Mayra: "I have two of them."
Friday, October 31, 2008
Mayra: "I have two of them."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
* I must say that this is my favorite Fear Street novel of all time so it might be hard to make fun of it. It's seriously THAT good. But I'll find something to say. Let's begin... *
There's a little cabin in the Fear Street woods where a girl can really lose her mind. In fact, she can change it into someone else's. That's what happened to Nicole and Lucy. Now Lucy is in Nicole's body and Nicole is in Lucy's. What a trip! But for Nicole, what a trap! Because Lucy is using Nicole's body to get away with murder!
Part One - The Switch
Nicole Darwin is a self-described loser whose life is "the total pits". Depression meds, Nic. Make friends with 'em. This particular day is like all the others--a steaming pile of crap. She tore a fingernail earlier. Dear God! NO! In her defense, her nails are very long and prettily painted and a source of pride for her. Ok, never mind. Fingernails are no reason to sob like a baby. The next few pages give us a bit of background on her parents (WAY too strict) and her boyfriend David (WAY too distant) and her recent academic problems. Apparently Nic was supposed to write a report for biology, but she didn't and the teacher ripped into her right in front of everyone. As if that wasn't enough, he also made her stay after class for a little chat. I think we've all had our fair share of asshole teachers, unfortunately.
After school, Nicole meets up with David in the hall. They kiss, but he breaks away because he has something important to say: he wants to break up. Of course this would happen on Nicole's Worst Day Ever. His reason for ending the world's greatest romance? "It's just too much." That's it? That doesn't explain a damn thing and Nicole wants more of an explanation. But David totally bails, disappearing down the hall and around the corner. Bastard. Nicole gathers her things and slumps out of the building. She spots her friend, Lucy Kramer, heading toward her looking awfully cheerful. Nicole thinks Lucy is a cutie: "Lucy has straight blond hair. But hers is shorter than mine and she usually pulls it back into a ponytail. She has green eyes, a tiny upturned nose, and a sweet smile." Sound a lot like Barbie...or maybe Skipper. Nicole runs up to Lucy, hugs her, and starts to cry. Lucy doesn't really react so something tells me that Nicole does this often. Lucy simply says that she has also had a bad day, but she has a plan that will make them both feel better: "Let's switch bodies." On what planet?
A little later, Nicole follows Lucy to Fear Street and into the woods. As they're walking through the trees, Nicole thinks about how cool it would be to be Lucy. Lucy has a hot boyfriend named Kent Borden who is smart and funny in addition to being a sexy piece of work. Also, Lucy's parents don't put restrictions on her like Nicole's do. In fact, they barely pay attention to her at all. The boyfriend thing is ok, but I'd rather have overprotective parents than parents who couldn't give a shit less about me. The girls stop walking when they reach a stone wall. Lucy tells Nicole the story behind this ancient wall. It's called the Changing Wall (so very original) and over 100 years ago, evil people started using it to switch bodies with unwilling victims. Spooky. Lucy explains how it works: "We climb up on the wall. We hold hands. We jump off, down to the other side. When we land, we'll be switched." Simple enough. A little TOO simple, actually. The girls boost themselves to the top of the wall, hold hands, and jump. Nicole keeps her eyes closed the entire time and when she opens them, she's shocked to see that it actually worked. It's like a twisted Fear version of "Freaky Friday". The girls become momentarily hysterical, laughing and twirling around like deranged forest pixies. The wall must have switched their brains with mud. Finally the two get serious and head off to their homes.
Nicole walks into Lucy's house and can't stop screaming at the scene she finds. Blood is everywhere. Lucy's parents are lying dead on the living room floor, their bodies ripped and slashed. Nicole panics and runs outside intending to tell Lucy what she found. I guess calling 911 is out of the question? Once she reaches her own house, she pukes in the driveway before pounding on the door and peeking in all the windows. No-one home. She frantically thinks of someone to tell about the gruesome scene back at Lucy's. Uh, how about the fucking COPS? "How could I tell the police before I told Lucy? How could I tell them before we switched back into our own bodies?" That really doesn't matter now! The police aren't gonna know you switched, dear. Not even Shadyside cops are THAT good. Suddenly she thinks of Kent. He'll believe her! He'll have to! Yeah right. Keep telling yourself that, Nic. You might start to believe it. She runs down the street to Kent's house and knocks on the door. He answers and asks her what's wrong. She just asks if his parents are home and he says no. Now isn't the time for sexy moments, kids. Nicole can barely keep herself together as she walks into the house. As soon as she's inside, she blurts out "Lucy took me to Fear Street. Her grandfather told her about the Changing Wall. We switched bodies, Kent. We both wanted to and we did it." Smooth one. As if he's gonna believe it. Surprisingly, he seems to buy it, calling her Nicole even though she plainly looks like Lucy. She breaks down crying and tells him what she found at Lucy's house. He tells her he's going to get her a glass of water, but she overhears him talking on the phone in the kitchen: "That's right, Officer. I'm keeping her right here. But you better hurry. She might try to get away." So he thought she was nuts all along! Nicole freaks out and runs for the door with Kent hot on her heels in a pathetic attempt to stop her. She runs down the street and hides behind a tree, listening for police sirens. Finally she goes back to Lucy's house (corpses still intact) and goes to Lucy's room so she can change her filthy clothes. Except all of Lucy's clothes are gone. There is, however, a big bloody knife on the desk. It wouldn't be a Fear Street novel without a bloody knife!
Part Two - The Murderer
The knife is pinning a blood spattered note to the desk:
I had to kill them. I couldn't take it anymore.
Nicole freaks out AGAIN as she realizes what Lucy's evil plan was: she killed her parents and switched bodies with Nicole so she could escape punishment. Clever little wench. As Nicole thinks about what she can do to get back into her own body, she hears someone knocking at the door. Uh-oh. In the living room, she peeks out the window and silently freaks out for the millionth time. Two police officers are standing on the porch. You're screwed, lady. Anger takes the place of fear; there's no way in hell Nicole is going down for something Lucy did. She flees out the back door, running across the backyard. Unfortunately, about halfway across, one of the officers spots her and screams for her to stop. She just keeps going...until she reaches a wooden fence. Crap. She thinks she's caught, but suddenly she remembers a trick board that she and Lucy used to play around with when they were little. Frantically, she searches for it, finds it, and dashes into someone else's backyard. She can hear the officers fumbling through the fence and knows she has to hide. Her hiding spot? A little kid's playhouse. As she crouches inside, she can hear the two officers yelling back and forth. Don't worry, Nicole--the Shadyside police force sucks and they'll never find you.
The officers eventually run off and Nicole climbs out of the tiny house. She remembers that she left her car at school. If she can make it to the school parking lot without getting caught, she's got a good chance of getting the hell out of dodge. Once she reaches the car, she finds the spare key and drives the streets searching for any sign of Lucy. She wracks her brain trying to think of a reason for Lucy doing this to her. There isn't a reason, Nicole. Some people are just bitches. After driving for several minutes, she finally spots Lucy in Pete's Pizza. OF COURSE. Everything worth mentioning goes down at Pete's. I hope Lucy gets bitch slapped. HARD. No-one has ever deserved it more! Lucy is sitting with two girls, Margie and Hannah, having an awesome time masquerading as Nicole. The REAL Nicole runs inside and heads toward the table. Margie and Hannah call her Nicole which instantly makes her suspicious. How could they possibly know she's Nicole? Unless Lucy spilled the beans. Nicole gets pissed off because Lucy promised to keep the switch a secret. She tells the girls that she really needs to talk to Lucy, but Margie says Lucy is gone. Great. Nicole freaks out when the girls tell her that Lucy was NEVER there. Nic insists that she saw her, but the girls just look at her like she's nuts. She runs out of the restaurant and into the rest of the mall, searching for Lucy. She realizes that it's totally useless--Lucy could be anywhere. She leaves the mall and finds Margie and Hannah waiting for her beside her car. This isn't gonna be good. The girls grab her and say they just wanna talk. Nicole does what she does best--freaks out and shoves them away. She dives into the car and almost runs over both girls as she speeds away.
She decides to go talk to Kent again. You must be joking. Kent thinks you're batshit crazy! He isn't any help! But Nicole thinks that if Lucy left Shadyside, she would've told Kent where she was going. *sigh* Ok then. At his house, Nicole doesn't bother knocking on the door. She lets herself in and heads toward the den where she hears loud music playing. She picks up a large knife from the kitchen just in case she has to scare the information out of Kent. Good one. Sort of. But Nicole never gets to talk to Kent at all: "Kent's body lay on it's back on the tile floor, arms and legs outstretched. His head had been sliced off. Puddles of bright red blood had streamed from the neck. The head stood upright a few feet from the body, propped against the leather couch. The mouth was frozen open in a wide O of horror. The blue eyes stared lifelessly up at me." Holy. Shit. Nicole sinks to the floor, crying over Kent's lifeless body. She glances up and gets a shock when she notices those two officers that chased her earlier looking in a sliding glass door at her. Did I mention she's still holding that knife? She drops the knife and the officers burst in the front door. She manages to escape to the basement and into a coal room where she crawls into a coal chute and finally gets outside. She runs until she gets to Fear Street. Like that's so much better. She finds herself back at the Changing Wall and after finding a photo of Lucy in her pocket, develops a hairbrained plan: if she holds the photo and jumps over the wall, maybe she'll get her old body back. That makes no sense whatsoever. Of course it doesn't work and Nicole is tired of worrying about it so she curls under a tree and falls asleep.
The next morning, Nicole wakes up covered in dirt and finds a giant bug in her hair. Pleasant. She realizes she really needs a shower and thinks she can probably sneak into her parent's house because her parents have already left for work. Yeah...we'll see if this actually works. She hides behind a tree and watches her parents pull out of the driveway. Then she creeps inside and takes a shower and such. In the kitchen, as she's eating a Pop Tart, she decides she'll go to school and force Margie and Hannah to tell her where Lucy is. As soon as she reaches the high school, she spots those damned officers standing by the door. Crap. She turns and runs until she spots a bus. She leaps on, realizes she doesn't have any change, and tells the driver she's sick so he'll let her off. How far did she get from the school? Oh, about a block. Your plan sucks, Nicole. She goes back to the school and hides until the officers go away. She dashes into the school and wanders the empty halls before going to the empty gym. She heads for the girl's locker room because she knows Marcie has gym class fourth period. She hides in a dusty closet and listens to the girls talking. How is she going to wait in that hot little closet until fourth period? The hours pass and FINALLY fourth rolls around. Nicole hears Margie's voice among the other girls' chatter. And then there's a loud thump. Nic gets curious and opens the door a crack to see what happened. Margie is lying on the floor and Nic pushes through the circle of girls surrounding her just in time to see Margie sit up and say "Those leg cramps are the worst!" Give me a break, Stine. Somehow no-one even noticed Nicole so she simply slips back into the closet.
After a bit, the other girls leave, but Margie stays a little longer. Nicole uses this opportunity to exit the closet and have a little chat with Margie. Nicole blurts out that she needs to find Lucy because Lucy is an evil bitch who used Nicole's body to commit horrible crimes. Wow. Margie says she knows where Lucy is, but before she can say more, some girls enter the locker room and Nicole has to dash back inside the closet again. Nic hears voices and then there's total silence so she opens the closet door. Margie has met her unfortunate end--someone bashed her skull in with a shot-put. Wouldn't Nicole have heard that? Guess not. She assumes Lucy has struck again which is odd because I thought Lucy had fled Shadyside. Nicole runs out of the school and keeps running until she reaches an empty lot two blocks away. As she's catching her breath, she thinks about how Lucy must be following her because everywhere she goes, someone dies. She wanders aimlessly around Shadyside for the rest of the day. At dark, she makes her way back to the Changing Wall and falls asleep there.
The next day, Nicole decides that she'll go visit Lucy's Grandma Carla in the small town of Conklin. Lucy was close to her granny and if anyone knows where Lucy is, it would be Carla. The day before when Nicole was at her own house taking a shower and such, she snagged $40 from her room so she has enough money to get breakfast and a bus ticket to Conklin. The bus takes her to the end of Grandma Carla's road and Nicole walks the rest of the way to Carla's farm.
Part Three - The Reunion
Grandma Carla is so happy to see her and let's her right in. When Nicole says "Is Nicole here?" Grandma starts acting a little funny. She tells Nicole to sit down at the kitchen table and she'll bring her some soup. But first she has to make a phone call in the next room. I think we all know where this is going. Nicole hears Grandma calling the police so she runs into the living room and demands to know why. Grandma just says "It will be ok. I called for help." Nicole gets really upset and runs outside where she hears a car door slam. Those cops travel fast. She runs to the barn and decides to hide in a stack of straw. SURPRISE! Lucy is already hiding in there! WTF? Nicole hugs her and asks her why she did all those horrible things. Lucy says she can't explain and then things get incredibly weird.
Nicole says that they have to switch back right now. Lucy's reply? "We can't switch back. I'm not Lucy. Lucy switched bodies with me this afternoon. My name is Nancy." And my head just exploded. Nicole refuses to believe it, but Lucy or Nancy or whoever the hell she is insists that it's true: "Lucy forced me to switch. She forced me. Then she took my body and ran away." Suddenly the girls hear footsteps outside the barn and Nicole says they really need to hide. But "Nancy" starts laughing and says "Nicole, you really are an idiot! You really believed that dumb story!" Dear God, make up your mind, woman! Lucy runs out the back of the barn and Nicole follows. Unfortunately, someone tackles Nicole to the ground. It's Kent! He tells her that he's come for her. No shit. She protests that she saw his corpse, but he just keeps telling her that everything is going to be ok. Suddenly Nicole hears Lucy crying for help. She's about to fall down the well! She's barely clinging to the edge! Hurry, Lassie! Nicole tries to break away from Kent, but he won't let her go. All he has to say about Lucy is "Let her drown." Death has really changed you, Kent. Keep that attitude up and you won't have any friends at all!
Nicole finally gets away from him, but it's too late. Lucy has already fallen in the filthy water below. Nicole can hear her splashing around and begging for help. This is a very sad scene, Stine. How dare you make me feel the pain! Kent comes over and hold Nicole while she sobs: "I couldn't help her. I couldn't save her. I couldn't do anything for her. Nothing at all." Kent guides her toward the house and about halfway across the yard, fucking LUCY steps out from behind a tree. Are you serious?! She's soaking wet and covered in mud and leaves. She completely ignores Nicole, focusing her attention on Kent. "Let's switch, Kent. Let's switch, ok?" She reaches out and PULLS HIS HEAD OFF. Then she starts dancing around screaming "Come on, Nicole! You switch heads with Kent and then I'll switch with you!" Nicole has no time to think about this crazy shit because those two officers come up and grab her. She looks back and Kent and Lucy are gone. A car pulls up and Kent and Lucy's parents climb out along with Nicole's parents. Nicole's mother comes up and hugs her, crying and saying "Nicole" over and over. Then we get the following: "Nicole has been ok for nearly a year. No wild nightmares. No hallucinations. No identity problems." Nicole's father then says to Kent "That was so good of you to tell us that Nicole had slipped again. And so decent of you to follow her here. We've had these two doctors from the hospital on her trail. But we never would have found Nicole without you." What the hell, man?!? This only gets crazier: "Poor Lucy has been dead for three years. That horrible, horrible car accident... Nicole started having the hallucinations right after Lucy died. She started seeing horrible deaths. They were all in her mind. They were so real to her. After Lucy died, Nicole started talking to her, imagining that Lucy was still with her. Sometimes Nicole even imagines she IS Lucy." So basically this entire book consists of the paranoid delusions of a madwoman. Normally I'd be pissed, but this thing was too crazy/good for me to be too angry at it.
6 months later, Nicole's fuzzy brain is doing much better. Mostly. She still sees Lucy. "I think the doctors will let me out soon. Won't that be great, Lucy? Maybe they'll let me go back to school in time for graduation. And you and I will graduate together. That will be just perfect--won't it, Lucy? That will be just perfect. Don't you agree?" Indeed I do, you sweet little psycho.
Conclusion? This review does this book no justice because the book is AWESOME. Seriously. Which is why I sincerely doubt Stine wrote it.
Next time: "The Sleepwalker"
Monday, October 13, 2008
Would you open an amusement park on Fear Street? Would you take the risk and go against the ancient curse of the Fear family? Dierdre Bradley's father would. He is opening Fear Park in a few days. But he doesn't know someone-or something-will do anything to stop him. Soon the screams of joy will turn to screams of terror. And Dierdre will be caught in a nightmare ride that never ends.
Part One - 1935
Meghan Fairwood is standing at her locker when she notices an ink stain on her sleeve. Starting this book off with a bang! Her expensive new fountain pen (it cost $4...expensive by 1935 standards I suppose) is leaking again. She glances over at some cheerleaders hanging a banner about baseball and it makes her think of her boyfriend, Richard Bradley, Shadyside High's star baseball player. Oh, and he's also an arrogant son of a bitch. A cute weirdo named Robin Fear comes up to Meghan (his locker is beside her's) and she says hello, but he blushes and rummages through his locker. Meg drops some movie magazines on the floor and Robin helps her pick them up which leads to a discussion about Clark Gable. Ah, the '30s. Show me a high schooler these days who even knows who Clark Gable is and I'll eat my own underwear. Anyway, Richard interrupts this peaceful moment by coming up to Meg and kissing her. Scandalous! He then turns into an asshole, accusing Robin of staring at him and Meg: "What are you staring at? You want to see smooching? Go to the movies." Then he wipes his filthy hands on Robin's necktie and walks off. Asshole! Meghan turns to apologize to Robin, but he's already gone. Poor little Fear.
As Robin walks home, he thinks about what just happened. He's extremely upset and embarrassed about the fact that he allowed Richard to humiliate him like that. To make matters worse, it's starting to rain. Those Fears really ARE cursed. When he gets home, he finds the house seemingly empty...until he hears a noise coming from the library. He opens the door and finds his freaky father hovering in the air in a cloud of purple smoke. Purple haze, man! Robin silently freaks out and shuts the door, praying that his father didn't see him. Apparently Dad is really into sorcery and the occult so Robin isn't as surprised as one would think. But it's still totally weird and he's pretty freaked out. He wonders if his mom who died when he was four was also into sorcery and such. Suddenly the doorbell rings and Dad exits the library and tells Robin to answer the door because all the servants have quit. So? You can't walk three feet over to the door and open it yourself? You wouldn't even have to walk, actually. You could just float, Sir Wizard. Dad goes to the sitting room while Robin opens the door for some of Dad's business associates (fellow warlocks?). In a bout of cruel irony, one of them is Richard's dad. Yuck. Robin listens in on the conversation. Richard's pop, Jack Bradley, tells Dad that he thinks an amusement park is exactly what Shadyside needs. May I ask why? Apparently the town has nothing going on to generate a substantial income and an amusement park would do the trick; it would provide lots of jobs for the destitute citizens of Shadyside and it would become a popular tourist attraction. Right. Mr. Bradley wants Dad to donate a section of the woods behind Fear Street, but Dad gets pissed and says NO. Mr. Bradley stands up, informs Dad that he won't take no for an answer, and then proceeds to turn purple and collapse to the floor. Guess Dad is working his voodoo again. Robin screams at him to stop and suddenly Mr. Bradley is fine again. The men leave a few minutes later. Well, that was completely pointless.
On Saturday afternoon, Robin and Dad go for a walk in the woods. Suddenly Robin spots Mr. Bradley holding what appears to be a rifle. Robin freaks out because he thinks he's about the be blown away. But as Mr. Bradley comes closer, Robin realizes that it isn't a rifle, it's some kind of "surveying tool." Ok. Dad is once again pissed off (I think that's his permenant state) and asks Mr. Bradley why he's trespassing. Bradley is still pushing the amusement park thing and says the town council has lots of ideas. This is so fucking boring. Seriously. I read these books for psychotic teenagers and sloppy make outs, not land surveying and town councils! Mr. Bradley rambles on, Dad storms off to the house, and Robin heads off deeper into the woods to find some much needed peace and quiet. Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll find a sharp stick to stab Mr. Bradley with or something. I know, I'm sick and I need help. Anyway, instead of a sharp twig, Robin comes upon Meghan. Does everyone in this town hang out in these woods? They're surprised to see one another and make awkward conversation for a bit. Meg can't stop thinking about how cute Robin is. Hawt. Of course she'll never do anything about it because Richard would probably cut her to pieces if he found out. Richard sucks eggs. Or something. Anyway, Meghan gets something in her eye and Robin gently checks it out. Aww. Normally I'd barf at a scene like that, but Robin sounds adorable. So sue me! Unfortunately, that troll Richard comes running up. WHY IS EVERYBODY IN THE FREAKING WOODS? Is this all there was to do in 1935? Rich is extremely ticked off because he thinks Robin has been kissing Meghan. Meghan explains the situation ("He was helping me!") and Rich seems to cool off a little. Then he starts laughing and says "I was just kidding. I wasn't serious." Whatever. Robin tells them he's gotta go and as he walks away, Richard sticks out a foot and trips him. This obnoxious jackass is stealing my soul. Hopefully Robin gets Dad to perform some witchcraft on Richard's dumb ass. Rich kisses Meghan and asks how Robin found their meeting place and she says it was by accident. Blah blah blah.
When Robin arrives home, he spots his father lying on the floor and assumes he's dead. No, daddy, don't die! We need your evil! A purple cloud floats into the room, hovers over Dad, and he opens his eyes. He's totally confused about what just happened and Robin tries in vain to explain it. Then something even stranger happens: Robin's DEAD mom drifts in on a cloud of purple smoke. Awesome. Dad is flipping out and keeps saying "It is she! I've tried for so long! Ruth! It is she!" We get it! Shut up! Mommy dearest gets closer and Robin screams when he sees her face...or what's left of it. "And Robin saw his mother's face. Saw the gray-green bone of her rotting, mold-spotted skull. Saw the black, gaping pits where her eyes had been. Saw her hollow, gap toothed grin. Her jawbone hanging slack." I didn't know Amy Winehouse lived on Fear Street. Robin screams even louder when a fat worm falls out of Mom's nostril...
...and then he wakes up. Son of a bitch! That was just a DREAM?! I thought we were friends, Stine! Robin sees his father and a nurse standing beside his bed and thinks about the fact that his father has done this to him before: "Dad has tried his sorcery before. And succeeded only in frightening me. And then called it a nightmare. Hired a nurse and called it a nightmare. Paid her to say it was a nightmare, too." Yeah, that makes sense. NOT. Dad tells Robin that it's now Monday and Robin has been screaming since Saturday. I guess Dad couldn't be bothered to cut the shit and wake him up.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bradley is out in the woods marking off the area that will be used for the amusement park. Yes, he got permission from the town council to build it here. Yes, he is a complete moron for building an amusement park in the middle of the woods and honestly expecting it to be a huge success. One of his helpers, Ken, accidentally nails a wooden stake through his foot so this outing has to be cut short so they can take the dum dum to the hospital. This book is incredibly random. Seriously, why are we expected to care about these people? Anyway, Mr. Bradley ends up staying in the woods while some guy named Barney drives Ken to the hospital. Bradley is just standing around doing nothing when he suddenly starts to feel extremely itchy. He starts clawing at his skin, drawing blood. And of course the chapter ends there. *sigh*
The next chapter begins with Meghan waiting for Richard in the woods. She's preparing to break up with him, but isn't sure if she can actually go through with it. Just do it! He's an asshole! Richard finally shows up all sweaty and such: "Sorry. Coach kept us late." They start walking through the woods and Richard rambles on about baseball and other crap that Meghan really doesn't give a shit about. She can't stop thinking about Robin Fear. Oooo. The two stop walking when they come across a skeleton sitting on the ground against a tree. A skeleton holding a "surveying tool". A skeleton that still has hair and a face...it's Mr. Bradley. Richard completely loses his mind when he realizes the skeleton was once his father. Damn. Karma is a bitch, Rich.
Part Two - 1935
It's STILL 1935? Crap. It's just a week after Mr. Bradley's remains were found. Apparently he was quite the popular man and his odd death is all anyone is talking about. Robin has a feeling that his father is behind the death and decides he'll just ask Dad straight out. He stops outside the library door because he hears his dad saying "Ruth" over and over again. Not this Ruth shit again! He also hears music and a woman's voice. But when he opens the door, he only sees his father dozing in an armchair with a big book in his lap. Dad wakes up and when Robin asks about the voices, Dad dismisses everything. Typical. Robin manages to ask him if he had anything to do with Mr. Bradley's death. He says no, but Robin doesn't believe it. Who would?
One afternoon, Robin is walking home from school when Meghan runs up to him. They chat while they walk and Meghan just can't restrain herself for one more second: she kisses Robin full on the mouth. Oh the shock! The good feelings are short lived, though, because, as usual, that fuckhead Richard is nearby and saw the whole thing. He says to Meghan "I don't believe you! You sneak out with him while I'm mourning my father?" First of all, go to hell, asshole. Second, why didn't she break up with him when she had the chance? Richard decides to unleash his fury on Robin's face. Robin's nose is gushing blood, but that isn't enough. Richard punches him in the stomach and when he's on the ground, Rich kicks him repeatedly in the side. Good Lord! The 1935 horror of it all! Meghan finally manages to drag Richard off of Robin and helps Robin to his feet. Robin runs away as fast as he can.
Later, Richard calls Meghan to apologize. Excuse me, shit for brains. I think you should be apologizing to the guy you tried to kill. Meghan just hangs up on him. Good. But like five minutes later, Richard shows up at her house. He'll never go away! Richard pouts like a baby and Meghan ends up forgiving him. Give me a break! It isn't HER who deserves an apology! The only character in this book who is even remotely tolerable is Robin. Then Richard tells her he has good news: "The town council voted to claim a section of Fear Street Woods for the town. In honor of my father's memory. It means the amusement park will be built." Oh goody. But wait! There's more! "After the trees are cut down, the town is going to hire as many kids as possible to chop up the stumps. Girls, too! They're going to pay us a dollar a day and free admission when the park opens." Meghan can hardly contain her excitement. Yeah, I can't think of anything more enjoyable than busting my hump for slave wages. Thanks, Shadyside! 1935 sucks, man.
On Tuesday afternoon, Meghan goes up to Robin and tells him he doesn't look too bad considering what happened. Then she says that Richard doesn't want her to talk to him. I'm sure you cheered the little Fear right up, Meg. Now go drown yourself in the bathtub like a good girl. Robin wants to meet her later for some reason and they agree on Roger's, an ice cream shop. At 4 o'clock, Meg enters the shop and spots Robin in a corner booth. She sits down and they both order chocolate malteds. The first words out of Robin's mouth? "My father is an evil man." Duh. That goes without saying. Anyway, Robin goes on to say that his Dad is pissed off because the amusement park is being built on land that he once owned and Robin wants to show him that he has no right to do evil deeds in an effort to stop park construction. So Robin has decided to join the work crew as an act of defiance. Except he isn't even gonna tell his dad about it. This makes absolutely no sense. Robin tells Meghan that his main reason for joining the crew is so he can see her. Ok, NOW it makes sense. He says he really likes her and she confesses she feels the same. It's rainbows and sunshine all around! But don't worry, it won't last long. This is Fear Street after all.
School has been out for a week now (summer vacation I assume) and stump chopping has begun. As Meghan is gleefully hacking away at a stump, Robin comes up to her. He's late because his dad kept asking all sorts of questions, but he managed to get away. A photographer from the local paper is there to snap photos of these pathetic kids chopping stumps. Guess who else decided to show up? Our old pal Richard! He comes running up, angry and holding his hatchet high. The psycho tries to chop off Robin's head, but thankfully Robin drops to the ground. A boy rushes over to stop Richard and Rich buries the hatchet in the poor boy's chest. As soon as the boy drops to the ground, Richard cuts off his head. Sweet merciful 1935! Will it ever end?! It finally DOES end when someone comes over and shoves a hatchet into Richard's back. That isn't all, though. These kids have suddenly gotten blood thirsty and are lopping off limbs right and left. When the carnage ends, Meghan gazes at the bloodshed and dismembered bodies in horror. Even I'm shocked! A purple mist is hovering over the scene and I think we all know what that means. Meg and Robin flee to get help. I'm not sure where Meghan goes, but Robin runs home. He finds his father and says "Dad, it worked perfectly. They chopped each other to pieces. I did everything right. And they all went wild and hacked each other up. The park will never be built now." What the hell?!? I thought you were GOOD, Robin! My entire belief system is shattered! Dad simply says "You learned your powers quickly." Robin's reply? "Of course. I'm a Fear." And I'm a fool. A fool for trusting a fucking Fear!
Part Three - This Year
We're finally out of the pure hell that was 1935. Dierdre Bradley (a probable relation of Richard Bradley) and her boyfriend, Paul Malone, are feeding each other cotton candy at Fear Park. Her father owns the place and he's allowed the public free access for this night only. Paul says he doesn't have much time to hang out because he's in the Hatchet Reenactment Show at 10:15. Yes, these nutjobs actually reenact the hatchet scene. I wish I were joking. Why would anyone want to remember that shit? Anyway, they ride the Ferris wheel first and then the Inferno, the biggest scariest roller coaster at Fear Park. Yee haw. Kind of. When the ride is over, Paul hurries off to rehearse for the show and Dierdre runs up to some guy named Rob who is lurking around in the shadows and kisses him. What a two-faced tramp! She keeps thinking about wrong it is, but that doesn't stop her from smothering this guy in kisses.
After Dierdre manages to break away from Rob, she goes to her dad's office trailer and finds him chatting about the park to reporters. Someone asks about the Hatchet Show and Mr. Bradley answers "[It's] partly in tribute to the kids who died. They died on this ground. And we don't want to forget them. Also, it's such a dramatic story, such a mystery. We know people will be curious about it. We think the Hatchet Show will become one of our biggest attractions." Tribute my ass. You've got dollar signs in your eyes, Mr. Bradley. Just admit that it's all for the money! The reporters leave and Mr. Bradley decides to drag Dierdre to the show. She doesn't wanna go because she has a terrible feeling about it, but she goes along anyway. They take a seat in the theater and Dad informs more reporters that it's all rubber hatchets and fake blood. The lights go down and the show finally begins. As the kids are chopping away, a purple cloud floats into the area and they all start fighting. I don't think I have to describe the other events...we already went there in 1935! Dierdre is shocked at how real everything looks. At the end, all of the performers take a bow...except Paul. Dierdre notices that he isn't moving and she freaks out and runs onstage. Of course Paul is ok: "Cramp in my side. This show is dangerous!" Hahahah. As the two kiss, Dierdre spots Rob in the crowd watching them. Pervert!
The next night, Dierdre is back at the park waiting for Paul at the main gates. She gazes over at the Ferris wheel and thinks that maybe he's already on duty. The wheel is running strangely, bumping along, and Paul is nowhere in sight. A moment later, she realizes what's making the wheel so bumpy and screams: Paul's headless corpse is stuffed beneath the wheel. "The legs and shoes jumped up as each car bumped over the body." She also spots Paul's head lying nearby on the pavement. Oh Paul. *sob* Dierdre starts crying and out of nowhere, Rob comes up to comfort her: "It's ok. I'm here now. I'll take good care of you."
Two weeks later, the police are still investigating Paul's death. The park was shut down immediately after Paul's body was found. Dierdre is sitting in the office trailer with her dad. Dad says that many workers have quit because they think the park is jinxed. Rob suddenly appears and says he would be able to help out. Dad doesn't know this guy so Rob introduces himself: "My name is Robin. Robin Fear, sir." I think we all kinda saw that coming. Dad asks if he's related to THE Fear family and Robin says he's a distant cousin. Liar! The last line of the book comes from Robin: "I've waited a long time for this job!" Oh I bet you have, you little weirdo.
Conclusion? It's a toss-up. Some parts were good (the kids hacking each other up with hatchets) and other parts were incredibly dull (I'm talking to you, 1935!) I have high hopes for the next two novels in this trilogy, though.
Next time: "Switched"
Friday, October 10, 2008
Last summer, April was working as a mother's helper on Sumner Island. One day, she spotted Ken making out with a girl that wasn't Jenny. Oooo. She wanted to call Jenny and tell her that Ken was cheating, but she never did and it still lies on her conscience. The end.
That's all? I thought she had at least witnessed a freaking murder or something! The gang goes inside to warm themselves by the fire and drink hot chocolate. How pleasant. And by 'pleasant' I mean incredibly cliched. Dara wants to continue playing truth or dare, but everyone is tired and elects to go to bed instead. Time really flies when you're wandering around in snow. Dara decides to go out to the woodshed to get more fuel for the fire, but I somehow doubt that's all she's doing. For some reason.
Ken and April go out into the swirling snow to shut the locker and they get quite the little surprise: Dara's frozen corpse is stuffed inside the locker. A hatchet is buried between her shoulder blades. As Ken is examining the body, April tosses her cookies over the porch railing. Yum. They go back inside to tell the others. Carly and Jenny freak out and Tony just says they can't call the police because the line is dead. Didn't see that coming from a mile away or anything. Thank you for writing something original, Stine. *sigh* Tony says the killer must be Josh, but he doesn't really have a reason for that theory so no-one buys it. They go into Josh's room, though, to search through his things. He didn't take anything with him so they automatically assume he's been murdered also. Back in the living room, April finds a ridiculous note:
He says he got pissed off about Dara embarrassing him when they were playing truth or dare. How embarrassing could it have been? She didn't even say anything about him! Anyway, he says he took the jeep as revenge. His intention was to strand Dara, but I guess he forgot about the fact that there are OTHER PEOPLE there, too. The dumbass got himself stuck in a snow drift and kept the engine running because he needed to keep the heater on. Eventually the jeep ran out of gas and he was forced to start walking back. All that shit because someone looked at you the wrong way during a game of truth or dare? You are a gibbering idiot, Josh. Everyone believes him, but now they're more afraid because the murderer is still on the loose.
She runs back to the house and grabs someone's red coat. She takes off down the road thinking that she'll probably be able to get to the nearest ski lodge. Yeah right. As she walks, she thinks about how big the red coat is and how it must be Ken's because he's the biggest person in the house. She puts her hands into the pockets and finds a red ballpoint pen. Aha! April predictably flips out and proceeds to flip out some more when she see someone running towards her. Ken? The person tackles her to the ground and she sees that it IS Ken after all. He says he was worried about her because she'll never make it to town or a ski lodge. He also says he was yelling for her, but she ignored him. LIAR. She goes back to the house with him and brings up Sumner Island. He just says "Did you tell Jenny?" April says she didn't, but she wanted to. Then he asks if she's known the entire time which is an incredibly stupid question because she just said she knows! Of course she says yes and Ken grabs her arm and says "I'm so sorry, April. I'm so sorry." The expression on his face says he's anything BUT sorry. She breaks away from him and goes to toss his coat back on the pile. He still wants to talk, but she runs to find Jenny.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Apparently Becka wasn't harmed at all because she's telling her friends, Trisha and Lilah, all about it the next day (Saturday) at her house. She brags that only one headlight got smashed and her dad was hardly mad about it at all. Why does Stine always make it seem so much worse? The way the accident was described, I would've thought the damn car was totaled. Anyway, the conversation eventually turns to Becka's break up with Eric. Yawn. They also talk about Becka's ex-boyfriend, Bill Planter. Bill is a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks who was hated by Becka's parents which made Becka want him more. Why the break up? I dunno. It's never explained, but it doesn't matter because Becka wants him back, baby. No-one gave foot rubs like old Planter. *sigh* In the midst of conversation, a girl bursts into Becka's room screaming "Becka! I can't believe it! It's really you!" What the hell, man? Becka is shocked because she's never seen this chick before in her life. We get the following description of the trespasser: "She wasn't exactly pretty. But she was very dramatic looking with her flowing auburn hair past her shoulders, round gray eyes, and full lips coated in a dark lipstick. She wore a bright orange sweater that clashed with her hair and a green miniskirt over black tights." Stine, you need to learn how to color coordinate...orange and green? She looks like a pumpkin! Anyway, the girl just keeps gushing about how excited she is that she moved right next door. WOOO! She doesn't seem to notice that the other girls don't have a damn clue who she is. Lilah and Trish introduce themselves and the girl says "I remember you two. I'm Honey Perkins." HOW does she remember? Everyone else obviously doesn't. And this doesn't seem like a girl who would be easily forgotten. Honey tells Lilah and Trish that she and Becka were best friends in 3rd and 4th grade, but Becka silently disagrees. Lilah and Trish keep trying to make conversation with Honey, but she totally ignores them and zeroes in on Becka. Becka's mom comes in a few minutes later and Honey freaks out screaming "Mrs. Norwood!" and rushing to hug her. Mrs. Norwood is just as confused and disturbed by Honey as Becka is and she quickly makes an excuse to leave. Good one, Mom. Just go ahead and leave your daughter alone with the psychotic nut.
One afternoon, Lilah and Becka are walking home together and gossiping about Mary Harwood who is apparently Shadyside's biggest tramp because she kisses a lot of boys. There's a difference between kissing and sexy time, girls. Mary isn't having sex...just like the rest of you! Then they start talking about Trish's upcoming Christmas party: "It's going to be a mob scene! Trish has invited everyone in the world!" Including Bill. Ooo la la. Becka has already picked out her outfit: a short silky silver dress over a black catsuit. It's only legal for Catwoman to wear a freaking catsuit. Everyone else should be arrested for public indecency (unless it's Halloween).
After Honey leaves, Becka calls Bill. They discuss seeing one another again, but Becka still refuses to sneak out and Bill is a trifle disappointed because he wants to corrupt her a little. His words, not mine. Becka's mom pulls up in the driveway so she quickly hangs up the phone. Mom comes inside with an armful of groceries and Becka asks her why she let Honey in. Mom is confused because she hasn't been home all afternoon and couldn't possibly have let Honey into the house. Can anyone say 'restraining order'?
On Wednesday afternoon, Becka and Lilah are walking to the bike rack after school when they spot Honey. *sigh* Not again. Honey wants to walk home with Becka, but Becka explains that she and Lilah are riding their bikes. Honey totally ignores Lilah as usual and says she really needs to get a bike. Honey goes away a few seconds later and Becka and Lilah ride away. As they're rolling down a hill toward an intersection, Lilah freaks out because her brakes don't work. She speeds toward the intersection where a brown delivery truck is also headed. Uh-oh. Lilah flies over the handlebars...
It's Saturday night and Becka and Bill are heavily making out in her car which is parked on River Ridge. Bill finally has to break for air ("I can't breathe.") and Becka uses this opportunity to complain about Honey. We've already discussed this--either kill her or tell her to get lost! Becka says that since Lilah's accident, Honey calls constantly and comes over to her house every single day and it's driving her nuts. She doesn't wanna say anything because Honey means well. Whatever! Becka, you live on Fear Street. Most people there don't have good intentions and Honey is no exception. Becka then tells Bill about something Lilah said : "Lilah told me that Honey had been asking questions about her bike. A day or two before the accident. You know. Questions about what kind of bike it was, how the brakes worked. Stuff like that." So she's a bicycle aficionado. What of it? "I didn't remember until I talked to Lilah this morning. But Honey was at the bike rack when Lilah and I came for our bikes. She was examining a bike..." I'm surprised it took you this long to figure it out. Next, Honey will be after your beloved Planter! Becka gazes out the window and screams that she sees Honey out there hiding behind a tree. She dives out of the car and runs to the tree. Of course no-one is there and Bill thinks she's out of her frigging mind.
That night, Becka is awakened by the phone. It's R.L. Stine calling to tell her she's trapped in a shitty novel. Just kidding--it's Honey. She just wanted to tell Becka that she's always around if she needs anything. Unfortunately. She also says that she never said anything about a breakdown and Trish is just a big fat liar. Just be quiet, Honey. Becka attends school the next day even though she feels like roadkill. It's the last day before Christmas break so she'll have plenty of time to lay in bed over the next few weeks. Her friend, Cari Taylor, comes over and asks her how she is. She thought Becka was sick in the head which makes Becka realize that Honey did indeed tell everyone a pack of lies. In homeroom, she sees Honey wearing a blue silk shirt that belongs to Becka (Honey took it home under the pretense of "cleaning it" and Becka was stupid enough to actually believe that shit) and Becka's parrot pin. And Becka STILL says nothing!!! You've got to be kidding. No more nice girl. It's time to lay the smack down, Becka! I can't believe I'm getting so worked up over this...I've truly gone astray.
That night, Becka goes to Bill's house for some TLC; after the Honey episode, she probably needs it. But of course once she's there, she only wants to freak out about Honey some more. *sigh* When she mentions seeing Honey with Eric during lunch period, Bill interrupts: "Did you hear about the guys who broke into the school during lunch period today? They ran through the halls, trashing lockers." Worst. Plot. Contrivance. Ever. It doesn't even make any fucking sense! Who were the guys? What motive could they possibly have had for ransacking teenagers' lockers in the middle of the day? Were they searching for something? WHAT?! Anyway, Becka feels bad because she accused Honey of something she didn't do and since Honey is an unstable maniac, Becka will probably suffer the consequences. I look forward to some real action. No fake pistols! Before she leaves, Becka asks Bill if Honey ever came on to him and he says "Maybe. But it was no big deal." Ooooo.
When she arrives home, it's a little late, but her mom is waiting up for her. And boy, is she pissed! Mom rails on and on about Bill being a bad influence and blah blah blah. She's mostly angry about Becka sneaking out so she grounds her. Tragedy = Becka will have to miss Trish's big Christmas party. Becka runs to her room and thinks about how ticked off she is. To make matters worse, Honey was hiding in the closet and chooses this moment to pop out. She says she came over earlier, but Becka wasn't home so she snuck upstairs to wait in the closet until Becka arrived. Why didn't she just sit on the bed or something? Why am I still asking questions at this point? Honey apologizes for telling Becka's mom that Becka was at Bill's house, but Becka doesn't accept the apology. Instead, she tells Honey that they are not friends and never will be. She says that Trish and Lilah are her only friends. Honey stares blankly at her for a second then smiles and says "I broke up with Eric today. Just like you did." Which means that she is now available to prey upon Bill Planter.