Broken Date or "Mr. Magoo, Reimagined As a Teenaged Girl With Trust Issues"
Alright Fear Street fans, tonight is a very special night as both L.K. and I have books to post. After suffering from a teeny-tiny quarter life crisis, I decided to not blog for the month of May, but as L.K. has politely informed me, May, and therefore my sabbatical, is OVER. For my (un)triumphant return I present: Broken Date.
When I was buying this book off Ebay, it told me that Broken Date is a “rare” book. And who am I to debate the great Ebay? It does have a pretty awesome cover: knife with scared girl reflection? Very Fear Street. I’m not too sure what the high school ring has to do with anything, but I’m choosing to ignore it. The terrified girl on the cover should be our lovely (and dim) protagonist, Jamie, except that Jamie has long, straight dark hair. So the opposite of this mystery girl.
Anyways, Jamie is pissed off in her room because she’s been stood up. Her boyfriend Tom is more than an hour late, which has never happened before. She describes Tom as “good old, reliable, dependable Tom”. To which I say… hawt! They must have a passionate relationship. “Their life seemed so certain, so steady. They would both graduate from Cloverhill High in the spring. Then four years of college together up in Syracuse. Then they’d get married.” Seriously. Has Jamie informed Tom about her nutso plan? Because no 17 year old male would be okay with that plan.
Jamie ends up going down to the local mall with her best friend Ann-Marie instead of wallowing in self-pity at her home. Jamie and Ann-Marie split up (so Ann-Marie can buy pink Reeboks!) and Jamie wanders into a little jewelry store. As she’s peering veeeeery closely at all the jewelry, a man comes in and hold the place up! Jamie is shocked to look up and see that it’s TOM holding up the store! He doesn’t notice Jamie, at first. He takes all the money from the cashier, and then shoots him in the chest. After that, Jamie decides its time to bolt and runs to find Ann-Marie and hightail it out of the mall. Ann-Marie wants her to talk to the security guards (you know, because she just witnessed a murder) but Jamie won’t since that would be ratting out her boyfriend.
On the way home, Ann-Marie suddenly remembers something. Jamie wear GLASSES! But she’s not wearing them today! (How did Jamie not think of this…?) Jamie’s all “I know it was Tom. I would know his fuzzy, blurred outline anywhere.” Okay… Jamie decides to pretend nothing happened, because she’s sure Tom will have a good explanation for everything. Perhaps he was filming a dramatic movie from a class? Once Jamie gets home, she realizes that she dropped her wallet at the jewelry store. That’s probably going to create some problems.
Tom comes over that night to take Jamie to the conveniently timed dance. Jamie thinks Tom is acting really nervous, and says that he has something big to tell her. They go to a quiet spot in the school where Jamie proceeds to freak out and stab Tom in the shoulder! I know, right!?! Crazy! Actually, Jamie is going a little crazy, because it was all a hallucination and Tom is fine. She makes Ann-Marie take her home, and Tom is clearly upset about being ditched at the dance. Whatevs, Tom, you may or may not have murdered someone today. You (probably don’t) deserve it!
Jamie actually ends up walking home because Ann-Marie is all over some guy, and of course gets chased. No wonder I’m afraid to walk alone at night. I grew up reading about girls getting chased every time they stepped out their front door! Jamie gets to her house and calls out to Tom, who she assumes was chasing her. Nice boyfriend there, Jamie. She goes inside and calls his house, but there’s no answer. She does however get a creepy call a few minutes later! A muffled voice tells her that he’s sorry she saw him at the mall. Jamie is all “Tom? Why is your voice so muffled? It doesn’t sound like you…” Yeah.
Jamie has nightmares about Tom all night, and wakes up the next morning in a foul mood. Her mood is kinda lightened, kinda destroyed when she discovers that Tom left her a present this morning: solid gold earrings. She’s pumped because their sweet gold earrings, but feels like they’re cheapened since he murdered a man to get them. Hmmm, conundrum.
Jamie goes to the Y for a relaxing swim to clear her head. Unfortunately, she gets stalked while she’s in the pool by a creeper on the balcony. Ummm, that’s just what it’s like when you swim at the Y. But then she gets followed home again, although no one else saw him. Which kinda makes Jamie crazy. She finally decides to bite the bullet and ask her future husband whether or not he killed anyone to buy her some gold earrings. When she gets to Tom’s house though, he’s not there. His dad was in a bad car accident upstate, so Tom and his mother went to go be with him. Definite proof that Tom was not the person creeping on her that morning at the Y.
He left her a note too! “Dear Jamie, I guess we all act crazy sometimes. I’ll try to call you. Love Tom.” Wtf? Is that because he was crazy when he robbed the store, or because Jamie acted crazy at the dance? Jamie is confused too. Never a good sign when you’re unsure of who the “crazy” refers to.
That night, Jamie gets woken up from another terrifying nightmare about Tom by a threatening phone call. This time, NotTom tells her it’s useless to run, and that she needs to be punished for seeing him at the mall. She tells all this to Ann-Marie the next day at school. Ann-Marie is the voice of reason, telling her to go talk to the police, but Jamie will have none of it. She may think that Tom is trying to kill her, but she certainly won’t rat him out! Her teacher calls on her in class to solve a math problem, except she can’t see the board because she’s still not wearing her GLASSES. (Subtle, I know.)
After school, Jamie sees Tom across the parking lot standing next to a creeper van. The fact that he has never owned a van, and is destitute-ly poor doesn’t seem to tip her off. She runs towards him with open arms until… she sees ANOTHER Tom at the other side of the parking lot run towards her. What ever could be happening here??
Right. The guy with the van is of course not Tom. It is a man that looks like Tom, but is not him, as anyone who would wear their effing GLASSES would plainly see. But it’s too late and Jamie is thrown into the back of the van and NotTom takes off with her in it. He introduces himself as Okie (v. polite) and Jamie recognizes his name as a famous murderer from a couple of years ago. Jamie feels very disloyal for suspecting Tom. Well, YEAH, Jamie, I suggest you don’t marry Tom until you’ve worked out these TRUST issues with Tom.
Tom apparently loves Jamie a whole lot though, because when Okie pulls up to the secluded cabin where he will obviously murder Jamie, Tom leaps from the van’s roof. He totally hitched a ride! I would marry Tom, just for that. While he fights Okie, Jamie takes off for safety (leaving him there, mind you). Unfortunately, she’s soon taken down by Okie’s accomplice, a redhead named Dolly. And of course Tom lost the fight with Okie, so they both end up tied up in the cabin.
Okie takes Tom first and holds his head down in a tub of water for three minutes. Yup, that would kill someone! Jamie acts upset but I’m sure, deep down, she’s relieved that she’s not tied down anymore. Okie and Dolly start to rough her up, when suddenly… Tom leaps to his feet and knocks them out. Apparently, his swim coach makes them hold their breath underwater for 4 minutes, which seems a little bit like torture. Comes in handy though. He tells her that instead of robbing a jewelry store, he just saved up for an entire year to buy her those gold earrings…
… which he promptly asks for back, since Jamie is such a crap girlfriend for suspecting him of murder. No? That’s not how it ends? No, you’re right, but that’s how it SHOULD end. It actually ends with Tom promising never to break another date. Because, you know, this whole thing was his fault. Shut up, Jamie.
Alright, these non-Fear Streets are never my faves. It wasn’t even a Point Horror! Just a rando book, with terrible morals and plotlines, as per the usual. This was like a Mr. Magoo cartoon in book form. But instead of being hilarious and about the 60s, it was full of annoying girlfriends, pathetic boyfriends and new-fangled rollerblades. 17 unworn pairs of glasses out of 30!