Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wrong Number 2, or “Why Wearing a Catsuit Can Lead to Murder”

A sequel, good. Can Wrong Number 2 possibly be the equal of The Wrong Number? With the help of some catsuits and forced accents, I certainly hope so.

Things get off to a great start, because Jade is wearing a catsuit. Do people ever wear catsuits in real life? I feel I should wear one around town, just to see what kind of reaction I get. Anyways, it’s a year later from the last book. Deena has broken up with Rob and has gone back to being shy. Chuck is off at college and is still dating Jade, although Jade seems to be dating just about everyone else. The girls’ evening is interrupted by a prank call, which is vaguely threatening. Look at that, the pranksters get pranked!

Deena has a crush on the Aussie exchange student, Steve. There’s an Australian in Shadyside? I find that … random. But cool. How very international of R. L. Steve says things like ‘G’day’, to prove he is in fact from Australia. Deena is a flustered mess, and he doesn’t go for it. Jade is wearing yet another catsuit. Why? How? The girls realize they are being followed by a man in an orange hunting cap. It’s good to stalk people while wearing orange hunting caps, due to their natural camouflage. He follows them to Jade’s house and peeps through the window. Very creepy. It’s … Chuck! Wtf – that’s an awesome way to treat your girlfriend. Jade gets over it quick, though, and even though she just make out with someone else, like, five minutes ago and Chuck saw all this, she makes out with him too. Chuck is back after dropping out of college. His plan is to move to LA to become a filmmaker. He gets over Jade’s cheating ways awfully quick and heads home. The girls have an actual sleepover and are prank called again, this time by someone who knows what happened the night Mr. Farberson tried to kill them. The caller specifies they want revenge.

Next day, Jade is wearing yet ANOTHER gd catsuit. ONE catsuit is improbably. But to have 3 different catsuits, that’s just crazy talk. Anyways, the girls get a note this time, with a picture of a chainsaw splattered in blood. That’s so … juvenile. I can’t imagine Mr. Farberson drawing that. Their awesome plan is to drive by the Farberson’s to see if anyone is home, whether he was released. I would suggest calling the cops, but they likely are too incompetent to figure that out. When they see someone IS home, Chuck decides the best course of action would be to break in to see who it is. Always the thinker, aren’t you Chuck? He doesn’t get a chance to break in, because a car pulls out of the driveway and tries to run them over. They get into a car chase, and the other cars gets into an accident. I’m surprised Deena doesn’t crash, because she seems to mainly drive with her eyes shut. Although, she is able to tell that the other driver is a woman with long hair. They figure it’s Mr. Farberson’s girlfriend, Linda Morrison.

They decide to go pay a little visit to Linda, and of course they must do it in costume and wigs. Because her house is up for sale, Jade is going as a real estate agent, Deena her assistant. Apparently, Linda isn’t doing well, because she looks fat and old, and her house is messy. She’s leaving town the next day. The girls snoop around, and they find a key chain for the Farberson house. Linda finally recognizes them, but instead of getting pissed, she starts crying, saying she’s terrified Stanley (Mr. Farberson) is going to kill her when he gets out of prison, which he might in a few days. Mr. Farberson hid a stash of money in the house, and she’s trying to find it before he’s out.

Big surprise, the kids decide to find the money themselves. Well, Chuck does. To fund his filmmaking career. Only he takes two steps out of his house and is attacked … by one of Jade’s boyfriends on the side. Chuck is knocked out. Oops, all the trouble that comes with too many boyfriends. Maybe if you’d stayed away from the catsuits, Jade, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Chuck comes to in the hospital, and confesses to making the creepy revenge calls. Wtf? He was trying to scare Jade so much she’d leave town with him and go to LA. There’s a foolproof plan.

Deena’s life is doing a bit of a rollercoaster. The cute Aussie asks her out, but then Mr. Farberson is released from prison. The news calls him ‘the notorious Shadyside killer.’ Aren’t there, like, 18 of them? Or is he just the only one who was ever caught? At the same time, Chuck goes to Farberson’s house to look for buried treasure. So the girls go back to the house where they were once held hostage by a poncho, to rescue Chuck. They find him on the floor of a closet. He had found the money, then someone knocked him out and stole it. As they are trying to leave they see Mr. Farberson, and immediately run to the basement, where they’ll be “safe.”

Farberson corners them with a gun, and demands to know where the money is. Of course they don’t know, so he ties them up and gets out his trusty chain saw. Just before Deena loses an arm, Linda comes in with a gun on Farberson. He lunges at her, but trips and falls onto his own chain saw. They’re saved! Actually, not yet. Linda has the money and a plane ticket, but wants to take care of loose ends, so she sets the house on fire with the kids in it. In an unexpected moment of suspense, she douses the basement in gas, then leaves a small stub of a candle to burn down onto it. What’s going to happen?

Jade escapes by cutting her ropes on the chainsaw, and they make it out in the nick of time. The basement explodes behind them. In an extra special happy ending, Farberson’s insurance company gave Jade, Deena, and Chuck a reward at Linda Morrison’s trial. I had to think about that one for a long time … wtf? Does that happen, ever? Should I go almost get killed, just in case an insurance company decides I deserve a reward? Anyways, they use this money to go to college, and Chuck decides to stay at Madison (which may or may not be a college in Shadyside, am unsure) and promises once again to devote his life to puppies.

Wrong Number 2 was pretty good, but it was no The Wrong Number. I was unsure why there was this random Aussie making jokes about kangaroos interspersed in there, but there were an awful lot of catsuits, so it must be okay. I’d just like to point out that on the cover, that is Jade sitting there in a green catsuit. It’s not as flattering as she thinks it is, especially worn with white sweat socks. The tagline is nonsensical: ‘Call waiting … to kill!’, but it has everything I expect from a tagline, so I’ll let that slide as well. 5 catsuits out of 9.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Jade is channeling her inner Emma Peel, which never works. Because no one else is that awesome.
Why would the murderer be getting out after a year? Are the prisons in Shadyside so overcrowded with all the murdering idiots that people get released quickly? Or are they just as incompetent as the police? The world may never know.

L. K. Stine said...

That's my bad for not mentioning that Mr. Farberson's lawyers were getting him off on a loophole in the law (against killing people with chainsaws). I was really focused on the incompetence of the police, and didn't want to get in to all the failings of lawyers. Although, I wonder what lawyers in Shadyside would be like?

Anonymous said...

So this book had no call waiting, and no wrong numbers. Couldn't Ghost/Stine come up with a more original sequel title? Like, um. Uh. Wicked Number? Wrong World? Wrong Number: The Revenge? ...Wrong Number For Breakfast?

And I am surprised that there actually was an explanation for Farberson getting out of jail so soon. I honestly expected it to just be some lame unexplained plot device that we're meant to overlook.

zanne said...

Not as good as The Wrong Number, but not as bad as I expected. Who wears catsuits?! They can't be very flattering.

I don't get why they were given money from the insurance company. And whatever happened to the Australian guy?

L. K. Stine said...

Shoot, I left lots out of this recap - I was not on the ball. Steve the Aussie was one of the best parts of the book - he shows up again at the very last page, because somehow he is dating Deena now, and makes a joke about a kangaroo. Seriously.
The whole insurance agency giving the kids a reward was the most baffling thing I've ever read in a Fear Street - and that is saying a lot.

LAK said...

I love the random "foreign" Aussie dude! Way to show how big the world is RL!

And, out of curiosity, I went to the Wikipedia bible and did you know the best know catsuit in our generation belongs to a Spice Girl? Mrs Beckham in fact? Where RL got the catsuit idea from is beyond my thinking!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go ahead and say we need a follow up post with full descriptions of the catsuits. Color, materials etc because I really can't imagine what 3 different ones would look like.

A. M. Stine said...

Oooo I like that idea! L. K., please describe all catsuits in detail!

Alex said...

If you go on wikipedia and type in catsuit it mentions Jade from The Wrong Number likes catsuits. XD

Alex said...

oh, my bad! Someone already said that. Yes, I'm an idiot. xD

Broken1again said...

umm i hate to admit...but i use to rock a denim cat suit back in the day haha it actually was cute as hell...but I more so remember wearing body suits back in the 90's hahaha

RecallerReminder said...

I guess this book was a pretty good way to end up what started in the other one (since was Linda Morrison the one behind everything although sound kinda random since in the first there were those segments of Farberson panting himself in the back).
Hahaha. The best part is the repeated secuences, specially all those Jade plots about getting in disguise without really fool anyone (they always get caught).
And yeah, how can Farberson got realesed so easly? After just one year and using the excusa the police commited a mistake in the arresting procedure? They caught him just about to use a chainsaw in two inocent girls (who got into his property but that was too much too claim self defense). These is no way he could get released!
For me is one of the best.