Woo-who! I just located a box of books from my last move. Let's pretend it wasn't three years ago, shall we? While many were books already covered here on the blog, there were a few hidden gems in there like this one. Believe it or not, I have probably had this for at least four years and never got around to recapping it :)
A group of counselors are out in the woods gathering branches and down wood to make a fire. They're all laughing and having fun, even though it rained the night before. Look, I just took a trip to the Moonville Tunnel a few weeks ago (Google it if you like haunted places!), and hiking through muddy woods is anything but fun. Anywho, one of the counselors slips and falls in the mud, warned you buddy, and suddenly starts screaming. Everyone looks and sees a dead body wearing a Camp Silverlake shirt.
Seven Years Later.
First, we get an italicized couple of paragraphs from someone warning that he remembered what happened so long ago. Even if no one else remembers, he'll make them.
Then we get to Rachel. She's one of the counselors working at Camp Silverlake for the summer. There's a bunch of other people: Mark, Steve, Stacey, Terry. I'm not sure if we need to really know the differences between them. They all camped there as kids and came back as teens. Tim and Michelle are the two people in charge of them until the other counselors arrive with the kids. Rachel notices that they seem a little iffy about the past and don't really want to talk about it. Gee, I wonder why?
After making some jokes about Mr. Drummond, the camp's caretaker, they decide to head off for the night. Apparently, Tim and Michelle get to stay in this huge lodge by themselves while everyone else stays in cabins with the kids. This hot guy Jordan walks with Rachel for a bit, flirts with her, and then disappears. She hears someone following her, freaks out, and runs into her cabin.
Turns out that it was just Mr. Drummond checking on them, but the girls get all antsy and pretty much hide under their beds. We learn that Teresa has a boyfriend back home, that Linda is super organized, and that Stacey thinks they should all go to bed at eleven. Rachel wakes later in the night and freaks out when she hears someone rifling around outside. She gets over it super fast and falls back asleep.
After another paragraph from Mr. Italicized, we get back to the story. Rachel get tasked with creating a display for the bulletin board in the cafeteria. While going through old pictures, she finds one of some of her fellow camp counselors, which is odd since they literally just told her that they barely knew each other back then. She finds a picture of this sad looking boy staring out at the water and for some reason decides to make it the centerpiece. Drummond stops by, looks really angry when he sees it, mentions that she's new, and storms off. She also finds a picture of this guy Paul from when he was a kid before hearing someone screaming outside.
She races out and sees Stacey floundering in the water. Steve and Mark took her out in a boat, and Steve thought it would be fun to toss her overboard. Turns out that she's deathly afraid of water and they had to rescue her. She tells everyone that Steve is petrified of snakes and makes a big deal about her own fear. Everyone else, including me, thinks it's weird that she would agree to be a counselor at a camp on a big ass lake.
The others see her display and wander in to see her. Mark looks super pissed and everyone else keeps waiting for him to say something before they do anything. She thinks he's pissed because she was making fun of them with embarrassing pictures, and when she tells him that, he suddenly calms down and everyone else just laughs it off. Paul later tells her that the little boy died the summer they were all campers.
They then decide to have some fun as a group. After arguing, they decide to take a hike. When they head towards a rock outcropping, Mark suddenly finds a knot in his shoelace and tells everyone to go on ahead. Rachel is the only one who realizes that he won't go with them because he's afraid of heights. When they see each other later, he acts really cool and kind of ignores her.
Even though the book was setting up a Rachel/Jordan pairing, she starts spending time with Paul too. Slutty girl. The girls want to play a prank on the guys, which involves hiding in the woods, throwing stuff at their cabin, and hiding wet leaves in their sleeping bags. Rachel gets separated and freaked out because she doesn't know where they are. She hears someone tracking her through the woods, but it's really just Paul looking for her. The other girls pop up and act like she's crazy for being scared of the dark woods. Right when they get back to their cabin though, they hear an eerie scream coming from the woods.
They think it's just a wild animal until it keeps coming. After running to the boys' cabin, they find Steve on the ground with a rattlesnake a few feet away. One of the girls runs to get Drummon, who comes back and stabs the snake with a shovel before carrying it away. Steve grabs Stacey and pretty much shakes her like a Polaroid picture before the others separate them. Steven kind of apologizes, the girls go back to their cabin, and go through every inch of the room looking for snakes before going to bed.
Blah, blah, blah. More about Rachel and Jordan and then Rachel and Paul. She finds out that someone took the picture down from the bulletin board, and then she gets some alone time with Paul. He says that they only see each other when they accidentally run into each other and that they need to plan to see each other more. Then she asks him about the little boy. His name was Johnny, and he was the nerd of the camp. They picked on him, called him names, threw stuff at him, and generally made his life a living head. On an overnight hike, he sneaked out of the tent, but no one noticed until the next day when they found his body.
Later that same day, Stacey seems super whiny and someone tells her to take a nap. She later disappears, and Rachel realizes that she fell asleep in a boat tied on the freaking water, and the boat floated away. The boat then starts sinking, and Stacey wakes up and freaks out. Rachel gets to her and "saves her life" before anyone else can. This all leads to Stacey freaking out even more about how someone is clearly coming after them, they should call the police, and no one knows who is next on the list.
Rachel has a bad dream that ends with her waking and screaming Johnny's names. Terry and Linda ask about him because they weren't there that summer. She tells him who Johnny was, and Stacey gets snippy and tells her to leave it in the past. The next day, she comes back to her cabin and finds the dead snake and a big kitchen knife in her bed. Terry says that she can't help and runs away, leaving her to get some help from Drummond before burying the snake in the woods. She decides that it was a warning to her to be quiet.
Then the whole group goes hiking in the woods but separates. Rachel and Paul hear Linda screaming and find her stuck on the rock outcropping. She hurt her ankle and Mark was so terrified that he couldn't help her. Jordan shows up and Linda gets snappy because he supposedly went for help. They get her safe, and she apologizes to Mark because she forgot about his fear of heights, which seems to piss him off even more, because she acknowledged his fear.
Tim and Michelle take off for the night and the group separates. Linda and Rachel go back to their cabin, but Linda ends up leaving. A storm comes through, and the wind sends papers in the cabin flying. Rachel finds letters from Johnny to his big sister Linda complaining about how mean the other kids were to him and how much he wanted to come home. No explanation at all for why they would basically be the same age though.
Rachel runs off and finds Linda holding a gun on Mark, Steve, Jordan, and Stacey. Johnny told her that Jordan was just a follower and would probably stop picking on him if the others did, so she gives him an option. She can kill him or everyone else. Rachel sneaks up behind her and tackles her to the ground. Drummond shows up to say that it was his gun and that it was never loaded, Linda goes into shock, and everyone else kind of acts like they didn't do anything wrong. Hey, kids will be kids, right? Dirty, mean, cruel, could punch them in the throat kids. And then Rachel and Paul do some more flirting. No better way to start a relationship than someone trying to kill you.