Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fear Street: The Wrong Number (R.L. Stine)



Deena just got a new phone thanks to her dad who works at the phone company. Her friend Jade thinks it would be fun to make some prank calls. After calling a few people, Deena pranks this guy from school, Rob, telling him in a sexy voice that she has the hots for him. Things are about to change though because her half-brother Chuck is moving to town after getting tossed out of his last school.

Deena thinks everything will be sunshine and lollipops, but it is pretty far from that. On the way home from picking Chuck up, they get into a car accident. Their dad tells them to get out of the car because people are crashing in front of and behind them. Chuck manages to save a dog from one of the wrecked cars right before it bursts into flames. He follows that up by getting into a fight with a kid at school and pulling a knife on him, which gets him suspended.

Jade thinks Chuck is super hot even when he's being a dick. She comes over and convinces Deena to make some more prank calls. Deena calls Rob yet again and Chuck overhears. He decides to make a prank call of his own and tells the bowling alley that there's a bomb inside. The pranking gets out of control after he starts calling people, claiming that he is the Phantom of Fear Street.

One night, they are hanging out and having fun when the girls get scared by a bat flying around outside. When they run in the house, Chuck makes a few jokes about Fear Street, and they start telling him the stories about it. Chuck picks a number from the phone book of someone who lives on the street, and when he calls, he hears a woman begging for her life and screaming for help.

They rush over to the house, walk through the broken back door, and find the woman laying dead on the floor. When a man in a mask walks out, they jump in the car and take off. He follows them, but turns around and leaves. Later that night, the cops arrive on their doorstep. Mr. Farberson came home, found his wife dead, and claims that the teens broke into his house and killed his wife in a botched robbery attempt. He managed to get their license plate number before they left. They let Deena go, but arrest Chuck.

After talking to Jade, the girls decide to go back and talk to the cops. They tell them what happened that night, but the cops think they're lying to protect Chuck. The whole story gets leaked to the paper, so everyone knows about their prank calls. Rob realizes that Deena was his sexy caller and asks her out, but she's way too busy trying to save her brother. They realize that Farberson was the guy in the house when they hear him talk on TV, but the cops still don't believe them.

The two dress up in wigs and go to the restaurant that he owns. Jade pretends that she is there to apply for his job and they go through his files when he leaves for a few minutes. They find a receipt for an airline ticket but since it's for two people, they assume he was going on vacation with his wife. They find out that his last assistant recently quit and Jade calls her and sets up an appointment to meet with her by claiming that she's doing a survey.

Linda Morison lets them into her house, but leaves the room when someone calls. Jade listens as she calls Farberson “darling” and begs him to get something out of her house. They take off, but follow Farberson when he gets something from her house. It turns out that it's a dead cat, which is disappointing because they thought it was the mask he wore during the robbery attempt.

They decide to break into his house and look for evidence. Deena tells Chuck and he flips out, but he can't do anything since he's still in jail. They find a letter from his wife, saying that she left him and wouldn't give him another dime of her money to waste on his pipe dream of a restaurant. When Farberson comes in, they hide in the closet. He finds them and grabs Jade but Deena gets away.

He finds her and drags her upstairs, locking her in the room with Jade. They drag a dresser across the door and climb out the window. They manage to get on one of the branches, but he runs downstairs and grabs a chainsaw. Just as he starts cutting through their branch, the cops show up. It turns out that they always suspected him but they had no proof. Chuck actually agreed to stay in jail until they could gather some evidence.

The cops get the evidence from the girls and arrest Farberson. Jade and Chuck make up and I guess he gets to go back to school or something. Oh and Rob officially asks out Deena and she finally agrees to go on a date with him.

*Yeah, so I haven't read this book in forever, but it really holds up well! I liked it more than some of the other Fear Street books I read recently.

*I'm still trying to figure out why their dad had them get out of the car on the highway and during a massive multi car pileup because it was safer than staying in the car. It seems like standing anywhere near the traffic would be a lot worse.

*If Chuck is 18 and he pulled a knife on a kid in high school that would be assault with a deadly weapon, not something the school could cover.

*Stine does realize that nothing the girls found could be considered evidence against him, right? Anything obtained without a search warrant, even by kids, can't be used in court. Plus, they only got that stuff by breaking into his home.