Sunday, July 18, 2010

Point Horror: The Accident (Diane Hoh)

Jenny, Cappie and Barbie are three typical teenage girls who cut class and go for a drive in Jenny’s huge, old convertible. They talk constantly about their friend Megan’s upcoming 16th birthday party and how their friend wouldn’t skip class to hang out. Jenny goes around a corner, the steering wheel locks up and the car crashes.

The book then jumps to Megan, who’s mooning over her friend Justin. Apparently she’s so in love with him and they spend a lot of time together, but he barely realizes that she exists. She gets a call from her best friend Hillary, telling her about the accident and flips out. Still wearing the blue dress for her party, she collapses on the bed, where she hears someone talking to her.

After looking around for a few minutes, she realizes that the voice is coming from inside the mirror! The voice inside the mirror, comments on her dress choice and talks to her for a few minutes. Personally I’d be freaking out, but Megan kind of takes it all in stride.

The next day she finds a drawing stuck in her locker at school. It shows an old yellow convertible, with different figures inside. She realizes that the cap and pea in the backseat means Cappie and the candy bar and bumblebee stand for Barbie. She shows the picture to Justin, who realizes that the horse in the front seat is actually a mule and a female mule is a Jenny. Ha-ha. Megan takes the drawing to the cops, who pretty much do nothing.

Then she finds another drawing, this one of a hill and realizes it’s a threat against her friend Hillary. She runs to the auditorium, where Hillary is at work on a play. The other girl falls off the catwalk, but manages to grab on and hang there until help arrives. Later she tells everyone that someone pushed her, but everyone swears there was no one up there.

The voice in the mirror comes back to Megan and tells her a story. She says her name is Juliet and she lived along the lake behind her house, years ago. She died when the boat she was riding hit a hidden rock and capsized.

Juliet lets Megan know that she wants to trade places with her. She tells her that in order for it to happen, she needs a girl living there, who was the same age she was when she died. The girl must also have an honest heart, an open mind and be creative. Megan flips out at the idea, but the more she thinks about it, the more it makes sense. Really Megan?

They switch places for a few minutes at a time and Juliet tells her that to switch back, all she has to do is say, “I am Megan and I want my body back”. She tries it, it works so she decides to go ahead with the switch. She lets Juliet have her body for the week before her birthday party, provided that she ask Justin to be her date, which is the one thing she couldn’t do herself.

Basically Megan ends up floating around in the mirror for a few days, until she learns how to get out and about in the world. Almost immediately, she sees that Juliet is completely different than her. She starts flirting with Justin, kind of coming onto him actually and he’s crazy about it. She’s also a bitch to Hillary, telling her to go the fuck away and leave them alone.

Megan goes out to the lake and sees her mom floating in the water. She runs in and demands that Juliet call an ambulance, then finds a drawing of a convict and a knee and her mom’s name is Connie. She warns Juliet to keep an eye out for more drawings.

Of course she doesn’t, but Megan does see a drawing of a tom-tom and both her dad and brother have that name. She starts following both of them, while also following her body. Eventually she starts thinking something is off about Juliet. Gee, you think? She finds that Juliet made a hair appointment for the day of the party and bought a new party dress (strapless, black mini-dress, with a ruffled skirt and hot pink cummerbund, yeah). She also learns that her family were the only people living on the lake years before.

Megan finally confronts Juliet, who flips out. She tells her that Megan’s great-grandmother tricked her father into marriage. Apparently she was a widow with three kids and after their marriage, Juliet and her dad moved into the house. She went by Julietta, but her step-mom hated the name and changed it to Etta. Juliet and her step-sister (Megan’s grandma) went for a boat ride, the boat crashed and she died.

The two girls fight and Megan demands her body back, but nothing happens. Juliet taunts her, saying that they both have to agree to the switch and she won’t do it. She also laughs at how much Megan looks like her grandma, which is why she’s so happy they did the switch.

Not long after, Megan’s little brother Tommy is hit by a truck while on his bike. He survives, but her dad almost doesn’t, when he falls off a ladder working on the house. Megan tries everything she can think of to get her life back, but nothing works.

She finally wanders outside and sees Justin. She starts talking to him, begging him for help and he eventually hears her. He listens to her story, believes her and agrees to help. He convinces Juliet to go for a boat ride and when she finally agrees, he drives like a maniac. Juliet starts fighting him and the boat crashes.

Juliet lands in the water and starts drowning, but won’t give up because she thinks that he’ll save her. Megan tells her that he’s not a very good swimmer and she’ll drown before he gets there. Juliet finally starts listening when Megan claims that if she drowns, there won’t be a party. That’s what finally makes her give up and agree to the switch. Really? Seriously? Megan gets her body back, Justin shows up, realizes that it’s still her by looking in her eyes and they live happily ever after.

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