Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Stepsister or "The Erotic Tale of Two Sisters"

First off, let me apologize to my one fan for my absence from the blog lately. I decided to take the past few days to obsessively read all three of the Twilight books! I apparently no longer read books that are made for anyone over the age of 15. YIKES! Well, if I don’t post for a few days after August 2nd… you’ll know where I’ll be. On to my original YA love, Fear Street! The Stepsister!

The cover: fair to good, I’d say. While this scene never happens in the book, it pretty accurately represents the two girls. Emily, our heroine, has the ‘crazed’ red hair and is snooping in her stepsister’s diary. Nice. Evil Jessie looks… well she looks pretty hot actually. Mad yet almost… holy. O I get it! That’s why they kept referring to her as angelic! Smooth move cover artist!

We start with Emily and her older sister Nancy talking about how their new stepsiblings, Jessie and Rich are moving in that day. Ugh, Rich? Terrible name! I would probably call him Richard, even if I knew that wasn’t what Rich was short for. They talk about how they probably hurt their step-dad Hugh, by not taking his last name. Um, do any adult children ever take the last name of their mother’s new husband? Especially after their father died like a year ago? I already don’t like this whiny Hugh guy and he hasn’t even shown up yet!

So Jessie seems really nice and excited to be there, until Emily shows her to the room they will both be sharing. Shoving two 16 year old girls into one bedroom? I’m surprised that it takes so long for someone to die in this book! Anyways, Jessie rips the head off Emily’s prized teddy bear and kicks the dog, Tiger, so we know she’s a bitchasaurus! (By the way, if anyone one did either of these things to me? Yeah, I’d kill ‘em)

We find out that Emily is actually dating Nancy’s ex-boyfriend Josh. Nancy says she doesn’t care (laughing about Josh’s terrible hygiene) but we know she still wants to stick her face in the armpit of his dirty sweatshirt. The new family has an awkward dinner where Hugh picks on his own son Rich for being shy, then brags that he hasn’t read a book since high school. Emily emos about how dumb Hugh is. Which… yeah, I’ll give her credit, I can’t understand why people brag about never reading. Yay, illiteracy? She remembers how her dad died in a boating accident with her. It doesn’t say how recently it happened, but it sounds like it was the previous summer. In which case… Mrs. Illiterate Hugh? Moves kinda fast. All I’m sayin’!

Hugh also wins So-Awful-It’s-Awesome points for talking about how he never has to do the dishes anymore because he lives with four women! Nice. Emily calls him a sexist pig in her head, but that’s an actual rational thought. It REALLY should have been said outloud. Trouble starts between the two girls when Jessie borrows Emily’s sweater but says it’s hers and then Emily thinks she erased her big social paper from the computer on purpose. Apparently Emily has her own PC. This book was printed in 1990. Were there computers back then? I now kinda picture Emily sitting in front of a huge wall of computer (ala 1950s), slipping punch cards in and out, diligently writing her paper. Awesome!

Emily reacts rationally about her paper being destroyed by attacking Jessie and beating her to the ground! But I really do mean rationally. I probably would do that too. I once lost the editing work I’d done on a paper, and I cried so hard my nose bled. True story! Overshare? Yeah…

Best part of the story so far: Emily sees that Jessie is watching her and Josh make out in his car… so she decides to put on a show for her! “I hope the little Peeping Tom enjoys the show!” Haha! Methinks Emily might have a few unresolved feelings towards her new stepsisters…

Well the girls start to get along better and decide to make “icebox cake” (which sounds great! and I will be making it soon!) but get into a hilarious whipping cream fight! They spray each other down with cream, getting all over themselves, the floor, the walls, curtains, cabinets… this seems a little too messy for a fun game. Also, it’s continuing on the incestuous lesbian-erotic path that this book seems to be taking. Weird, R.L. After Emily takes a shower to get all the sticky cream off, she notices that her hair has been destroyed! Someone put peroxide in her shampoo, and her hair is all orangey/white! Oh noes! Actually that does sound terrible but I don’t think it deserves quite the reaction Emily gives:

“Then she screamed. And screamed again. She had the feeling that she might never stop screaming.”


Emily and Nancy’s solution to her problem was “trimming the sides so short”. HAH! You know Emily is rocking an orangey/red mullet now. Perfect! Emily and Josh go to a dance together that Friday night. But before the dance, there’s a basketball game. Wait, what? They crowd hundreds of kids into a gym, sweat it out at a game, then… dance in said gym? Not even the pretense of decorations so it maybe looks less like a gym? Ah, well, I’m sure the kids still grinded their pelvises together in a movement loosely called “dancing”. Wait did they do that in 1990?

Ick Emily comes home to find her dog stabbed to death. That’s all kinds of upsetting! Poor Tiger. Later, she finds him stuffed into her knapsack! Alongside her Trapper Keeper! However, this phenomena is never explained because the book cuts to 3 days later. Emily is just talking about how evil her stepsister is. Which… well yeah! If she stuffs the carcass of your freshly murdered pet into your backpack? Pretty damn evil! But she has no proof. I’d still give Jessie a wide berth there Emily…

Wide berth doesn’t really help Emily as she gets trapped in a school bathroom after someone sets fire to it!. She had just run into Jessie … and Nancy outside the bathroom! But no one knew she was in the bathroom expect Jessie right? It has to be Jessie right? That night, the three girls are at a concert, when ‘someone’ pushes Emily down the super steep steps! Has to be Jessie, because no one else could have done it right? O R.L. … your powers of suspense are mindblowing!

After this near life-ending disaster, Hugh decides to take the new family on a camping trip. To South Carolina? They’re flying in for the weekend apparently. Weird! Has anyone in Fear Street ever gone on a camping/ski trip and come back with no one being murdered? Hugh should really look into the stats on this, since camping + Fear Street? Usually equals maiming. Before they leave Emily catches Josh gettin’ it on with Jessie. She seems to be fairly distressed by this, but the next chapter opens with the family going camping. The whole caught-red-handed thing is never resolved and I can’t tell you how much that annoys me! Is Emily still with Josh? Did she break up with him? Is she biding her time so she can rip his eyes out at a later date? That is probably the most upsetting event to a 16 year old girl! Forget dog-icide, illicit make outs is where the real drama is!

The three teenage girls go to gather wood in the forest when they get there. Even though it’s night. Now I’m not the most outdoorsy girl (read: one night in a tent with my boyfriend was just enough, thankyouverymuch) but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to ‘set up camp’ before it’s dark out. Because the blackness makes building hard! Also makes wood scavengering creepy for Emily. She thinks Jessie is following her and in her haste to get away, she falls into an open grave in an old cemetery. Yeah. An open grave. Are there really open graves anywhere, at any time? Reeeeeally? Does this happen in your neighbourhood? Because in Fear Street… it seems to happen a lot. They should look into getting some new grave diggers if they’re just digging holes and leaving them unfilled all willy-nilly.

When Emily tries to climb out of the grave, the crazed murderer hits her arm with an axe and gives her a clean break! Emily looks up and… gasp! It’s not Jessie, it’s Nancy! CRAZY! Did you guys see that coming? Because I certainly didn’t! So Nancy has bent a little under the stress of being a senior and is pissed at Emily for stealing Josh and not rescuing their father when he drowned. Well, two out of three grievances are actually pretty reasonable. Maybe not so much the last one. Jessie shows up at the last second and saves the day by knocking Nancy out.

We ‘discover’ that Nancy was the one doing all the crazy stuff. Including making out with Josh! But we still don’t know how that effects Josh/Emily’s relationship! Grrargh! We also never get any closure on the sweater debacle from the first part of the book. Whose sweater was it really? And why the fudge did they go to South Carolina for an effing camping trip? The book ends with the step sisters bonding over their near death experience and pretty much shrugging it off. I think if L.K. Stine tried to kill me… I’d be a little traumatized. For a week at least. Rich comes in and isn’t as shy as he was in the beginning of the book. Jessie says “Wow! Things really are changing around here!” and the three of them share a big laugh. I guess at the expense of their sister, who now resides in a mental institution? Cold!

The Stepsister was… fair to pretty good. It left me with too many unanswered questions though. Should a Fear Street novel really have such a complicated plot that R.L. couldn’t wrap it all up in 165 pages? Answer: god no. Therefore: 6 dog carcasses in knapsacks out of 21!

A.M. Stine


Justin Duhe said...

It appears that I too only read books for people under the age of 15 so don't feel bad...You're not alone.

Anonymous said...

They need to make a book where the main characters mother is the killer.