Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fear Street: One Evil Summer (R.L. Stine)

One Evil Summer opens with Amanda Conklin stuck at the Maplewood Juvenile Detention Center. She’s completely unhappy and really, who can blame her? She wanders into the bathroom and thinks about how her life was once completely different. As the house mother type person yells at her to get ready for her psychiatrist’s appointment, she thinks back to Chrissy and where it all started.

Amanda is stuck in the backseat with her little brother and Kyle and little sister Merry. Mom is a freelance writer, who’s working on some big story about how teens deal with stress. They’re heading out to Seahaven, this small town away from Shadyside, to spend the summer and get some relaxation. Amanda accidentally mentions algebra and we learn that she’s enrolled in summer school after flunking the class. Mom is pissed because now they have to hire a baby-sitter/nanny.

Am I the only one who has a problem with this? Did mom just expect Amanda to spend the whole summer working for free and watching over the kids? They try to explain that she’s super busy with this article and I call bull shit on it. Look, I work full-time as a writer (yes I have a life outside books for teens) and I know a LOT of moms who work as freelance writers and have kids at home. You’re talking about people who do multiple articles a week (sometimes a day). They still have time to take care of their kids and work. I think Mrs. Conklin is just lazy!

Literally five minutes after getting there, her parents decide they need to get food and rush off, but they do take the kids. Amanda hears someone knocking and meets Chrissy. Chrissy read their ad for a nanny and decided to stop by in person and apply. Knowing her parents are so excited to meet someone (anyone apparently) she calls them and they come running home. She has to do it quick like because Chrissy has another appointment scheduled!

Um, if she had another appointment scheduled, why would she bother going there? Let’s say the other family desperately needs help and Chrissy is the only one who replied to their ad. She goes to another place, without calling first, gets the job and then just never shows up. Why do the parents not find this odd?

Before they get back, Mr. Jinx the family cat, comes across Chrissy and hisses like she’s a big ass mouse in disguise. Chrissy bares her teeth and hisses back, but then acts perfectly normal. Amanda’s parents love her and practically dry hump her in the living room. She said she worked as a helper before and lives just outside of town with her aunt.

Amanda’s mom calls to check her references, but one number is busy and the other number just keeps ringing. Amanda points out that she shouldn’t hire someone without checking their references, but mom just smiles and does it anyway. Chrissy even explains away the hissing as the cat smelling dead mouse on her.

Chrissy immediately moves into the house because she has her stuff with her and…why does she have her stuff with her? That seems kind of presumptuous. Anyway, Amanda spies a newspaper clipping, which sets Chrissy off. She eventually reveals the article is about a young girl named Lilith who went into a coma and is her twin. Chrissy doesn’t seem too heartbroken, saying her sis was evil.

Because this is a teen book, Amanda has to meet a cute guy (Dave) in her algebra class. He’s lived in town his whole life, but doesn’t know Chrissy or her aunt. Amanda gets home and sees Merry drowning in the pool and runs to save her. Turns out she was learning how to float. I’m not sure who’s the psychopath here. Not long after, a car careens into their house, nearly hitting Chrissy and the kids and kills Jinx. Poor cat. Chrissy smiles about the whole thing.

Amanda keeps noticing that Chrissy is acting weird. Like she sees her floating in her room, but then Chrissy pretends she was sleeping and that Amanda was crazy. Amanda then steals one of the articles from her room and discovers that Chrissy isn’t mentioned in the article and that it says her parents died from carbon monoxide. Yet Chrissy said her parents died in a car accident. Why lie about something like that?

Amanda calls her friend Suzi and asks her to check out the library in town and get info on Chrissy. The phone starts melting in her hand and she hears Chrissy’s voice on the other end. Of course the phone isn’t actually damaged. Then Carter Phillips (from The Cheater, yay for continuity!) calls and tells her that Suzi lapsed into a coma, while at the library. Oooh.

Since no one will listen to her, she talks to Dave. They go for a long drive/walk and he gives her this huge ass knife. He suggests slipping it in Chrissy’s drawer and making her parents think they hired a psycho. Dave also tells her that the address she gave is an abandoned house. They go home and when she calls her on this, Chrissy says they haven’t yet moved in.

Amanda sneaks upstairs to hide the knife, but it starts spraying her with blood. She runs downstairs and learns her pet birds were killed. The parents think that Amanda did it and tried to frame Chrissy. She ends up seeing a psychiatrist who thinks she has a problem with Chrissy and it somehow relates to her feeling like she disappointed her parents. Mm, k.

Amanda has to pretend like she’s fine and even apologize to Chrissy, just to go home. She finds a new cat and when Chrissy flips out, she lets it go. She decides to call the references again and catches one woman. The family who lived in the house all died a gruesome death and she warns her to get out of the house and to get away from Chrissy.

She runs downstairs and sees Chrissy slipping something into Kyle’s milk. When Dave shows up, she tells him that the other girl is poisoning her brother and he “accidentally” knocks the milk glass over. Turns out it was just chocolate powder. He then asks Chrissy to the movies, to get her out of the house. Amanda sneaks upstairs and discovers her dad’s name in some of the old articles. Chrissy shows back up and makes threatening comments, even though she can’t see Amanda.

Ugh this is getting way too long. Basically Amanda discovers that her dad was a lawyer who helped get Chrissy dad convicted of something. He never recovered and after he died, she started killing everyone attached to the case. She was actually Lilith and when she woke up from her coma, she had these weird psychic powers.

Amanda runs off with Dave, but Chrissy makes the car crash and he dies. Poor guy. She runs home and tries to save Kyle and Merry, even though Chrissie can literally talk inside her head. Chrissy chases her on a jet ski type thing, with Kyle and Merry on the back. She catches her on this island, Amanda runs to a boat, they fight and somehow the boat hit’s a rock and Chrissy cracks her head and passes out.

Amanda manages to save the kids and even call the cops, but then Chrissy pops back up. She sets the house on fire, but the new cat shows up and trips her. She ends up dying in the fire, as it rages on around her.

Then we learn that Kyle lost his voice and Merry couldn’t remember/talk about what happened so they thought she set the fire and killed Chrissy. Her doctor reveals that Chrissy was Lilith and used the name Chrissy because it was the name of their cat. Kyle got his voice back, told everyone what happened and now Amanda can live happily ever after. My head hurts.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the Fear Street novels that I really like...in spite of the foolishness going on :s

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