Friday, September 14, 2012

The Sitter (R.L. Stine)

Oh man, this book is so freaking long compared to the others on this blog. I have no idea if this will be a super long review or a short one, but let’s see what happens.

The Sitter opens with this chick Ellie walking with two little kids. The little boy completely freaks out and starts digging a hole. Ellie sees bones inside and the little girl starts screaming about “mommy’s bones”.

Suddenly, it’s a few weeks earlier and Ellie is at a bar with her friend Teresa. She meets this hot guy named Bernie who’s a surgeon and develops a crush on him. Before anything can happen, her ex-boyfriend Clay shows up. Ellie complains that he’s been stalking her, but she leaves the club with him and even has sex with him. She tells Teresa that he’s a stalker, but won’t admit that she slept with him. Teresa suggests that Ellie find a job in the Hamptons where she’ll be hanging out on the weekends.

Ellie calls about one job and stops by to fill out an application, but the job is filled. A random woman hears her and offers her a nanny job. Ellie goes to their house, meets the kids, and gets the job. The dad, Chip, kind of hits on her, and the little boy Brandon never talks, but she likes the job. That is until she comes across the former nanny in town, who tells her to get the hell out while she has a chance.

Oh, and Ellie also flashes back to her high school romance with this guy Will. He’s super hot and loves her so much that he dumped his last girlfriend for her. His mother absolutely hated her, and Will found out that he got into Princeton. He claimed that they would be together forever, and she freaked out because she didn’t know what she wanted. Even though she wasn’t sure she wanted to be with him, she still had sex with him. He later died, and she moans about trying to get over him.

After a few more days, she runs into the old nanny again. The nanny talks to her about the dilapidated old guesthouse on the property. The story said that a captain owned the property and the guesthouse was haunted. In the 1950s, the nanny of a family lived there. The little boy had a crush on his nanny and caught her with her fiancĂ©. He grabbed a harpoon and killed the guy, but he didn’t remember doing it. According to the nanny, the guesthouse is still haunted, which is why Brandon doesn’t talk.

After Chip hitting on her again and Abby bemoaning her life as a mother, Ellie takes the kids to the beach. She meets another nanny and they let the kids play together until Brandon stabs a seagull several times. To get over the trauma, she heads off to a local club with Teresa. She meets a cute guy named Jackson, they go for a walk on the beach, and she runs off when she thinks that she sees Will.

Then she flashes back to high school and fooling around with this guy Frankie. Will found out about it and confronted her in his car. He drove off, they kept fighting, and he died. Ellie starts flipping out because she remembers that she was the one who turned the steering wheel, so it’s her fault he died. Oh, and at some point, she got a flower box filled with black flowers and cockroaches, but she’s sure it was Clay.

The next bad moment comes when her mom calls to wish her a happy birthday and Ellie realizes that she forgot about her own birthday. Luckily, a package arrives for her with a birthday card attached. Sadly, the box contains someone’s chopped off hand, which she recognizes as the old nanny.

This is the point where I would give up and head back to NYC, but Ellie keeps plugging along. She takes the kids to the beach and meets up with the other nanny Maggie again. They hang out until she sees that Heather almost drowns because someone took off her floaties, and Brandon just stands there smiling. Even worse, she hears the voices of a man in the woman in the guesthouse. The voices are so loud that they woke Abby from a deep sleep, but she just walks off when Ellie mentions ghosts.

Ellie starts spending more time with Jackson. One night, Clay shows up and accuses Jackson of stealing his girl. They race off, but someone follows them and almost pushes their car off the road. Clay gets pissed off when Ellie accuses him even though he has the exact same car. He shows her his car, which doesn’t have any damage.

She realizes that Chip has the same car, looks at it, and finds some massive damage. She heads to the flower shop and learns that Chip bought the black flowers. She even goes to the cake shop, which provided the box the hand was in, and discovers that Chip bought a cake there that same day.

Ellie confronts Abby who breaks down because Chip did the same thing before. She begs her to stay for a few days until she can figure out what to do with the kids, and she agrees. They go off to a party, but Chip sneaks back and acts weird before leaving again. Plus, the cops dig up the skeleton she found earlier and find that it’s a dog. This all leads up to the night where Ellie sees two figures outside, one of whom is wearing Chip’s leather jacket.

She sees Chip stab Jackson and rushes out to help. It’s not Jackson though, it’s Clay and he’s dead. When she starts back to the house, someone walks out of the guesthouse and it’s Will. He drags her inside and accuses her of ruining his life. After showing her all of his scars, he tells her that his mom hated her so much that she told everyone he died to keep them apart.

Suddenly, Abby walks in wearing Chip’s jacket. She starts complaining about Ellie and how Ellie ruined her life. It turns out that Abby was the girl who dated Will, and after three years, he dumped her for Ellie. Instead of being pissed at her asshole boyfriend, she took it out on Ellie. Ellie caused the accident that ruined his good looks.

The two women start fighting and Abby admits that she only got with Chip for his money, and Will says that she’s leaving him. When Abby admits that she was behind all the weird stuff, Will is surprised because he had no idea what she was doing. Abby goes to hit her with the fireplace poker, but hits Will instead and he collapses. Abby tries to throw her in the fireplace, but then Brandon wanders into the guesthouse, but Ellie sees a little redhead boy instead of Brandon. He says something about the nanny, grabs the harpoon, and Ellie screams, but he goes after Abby and stabs her in the shoulder.

Suddenly, Brandon is back to his normal self and talking again. The cops show up and try to make sense of what happened. Chip comes around and is shocked to hear his son talking. Brandon rushes over to the hole again and starts digging, talking about something being under. Chip tries to stop him, but the cops intervene and they find a decomposing body in the dirt.

It turns out that it’s the body of Jenny, Chip’s wife and the actual mother of his children. He had an affair with Abby who was the nanny, and Abby showed up one day to tell him that Jenny saw them together and couldn’t handle it, so she took off. Chip somehow believed that story even though Jenny never tried to get in contact with him again. Jackson holds Ellie for awhile, and I guess Will is dead because no one mentions him at the end.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ghosts of Fear Street #2: Who’s Been Sleeping in My Grave?

Zach is pretty much a nerd in his school. Since he fools easily, everyone picks on him, especially around Halloween, which is on Friday. On the way to school, he runs into his friend Chris. Chris tells a long story about a ghostly dog before pointing out the dog to Zach. Just as he flips out, Chris laughingly reveals that it’s just his cousin’s dog.

A few minutes later, they meet their new substitute teacher Mrs. Gaunt. She wears all white, is super skinny, and seems kind of creepy. She keeps calling him by his given name Zachariah and making a big deal about what a good student he is compared to his classmates. She even makes him stand at the chalkboard and divide decimals. He claims he can’t do it, but then his hand starts moving without him controlling it. Mrs. Gaunt winks at him and all of his classmates think he’s weird when he explains what happened.

Naturally, Mrs. Gaunt is even weirder than they thought. Zach finds one of her white gloves inside his desk. When she asks for it back, she reveals that her hand is actually just bones without any skin. His friends make fun of him, saying that she’s just old and has pale skin.

When Chris tells her that they planned on having a Halloween party, she starts making a list of things they need on the chalkboard. She keeps dropping the chalk, but explains that she has arthritis. Only Zach notices that she’s writing with the wrong hand and that her normal hand is hidden in her pocket.

Mrs. Gaunt sends Zach, Chris, and Marcy to a random store in town to get the decorations. Even though they’ve lived there all their lives, they never saw the store before. It’s dark and there are plastic bugs covering the floor. Chris disappears and they find him covered in blood, but he’s just playing. Mr. Sangfwad who owns the store pops up, telling them that he’s known Mrs. Gaunt forever. He helps them find the perfect decorations, acts a little weird, and sends them away.

This all leads up to Zach and his friend Marcy following her home one day. They see her go into the cemetery and find a grave with her name on it. They accidentally fall into the open grave, but manage to escape. They make a pact to tell everyone that their teacher is a ghost.

The next day though, Marcy doesn’t come to school. Gaunt says that she went out of town for a family emergency. Argh! This review seems like it’s taking forever! Basically, she gives him a gift and he opens it, finding a book called the Book of the Dead. He decides to avoid Gaunt, faking being sick so he can skip the Halloween party.

She shows up on his doorstep with the beggars and after scaring him, it turns out that it’s actually Chris in disguise. The real Gaunt appears and drags him into the cemetery. She tries to shove him into her open grave, saying that she only has until midnight to do it. Zach manages to get away and starts screaming, and Chris comes running in from the street. They shove her in the coffin and sit on top of it until midnight when everything stops.

Zach goes to see Marcy who tells him that they got a call about her sick grandmother, but when they got there, the woman was fine. He tells her what happened and asks Chris for backup, but he has no idea what he’s talking about. He reveals that Gaunt used her magic to make Chris forget what he saw. Then, he takes out a rubber snake that Chris pranked him with, says a few lines, and the snake becomes real. He ends the book saying that he learned a lot from Gaunt.

*Some of the descriptions are actually cool in this one. Like, he rips off her veil and finds that she has a skeleton face.

*Um, why is some random substitute showing up wearing white gloves and a white veil, and no one finds that odd?

*Apparently that random shop shows up and no one notices it either. Then again, these books do take place in Shadyside!