Saturday, November 21, 2009

Point Horror: Hit and Run (R.L. Stine)



Cassie is your typical 16 year old girl who has three best friends, all of them guys. Scott is her secret crush, but she’s too afraid to say anything or anything about it. There’s Wink who’s pretty much an asshole and Eddie who everyone picks on. Winks gets a human eyeball from Eddie’s cousin Jerry, who works in a morgue and apparently also thinks it’s funny to pick on him. Eddie gets all freaked out and runs off.

A few days later the gang decides to take Scott’s dad’s car for a long drive. None of them have a license, but they figure it’s good practice. Wink screams about seeing something in the road when it’s Eddie’s turn behind the wheel, but there’s nothing actually there and they all get a big laugh out of it.

After a few more days, they all go back out for another drive. This time they hit someone. The whole gang runs out to see what happened and find the man laying in the road. Eddie digs out his wallet and learn that his name was Brett Tinker. After a long fight, they decide to leave the body there and get the hell out because hey, that’s what teenagers do I guess.

Cassie starts worrying about what they did and keeps reading the newspaper, but the accident is never reported. She talks to Scott and he blows the whole thing off, though he does kiss her, which helps take her mind off things. She runs into Eddie in school and he’s so upset over what happened that he skips class.

Then Cassie gets a threatening phone call and Eddie and Wink get the same one. She and Eddie hang out and she forces him to ask his cousin about the guy, but he blows her off. They keep getting phone calls and notes left at their house, all claiming to know what they did. Then Wink is on his way to her house and is struck by a driver who runs off. Gasp, a hit and run!

Cassie and Eddie visit his cousin at the morgue and he laughs about the whole dead body thing. Then he learns about Wink and tries to talk to Eddie, but Eddie suddenly feels sick and forces Cassie to leave. She thinks it’s a little odd, but goes with the flow.

Cassie visits the hospital and speaks to Wink’s mom, but the doctors don’t think he’s going to make it. She tries to make plans with Scott and he’s too sick to leave his house. She keeps getting freaked out and eventually turns to Eddie because he’s the only one who will talk to her. After she gets her license, he suggests they go for a drive. At first she turns him down, but then he begs because his mom said he could have the car if Cassie took him out.

They head off and Eddie decides that he wants to go down the same road where they hit the guy. She doesn’t want to, but he goes that way anyway. They hear a noise, which turns out to be a flat tire and Eddie freaks out when she tries to get in the trunk and find the spare tire. Turns out that their driver’s ed classes taught them how to change a tire. Um, they never did that in my classes…

Cassie eventually gets in the trunk and discovers the decomposing body. The two start fighting and he attacks her so she takes off running. A car comes out of nowhere and she fantasizes that it hit and killed her at the same spot where they killed the guy. Really though the car comes to a stop and Jerry and Scott run out.

It turns out that Eddie and Jerry set the whole thing up to get back at the people who were so mean to Eddie. Jerry hung out with the body until he saw their car and then threw the body out in front. The guy was a homeless dude who was never claimed so apparently they could just play around with his body. Jerry apologizes, they promise to get Eddie help and then realize that the body is gone!

A few weeks later they’re all hanging out at Wink’s house because he’s out of the hospital. They hang out and kind of feel bad about everything that happened, though they’re more concerned about goofing around. They walk Scott outside and *gasp* the dead body is sitting in his car! Just as everyone starts freaking out, Jerry comes walking out with a big grin on his face and confesses that he snagged the corpse. They all laugh before leaving the corpse against the front door and calling for Wink’s mom. The End.

What the hell? Seriously, what the hell? Teenagers must really be evil if this book is any indication. Cassie realizes that Wink is a horrible person, but then goes with the flow because she’s worried about upsetting him. Sweetie, you have two other friends.

Plus, how the hell does Jerry have a job? I’m pretty sure that you can’t loan out body parts and you sure as hell can’t let someone borrow a corpse. Not to mention that after 3-4 weeks, that corpse would be pretty nasty. Then, they don’t really mention Eddie. He didn’t kill anyone, so what happened to him?

On another note, this is like the 400th book I’ve read about a hit and run marketed to teens. Hit and Run, Chain Letter, I Know What You Did Last Summer, April Fool’s…am I missing any?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Point Horror: The Lifeguard (Richie Tankersly Cusick)



Kelsey is pissed off at her mom because she takes her to spend the summer with mom’s boyfriend Eric and his kids. They’ve apparently never met before, even though they’ve been dating forever (unlike Trick or Treat, where the parents marry after 3 months). On the boat ride to Beverly Island where the family lives, she meets a hot guy named Skip who tells her that he’s a lifeguard in town.

When they arrive on the island, they meet his sons Neale and Justin, but learn that his daughter Beth just went missing. Apparently she was supposed to meet some guy and then disappeared and now the police think she drowned. Kelsey also meets the requisite creepy town drunk without any teeth Isaac, who seemingly attacks her.

Kelsey automatically likes Justin, who is super sweet and nice. But she hates Neale, who acts dark and moody. Oh and both are lifeguards…apparently the whole town only has three. She finds a couple of notes left for her by Beth and wishes she had the chance to meet the sweet girl. Then she meets a local girl named Donna who decides to show her around town.

They end up at an old, abandoned lighthouse, accidentally fall down a hill and find a dead body. They find Skip and send him up to check it out, but he doesn’t find anything and think they’re playing a big joke on him. That same night she finds watery footprints in her room and runs to get Justin. He and Skip check things out and think she’s still playing a joke. This is all cut in with stories told from the lifeguard’s point of view, as he stalks Kelsey and remembers doing stuff to girls.

Everyone gathers at Skip’s huge beach house for a party and she starts to feel uncomfortable. She ends up outside with Justin and he decides to give her a swimming lesson. She freaks out because she hates the water. Every time she gets close to the water, she flashes back to some horrible incident with her dad and hyperventilates. Justin manages to get her waist high in the water before a tidal wave separates them. She swears she feels a shark touch her and then Justin is pulled out to sea.

Kelsey grabs Neale who runs off to find Justin. Justin somehow manages to find his way back completely unharmed, but Neale goes off on her about the two of them acting irresponsible. Kelsey lets Donna borrow her jacket and goes home, where she finds a hidden note from Beth saying that someone tried to kill her.

The next day they learn that Donna is missing and that their parents are stuck off the island. Apparently they went to the mainland, Eric had a heart attack and now they’re staying there, leaving three teenagers alone for an unknown amount of time. Good parenting. Kelsey accidentally knocks over a box of paperwork and finds a letter inside: one that Neale wrote to Beth while he was in a mental institution. Gasp. And that town was where a bunch of girls mysteriously disappeared. Double gasp.

Blah, blah, blah. Kelsey is out near the water and hears a noise. She goes investigating and finds Donna laying in the water. She ends up in a cave and sees a dark figure. She keeps freaking out, yelling at Neale to stop and leave her alone, especially when she finds Beth in the cave. Big surprise when it turns out to be Justin. He’s attacking her, things go black and then *boom*, she wakes up in a hospital.

Neale shows up and she starts crying over Donna, when the girl comes into the room. Apparently Justin grabbed her because he saw her jacket and thought she was Kelsey. He thought she was dead so he left her, but she just broke her leg. Donna leaves because Skip is waiting for her and Neale talks about Justin. Apparently Neale got depressed after his mom died, tried to kill himself and ended up in a mental hospital. His dad ignored him, Justin was sent to a boarding school in the same time, but occupied himself with killing young girls so Beth was the only one he talked to.

She learns that Justin seemingly died, as in Neale tried to save him and Justin just swam out to sea. We also learn that Beth is alive and is now in a hospital on the mainland. They talk some more and kiss (kind of) at the end of the book.

Dear lord. The Lifeguard is just…I don’t even know. Cusick spent way too much time setting Justin up as the perfect son and Neale as the dark guy that you just knew Justin was the guy. Plus it’s a horror book where no on really dies. And it’s creepy! You really shouldn’t be crushing on your potential step-brother or going out on a date with him like she does with Justin. By the way, this was the book I checked out from my high school library and then found at the book sale J

Monday, November 16, 2009

Update

You should prepare yourself for an onslaught of Sweet Valley University reviews in the coming month(s). I was the high bidder on a set of the books, which included 10 of the Super Thrillers and the entire run of the original series. I plan on reading them in order, which will be a first for the blog. I'll try to cut them with a few reviews of other stuff.

I went to a charity book sale this weekend and ended up buying about 30 different teen books including Pike, Stine, Fear Street, Hoh, Sweet Valley High and a bunch of the old Point Thriller/Horror books. In an ironic twist of fate, one of the books I bought actually came from my old high school and I actually remember checking it out back then!

Needless to say, I plan on reviewing quite a few books in the next couple of months. Look for at least two reviews a week!