Thursday, September 18, 2008
The New Year's Party (Part One) or "Events Actually Took Place at a Christmas Party!"
Alright kids, it’s time for another Super Chiller! “The New Years Party” had some actual murders in it, which makes it a TRUE Super Chiller. Honestly, the most disappointing Fear Street books are the ones where no one dies. You all know it. I know it. Don’t judge me for saying it! This book is actually divided into four parts (I know, overkill) so I’m going to recap in TWO separate posts. …Mostly because I want you all to come check back tomorrow for numero duo!
The cover. So the girl isn’t actually our protagonist Reenie, but instead her friend Liz. Liz looks… old. There’s no way around it, Liz has gray hair. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if I’m a 17 year old girl with gray hair? I’m buying some hair dye! (PS I realize the cover is so crappy you can't really tell what colour her hair is... but trust me, that light hair? It's gray!) Can I make a confession? I would LOVE to have the job of making up taglines for Fear Street books (that is, if I could travel back in time to 1991). Seems like such an easy job: you get to be creative with puns about death, and in the end it doesn’t really matter because there all so similar anyways. “When midnight strikes…they all die.” Ooo someone should tell Liz to include that on her party invitation!
We open in 1965 (historical Fear Street? The best kind!). It’s New Years Eve and Beth and Karen are discussing their fantasies about the Beatles asking them out and dating two at once. So… a Beatles orgy basically. Yay? Anyways, it’s almost New Years, and Beth is worried about this boy Jeremy, who doesn’t seem to be having much fun. Her hunky date isn’t pleased that she’s all about Jeremy instead of him (he should hear her thoughts about Paul and John!) so he kinda ditches her. All of a sudden, masked robbers burst in and take Jeremy hostage! He’s super scared (rightfully) and everyone starts handing over their money and jewelry, until the robbers take off their masks and everyone realizes it’s a prank. And all the cruel 60s teens make fun of Jeremy for being scared, even though someone was holding a gun to his head! I would be scared too, assholes!
Jeremy storms out, with Beth hot on his tail. Are they brother and sister? Just friends? Because Beth is like MAJORLY involved with this kid. I’m kinda expecting them to inappropriately make out now. They race down the icy roads of Shadyside because Jeremy is upset. Well he’s about to get more upset because he hits a person and then runs him over. YEAH. Beth convinces him it was just a raccoon (harsh) but it doesn’t improve his driving because soon they drive off a cliff. Beth says (while they are mid-air mind you): “Jeremy! You’ve killed us. You’ve killed us both.” How nice of her to calmly point that out, while in the midst of dying!
Cut to Part Two labeled “This Year” which is: 1995. So our main character for the rest of the book is Reenie. Her boyfriend is Sean, who is pale and dark haired and plays for the chess club although that aspect of his character is never properly explored. Greta and Artie are the couple that has been dating forever and Ty is their non-coupled up friend. And they continuously mention how he’s single and never asks anyone out. Give the guy a break! So they play this messed up game where they try and trick each other into thinking one of them has died. Like in the first chapter where we meet the group of friends, Sean hides in the closet for Reenie to find him, covered in fake blood. That’s some dedication right there.
There are some new siblings in town: Liz and P.J. While everyone thinks Liz is pretty awesome (Ty especially. WoOoOo!), no one likes P.J. because he is totally creepy. Well, fair enough! I don’t like creepy people either (although I think I might be one). One of my favourite things about this book is that they mention other characters that I’ve heard of! Like Corky Corcoran of Evil Cheerleader fame! And Bobby Newkirk, the guy who got “shamed” in front of the girls! Best part? When someone later suggests inviting Bobby to a party, all the girls moan “Noooo!”. What continuity!
We meet a new character, Marc, who Artie is apparently obsessed with and drives a “shiny red car”. They couldn’t have even bothered to pick out a make/model? Pfff, R.L. So Marc and Artie take Greta, Reenie and Sean up to a cliff to “show them something”. Oddly, no one clues in that it’s totally a prank. Anyways, Marc pretends to fall off the cliff, then Reenie actually does. It’s apparently kinda like a slide (FYI: cliffs are not like slides. Do not try this at home) but she gets spun out onto the ice and falls through! Talk about a joke gone bad… Sean rescues Reenie and they all get over the incident way too fast.
There’s a bunch of scenes where Artie is jealous of P.J. for talking to Greta. Greta is kind of a flirt, but Artie just really comes off as insane. Liz, tells Reenie in confidence that P.J. has a heart condition that makes him unable to do anything active. Right afterwards, Artie forces P.J. to spot him while he’s weightlifting. Do you see where this is going? Artie tries too much and P.J. can’t help him so all the weights fall on Artie. Um Artie? If this was your plan to make P.J. look bad? You’re doing a shitty job. Because all that happened was that you broke some ribs and are now even more pissed off. Artie is a total tool.
Later at Reenie’s, they talk about who to invite to her Christmas party while her parents are away for a few days! Artie also tells the gang about his plan to get back at P.J. In advance… it’s super lame. Artie and Marc bribed the hottest girl in school, Sandi, to ask P.J. to Reenie’s party. When they get there, Sandi is going to kiss P.J., then pretend to die. YEAH. That’s the whole plan. They all get into it and laugh manically while saying “The kiss of death!” WTF? How old are these kids?
So anyways, the party happens and Reenie is having reservations. She knows about P.J.’s heart and thinks the prank might be a bad idea. Seriously though? It’s not even a prank. It’s the lamest idea I’ve ever heard be called a prank!
P.J. and Sandi arrive. Just in case you’re wondering, Sandi is wearing a short black dress with a sparkly red vest, sheer black stockings and heels. Niiiice. Sandi dances up all close with P.J. and he’s super embarrassed by her attention. Then she stuffs her tongue down his throat! Amazing what she’ll do for money, that one. After the kiss, she goes through with the plan, convulsing on the floor and faking her death. Then P.J. crumples to the ground and starts convulsing too! Sandi’s all “Not cool guys!” (way to get a conscience now) and Artie kinda freaks out over his body. Reenie rushes over and pronounces him dead, saying “We killed P.J.” Shhhh, shut up Reenie! Don’t admit guilt! Someone goes to call 911. Question? Was this in the days before CPR? I don’t think so. These kids are assholes! Try to help him!
Also, I think the meanest part of the prank was the fact that this pretty girl pretended to like him. Wouldn't that be the worst part, realizing that she was with you for a prank? I hate Shadyside kids in this book. I hope they get their comeuppance!
Part Two ends there. What will happen in Part Three and Four? Will someone start to kill off the pranksters one by one? Well, yes, that’s exactly what the back of the book says. BUT WHO? Tune in tomorrow for the (mildly) exciting conclusion!