Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nightmare Hall #7: Pretty Please

Joanna is one of the Beautiful People on the Salem University campus. She and some friends were picked by a local photographer to star in an ad campaign for a clothing store and everyone now calls the group by that nickname. Joanna, Nan, Kelly, Reed and Carl go to a party thrown by a rich girl and Jo meets a cute guy named Evan. He likes that she doesn’t have to be the center of attention and is fine just hanging out away from the crowd.

The crowd gathers together for a group photo and Joanna is somehow pushed through a plate glass window. When she wakes up, she’s in the campus infirmary with bandages covering every inch of her head. The doctor promises that she will just have a few minor scars around her eye and chin, but she still feels self-conscious.

Nan and Kelly pick her up from the hospital and take her home. The guys, including Evan stop by the dorm and when they walk in her room, she discovers that someone covered all of the mirrors with thick, black cloth. Evan discovers that the cloth is glued in place and he has to literally scrape it off the mirrors. They all can’t figure out why someone would be so mean to her.

A big costume party is coming up and the girls convince Jo to go shopping for a costume. She finds the perfect Catwoman costume that will cover her bandages. When she gets home, she discovered that someone dropped a tube of high-coverage concealor in her bag. Conveniently, she spotted Even wandering mysteriously into a makeup store that same day.

Then someone sends her a big black hat, with a veil attached to the front and a note, warning her not to go out with her ugly face. Jo is pretty upset, but it doesn’t stop her from going on a skiing trip with a bunch of kids. One girl Tina forgets sunscreen and ends up hideously burnt with blisters all over her face.

Cut to the big costume party. Cat Donovan, who appears in multiple books as a resident of Nightmare Hall, asks Jo to get some extra soda from the basement. While downstairs, she sees Tina at the top of the stairs. Tina falls down the stairs and smacks into Jo. Later Tina admits that someone pushed her down the stairs, thinking she was Jo.

Jo decides to take a walk on campus and someone grabs her from behind. The person warns her about going outside without covering up her scarred face. He shoves a garbage bag over her head, ties it in place and runs off. Jo manages to get the bag off her head and wanders home in a daze. This is all intercut with stories from another perspective, about how ugly Joanna really is and how she should sit at home by herself.

Joanna winds up in the hospital to get her face taking care of and she’s attacked again. This time the person almost kills her, before a nurse shows up. There’s also a lot of talk going around about another student that had horrible scars from a car accident. She mysteriously disappeared a few weeks ago. Plus Joanna is doubting Evan because he seems too good to be true.

This all leads up to the person attacking her and dragging her outside to Evan’s car. Joanna tries fighting back, but the person covers her face and forces her in the car. He drives her to a construction site and demands that she write her name in wet cement before he tosses her in a hole that appears out of nowhere. The voice confesses to killing the other woman because she was too hideous for words.

The voice tells Joanna about his own background. Born to perfect parents, the kid had a hideous scar on one side of his face. His parents kept him inside the house for 12 years, until they found a surgeon that could remove the birthmark. He finally got the chance to get away for college and went crazy. He tried making things as perfect as possible and killing people that didn’t look perfect.

Joanna grabs a huge stick and hits the person. Their hat falls off and it’s Nan! Yeah, I’d be a lot more excited if I even remembered she was in this book. She reveals that her parents had her “fixed”, but she still carries emotional scars. Joanna hits her again, knocks her down and runs for the car. Nan throws herself behind the car and Jo accidentally runs her over. The police arrive and Evan shows up. He apologizes for not protecting her and understands why she doubted him. She just hopes that Nan gets the help she needs.

Like I said, I barely remembered that Nan existed in this book. I don’t think she appeared in the last 100 pages of the book. It was all kind of eh for me.

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