Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Perfect Date or "Stalkers Hate the Hideously Disfigured" or "Return of LOL Zombies!"

The Perfect date is one of the books I never read as a kid but totally captures everything I remember about Fear Street. There’s terribly gory accidents, rage-aholic behaviour by the men-folk, and the women all end up being absolutely nuts. I think the later books (this one was published in 1996) were gorier than the earlier ones. The ones written in the early 90s seem to focus more on mundane teenage problems (boyfriend/girlfriend issues), and hilarious superglue-in-the-toothpaste-tube episodes rather than traumatizing triple homicides. Therefore the later books = SUPERiour!

The cover is definitely misleading. At no time do Brady (our ‘hero’) and Rosha appear in the fog at night. And is that a letter opener of DOOM, I spot? The perfect weapon for a Fear Street murder! Brady has awesome hair and sideburns, although I think his 1996 rip off of Jason Priestly/Luke Perry would be more accurate if he had a small gold hoop earring. In the book, Rosha is described as being devastatingly beautiful, which… yeah okay, she’s pretty cute. But this is the object of Brady’s complete and total OBSESSION? … Meh. I think her hair is too frizzy. Probably just me though.

I knew this book was going to be good as soon as I opened it up and saw it had a prologue! Yes, this 147 page book is SO complex it needed a prologue and an epilogue! AND in the prologue, Brady’s girlfriend gets her face torn off! This is the kind of disgusting violence that the earlier books were missing. Ahhh so good. What happened was Brady took his GF, Sharon, tobogganing, she didn’t want to do it, he basically pushed her, she lost control, hit a tree and some thorn-y bushes and ripped her face off. “Nothing remained but a pulpy mass of skin and crushed bone. A bright red puddle of blood on the crisp white snow.” Deep.

We know that Brady is a total D-bag since he pushed his previous girlfriend to her untimely death and he doesn’t really get that much better. It’s a year later, and he has a new GF named Allie. He emos about how he likes her but she likes him more. O boo fucking hoo Brady, you should feel blessed that anyone is willing to risk their chances dating you after what happened to poor, faceless Sharon. We soon meet Rosha, the object of Brady’s unholy obsession. He goes to meet her at the diner him and his friend Jon are at, even though he has a GF. Rosha has a husky (is that supposed to be sexy? This what I think of) voice, and is super into Brady, but accidentally dumps scaling coffee all over his hands. So hot that it blisters! How the fudge was she drinking it?!

Brady of course forgives her and makes a date for the weekend. He avoids Allie all week because he doesn’t want to break up with her in case Rosha doesn’t work out. Claaaaaaassy. He also avoids Allie because he hilariously wants to be “alone to think about Rosha.” HAH! Is R.L. insinuating masturbation?? About time!

Cheater Brady and Rosha go to a movie for their date and they talk like they’ve “known each other forever.” Pay attention friends, that’s called ‘subtle’ foreshadowing. When they’re coming out of the movie, Brady spots a tragically disfigured woman standing in the shadows staring at him. His revulsion is immediate and shockingly intense. He intermittently stares at her and shudders. Nice Brady. Like this poor, scarred woman really wants to be the source of your nightmares. In case you’re interested, she’s described somewhat like this.

Rosha strongarms him into letting her drive home. However, after she gets them into a horrible car accident and confesses she doesn’t know how to drive, then DISAPPEARS when the cops show up, Brady thinks letting her drive might have been a mistake. MAYBE. Not that this does anything to dampen his love/lust/dark obsession with her though. He never got her number or anything so he emos about that, until that police from the crime scene stop by with her purse that was left in the car. Brady perks up because he can now violate her privacy by rifling through her purse! Oddly though, it’s empty. Brady clenches his fists in the air and screams “NOOOO!” Well, no, he doesn’t but you know he wants to. He also receives a threatening phone call telling him to stay away from Rosha. I probably would after that first car crash but I’m no Brady…

Brady takes his obsession to a new level and shows up at the private school Rosha attends to try and track her down. Stalking is illegal in most States, Brady! Or so I’m told. He can’t find her and when he describes Rosha to an unassuming boy in the parking lot, the boy hasn’t heard of her either. Well, he MUST be lying, thinks Brady! He just wants Rosha to himself! So Brady, being the epitome of calm, sane reasoning, starts to BEAT UP this poor kid! That’ll teach him to give the wrong answers!

Brady finally gets a grasp on reality and leaves the guy alone. He wanders behind the school and comes across *gasp* the horribly disfigured girl! Brady displays his humane side when looking at her: “Brady felt disgust. Pity. Horror. He didn’t know why but he couldn’t stand the idea of listening to her.” Dear lord Brady. She’s not even worth LISTENING to?! That’s extremely harsh, even for a teenage douchenozzle.

Anyways, he runs into Rosha in the field, and they make a date for Saturday. She even gives him her number AND home address. Unfortunately for Brady, when he gets to the point where he HAS to see her before their date, both number and address are fake. OUCH! Luckily for Brady, Rosha seems to have just as big of a problem keeping away and she shows up at his house. (Do teenagers normally exchange addresses? This seems weird…) The two crazed lovers talk and fight a little until Allie shows up! You remember, Allie, his GF from the beginning? Yeah he still hasn’t dumped her. Brady tries to hustle Rosha out the back door but in his haste, Rosha trips. And stabs him in the side with a letter opener. NICE! I don’t know about you all, but the letter openers I use? Are wooden with a nice loon on top. The letter opener from the cover of the book seems to be a large dagger. What are their envelopes made of?!

Brady gets home from the hospital and Allie comes over to dump his ass. Thank god! He gets a cryptic call from his BFF Jon telling him that the horribly scarred girl is at his house, and has convinced Jon that Rosha is trying to kill Brady. Got that? Brady gets a call on “call waiting” (how futuristic!) but when he gets back to Jon the line is dead. DEAD! He rushes over to his pal’s house where he finds Jon in the same condition as the phone line. DEAD! Well actually a neighbour found Jon dead, and called the police, who were already there by the time Brady pulls up. That awfully fast since Brady lives six blocks away…

He gets home and listens to a message from Rosha telling him to meet her for some tobogganing fun. At the same spot where his old GF Sharon was killed. Is your foreshadowing sense tingling? We get a classic chapter-ender from R.L.: ‘“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten Brady,” Rosha interrupted. “I haven’t forgotten. After all, it was the day you killed me.”’ End chapter. Nice!

Rosha details that she’s actually dead Sharon back for revenge on Brady. She’s frustrated that Brady didn’t figure it out, as it was sooo obvious. Because Rosha Nelson and Sharon Noles’s names were anagrams of each other! No, seriously, that was the big clue.

Anyways Rosha kills him with her ‘inhuman’ strength (wtf?) when hideously scarred girls rolls up. She’s all “No way Sharon!” and Sharon/Rosha is all “Eff off!” Apparently, Sharon/Rosha stole this girls body to seduce and kill Brady. Wha? Scarred girl says Sharon/Rosha killed her and took her body. So how is she wandering around? And whose body is she in?? Unless… no. Not possible. It would be toooo good. Are these girls … ZOMBIES?!?!

The two girls fight. They rip out each others hair and eyes and yet still keep going. Are they? Are they not? Tell me they’re zombies! Just then, scarred girl rips off Sharon’s arm! YES!! THEY ARE TOTALLY ZOMBIES! That only EVER happens to zombies! Their fight ends when they both rip off each other’s heads and their bodies disappear. Were they vampire zombies?

The epilogue is just as good as the prologue in my opinion. Brady goes to Allie’s house to force her to take him back. She’s all “Well maybe” when she should really be like “Get the fuck off my property”. She notes how cold he is and he tells her about his one little problem. You see… HE’S A ZOMBIE!! “That’s why I’m so cold Allie. So cold. So cold. Because I’m dead.” He’s just a love struck zombie. All he wants from Allie is a date! And by date, he means BRAINS.

Well, this book was mindblowing-ly AWESOME. It had the gruesome violence that I LOVED as a child, some great foreshadowing and THREE MOTHER EFFING ZOMBIES. Doesn’t get much better than that! Ten nameless, hideously scarred women out of ten!

A.M. Stine


Anne said...

Loon letter opener! awesome!

The Black Sheep said...

This is sooo late, but I remember reading in R.L's bio that his son posed for this cover...

Ali said...

Actually, my three letter openers are made of metal. They're mostly ornamental and not very sharp, but they look deadly, at least. I have one that's actually shaped like a small dagger, but it's too awkward to open letters with so I leave it in my room to freak out guests.

Anonymous said...

The girl whose body Sharon/Rosha stole was in Sharon's body! That's why she had all those scars on her face - because Sharon would have if she had survived.

RecallerReminder said...

Why when the main protagonist is a male always ends up being a total jerk? With female we had so many variations and types to hate or barely tolerate but boys are just stupid with just girls and sports in their minds. Is this the stereotypical idea of Stine about how average teenagers are supose to be? Sigh...
I must admit I didnt notice at first the anagram so the revelation shocked me a little (I though the scarred girl was actually Sharon trying to prevent Brady because she loved him but....yeah, thats probabyly would be pretty stupid, so this is okay).