Sunday, October 17, 2010

Terror Academy: Boy Crazy (Nicholas Pine)

I never read any of the Terror Academy books because I was a little too old for the young adult books by the time they started coming out. I think I stopped reading them around 1994, except for a few, so this is all new to me.

Shannon and her brother Patrick are on a bus, moving to live with their dad. Apparently their mom dad and he fell into a deep depression and became an alcoholic. He moved away and they lived with their grandparents for awhile. Now he has a new job, got a new apartment and he wants his kids back.

Of course Shannon isn’t ready to trust him at all because she’s kind of a bitch. Like her dad stops at the grocery store and she freaks out because it’s next door to a liquor store. She literally doesn’t see anything in the strip mall other than the liquor store and thinks he’s drinking again. Plus she keeps talking about this horrible thing he did at her birthday party.

It’s actually kind of weird because Pine keeps insinuating that her dad did something really bad. She says her friends all called him a pervert after the party and stopped talking to her. After pages and pages, she finally reveals that he showed up drunk and tried to kiss her best friend. It’s not that shocking, nor is it really disturbing. Plus her best friend refused to talk to her after it, which seems kind of harsh.

Her dad shows her their new place and she mopes because her new bedroom isn’t as big as her old one. She does get excited about her new school, which is bigger and looks like a private school. The day after they move, she gets up super early and takes a walk around town. She meets this guy Charley, who instantly develops a crush on her. His dad found the apartment for her dad and they bond a little.

He asks her out and she turns him down because she doesn’t find him that attractive. In a bitchy move, she’s completely lost and can’t find her way home. She asks him for directions and flips out when he wants to walk her home, instead of just telling her how to get there. She finally asks him what’s up and he tells her that he wants to make a good impression on her, before she meets the preppy guys at school, including this guy Skip.

Cut to Shannon’s first day at school. Skip sees her walking in and instantly hits on her. A classmate warns her that he picks out the new girls right away because the other girls in school won’t date him, but she thinks the girl is jealous. They talk for a few minutes and she’s instantly smitten. Where was her old school, Sweet Valley?

Charley warns her about Skip’s ex-girlfriend Katie. He keeps saying that he did something to her that put her in the loony bin. In fact, everyone in the book refers to it in this way and says that she’s in the loony bin. Of course she thinks that he’s insane. He points out all of Skip’s friends, telling her stories about them. One guy is a gun freak, one guy drinks constantly and one guy pops pills. She once again thinks he’s jealous and goes off to sit with them.

Skip wants to take her home after school, but Patrick needs a ride too. He offers to have his friend take him home and she pretty much forces Patrick in the car. Patrick later tells her that the guys are losers and treated him like crap, but she completely blows him off. Skip asks her to the big dance that weekend, which makes her one of the popular girls. The girls keep warning her about Skip and she thinks that they’re all jealous of her, OR just teasing her. Moron.

So the night of the dance arrives. Charley calls a bunch of times, just asking her not to spend too much time alone with Skip and she ignores him. All of Skip’s friends sit around outside the dance, talking about what happened with Katie. Only one guy, Guy, seems sad about what happened and even he isn’t willing to stop.

Shannon finally works up the courage to ask Skip about Katie. He cries, telling her that Katie was attacked by a group of guys after a dance just like this. She couldn’t deal with what happened and completely shut down, so her parents put her in a loony bin. Shannon decides that he must be telling the truth, even when people at the dance look at her funny.

Skip takes her out after the dance and when she wants to go home, he drives her out into the woods. His friends show up and everyone taunts her about ending up like Katie. His friend Andy is a gun freak and threatens to kill her with a pistol if she doesn’t listen. They tell Guy to “go first” so he can’t chicken out and lock them in a shed together.

Guy says he’s not going to do anything to her because he has nightmares over what happened with Katie. She takes a bottle of whiskey he brought with him and clubs him over the head until he passes out. Then she pulls up floorboards in the shed, slips out and runs off. Charley finds her and helps her to the police station.

The police bring in all five guys for questioning, but let them go because they all claim they were out together. The cops don’t even call the DA because they decide a jury wouldn’t believe her. Skip taunts her at school the next day about how he’s got her. She then discovers that her brother fell/was pushed from a window on the second floor. The girl who was with him claims she didn’t see anything. Patrick ends up in a coma and seemingly wins.

Months later Shannon goes to visit Patrick in the hospital. He’s in a wheelchair, but he can’t move or talk. Her dad is struggling to stay away from alcohol and won’t go to the hospital because he can’t handle seeing his son. She’s now dating Charley and after visiting her brother, decides that it’s time to exact her revenge and he agrees to help.

They sneak into Andy’s house and find his stash of guns. They also find a photo album, with all the photos of girls they apparently raped inside. They steal everything, take it to his friend’s house and then call him. Shannon pretends to be Katie and tells him that his buddy has his stuff and is going to the cops. Andy runs over, they have a fight and he shoots him.

Shannon calls back as Katie and says that his friend Rollie saw him do it and is going to the cops. Andy runs over and kills his other friend. Then she calls the cops and turns him in and watches him get arrested. A few days later she calls Guy and tries to convince him to go the police. He calls Skip instead and arranges to meet him on the bridge outside of town.

They go out there and see the two guys fighting on the bridge. She begs Charley to stop them because Guy was the only one who didn’t want to hurt her. She wants to see him in juvie, but not dead. Charley won’t because he’s afraid they’ll throw him over the side. Shannon runs up and Skip realizes that she’s not Katie. He taunts Guy, who grabs him and throws him over the side. Guy feels so bad that he jumps over the bridge too. Charley tries to grab him, but can’t help. She asks him to take her home, rather than calling the police.

The book ends a few months later with Shannon dreaming. Patrick is fine and her mom is alive and they’re playing together. The dream ends with the guys showing up to taunt her. She wakes up and meets Charley, giving him a huge kiss. He wants to go back to the hospital, but she asks him to take her up to the lake. She tells him that she’s not going back to the hospital and isn’t going to see Patrick again. It’s time for her to move on with her life.

What the fuck?? I can’t believe how insane this book is. There’s no mention of rape or sex, but you just know that’s what the guys are doing. Plus Shannon is such a bitch that I just can’t root for her at all.

1 comment:

  1. His books are pretty formulaic, and almost always include an attempted rape scene. He didn't have the balls to just come out and say it though, so like this book, it's implied. Despite there being an attempt in every book, there is never success (at least not to the main character).