Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Best Friend, or “Whiny Teenage Girls ... That’s All”


I swear the only good thing about this book is the cover. Classic Fear Street. This scene NEVER happens, and Becka looks just awful in it – did she somehow turn into her mom? Also, the tagline. “Sometimes friendship can be murder.” I love it. When, WHEN, is friendship murder? What were you thinking, person who wrote the tagline?

Becka starts this book by making out with her boyfriend, Eric, trying to figure out how to break up with him. Sigh, how often we find ourselves in that position. Tarty, cruel behaviour – I think I may like Becka, but the rules of horror say things won’t end well for this girl. Oddly enough, she’s dumping him for being too needy. This concerns me, as most girls in Shadyside get off from needy, douchey behaviour in their men. Becka’s all nervous about telling him, but Eric takes it completely cool. In fact, he’s so nonchalant that Becka gets all hurt and upset. Um, bitch, you broke up with him. Who’s needy now? Forget what I said about liking Becka, she’s annoying.

Next day, Becka is chatting with her besties, Trish and Lilah, in her room. Becka just chopped all her hair, and thinks she looks like a boy. If she only knew the mortality rate of girls with short hair in Shadyside, she may have reconsidered. A short-haired tramp? She has a 50-50 chance of making it through this book. We all know the only short-haired tramp allowed to live in Shadyside is my favourite, Suki Thomas. We find out that Becka actually broke up with Eric not for his non-apparent neediness, but to reunite with her ex Billy. Billy is a potential bad boy, into some trouble so Becka’s parents won’t let her see him.

As the girls are gabbing about boys, a strange girl bounces into Becka’s room, hugging her enthusiastically and shrieking. Becka and her friends have zero idea who she is. The strange girl is described as “not pretty,” with abnormally large hands. Um, what a weird descriptor. Large-handed girl introduces herself as Honey, and she just moved in next door. Honey goes on and on about being Becka’s best friend forever in grades 3 and 4, but Becka is confused, as she’s pretty sure her bff was Deena Martinson back then. Honey talks all about the good old days, of which Becka remembers nothing – neither do any of her friends or family, but they all go along with it. Honey is so gushy, everyone gets uncomfortable. She finally leaves, after making Becka promise to be her best friend forever and ever.

The girls reminisce about the 4th grade, and get out the class picture to look up Honey. They finally remember her as a strange and lonely girl with no friends. Becka is starting to feel sorry for her, then realizes her “stylish” parrot pin Honey was just admiring has gone missing. Becka storms over next door, to see that the house for sale still stands empty, and no one has moved into it. Creepy.

Next day at school, Becka and Lilah are being SUPER catty about the tramps at school – so high school! Becka describes her outfit for Trish’s upcoming Christmas party – a short silver skirt over a black catsuit. Nice! I love how much catsuits are worn around Shadyside in the 90s. Becka gets home to find Honey in her closet, trying on her clothes and talking to herself. She comes to the realization that Honey is completely delusional, and what are you going to do about that? Well, how about confronting said delusional person over a stolen cherished parrot pin? Honey responds completely normally, as in she starts to choke Becka. As Becka struggles away, Honey shrieks “Gotcha!” and laughs hysterically. Then she insists that Becka gave the pin to her and starts sobbing. Oookay, crazy. This is pretty much Becka’s reaction. She finally gets Honey to leave.

Next day at school, Becka and Lilah go for a bike ride, after telling Honey she can’t come with them. That’s not high school, that’s elementary! Lilah takes a tremendous spill down a hill, ending on the front end of a truck. Lilah is alive and taken to the hospital, as Becka discovers Lilah’s brake cable was removed by ... someone. Who may or may not have been pissed about being told he/she couldn’t go on a bike ride.

Becka’s pretty traumatized by seeing her friend being hit by a truck, so she calls on-again, off-again boyfriend Billy. He is trying to comfort her, but actually pressures her to sneak out and park at River Ridge on Saturday night. Honey comes in and embraces Becka, telling her that she’ll be there from now on instead of Lilah, sending Becka into hysterics. She’s unable to speak when Honey tells Trish to piss off and leave them alone.

Saturday night, at River Ridge, Becka and Billy together at River Ridge steaming up his windows. And she goes on about other people’s trampiness! Billy thinks that Honey is nothing more than a pest, but Becka is convinced she’s being single-white-femaled. She sees Honey peering at them outside the car and starts yelling – Billy just thinks she’s losing it.

The next week, Becka comes down with a terrible flu, and can’t make it into school. Honey spreads rumours about her all over school, that she’s had a mental breakdown. In order to induce said breakdown, Honey cuts her hair identically to Becka’s short do, which Becka finds less than humorous. To make matters worse, Honey is spotted making out with Eric, Becka’s cool-as-a-cucumber ex. Becka tells Honey off, telling her to stay away from her, no more copy catting her life. Honey dashes off in tears.

So when Becka finds her locker trashed, it’s pretty logical to assume the number one psycho in her life is responsible. She finds Honey and reams her out. In a moment of sanity, Honey pulls a gun on Becka. Just kidding, that’s not sane at all. And, it’s a water gun, but it looks real. Like THAT would ever be allowed in American school nowadays – clearly the 90s were an innocent, more light-hearted age pre-Columbine. Anyways, Honey thinks she’s hysterically funny, and Becka thinks she’s insane.

Later in the day, though, Becka finds out that someone else was trashing lockers, it wasn’t Honey, and feels bad for being a bitch. No, Becka, Honey is a psycho whether she trashed your locker or not. Everyone downplays Honey’s delusions, like Billy, who thinks people treat her unfairly. Then he drops the bomb that he thinks she’s cute, and Honey keeps on coming on to him. Becka freaks out on him, and I gotta say, pretty rightfully so.

That weekend, Trish’s Christmas party. Becka is there, in her sexy silver skirt and catsuit. Her night is ruined when Honey crashes, wearing the identical outfit. Come on, Honey, be slightly less obvious in the crazy! Becka is getting ready to lose it at Honey, when Trish is pushed down a flight of stairs. With Honey standing at the top of the stairs, all: “I don’t know what happened.” As Honey rushes down to comfort Becka, B loses it completely and passes out.

She wakes up two days later at home. Trish is alive, but broke her neck, and Becka has been put on tranquilizers to deal with the shock of all her friends having vicious “accidents” in front of her. Becka is left alone, and Honey calls her to come over to see a surprise. Becka’s all doped up, but think she hears Billy, so stumbles next door to see Billy in Honey’s kitchen, smiling and happy. Becka’s already somewhat fragile in the head area and goes into a blind rage (fuelled by her tranquilizers?) She grabs a kitchen knife and goes after Honey, but is too weak and passes out. Bill and Honey start to scream at each other.

So, at this point I’m pretty confused. Why is Billy with Honey? Are they hooking up, and Honey wanted to destroy Becka by letting her see it? Or, did Honey actually arrange a nice surprise, to see her off-limits boyfriend, and Becka misunderstood. This is never explained, as Honey takes the knife and stabs Billy in the chest. EXTREME overreaction. Realizing that actually killing people is bad, Honey puts the knife in Becka’s hand, and lets her wake up that way. Honey embraces Becka once again, telling her she’ll never tell anyone what Becka did. Becka is so thankful that she has a true friend in Honey.

This book was BORING. I apologize, since this blog was probably really boring too. Who cares about Becka? She’s mean and neurotic. And Honey is a hot mess, but besides her abnormally large hands, I don’t give a shit about her either. And Becka isn’t sinking into madness, like the awesomeness of Switched. Really, it’s more about some whiny teenaged girls. This book gets a big FAIL – 3 bad haircuts out of 17.

In related news, I actually said the word *sigh* out loud in a conversation. Am worried that blogging may be taking over my life.

9 comments:

LAK said...

I think even the ghostwriter got bored with this book.
Kudos to you for making it thru!

zanne said...

I actually really like this book! Honey is just so crazy!

Anonymous said...

This was actually one of the few Fear street books that actually creeped me out. I suspect it's because I had never heard of Single White Female, and so it was a brand new concept, and the idea that your life could be stolen this way was so creepy. And I almost felt claustrophobic when Honey won in the end.

I guess you guys found this book pretty boring, but if you weren't too bored it would be awesome sometime you'd do the sequel. I was too freaked to read it when I was younger, and I don't have a copy any more, but I've always been curious if Creepy McManhands ever lost.

(I think there was even a contest for a plot or something?)

Anonymous said...

You should do 'The Cheater" next, if you like complainers...

L. K. Stine said...

Anon, I'm blogging The Best Friend 2 right now. You guys have given me new insight into Honey's character, and I can tell you that the second book is actually really creeping me out. I will be open-minded.
Anon - The Cheater is one of the few Fear Streets I still don't have! Am working on getting it, and am looking forward to the teenage complainers!

Anonymous said...

LK--I'm sure you can get it on Amazon or something....I had a copy YEARS ago.

Anonymous said...

Is that the second book which retcons some of the first? Classy.

Deathycat said...

I actually always liked this book because Honey got away with everything, and this just doesn't happen in Fear Street. I thought the second one was horrible. But it's been a good ten years at least since I've read either one...

RecallerReminder said...

The problem with this book is just like you make clear in the confusing ending. Its like the author just loose interest and let the characters in their own. Is not clear at all what was really Honey up to. Was obsesed with the idea of being just like Becka or taking revenge on Backa? Yeah, yeah, I know the sequel but since it comes very late at the end of the series, sounds like this book just was not well planned. We never get any about Honey and Becka has pretty stupid reacions. So its really a failure.