Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Trick or Treat

The Book Oracle

Happy Halloween, Fear Street lovers.

On this most hallowed of horror nights, I'm going to offer you a trick ... or a treat. It's up to you to decide which.

I have begun a new book blog, The Book Oracle. Unfortunately it doesn't have nearly enough to do with Fear Street. I review books of all genres, and give out recommendations. Although there is no specific theme, in deference to seasonality all my most recent reads have been of the horror or paranormal classification. Read it to see why I think The Diviners is the most perfect Halloween book. And find out what book I found so disturbing I wish with all my soul I had never read it.

Most importantly, sign up for the monthly newsletter, for updates and future giveaways.

Thank you for reading, always. Sweet nightmares, dear readers ...

Monday, July 16, 2018

Give me a K-I-L-L or “The Violin Death of the Decade"

I just wanted to say that it’s a trip that AM and I are still writing this blog, since we starting snarking on Fear Street nearly 10 years ago! (cue spit-take). I’m sure you Shadyside Snark fans can appreciate that we’re at different places in our lives, both physically and figuratively, but it’s awesome that I still get to sit down every once awhile and rip apart some fantastically cheesy teen horror books. As long as RL is prepared to pump out the rebooted Fear Street series, the Shadyside sisters will (eventually … after a very long time) blog about them. I should point out it takes less time for RL to write the books than for AM and I to blog about them.  I’m not sure who comes out looking worse in this scenario.

To the book. I didn’t hate it. Actually, it is definitely my favourite book of the Relaunch series so far. Obviously it has to do with cheerleaders, my favourite horror trope. To those new to our blog, AM insisted on taking all books that had to do with zombies, and I insisted on the Cheerleaders saga. Clearly we all have our triggers as to what we find the creepiest. For AM it’s zombies, for me it’s cheerleaders. Haha, guess who was less popular in high school?

Part One: We start with Gretchen Page, our heroine du jour. Btw, Gretchen? Such a great name. It’s becoming so much more popular now and is totally NOT what you would expect from a cheerleader (from the 80s-90s that is, because they were, like, all named Jennifer and Ashley). One of the characters even comments on this, all, I didn’t expect someone named Gretchen to look like you.

As for how she looks, Gretchen is cute and blonde and pretty stereotypically cheerleader, and she considers her overt cuteness to be tragic. She is on the phone with one of her friends from back home, Polly, and my Spidey-senses were immediately up because her friends wasn’t responding back in the dialogue, it was just Gretchen talking into the phone. Gretchen talking to someone who is dead/doesn’t exist? This is a very common Fear Street plotline. Except, then Polly did respond. So I was a bit spun. Also, Polly is described as looking about 12 with a deep sexy purr of a voice, which also spun me. Who describes their friends like that? Well, at 16 anyway. So, we’re going with Polly IS alive. But then Gretchen hides the fact that she’s talking to Polly from her mom, so maybe Polly is dead? I don’t know but I will expend all my energy while reading this book to try to guess before the end.  So actual suspense was created, well done RL.

Things to know about Gretchen: she’s new to Shadyside, desperate to make it on the cheerleading squad and a complete bitch to her recently-divorced mom. She goes to an appointment with the cheerleading coach at the school. While there, she meets Sid, the cheerleading equipment manager, who hits on her. Then right after she meets his girlfriend, Stacy, the cheerleading captain. Then she goes into the meeting with Coach Walker, only to discover she had just given the last spot of the cheerleading squad to another girl, Devra Dalby!

Redheaded Devra Dalby is clearly going to be the mean girl in this book. Fear Street aficianados will recognize the Dalby name – from Dalby department stores, and Reva Dalby, OG mean rich girl from the Silent Night Super Chillers. I was SOOOO hoping that Reva would make an appearance as Devra’s mom or something. But no such luck. All Devra talked about was how “Daddy” owned the biggest department store in town and that made her the shit. So, Devra IS Reva, with a very minor name change. (AM: Did Reva end up dying? Is Devra her rich father’s later-in-life replacement?)

Devra has the last spot on the squad, but the coach watches Gretchen’s highlight reel from her old school and sees that she’s great, so decides to pit the girls against each other. I know literally nothing about cheerleading besides you will probably be murdered, but couldn’t they just … add another spot on the squad?  Anyway, Gretchen is pumped she gets to try out because she’s sure she’ll win. Then she gets into a minor car accident – her tire blows out which OF COURSE sounds like a gunshot – and her reaction is major, and she talks herself down from the horrible nightmares that threatened to come. Some intriguing back story? Involving mysterious sexy-voiced Polly?

Then we go to Devra’s point of view where she is pouting to her Daddy that she would have to try out for the cheerleading spot. The whole point of the scene is that Daddy Dalby will make a call to the school to ensure her spot on the team, but I spent the entire time trying to find evidence of Reva.

Gretchen meets the girl next door, Madison, who is a fantastic violin player and they click, becoming fast friends. Gretchen runs into Sid, the cheerleader equipment manager/obvious adultering boyfriend at the mall. He looks at her intensely then they start making, which is a little quick but hey, teen hormones I guess. And Gretchen catches a glimpse of Devra glaring at them. Ooh, the drama!

Devra surprises Gretchen by joining her at a booth at the local diner and showing her the terrible acid burns she has on her hands. I immediately thought they were bonding over acid, but in fact Devra was just there to request that Gretchen back off for the year. Since Devra was a senior, Gretchen could be the alternate and would have an automatic spot next year. Gretchen declines the offer and makes a lifelong enemy.

The day of the tryouts, Gretchen is pumped and intense. Devra tries out first and Gretchen mentally tears her apart, saying she’s not terrible but certainly not up to her calibre. Then Devra goes in and nails her much more complicated routine. She then gets violently disgustingly ill, and the squad realizes her water bottle had been poisoned. Sid comes over to comfort her, and shortly after that she receives some threatening text messages – SOMETIMES CHEERLEADERS DIE and GIVE ME A K-I-L-L. The messages are from Devra, which is pretty ballsy, I have to say. Everyone else thinks so too when Gretchen shows the to the cheerleading coach. Devra immediately claims her phone was stolen and accuses Gretchen of sending them herself. Also super ballsy.

Fear tactics aside, Devra wins. The principal, Hernandez, calls the coach and the captain in to tell them that Devra’s dad called in a favour and insisted that Devra be on the team or else he would pull funding from the school. Money always wins and the cheerleading squad doesn’t have a choice. Gretchen was eavesdropping and heard the whole thing. She goes to drown her sorrows with Madison at the Cheesecake Factory, where Gretchen starts to murmur stuff about a knife. Weird.

She gets a text message from the cheerleading captain to meet at the gym for a night practice. Except it was an evil set up and someone just attacked her in the dark. Someone who smelled like Devra’s perfume. Also, her new uniform comes in covered in cockroaches, ordered from Dalby’s Department stores. Gretchen’s starting to get frustrated with the abuse since Devra already won.

And then we get to the fire batons. Do you think if you lived in Shadyside you would ever touch a fire baton? Or, like, set a fire ever? Fire means automatic horrific death or at least horrific maiming. If you gave me a pack of matches I would immediately hurl them from my body and cut you out of my life completely. And yet, Gretchen as the unlucky alternate will stand there and light kerosene-soaked fire batons for all the cheerleaders. NOTHING COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG! And yet, at the next game, when Stacy takes the baton meant for Devra, she is almost immediately doused in flames. Yup, saw that coming.

Part Two: Stacy survived but her arms are covered in burns and her nerves are badly damaged (horrific maiming). Gretchen is now being questioned as to whether she sabotaged the baton, and is up in arms that Devra is acting like a victim in all of this. Gretchen is now on the squad for reals and that gives her a motive to have committed the sabotage. But the squad continues on with their cheers and want to use Gretchen’s superior skills to show off, which involves a double somersault something where Devra has to catch her. Gretchen assumes Devra will try to kill  her but it all goes well.

Meanwhile, Gretchen’s violin-playing friend Madison desperately wants to tell her something, but Gretchen never gets a chance to hear what it is. When Madison performs Mozart with a string quartet in front of the school, she starts screaming horribly and her neck explodes with blood. Turns out her violin had been dipped in hideous acid that ate away her neck and burned through her aorta. Madison does not survive. Holy crap, that is an explosive murder, RL! I am impressed and thoroughly terrified. I will also avoid all stringed instruments from here on out.

Sid (cheating boyfriend) and Gretchen get closer, and she learns his out of work dad is kind of abusive and also that he is poor (therefore will die and/or be the murderer). He helps her clean out her garage, and there he finds a jar of sulphuric acid, like the kind that killed Madison. But Gretchen knows that Devra has some kind of acid, so she makes a plan with Sid to break into her house and find it as some kind of proof that Devra is responsible for the murder. They manage to find the workshop where Devra had been working but she only got burned by Muriatic Acid, which was not the right kind. Hmm, still not sure who the murderer is.

And now there is the inevitable Cheerleading camping weekend in Fear Woods. DO PEOPLE NEVER LEARN! After Gretchen leaves for the trip, her Mom goes in to clean her room and discovers Gretchen left her phone behind. While not normally the snoopy type, her Mom goes through her phone and discovers something TERRIBLE! She immediately goes to Principal Hernandez to get him to stop the bus but it has already left. She tells him she discovered Gretchen has been making almost daily calls to Polly Brown … the girl Gretchen killed two years ago! I knew it! Polly was totally dead! And yet, sometimes she would answer Gretchen, which kept me guessing. Well played, RL.

Part Three: Gretchen’s Mom explains that Gretchen had been driving the car that was in an accident that killed her best friend Polly. Since then her grasp on reality has been tenuous. When she starts to call Polly, it means she’s slipping. And at her old school, she had picked out a girl on her squad and started to make it look as though that girl was harassing her, as if she was a victim. Also that she carried a hunting knife. Mom and principal quickly agree they have to get to the cheerleaders right away.

Meanwhile at the cheerleading camp, Sid and Devra are screaming at each other. Gretchen gets spinny and confused and goes to get her knife to put an end to things.

Mom and principal arrive at the camp in time to see Gretchen running into the mess hall with a knife.

Gretchen runs into the kitchen, brandishing the knife. She confronts Sid, who is holding Devra against him with a knife held to her throat. Gretchen warns Sid to let Devra go, while he screeches that it was Devra who was supposed to burn, not Stacy. Gretchen tries to keep him talking, so inevitably he exposits that he really loved Devra and thought they had a connection, but then she had his father fired at the shoe department of Dalby’s. Now Sid’s family is ruined and he snapped. Everything he had done to torture Gretchen was to make everyone hate Devra and ruin her too. And he killed Madison because she had a video on her phone of Sid clearly wiping kerosene on the offending fire baton.

Sid goes to slit Devra’s throat, but Gretchen tosses her knife away and dives across the floor, barreling into Sid. She elbows him in the stomach and uppercuts his chin. Kinda badass. Sid goes down and Devra is able to get away with only a cut only her neck, not deep. Gretchen and her Mom hug, then Gretchen goes to apologize to Devra for being a jerk to her. They make up because Gretchen did after all save her life.

After that, life gets better for Gretchen. Her therapist is on call to see how she is after the incident, to see if there’s any trauma, but Gretchen feels great. She’s feeling great. And then she gets a text from Polly …

Totally fun Fear Street book! It has some of the well-known story lines – like talking to dead people on the phone (or facetime or text), and poverty creating murderers. Also unbelievably creative murders. So, hope you liked this one too. Tell me why you thought it was cheesy. Six exploding aortas out of seven.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Dead Boyfriend or "Just Don't Date Guys Named Blade"

Basically the entire time I was reading this book, I had Garbage’s iconic song “Bad Boyfriend” running through my head, except I had replaced the word “bad” with “dead”. I didn’t realize until later that Garbage probably didn’t write a song about a dead boyfriend, no matter how grunge they were. Bad boyfriend works in this instance too though.  Now enjoy that songworm in your ear for the rest of this recap :)

Anyways, The Dead Boyfriend was kind of a trip. A lot of times, I thought we were going to be faked out with a classic Stine dead-body-falls-out-of-a-closet and then it’s revealed it was a mop. True story: happened in our FIRST recap ever “The New Boy.  But most of the time, crazy stuff was actually happening! I always appreciate that. And then the end happened. You’ll just have to wait and see that insanity.

Our main character is Caitlyn and almost the whole book is a diary entry. She calls her diary her friend, which is a huge red-flag in my books.  Like all of the relaunch Fear Street Series books, she kinda discusses her family, and then they never have anything to do with the plot. She has an older sister named Jen! She is never mentioned again!

Anyways, Caitlyn emotes to her diary that she just hasn’t been happy since her boyfriend, Blade died. You guys. That name. OMG that name slays me every time I think about it! It’s like when Fear Street hunk Bobby Newkirk had a band named “The Cool Guys” and then he changed it to “Bad to the Bone”.  RL Stine is 74 but internally has been 104 since the 1980s. I love it.

Caitlyn takes us back to the first time she met Blade, at Lefty’s diner. She was hanging out with her friends Julie (her descriptor is funny and mean) and Miranda who *could* be attractive but has glasses.  Caitlyn runs into Deena Fear as well  and they have a very weird interaction. It’s the first time they ever meet and Deena seems vaguely...threatening? Must be the Fear in her. Caitlyn then sees a guy staring at her. Props to Caitlyn though, she puts an end to this mystery very quickly by going over and seeing what this creep wants. Except he’s not creepy, he’s dreamy. And named Blade, which also seems to be his given name, not a nickname. He says his parents wanted him to be “sharp”. No. Don’t do this, parents.  They get to talking and hit it off, so Blade asks if she wants to hang out and they leave together.

They are very teenage-y and just wander around talking until they come upon a house party and decide to crash it. They don’t know anyone and are trying to slip some beer (classic teens) but then Caitlyn sees Deena. And she is super pissed that Caitlyn is at the party with Blade! Deena hisses that she “saw him first” - a dibs! That’s more pre-teen behaviour I feel. Also, meaningless to Caitlyn since she met Deena that night and isn’t friends with her. Dibs don’t count if you aren’t friends, obvs. Deena makes this interaction even weirder by blowing on the silver bracelet that Caitlyn wears.

The host of the party catches on that Blade and Caitlyn aren’t real guests. Before they get kicked out, Caitlyn suggests they make out in front of everyone as a “joke”. It’s as weird as you are imagining. Once they are done “jokingly making out” (remember teen hormones?) they run out of the party laughing.  They don’t get too far though, before Caitlyn’s wrist starts hurting. She looks down and realizes that her bracelet is burning hot - and melted to her skin! WTF. This was one of those times that I thought we were in for a fake out, but the next chapter starts, and no, the bracelet actually melted and fused together - although I was unclear whether it was melted to her skin or just melted together...

A few days later, Caitlyn is working at her job at the movie theater, slinging popcorn, when Deena comes in. Deena wants to be friends because she’s worried something bad will happen to Caitlyn. Ummm… aren’t you the reason her bracelet is now fused to her body?  Deena also wants to talk about Blade, but Caitlyn isn’t really interested. Deena gets all creepy looking and then the machines in the concession go hay-wire shooting out popcorn and pop all over the place. Caitlyn wonders if this is a warning from Deena. Ya think?

Next is a really weird chapter where Caitlin is grabbed by a man in a parking garage and mugged, which I really thought would be an RL fakeout, but wasn’t! She was really mugged and broke his nose to escape! And then went and bought a knife for protection, which seems like a weird thing to do, and also, no one ever mentions this mugging again. I can tell you, if I ever got mugged and fought my way free, I would literally not stop telling people about how amazing I am.

What her friends do talk to her about though, is that she’s rushing into things with Blade. I guess they’ve been spending a lot of time together and things are moving quickly. Caitlyn throws out the classic teen line “yall are just jealous” and for some reason her friends don’t abandon her like I would have.

Right on cue, Blade starts acting shady. He cancels a date unexpectedly and when Caitlyn goes to hang out with Miranda instead, she spots his car on her drive over. She obviously decides to follow his car. She watches as Blade goes to the FIRE DANCE CLUB (another amazing name by RL) and sees he’s brought another girl! She watches them kiss outside the club and goes to confront him. She’s interrupted by Deena who’s all “Blade betrayed us!”.  Caitlyn actually pushes her out of her way - amazing.

Inside FIRE DANCE CLUB, Caitlyn confronts Blade.  He tells his date, Vanessa that Caitlyn is “nobody, a friend from school” and denies ever saying “I love you” to Caitlyn. Harsh. Caitlyn leaves and almost crashes her car. Then like a completely sane person, she goes to Blade’s house and waits for him to come home.

When he does, they get into an argument with Blade saying they were just “having fun”. You know what? Don’t say that to very angry girls - because they will lose their minds. Like Caitlyn does! First she attacks him with her big purse, and then threatens him with that giant knife she bought after her mugging. And then she slices his palm and stabs him in the stomach. WHAT!?

I really thought that would be a rage-blackout-fake out, but nope, Blade is dead. Caitlyn drives home and immediately thinks she’s caught because the police come to her door right away. But they were just coming to let her know she left her house door open. The first true fake out of the book. Weird!

Blade’s funeral is sometime soon, and Caitlyn attends with Julie and Miranda.  It seems like a dream since there are only 19 people in attendance? A high-school boy, MURDERED in his driveway? Yeah, right. That would be huge news in any town! I guess Shadyside has its fair share of murders, but I feel like the funerals described in other books had a lot more guests…

Anywhoo, the funeral gets a whole lot effing weirder when Blade suddenly blinks and sits up in his coffin. Everyone shrieks and rushes to Blade, calling for a doctor (at this 19 person funeral? Not likely.) Caitlyn looks around and sees Deena Fear is at the back of the room, and appears to be controlling Blade’s body with a spooky amulet. We know which one! She suddenly passes out, and Blade’s body also slumps over, apparently dead again. After a doctor has appeared and declared Blade dead again (doctor, or funeral home director?) the funeral continues. Over the protest of Blade’s parents, who obviously want to ensure that Blade is actually dead. Certainly the most awkward ending to any funeral that I could imagine.

Deena texts Caitlyn later that night and wants her help. Apparently Blade hasn’t been buried yet and Deena is keen on bringing him back to life - with the help of Caitlyn! Caitlyn isn’t that jazzed on the plan - mostly because she murdered him and doesn’t want to get caught. She ends up going to Deena’s place anyways. She tells Deena she’s crazy for thinking it’s possible to bring someone back from the dead.  So Deena shows off her necromancy skillz by killing her parrot in front of Caitlyn and then bringing him back to life. Poor bird! That has to be traumatizing.

We get to the real deal of why Deena wants Blade brought back to life. Deena thinks it’s her turn to be with Blade. Like… what? It’s very unclear whether Deena and Blade had ever even met before so what’s with this obsession? The guys name is BLADE for gods sake, he cannot be worth all this killing/reanimation. Caitlyn is equally weirded out by Deena and tries to run out of the house, but somehow gets lost. Is Caitlyn...a moron?

She ends up in a room with two middle-aged people, who she assumes are Deena’s parents. She’s half right since they are Deena’s parents, only… they aren’t alive. They’ve been taxidermied! Deena comes in and calmly explains that she murdered and stuffed her parents.  She also tells Caitlyn that she made Caitlyn kill Blade through mind control, and demonstrates her other talents by forcing Caitlyn to do cartwheels. For some reason, this convinces Caitlyn to go with Deena to reanimate Blade. Whatever.

They sneak into the funeral home only to discover his body is gone! Dun dun dunnnnn!

Caitlyn is picked up by the cops to answer some questions about Blade’s death. They know about the FIRE DANCE CLUB and the fight that Blade and Caitlyn had. Probably because it was directly in front of that other girl, who would have obviously told the police. They let Caitlyn go and seem to believe her story that she went right home.

Caitlyn meets up with Julie and Miranda to watch the basketball game at school. There are a bunch of fakeouts in this chapter: the cops arrive looking for her! No, they are just there to watch the game (in uniform?) and were pointing to open seats near Caitlyn. She sees Blade at the game and goes to chase him! Just kidding, he wasn’t there, and now Julie and Miranda kinda think she’s nuts.

But twist! Turns out Blade really was there, and now he’s waiting for Caitlyn at her car. She blurts out “You’re dead!” and he just shrugs. Ha! Such a teen. He also gives her an angry cold kiss which Caitlyn is horrified by. Why? Didn’t you love him so much you rage murdered him in jealousy? "He pressed his lips against mine in a hard kiss. An angry kiss. He held me there, held my face against his, pressed his lips, so hard and cold, against mine, grinding them against my lips until my mouth ached [...] And then I uttered a horrified gasp - His lips were still sewn together." Best kiss scene ever?

Caitlyn escapes from his gross make out and slams his hand in her car door. She drives home in such an adrenaline rush she doesn't notice that...his hand came off when she slammed the door! And she drove home with it in her lap. She thinks to herself “He’ll want his hand and he’ll want revenge!” which is pretty hilarious and probably true. Caitlyn throws the hand in her front yard, because that is a great way to get rid of evidence.

Blade does come up, and casually picks up his hand. He sees Caitlyn staring out the window and shows her a knife - then uses it to slice open his lips! (sidebar - I don’t think funeral homes SEW PEOPLE’S LIPS SHUT, but correct me if I am wrong) He yells out he’ll never leave her now, which is creepy whenever anyone says it.

Caitlyn tries to find Deena at school but can’t and then there is this whole undramatic scene when she find out Deena isn’t registered there! So she goes to Deena’s house who is like “yeah, I’m homeschooled” - cool subplot? I guess her parents taught her until she killed them? Anyways, while she’s there, Caitlyn notices that Deena somehow has Blade’s hand, and she is trying to necromancy that thing hard.  She says she’s going to use it to bring Blade to her house so “[she] can have a turn”. BLECH. The spell doesn’t work and Deena tells Caitlyn she’s on her own, now that Blade is kind of alive and also looking to murder her.

Caitlyn, who can’t seem to do anything on her own except murder, immediately calls Julie and tells her the whole story about Blade and how he’s now back from the dead. Julie tells her to stay calm and meet her house in 30 minutes. Of course when Caitlyn gets there, both her parents are there. Julie obviously didn’t believe Caitlyn and they have a little intervention about how worried they are for her.

Caitlyn quickly peaces out and runs away from the world’s weirdest intervention. Pretty soon she sees Blade walking with his back to her. She recognizes his sweatshirt. She comes up to him and stabs him in the back in a blind rage! I think you know where this is going… it’s not Blade. It’s some different teen boy that she’s just killed. WTF Caitlyn, get your life together!

She’s unsurprisingly upset that she’s killed the wrong person (or surprisingly? Caitlyn is kind of terrible), and yells about how Deena must be controlling her.  Real Blade picks this moment to come out of the shadows and say that it's time for them to go to the grave forever! I remember thinking at this point: Yeah, she’s murdered two innocent boys in cold blood. Thats a hard rap to beat. I think I’d just shrug my shoulders and go with Blade. So much easier. (I was very tired reading this, fyi)  

Caitlyn does not choose the easy way out, and instead starts to fight Blade and tries to kill him again.  That is until Deena comes up and Blade is slighted distracted, and Caitlyn obviously takes this opportunity to stab Blade, again. He just kinda slumps over - it was oddly anticlimatic. So was Deena actually controlling him?  Deena takes his body away to “bury”, alright, whatever.

Caitlyn comes home and manages to convince her parents she’s not nuts, she just told Julie a bad joke. She is really on edge and everything is freaking her out: woodpecker tapping on her window, can’t concentrate at school. She decides that she needs to go to the funeral home and confirm that Blade is really and truly dead. Only when she gets there… Blade’s body has been stolen! Dun dun dunnnnn!

Okay here is where the book goes from mildly weird to epically/amazingly confusing. Caitlyn goes home and finds her parents with her diary. They also call her Cathy Ann, which for a few seconds I thought was a really weird typo. It turns out… the diary was a novel! Cathy Ann wrote in her diary all this crazy stuff as a novel and she hopes to become a published author. With that above story. Girl, you need to write 100+ books over decades before someone will publish a story as batshit as that. R.L. put in his time!

Apparently Blade is a real boy who died drowning the previous year, and Deena Fear is made up. Everyone else in the story was real, but none of it ever happened. Caitlyn/Cathy Ann’s parents are concerned for a bit - it’s a really weird story and violent and why did she have to use a boy who really died as inspiration? But they get over it quickly, decide their daughter is a genius and send the diary away to be published!

A year later, Cathy Ann is at a book signing for her mega-popular book. She’s all happy and excited to be in Shadyside on her book tour until… BLADE shows up!

That’s it. That’s where the book ends. W.T.F.

So many questions remain, most pressingly: Did the stuff in the “diary” happen? Or did it not?! Cathy Ann’s parents said Blade the Real Boy, drowned so did Cathy Ann do that somehow? Is Deena Fear a real person or not? Who brought Blade back to life? Did Cathy Ann really stab a second boy and noone noticed? WHAT IS HAPPENING?

I was so annoyed by this ending. I typically love a twist ending in R.L.s books but this one was just too big of a leap. Four stabbed boys named BLADE out of eleven.