Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Point Horror: My Secret Admirer (Carol Ellis)

Jenny really belongs in a Fear Street or Sweet Valley High book, where parents don’t give a shit. Her dad is some kind of freelance business consultant, moving them across the country every year or so. They move to a new town, complete with rim rocks outside. Jenny is deathly afraid of the rocks so her dad comes up with the idea that they take a family trip to climb them. Before he can, they get a phone call that there’s a problem with the sale of their old house. Since they need someone to let the painters in at this house, they decide to leave Jenny home alone.

Jenny meets Sally, a neighbor girl who invites her to a scavenger hunt to kick off the summer. She shows up and immediately sees this hot guy David. He came with Diana, a bitchy girl who treats her like shit, but works with Jenny. They venture up onto the rocks and he leaves her by himself when it starts raining. She hears a scream just before he turns up. He says she just heard the wind making weird noises, but the next day, they discover that Diana fell off the rocks and is in the hospital.

Jenny spends the day wandering around town and comes home to find a message on her answering machine, from a secret admirer. She tells Sally, who comes up with an idea to make everyone use different voices. Jenny sees Dean, another guy who she thinks might be her admirer and he winks at her. She decides that no one who winks like that would ever leave silly messages.

Her secret admirer starts heating things up, by leaving her flowers and more messages. She still feels uneasy though, especially since she’s home by herself. She gets even more weirded out when one of the guys, Brad, starts acting weird. He goes off on a tangent about Diana getting what came to her and flips out on Jenny. He even shows up at her house and he gets so pissed off that she thinks he might hit her.

Jenny sets up a booby trap one night to finally get some sleep while her parents are gone. It goes off in the middle of the night, but it’s only her dog Peaches sniffing around. The next day she takes Peaches to the grocery store and comes back to find the dog locked in the car, with the windows rolled up. She runs to the vet, who gives her a long ass lecture and cries herself to sleep.

Her secret admirer leaves behind a new wind chime on her front porch and yet another message. I know I’m not explaining this book very good and I apologize. Basically Jenny hardly ever brings up what happened on the rocks, but people keep talking about it outside the book. She keeps getting phone calls and little gifts, but has no clue who her admirer is. She hopes it’s David, but he keeps avoiding her.

She finally gets a message from her admirer, telling her to meet him that night. He says he’s ready to reveal himself. Jenny rushes to the rocks, which is funny because he never actually specified that she should meet him there. He keeps talking to her, but won’t reveal himself. She finally gets to the top and sees Dean.

He confesses that he liked her, but starts acting weird. Turns out that he was on the rocks with Diana that night, but didn’t push her over. That won’t stop him from trying to kill her though. A storm comes in and they basically chase each other all over the rocks. She trips and sprains her ankle, but keeps trying to get away from him.

Dawn arrives and Jenny makes it to the bottom of the rocks. She hears someone coming up on her and hits him with a piece of wood, but it’s actually David. Dean pops up and attacks her, but then David wakes up and manages to save her life. The police arrive and David tells her what happened.

Apparently Dean was changing his grades by hacking into the school computers. Diana found out and promised not to tell anyone, but then the school found out. She was going to rat him out to save herself, they had a fight, she slipped and fell off the rocks. Dean never tried to help her though. She woke up in the hospital, told everyone what happened and David ran to look for Jenny. He heard the message on the machine and realized it was Dean so he went to help her. They kiss and agree to start dating.

I know I did a bad job recapping this book, but it was kind of the same thing over and over again. Ellis keeps bringing up red herrings in the book, like David, Brad and Sally. They even try to make you think it’s the painters at one point. Yet it’s the same kind of things over and over again and I didn’t want to make you guys sit through all that lol.


  1. Wonderful, charming site! Carol Ellis is actually my mother. It might interest you to know she is affectionately dismissive of most of her YA work and would probably get a chuckle out of this review. Interestingly though, "My Secret Admirer" was one of her biggest sellers, bringing in royalties long after most of the others vanished. Maybe it was the title!

    1. Awesome! Your mom was definitely one of my fave YA authors growing up. I hope she knows that we're probably as snarky as she is :)