Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #18: April Fools by Richie Tankersley Cusick

April Fools by Richie Tankersley Cusick
April Fools by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Title: April Fools by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Summary: It’s April Fools’ Day. Frank thinks he’s king of the fools. So when he and his friends get cut up by a hotshot driver, it’s fair game. But things start to go wrong. Someone saw what happened that night, and wants to join in the fun. But April Fools’ Day is over and these jokes are for real.

[Note from reality: They do not get “cut up by a hotshot driver”, Frank thinks it’s funny to run someone off the road because the honked. That’s it.]

[Wing: Is this a Brit versus American thing? Because I’ve never heard the phrase “cut up” used in this context in my life. “Cut off” is what I immediately thought it should be, but that’s not really what happened either, once I read it.]

Tagline: It’s no joke… it’s murder

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy. Or, for that matter, that they’re “bad”.

Initial Thoughts:

Given the front cover, I always mix this up with The Doll, which is a short story in one of the Thirteen anthologies. I love The Doll. This? This I do not love. I know I hate the male character in here so much that flames… Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathl- heaving breaths. Heaving breaths… Heathing… [Depressing side note: there’s talk of rebooting Clue.]

[Wing: Oh, come on. It could be awesome. They could diversify the hell out of that cast.]

April Fools Wordle -- with... more punctuation abuse!
April Fools Wordle — with… more punctuation abuse!

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #17: Teacher’s Pet by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Teacher's Pet by Richie Tankersley Cusick
Teacher’s Pet by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Title: Teacher’s Pet

Summary: Kate likes a little thrill. She likes a little scare. And she loves getting the chance to go to the exclusive week-long writing conference taught by the famous master of horror himself. He’s so good at being so bad.

With a teacher like that, you expect a little competition. With a teacher like that, you practically have to kill to get his attention.

Does Kate have what it takes to be teacher’s pet?

Tagline: Look at what the cat dragged in…

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy.

SUPER SPECIAL NOTE: Gemma requested this, so Gemma, this is for you. And I will hold you personally responsible if this is not awesome, ok? (Just kidding, it’s Cusick, there’s no hope of it being awesome.)

[Wing: GEMMA, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.]

[Dove: Wing, don’t shout at our only commenter. We love Gemma. We just really hate this book.]

Initial Thoughts:

I know I have read this book. I know I did not enjoy this book. I couldn’t tell you what happened in it. Except there’s a cat. And at one point they think the cat is carrying a hand. Other than that? No clue.

[Wing: I’ve never read this book. My life was better from not reading it, clearly.]

Punctuation Abuse

Note: I’ve just realised that I bounce between “ellipses” and “ellipsis” in reference to DotDotDots in this blog. The second is correct. I’m just bad at typing, and because the first is a word, it’s not flagged as an error when I spell check. I’m trying to correct them as I see them, but there will be errors, I guarantee it.

Ellipsis used: 666
EnDashes used: 624

Because… everything – and I do mean everything – needs EnDashes and DotDotDots
Because… everything – and I do mean everything – needs EnDashes and DotDotDots

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Posted in Book Exchange

The Book Exchange

The Book Exchange

Dove: So, we’ve been doing some housekeeping and found we have duplicate books. Ordinarily, I take my duplicate and/or unwanted books to charity shops. However, I can’t deal with going into a charity shop, lighting up with joy at the sight of Point Horrors, only to be crushed with the realisation that they used to belong to me. Also, we own a site about Point Horrors, so it makes sense to offer a book exchange. I, Dove, am in the UK, Wing is in the USA. So you are limited by which country you’re in as to who you can deal with.

So, move to the correct section.

UK Only – Dove’s Books

I will happily swap any books you want – our list of books we currently own can be found here. Or, far be it from me to deny someone the PH love, if you want to send me postage, I’ll send them to you. If you write me a whimsical rhyme in the style of PH, I’ll send you any book you want. Wing is under no obligation to follow the same rules. Especially because she hates the whimsical rhymes.

All books are readable. These are not fine quality books, they are old. They have been in bags, some have even been to Austria and had Ribena spilled all over them.

Conditions:

  • Pretty Good: Not pristine, but as good as you’ll get with second-hand books that are nearly two decades old. No broken spines, only light wear on cover.
  • Fair: Scratching on cover, page corners/edges worn by use.
  • Not Great: This book has been treated badly – e.g. broken spine, ragged cover, light tearing (not necessarily all at once). It is still readable.

Once again: None of these books is pristine. Click the picture below to see full size.

Dove's Book Swapsies
Dove’s Book Swapsies

Funhouse by Diane Hoh

Condition: Not Great. Worn on spine and front cover. Fold on front cover.

The Fever by Diane Hoh

Condition: Fair. Wearing on front cover, but largely good, corners of pages are not particularly worn. Light scratching on front and back cover.

The Invitation by Diane Hoh

Condition: Not Great. Worn on spine and front cover. Spine broken. Scratches on cover. Slightly warped, from either bad storage or damp. Or both, possibly. Who knows?

The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Condition: Not Great. Worn on spine and front cover, colours on cover faded. Second-hand when I got it. Stickers on the spine. “Property of Sackville School” stamped on page edges. (Also, contains a scribbly bit of paper in my handwriting which contains the lyrics to “Shitlist” by L7. I will most probably remove that before shipping. Unless you want that too? Makes sense, threatening words inside a book about killing people?)

The Mall (two copies) by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Condition: One is Pretty Good, the other is Not Great. The Not Great one has a broken spine.

The Train by Diane Hoh

Condition: Pretty good. Wearing on front cover, but largely good, corners of pages are not particularly worn.

Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Condition: Fair. Worn on spine and front cover.

Nightmare Inn, Room 13 and The Pool (3-in-1)

Condition: Fair. Worn on spine and front cover. (not pictured)

USA Only – Wing’s Books

[Wing will complete this later.]

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #14: The Window by Carol Ellis

The Window by Carol Ellis
The Window by Carol Ellis

Title: The Window

Summary: It should have been the skiing holiday of a lifetime. But Jody sprains her ankle and finds herself alone with nothing to do but gaze out of her cabin window.

Gazing into the cabin of a beautiful neighbor she witnesses the fight, the murder and the killer… or does she?

And if the murder is real, has the killer been watching Jody?

Tagline: She’s seen the killer. Has the killer seen her?

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy.

The Window by Carol Ellis - Scan by Mimi
The Window by Carol Ellis – Scan by Mimi

Initial Thoughts:

I remember this being one of my favourite Point Horrors of all time, right up there with Funhouse and Camp Fear. Camp Fear is still a lot of fun, so I have high hopes for this, since both are by Carol Ellis.

[Wing: Muahahahahahahahahahaha.]

[Dove: *cries*]

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Posted in Nightmares Recaps

Recap #11: Arcadia 3: The Pool by T. S. Rue

Arcadia 3: The Pool by T. S. Rue
Arcadia 3: The Pool by T. S. Rue

Title: The Pool by T. S. Rue (Part 3 of the Nightmare Inn/Arcadia series)

Summary: Kelly is elated when she lands her dream job as a lifeguard at the New Arcadia Inn pool, but a string of bizarre poolside accidents soon convinces her that someone, or something, is after the lifeguards.

Tagline: Don’t go in the water…

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy. Also doesn’t mean it’s ever successful at killing/pranking/whatevering.

Initial Thoughts:

I remember all of these books being generally awful, but 1 and 3 being less awful than the others. It worked out well for me that Wing had to review 2 and 4. Also, it helps that I don’t really like the water. It doubly helps that I’ve just had to skim-read Room 13, and that’s probably the worst book we’ve had to recap for this site. So far. The Attic (Part 4) could be worse. I can’t remember.

Edit – 3 March 2015: I finally bought a copy of the book from eBay so I could have a nice high quality scan of the front cover, which is just as pretty as I remember. (I originally owned the book, then lost it, then replaced it with a 3-in-1 and now I have the lovely cover again. *blissful sigh*)

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #9: The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick

The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick
The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Title: The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Summary: Kelsey’s summer should have been paradise: An invitation to rich and famous Beverly Island, complete with sun-drenched beaches and three gorgeous lifeguards on duty. But Kelsey’s summer is the opposite of paradise. It starts with the note under her pillow from a girl who’s missing. Then there’s the crazy man in the lighthouse who won’t leave Kelsey alone. And there have been a number of suspicious drownings… At least she has the lifeguards around to protect her… Poor Kelsey. Someone forgot to tell her that lifeguards don’t always like to save lives.

Tagline: Don’t call for help… he may just kill you.

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy. I will refer to the Bad Guy throughout as “Justin” because it’s fucking obvious it’s Justin. It’s never been so fucking obvious ever before. Seriously, the Bad Guy is fucking Justin and I’m on page five. It’s fucking Justin, ok?

[Wing: WUT? NO! How dare you spoil it for me! I really thought it was Isaac Skip Neale Kelsey’s dead dad come back to take vengeance.]

Initial Thoughts:

Right, so I must have read this at some point because it’s in the box that came from my mother’s house. Also, it’s stamped with “Property of Sackville School” on the sides, which means it came from my home town. (No, I didn’t steal it… wait, I’m the evil twin, I totally stole it from a very posh public* school.) I have no recollection of ever reading this. Ever. So let’s just say I hate the cover and that’s all I’ve got.

*I’m English, so if you’re American, I mean private. Either way, a posh, pay-for-your-education-and-associate-with-toffs school.

Recap:

First things first, since it’s Cusick, the punctuation will be abused so here, have some stats:

Ellipses used: 691

En Dashes used: 764

Appropriate usage of the above: less than 10%

Yeah. This pisses me off on an epic scale. And not just because I had to format the fucking thing for my Kindle. Why can’t we use commas, semi-colons and full stops? Why… is it… always… ellipses – well, except for when – to be dramatic – we start – needlessly – using – wait for it – en dashes. *sigh*

To illustrate just how often they showed up, I created a worldle.

The Lifeguard - Wordle
Yes, she uses these more than the protagonist’s name

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Posted in Nightmares Recaps

Recap #8: Arcadia 1: Nightmare Inn by T. S. Rue

Arcadia 1: Nightmare Inn by T. S. Rue
Arcadia 1: Nightmare Inn by T. S. Rue

Title: Nightmare Inn by T. S. Rue (Part 1 of the Nightmare Inn/Arcadia series)

Summary: When their car breaks down on the way to a weekend camping trip, Sarah, Matt, Adam, and Jodie are forced to stay overnight in the spooky, old Arcadia Inn. When Sarah has a vivid nightmare about a gruesome murder, she tries to convince the others that it’s a warning to leave Arcadia – or else.

Tagline: You may never leave…

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy. Also doesn’t mean it’s ever successful at killing/pranking/whatevering.

Initial Thoughts:

I borrowed this from a friend, and, despite not enjoying it, I bought the following three books and read them on a long and boring drive from Kent to Cheshire. I do not have any happy memories, other than the covers were really nice. Unfortunately, I have since lost them, and ended up buying a 3-in-1, which has a crap front cover. *sigh*

Edit 28 February 2015: I bought a copy of eBay, and scanned in the cover. It’s beautiful.

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #7: Dream Date by Sinclair Smith

Dream Date by Sinclair Smith
Dream Date by Sinclair Smith

Title: Dream Date by Sinclair Smith

Summary: Katie’s worst nightmare has come true… and she’s in it.

Shy, pretty Katie is dying to meet the perfect boy and fall in love. Then one night when she’s asleep, Heath Granger walks into her dreams. He’s handsome, charming and exciting. And if he’s a little bit possessive, so what?

He’s only a dream…

Dream Date by Sinclair Smith - Scan by Mimi
Dream Date by Sinclair Smith – Scan by Mimi

But soon, Katie is sleeping more and more, and Heath is becoming stronger and meaner. He doesn’t just want to be part of Katie’s dreams – he wants to visit her when she’s awake too.

Katie’s dream date is taking over her life and turning it into a living nightmare…

Tagline: Sweet dreams… and rest in peace.

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy.

Initial Thoughts

This is a book I actually bought recently, I found a copy on eBay recently and have been excitedly telling Wing (so much so that she’s got to the point where she just nods and says “yes, Dove, I know” when I bring it up) that I’m really looking forward to re-reading this book.

Why do I love it? Well, I have fond memories of it. And also, when I was a teenager, there was no greater movie series than A Nightmare on Elm Street, and this is like woobie fanfic of it written by the idiots who think Freddy is one of those nice murderous paedophiles who just needs a big hug from a nice girl who understands him.

It only showed up a couple of days ago, so I’ve been frantically scanning, cropping, editing, converting and html-ing the thing so I can quote great swathes of text, should I need to. Wing has not yet had chance to read it. And also, as I type, has no idea that’s what I’m recapping. I said I was doing The Diary (same author), so she’s gonna be ticked when she realises I’ve chosen another book. This makes me the evil twin, but I think I’ll let her think she’s the evil twin as a peace offering.

Let’s get this show on the road.

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #5: Beach House by R L Stine

Beach House by R. L. Stine
Beach House by R. L. Stine

Title: Beach House by R L Stine

Summary: It’s 1956 and four kids are hanging out on the beach. Little do they know that a killer has begun to stalk them, one by one. Now, on the same golden sands nearly 40 years later, Ashley, Ross, Lucy and Kip are enjoying the same beach. Until history starts to repeat itself.

Tagline: Don’t go near the water…

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy.

Initial Thoughts:

Beach House by R L Stine - Scan by Mimi
Beach House by R L Stine – Scan by Mimi

Generally I am not a fan of R L Stine. The Witness, The Boyfriend, Beach Party, etc, they all left me bored. Maybe as a teen, I should have learned from this but I didn’t, and I kept buying, based on the pretty covers and awesome summaries. Finally, I lucked on to a winner. Beach House is one of my favourite Point Horrors of all time, it’s up there with Camp Fear (recently recapped by Wing), The Window and Funhouse. I have no idea why, but I very much enjoy it. Let’s hope it holds up to a re-read. It had better be good. I’ve paused in my reading of Chris Jericho’s book to recap it. And Chris Jericho is the best in the world at everything he does. That’s some stiff competition.

Recap

This time, I’m going to follow Wing’s example which is: get to the point, stupid! So, I’m off to read and you will not get my thoughts on every sentence as written, you will get a recap. I will stop using so many words.

[Wing: As we saw with Camp Fear, sometimes I, too, fail at getting to the point.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #3: Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick
Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Title: Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Summary: From the beginning Martha knew there was something evil about the house. It was so cold and sinister. And it wasn’t just the house that was giving her the creeps. Martha was sure someone was following her, watching her every move.

Then the practical jokes began – the scarecrow with the carving knife in its head, the fire. And, worst of all, the phone calls…

Tagline: Trick or Treat, trick or treat, candy is dandy, but murder is sweet

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy.

Note II: Electric Boogaloo: There are 584 instances of ellipses used to end a sentence. I would say 572 of them would be better suited to the single full stop. Then she goes mad with dashes instead of full stops. In total there are 863 badly ended sentences in this book. Seriously, no more than 20 of them need either ellipses or dashes. The rest is just… unnecessary – to give the impression… of atmosphere – I wouldn’t have noticed… if I hadn’t been scanning in my copy… for my… kindle – Argh.

[Wing: It is a sad, sad thing that you counted.]

[Dove: I didn’t count, Word did when I did a find and replace. Is that still sad?]

Note 3 (3D): Ok, new format, see if I can make these things a bit shorter while retaining the information. [Note from the future: I can’t.] I’m going to read a chunk, recap, read a chunk, recap, etc. Rather than recapping as I read.

Initial thoughts

This was the first Point Horror I ever read, it had a great picture on the front cover, an interesting summary and I was ready to be terrified.

I’m still waiting. I remember powering through it and finding it to be a jumbled mess at the end. I remember feeling that it was quite a dull book, and although I read it cover to cover, probably in about one sitting, I never really got into it. Let’s see how it pans out 20 years later…

Also: Wing, did you see that there’s another twee poem! This time it’s the tagline. *happiness* … *coughs* … *evil happiness*

[Wing: That is not evil happiness, that is pure, good happiness. It is a good cover though. Minus the horrible twee poem.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #1: Funhouse by Diane Hoh

Funhouse by Diane Hoh
Funhouse by Diane Hoh

So, I’m going to start things off with my favourite Point Horror of all time, Diane Hoh’s Funhouse. In my opinion, Diane Hoh writes the best Point Horror, and her characters are actually likable, rather than the soulless bastards that I remember running rampant through everyone else’s books.

However, it’s been years since I really read these books, so I could be wrong. Not about Diane Hoh, she is my PH goddess, but about how unlikable everyone else’s characters are.

I love this book so much I have three copies of it. The first is nearly dead and accompanied me on my trip to Austria (yes, Wing, we have been to Austria), someone’s Ribena exploded all over it, and I very unhappy. Ribena is now a banned substance.

[Wing: Since I am the evil twin, I have taken over this recap and littered it with comments. First comment. Why didn’t we destroy said Ribena monster?]

As a side note, I love theme parks/thrill rides. I know a lot of people do, but I like to believe I have a special kind of love for them, because I like them when they’re shut down and spooky, and this book has brief mentions of this.

So, let’s go.

Title: Funhouse by Diane Hoh

Summary: The Boardwalk is the focal point in the lives of the teenagers of Santa Luisa. When the Devil’s Elbow roller coaster flies off its rails, everyone thinks it was a terrible accident. So no-one believes Tess when she says she saw someone tampering with the track…

But one person knows that Tess is telling the truth. That person is playing a deadly game and Tess is in the way. When another “accident” occurs in the Funhouse, Tess knows she was the intended victim. But who is doing this? And why?

Tess is beginning to realise that the Funhouse can scare you… to death.

Tagline: You can die laughing…

Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy.

Trope definitions are found here.

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Posted in General

Welcome to the Devil’s Elbow

Welcome to the Devil’s Elbow, a site for Point Horror Recaps. The site is named after the roller coaster from Dove’s favourite of all of the Point Horrors, Funhouse. Our Book List can be found here.

Dove’s favourite Point Horrors, in no particular order are:

  • Funhouse
  • Camp Fear
  • The Window
  • The Train
  • The Accident

As you can probably tell from that list, Diane Hoh and Carol Ellis are Dove’s favourite PH writers.

At least, this was the case way back when. As we re-read and recap, this may change.

Wing’s favourite Point Horrors, in a particular order you are not privy to, are:

  • The Cheerleader
  • The Return of the Vampire
  • The Vampire’s Promise
  • Camp Fear
  • Student Body (Nightmare Hall #21)

Yes, that means Diane Hoh and Carol Ellis are Wing’s favourite PH writers, too. Are you creeped out yet, Dove? I’m watching you.

Also, we will throw a few non-PH books in there that fit thematically because… well, we’re evil twins and can do whatever we like.

Wing is most looking forward to reading the following for the first time:

  • Unleashed – Moon Children
  • The Surfer
  • The Claw
  • Room 13