Thursday, October 16, 2008

What Holly Heard or "Terrible Advice for Girls of All Ages!"

First off, let me just apologize for the slow postings this month. No, I have not snapped and killed L.K. Stine. She’s in the tropics of New Zealand, having the time of her life, while I am preparing for the Canadian winter. Not that I’m bitter. So she will be back and posting in a few weeks, but until then, you’ll have to make do with me. So I have chosen What Holly Heard!

Cover: It has distinguishable characters on it at least. Holly is (obviously) the girl that’s doing a terrible job of eavesdropping. Like seriously, she’s basically in their conversation. The pretty Asian girl is Mei, an important character and one who Holly DOES eavesdrop on! One point cover artist! The boy on the other hand… that is not Mei’s boyfriend and partner in crime, Noah. Based on the description, that boy is Jed, our heroine, Miriam’s boyfriend. Boo, cover artist! I don’t think Mei and Jed are ever in the same SCENE! I take back a point! That leaves you with… zero. A fair score I’d say.

So we have another triangle of friends. Miriam is the resident red-head (is there something in the Shadyside water?!), Holly is the gossip-queen and therefore kinda trampy, while Ruth is the trio’s ugly, serious friend whose father just died. Although it’s a little bit different because Ruth is the BLONDE one while Holly has BROWN hair. Wow. Those characters sound in no way like the hundreds of other stereotypical girls.

The big thing that the girls are ‘gossiping’ about is Mei’s big party. Holly is in love with Mei’s badass boyfriend Noah, and tries to eye-fuck him every chance she gets (pardon my language!). O Holly also has a boyfriend, Gary, who is best friends with Ruth. Just … FYI. Miriam asks her lovely boyfriend Jed if they’re still on to the party and Jed kinda snaps. He’s all FINE PICK YOU UP AT EIGHT!!! and Miriam is satisfied. You could go without him, Miriam. I don’t like the direction Miriam is taking. Holly, the resident eavesdropper promises to find out who crapped in Jed’s cornflakes. Or something like that.

Jed picks Miriam at eight and seems in a better mood. There’s even hand kissing! Miriam is in 12th grade heaven. When they get to Mei's, Miriam notices Holly’s “short, skintight black dress that looked painted on.” Miriam is apparently NOT a teenage girl because she tells Holly her dress is “too hot” and everyone is staring at her. Really? Telling you’re girlfriend she’s dressed too good or slutty or whatever Miriam meant? Never a good idea. Holly blows her off, and tries to flirt with Noah. Miriam goes to dance with Jed, but he wants to slow dance. Miriam mentions that it’s a fast song (aka, they look stupid) and Jed says: “Shut up.” WHAT?! Miriam just “relaxed against him.” Not a good message, R.L.

Next day and the girls are hanging out at Ruth’s playing with her hamsters. R.L., you gave the ugly girl the hamsters too? Common! Miriam finds a gigantic, ancient hammer in Ruth’s closet which she’s super protective of because it was her dads. Weird. Also, obvious foreshadowing. Holly tells them that Mei’s house got trashed by Noah’s badass friends and now Mei is fighting with her parents. Boring, gossip. The word gossip is said, I believe, 237 000 times in this book.

At the big basketball game, Miriam is cheering on her kinda verbally abusive boyfriend. He get elbowed in the face accidentally and reacts normally. For a Fear Street boy that is, because he starts to choke the other boy on the court! He’s obviously thrown out of the game. Miriam goes to comfort him after the game and he’s really defensive about his actions. So defensive in fact that he starts poking Miriam, asking her how SHE would like it if someone pushed her around. She tries to slap his hand away but he catches it and CRUSHES it in his hand while telling her that she now knows how it feels. What. The . Fuck. R.L., I don’t read Fear Street to get a hefty dose of after-school special on relationship abuse! (although it turns out that way much more often than not) Miriam is super pissed off (thank god) but tells him that if he ever lays a hand on her AGAIN, they’re through. SERIOUSLY? This is the message you’re sending to teen girls? That the second time is bad? “Her anger was fading. He looked so tired, so broken, like a scolded puppy that truly didn’t mean any harm.” Oh my god!

Right, moving on. Miriam meets up with Holly whose super freaked out because she overheard Mei and Noah plotting to kill Mei's mom because she’s trying to break them up. Miriam laughs at her because everyone says they’d like to kill their parents at some time! Then tells Holly about the hand crushing incident. Holly is all “WTF that’s a big deal, dump his ass.” Miriam does not take her advice, because she’s a Fear Street girl.

The next day they hear that Mei’s mom took a tumble down the stairs. A fatal tumble. Holly was right! Noah also comes up to Holly and casually mentions that he saw her listening in the night before. CRAP! Holly is convinced they’re going to kill her. She’s working late on some pep rally posters at the school and asks Miriam to come keep her company because she’s freaked out. She also tell her that she found out some dirt about Jed. Ooooo. Miriam goes to the school… and finds Holly strangled! DOUBLE CRAP! Holly was actually right! Jed finds Miriam screaming in the gym over Holly’s body and they do the right thing and call the cops. Jed was there … working out … suspicious?

Ruth comes by the next day to give Miriam her notes. On the note book, someone scrawled in BLOOD “We know you know, that’s why you die next!” O fudge. They at least go to the police about their suspicions on Mei and her badass Noah. Jed comes over to comfort her, but is in a really pissy mood. He ends up telling her that he’s glad Holly is dead because she was always sticking her nose in other peoples business! Stay classy, Jed! Jeez, the girl died yesterday! Miriam decides not to tell him about her suspicions about Mei and Noah, because she’s afraid he’d go hurt them. Um, I wouldn’t tell him anything, because he’s an effing psycho. Just, FYI, MIRIAM.

At school the next day, Mei and Noah confront Miriam about the LIES she told the cops! Or at least, Mei says their lies. Because she loved her mom! And while she didn’t love Holly, she didn’t want her to die! But Mei kinda goes down on the credibility when she says “I would KILL for Noah. Don’t say a word about Noah!” Um, isn’t that what the whole thing is about? Killing your mom so you could see Noah? Killing Holly because she’s all over Noah? Not exactly the sane statements you’d expect from a non psycho killer.

Miriam and Jed keep on having arguments because Miriam thinks he’s keeping secrets from her. (Psssst, Miriam. The secret is he’s a total douchebag.) She agrees to come to his big game that night to support him. While at the game, Miriam comes to a realization. While she’s watching Jed choke yet ANOTHER opponent, she thinks to herself: “Holly found something out about Jed. Then Holly was choked to death. Hmmm.” She finally does something good for her survival, and runs out of the game. But Jed follows her (I guess he got kicked out of the game AGAIN! Whoda thunkit?) and chases her while Miriam runs to Ruth’s house. Totally normal boyfriend behaviour. He catches her but she elbows him in the windpipe (go Miriam!) and runs into Ruth’s house.

Ruth is a total wreck and tells her there have been TWO more murders tonight, so Jed couldn’t be responsible, it has to be Mei and Noah! Miriam is relieved, although, WHATEVER, he still just chased you down and captured you. Facts are facts. The two murders though? Are Ruth’s hamsters. Not as bad as dog murder, but still pretty bad. Miriam is comforting Ruth when somehow (I forget and can’t be bothered to check) she finds Ruth’s dads ancient hammer. Covered in blood and fur. Hmmmm.

Ruth finds Miriam and the hammer and immediately begins to crazily confess. Ruth killed Holly because she was in love with Gary and Holly didn’t treat him right. Then she tried to frame Mei and Noah, although Mei’s mom did just accidentally fall down some stairs, Ruth didn’t do that. How convenient, I guess? Ruth and Miriam have a fight with the hammer, when Jed rushes in to save Miriam. Blerg. But it’s okay, as Ruth throws the hammer at him and he goes down. OWNED! Ruth and Miriam continue their death match. Jed then does his only redeemable action in this whole effing book: He groans loudly and distracts Ruth long enough for Miriam to pick up her glass hamster cage (glass?) and smash it over her head. Victory!

The book ends with Jed confessing to taking steroids and feeling guilty that he didn’t save Holly because they were in the same building when she was murdered. He asks “Will you – will you stay with me?” Miriam sighed and held on to him. “That’s the latest gossip.” END.

This book was AWFUL. Very few murders, most of which were animals, and there were so many terrible messages for teenage girls! Like for real. All the girls did was obsess about their boyfriends or other peoples boyfriends, and then kill for them! Mei was willing to kill for Noah, Ruth DID kill for Gary and Miriam was like a walking doormat! Blech. I give this book -1 dead hamsters out of 1 000 000. Lets just forget about this.


Anonymous said...

That's a terrible book! You're right, the messages coming out of this thing are awful. Although I'd be surprised if there hadn't been at least one Fear Street where a guy kills for the girlfriend he's obsessively devoted to. On the other hand, Jed seems less of a jerk right at the end, but that might just be the latest stage in his manipulative plan. Also I bet Mei and Noah really did kill Mei's mother after all.

Jazz said...

First time commenting, love the snark =)
I.. What.. Just, wow, R.L.- although, I'm suprised Miriam didn't find Jed's rage-aholic tendencies sexy.
May I suggest The Bad Girl? It's one of the newer Fear Street's, but it's soooo good (by which of course I mean terrible). It's got zombies! Trampy girls who cheat on their boyfriends! Rabid dogs! And even a redhead I think. Check it out!

Anonymous said...

Rabid dogs? Well, count me in.

LAK said...

AM Stine- I LOVE LOVE LOVE the "let's just forget about it" at the end. I give you points for persevering and finishing the book.

This book makes me want to slap certain girls silly. It should have a warning that 'events are for fiction and if your boyfriend is abusing you, do not give him multiple chances, LEAVE him."

Anonymous said...

I think I played a game online with that message. It had a phone number to a help service and everything. Wait a minute... I'm not a girl.

zanne said...

LK Stine is in New Zealand?! Lucky! I want to go there so bad.

Did Ruth kill her own hamsters? You don't really hear about people having pet hamsters anymore. I remember when that was cool--when I was in elementary school.

I agree, the book was a bit of a let down. The gossip wasn't even that exciting.

LAK said...

I'm gonna bet this one was ghostwritten!

A. M. Stine said...

Ruth did kill her own hamsters. Bitch. Haha! Since this book was written when I was in elementary school, I do remember people having hamsters as pets. And LOVING them. I bet the hamster murders caused a few tears back in the early 90s.

Anonymous said...

I remember someone squeezing a pet hamster to death in a Goosebumps 2000 book. Accidentally. R.L. Stine's a monster.

Anonymous said...

But, uh...WHY did Ruth kill her own hamsters? Did she expect people to believe the hamsters overheard something incriminating about Mei and Noah?

Anonymous said...

She did it because she's crazy. First rule of R.L. Stine: Crazy people kill pets. No real reason for it. They're killers, not carers.

Mandy said...

I really want to hear this "groan" that was so loud that it distracted Ruth enough for Miriam to get the upper hand lol

RecallerReminder said...

People just like to get crazy in Fear Street books, all for girls/boys or murder and end up having both mostly teehee

Vegas Chanteuse said...

lol actually this is the first fear street book that i read in 8th grade, i found this in my school's library (they are pretty big) and i kind of loved it, yes you were about that bad message for young girls about obsessing over their boyfriends, but seriously i wouldnt suspect Ruth as the real murderer! And i actually fell under Stine's trap of thinking that Jed was the villain. Boy i was so wrong lmao! And that Hamster scene was ruthless (pun intended lol)