Friday, October 15, 2010

Graduation Day or "R. L. Didn’t Let Me Down With His WTF Ending"

Well friends: This is it. Our final Fear Street book.

For Graduation Day, L.K. and I did something a little different. We both read the book separately and wrote reviews without looking at the other persons. I still haven't even read L.K.s. So I guess we'll find out who cuts corners in their review style!

Without further ado: L.K. Stine's Graduation Day!

OMG, guys, this is it! Not only the last Seniors book, but also our last Fear Street book, ever. I’m not sure how I feel about this – a little sad and bittersweet. I’m sure I feel nothing like our intrepid seniors, who must be anticipating graduation with dread and a little bit of panic. After watching their classmates horrifically die throughout the year, you have to start to wonder what you’re in for.

So here it is:

We start off with Josie at the mall with Jennifer, the most boring twosome ever (let’s whine some more …) Josie is shopping for something sexy to wear to the party that her and Josh are throwing to stick it to everyone that’s ignored her all year. That’s a little callous, but whatever. Jen disappears, and the dresses Josie’s been looking at turn into the maroon grad gowns of Shadyside High. They start to pour blood and be filled out by skeletons.

Not surprisingly, this is the first dream sequence of the book. Josie wakes up in a cold sweat, wondering if anyone will survive grad.

Josie, Josh and Stacy are at school, talking about the yearbooks. My first thought was: how will they deal with all the memorial pages they have to put in there – I guess the same way they’ve dealt with it every year. Then dumbass Josh answers my questions – muttering he doesn’t want a yearbook because it’s just a book full of pictures of dead people. So they did actually make a memorial section for the dead, I guess R. L. couldn’t overlook that one forever (like he always seems to do with other dead-person stuff, like funerals or grief.)

They open the books to find all the photos of their dead classmates were changed to be decaying corpses. Was it a really insensitive practical joke or something else …? Josie screams “Haven’t we suffered enough!” and runs out. In my head, that was all super melodramatic.

Dana approaches Josie to tell her she can’t make it to her party because she’s too sad over her dead twin. Josie makes the case of being miserable together – sounds like a fun party.

Josie, alone, reminisces about the evil spirit she summoned last June to kill the entire graduating class, and what a big mistake that turned out to be. I’m thinking the biggest theme of this entire series is: Beward the Whiny Teenager.

Annoying Matty comes up to show Josie that Clark Dickenson (aka “Count Clarkula”) didn’t show up in any of the photos taken of him. This is clearly further proof of his vampire-ness. I guess? That’s cool, vampires are sexy.

The next day, Trisha cuts herself arranging trophies in the display case. Clark is next to her and starts to lap up her blood sways because he desperately needs her mortal blood to live blood makes him hungry dizzy. Josie wonders if Trish started to see Clark because of his closeness to her blood.

Trisha has a vision of the entire graduating ceremony attended by nothing but coffins. Yawn – hasn’t she had that one already? Move on, already.

Clark goes to the mall to shop and mischieviously pretends he might not buy something black. Psych! Of course he buys something black. He runs into Matty, who nervously tells him about his photos not turning out. Clark is surprisingly upfront, telling Matty he’s not a vampire but has always enjoyed the attention it gets him – like from Trisha Conrad. To prove he’s not a vampire, he brings Matty to his house and locks him in his room – not too convincing there, Clarkula.

Turns out Clark is a 200 year old immortal. He clouds Matty’s mind and drinks his blood. I … am surprised. All that build up and it actually went somewhere. Huh. Clark makes hungry ugh ugh ugh grunts as he drinks, which I found disturbing. Maybe he wants Matty to be his Renfield.

Josie is studying when the Doom spirit visits her. He takes offence at her “it’s just a dream” comment and proves it isn’t by filling her scalp with maggots. Ick.

She breaks down and confides in Josh about the Doom spirit, telling him everything. He takes her seriously and goes to tell her parent she needs to talk to someone, all the deaths have messed with her head. This is one of the most surprisingly sensitive things I’ve read in Fear Street, it makes sense that after seeing death after death you might want to talk yourself into it being your fault so that maybe you can have some control over it.

Whatever. Josie deals with this by running away to Jennifer’s. They call Trisha over and Josie once again confesses and tells Jen they need to find a spell to stop Doom. Unfortunately, the books had been sold, so they are out of luck. Oh well.

Next day at a student awards ceremony. Josie attends … for no reason, because she sucks. Josh is getting a science prize as well as an award for an essay he wrote on democracy – I thought he has a total dumbass, maybe not so much.

They get started, everyone is present but Phoebe. Don’t worry, she’ll show up soon. They unroll the flag to “The Star-Spangled Banner” – and with it comes Phoebe’s body, hung upside down, swinging along with the flag. I’m saddened by her death, Phoebe was always so feisty.

The kids moan about attending yet another funeral. Josh has had about enough, leave from the church with Matty and Mickey and drive to the Fear Street Woods. Josh is being very introspective, he actually has quite the sensitive side. I would like to see him end up being the hero of the series. It’s actually funny how, at the end of this series, you still have no idea if there is a hero, if there even is a hero. Or who the bad guy is for that. It would also be awesome if it turned out everyone was evil. That would be an excellent ending.

Mickey catches a bat. Joking that it’s Clark, they decide to put it in Clark’s bedroom.
Clark catches them in there. They give him his “present” and he sucks the insides out calmly. He explains he’s clouding their minds, then proceeds to do so. The boys leave, weirded out but not knowing why, but Clark makes Matty stay with him. Josh hears his cry of pain and wonders at it while he leaves.

At the mall, Josh runs after a girl he thinks he went to camp with years ago. She has a gorgeous friend Katrina that Josh flirts with for a bit. She agrees to go out with him, until finding out he’s from Shadyside High. So he really is cursed.

Josie is at the shrink’s office, being made to go there by her parents. The doctor eagerly listens to everything Josie says, then turns into the Doom spirit. The creature swallows Josie, where she falls past howls of pain and distorted faces, ending in darkness.

She wakes up in the doc’s office with an angry woman standing over her. The doctor was sick today, there was no way she should be in here. Josie runs away, which is sensible I think. She goes to open the car, but the handle is burning hot and her hand sticks to it. As she screams, she sees Doom behind the wheel before the car explodes. I’m thinking Doom is having a good time with all of this. Of course, none of that actually happened, Josie is fine.

Grad rehearsal – Mickey is wrapped around another senior, Zella, as opposed to his poor grieving girlfriend. Of course – grief is boring. I don’t like that a new senior is being introduced at this late date without her being in the yearbook of Doom. Couldn’t R. L. have used another character, like Mira Block who appeared in approximately no books but is supposedly a large slut?

Before everything is ready, Pomp and Circumstance blasts out on the speakers, making everyone cover their ears. Slowly, a procession of maroon gowns walk into the auditorium, all of them corpses – Debra, Danielle, Marla, Ty … all of the dead seniors. Fucked up!

The living run out, but not before Josie sees Marla get up to give her valedictorian speech. Well, she would, wouldn’t she?

So, everyone believes Josie now, and they figure they’re fucked.

Trisha and Josie go to the Fear mansion because there’s nothing better to do. Trisha has a vision, she sees a door with a big crack in it, and in a man’s voice pleads for help.

Trisha runs to the side of the house. Finding the door, together they open it. They are sucked in to a place full of skeletons grabbing at them. A handsome living man named Henry Conrad approaches them. He’s Trish’s great-grandfather. He asks him to get him out.

Josie isn’t sure if they should trust the random guy who hangs out with skeletons, but he tells her he can defeat Doom when he’s out. Josie’s sold. Also, a weird jellyfish attacks her and Henry rescues her, so he must be awesome.

When they get to the door, Henry runs and keeps on running. Over his shoulder, he tells them that to summon him, just say “I summon thee” three times and he’ll be there. He also yells that they haven’t seen the last of him, which sounds vaguely like a threat. He runs around the side of the building.

What the fuck was that?

Clark goes to visit Trisha. He’s so thirsty he’s losing control. He begs her to go out to a movie so he can drink her in private. He bites her in the car … or almost. The police pull up and tell them to move along. Trisha asks him to take her home and gets out quickly before he can pull anything. Clark impotently reaches after her – not much of a vampire, is he. Instead, he eats Trisha’s kitten. Um, just noticed the potential sexual reference there when writing that – very naughty, R. L. Who do you think you are, Bram Stoker?

Josie and Josh get ready for the party. Trisha and Matty come in, yelling about how Clark is a vampire and they have to do something. Trisha was onto him in the car and Matty’s been remembering some of his “alone time” with Clark.

Trish is determined to kill him. They decide to invite him over right away for his staking so he doesn’t ruin the party. Trisha entices him over. Clark comes over all eager, and to me he’s still a metaphor for teen sex and experimentation, I swear.

Josie sends him to the den where Matty is waiting with a stake. Screaming ensues. Matty comes out triumphant, saying Clark just crumbled.

So they start a very lame party, where a bet a bunch of people just start crying, when an unexpected (expected?) guest shows up – Doom. A screen of smoke comes up where Josie watches as each of her friends is grotesquely murdered (I mean, Jen has her arms ripped off and then is strangled with them, seriously). That’s just the preview, though, a warm up to the real thing.

Josie starts to summon random Henry Conrad, but the snakes that hang out in Doom’s eye sockets jump down her throat. She vomits violently enough to get rid of them to summon Henry.

A gorgeous Henry walks into the room, apparently set on killing Doom. Unfortunately, he just turns out to be more Doom, doubling its strength. Oops!

The den door flies open and out flies Clark. He’s still “alive” or undead or what-have-you. Matty claims he couldn’t kill Clark … because he’s a vampire too!

Matty and Clark fly over Doom and proclaim the ancient evil of the vampire is more powerful, so they win. They crush Doom to yellow dust, which swirls around, knocking Kenny over in the process, before falling on everyone like snow.

Matty and Clark turn into bats and fly away. Well, I didn’t see that one coming, but it looks like they are the heroes of this piece.

Grad Day. Everyone is super happy now that they’re not going to die horribly. In his valedictorian speech, Kenny asks for a moment of silence in memorial of their lost classmates.

Then Kenny turns into Doom, who had hidden in his body at the party. It wishes Josie a Happy Graduation …

Okay, okay, what the fuck? This book was so full of random shit I can’t even follow. The actual plot line contained like two things – have a party, graduate. And yet, R. L. threw in everything he had for that one. This book was actually crazy. I kind of loved it. I will give it 85 corpsified graduates out of 99, for a very satisfying end of the Fear Street books.

And here is my Graduation Day!

Well kids, it’s hard to believe we’ve finally come to our last book. Sorry for the delay in writing this last review, but I’ve started back at SCHOOL this fall and it requires some time that I had specifically put aside for Fear Street.

It’s only fitting that the last book of the Seniors Series (and of the Fear Street Series) is absolutely fucking insane. Like it’s unreal. All over the map! It’s broken into five separate parts, so maybe that will help us keep track of all the insanity that happens.


Our main protagonist in this book is Josie Maxwell who is an okay character, although a little whiney for my taste. Like, one of the first sentences she utters is “I need something sexy. Something to make everyone wish they hadn’t ignored me this year.” Ugh. If Josie was a guy, I’d say he was close to being a serial killer, but since she’s a girl...I’m just going with typical, whiney girl.
Josie is out whining to her friend Jennifer Fear, as they’re shopping for “sexy” outfits to wear to Josie’s graduation party. Catsuits, anyone? Josie’s had a rough time this year and this shopping trip doesn’t really help her. She starts hallucinating that the clothing store is just full of red graduation robes. And those red graduation robes are suddenly full of ... skeletons! And there’s blood all over the floor! Josie takes this to mean that “no one will survive graduation...” Well not with that attitude!

Part One

Josie is waiting with her friend Stacey, and annoying dork Matty Winger for the school yearbooks to be delivered. They’re all a little anxious to see their hard work in print, especially because there’s a special section for all the dead students. That must be a HUGE section! Like 10 kids died already, right? When they get the yearbook, they’re all a little disappointed... seeing as all the photographs of the dead kids have been replaced with pictures of rotting corpses! Hmmm at first I thought that was another one of Josie’s hallucinations, but no, the pictures were really changed. Seems a little juvenile for an evil spirit, yes? So maybe it was done by a real person! Eh, I don’t know, we’ll find out.

Josie does us the solid of recapping what started this whole messy year off. She chanted the Doom Spell at Jennifer’s house (you know, because she’s a Fear) and later, the whole senior class was killed by a cloaked skeleton in various disturbing way. She somehow escaped and used another spell to turn time back an hour and everyone was alive again. But she thinks the cloaked skeleton has been stalking the graduating class and killing them off one by one. (You guys should really go check out L.K.’s recap of “Let’s Party”, the first Seniors book where this all takes place. This is the party recap: “Josie comes out of the bathroom. The cloaked skeleton comes to the party and rips everyone apart. Bummer.” Haha!)

Matty interrupts Josie’s silent thinking time to let her know another creepy thing about the yearbook. Even though Matty took half a roll of film on Clark aka Count Clarkula, nothing showed up! It’s just a blank square. Apparently that's enough evidence to make Clark a real vampire. Except... if the yearbook printers didn’t notice they printed a bunch of CORPSES, I kinda doubt they’re going to notice if one kid’s picture is blank. Let’s be fair.

So the next day at school Josie see’s Trisha Conrad cut herself pretty severely on her locker. While this wasn’t very interesting in itself, it’s ultra interesting that she was with CLARK and they talk about hanging out later. Josie thinks to herself that Trisha’s been pretty cut up since her boyfriend Gary Fresno was killed. On the way to the nurses office, Trisha has another one of her visions. She saw the podium and the auditorium for graduation... except the rows were just filled with coffins. Trisha starts screaming at Josie that “IT’S NOT GOING TO LET US GRADUATE!!” Jeez. These two need to stop hanging out together.

Part Two

This section is all from Count Clarkula’s point of view. He goes to mall to find a new outfit for the graduation party. He gets himself all in a tizzy when he thinks about how Trisha cut herself and bled everywhere this morning. Is he grossed out, or turned on? It’s hard to tell with Clark, or teenaged boys in general. He runs into Matty, who confronts him about not having a picture in the yearbook. Awful brave of Matty, don’t we think? Clark outright tells Matty that he’s not a vampire, and if Matty will come back to his house, he will totally prove it to him! Hmmm... that seems like a bad plan.

And it is. Clark gets Matty back to his place and confesses that he is a vampire. And then proceeds to drink Matty’s blood! Wait, is this another hallucination? Nope! Clark has the strength of “200 year of immortality” behind him and easily overpowers Matty. Well, that was almost unexpected. I wonder if R.L. planned to make Clark a vampire the whole time? Clark sucks Matty’s blood in kind of a homoerotic way, until he’s interrupted by Trisha calling. And he tells her he’s been thinking of her. While sucking blood out of Matty’s elbow? Sure he has.

Part Three

Josie is studying for her calculus final in her bedroom, mostly because her dad says if she does well this year, he *might* buy her a car. That’s a pretty good trick actually. He doesn’t have to really buy her a car, but gets the results out of Josie anyways! I’ll probably use that on my children. Ahh parenting tips from R.L.
Anyways, Josie is starting to get mad at her stepbrother Josh for playing his terrible music so loud, but when she turns around...the hooded skeleton is there! She’s convinced she’s dreaming but the skull says he’ll prove he’s real: by making maggots come out of her scalp. GROSS. But then he just fade away, which really seems like a missed opportunity if he’s in the killing-seniors business.

Josie decides it’s time to tell Josh what’s been going on. You know, with regards to an ancient demon killing all their friends. She tells him the whole story, about the doom spell, everyone dying, then her going back in time to stop it. Surprisingly Josh is pretty understanding, and promises to help her figure it all out.

Oh sorry, did I say help her figure it out? I meant he wants to get her the HELP she needs. He immediately goes to their mom and tells her that Josie has gone crazy. When Josie overhears their conversation, she decides to run over to Jennifer’s house and enlist her help with defeating this skeleton thing. She gets Trisha to come over too, since she’s a True Fear. After she tells the girls what’s been going on, neither of them really jump on board. I think it’s the whole time-travel thing. Or that she watched everyone die. I’m not sure. Josie goes to find The Spell Book that she originally used to cast the Doom Spell in the Fear’s library. Only, Jennifer’s dad got rid of all their (evil) Fear memorabilia!

She seems to just give up after that because the next scene is at the awards ceremony for the seniors. This scene basically just has Josie complaining that she’s not smart enough to get an award and dumping on everyone else who does. Super cool, Josie. At least you’re smart enough to cast a spell to kill everyone that makes you mad! Nothing happens at the ceremony until the end, when they pull back the curtains and Phoebe Yamura is dangling from a rope, dead. That’s kind of an unceremonious end to Phoebe, don’t you think?

Part Four

After Phoebe’s funeral, Josh, Matty and their friend Mickey go for a long car ride to clear their heads. While they’re in the woods, Matty catches a bat (how? why?) and they decide to play a joke on Count Clarkula. They also ask Matty how he got the huge bandage on his elbow and Matty’s all “I can’t remember”. Totally normal, happens to me all the time.

So they troop over to Clark’s house and break in to set a bat loose in his room. I’m not sure HOW this is a really funny prank, but they all think it is. Until Clark catches them in his room. And proceeds to eat the bat while the boys look on in horror. After he’s finished with the poor bat (you’d think vampires would have more respect) he “clouds” the boy’s minds by staring at them, and Josh, Matty and Mickey forgot they saw anything unusual. As the boys go to leave in confusion, Clark asks Matty to stay for a little longer. Sexy times!

Part Five

Josie is still upset about everything (unsurprisingly, since she hasn’t actually fixed anything yet) and is having nightmares about all her dead friends. Her mom tells her that she HAS to go see a psychiatrist for her own good. Josie reluctantly agrees. The next day her and Josh go to the mall to get supplies for the graduation party their going to have where everyone will die. Maybe! Josh thinks he sees some girls he knows and runs to chat them up. He ends up inviting one to his party, but when she finds out what school she’s from, she runs away in horror. Smooth, Josh. After being rejected, he accosts some strange girl because he hallucinates that it’s long-dead Debra Lake. Maybe he believes Josie now?

Josie goes to the psychiatrist, but instead of speaking to a Dr. Gollub, it ends up being the skeleton demon. And it eats her? Does that mean she’s dead? No, she’s just transported to some crazy hell world, full of twisted agony, then spit out on the other side. This really feels like another missed killing opportunity for the skeleton demon!

Part Six

She wakes up on the floor of the psychiatrist and the assistant is all “Dr. Gollub is sick today, WTF are you doing?”. When she gets to her car, the door handle is burning hot! And her hand gets stuck to it. Guess who’s in the driver’s seat? The skeleton, here to drive her to hell. Or probably not, since he’s terrible at actually killing Josie. The demon makes the car burst into flames and explode, which hurts Josie but doesn’t kill her. And also didn’t leave any damage to her car, which is totally fine when she stands up. Kinda lame.

Josie is at the graduation rehearsal the next day. Everything seems to be going well (no one dies) until Pomp and Circumstance begins to play excruciatingly loudly. No one knows where the music is coming from until the auditorium doors swing open, and all the dead seniors start marching in. Not in a Ha-Ha-fooled-you-we’re-not-dead-way. But in a really creepy, totally ZOMBIE corpse march. The rest of the surviving seniors stamped out of the auditorium but Josie can’t resist a look back. On stage, Zombie Marla Newman, is giving a silent valedictorian speech! Even a bitch when she’s dead, eh?

Trisha and Josie decide to take matters in their own hands. By going to the destroyed old Fear Mansion, where nothing good happens. GREAT idea!
Trisha has a vision as soon as the girls get to the Fear Mansion. She sees a very particular door, and behind it, a man is crying for help. Trisha runs off ahead and easily finds the door at the back of the mansion (seems suspicious...). They tug the door open and get sucked inside. Into another world of evil! Bony hands, ghost calls, and howling spirits surround the girls. They find the man though, and it turns out that he is Trisha’s great-grandfather, Henry Conrad. He needs their help to escape the haunted world (although it seems like the girls are pretty useless at anything at that point). They’re not sure if they trust him, but he promises to help them once they’re out in the real world. Trisha decide’s that family ties are suddenly important, so they help him.

Henry lead them to the way out to the real world, but not before Josie can get swallowed by some large, gelatinous monster. Henry saves her pretty quick and they escape no problem. Was that monster really necessary then, R.L.? As soon as they’re out of the mansion, Henry Conrad sprints away from them. He yells back that when they need his help, just repeat three times “I summon thee”. Umm doesn’t that sound unnecessarily negative?

Part Seven

Clark is hanging out with Trisha and thinking about how outrageously thirsty he is. Why didn’t he just call his little blood buddy, Matty? He takes her out for a date, then to a deserted area of the woods to make his move. And by move I mean kill her. He’s just about to bite her when the police show up and tell them to move their party along. Ahhh Fear Street police. You only show up when kids are making out, hey? Trisha gets Clark to drop her off, and since he didn’t get to drink Trisha’s blood he settles for the next best thing. Her little kitty, Minnie! Poor Minnie.

Josh and Josie are getting ready for the party. Josie is now supremely confident that nothing will happen to them because her and Trisha “got protection”. You mean Trisha’s weird time traveling grandfather? What does Josie think he’s gonna do? But her and Josh seem confident as they set out bowls of chips. Trisha and Matty burst in with big news: Clark is a vampire! Trisha actually saw his fangs before the police interrupted their party. And Matty all of a sudden remembers that Clark has been drinking his blood for the past few weeks. Randomly. They decide that Clark is the real reason everyone in their class has been dying, and not the skeleton demon that Josie has been seeing. Josie seems okay with this development even though that totally makes her crazy.

The kids get Clark to come over to the party early. Their plan is to get Matty to drive a stake through Clark’s heart while no one watches. REALLY? That’s the plan? Trisha, Josh and Josie all hide, and they hear a scream and Matty’s alone when they come back in the room so... the plan worked perfectly! God, no wonder these kids all die.

Even though Clark is dead, no one is really in the mood to party that night. Everyone just sits on the edges of the room and chats quietly. But the party really picks up when the skeleton demon finally arrives! Josie’s not worried though, because she has a secret weapon. Go go gadget elderly man!!

Josie doesn’t get to finish her summoning spell at first though because snakes jump out of the skull’s eye sockets and plunge down her throat. Ugh! She finally manages to scream “I summon thee” three times and Henry Conrad quickly strides into the room. What, was he just waiting outside for his cue? Unsurprisingly however, Henry Conrad turns out to be another skeleton demon in disguise. Josie pretty much gives up on life at that point, since she the two murderous skeleton demons have merged into one bigger demon in her living room. But at least she killed Clark!

Or did she? Clark comes bursting into the den (was he waiting with Henry?) and Matty confesses he didn’t kill Clark...because he’s a vampire too. Then Clark and Matty start shouting at the skeleton demon about how THEIR VAMPIRE evil is way more badass than the spirits evil. REALLY? They tear the skeleton’s head off and crush all its bones. Then the bone powder swirls around Kenny Klein, and then it falls to the floor like snow.

Everyone silently watches the two life-partners, Matty and Clark transform into bats and flap away into the night together. All the surviving seniors cheer and celebrate that now they can graduate in peace!

Except the next day, after Kenny Klein gives his valedictorian speech, he hugs Josie backstage and reveals that he’s the skeleton demon in disguise. “Happy Graduation, Josie!”

Surprise! That was fucked up. A fitting end though, yes? I’ll give Graduation Day 49 zombie graduates out of 54. Pretty well done R.L.!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keyword Extravaganza!

Hey kids! While we’re all waiting for both L.K and I do finish the last book (SOB!) I thought I’d post a little compilation of something that I’ve found hilarious.

Keywords Searches. Now on blogs, as most of you probably know, you can keep track of how people have stumble across your website. Most of you have found this blog by searching “Fear Street” or “Shadyside Snark” on Google. But some of you, poor souls, have come across our website by searching some really, REALLY different keywords.

Top Ten WTF Searches!

10. Increased death rate for shadyside for 2009

You know, I like this search. Someone out there was CONCERNED about the increasing amounts of deaths in a fictional town last year. Even though that town really hasn’t been featured in a book since 1999. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

9. Teen camel toe (x 100000000) + Skirt camel toe

Oh MAN, do people love Teen Camel Toe! I’m pretty sure searching this links to the book where Jade wears a catsuit, and L.K. was really concerned that she would have a camel toe. So thanks L.K.! for helping us achieve 100 000 hits by attracting 10 year old boys that aren’t ready to look at real vagina’s yet ☺

8. Incidents of boob touching + Heroine boobs touching in parties
This is also from the 10 year old boy fan group, I imagine. Although “incidents” seems like kind of a grown up word for young boys to be using. Maybe this is an actual “incident” that someone is looking up?

7. I would wrestle the babysitter + BABYSITTING WRESTLING.
OH LORD, I would TOTALLY wrestle the babysitter too! This search might have been mine…

6. Cute & sweet homosexual + Homosexual sweet kids
Well this one is my fault. I MAY have titled my review of the second Fear Street Seniors “Sweet Homosexual Zombie Child Kisses”. But in my defense, there were homosexual child Zombie kisses!! So really, if we’re pointing fingers, we should really be pointing them at R.L. Right?

5. George olsen maine prison 2009
This one required some detective work. Who is George Olsen? Why is he in a Maine prison (presumably)? Unfortunately, since I’m NOT a detective, I just retyped that search into Google and half-hearted looked at the results. There was a bunch about Boy George in jail! I also couldn’t find any mention of Shadyside Snark, so I’m confused as to how this person found our website. But hey, just imagine how confused THEY were when they arrived at a Fear Street fan website!

4. Lisa Blume sex tape

Also requiring detective work! Now the only link for a Lisa Blume is to an IMBD reference. Lisa Blume has only been in one movie: “The Hills Have Thighs”. Which is a porn, right? WRONG! It’s an “Appalachian Comedy” where Lisa Blume plays Velveeta Adams, a lesbian twin who is forced to live in a basement. That movie is UNBELIEVABLY not a porn. However, another “The Hills Have Thighs” was released in 2010, and it is totally a porn. But Lisa Blume does not star in it. Another confused horny man stumbles upon our fair website!

3. Milfs Blind date doing the splits
I feel like there must be a certain video that this person is looking for. Like maybe on the old show “Blind Date”? Some milf did the splits?

2. Didn’t mean to hurt your feelings sweetheart please forgive me

Ah yes. The old “look-on-a-Fear-Street-Fan-page” to find advice on how to get someone to forgive you. I also feel that this person must be young. Hurt feelings?

1. The story of Phoebe the zombeh. She's not happy unless she's gnawing on human flesh.

Finally! Someone after my own heart! I really can’t express how happy I am to know that there is another person out there with an extreme love of Zombies. I want to know about this Phoebe. Is there fan fiction I could read?!

And finally, the Oh so close runners up!

Blogspot + shadyside snark
Like you couldn’t have put those two ideas into Really?
I bet they got to read some sweeeet stories about some camel toes!
How to craft fists of steel
Corky coragan everywhere
She was in a large amount of books, wasn’t she?
Peter Sturdevant
This found me mostly Facebook accounts. Somewhere, some crazy girl has an epic crush, and has been googling the shit out of him
“Killers Kiss” “Sweat”
Ahh delicious. Also, judging by R.L.'s love of grotesque kisses, no wonder someone found our little blog.
Old Cheerleaders Never Die…
Menacing! Is this true!?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fear Street Seniors: Prom Date, or "Be Careful What You Wish For, Especially If You Wish For Psychopathic Killers"

I read a review of this book online, and boy was that plot line different from what I read. The overview I found was this: Trisha Conrad is dating Gary Fresno but is forced to attend the prom with Matty Winger, the biggest geek in school, just because his father is an important business partner of Mr. Conrad. Trisha goes with Matty, but at the prom she humiliates him in front of the whole school. Soon Trisha begins receiving threatening notes, and assumes Matty is responsible until he is found dead. Trisha later finds out that Mary O’Connor is the culprit; she hates Trisha for stealing her boyfriend Gary.
Here is the real (and way more cracked out) version:
Trisha is having nightmares about being a Fear, where all her ancestors are telling her she’s evil and she needs to join them, before they tear off her head and enter into her brain. She’s woken up by the maid, Celia.
The Conrads (her parents) are off to Europe that morning, where her dad is expanding his mall development business in London, Paris and Rome. Okay, malls in Europe, ew. I would find it shattering to find out that all the French kids hung out at WalMart or something. Let’s keep America in America, shall we? Anyways, Trisha’s mom is kind of mysterious about whether or not she knows that Trisha is a Fear, but before she heads out she gives her a blown glass wishing well. She calls it a good luck charm and says it’s been in the family for a long time, an heirloom. Trisha is suspicious of the well’s origins.
At school the next day, she tells Jen Fear at lunch about her nightmares that she’s actually evil, because Jen is the only one who knows her secret. Then some other girls come over and they all giggle about the prom and how fun it’s going to be. Trish is going with Gary, and in her inner monologue she gushes about how hot and great he is. She also thinks it’s a good thing Dana has prom to worry about, so she doesn’t have to worry about her recently-dead twin.
Jen is just mad that she doesn’t have a date, which when compared to Dana’s issues seems like a stunning lack of priorities. But Jen is pretty bitter about this. Trisha agrees that she for sure couldn’t go on her own. So, Shadyside is pretty evolved when it comes to that kind of thing, then.
Just then Trisha has a vision – a bloody body crumpled up like a piece of paper. It’s Gary. She immediately goes to tell him about his impending doom. He blows it off, which I might reconsider when looking at how many deaths she’s accurately predicted. But he’s very sweet about it, promising to be extra careful, so you know that he does really like her.
Jen and Trisha are back at Trisha’s place. Jen is jealous when she sees Trish has bought two prom dresses so that she has options the big night. Trisha gives Jen the wishing well charm to help her get a date. What a lovely show of charity on Trisha’s part!
Jen tries to convince herself she doesn’t want to go to the prom, because people always seem to die when the seniors get together at a big event (seems pretty reasonable) but she admits to herself she’d rather have a date. And die a bloody death then miss her prom is the subtext, but we’ve already determine Jen doesn’t have great life priorities.
Josie catches up to her on the street to tell her she has a date – that dweeb Matty Winger, who is a loser but preferable to missing the dance totally. They go to Jen’s house and imagine the perfect guy to take them to the prom. Jen is gripping the good luck charm as she makes up her boy.
Next day, Jen is miserable at the prom committee. The best part is they’ve decided that their major decoration feature is going to be giant globes made out of glass suspended from the ceiling. Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t want to go to a dance that had those, in the real world where people didn’t die on a daily basis, let alone in Shadyside where I was a member of a class doomed to die before the year was up. Sounds like a Carrie-like death trap waiting to happen.
Jen continues to be miserable – this plot line is wearing thin and something better happen. Okay. That night a boy calls her. His name is Duke Carpenter, he goes to Waynesbridge and apparently they met last year some time. He hasn’t stopped thinking about her and asks to take her to her own prom.
Having no idea who he is, Jen agrees to go to prom with him on the spot – but wants to meet him first to make sure he isn’t a serial killer. Who are you kidding Jen? You would absolutely go to prom with a serial killer. They decide to meet at The Corner the next day.
Jen dreams that she’s at the prom that night, and all the globes fall and shatter on the prom goers, killing her faceless date. She’s probably dreaming this because it’s intensely likely!
At the Corner, Jen waits and waits for her potential Prince Charming. Several potentials come in, but no mystery Duke. He’s stood her up. Jen wonders if the whole Duke thing was a mean prank and goes back to being miserable. Duke calls her that night with an improbably tale of a car running out of gas. She thinks his story is cute and forgives him. He wants to come out to meet with her.
Jen goes to buy a prom dress with Josie, and gets a lovely sheath of midnight blue. She calls Duke at the number he gave her, but it’s a disconnected number. She looks in the phone book for Carpenter, and they don’t exist – anywhere, she checks the whole county like a big stalker. She begins to wonder, again, if Duke lied to her and decides he’s not really for her. She gets home to find a gorgeous guy standing on her porch.
Duke is even better than her made-up man – handsome, charming, funny, smart. He keeps going on about the wild night they spent together of which Jen has no recollection. She decides it must have been REALLY wild if she didn’t remember it, and thinks of it no more.
Jen gets ready for Duke, at the last moment bringing along the wishing well. Her handsome date picks her up in a limo, then they go to pick up their friends – Josie and Matty, and Clarissa and Will. Duke is perfect and charming with them. Will makes a funny crack about Duke’s tux, and Jen is momentarily scared he’ll get pissed, but he laughs and thinks her friends are awesome.
The prom is beautiful, full of deadly glass and lights. Jen and Duke dance romantically together. He goes to get her some punch and a glass globe falls on his head. Actually, it barely misses him and just sprays glass on a bunch of people. Your typical fun-filled Shadyside surprise. He brushes it off (Okay?...) Dana reminds them they’re all going to Fear Lake after the prom, as per tradition.
The kids walk to the limo. All of a sudden, Duke starts beating up Will, like hardcore beating him. Jen pulls him off, but he grabs her and shoves her into the limo, where Josie and Matty are inside already. He screams for the limo to go. He tells Jen he did it because Will made fun of his tux. Seems reasonable.
He gets the driver to pull over at a liquor store, so that they can party properly. The rest of them are locked into the back. The driver for some reason ignores them and the phone is dead. Gary pulls up next to the limo with Trisha and goes into the liquor store. He can’t hear the kids shouting at him. A fight breaks out inside. Duke runs out with a knife in hand, Gary goes after him. Duke plunges the knife into his chest. Gary crumples like a piece of paper, blood gushing out, Trisha’s vision comes true. Trisha is screaming and crying when Duke hops back into the limo, telling the driver to get to the party.
The driver turns around slowly. It’s Josie’s Doom demon, grinning at them under a chauffeur’s hat. All the kids scream as the limo takes off to Fear Lake. Duke gets them to drive past the party, to a quiet beach by the lake. He tells Josie and Matty to stay where they are and drags Jen into the woods for a private party.
Duke tells her that he dreamed him up with the wishing well, so he’s her perfect guy, but he came with all the anger and jealousy she was feeling at the time. Now she’s stuck with him, they’ll be together forever. Jen doesn’t like that much, so she beans him with a tree trunk and knocks him out. Josie and Matty come running up and they decide to drown him. They drag him to the lake. Not surprisingly, he comes to and starts to choke Jen. She thinks she can wish him away with the wishing well, but Duke grabs her hand and the well goes flying in the air.
Duke grabs it, thinking he’s won, but it bursts into flames and sets him on fire. Apparentely water can’t put it out, because he is standing in a lake and all, but he burns up, leaving behind the wishing well.
Getting back to the limo, they see the Doom driver is done. They drive the limo home. Jen goes to bed, but someone is in her room. It’s Trisha. Trisha is moaning that she is evil, that everyone she loves dies, that it’s all her fault that Gary died. She tearfully tells Jen that she doesn’t think they’ll survive Graduation …
Ooh, is your interest piqued? I can’t wait to read the last of the series, and the last of all our Fear Street books.
As for Prom Date, it was alright. Jen is not exactly the most intriguing character and for the most part I just want to punch her in the mouth for feeling sorry for herself. Duke was hella interesting though. A better ending would have been a shower of glass globes on everyone, or an homage to Carrie somehow. You could have done so much with this, R. L. I’m a little disappointed. I’ll give this 8 blown glass mysterious wishing wells of evil out of 17.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wicked or "Don't Trust The Guy You Tried To Murder Yesterday"

First of all, I would like to say a Happy Second Anniversary to our little Fear Street
blog! Two years ago, L.K. and I decided to indulge our secret love of terrible 90’s
horror fiction and share it with the world! Since then, we’ve read almost 150 (!!) Fear Streets and had almost 100 000 hits on Shadyside Snark. All thanks to you people who enjoy reading about Fear Street too! Is it too much if I bake a cake today?

Moving on… to Wicked. The 10th book in the Seniors series revolves around Marla Newman’s need to please her mother. Marla needs to be valedictorian to finally impress her mother! What someone should have told her long ago, is that if her mother doesn’t like her by now, at age 18, probably nothing Marla does is
going to change that. Just sayin’!

I actually didn’t remember the prologue until I was looking back through my notes, and it’s kinda surprising because the prologue is pretty creepy! Melanie Anderson (not a senior so we already know she doesn’t matter) is getting ready for the day when she sees two girls appear in the mirror. No, they aren’t in the room with her, just in the mirror. She seems to know them and is freaked the eff out! Melanie tries to escape her room, but runs into a magical silver wire… that slices her head off. “Sliced it off so neatly, so clean – her body ran another two or three steps before it even realized the head was gone.” Shudder! Also, can anyone verify that? I don’t think that can really happen… although I’ve heard of people’s faces moving after they’ve been decapitated. Blech. Not the way I wanted to start my morning.

Alright, enough with the disgusting decapitation. Marla is competing with Kenny Klein for the spot of Valedictorian. They’re sitting near each other in the cafeteria, right before they’re suppose to face off in a social studies debate. Clarissa Turner has the unfortunate luck to accidently spill some ice tea on Marla. And Marla FREAKS the fuck out. Like screams at Clarissa for being SO stupid and yada yada yada. I mean, we all think that when someone spills something on us, but we’re not crazy enough to yell about it in front of the whole school. As Clarissa walks away, Marla thinks about how sweet it would be if something terrible happened to Clarissa. Just then, Clarissa slips and falls in her food! Marla is pleased, like the psycho she is.

Two girls approach Marla after the cafeteria incident. Roxanne and Elena tell Marla that they saw what she did to Clarissa – she has the POWER to affect people with her mind! Since they are lowly juniors, and Marla thinks she’s totally awesome she blows them off as crazy girls and goes to the debate.

Reaming out Clarissa had some unfortunate side effects for Marla though, as now all of Clarissa’s friends hate her. Ahhhh girls in high school. We…pretty much never grow out of that. Josie Maxwell and Trisha Conrad are all up in Marla’s face too. Right before Marla and Kenny are set to debate, she notices that Roxanne and Elena have come into the auditorium and are going to be watching the debate. Kenny goes first and speaks eloquently and passionately, and basically owns it. Marla could have taken him down (she thinks) except when she tries to come up with a rebuttal… she can’t make any noise! Well that’s not true, she can burp, but she can’t talk or say anything! Marla’s day doesn’t get much better. After her disaterous, and gassy debate speech, she receives a lower mark on a French test (85%) and then Josie, Clarissa and Trisha play a recording of her debate (non) speech over the intercom system!

Marla is SO steamed about all this that she…makes a “People I Hate” list. Of course she does. #1 is Kenny, then it goes on until basically everyone at Shadyside High is named. Productive! She may as well named it “People I will shoot first when I finally snap!”

Later that day, Marla dreads telling her mom about her bad French test, but a funny thing happens. When she pulls it out to show her mom (she’s 18 and showing her mom her homework? Really?) the test says 98%. Marla decides she must be more out of it that she thought!

Just when things were turning around for Marla, she gets to school the next day and finds that someone found her “People I Hate” list and tacked it to the school bulletin board. Well, that’s the price you pay for being crazy! Marla is worried that people will start hating her. I think it would help her cause if she didn’t constantly think to herself “I’ll show them! I’ll show all of them!” because that’s what crazy villains think, right before they blow something up.

Marla knows that Josie Maxwell tacked it up, and decides to get some revenge by throwing her clothes (black leotard and baggy black jeans BTW) into the school dumpster while Josie is in gym class. Marla is predicatable shoved into the dumpster by a mysterious force. And if falling into a dumpster doesn’t sound like a fate worse than death, then I invite you to come over to my dumpster. Because just the thought of going near it makes me want to cry.

Marla is finally approached by the two girls, Roxanne and Elena again after she gets out of the dumpster. Apparently, they were SERIOUS about being witches and really want her to join them. They discuss how there needs to be three of them, since their last third “isn’t around anymore” (Melanie Anderson, anyone??) Marla agrees to meet them in the Fear Street woods that night.

So they really are witches. When Marla gets there, crazy magic happens, and they get Marla to sign an ancient pact (written in an ancient language) in blood. Let me tell you kids, that is NEVER a good idea. No good has ever come from using your blood as ink. Trust me. After numerous scary witch-y things, Marla wakes up in her bed.

Everything goes Marla’s way the next day. She looks better, does better on tests, and tells her new found witch friends that she feels up to doing something “outrageous”. They suggest she takes her energy out on someone on her hate list. She decides to make Trisha Conrad’s skirt rip and fall off (underlying issues?). Roxanne and Elena don’t think that’s good enough though. They want to punish the girls that were mean to Marla! So they use their power (and Marla’s somehow) to push Josie Maxwell through a glass door. Josie survives, but is really cut up.

Marla wants to leave the pact (already?!) but apparently, pacts signed in blood are pretty binding. Like forever binding. Marla is unhappy but realizes she has to go along with it. That is, until she finds out that she needs to kill someone within the month or else the “Dark Forces” will kill her. Marla freaks out even more, and tells the girls she won’t go through with it. Roxanne and Elena spend the next day freaking out Marla but having objects change into snakes, and people around her generally become possessed. Marla was pretty easy to convince, because she quickly decides she’d rather kill Kenny Klein that risk having a rope turn into a snake again! (Not all snakes kill you know, MARLA)

Marla goes over to Kenny’s house under the guise of studying for French. It’s pretty cute because Kenny obviously has a crush on Marla (who else would help their rival study). It becomes less cute when Marla attempts to strangle him to death with her power. She can’t go through with it, so Kenny is all “WTF did you just try to murder me!?” Marla break down and tells Kenny the whole truth about the girls and magic and how she needs to kill someone. He doesn’t seem as upset as I would be about the fact that Marla could kill ANYONE, but chose him. In fact, he decides to help her solve her little evil witchcraft problem.

Marla asks the two girls to Fear Street woods the next day, because Kenny (who can obviously read ancient languages) has discovered that these blood pacts never have a “need-to-murder” clause! The girls must be lying! Why would we trust Kenny? As it turns out, the girls are much more powerful than her, and Marla ends up being frozen into an ice cube before Kenny can even come out of his hiding spot!

The four of them end up having a pretty epic (by that I mean LONG, not cool) fight scene that is interspersed with Kenny and Marla making out. Elena dies first, by being thrown into a giant pit that opened up in the earth. Kenny eventually sets Roxanne on fire but since that STILL didn’t kill her, Marla shoves her into the pit again. Kenny and Marla are so happy they committed murder against two of their classmates and go home.

Question: Why does killing the other two matter? Doesn’t she still have a pact with the “Dark Forces?” Marla doesn’t seem to think so. Turns out she’s dead wrong! Kenny rushes up to her before school the next day, saying he did more research and found out something more…turns out if you kill someone who practices the Dark Arts, you DIE exactly 12 hours later. Which happened to be at that exact moment, and Marla is sucked into a pit that opened up in the earth. YEAH! That’s how it ends! Maybe Kenny actually knew about this, but didn’t tell Marla as punishment for trying to KILL him the day before? I like ending better.

Another question? Why didn’t that happen to Roxanne and Elena when they killed their former third partner, Melanie? Just asking R.L…. Okay, this book wasn’t the best. It was crazy, but not THAT crazy. I was kinda hoping that after Marla killed the two girls they would discover that it was all a practical joke that Marla took too seriously. I like that ending better too. So I give Wicked 32 fake-endings-I-like-better out of 57. I was looking for more out of the last few books of the series!

Just two more left! L.K. and I have decided that as a special treat for you guys, we’re both going to read the last Seniors book and post our own separate write ups. So we can compare exactly how much each of us leaves out, fudges over, and forgets. Oh yes, and also so we can compete about who is funnier. Vote for me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fear Street Seniors: Spring Break, or “Nancy Drew Mystery of the Desert Coyote”

In this next thrilling episode of our intrepid Fear Street seniors, Josh and Josie Maxwell (who are step-brother and sister) go off on separate different spring break experiences. Josh’s seems really exciting, and Josie’s is so boring that I would have preferred to shoot myself then to experience it. BUT, that’s kinda a comment on their personalities, so I guess that’s what you get when you’re a whiny bitch, Josie.

The book is, as ever, broken into a million “parts” going back and forth between the two Maxwells. Neither story actually has anything to do with each other until the end, so it seems really disjointed. Don’t get all excited that the ending will tie it together in some awesome way, though – it doesn’t.

Part One

Let’s start off with Josh’s spring break. His kick-ass vacation begins by flying into Tuscon, as he’s going to spend the time at Trisha “I’m evil” Conrad’s Arizona ranch. With him is his buddy Mickey, Dierdre Palmer and Gary Fresno.

As a refresher, Gary is Trisha’s tough, wrong-side-of-the-tracks boyfriend, who she stole from sad Mary O’Connor. And Mickey is dating Dierdre’s identical twin sister, Dana. Dana was supposed to come, but came down with the flu, so sent Dierdre as her replacement. Dierdre is in love with Mickey, so she’ll be potentially replacing Dana in all aspects of Mickey’s trip.

Josh actually seems to be a nice guy. He’s happy to be away from all the troubles that plague the senior class in Shadyside, and hopes to relax in Arizona. Although with Gary around, and the Conrads in Australia, he thinks things could get a little crazy.

In the luggage area, Josh bumps into a big guy in a cowboy hat, who immediately starts a fight with him. Josh pulls a manly move and runs away. Gary wants to go back and fight, but everyone finally gets loaded up into the van with no violence.

Not for long. The dick in the cowboy hat follows them and starts to chase them off the road. A rather extreme reaction to being bumped by some guy, I think. Someone needs some anger management. Finally, after an almost run in with a truck, dude flies off the road and gets stuck in the sand. The teens are safe for now.

They find themselves at the Conrad’s luxurious sprawling ranch, complete with pools, chefs and of course “the help.” Josh sees a hot girl and drops his bag immediately, because he’s a bit of a dork. He picks everything up with a blush, but she seems kind of into him. Her name is Rose, and her father is the foreman of the ranch, Simon.

Once in his room, Josh realizes his bag doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to the red-neck crazy, Clay Hartley, and in it he finds a gun. Josh figures this Clay guy wouldn’t be to happy if the authorities find it. Rose agrees to take him to the address so he can do the bag switch face-to-face.

As he gets to the house, there’s an earthquake. That’s a random bit of scariness – are there earthquakes in Arizona? I actually want to know. Anyways, Josh runs away like a girly man, making Rose (probably) question her liking of him.

Part Two

Josie Maxwell is unspeakably dull. She spends her spring break whining about being bored to her equally boring friend Jennifer Fear (who became dull as soon as you find out she’s not a real Fear). They dress up like sluts and go to the bar with fake IDs to alleviate the boredom. How common of them.

They get kicked out immediately and Jen has a flat tire. Ooh, chills. This will be scary. They meet some vaguely cute college randoms who take them for a short drive. When they return to Jen’s car, someone has written “Wanna play” across the windshield.

Part Three

Back to the actual story. The teens are sitting around the campfire at night. They are joined by Roberto, a college student working the archeological site on the other side of the ranch. Roberto is flirting with Trisha, which is driving Gary crazy.

Rose and Simon tell the kids the ranch is built on the lands of the Hohokam Indians (not pc, I know. That’s what they call them in the book). Hohokam means “The Vanished Ones.” Apparently the tribe disappeared suddenly about 500 years ago. Roberto is digging up Hohokam artifacts. The kids want to visit the site, but Rose freaks.

There have been a lot of accidents and disappearances around the site. Rose thinks it’s more than just bad luck – she blames La Amadora. She is a ghostly protector of the Hohokam people. Although clearly she didn’t do a very good job if they all disappeared. She appears in the form of desert animals or a woman in a red cape. Sounds to me like a ghost story invented to keep people away from the dig site. This is totally like a Nancy Drew. I bet there’s a drug trafficking ring operating out of the site. Or something.

Josh catches Mickey sneaking off with Dierdre. His words are “Dana isn’t here. Dierdre is the next best thing.” I guess. Josh is skeptical about this too. Josh goes to his room alone. He hears a woman wailing outside, but he can’t see anything outside. Mickey gets back from his cheating, and they decide to go check out the dig there and then.

Dierdre comes running after them because she got scared. The three of them head into the desert. They find the site soon, and Josh immediately falls into a pit. Climbing out he smashes a piece of pottery. That’s probably a reason to not have dumbass teens at a dig site.

And yet Roberto still lets them come out the next day to the site. When they get there, Trisha has one of her visions. She sees a coyote with red stripes, then all of them fly into the air and vanish. They decide to get out of the site and check out the cactus forest. Josh is walking with Trisha when he hears a buzzing – kind of like a rattle. He turns in time to see a rattlesnake bite Trisha’s leg. Maybe it knew she’s evil. She’s taken to the hospital, but will be okay. Josh begins to wonder if the tribal spirit is real.

Part Four

Jen and Josie start dating the college randoms. Creepy things happen to them.

Part Five

Mickey, Gary and Dierdre go see a drive-in movie, leaving Josh and Rose at the rand alone. They go for a walk in the desert and make out. Suddenly Rose dashes off into the cacti. Josh follows and finds only an angry coyote.

The coyote totally takes Josh. Are coyotes really that strong? I’ve come across a few and I don’t have the enduring fear that Josh seems to have of them. They’re like wild dogs, right? I mean, I’d be scared if I was a chihuahua, but I’m not.

Anyways, Simon shows up in the nick of time and shoots the evil coyote. Rose shows up again and blames La Amadora. Not the fact that she ran away in the desert.
Josh returns to his room to find it trashed. He’s angry, but he deals with it like a guy and goes to sleep. He wakes up later with a figure in a red cloak standing over him with a knife.

Part Six

Josie thinks creepy things are happening to them because of the stupid Doom Spell she cast. She confesses to Jen, who confesses she’s not a Fear. While on the phone with one of the college randos (who clearly never figure out call waiting), she overhears that they’ve been doing the creepy things to the high school girls to scare them so they’ll put out faster. Cute.

Part Seven

Josh chases off the hooded intruder. Then goes back to sleep.
Next morning the teens go for a horseback ride up a ridge. Trisha realizes the ridge is where she saw her vision happening, where they all fly over the edge. Everyone freaks and they turn around back to the ranch.

Mickey takes off to hang out with Dierdre. Cheesiest line of the book:

“I promised Dierdre I’d show her how to do the backstroke.”
Josh blinked. “Like you’re an Olympic swimmer?”
“Who’s talking about swimming?”

You stay classy, Mickey. You KNOW someone changed “breaststroke” to “backstroke” on this one. R.L., I’m not sure how I feel about this blatant censoring of my Fear Street novels. Backstroke doesn’t even make any sense.

That evening, the hooded figure trashes Rose’s room. Josh assumes it’s Roberto, the archeologist. NOT Clay Hartley, the red-neck probably looking for his gun. He doesn’t need a reason for this – let’s just blame the archeologist.

Gary and Josh go to beat him up. At the dig site. But he isn’t there and the vigilantes get distracted by a picnic Rose set up for them.

They follow her up to the ridge of death again. Who should be waiting there but one angry Clay Hartley. With a rifle. Guess he didn’t need his gun after all. They probs should have paid attention to Trisha’s vision.

Clay lines them up along the edge of the ridge and demands “it” from Josh. Every time Josh claims he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he makes the kids take a step backwards.

Dierdre takes a step too far, and plunges over the edge. They hear her crack on the rocks below.
Josh attacks Clay and gets the gun away from him. Rose tries to soothe Josh and takes the gun. Once she has it she turns on the kids. Rose was in league with Clay all along. Clay jumps Josh and demands the coyote.

Mickey picks up on this and produces a clay figurine of a coyote from his pack. Rose and Clay were stealing artifacts from the Hohokam site and selling them to dealers. The La Amarada thing was just to scare nosy people away from the site. I knew it! Totally like a Nancy Drew. The coyote had come out of Clay’s bag when Josh dropped it, and Mickey picked up the statue later. He was going to give it to his girlfriend, Dana. Who is his girlfriend again, now that her twin sister he’d been fooling around with conveniently stepped off a cliff, I guess.

The coyote has red stripes – just like Trisha’s vision. Clay goes to shove them all off the cliff, but Rose stops him. They fight and in the skirmish Clay knocks the coyote over the cliff edge. He dives after it, and Josh grabs his legs just in time. Nice guy. I would have let him jump.

Roberto and Simon show up then to save the day. For most of them, anyways. Dierdre is dead. Rose and Clay are led away. As Josh leaves the desert, through waves of shimmering heat he sees a woman in a red cloak standing next to a coyote.

Part Eight

Josie comes up with a plan to get back at creepy college guys. She gets them to the Fear Street cemetery, and has her classmates dress up as ghosts to scare them. The ghosts work well. Instead of getting turned on, the way girls do when they’re scared, the guys run away screaming.
The best ghost is Dierdre Palmer. She looks really dead, and no one knows how she appeared to float, or walk through a gravestone.

Dana didn’t stick around for the after-party later, though. Josie called her to thank her, but a tearful Dana told her she had never showed. She had just gotten word of her sister’s death that night …
Oooh, okay that last part was a little creepy. I can’t believe R.L. killed Dierdre, she seemed nice other than the cheating with her twin’s boyfriend thing. I liked the ‘mystery of the desert’ thing going on here. I would give this full marks, if it weren’t for Josie’s whining. 84 striped coyotes out of 91.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sweetheart, Evil Heart or "Cheating Kills. In Increasingly Random Ways."

Oooo do I love Valentine’s Day horrors! I think it’s the combination of love, teenaged lust and murder. Guaranteed to be sexy times, right? Oh wait, we’re reading an R.L. Stine book. Never mind. There will be zero sexiness involved. Well, lets hope someone dies at least.

This book centers around Ty Sullivan and his lovely THREE girlfriends. Yes, three. Why? Who knows. He’s certainly not getting any action. All he seems to do is take them out on expensive dates, then chastely kiss them at the end of the night. Sooo kinda pointless, right? And of course they all go to the same school. No one will EVER find out about this, right? Ty has one “official” girlfriend – Phoebe Yamura. She’s pretty and the captain of the cheerleading squad. He’s secretly dating Trisha Conrad as well (you remember her? A true Fear? Has fantastic visions? Richest girl in town?) and she also has a boyfriend, Gary Fresno, who is a total douchebag. Ty is also dating Marla Newman who is the resident brainy girl. Poor Marla.

Ty starts the story off by bragging to his best friend Mickey about all the sweet non-action he’s getting from his 3 girlfriends. Marla and Trisha are both dating him because he told them he’s about to break up with Phoebe. Um, why don’t they just have some self-respect, and wait until he actually does it? Oh, right, 16 year old girls. That explains EVERYTHING. Mickey warns Ty to be careful because both Phoebe and Gary have some wicked, jealous tempers. Ty laughs that off, because he has absolutely no foresight.

Marla comes over that day to “study” so Ty takes her to his romantic attic. They chastely kiss for a few minutes and then Ty finds something in the old desk up there. It’s a Valentine’s Day card addressed to him, but it looks super old. It reads:

LOVE, AMY” (I have no idea why all their letters are written in CAPS. It just makes it seem like they're yelling at each other)

Well that’s certainly believable. Right after they find the Valentine, Marla realizes she’s late and has to go. What, their “date” was 15 minutes? Phoebe shows up right after Marla leaves for HER date as well. So Ty scheduled these dates approx. 20 minutes apart? How on EARTH does he think he’ll never get caught? He also decides that he will write Amy back, because he “can’t let her die, can he?” Ugh, he’s such a smug little asshole.

Ty is out with Trisha later in the week, and she’s making him awkward because she is hinting about the Valentine’s Day dance and Ty hasn’t decided who to take yet. Doesn’t it seem obvious that if he doesn’t take his official girlfriend, the whole jig will be up? That becomes the least of Ty’s problems though, because Gary has followed the two lovebirds in his car, and caught up to them. He flies into an insanely jealous rage but manages to convince Trisha to leave with him. Healthy teenaged relationship there.

When Ty gets home from his disasterous date with Trisha, there’s a new letter from Amy waiting for him! So exciting!


Ty decides to look up the return address, and speeds over to investigate. For ONCE in this series, the address isn’t on “Fear Street”. But the lot is empty (of course). Ty decides to ask for a picture in his latest letter. He can’t believe this is happening to him! Soooo. He’s believing this. He believes he is SO irresistible to women, they contact him from beyond the grave.

Mickey and Ty are goofing off in school the next day, and Mickey spills the beans to their friend Kenny about Ty’s 3 girlfriends. Ty’s pretty upset at Mickey, and chooses to take it out on Justin Thompson, the “geek” that has the locker next to him. Seems appropriate. I don’t think we’ve met Justin yet, although he does have his picture in the yearbook!

Ty gets home that day with Phoebe and he’s gotten another Valentine. Phoebe is kinda weirded out that Ty has been communicating with this person, because it is CLEARLY a joke.


Really subtle there, “Amy”.

This Seniors book is a little bit different as well, because sometimes the point of view changes to Trisha’s. Gary and Trisha are fighting in the car about Ty, and Gary does the super macho thing of driving irradically until Trisha is scared enough to say she’ll never see Ty again. That’ll keep her!

When she gets home to her gigantic mansion, there’s a note from Amy waiting for her. "STAY AWAY FROM TY. HE’S ALL MINE NOW." This throws Trisha into a tizzy and she has one of her visions. She sees a boy, dying on the ground in front of her. But she can’t tell who it is! She knows Gary is furious at Ty, and thinks it must be one of the two boys that will die. She has to warn them!

But takes a few days to do it. She tells Gary first who freaks out that Trisha mentions Ty’s name. He vows that it will be TY who ends up dead! Real stable there, Gary. Trisha goes out with Ty to the movies later that week to warn him too. He’s really creeped out, and even more so when they get back to his car, and all the tires have been slashed. Oh and also, a bunny was murdered in the back seat and everything is covered with bunny blood. Well, that’s just upsetting. Ty goes to confront Gary later that night, but Gary’s car is broken so it couldn’t have been him. But Gary certainly isn’t happy to hear that Ty and Trisha went out that night. Maybe he’ll have to follow through on his plan to KILL Trisha for going out with Ty.

Ty gets home from his confrontation and there’s a new Valentine waiting for him. This time it’s the picture he asked for! He can’t really see her face, because her enormous bonnet is covering it. But the back has “I WARNED YOU ABOUT MY JEALOUS TEMPER” written on it. Creepy! Ty writes his dead girlfriend a break up letter, and tells her not to contact him anymore because he won’t write back! That will show your crazy, supernatural love!

The next day, Ty and the incredibly geeky Justin (he’s into computers?! GROSS) have another run in near their lockers. By that time mostly everyone is in class so no one is there to see when Ty opens his locker and its full of blood! More bunnies? No, there is no blood source. But there is a new letter for Ty when he gets home!


She handled that break up well. Ty writes her another note, apologizing for being cruel, and well. It’s basically the worst letter ever:


Really, Ty? “I don’t hate you or anything”? “Good LUCK”?! With what? Getting over him? UGH. Anyways, Ty is certain Amy won’t be bothering him anymore after that GEM. But while he’s relaxing at home with Phoebe, Marla comes pounding into Ty’s house because she was beat up by a girl outside his house! Luckily for Ty, neither girl questions why the other one was there.

The next day, Marla also shows him a note she got: “I MAY BE DEAD – BUT YOU ARE NEXT TO DIE. STAY AWAY FROM HIM”. Ty is freaking out because his flawless plan isn’t working!! Later Phoebe shows him a note that she got. And finally, Trisha shows him a note that she got from Amy as well. And mentions that Phoebe and Marla got them too! “This is really scary Ty! And how come they got messages, too? What’s the connection?” The connections in Trisha’s brain are clearly not working either...

He tries convincing the girls it's all just a joke. But it seems they don’t really see it that way, because when he invites each of the girls to the Valentine’s Day dance – separately – they all turn him down for other obligations. Did they figure it out, or are they too creeped out?

He goes to the dance anyways. Looking for a 4th living girlfriend? While he’s hanging out with his friends though, he sees…Amy! Well he sees a girl in an old fashioned bonnet and clothes. He follows her up to the balcony, but he keeps seeing her in different spots! Like she’s a g-g-g-g-GHOST! While he’s looking over the dance floor, someone starts shoving him, and trying to push him over the railing. It’s Amy! Oh wait, nope, it’s Phoebe in disguise. And the other two girls, also dressed like Amy.

They knew the whole time that Ty was cheating and wanted to play a prank on him. They had no idea he would be SO into himself, he would believe it! Ty runs out of the dance to save himself any more humiliation. In the parking lot though, he sees another girl in a bonnet. But if all the girls are inside…who is this unicorn…?

We cut to Trisha’s POV. She’s feeling pretty guilty about Ty. I guess maybe since she was cheating too, she can empathize more. The girls go out to look for him and find him. DEAD. Just like in Trisha’s vision. So where’s Gary? Trisha has another vision about Ty’s accident. She sees Ty running towards something, then noticing something is following him and running away. Then he gets slammed by a red car. Whew! At least Gary’s car isn’t red!

The next day Gary tries to get back in Trisha’s good graces by apologizing, then offering to take her for a ride in his new. RED. car. Trisha runs screaming away from Gary to the … Fear Street Cemetery. Well, nothing good comes from that! Gary doesn’t follow her the whole way, so Trisha feels like she’s safe.

And then she runs into Justin Thompson, resident geek. He offers to protect her. Cute! Then tells her that he likes. A LOT. And also licks his lips. Ohhhh that’s less cute. Justin confesses that he killed Ty for her. He couldn’t stand that he would cheat on her! (What’s his plan for Gary?) When it becomes clear to Trisha that Justin is crazy, she starts running, hard. When it becomes clear to Justin that Trisha isn’t immediately falling for him, he tackles her and they start to wrestle. Justin is so close to killing Trisha by strangling her, but with her last ounce of strength, she gouges his eyes, then shoves him onto a stone. He busts his head open and dies immediately. Rough week for Trisha.

The book ends with Gary and Trisha working out their problems (verbal abuse and threats long forgotten!) But Trisha walks by the stone that killed Justin and realizes it says:

AMY FEAR 1872-1890.

OoooOOooo! So maybe that was the fourth bonnet girl? Or Justin was cross-dressing? I was disappointed again that a non-central character ended up being the murderer. I wasn’t even going to write him into this recap because his part was so insignificant. Then he ended up being the murderer, and I had to go back to find where Ty and Justin had their run ins. Damn you, R.L. for your lame twist! But I was actually way more concerned that this would be a rip off of Double Date, where (*spoiler!*) it was all some lame prank. So well done R.L. for not ripping yourself off! I give this book 48 murderous girlfriends from beyond the grave out of 65!

K I had to add this picture, I actually scanned the back of the book for all of you. Because it appears to be Marla Newman... dressed as a ZOMBIE for the dance? Man, that would have been a WAY better book

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fear Street Seniors: Fight, Team, Fight!, or “Just When You Thought Cheerleaders Couldn’t Get More Evil”

This book is all about evil cheerleaders. You think R. L. would have had enough of the whole evil cheerleader thing after the “Evil Cheerleader” series, but apparently there is no such thing as too much evil cheerleaders.

We follow around Phoebe Yamura, Shadyside’s token Asian. She’s pretty perfect. She’s cute, smart, captain of the cheerleading squad, and dating the cutest guy in school, Ty Sullivan. Although you may have noticed he dates everyone.

Soon we find out that Phoebe’s life isn’t entirely perfect. Her parents are super strict. They won’t let her do anything. She’s not allowed to date, and she’s barely allowed to be on the cheerleading squad. Also, both Jade Feldman and Dana Palmer had wanted to be captain, so they decide to make her life hell until she quits.

Evil pranks start happening to Phoebe. First her uniform is torn to shreds with a note – Give me a H-E-L-P. Ooh, clever. Because she’s a cheerleader, see, and they like to spell things out. Jade doesn’t deny doing it. Phoebe wants Jade off the team, and knows that she’s on academic probation. She figures she just has to wait for Jade to fail her upcoming chem exam and that will be it.

Except Jade, the sneaky bitch, switches their tests, and takes Phoebe’s A. The cheerleaders mean girl Phoebe into taking Jade’s failing grade in order to keep her on the squad. Jade, after all, can do a triple backflip. In thanks, Jade puts a rubber spider down Phoebe’s sweater. Because she’s both grateful and mature.

A new cheerleader has joined the squad, Gina, as an alternate. She just transferred from another school and is choked she only gets to be alternate. She reveals that she had a twin sister who died, who was also a cheerleader. That has definite potential to turn into something evil.

Phoebe finds a bloody cheerleader doll in her locker. The note this time reads Score: Me 2. You 0. It takes Phoebe a little while to figure that one out, which goes to show she might not have those “street smarts” everyone keeps talking about. That night at the game, Phoebe goes to take her pom-poms from Gina, and starts screaming in pain. The pom-poms are full of biting red ants. That is quite the difficult prank to arrange. Where does one find red ants, and how do you set them to attack? Phoebe is freaked out, because she doesn’t know how far Jade will go in this competition. Or Gina.

Phoebe’s parents don’t want her on the squad, and think it might be getting dangerous for her. But Phoebe will stay as cheerleading captain if it kills her. At night she starts getting obscene phone calls, someone playing a recording of her cheering. That would creep me out for sure. Phoebe is convinced Jade is stalking her now.

She tries to talk to Ty about it, but whenever she mentions talking he drives her to the Fear Street Cemetery to make out. Seriously?!! Is that what kids are into these days. Because if a guy tried to get busy with me among the headstones, I’m not sure how I would take that. Apparently it’s the cool place to go, as they find Jade with her boyfriend Kenny there, fooling around behind a crypt or something.

The next night, the cheerleaders decide to do the flaming baton routine. Okay, Phoebs, not a smart idea, okay? To the surprise of absolutely no one, Phoebe’s batons are rigged to burst into flames, and she wakes up at the hospital with second degree burns. In a stunning lack of priorities, her first concern is whether she can compete in the state championships this weekend. She can, so things are cool.

Phoebe and a friend look into Gina, who is growing is suspicion since as alternate she had prepared both Phoebe’s batons and pom-poms. They discover that she never went to the high school she said she did. They take this damning evidence to the cheer coach, who informs them that they were looking in the wrong state. Gina finds out and is powerfully pissed they were investigating her.

The morning of the competition, one of the girls gets a cold, so Gina has to take her place on the squad. And share a bunk with Phoebe. Phoebe is sure she’s going to do something crazy at the competition. At the hotel, Jade runs to their room, crying, saying Dana was hurt – that she’d cartwheeled into an empty pool. The girls go running out, only to find no Dana. Phoebe starts to get angry, and then all the girls, Gina, Dana, Jade and herself, are grabbed and handcuffed together by some guys who shove them in a van. Awesome.

They are taken to a cabin in the woods. The kidnappers immediately wander away from the girls, who make a break for it. They run down the road, then hide in the bushes when the van comes by. Dana falls into some mud and screams, tipping them off to where they are. Only the van searching for them isn’t the kidnappers, it’s Griffin, the school janitor who also drives the squad to their games in a school van. They’re saved!

Only Griffin drives them deeper into the woods. Phoebe realizes that Griffin is her stalker when he starts to chant some of her cheers. He was the one who had been playing all the evil pranks on her. Of course it was the janitor! How could I have missed that incredibly random bad guy?

Jade and Dana confess they arranged the kidnapping to scare Phoebe off the squad, but that they had nothing to do with Griffin. Griffin went insane because he had a sister on the cheerleading squad when she was in high school. She was only on the squad as kind of a joke, because she wasn’t very good. The other girls laughed at her. Then one day they got her to climb to the top of the mount. Only they didn’t catch her, they let her fall, and she broke her neck. So he hates all cheerleaders.

He takes them to an abandoned meatpacking plants. Of course, perfect horror book setting. Lots of chainsaws and old machinery around to maim and disfigure. He takes a chain saw and … cuts off their handcuffs. I wouldn’t want a psycho with a chain saw anywhere close to me

Griffin tells the girls they have to perform for him, do perfect cheers. He threatens them with a meat hook, very I Know What You Did Last Summer. If anyone messes up, they die. What an exciting game! They run through a few cheers, and Jade at one time uses the wrong foot. Phoebe ends her cheer by cartwheeling into him, knocking him down. She tells the girls to run.

They scatter through the factory. Gina immediately gets her foot caught in a conveyor belt. Griffin turns the belt on, carrying her towards a meat grinder. Phoebe manages to get her out, but they here a chain saw and a scream coming from somewhere else in the plant. The girls are almost free when Griffin catches up with them. He brings them back to finish their routine for him.

Phoebe sprints away. She finds Jade’s body, hanging on a meat hook in a freezer. Jade didn’t make it. Phoebe also finds a smoke detector. She takes a book of matches and burns them, trying to get enough smoke to set it off. Nothing happens, but points for effort there. Griffin is about to kill Gina with a butcher knife when she interrupts him. He goes after her and is interrupted by … the fire department! My, they got to the middle of the woods in a hurry.

The story ends with Gina being put on the squad to replace Jade, and Phoebe introduces Ty to her parents. And Jade was such a bitch that not too many people missed her. So, happy ending?

I thought this book was going to be ridiculous, but it was kinda okay. Point definitely for the classic horror ending at the meatpacking plant, and for killing off a main character. I give it 12 triple backflips out of 16.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Gift or "Digusting Vials of Hair Are Used For Good!"

Fear Street Seniors #6! That means… we’re halfway through the final series! Can you believe it? Sigh, time flies when all you do is work and read Fear Street novels. Really flies.

This seniors book centers around Jennifer FEAR. It’s pretty rare for an actual Fear to be the focus of a book, and usually when they are, they’re totally evil. Jen isn’t that bad tho! Her dad is mildly obsessed with their Fear heritage, although Jen hates it because all her classmates think she might be evil. The book starts off right after Christmas, and Jen is going over to see her best friend Trisha (of the psychic visions) to show off the necklace her dad bought her. Jen is super pumped about it, even though it’s a FEAR family heirloom. It was owned by Dominique Fear, who was apparently tried for murder and hung!

The girls find out that Dominique died that way because Trisha puts on the necklace and has one of her psychic flashes. She feels like she’s Dominique, full of rage, right before she’s hanged to death. Hmmm, why did the necklace do that to Trisha and not Jen? The girls try to forget about the creepy necklace vision, and focus on what all girls love to talk about: bad boys! Jen is dating Ty Sullivan, and no one can believe it because usually Ty dates like 8 girls at the same time. But Jen is even bringing Ty to her huge New Years Eve party! He must really like her then.

Well, turns out, not so much. Ty and her go out on a date that night, and he brings her to the cemetery. Really? Like, how cliché. But Jen makes the fatal mistake of asking him to hang out AGAIN, and he freaks out, tells her she’s too “serious” and dumps her. Meh, happens to all of us at one point. What DOESN’T usually happen though, is walking up in Ty’s backyard, after sleep walking over to his place in the middle of the night. Yewoza! Jen is very confused as to how she wandered over to Ty’s house but just kinda scurries home and tries to forget about it.

When Jen gets to school the next day, everyone is abuzz about Ty. And the fact he was attacked in his own backyard the night before! Jen is all “weird, I could have WITNESSED his attack!” and tells Trisha what happened. Trisha and I have the same reaction of, “Ummm, don’t you think YOU may have attacked Ty?” I guess Jen never thought of that scenario. Convenient…

Trisha is really upset that Ty dumped Jen though. To the point, that later that day, at Pete’s Pizza, Trisha gets up and starts screaming about how upset she is, in front of Ty and his new girlfriend Greta. Well, that must have been awkward for Jen. I mean, you want your friend on your side. But maybe not that PUBLICALLY crazy. Maybe. Jen’s night doesn’t get much better unfortunately, because on her way home, she nearly hits someone with her car! And best yet, it’s TY. He now thinks she’s nutters.

Jen has another dream where she slept walked to Ty’s house, but this time she brought some matches. Hmm, what could those be for? She walks up in the comfort of her own home though, much to her relief. Only problem is: Trisha comes by to tell her that someone lit Ty’s house on fire last night! Everyone’s okay, but there was some major damage. Jen doesn’t believe it, so they run over to Ty’s house to see for herself. While they’re inspecting the damage (of her fresh ex-bfs house? Not suspicious…) Jen finds one of her MITTENS there! Well that’s basically a smoking gun. She can’t believe that she could do anything this terrible.

Trisha has come up with a theory as to why Jen is going sleep-crazy. She tells Jen about how when she put on the necklace, she felt how powerfully ANGRY Dominique Fear was. Trisha thinks that Dominique is controlling Jen because Jen is a Fear, and they are therefore connected. Well… I’ve heard worse theories in my Fear Street days. Jen does what any teenaged girl does when she needs to get rid/hide something. She puts the necklace in a sweatsock and puts it in her drawer! Out of sight=out of mind, right?

Jen is busy getting excited for her big New Years Eve party, now that she’s sure the necklace can’t do any more damage. Unfortunately, she still has to deal with Ty thinking she’s crazy. He threatens her to keep away from him! Except…he shows up to her New Years Eve party. With his new girlfriend Greta. That just mean! Jen doesn’t want to make a big deal, or ruin anyone’s night, so she doesn’t throw them out. Jen = bigger person than I am. In the long run though, she probably should have thrown them out. A few hours before midnight, Jen hears Trisha scream from upstairs and runs to find her staring at Greta. Correction: Greta’s dead body. Her head had been smashed in with a heavy ceramic bowl, which I think is a first on Fear Street!

Since the party mood is kinda ruined at that point, everyone shuffles out the door while the police come. The ever-fantastic Shadyside police determined that the bowl just happened to fall off a high shelf, and Greta’s death was an unfortunate accident. Ty has been waiting around for the police to leave, so he can yell at Jen about how the accident was all her fault. Hmm, seems appropriate? I’m not even really sure. Jen might have actually done it.

The next morning, Jen’s parents are trying to make her feel better about the horrible death that happened there the night before. I can certainly tell you, my parents would not have been this cool if someone had DIED at my party. Jen finally confessed everything that’s been going on, including the theory that she’s possessed by Dominique Fear. Her dad awkwardly clears his throat and makes his own confession: they’re not really Fears. It seems that when HIS dad moved to town, the Fears were a well respected family, so he just changed his name to it. Jen’s dad cites “easy access to country clubs” as a legit reason for changing the family name. Allllllright. Jen is so relieved that she’s not a Fear! But also furious at her father for not telling her and cursing her with a terrible name for her whole life.

Jen decides to take apart the necklace now that it has no emotional value to her. After she takes out the stone, she notices a hidden compartment. And it’s full of HAIR. (Note: I love lockets. And I also love long hair. But the two together? DISGUSTING.) Jen also just happens to find a spell for casting out evil spirits, that includes throwing the HAIR of the person who is doing the possessing onto the possessee. Does that make sense? She needs to throw Dominique’s hair on whoever Dominique possesses. Convenient.

While she’s also looking through the Fear’s books, she sees a picture of a house that looks familiar. It’s a drawing of Trisha Conrad’s house! When Jen investigates a little bit further, she finds that Dominique Fear married a one Henry Conrad before she was hanged! Jen rushes over to Trisha’s house to warn her and also stop Dominique from killing anyone! Unfortunately, Trisha is out when Jen gets there. She’s out with Ty Sullivan! Jen has a moment of “WTF SKANK” but then realizes that Trisha would never do that to her, and it’s probably Dominique possessing her. Sure.

Jen does her best investigating skillz, and figures out that Ty probably took Trisha to his fave makeout place, the cemetery! Classy. Jen gets there just in time to see Ty’s body on the ground, and Trisha poised over him with a pair of huge scissors. Really? Scissors? Why on earth would that be the weapon of choice in a cemetery? Trisha is obviously possessed by Dominique, and the two of them tussle for a while. Jen pulls out her jar of hair and Trisha/Dominique rightfully mocks her. Jen knows that she only has one shot to get her with the hair and takes a chance! Poof! O, I guess at some point Jen burnt all the hair into ash, because she throws ash on Trisha instead of just hair. Probably a good idea for projection. Anyways, it gets Trisha out of the daze. The girls hug, and take Ty home while he’s still passed out cold.

We learn two things in the final chapter: Ty is guillible and Trisha is a BITCH. The next day, at Pete’s Pizza, the girls run into Ty. Apparently the girls told Ty that he got SO drunk at the cemetery the night before, he passed out. He doesn’t even remember buying/drinking the beer! Maybe he was mourning his GF that no one seems to remember who died TWO DAYS AGO. Jen goes to the bathroom and the rest of the book is from Trisha’s POV. Trisha’s known she’s a Fear for a while, but she also knows that Jen won’t tell her secret. Jen is too nice! So nice, she never suspected that Trisha had been dating Ty the whole time she was dating Ty too! BITCH. She thinks about being confused but also about the overwhelming rage that she felt. And the ease of which being Evil came to her. Well. That’s it folks! Trisha is evil! That ends another Fear Street where no one important dies. It was pretty standard, and I think mostly filler to introduce the idea that Trisha is an evil Fear. Maybe she’ll be the villain for the rest of the series? Let’s hope so! I give The Gift 12 necklaces of HAIR out of 23. Just passing.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last Chance, or "Do Not Do What the Bad Man Says"

Last Chance is a book that highlights why I love/loathe Fear Street books. I spent most of my time reading this book screaming “What the f-!” at it, then settling down and shaking my head at it. Seriously.
The teaser is: Mr. Morley is so nice when he catches Mary O’Connor stealing a test. He doesn’t tell. He doesn’t fail her. She just has to do him a favor …

Don’t do it Mary! Do not touch the bad man, just call the police, and everything will be okay.

Except that Fear Street is not an after-school special. The messages that come out of these books are both awful and awesome at the same time. Let’s see how Mary deals with her little “predicament.”
As you might remember, Mary O’Connor is the poor white trash girl who’s father walked out on her family, and then her boyfriend, Gary Fresno, dumped her for rich Trisha Conrad. You think that Mary might deserve a break about now, but instead she gets busted for shoplifting. Now she has to see a counselor every week, and all of her teachers have been told about her incident, and discriminate against her because of it.

I’m sorry, does this seem a little unprofessional? Perhaps even … unethical. Are teachers allowed to gossip about student’s sticky fingers, and openly judge her based on this. Considering the amount of teenage murderers in Shadyside, you think they’d let one incident of shoplifting slide.

Even Mary feels like she’s a criminal and should be treated as such. Her friend Stacey tries to get her to lighten up, takes her out shopping so that she gets over this stigma. Mary immediately almost steals a shirt. But it’s not because she’s dumb, it’s because she saw a cute boy! Okay, and because she is over the top stupid.

Mary has been spending a lot of time with Mr. Morley, her social studies teacher. He is just so understanding, and they talk about all kinds of things, not just school! Like, boys and stuff. Dear god, man, set some boundaries you pervert. Anyways, Mary is stressed about her upcoming social exam – she needs to pass it to stay on the track team, pretty much the only thing that she’s good at in life.
Mr. Morley is so understanding that he tells Mary that the social exams are all in this brown envelope on top of the desk, then he leaves her alone in the classroom to go get coffee. Mary can’t believe her luck! I can’t believe she wouldn’t think that she’d be set up. Morley comes back in, and Mary thinks he might have seen her, but he acts all friendly normal, so it must be okay. Now, maybe Mary does need to be treated for her property-taking issues, not only does she do it a lot, but she’s really bad at it.

Mary believes she aces the social exam, but instead of that A, Morley asks to see her after class. Oops! He tells her he knows she stole the exam, but she’s also under a lot of pressure, so he might be able to overlook it. If she does something for him …

It’s not as bad as you think. He wants her to take another teacher’s jacket, as he says it’s his anyways. So, he’s encouraging her thieving ways? Maybe he’s just trying to help her get better at it. To no avail, though. The teacher who’s jacket she’s stealing, Mr. Wise, catches her red-handed, and throws her shoplifting experience into her face. He says first thing Monday morning, the principal will hear of this. Oh, no, not the principal! Mary should probably chill out more.

Instead, she goes to Morley’s house on Fear Street over the weekend, sure that he’ll help her out of her situation. At his house she sees the cute guy from the mall, Rob. He’s helping Morley out with stuff around the house. He asks Mary out, then tries to warn her about Morley, when the man himself comes in. Morley is insanely mad at Rob, asking him to leave.

Then Morley turns to Mary, all concern and understanding again. Of course he’ll discuss the situation with Mr. Wise, making everything okay for Mary, but he tells her he’ll probably be fired for it. Mary is horrified. Morley also tells her that another teacher, Mrs. Wilson, is trying to get him fired. She’s written a letter about him to the Board of Education, but he can’t answer the charges if he doesn’t know what they are. If only someone could break into her desk to get that letter … But no, he couldn’t let Mary do that! He’ll just figure something out for himself.

Mary goes out with Rob that weekend. They have a great time, until he tells them they’re taking the “walking discount.” They dine and dash, and Mary kind of goes along with it, although it upsets her. Mary is so very easily manipulated. Rob then tells her it was a joke, and gives her a soft, melting kiss.
Monday morning Mary goes to see Morley to make sure everything’s been straightened up for her. Morley sighs and tells her she’s okay, but he’s screwed if he doesn’t get that letter. Then he gives her some puppy dog eyes and tells her he could never ask her to steal that letter for him.

Mary, being unspeakably dumb, breaks into Mrs. Wilson’s classroom and steals the letter for him. Whatever is written in those letters makes Morley hugely angry. He tells Mary there’s more letters, probably hidden in Mrs. Wilson’s house. Mary has to steal those letters too. When Mary balks, he tells her he’ll sell her out for stealing the jacket, and cheating on her exam. Not so nice Morley any more. He uses the phrase: “Jail is an ugly place.” How charming. Threaten an impressionable young girl with jail, I like it.

That night Mary goes to Mrs. Wilson’s house, having been given her address and the time she would be at a conference from Morley. How thoughtful of him. Rob shows up to stop her, and when he can’t, he goes in with her.

They find the letters, and Mary skims them. Essentially, Mrs. Wilson has proof that Morley murdered two of his students at his last job. And she’s sitting on this information why?

Mrs. Wilson comes home early. As they dash out the second floor window, they split up. Rob tells Mary to meet him at a park, so she runs there and waits. But the only person who shows up is Morley. Rob was nabbed by the cops, and had called Morley to bail him out.

But Morley won’t do that until Mary does something else for him. Mary didn’t keep the letters, so he’s pissed, and grabs her arm painfully. He tells her that Rob will stay in jail unless she comes to his office at lunch tomorrow. He also threatens to kill her like the other two students.

His new insane assignment for Mary involves his sister. His sister lives with her two children, but is always going on dates and leaving the youngsters alone. Morley wants to teach her a lesson by having Mary kidnap the kids, taking them to a house down the street until their mother comes home, freaking out. What a charming lesson!

Mary has heard enough. She goes to talk to her counselor, the one who can’t get over that one time she shoplifted, and tells her everything. The counselor sympathetically tells Mary she’s a terrible person for blaming her problems on Mr. Morley. Great support they have at Shadyside High, there. I guess since they usually deal with grief, loss and post traumatic stress, abducting children probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

So Mary goes to steal the children. She feels really bad, and the kids are cute, so it’s just like she’s babysitting them in a strange house. It’s kinda all good until the seven year old boy tells her he doesn’t have an uncle, and had never heard of this Morley character. That’s when Mary hears the police sirens, and she cuts and runs.

She finally stops running, and who should appear but Rob, who starts kissing her. Apparently Morley made good on the bail, but that didn’t endear him to Rob. Rob is sure that Morley is going to kill them, now that they know his “being a murderer” secret. So they’ll have to kill him first!

Mary is skeptical about this killing idea, but Rob says there’s no other way, they’ll be under Morley’s control forever if they don’t. He gives her a vial of poison, odorless, tasteless and clear, that will kill him instantly if she gets just a few drops in his coffee. What a handy thing to be carrying around. Mary tells him she can’t do it, but he won’t hear any of it. He says he’ll meet her in Morley’s office tomorrow.

Morley calls Mary that night to threaten her, because she screwed up with the kidnapping kids thing. He tells her to meet him at his office at one tomorrow.

Poor little Mary. Whatever will she do?

The next morning she goes to track practice, something she’s been sucking at since all her problems started. Today, though, she kills it, and is starting to think she just might be able to deal with everything. She goes to Morley’s office, but earlier than he asks, because track was let out early. He’s not there, but his coffee is sitting temptingly on his desk. She didn’t bring the poison with her today. But then she sees Morley’s notebook on the desk, and reads it. It documents everything that has been done to Mary, how he enjoyed manipulating her life. Mary figures that Morley has to pay.

She runs home and back as quickly as possible. Morley still isn’t there. She empties the contents of the vial into his coffee, then goes to the girl’s restroom to be sick. Then goes back to face Morley.
He is in the classroom this time. Mary hesitates at the door, praying that he’ll drink the coffee. He does, downing the whole thing, then tells Mary that he’s going to brew some more coffee while she thinks about what she owes him. Then he gets all sweaty and woozy, and collapses to the floor.
Mary takes his notebook and stashes it in her bag, then waits for Rob to arrive. He comes in, all smiles. He’s all like – wasn’t this wild? Morley told you everything, hey? Mary grimly smiles and tells him she knows everything. Rob comes over and finishes off the rest of Morley’s coffee, which is, ew.

Rob explains that is was all a psychological experiment, to see how a student would respond under extreme pressure – whether they could get someone to kill someone else. It was all a part of Morley’s research, and everyone was in on it except Mary.

So, there are so many what the fuck things wrong with this. Morley is a social studies teacher at a shitty high school, not working in a phD department. What the fuck kind of research is this. There is no end to the unethical and illegal behaviours that Morley and Rob engaged in with this “research.” I mean, Rob is over 18, and fucking around with the subject. He should be in jail, or something.
Apparently, Mary agreed with me. Rob starts to sway on his feet, and he’s like – wait, I didn’t give you poison. It was water. Wtf? And Mary tells him she wasn’t going to kill them, until she came to the class early and read about the experiment in Morley’s notebook. And decided that both of them should die. So she ran home to grab some poison her mother keeps in the house. (Wtf, why does her mother have poison in the house?) She shows Rob Morley’s body, and tells him goodbye as he collapses.

Stacy comes in to the classroom, as her and Mary are going shopping, and screams when she sees the two bodies. Mary’s all smiles when she tells her that she just spiked their coffee with hard-core sleeping pills her mom uses. They’ll wake up in a little bit, but they’ll know not to fuck with her again.

Is that what we would call “street justice?” Not that I don’t think the boys deserved a little death scare, but I still think they should be in jail. Kudos to Mary for growing a pair, and not letting people fuck her around any more. She should also go over to skeezy ex Gary while she’s at him and kick him in the balls, just while she’s on this roll. No kudos to R. L. for giving me one of these “comedic” Fear Streets where not only did no one die, but no one was even crazy, stalked, or thought they were a ghost. Better try next time. 14 crazy-ass-strong sleeping pills out of 25.