Monday, March 2, 2009

Killer's Kiss or "Here's Why No One Goes to the Local Police"

Killer’s Kiss. I suddenly foresee at whole lot of hot, dry lip lovin’ going on! Even the tagline gets in on that action: “Her lips were sweet and deadly.” Hmmm, isn’t arsenic supposed to taste bitter? It’s probably not arsenic then. Anyhoo, I love this cover. Our main guy, Vincent, is depicted in the photo in all his glory. According to the girls fighting over him, he’s the dreamiest, most beautiful, most perfect guy at Shadyside High. I’d say he’s attractive (for a fictional seventeen year old. Fictional means I can’t get in trouble for saying it!) but his kisses must have been preeeeetty dry for the girls to put up with his shit. He’s a total douche.

The books starts with Vincent having a little makeout session with our girl Delia. Delia isn’t really described … except to say that she’s NOT beautiful, but has long, curly hair, and everyone always notices her. Does that make her pretty, but not beautiful, or some sort of troll who dresses slutty? I was never quite sure. Anyways, Vincent is dating both Delia and Karina, who are rivals in everything. Karina is described as a lookalike to Michelle Pfeiffer, which would be a good thing in 1997. I guess? Pfeiffer would have been like 40, so I picture Karina as hot, but unnaturally old looking. Anyways, Vincent made dates with both girls on the same night, like half and hour apart. Well thought out plan. Delia just leaves when Karina shows up, but Vincent is still busted because he has Delia’s lipstick smeared on his face!

You see, Delia wears this purple lipstick at all times, and is recognizable to everyone that knows her. Gross. Karina vows revenge on Delia, but strangely enough, not Vincent. The cheater. (Sidenote: When L.K. and I were divvying up our new shipment of books, I got Killer’s Kiss and she took The Cheater, but for almost the entire time I was reading this, I thought I was reading The Cheater. Because Vincent is a terrible person. This book could also be called The Cheater.)

Delia’s hanging with her friends Britty (TERRIBLE NAME) and Gabe in the gym and discussing how both Karina and Delia are competing for the Conklin Award. The Award isn’t really explained but basically there are a bunch of Shadyside seniors competing in categories like talent and artwork, and the winner gets to go to the college of their choice. Karina storms into the gym, screaming at Delia and starts to STRANGLE her! Intense! Britty and Gabe pull her off, but Karina still manages to rip out one of Delia’s earrings. Cat fight! Karina finishes off her performance of clear sanity by threatening to kill Delia over Vincent. A teacher comes and finally leads Karina away. Uh, thanks for your help during the attempted murder.

Delia is discussing her issues with Karina at her house later on, with Vincent. He’s not interested, probably because he knows why Karina is claiming Vincent is her boyfriend, and doesn’t want to clue Delia in. Delia’s troll-like little sister Sarah comes in to tease Vincent and Delia about making out. But she’s 15, so that seems a little immature. Delia tells her off, saying she can’t get a date, so Sarah steals some of Delia’s artwork and vows revenge. There is a lot of revenge-vowing in this book. And it’s not even a super chiller!

The next day at school, Stewart (another boy up for the Conklin Award) asks Delia out to blow off some steam before their big talent competition (Delia may have a reputation… not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Delia says no, and wonders how Stewart doesn’t know about her and Vincent! Delia sees Stewart talking to Karina and is convinced that they are in on an evil plan to break up her Vincent! She convinces Britty to talk to Karina about Vincent so she can eavesdrop. Britty tries to talk to her, but Karina just yells that Delia will never win the Conklin Award and won’t still her boyfriend Vincent! Delia is convinced that Karina is off her rocker since Vincent is obviously HER boyfriend! So just to recap so far, Karina knows that Vincent is dating both of them but isn’t willing to give up, while Delia is convinced that Vincent would never do that and is also not willing to give him up. Is he really worth it?

The next Monday is the talent portion of the Conklin Award competition. Stewart does magic tricks, Karina brought in her own piano and piano player to accompany her beautiful, marvelous, hauntingly perfect voice (show off) and Delia wrote a song to sing. It’s of course called “Vincent” but she doesn’t get a chance to play it because her guitar strings were cut, and a dead rat was stuffed into the hole! Delia points the finger at bat-shit crazy Karina but no one is sure yet. Then Delia sees Karina and revenge-seeking-Sarah chatting, and is doubly certain.

Delia has a note from Vincent taped to her door (like the text message of the 90s!) wanting to meet at the dance club Red Heat (!) later that night. Delia goes to get something from Britty house, but on her way back she spots Vincent. With Karina. Exchanging dry, hot lip action! Delia immediately gets into a car accident. As one would.

Karina runs to her aid as Vincent goes to call Delia’s parents (not 911?). Karina and Delia finally talk rationally about how Vincent has been seeing both of them behind their backs. They think about what a douchebag Vincent is, and decide to both dump his ass and work towards fulfilling careers as a writers/investment bankers.

Just kidding! They do call a truce, until Vincent calls Delia and tells her that Karina kissed him, and that she’s still crazy. So… Vincent isn’t that good of a person hey? Delia believes him, even though Vincent blows off their Red Heat (!) plans for that night. When he hangs up, we see why he blew off Delia… he’s too busy making out with Delia’s sister, Sarah! Blech, I hate most of the characters right now.

The next day is the artwork portion of the Conklin Award competition. Karina does small, perfect oil paintings and Stewart does large, picture-like sketches that are very detailed. Delia apparently does loud caricatures using bright markers. What is she, a clown? When she goes to show her stuff, she sees that someone has scribbled all over them, using her signature lipstick, Midnight Wine! The message says “HA HA. COULDN’T YOU JUST DIE?” Yikes! Delia’s day gets a little bit worse once she runs out of the room in a panic and spots Vincent and Karina gettin’ all cozy.

Britty and Delia discuss what to do about Karina and Vincent over some taco chips. That… seems so normal for Fear Street. Until Britty suggest they kill Karina, and Delia takes her seriously. Britty is all, WTF, that was just jokes! Anyways, Britty comes through with the only advice Delia should listen to, which is to dump Vincent’s ass! Delia, of course, says no because she feels to strongly about Vincent. Delia? Those are your hormones talking. Go have sex with Stewart okay? He seems nice, and a magician to boot!

Delia decides that she needs to confront Vincent. So she drives over to his house only to find him … making out with Sarah. Vincent explains it away by saying he felt sorry for her, and she’s the one he really cares about. Let’s recap: Delia saw him kissing two girls today. One is his other girlfriend and one is her sister. And STILL Delia forgives him! GAWD!

We skip a few days (or weeks, who knows) to Vincent’s birthday, which is being held in an abandoned house on Fear Street. Well this will end well. Delia doesn’t show up, which Vincent thinks is weird, so he spends the whole time dancing and making out with Karina. In front of Delia’s friends, Britty and Gabe. What? Do they know that Vincent is also going out with Karina?

Anyways, just at the end of the night, Delia busts into the room claiming that Karina kidnapped her and tied her to a bed all night! Intense! Delia is all bruised and bloody, claiming the worst against Karina. Karina, meanwhile, is not helping herself as she screams she’s innocent but NO YOU CAN’T COME INVESTIGATE IN HER ROOM! Very inconspicuous.

The next day, Delia and Britty are getting ready to go to the old house to help Vincent clean up. (P.S. Delia tells Britty that her parents are going to “discuss” the kidnapping incident with Karina’s parents. Ummm what? No police?) I thought the point of throwing parties in abandoned houses was that you didn’t HAVE to clean up? O well, Shadyside kids are better citizens that me! The two girls and Gabe head over and once inside they stumble over… Vincent’s dead body! Dun dun duuuun!

The police are there and everyone is getting interviewed. One of the officers finally gets around to rolling over Vincent’s body (he was stabbed FYI) and Britty points out that Vincent has a bright purple lip print on his cheek! Things are not looking good for our terrible girl Delia here. She freaks out, a little bit suspiciously.

Down at the police station. Good! There are so few books where the police are actually involved, I was excited about this one. So Delia has been telling her story for hours and knows that officers suspect her. The officers come back in, with what they consider foolproof evidence. They show her a picture of her face (with lipstick on) and a picture of Vincent’s cheek (with lipstick on it). The lips and lip prints are a perfect match, they say! Pictures don’t lie, the officers say! WHAT?! They are going to charge a minor with murder based on looking at pictures side by side!? No wonder Delia’s parents didn’t call the police on Karina, they’re better off doing their own justice!

It takes Delia all of three seconds to point out the flaw in their “logic” though. She points out that the lips and lip print shouldn’t be exact matches, they should be mirror images. So they all slowly clue in that someone took an old blotting paper of Delia’s and tried to frame her. Forget art college Delia, a few years at police academy and you’d be running that joint!

The officers decide to finally talk to Karina, so Delia decides to sneak over to find out what happens. Delia can’t properly eavesdrop outside, so she BREAK INTO Karina’s house to listen to them rummage through her bedroom. One of the officers finds a dresser drawer full of old lip prints of Delia’s. Gross. Karina’s all, NOOO! And Delia jumps out of her hiding spot to confront her. Which was a bad idea since Karina promptly attacks her again. The police take Karina away for Vincent’s murder on very, very little evidence.

But there’s one more chapter! Gabe and Delia are visiting Karina at the Psychiatric Hospital on their prom night. I’m sure there’s nothing more a bitter, crazed teenager wants to see than a couple of enemies dressed up for prom! While their waiting however… Delia confesses to Vincent’s murder! She starts talking about how Karina had it all, but Delia took it all away from her! Delia put the rat in her own guitar, ruined all her pictures, then faked the kidnapping (I knew it!). Finally, she says that she killed Vincent for what he did, and thought blaming Karina would get rid of all her problems. Gabe stares in open mouth shock. Delia starts kissing him, saying “You won’t tell, will you, Vincent? I mean Gabe?” BAH! I thought the book should end there, but it actually ends with a doctor being like “I heard everything! The inept police are on the way!” I guess R.L. learned his lesson about Bad Girls winning in the Best Friend?

I think I mainly liked this book because I didn’t guess who the killer was until like three quarters of the way through. I was a little disappointed that NONE of the make-out sessions were described as “hot” and or “dry” but that probably my only complaint. And that I hated all the characters… 36 completely incompetent police officers out of 41!


Anonymous said...

The "I mean Gabe?" moment is one of my favourites. I haven't actually read the book, but I agree it should have ended there. Nice and ominous.

L. K. Stine said...

Michelle Pfeiffer is incredible NOW ... I'm sure I would have loved to look like her when 17, no matter how old she was.

Also, about Stewart being a magician? I'd stay away from anyone in Shadyside who dabbles in "magic."

LAK said...

ROTFLOL at the "...troll who dresses slutty" comment.

And, these poor girls! If only they lived now when we have 16 hour lipstick that won't kiss off! (Thanks Maybelline and Cover Girl)

Anonymous said...

This premise reminds me a bit of RL's book "Eye Candy" which came out a few years ago. I'd love to see you review that one!

L. K. Stine said...

Is R.L. still releasing new material? I thought he'd just sit back on his Fear Street/Goosebumps laurels and laugh all the way to the bank. I must get my hands on this Eye Candy.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what good ol' Robert Lawrence is up's the link to the book:

Anonymous said...

If there's one thing I've learnt about rich people/businesses, it's that there's no such thing as "enough money." That's why, now, none of us have enough money!

M.H Stine said...

i've read this before so yea i mean in the book when she's like going (when she ruined her pics) she was STILL wearing that gawd aweful lipstick i mean who would wear "midnight wine"? i wish wtf the 1st time i heard that they also state that she was wearing it in every single chapter!!!! but i would give it 45 out of 47

Whitney G said...

Stewart's not a magician, he's an illusionist.

I remember reading this and thinking that it should have ended after the "I mean Gabe" moment.

Maybe Stine is making some sort of commentary on modern law enforcement through his books. Perhaps he's satirizing the tendency to just rely on forensics instead of doing good old-fashioned detective work. I mean, I'm sure he isn't, but it was worth a shot.

Lucy the Valiant one said...

Wasn't Conklin the last name of the twins in the "Cheerleader" series of these books,I know I read that name in these books.

RecallerReminder said...

Raraly times happens the main character ends up to be the killer. Jeez, she really got totally nuts over some cute jerk....I love how she screw up by her sudden confesion. Hahahaha Good one!

Anonymous said...

Of course he is writing new books. He just finished Goosebumps Most Wanted. He is writing more Fear Street, and he is writing Goosebumps: Slappy World. R.L. Stone is 72 years old. He will be 73 in October.