Saturday, January 14, 2012

Goosebumps #6: Let’s Get Invisible (R.L. Stine)

It’s Max’s birthday and because of an unexpected storm, he and his guests are stuck inside. His little brother Lefty (named for being left handed) keeps annoying the shit out of everyone, but they manage to have fun. Max and his friends Erin and April head upstairs to check out the attic. His dog Whitey finds a hidden door and when they go inside, they find a huge mirror.

The mirror has a weird light on top and when Max pulls it, he disappears. The pull the switch to turn the light off and he turns back up. At first he thinks they’re all just messing with him, but he sneaks up that night and the same thing happens again. Lefty gets obsessed with the mirror and keeps making himself disappear to play pranks around the house.

Max decides to play a prank on his friend Zach, so he invites the group over and they show him the mirror. Zach turns it into a game, making everyone try to stay invisible for longer periods of time. Max notices that when he goes under, he gets a weird and kind of dizzy feeling. He also notices that someone seems to keep calling his name.

April is originally kind of scared of the mirror, but she warms up to it. Erin thinks it’s the coolest thing ever and keeps pushing herself to stay under longer. At the 12 minute mark, he shouts for his friends and they can’t hear him. The girls want him to use the mirror and enter it in the science fair, but he kind of wants to just pretend he never found it.

Everyone comes back over again and Whitey is somehow transported into the mirror. He makes it out, but acts a little funny. Then Max notices that Lefty, Erin and Zach all have different hair. He’s ready to stop messing around with the mirror, but Erin pulls the switch and sends him inside. He comes face to face with his own reflection.

It turns out that our “cold” side or reflection, lives inside the mirror and wants out. Zach and Erin were both replaced by their reflections and now Max’s reflection wants to replace him. Max runs off and starts shouting for help. His mom walks in the attic and starts rambling about the mirror. His voice grows smaller and no one can hear him screaming.

Suddenly April pulls the switch and turns the light on. Max comes out, but Erin and Zach attack him. They try throwing him back in the mirror so his other self can come out. Lefty suddenly pops up and wants to play catch. He throws a ball, Max misses and it crashes into the window. The real Erin and Zach take back their bodies.

Everyone cleans up the attic, closes the door and decide to never again look at the mirror or even go in the room. Max feels happy about the decision and heads outside to play catch with Lefty. They play for a few minutes and then it hits Max: Lefty is now right handed; he’s the exact opposite of what he was like going in…

*Eh, I kind of dig the new Lefty a lot better than the old one. The old one was pretty freaking annoying.

*When Zach is invisible, he goes to the neighbor’s house and makes his tomatoes dance around the yard. The guy’s wife thinks he has heat stroke and makes him go inside. It kind of cracked me up.

*Supposedly Max’s parents got the house from his grand-parents and never really bothered to go in the attic. Sorry, but if it was my house, I would have gone through that attic looking for eBay stuff LOL.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet Valley High Super Stars: Enid’s Story

Enid cannot wait until her dad gets in town for Christmas. Todd goes out of town, so she has to take care of Elizabeth. This mainly consists of taking her to the Dairi Burger and then getting pissed at her. Suddenly, no one can stop talking about Jeffery French. Jessica decides that she might want to flirt with him, but he basically ignores her. He gets stuck under the mistletoe with Liz and they kiss.

Enid spends a few days crushing on Jeffery. They talk at the restaurant and agree to go to the big skating party together. She doesn’t tell Liz and actually convinces her that she should skip the party. Liz shows up and sees her with Jeffery, but Enid swears that nothing happened. She hangs out with him all day and realizes that she likes him. They have a joke about an old ice skater, so she buys him a postcard of the skater and writes a fake autograph on the back. She pairs it with a pint of ice cream as his Christmas gift.

He calls her the next day and invites her over. She brings him the gift and he loves it, but he also wants to talk to her about something important. Liz brought him over a batch of fresh, homemade cookies that she made just for him. Jeffery wonders if she likes him again and if they have a shot. Enid feels like shit and realizes that he doesn’t really like her.

Enid ran into a guy from her old crowd named Brian at the skating party. Jessica hit on him, but he only had eyes for Enid. He calls her up and asks her out, swearing that he gave up drugs and alcohol. He takes her out for Thai food and they have fun. He even has beer at dinner, but handles it without any problems. He takes her to a party and she feels uncomfortable because she recognizes people from her old crowd. Brian disappears and she finds him drunk and wrapped around a bong, so she runs home in tears.

Enid is also pissed because her mom hates her dad. Adele mentions that he had a drinking problem, but Enid doesn’t believe it. When he calls, her mom doesn’t take any messages. Enid leaves early, hoping to surprise her dad. She finds him at the bar, already drunk on gin. He makes a rude comment about how she used to love her alcohol and she runs off again.

George and Robin throw a Christmas party and she somehow finds it appropriate to go to it, despite it being thrown by her ex and the girl he cheated with. Enid goes with Jeffery, but he acts distracted the whole night and runs off after Liz. Brian flirts with Jess, but ditches her for Enid. He suggests they go for a drive and she agrees because at least he is interested in her.

Todd called Liz before the party and she realized that she really loved him. She talks to Jeffery and lets him know that while she likes him as a friend, her heart belongs to Todd. Jeffery tells her that he already knew that deep down inside and he is interested in someone else. They both rush off looking for Enid.

Brian convinces Enid to partake in some alcohol from a flask and marijuana. Enid remembers the smell of pot and goes overboard. Jessica meets a random college friend of Steven’s at the party and they head up to Miller’s Point. She gets ticked because the car next door is making too much noise. When she yanks open the door, she sees Enid tumble out drunk and high.

Jessica grabs her date and has him take her back to the party. Enid’s dad stops by her house and Liz calls and tells her mom about Brian. Adele warns her that he isn’t a nice guy and tells her ex, who runs off looking for her. The crowd turns on Jess when she tells them what she saw. Apparently, she should have grabbed Enid and drug her out, even though she is (a) old enough to take care of herself and (b) was doing something she already did before.

Brian puts the moves on Enid and she pushes him off. He calls her a tease and drives off in a rage. He drives by a few bars, loses control of the car, and drives off the road. Her dad drives by, stops, drags Enid from the car, and goes back for Brian.

Enid wakes up in the hospital and learns that the car exploded right after her dad pulled Brian out. He suffered burns over a lot of his body, but he will be okay. Liz, Jessica, Lila, and Jeffery come to the hospital to see her. Her dad tells her that he wants to stop drinking and start being a better person and a better dad.

When she gets out, she learns that Brian changed his ways. He plans on going back to college and attending meetings, so he can get help with his addictions. Jeffery stops by and takes her to Lila’s big New Year’s Eve party. He gets her alone and starts apologizing, but she stops him. She makes him promise that things will get better and they kiss. Of course it doesn’t matter because their relationship is never mentioned again. BTW, I believe this is the third time I read about her and Hugh breaking up, which happens right before the book starts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Give Yourself Goosebumps #3: Trapped in Bat Wing Hall

Basically in this book, you meet a guy who seems kind of nice and doesn’t mind that you’re a new kid in town. He decides to take you under his wing and make you part of his group. They sit around telling horror stories at a place named Bat Wing Hall and trying to scare each other.

Once you arrive though, they don’t want you there. They want to play some scary games and new members aren’t allowed to play. You beg for a chance and they decide to give you a shot. You end up going into a secluded crypt at the local cemetery and read a warning about bat bones. When you wake up that night, you’re roughly the size of a bat and need to get back to normal.

*I reached the end with one of my first choices. I then did a few other times through the book and never did reach a happy ending. I don’t think there’s even the slightest bit of a happy ending here.

*The biggest annoyance is that there is way too much flipping going on! Every page is a section on its own, so you read one page and have to flip to another, read that and flip again. I went from page 1, to page 129, to page 77, then back to 18 and so on. Very annoying.

*Sadly I have a few more books like this, but I have no clue how to recap them. Any ideas?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thirteen: “A Little Taste of Death” (Patricia Windsor-Point Thriller)

Louey spends the summer with her grandmother, barely doing anything or going anywhere. Her most exciting moments come from reading the newspaper and checking out the classified ads. She hopes that she might run into a lost dog or cat one day and reunite it with its owner. One morning she sees an ad for a support group that makes her remember her childhood.

She remembers running into a man on a train with her mother. He offered her a lollipop and pressed her. When she took it, her mom grabbed it and hid it away. Louey found it later and while her mom visited with relatives, she snuck outside and ate the sucker.

Still, she goes to the support group and everyone shares a similar story. She also meets Bobby Lee, the super hunky guy leading the meeting. Everyone discusses the feelings and weird sensations that keep plaguing them. Louey doesn’t share any of the same feelings, but she keeps listening.

Over the next few days, she sees a bunch of stories in the paper about teens from the meeting that died. She also has bad dreams featuring Bobby Lee, making her kill animals and do weird stuff. She wakes up one morning with a cut on her hand in the same spot she cut herself in the dream. Her grandma reveals that some vagrant snuck in and did something disgusting on the floor, which is all the description we get.

The doorbell rings and Louey gets up, knowing that it is for her. When she sees Bobby Lee there, she realizes that he is the guy from the train. He tells her that it is time to go, she shakes her head. She recalls what happened on the train and that she snuck the sucker away. She took one good lick, her mom caught her and she got a bad beating. She explains to him that it isn’t her time because she only had a “little taste of death.”

The Babysitters Club #34: Mary Anne and Too Many Boys

The Pikes are going back to Sea City and hire Mary Anne and Stacey again to help out. They think it will be a fun and relaxing two weeks. The Pikes decide that they need a new rule. Instead of giving both girls the night off, they each get a different night off. On their first beach day, they run into Alex and Toby. Conveniently, the two got jobs helping two families for a month.

Mary Anne gets ready for a date with Alex, but runs into Stacey getting dressed for her own date with Toby. Stacey plays it off like she should get first dibs on a night off work. Mary Anne agrees to wait until the next night, but sees Stacey getting ready to sneak off again. Mary Anne goes off on her and Stacey tries to let her have two nights off the next week. She refuses and rushes off for her own date.

Things go weird with Alex. He doesn’t seem like the same guy she dated last year, he isn’t funny, and he just acts different. They can barely find anything to talk about, but she still agrees to see him again. Mary Anne spends most of the book worrying about what Logan would say if he knew. She finally tells Alex about her boyfriend and he admits that he has a girlfriend. They get a big laugh out of it, but decide to stay friends.

Vanessa gets a crush on the 12-year-old guy working at the ice cream shop. She leaves him notes from a secret admirer. When she sees him again, he wants to meet Mallory because he thought she was his admirer. Vanessa mopes around for a few days, but finally leaves him one last note saying goodbye. Mary Anne talks things through with her and makes her feel better.

She avoids Stacey for a few days, but they finally make up before leaving Sea City. Stacey admits that Toby broke up with her because he didn’t want to feel tied down to her, so she cries to Mallory and Mary Anne. They head home and Mary Anne finds a poem tucked into her bag. Vanessa wrote a poem thanking her for her help.

Kristy sits for the Rodwosky boys in this book. She takes them to the city pool and constantly lets Jackie go off on his own, but then gets ticked when he messes up. He drops a huge cookie in the pool, steps on a huge bee, and takes so long at the snack shop that a huge line forms. Kristy whines about it and decides that she never wants to take three kids to the pool again.

Dawn goes back to visit her dad. Carol randomly shows up with her friend’s two kids and her dad got them tickets to a show. He decides that Dawn will sit for the kids without even asking her about it AND, one of the kids has colic. Jeff does such a good job helping that she splits the cash with him and wonders if he might sit in the future.

Jessi sits for Charlotte, Becca, and Squirt. Becca notices that Frodo (the Pikes’ hamster) is inside Misty’s cage and it happens a few times. Jessi thinks that Becca did it, but sees Squirt near the cages. He watched a TV show on same things and moved the hamsters together because they were the same. Yes, because he is what, 1? I’m sure he can not only say, “same”, but unlock cages.

*The whole point of the Pikes not giving them the same night off is because they want the freedom to go out every night. That isn’t me blowing smoke, that is exactly what the book says! Why can’t the Pikes stay home with their kids one night out of the week?

*They stop for ice cream on the way there and Claire wanders off. The best part is that Mary Anne notices it, but not her freaking parents. The Pikes just go about eating their ice cream.

*This book mentions all these little things that you think are a part of the book, but never appear again. It’s always stupid things, like someone mentioning going for ice cream or introducing the kids Alex watches.

*I missed all the references to stuff they go in town. They walk by the mini golf course and Burger Garden, but never actually go.

*Check out that cover! Notice how Mary Anne is wearing a bikini and yet in the book, she never goes to the beach without a kaftan.

*Mallory is a regular sitter, but this is technically her vacation, so she should have free time. According to her parents, she will help watch the kids when one of the girls has the night off. Yet she never does any real sitting in this book.