Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Prom Queen, or "Sometimes Popularity Contests can be MURDER"


We start this one with my favorite main character ever in Fear Street, Lizzy, talking with her friends Rachel (the bitter poor one) and Dawn (the sexy one), about a serial killer who was stabbing young girls to death, them dumping them in the Fear Street Woods. Everyone is pretty anxious/nervous, although it’s probably because prom queen candidates are being chosen, rather than they could be stabbed to death. They go to the assembly, where the principal reminded all young girls to be careful and scared, because they were VICTIMS. Awesome, that always works.

Next, he announces the 5 nominees for prom queen – and all three of the friends are chosen. And, the prom queen will get a $3,000 scholarship. Um, really? This is a popularity contest, right? Should we really given money to someone just because they’re pretty and popular … never mind. I think the point of this is that Rachel, who is poor, remember? would be interested. Liz comments in her head that Rachel was shy because she was poor (aka not as good) as the rest of them. Um, ouch.

The other girls chosen are beautiful, delicate Elana, and dramatic, self-absorbed Simone. All the girls go out to celebrate at Pete’s Pizza. Simone is studying in the car, trying to learn her lines for Sound of Music as Maria von Trapp. Awesome cattiness: “She always was the star. Even though she didn’t make a very convincing nun.” Haha. They all got pretty bitchy together, pretending to be each other and cutting each other down. It’s actually very high school of them.

Soon after, Simone is late for rehearsal. Liz goes to look for her, and locks herself in the stairwell. Simone wasn’t in the stairwell, so she went to the tennis courts, where she found Dawn all scratched up and covered in blood. The reason? She’d run into the fence. Not finding Simone here, Liz continued on to her house, where she found Simone’s room ransacked and a dark pool of blood. Outside the window, she sees a dark figure running away carrying a person-sized sack.

The next day everyone is assembled at Simone’s to answer some questions from the police, because that’s how people are normally questioned. Everyone is pretty freaked out, thinking Simone was the latest victim of the Fear Street killer. Turns out, Simone’s boyfriend Justin was at Elana’s last night. He had also gone out with both Dawn and Rachel. Don’t these girls talk? I thought they were friends. The director of the school play, Robbie, is also considered a suspect because he didn’t like her diva attitude.

As Liz leaves the questioning party, some creepy guy, Lucas, runs up to her saying he killed Simone then laughing hysterically. Lucas is described as weird and depressed. He grabs Liz and demands they get a Coke together. Oddly enough, Liz is turned off by this. Normally in Shadyside, she’d be all over it. Liz seems to have a bit of common sense. Apparently, Simone used to date Lucas and broke his heart. Talking to Lucas triggers Liz to remember the figure running away from the murder scene was wearing a baseball team jacket, a team both Lucas and Justin play for.

Lucas then calls Liz to ask her to prom, which she politely refuses. The girls reminisce about how much they liked Simone before she died, except for Dawn, who rants about what a bitch Simone was. Wow, that’s a caring friend. They decide to deal with tragedy by trying on sexy dresses. That’s what I do whenever my friends are murdered.

Dawn turns into an uber-cow, talking about how she’s going to win and stealing the sexiest dress. That bitch! Then Suki Thomas shows up, being a slut with none other than Simone’s Justin. A word on Suki Thomas – she is in like EVERY Fear Street book being slutty. She’s clearly the town slut. But is she ever a main character? What’s her story? Anyways, she apparently is also screwing Justin. They all go into a movie. Dawn leaves to get a pop, and never comes back. They find her knocked out on the floor. The police determine it was “just some jerk” doing it “just for the fun of it.” Which is why no one ever calls them for anything, surely.

As soon as Liz goes home, she gets a panicked call from Rachel, who sounds like she’s in trouble. Liz speeds through a thunderstorm, and hits – a raccoon! No way! It really is a raccoon this time. Anyways, she gets over the raccoon and rushes to Rachel, only to find out that she freaked out because her boyfriend dumped her. I guess freaking out is okay when being dumped, but maybe try not to act so tragic when you’re being stalked by a serial killer, kay, Rachel? Except, her boyfriend broke up with her to be with Elana. Wow, things are getting catty amongst these prom queens, aren’t they?

Liz is relieved Rachel wasn’t being murdered, and even more so when they discover the serial killer has been caught. Everything will be fine, right? Nope. Liz is woken up in the middle of the night by the police, questioning her about Rachel’s death. She had been stabbed to death after Liz left. And then … very few people came to her funeral. That just sucks, there’s nothing else to say there.

Fast-forward a week where everyone has gotten over the deaths of Simone and Rachel. Dawn is now Maria in the school play, because clearly there wasn’t enough attention on her already. She claims she’s freaked out by taking Simone’s place, but Liz notices how much she seems to be enjoying herself. With the real serial killer behind bars, it’s clear there’s a new killer going after the prom queen potentials. Dawn thinks it’s an unpopular girl who wasn’t nominated, but Liz thinks it could be Dawn, because she’s so gd crazy about winning and being the best all the time. Or, Rachel told him he wouldn’t get any, so he moved on to the next girl and is getting rid of the competition. Meanwhile, Dawn is hit with a sandbag as she’s on stage, a prop accident. Or is it?

She is fine, but the list of suspects keeps growing. This is a classic whodunit, with all the sex and scandal one YA book can handle. I’m a total fan right now. Liz gets freaked out and leaves, only to have Lucas jump her in her car. Holy crap, SUCH a creepy rapist move, but apparently he’s just “kidding.” Liz continues to defy all my Fear Street prejudices by kicking him out of the car instead of finding it endearing.

She comes home to find the house empty, except for Justin. She’s the only prom queen he HASN’T gone out with yet, but he actually came over to ask her not to say anything about him and Suki. Apparently because she’s a slut. SO intrigued by Suki. And like you should talk, Justin you big man-whore. To prove my point, Justin puts the moves on Liz. Liz totally kicks ass by calling him a cheating scumbag and kicking him out of the house, but not before he threatens her to keep her mouth shut.

Elana confesses to Liz she feels terrible that Gideon broke up with Rachel to be with her, and she ended it with him anyways. Next thing you know, Elana ends up dead, having fallen from the catwalk of the school’s theater. She’s all crushed and bloody, and holding a piece of a baseball jacket in her hand. A clue! The police put them through another mass questioning because, I think, they’re incompetent.

Justin calls Liz late at night, asking to come over. Justin is such a man whore. Only he shows up and advances on her with a letter opener. A letter opener! Super classic Fear Street! We don’t get to find out if Justin’s going to get stabby on Liz, because her father interrupts them. Liz tries to avoid everyone that’s involved with the deaths, and is relieved and happy when her long term, long distance boyfriend is able to come for prom. Wait, they’re still having prom? Even after 3 prom queens were murdered? That seems insensitive, even for Shadyside.

They are running the dress rehearsal for the Sound of Music, which opens the day before the prom. That seems like a pretty busy weekend for Shadyside High. Everything goes poorly, and Liz is exhausted and wants to go home. Unfortunately, she is cornered in the prop room with Justin. Sexy! While she’s looking for a knife, he asks her to prom. He easily backs off when she tells him she’s going with her boyfriend, also uncharacteristic of Fear Street. Justin leaves, and Liz is about ready to go when she hears Dawn’s screaming. She comes out to see a man in a maroon baseball jacket plunge a knife into Dawn’s chest.

Liz finally sees the prom queen killer, it’s … Simone. The only victim who’s body never showed up. Simone went crazy and decided to kill every girl that Justin cheated on her with, which is a long list, the big slut. Also, why not just kill the slimebucket himself? While still overkill, I hate it when girls blame the other woman, as opposed to the GUY WHO CHEATED ON YOU.

Anyways, Simone has decided Liz is next, and backs her against the wall of the theatre. In another show of awesomeness, Liz grabs a prop rope and pulls it, causing a sandbag to fall on Simone’s foot, breaking it. Liz ran to Dawn, and is pulled off by Simone, who starts choking her. Dawn is conscious and stabs Simone in the leg. The Simone and Liz both lunge for the knife and get into a great chick fight. Liz wins and holds Simone down as the police come.

The school decided that the prom queen thing would be in bad taste. So it ends with Liz happily dancing with her boyfriend, and Dawn working in a bitchy comment about her dress. This book has everything. A long list of suspects, gruesome deaths, entirely too much whore-y behaviour, an action-filled chick fight that decides it all, and a flippant ending. Not to mention a letter opener, and a run-over raccoon. I am satisfied, and this should have been a Super Chiller. 7 crowns out of 7.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

A protagonist with some decency and self-respect? I'd give it 7 out of 7 too.

Did a little research, a.k.a. Googling, and it doesn't look like Suki's ever a protagonist. Maybe her story would bump the series up a rating?

L. K. Stine said...

Maybe that's it - Suki would never star in a PG book. Too bad though. If there ever was an adult Fear Street series, I want to see Suki. She's by far the most interesting character out there.

Anonymous said...

Her frequent affairs are probably how she deals with the trauma of seeing everyone die while on the periphery of their tales. She doesn't even understand why they were killed.

LAK said...

I wonder if anyone has told RL to go back to Fear Street and write an adult series? Write about how the people who survived made it, their new affairs and romances and how much therapy they required!

Anonymous said...

I Googled, and there is a Suki who's a main character in The Overnight. Dunno if it's this one, except it would be weird if there were two just because Fear Street is so lily-white for the most part.

Anonymous said...

Oh wait, actually I looked further, and she's not the protagonist, but a main supporting character who is a skank. But at least it's an upgrade from periphery character who is a skank.

Karmyn said...

Justin is a himbo. He was dating one of the sisters in Bad Dreams. He sure gets around and probably has a few diseases that he and Suki pass back and forth as it seems that they are the only ones getting it on. Them and that one girl in The Sleepwalker. It's implied that she's a ho. But I can't remember her name.

A. M. Stine said...

I'm surprised you didn't comment on the awesome cover art work. A SKULL reflection? "She was drop-dead beautiful..." Neither of those make sense! And that's why we love Fear Street...

zanne said...

This one sounds really good. Liz actually seems like a decent character. I remember Suki from the books.

L. K. Stine said...

When it came to the cover art, I more couldn't get over the dress. Was this prom in the 60s? Apparently they all wear really sexy dresses. I guess some people get excited by pink taffeta ...

LAK said...

Actually the dress looks like it may have shoulder pads! Even cooler!

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Anonymous said...

This is probably the closest Suki's ever come to being a potential murder victim. Thank god Simone didn't really know about that one! Suki lives to fuck another day (and another girls' boyfriend)! Goddamn whore.

RecallerReminder said...

Mostly character acted like total jerks in the whole story. For once, only the main character has some sense.
Too bad Suki didnt got killed. I always wanted to read about her death muahahaha

Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks Justin Stiles is a skank it is only because they have forgotten the King of Skanks Gary Brandt. He's mentioned as many times as Suki Thomas. He's father owns a car dealership and her mother is a realtor. And I know way too much about these fictional characters.

tir

Anonymous said...

Actually, in one of the books, Suki Thomas and Gary Brandt went out together, I remember the main character saying something about it :P

Anonymous said...

The prom queen was the first fear street book I ever read. I found it in my social studies class. That got me hooked on Rl stine. My recent book was the New Boy.

Anonymous said...

The prom queen was the first fear street book I ever read. I found it in my social studies class. That got me hooked on Rl stine. My recent book was the New Boy.