money for leather gloves and a cashmere scarf?!) Except the scarecrow is smiling now...and he wasn't before...and this ending sucks.

Trick or treat? A straw-coated trick.

*We have now reached the mid point and so far, these stories have tragically misfired again and again. Let's have a toast with our smelly cups of Pumpkin Juice in the hopes that the next five stories are a little better.*

6. Awesome Ants

Dave is at home with his friend Ben. They're doing homework when the doorbell rings. It's a deliveryman with Dave's giant ant farm from Awesome Ants Inc. The glass case is bigger than a pool table and Dave is concerned that he won't be able to observe the ants for his science project. Because ants are the most fascinating creatures in the world. Except not. You'd be better off watching the grass grow, Dave. The farm came with a box of blue gel capsules with instructions to ONLY feed the ants the capsules and nothing else. For some kids, this wouldn't be a problem, but Dave is a character in a shoddy Goosebumps book so you know he's going to do something stupid and instantly regrettable. The following day, sure enough, Ben and Dave begin feeding the ants people food such as cookies. A few days later, Dave realizes that the ants have shifted into overdrive. They're bigger and constantly moving. He feeds them some of his Halloween candy...and that is the only mention of Halloween in the entire story. Dave gathers a few ants in a cup to take to school to show his science teacher. The day after THAT, Dave arrives at school to find nothing in the classroom except a few giant ants. Yes, the ants have mutated and are now larger than the average human. Dave flees the school, runs home, and finds his yard infested with giant ants. One of them picks him up and places him in the center of a circle of ants. They force feed him a blue pill which puts him to sleep. When he wakes, he realizes he's been shrunk and placed inside the ant farm. His teacher Mr. Lantz and kids from his science class are also in there. Mr. Lantz says they better get busy building rooms and such. He tells Dave that this will be a great learning experience and Dave agrees that it will be "Awesome."

Trick or treat? Are you kidding me?

7. Please Don't Feed The Bears

Sarah is pissed because her family is taking a trip over the Halloween weekend to Cuddle Bear Land instead of Monster Mansion. Monsters are too scary for her little sister Katie, but Cuddle Bears are just right. When they arrive at the park, Sarah cheers up a little because her parents allow her to go on the Roarin' Roller Coaster by herself. She rides five times and on the fifth time, she gets the privilege of sitting next to a Cuddle Bear on his lunch break. After riding, Sarah goes off down Honey Comb Lane to meet up with her parents and sister. But she gets sidetracked by the pathetic, horrible wails of terrified children! Never mind--it turns out to be some kids on the roller coaster having FUN. Sarah feels like an idiot and keeps walking. She seems to be lost and ducks into 'The Cave: Caution. Employees Only' to ask for directions to the Hibernation Rest Center where her parents are hanging out and growing ever more furry-ous (see what I did there?! I can be a Cuddle Bear, too!) A Cuddle Bear named Kira says she'll help Sarah, but first Sarah will have to eat a bag of Honey Crackers (also known as graham crackers) so she does...and instantly begins sprouting hair on her elbows. She screams and flees the Cave. She didn't eat enough Honey Crackers to become a full on Cuddle Bear so she simply covers her hairy elbows and keeps walking. She finds her parents and sister and they all go home. Sarah's little sis finds a bag of Honey Crackers in Sarah's backpack (bad Kira!) and eats them all. Sarah realizes she'll have own Cuddle Bear soon.

Trick or treat? A honey flavored treat. Who doesn't love cuddly bears with an evil streak?

8. The Goblin's Glare

Mike is a great artist who has made the most realistic, repulsive goblin ever! If you consider construction paper to be realistic. Mike plans to hang the goblin by the front door to terrify trick or treaters. Me thinks he is overestimating the power of construction paper. He keeps saying it will give people nightmares, but he's the one who ends up having a nightmare. The goblin comes to life and tries to steal his soul or something. The goblins motives are unclear. Mike has the same nightmare the following day in class. Everyone laughs at him for freaking out. On Halloween night, Mike makes some changes to make the goblin seem less insane. It obviously doesn't work. As Mike and his friend Karen are trick-or-treating, Mike gets a very bad feeling and runs home to find the goblin standing in the front hall. We know it's waiting for him because it says it's been waiting for him. Magical prose. Mike runs upstairs, away from the goblin's gurgling laughter and brittle yellow fingernails, only to find HIMSELF asleep in bed which means this yet another dream. The GOBLIN'S dream and Mike is about to be eaten...

Trick or treat? What the HELL was this? It makes no sense! Trick!

9. Bats About Bats

This is becoming unbearable (another bear joke? Hell no.) ... Suzanne and Liz are walking to Suzanne's house for a sleepover. It's dark out and a bat swoops out of nowhere and dive bombs the girls. They make a run for Suzanne's house, but the bat stops swooping and the girls see a very pale blond girl standing there watching the bat flutter away. She introduces herself as Dorrie Morrow and says her family just moved into the neighborhood. Her parents are "bat scientists" which is why she's so interested in bats. The girls become friends and begin spending a lot of time together. One afternoon, Liza and Suzanne go to Dorrie's house. For some reason, they're shocked at the amount of bat paraphenalia in Dorrie's room. On the way home, Liz and Suzanne discuss how gross bats are and how much they hate them. This leads to the two hatching a plan to scare Dorrie at their next sleepover. The plan: Liz's brother Mike (the goblin artist?) will dress up as a vampire to spook Dorrie. Wow. Great idea. Or something. They have the sleepover and Mike scares Dorrie. Dorrie cries wee wee wee all the way home. But she forgives them the next day.

Halloween comes and the three go trick-or-treating together. Liz is dressed as a clown, Suzanne as a gypsy, and Dorrie as a praying mantis. Kidding--she's a damned bat. At the end of the night, they go back to Dorrie's house to sort through their candy. A bat flies in through the open window and attacks Suzanne's head. Dorrie grabs the bat and cuddles with it while berating Suzanne for scaring it. Then she tells the girls there's something in the basement that she wants to show them. It's her parents. When she said they were bat scientists, she meant it--they're giant bats in lab coats.

Trick or treat? Zzzzzzzzz

10. The Space Suit Snatcher

Laura is a psychopath who believes she can transmit messages into space with her homemade "superpower transmitter". She's at a yard sale with her sister Tammy who is pissed because Laura is wasting time looking at a bunch of junk that she believes will make her superpower transmitter even more super. *sigh* The man who's selling the crap also believes in aliens and takes Laura to his garage to see his old radios and canvas space suit. He gives the suit to laura and tells her aliens gave it to him when he was younger. The aliens told him if he ever wanted to see them again, he should just put the suit on and they would come. I think he made the suit of his old straitjacket.

That evening, Laura sends out her nightly radio broadcast for people of the stars, signing off by saying "Peace to all" in different languages. Suddenly she's interrupted by an alien. He tells her she will be kidnapped and taken far away to Ebulon. Laura freaks out, but her dad just yells at her to go back to bed. Is he not at all worried about her? Not because of the aliens, but because his daughter genuinely believes she's going to be taken away from her home to another planet. Again, another case of extremely crappy parenting. That's the most horrifying thing about this book.

The next day, all Laura can think about is the impending alien invasion and whether or not she should wear her spacesuit on Halloween. That night, Laura spies an ugly green alien scratching at her window. She screams for her parents and the alien disappears. Laura accidentally broke her radio when she jumped back in fear from the window and her dad says he's really sorry about it. Then he says the alien was just a dream. Or possibly the weirdo from the yard sale, sending transmissions through Laura's window. Right.

The next night is Halloween and Laura is too freaked out by the space suit to wear it so she goes as a praying mantis. Kidding--she's a damned radio. She goes out and is almost immediately accosted by a nutty alien in a space suit identical to her own.Laura runs, falls down, and looks up to see the alien revealing itself as Tammy who is laughing her ass off. She says everything (including the alien on the radio and the one at the window) was just a joke played by her and her friends. In the next moment, Tammy is gone and the purple blob who replaced her tells Laura that Tammy put on the suit therefore she volunteered. For WHAT? Before vanishing, the alien thanks Laura for the radio broadcasts and requests rock music for the next one.

Trick or treat? An intergalactic trick even though I found myself laughing through most of it. It's completely ridiculous!

Well, it's over. And I can state with certainty that this is the WORST Goosebumps book I have ever read. Someone actually got PAID for this.

~~~HAPPY HALLOWEEN to the beasts, snakes, young children, old children, scarecrows, ants, bears, goblins, bats, and space cases of the world!~~~

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Perfect Date

Book Description:

Brady Karlin is getting on with his life. The memory of his girlfriend--killed in a gruesome sledding accident last year--is beginning to fade. Now he's met Rosha Nelson, the girl of his dreams. And he's never been happier. Until Brady starts to see a strange figure--with a terribly scarred face--following him everywhere. Until the horrible accidents start happening--every time Rosha's around. Has dating Rosha made Brady's dreams come true? Or brought his worst nightmares back to life?

My Description:

A few quick notes first...

1) I was going to do Phone Calls but it was so unbearably boring and stupid that I put it down and picked up The Perfect Date instead. But don't worry. Phone Calls will be here eventually to plague your feeble mind with its horrible powers.

2) The description of this book is ridiculous. It's only been a year and this dude is already forgetting his poor doomed girlfriend? "And he's never been happier." A-S-S.

3) This cover is absolutely hilarious. The longer I look at it, the more amused I become.

4) It's sad that this is how I get my jollies.

On with the show!


Brady (one of the few males in Shadyside who gets to be the star of his own book! Too bad that means absolutely nothing.) is hanging out at Miller Hill, the steepest sledding hill in Shadyside Park. He's with his darling girlfriend Sharon who is NOT BLOND. Yes, you heard correct! Sharon is a brunette who is freezing her ass off because Brady wants to sleeeeeed. Brady insists that they sled down the steepest point and even though it makes Sharon nervous and she doesn't want to, she goes anyway. They hop on their sleds and start sliding down the hill. As Brady giggles like a crazed hyena, Sharon's sled starts slipping out of control. She screams as the sled veers through pine trees and a patch of thorns. Then...silence. Brady spots her lying face down and motionless at the bottom of the hill and laughs as he says "Okay, Shar, you were right. From now on, we'll sled on the kiddie-" He shuts his mouth when he realizes she isn't breathing. He turns her over and gets a gruesome surprise: "Sharon's face! Her cute, button-nosed face! Nothing was left of it. No eyes, no lips. No face! Nothing. The thorns and metal sled runners had sliced it to red mush. Nothing remained but a pulpy mass of skin and crushed bone. A bright red puddle of blood on the crisp white snow." Um. Ouch. Maybe just put a band-aid on it...

The Following Winter

Brady and his friend Jon are eating pizza (because there's nothing else to eat in Shadyside) and talking about some girl named Lisa. Jon has a crush on her, but she's more into Brady and judging by the big douchebag grin on his face, Brady enjoys rubbing this fact in Jon's face. But Brady already has a girlfriend...who happens to have the dumbest name ever: Allie Stoner. Seriously. Anyway, Brady isn't all that into Allie because she takes their shoddy relationship more seriously than he does. But she's really cute so he'll continue to lead her on. Damn you, Brady. A moment later, Brady spots a gorgeous pouty BLOND enter the restaurant and oh baby, he's just gotta have her! Is that her on the cover? I've seen better. The same goes for you, Brady, you egomaniacal ass. He checks himself out before going over to the girl. "He knew he was good-looking." And I know he's NOT. The cover proves this. He's a rinky dink asshole! *sigh* Ignoring Brady's raging ego...

He walks over to the girl and she introduces herself as Rosha Nelson and asks if he wants to sit down. It's pretty obvious he does and he can't believe how smoothly this is going. I guess Allie is now dead to him. Brady mentions that he's never seen her around Shadyside High and she says she goes to a private school across town called St. Ann's. Then he asks her about her unique name. Nothing too interesting: her mom got it from some trashy romance novel. He tells her how special she is (even though he just met her and know NOTHING about her) and asks her out for Saturday. He doesn't need to know her any better. He can tell she's a sophisticated lady. After all, she wears red lipstick, drinks coffee, and has a husky smoker's voice. She's a real live 17 year old WOMAN. They agree to meet at the mall. Because that's the sophisticated thing to do. Before they part ways, Rosha accidentally spills steaming hot coffee all over Brady's tender hand. "His hand. His hand was on fire!" Rosha cuts my cackling short by touching his hand and making the boo-boo all better. Then she leaves and Brady goes back to sit with Jon. He drools about how perfect Rosha is and he's sure he's in love and blah blah blah. Jon is only concerned about the hot coffee burn: "That girl almost charbroiled your hand!" Brady claims he felt nothing. That's how third degree burns are supposed to feel! P.S. I hate you, Brady.

The next day, he attempts to avoid Allie, but she catches up to him. She asks about his puffy hand and then wants to know if he'd like to go to Pete's after school for the daily fix. He says he has homework to do. So Allie asks about the basketball game the next night (which happens to be Saturday) and what time he'll be picking her up. He says he has to babysit his sick cousin and can't go to the game. FAIL. He runs off because he can't stand to see the disappointment on her face. He DOES promise he'll come over on Sunday with Jon to study...if he isn't punch drunk from staring at Rosha's lady lumps. As he's leaving school, he briefly thinks about Sharon. But by the time he's outside, he's forgotten about Sharon AND Allie and can only think of Rosha. Such a creep.

It's now Saturday evening and Brady is hanging out beside the fountain at the mall. He's freaking out wondering if Rosha will actually show up. She does and they go see the new Brad Pitt film. Which happens to be a horror movie. Ok then. After the movie, they leave the theater and Brady spots a disfigured girl standing in the shadows. He sees that her face is horribly scarred: "Scars crisscrossed the girl's forehead like railroad tracks. Twisted, ropelike scars almost fused her eyelids shut. Her cheeks and chin wrinkled like shriveled apples." Brady immediately forgets about her. Typical.

In the parking lot, Rosha begs to drive Brady's father's shitty Oldsmobile. I don't get her enthusiasm. Brady eventually relents and comes to regret it because she drives like a drunken Mr. Magoo. She ends up losing control and crashing into a parked car. Brady's head cracks the windshield; he blacks out and wakes up a bit later, bloody but mostly ok. Somehow. Rosha is completely spazzing out. She says the cops will be here any minute and Brady has to switch places with her and say he was driving because she has no license and could get into trouble. I know Shadyside cops suck, but does she really think they won't notice Brady's bloody, concussed head and the cracked windshield on the PASSENGER side? When the cops show up, they simply think Brady hit one of the many patches of ice on the road. They never even ask him any questions. I guess Rosha pegged them correctly--they're stupid. She bailed before they got there. What a sweetheart.

Brady gets nothing but a slap on the wrist for the accident. The car wasn't too damaged so Brady's dad didn't kill him or anything. That Olds is a precious artifact. On Sunday, Brady and Jon go to Allie's house to study. She asks questions about the night before, Brady feeds her a stream of lies, and Jon tries to change the subject. He puts on some music and dances around the room with Allie while Brady mopes on the couch wishing he were with Rosha. When Allie and Jon go to the kitchen for chips and Cokes, Brady tries to look up Rosha's phone number, but he doesn't know where she lives and there are tons of Nelsons listed. He can't sit still for another minute so he says his head is killing him (he has a huge lump on his head from the night before) and abandons Jon and Allie to look for Rosha. You are truly a fool among men, Brady.

Brady goes home and finds a cop waiting for him. He shows Brady something the cops found under the seat of his dad's car: Rosha's purse. Brady simply says his girlfriend lost that and boy howdy, will she be happy to see it! *sigh* Calm down, Jethro. The useless cop leaves and Brady takes the purse upstairs to sniff its contents. He's shocked to find it empty. He expected at least some ID or a penny or a loose cough drop. Nada. He thinks it's weird, but since his attention span is that of a very stupid goldfish, he almost immediately forgets about it and starts thinking about his unsinkable desire for Rosha. The phone rings a moment later and he's disappointed to hear Allie's voice. She's calling to check on him and to ask if they're still going to Mei Kamata's party on Saturday. (Remember Mei from What Holly Heard? Her parties suck.) He gives her a vague complaint about his head to get her off the line quicker without giving her a straight answer and it works. Brady then opens a phone book and starts calling every Nelson listed in the phone book. In between calls, the phone rings. It's a strange girl who tells him to stay away from Rosha. He's going to need more convincing than that...

After school the next day, Brady tries to get out of the building without speaking to Allie, but she catches up to him anyway. HA. She asks him if he wants to come over to her house for junk food and studying. He says he has to go home and look through the want ads for a job. He also says his mom has a bunch of chores for him to do. Since when did stalking become a chore? Once Allie is gone, Brady gets all excited because he remembers that Rosha goes to St. Ann's which is only about 10 minutes away and St. Ann's conveniently lets out 10 minutes after Shadyside High so maybe he can just catch Rosha. He runs across the parking lot to Jon and "asks" him for some help: "We're going to St. Ann's to look for Rosha. I'll stake out the front and you park in the back. That way one of us will see her for sure." Jon says he has to be at work in 20 minutes, but Brady says that's plenty of time. Jon tells Brady that he needs to get a grip and quit obsessing over Rosha. This pisses Brady off and he leaves alone.

Brady arrives at St. Ann's and watches all the students pouring out of the school, but Rosha isn't among them. This is completely unacceptable (how dare she not be where he can see her at all times?!) so Brady heads inside to harrass the secretary about Rosha. He says he needs her number and it's an emergency. The lady says they can't give out information on students. Especially not to obsessive teenage boys with stalkerish tendencies. Brady finally gets it through his thick head that this woman isn't going to help him and off he skips to accost some random guy out on the sidewalk. He figures this virile male specimen will SURELY have noticed hot Rosha, but the guy has never heard of her so Brady shoves him to the ground. The boy jumps on a bus before Brady can attack. He's convinced the guy was lying about not knowing Rosha.

Brady finds himself walking alongside the football field when he spots a girl who, from the back, looks just like Rosha. He runs over to her and when she turns, he sees nothing but massive scarring. It's the girl he saw outside the theater a few nights ago and Brady just can't stand the sight of her so he turns and runs. And lo and behold, he crashes right into Rosha. He tells her about the scarred girl and how he was looking for Rosha. She gets mad at Brady for sniffing around her school and stomps off like a prissy little girl. Since Brady has been completely emasculated by Rosha's sophistication (some might call it 'bitchery') he runs after her, pleading for forgiveness and telling her how crazy he is about her. Oh, he's crazy alright. Rosha forgives him and they hop in Brady's car. He hands her the purse the cop gave him and she claims it's empty because she was excited to meet him, she grabbed the wrong bag. Brady eats it up like a fat kid gobbling cherry pie. They make out and Rosha says she wants to go dancing on Saturday. Brady is in a state of intense ecstasy right now and would agree to anything so they make a date. He briefly thinks about Mei's party and the fact that he was going to take Allie. But that doesn't matter now. Alienating everyone in his life to spend more time with Rosha is SO worth it. Stupid boy.

When Brady gets home, he decides he has to break up with Allie. Before he can call her, the strange girl who warned him about Rosha before, calls again. "Stay away from Rosha. This is no joke. Stay away from her." Brady screams "Forget it! Just leave me alone!" Doesn't he even want to know WHY he should stay away? Of course not. Because Mr. Johnson is doing all the thinking for him.

The next afternoon, as the two are weight lifting in the weight room at Shadyside High, Brady tells Jon that he wanted to break up with Allie, but he couldn't. He lied (didn't see that one coming!) to her about Saturday night: "I told her I'm grounded because I haven't found a job to pay for the car yet." Is he even aware of how much he SUCKS? Brady goes on to tell Jon about the scarred girl and the phone calls and he knows it's the same girl. A moment later, he stares out the window, sees the scarred girl, and drops the weights he's holding. He feels like he's dying until Jon hauls the weights off his chest. Brady starts screaming about the scarred girl and Jon says the reason Brady is so freaked out is because the scarred girl reminds him of Sharon. Brady agrees and has a mini flashback to the accident. He decides he has to talk to Rosha and figure out what connection she has to the scarred girl. He goes to a pay phone outside the locker room and dials the number Rosha gave him the day before. He only gets a recorded message: "You have dialed a nonworking number." This message combined with the fact that Rosha told him she lives on Fear Street should be huge red flags that something in the milk ain't right. But Brady isn't getting it and he leaves for Fear Street without saying anything to Jon.

Once Brady reaches Fear Street, he quickly realizes that the address Rosha gave him doesn't even exist. BURN. The next afternoon, Brady is completely losing his mind because he can't find Rosha. I think he has officially descended into madness. Over a girl he doesn't even know. I'd call him a moron, but at this point it's just too pathetic. I really feel sorry for him...even though I hate him. Brady thinks about Rosha, then Allie, then Rosha's kisses. The doorbell rings and there stands Rosha. Brady summoned her with his pitiful moping and incessant, obsessive thoughts about her! He wishes. She comes in and Brady tells her he tried to find her house, but the address was wrong. She claims she wrote it correctly, but the ink must have smudged or something. Liar. Brady brings up the nonworking phone number and Rosha says she has no clue what's up with that. Liar. Then Brady starts freaking out because Allie's car just pulled up outside. He practically shoves Rosha out of the kitchen, but she trips on a throw rug and "accidentally" stabs him in the side with a letter opener she was holding. Uh, anyone think she's trying to kill him? The burning, the car accident, the stabbing?

Rosha pretends to be so concerned but she yanks the opener out of his side like it was only stuck in butter, not in someone's FLESH. Brady collapses, bleeding all over the place. At that moment, Allie comes running in and starts freaking out. "You stabbed him! You stabbed him!" Rosha says it was an accident and tells Allie to help her get Brady to the hospital. He wakes up in the hospital later with his parents at his side. They tell him they're going down to the cafeteria and the moment they leave, the scarred girl comes in. She tells him that she warned him of Rosha, but he wouldn't listen therefore he got shanked with his own letter opener. The girl asks if Brady is ready to hear the truth about Rosha and he says yes. Unfortunately, a hateful doctor masquerading as Nurse Ratchet comes in and yanks the girl out of the room before she can say anything.

On Saturday, Brady goes home. Naturally, he can only think of holding Rosha and telling her it wasn't her fault that she rammed a sharp object into his gut and then pulled it out like she was carving a Thanksgiving turkey. Allies shows up instead and Brady can barely conceal his disappointment. Allie doesn't waste time in letting Brady know that Rosha told him all about their sneaky "relationship" and they break up. Well, that was uneventful.

After Allie leaves, Brady's mom leves for the store and his dad is at work so you know something HORRIBLE! is about to happen. He goes to his room and gets a phone call from Jon. He tells Brady he's got some interesting news about Rosha and he mentions the girl with the scarred face, but then he's cut off. Brady calls back, but no-one answers so he decides to go to Jon's house to see what the hell is going on.

Cops are at Jon's house. They don't want Brady going inside, but he dashes in anyway. Jon is lying in the living room. He got his windpipe crushed by a marble candlestick. Real classy. An officer takes Brady into another room to ask him some questions. Brady is in shock but manages to tell them about Jon's last phone call and Rosha and the scarred girl. He goes home and listens to a message from Rosha on his machine. She wants him to meet her in the park for SLEDDING. And he goes!

It's snowing and the car is swerving all over the place, but Brady makes it to the park in tact. He finds Rosha...on Miller Hill. She says it looks the way it did on their sledding afternoon. Brady is confused, but Rosha is quick to explain: "Don't tell me you've forgotten, Brady. I haven't forgotten. After all, that was the day you killed me." Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Rosha says Brady is an idiot for never realizing that she is Sharon. Rosha Nelson is an anagram for Sharon Noles. Rosha says she came back from the dead and took a different body to take revenge on Brady because he was the one who practically forced her to go sledding. As much as I hate to defend Brady, he didn't force Sharon to do anything. He kept badgering her, but she easily could've told him to fuck off and walked away. Rosha starts choking Brady and she almost finishes him off, but someone intervenes. "That's enough, Sharon! You're finished now!" It's the scarred girl who says she wants her body back. She goes to say that Sharon killed her, stole her beautiful body, and...this really makes no sense whatsoever. Apparently they traded spirits. Basically. I think. Or something. ANYWAY, the two undead girls battle and it actually becomes resonably awesome. They literally rip each other apart, tearing off limbs and snapping one another's head off. Once they behead each other, they go rolling down Miller Hill and disappear in the snow.


Brady is walking to Allie's house. He finds her shovelling snow and tells her he wants to apologize again for what happened between them. He begs Allie for another chance and tells her he has a question for her before she answers. First he explains that Rosha killed him on Miller Hill which is why he looks like death. "I'm dead." Thanks, Brady. Allie assumes he's joking, but she can't deny that he's as cold as the grave. "So cold. So cold. Because I'm dead." Yeah, we get it, Brady. He wants Allie to take him back even though he's a dead man. The book ends with Allie screaming.

Conclusion? Wow. I really want to like this one. I DO like this one! But there are so many questions that went unanswered. Who was the scarred girl? How did Sharon have the power to rise from the dead and trade spirits with some unsuspecting girl? Why did they both vanish into thin air after dismembering one another? How was Brady still walking and talking at the end? I also don't understand why Brady was such an unlikable jerk. Shouldn't we have at least some sympathy for the main character?! Well, we can't when he's an arrogant, cheating asshole. Oh well. When the girls ripped their heads off, that kind of made up for Brady's low points. I'm a sucker for decapitation.

Next time: On Halloween, I'm posting Still More Tales to Give You Goosebumps. I know it isn't Fear Street, but the stories are all Halloween related, short, and totally ridiculous so that should be entertaining. The next Fear Street book, though, will be Runaway. (If she doesn't control her super cranial powers, people are gonna start dropping like flies!)

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 ...