Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In Too Deep or "Sweet Homosexual Zombie Child Kisses!"

Ahhh, nothing like a good ol’ Summer Camp book. Not usually R.L.’s style, but I like to think that he really added something to the Summer Camp genre. Namely…pedophilia. But we’ll get to that.

Since the first Seniors book was about the end of their Junior year of school, I assume this book takes place in July? Or August. It doesn’t say, and L.K. has the third book so I can’t read ahead to check! Anyhoo, Kenny Klein is main character and he is working at Shadyside Day Camp! (Not even overnight camp? How can you get into shenanigans during the day?) His girlfriend and love of his life, Jade, has gone to California for a month to take an SAT review course. That’s hardcore.

A lot of events happen in the first chapter. Jade leave, Kenny starts his first day of camp. Kenny’s boss reminds him about how he has a “disturbed” child in his group, which he should know about since he read the child profiles … right? Kenny nods along enthusiastically while remembering how he totally did NOT read them. He just figures that he’ll know who’s disturbed and act accordingly. Also, Kenny makes an enemy! Another one of the counselors, Tyler, challenges Kenny to a game of tetherball. Kenny gets really into it and accidentally gives Tyler a nosebleed. Tyler immediately vows revenge and life-long anger. Hmm. No over reaction there… He also meets the girl of his dreams. Wait. Didn’t Jade leave like an HOUR ago? Kenny chats up this new girl, Melly, by the lake. She’s another counselor and she totally hits on him. Kenny is suddenly excited about summer. But he really needs to focus because Melly distracts him while he’s helping Tyler… and he accidentally crushes Tylers hand! Whoops! Wayyy to make friends.

Kenny meets his cute kids – a bunch of 9 year olds. He has all the stereotypical children: Simon is the pushover, Graydon is the bully (I think its because he’s described as a chubby Ginger) etc. The last kid is a little different however. Vincent, is a small shy boy. Who wears a balaclava at all times. Guess we know who the disturbed child is!

After a non-eventful day with the kiddos, Kenny is out on the town with his friends, including Dana and Debra who both work at the camp with him. They decide to … head back to the camp to go swimming! Really? On their time off? Kenny is stoked though, because Melly is there, swimming by herself. That’s…also weird. Kenny wastes no time and sneaks off with her to make out. Jade left this morning, dude! Melly dares him to jump off the cliff with her. Kenny thinks this is the coolest thing ever, and they jump off together. Only, Kenny can’t find her when he surfaces. His friends rush over, and tell him that no one else jumped off the cliff with him. Kenny leaves with them, and stays up late into the night, wondering if Melly drowned after jumping off the cliff. WTF? He thought she may have drowned but he left her anyways??

Kenny looks for Melly as soon as he gets to work the next morning. She’s late for her shift at the art and crafts cabin, but while he goes to look for her, Vincent has an attention-spaz, and dumps red paint everywhere, pretending to be bleeding.

Kenny finds Melly and she’s okay. She says she was just embarrassed that Kenny jumped and when his friends came, she just left. Okay. That’s a weird thing to do. They make plans to meet up at the end of the day, but Dana catches on to Kenny’s plan. She threatens to tell Jade about Melly if Kenny won’t. Kenny thinks to himself “I should tell Melly about Jade. But what if she doesn’t want to see me after that?” Hmm. Good point.

Melly and Kenny go for a romantic walk on the camp grounds (again?) and end up exploring a cave. While they’re doing a little big of making out (maybe some light boob groping?) Graydon (the Ginger bully) comes in and catches them. He missed the bus so Kenny and Melly reschedule their illicit make out session. Kenny runs into Tyler on his way out and Tyler warns him about Melly. Which is weird, because earlier that day, Melly warned Kenny about Tyler. Hmmm. Seems like there is some old animosity between these two? Old lovers perhaps?

The next night is the first of a few overnighters at camp. In good ol’ camp fashion, Kenny tells his campers a scary story, then goes to make out with Melly. (I ALWAYS pretended camp counselors/drama theater teacher/anyone older than me, had the secret and passionate love affairs when I was kid) When Kenny gets back to the campfire though, he discovers a (poisonous, of course) snake! He manages to wrangle it into an empty cage in the art room, with plans to release it the next day. Who the hell knows how the wrangle poisonous snakes?

Our disturbed friend Vincent decides to up his “creep” factor by pulling out some Tarot cards and offering to read them. When Kenny’s turn comes around, he predictably pulls three black skulls – meaning “instant death”. I’ll admit, I would hold my breath for a minute or two after getting those cards. Kenny does not in fact die immediately…but does something that will bring about trouble.

He takes Melly into the wood after the kids go to sleep and dumps her! Well he starts off by telling her that he has a girlfriend, and when Melly is all “So what?” (Ice cooold!) he breaks it off. She doesn’t believe him however. She says she’ll change his mind, which is…pretty ballsy! When Kenny climbs into bed after that weird encounter, he gets another uncomfortable surprise. The poisonous snake is in his bed! After going to put it back in the art and craft cage, he finds the three skull cards are on his pillow. Ohhh Vincent. When did you learn how to wrangle snakes?! Is this something they teach in summer camp?

Kenny’s morning doesn’t go much better. He tells Vincent that his “prank” was dangerous and gets the “I know. You could be dead” response from him. CREEPY. Later, when he’s relaxing down at the beach, Melly comes by to act crazy. Kenny is serious in his dumping and refuses to be charmed by her feminine wiles. Which prompts Melly to start STRATCHING her face and screaming that she’ll die if he doesn’t care for her. OKAYYYY.

For some reason, Kenny feels bad later in the day for being responsible for Melly’s lil freak out. Fair enough. So he decides to go and see her at her house. Ummm. No. Do not lead this crazy girl on anymore! I think this is the best part of the book: when Kenny knocks on the door and asks for Melly, he gets the “How could you ask for that? Melly’s been dead for 10 years!”

How many Fear Street books did that happen in!? Right off the bat, I remember this happened in Blind Date and The Dead Lifeguard. I want to know how many times this happens in real life.

Kenny tries to not stress about it too much. He gets bigger things on his plate the next morning too, when he gets SHOT THROUGH THE SHOULDER WITH AN ARROW. Omygoodness! Melly or Vincent? He’s totally fine though, and I actually forgot about this incident until I re-read it just now. That seems like it should be a bigger deal though. He doesn’t even go to the hospital.

The next night is another camp sleepover, and while Vincent acts creepy again – pulling three more skulls for Kenny, nothing major happens. The next day however… boy is this a doozy!

All the campers are going for a river canoe ride. Kenny quickly jump into a canoe with two faceless campers so he doesn’t have to spend the day with Vincent the creepy or Graydon the bully. This plan doesn’t work out as perfectly as he hopes however, since his canoe is soon tipped over by a renegade speedboat. Driven by none other than: VINCENT in his creepy balaclava! Vincent barrels down over Kenny a few times in a vain effort to kill him. Since he’s not a good driver, the boat slows down, giving Kenny time to climb aboard (a moving speedboat? Really?) Vincent doesn’t notice, and Kenny takes control of the boat AND rips off Vincents balaclava. Except: it wasn’t Vincent at all! It was Graydon!

Graydon confesses that he was jealous of all the attention Vincent got from Kenny (although Kenny was actively avoiding him) so he decided to kill Kenny. That’s a leap. Once Kenny gets Graydon to shore, the head camp counselor is all “Well, I guess that’s why he’s disturbed!” Say wha!? Apparently Graydon was the kid Kenny was supposed to look out for, not Vincent. Kenny just assumed Vincent was disturbed because he wore a mask, but really, he’s just a sad boy that was horrifically injured in an accident. Nice going, Kenny.

O but the fun isn’t over yet! Kenny heads back down to the beach to go catch up with the rest of the group. (I don’t know what happened to the other kids in Kenny’s boat. I assumed they died) While he’s drying off, Kenny sees a body floating face down in the river. It’s Melly! He takes one of the camps other speedboats and pulls her out of the river. How does she repay him? By wrapping her cold lifeless fingers around his neck!

Yes, Melly is ALSO trying to kill Kenny. Apparently she died the summer when Kenny and her were both campers (aged 9) at Shadyside Camp. She had a desperate crush on him. But it wasn’t Kenny’s fault that she died, it was some counselors that made her go canoeing when she didn’t to. Melly is super mad that Kenny both didn’t recognize her AND rejected her. To be fair to non-crazy Kenny, she admits she stole this body from a cemetery, so it might not look anything like her! She throws him over board and attempts to drown him. Thankfully, grumpy Tyler (the one with the broken hand) comes and rescues Kenny. But tell him: there was no one else in the water with him! Well DUH, she’s a ghost/zombie (!).

STILL NOT DONE. Ty leaves Kenny on the shore to dry off while he runs to get help. His drying off gets disturbed by nonother than: VINCENT! Third person who wants to kill Kenny! Vincent attempts to drag Kenny into the water and during the ensuing fight, Kenny rips off his balaclava. Apparently, Vincent was a disgusting rotting corpse the whole time! AND it’s actually the spirit of Melly INSIDE this little boy’s corpse. W.T.F.

Yes, Melly/Vincent the child-corpse attempt to seduce Kenny and even go so far as to KISS him. Dear lord, what has happened to the world? Even though R.L. describes the zombie as “Melly”, she never switched bodies. The body that kissed Kenny is still that of a little boy’s. REALLY, R.L.? Kenny finally puts an end to this mess by throwing the small childs body into the running motor of the speed boat, raining shreds of decaying flesh all over the riverbank. FAN-tastic.

Really, the climax of this book had to be the homo-erotic, child kiss. Like, shit is getting WEIRD in these Seniors books. I love it! One complaint though: again, no one died! How could THREE (well 2.5) separate characters want to kill Kenny and no one follow though? Disappointment! I give this Senior’s book: 45 moldy balaclavas out of 56. Not too shabby!


Chad Walters said...

Although it does sound like an interesting book, I was distracted by the fact that there's not really a "black skull" tarot card.

But then again, research was never really Stine's strong suit.

Anonymous said...

This book seems inconsistent. Most of the time Vincent is an injured little boy but at the end he's a zombie, sometimes other people can see Melly and other times they can't... it's kind of a mess. It should just stick to one line!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, that doesn't make the plot any better.

Lorelai said...

They DIDN'T kill Kenny? Bastards! (I'm sorry. I tried to help myself, but turns out, I couldn't.)

I'm looking forward to your next post, because I never had books 3 or 4.

Unknown said...

I just found this blog and I love you two for this. I read them ALL yesterday at work.
My brain is full.

L. K. Stine said...

K8, that's intense. I applaud your commitment! Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

I find it slightly astonishing that this blog is not only read, but written, while at work.

Broken1again said...

So pretty much Kenny was messing around with a 9 year old the whole time...hmmm...and from reading so many of these..i knew she was a ghost from the moment she said she drown and then changed it to town...

RecallerReminder said...

I dunno what makes me sick more, if this plot of the fact there actually could be this kind of camps just to their parents drop their kids at day...
And yeah, how can anybody die in this book? What a slow start...

Anonymous said...

The Melly being dead for 10 years part reminds me of The New Girl