Monday, November 7, 2011

The New Boy

Book Description:

What a hunk! When handsome, mysterious Ross Gabriel comes to Shadyside High, all the girls want to date him...even the ones who already have boyfriends! Janie, Eve, and Faith go so far as to make a bet...which one of them will he go out with first? But then the murders begin and it starts to look like dating Ross means flirting with a gruesome and untimely death. Will Janie's dream date with Ross turn out to be the night of her life? Or the night of her death?

My Description:

Two weeks before the first murder occurs, Janie spots Ross for the first time. His athletic body, curly hair, and broooooooding eyes make her a wee bit hot beneath the collar (and panties). She sees Corky Corcoran and Kimmy Bass (everybody's "favorite" cheerleaders) giggling and shoving their way down the hall. This has nothing to do with anything. It's just a random observation which makes me fairly certain that Kimmy's crimped black hair wrote this book. Anyway, Janie is wondering where Faith and Eve are. The three girls were in charge of the committee for the most recent school dance and need to meet with Mr. Hernandez, the new principal, to turn over the money they earned from ticket sales and such. Little Janie doesn't like thinking about the dance, though, because her gorgeous friends had dates and she was lonely. She walks to the office to see if the girls are already there, but the place is empty. Until Eve comes bursting in with BIG news: "Did you hear the news? Deena Martinson broke up with Gary Brandt!" Why is this so exciting? Gary Brandt is a filthy whore who has a new woman every week and Deena Martinson is about as interesting as a block of wood. The bubbly mood vanishes when the two realize the money is missing. It turns out to be an incredibly stupid joke on the gullible Janie. HAHAHAHAHA! Fuck.

Janie, Eve, and Faith (whom the other two ran into in the hall as they were rushing to "find" the money that was in "Faith's" "bag" "the whole time") begin walking back to the office when Janie spots the new boy with blood dripping down his arm. The three girls run to him and he tells them he cut his arm on the fence beside the parking lot as he was helping a girl free her bike. Your story smells like rotten eggs, pretty boy. Don't play with me! I read the back of the book, you murderer!! Uh, anyway, he introduces himself as Ross Gabriel and Faith and Eve jump to guide him to the nurse's office, ignoring Janie who tells them she'll take the money to the office. "It's not fair," she muttered to herself. "I saw him first." Poor little Janie. I guess this would be the time to mention how these girls look (because that's why Janie feels so inferior to the other two). Eve has long luscious black hair and olive eyes. Faith has long luscious blond hair and blue eyes. Janie is short, blond, thin, and kind of shy. I have a soft spot for you, Janie. Everybody ignores me, too! *SOB*

Janie is counting the money when Faith and Eve walk into the office carrying on about how cute Ross is. Janie says she saw him first, but Faith and Eve couldn't possibly care any less. The two start arguing about their shitty boyfriends until Janie tells them they need to help her stack and band the money before Hernandez shows up. Ian and Paul (Eve and Faith's boyfriends) pop up out of nowhere and pretend to shove the money into their pockets. This starts plenty of gag-worthy play fighting between the boys and their girls. The door opens just as Paul throws a a banded stack which ends up hitting Mr. Hernandez in the forehead. He has a sense of humor about it, though, and no-one gets in trouble. Sad, isn't it? Paul said he stopped by to give the girls the key to the filing cabinet where the dance committee keeps its stuff. Then the boys leave along with Mr. Hernandez...even though I assume he's supposed to be putting the money in a safe spot. Fool.

Later, the girls come back to the office to give Hernandez the grand total ($1,241.65) but he's on the phone. JUST TAKE THE DAMN MONEY. He hangs up a few minutes later, but Janie nor the other girls can remember the stinking total so Janie runs back to the filing cabinet where she wrote down the total. She's shocked to find the money missing. Oopsy daisy! (I thought the whole point was to give Hernandez the money so he could put it in a safe or something? I guess I don't understand the intricacies of this book's plot).

Janie is totally depressed about the stolen bills. So depressed she can't even do her homework that night so she tells her parents that she's going out and drives to Faith's house where stupid Paul is also hanging out. Janie brings up the money and she notices Paul and Faith acing pretty shifty at the mention of it. THIEVES! Or not. Or yes? Only time (and about a hundred more pages) will tell. Then Janie decides to reminisce about the time she, Faith, and Eve broke into one of the hovels on Fear Street and got caught by the cops. Janie was relieved because she really didn't want to find ghosts or anything in the house. Two words, Janie: FEAR RATS. Ghosts don't gnaw upon your soul like those damn Fear rats. (The things mine eyes have seen!) What was I saying? Oh yeah. The subject turns to Ross. Paul thinks he's a stuck up jerk, Faith thinks he's cute, and, as usual, no-one cares what Janie thinks.

Janie hangs around after Paul leaves and Faith asks "So are you going to ask Ross out, or am I?" Janie is shocked because Faith already has the talking turd known as Paul, but Faith says he never has to know. Faith decides to be cruel and starts a bet: whoever goes out with Ross first gets $10. Eve calls a split second later and Faith gets her in on it, too. Janie feels bad because she's certain she'll lose, but Faith doesn't notice because Faith is a bitch. There. I said it. Seriously, Faith (and Eve, too) shows so little regard for Janie's feelings, it's hard to believe they're friends. As Janie prepares to leave, she asks Faith why she and Paul were acting so weird. Faith blames it on Janie: "Well, Janie, it's just that--uh...Paul and I know that it was you who stole the dance money." Oh HELL no! "April fool. I tried, but I couldn't keep a straight face." I hate you, Faith.

In chemistry class the next afternoon, Janie gets a chance to work with Ross. Ross says they'll do great because he did this stuff in 7th grade and it's just "Mickey Mouse stuff" to him now. You're dangerously close to arrogant ass territory, sir. But Ross sets up camp there when he combines two chemicals to make a "stink bomb" that makes the room reek of rotten eggs. The teacher removes the smelly tubes and the class cheers for Ross's stupidity. He tells Janie he likes to mess with people which she thinks is an odd thing to say, but oh well! She wonders if she should ask him out, but just as she starts to say something, he freaks out at the sight of this blond girl in the hall and runs away. Janie has no idea who the girl is, but she was staring hard at Ross. Possibly because he was acting like someone who had never seen a member of the opposite sex before? Eve comes running up to Janie a moment later: "Guess what--I win! I have a date with Ross Friday night!" Good luck with that...

It's now Friday night and Janie and Faith are talking about Ross and Eve and how jealous they are of her. Janie mentions that Eve borrowed her blue blazer and Faith says "And she's wearing those sexy red denims she saves for special occasions." Sexy. Red. Denims. Are you kidding me? No, really, is that a joke? Sexy red denims?! DENIMS! Faith changes the subject to something more serious: she thinks her parents are going to seperate because they're rarely at home at the same time and when they are, they spend too much time in their room talking. Faith, you really are an unbelievable idiot. She goes on to say she's pissed at Paul because he asked her for $300 for a new transmission for his car (net value: $2.30) and she's sure he only dates her for her riches. It ain't for your brains, smart one.

Meanwhile, Eve and Ross are sitting in his Civic at the edge of the Fear Street woods. Are we in for some dry lipped action? "He reached across the seat, pulled Eve to him, and kissed her. His lips felt dry and hot against hers." It never fails. Ross pulls away and says he usually doesn't make moves on a girl on the first date. (No, he just kills them.) He says they should take a walk, but Eve doesn't want to because this is the Fear Street woods and those trees are just not right. Ross doesn't want to hear the horrible stories about Fear Street because he LIVES there so he's probably heard the stories already from every human being (and a few talking dogs) within a 50 mile radius. He convinces her to take a walk.

On Saturday morning, a very worried Ian calls Janie. He says Eve never came home last night. Her parents have already called the police and the sexy red denim store to tell them their best customer may not be returning. Ian wants to come over and Janie says ok because he's whining like a baby. She calls Faith, but there's no answer so she calls Eve's house and talks to her sobbing mother who informs her that Ross is missing, too. I bet. Ian arrives and he and Janie go driving around town while Ian grills her about what she knows. She insists she knows nothing and Ian backs off. They go by Fear Street woods where Janie spots Eve's fly riddled corpse. Her skull is partially caved in and half buried in mud. Janie screams at Ian that they need to call the police, but neither of them is moving too quickly. Ian is in shock and Janie is too busy watching the pretty pretty flies buzz all over her dead friend's face.

Eventually they call for help and the cops show up. Ian tells Janie he believes Eve was killed because Eve stole the dance money and somebody wanted it. Then Janie tells him about Eve's date with Ross and Ian loses it. Janie takes away his car keys so he can't do anything crazy and when he demands them back, she throws them in the weeds. Later, they're dragged down to the police station where they see Ross. He tells them he was out of town with his parents this morning and just got back. He claims he took Eve home at 11 PM. Ian thinks he's a liar. And he is! I read the back of the book, murderer!

On Sunday afternoon, Janie meets Faith at Pete's Pizza, the perfect place to mourn your dead friend. Nothing says 'Rest In Peace' like a greasy pepperoni. The girls talk about the fact that Eve couldn't have stolen the dance money because she was so very honest. Then Ross shows up and immediately becomes infuriated because he believes Faith thinks he killed Eve. Faith spots Paul and Ian outside and goes to join them, leaving Janie alone with Ross. She asks Ross why he went out with Eve and he says she told him all about the stupid bet and he agreed to go out with her so they could split the $20 she'd win. He says he can't believe something like this happened, not after what happened in New Brighton (his old town). Guess they experienced an unexplained rash of murders that only ended when you finally decided to leave. Murderer! Out in the mall (was Pete's Pizza always in the mall? Does it move from book to book?) Faith, Ian, and Paul are waiting. They all believe Ross slaughtered Eve, but the focus soon turns to Paul's new transmission and how he got the money for it. WHO CARES?! There's a murderer on the loose!

On Monday night, Ross shows up at Janie's house in need of help with his French homework because he heard Janie is good at French. Afterward, he starts rubbing her arm and invites her to get something to eat with him. She agrees and suggests a place in the Old Village so no-one she knows will see her out with a murderer. But Ross's car runs out of gas about a mile from Janie's house and she's suddenly alone in the dark with a murderer who has murder in his eyes and even more murder in his heart. He says they need gas and he'll push the car while she steers. They reach a nearby gas station where Janie pays because Ross "forgot" his wallet. He says he should go by his house and try to find his wallet because he shouldn't be driving without his license. Janie is shocked he lives on Fear Street. Of course she is. Ross finds his wallet and they decide to go to White Castle for burgers because it's getting late and Janie wants to go home before Ross decides to decapitate her. Later, he takes Janie home where they make out in the car for a moment before parting ways. Janie goes inside and realizes she still has Ross's French textbook and decides she should really return it RIGHT NOW. She drives to Ross's house, but some old lady answers the door and says no-one named Ross Gabriel lives there.

The next day, Janie is determined to find out the truth about Ross before she falls in love any further. Gross. Faith doesn't think it's such a good idea for Janie to be spending so much time with Ross. She's heard plenty of rumors. Plus, he's a murderer. She mentions a girl named Jordan Blye, the blond that Ross freaked out at the sight of. She just transferred from Ross's old high school and knows plenty about him. Before Faith can say more, Paul interrupts. Apparently Ross has been arrested for MURDER! Except Paul is an idiot and Ross wasn't arrested at all. Janie spots him across the cafeteria and runs to him. She asks him about the house and the old lady and he claims that's his senile grandmother who doesn't know who he is half the time. He goes on to say he was at the police station this morning because the cops wanted to know about the missing dance money. They searched Eve's place, but found no trace and her parents' bank account is empty so they automatically turned to Ross. Which makes not much sense at all. Then he says he has something for her. It's a blue scarf that looks an awfully lot like the one Eve was wearing the night she was killed. Janie runs away and avoids Ross for the rest of the day.

After school, Janie sees Paul and Faith fighting in the student parking lot, but she doesn't intervene because violence is never very serious. Faith runs off and Paul drives away. That night, Janie goes to the mall and talks with Ian at the Doughnut Hole where he works. Then she goes home and calls Faith who has something to tell her about Ross. She tells Janie to wait while she takes another call. When she comes back on the line, she begs Janie to come over. When Janie arrives at Faith's house, the door is ajar. RUN. She goes inside and calls to Faith, but receives no answer. RUN. She goes into the den where she finds Faith who has been bludgeoned with a fireplace poker. RUN. She calls 911 and gives her info to the nice lady. Then she hears footsteps and tells the lady that she thinks the murderer is still around. RUN. The lady tells her to get out of the house. RUN!!! But it's too late. Someone is standing in the's Ian. He says Faith called him a little earlier because she had something to tell him about Ross. He seems as upset as Janie, but you never know...

Three days after Faith's funeral, Janie gets a chance to talk to Jordan Blye. As the girls walk through the park, Jordan says that Ross's real name is Robert Kingston, but he changed it when he moved...after he killed his girlfriend. Her name was Karen Anders and Ross was never convicted of her murder because he had an alibi (he was off murdering some other girl so he couldn't have killed Karen) but everyone at school knew it was him. He and his parents moved to Shadyside so he could kill and kill again and no-one could stop him because the cops are stupid.

As Janie is walking home, it begins pouring rain. Ross pops up out of nowhere and tells Janie to get in his car. She refuses and he gets angry. He says he just wants to talk and proves this by shoving her into a wall. She says she'll meet him at Pete's Pizza at 8 PM and he finally leaves. At home, Janie reads a note from her mom stating that she and Dad will be back later. The phone happens to be dead because that's creepy. At 8:30 PM, someone knocks on the door. It's Ross and he isn't too happy she broke their date. He pulls out the scarf and says Janie left it in his car and he wanted to return it. Then he asks what he did wrong. He starts telling her about what happened in his past. He says he found Karen's corpse, but he didn't kill her. Rumors started and he and his family moved to get away from it. He also denies killing Eve and Faith. Janie responds by fleeing the house, but she only makes it to the driveway where Ross tackles her to the ground and says he won't let her up until she tells him why she doesn't believe him. He disappears when her parents pull into the driveway.

Janie spends the next day worrying about seeing Ross. She manages to avoid him until after school when he catches up to her. Luckily (or not) she comes across Paul and a few of his friends. Paul tells Ross to back off and then punches him in the gut. Janie runs to the park and cries. Eventually she calms down, remembers that she left her backpack in the hall, and decides to go back for it. The back door is still open so she slips inside, but doesn't find her backpack where she left it. She starts walking toward the office and overhears Mr. Hernandez talking to Ross about violence. Janie dives inside a closet to avoid being seen. Because that's perfectly logical. She thinks she feels damp hair brushing over her face so she panics and starts screaming and pounding on the door, but she can't get out. A second later, the door bursts open and the hair? Just a damp, dirty mop.

When Janie recovers from her horrifying experience and gets home, Ian calls and tells her to come over because he has proof that Ross killed Eve and Faith. Ian drives Janie to Fear Street woods. Oh shit. He takes a baseball bat out of the trunk, shows her the dried blood on it, and says "I killed her [Eve]! Here's the proof!" Well, kids, it appears I judged Ross too harshly (it was great fun while it lasted) when I should've been casting my judgemental eye on IAN all along. You're a slippery little eel, Ian. Now for the ridiculous motive. Eve stole the dance money for Ian so he could pay for a bit of college. But she felt guilty and wanted to return it so he killed her. Oh, and he saw she and Ross making out which gave him further incentive to murder her and also make people believe Ross was the killer. Faith suspected something so she too had to die. Before Ian can cast Janie from this life, Ross shows up and immediately gets smacked in the head with the bat. But he's back up a minute later and Ian is soon pinned to the ground. Janie runs to call the police and decides Ross is ok after all even though she's been accusing him of being a cold blooded murderer and he probably hates her now.

Conclusion? All that for $1,241.65? He can't even GO to college now because he'll be behind bars for the rest of his life.

Next time: "The Mind Reader" A book called The Mind Reader...that really has nothing at all to do with a mind reader.

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 ...