Title: Class Trip II by Bebe Faas Rice
Summary: Hallie and her friends are lost, stranded in Holyoake—a small town deep in the mountains. A town isolated from the rest of the world. A town that time has forgotten.
At first, Hallie is charmed by Holyoake’s odd customs and old-fashioned ways. [Wing: LIES.] The townspeople are warm and friendly, and they’re eager to make Hallie and her friends feel right at home. They want to make sure that Hallie and her friends stay in Holyoake. Forever.
Tagline: Pack your bag…
Way back when I first recapped Class Trip, I talked about how I’d read Class Trip II and really enjoyed it, but had never read the first book. Had never even considered finding the first book, despite the fact that Class Trip II is very clearly the second book in a series.
So finally, years later, I read Class Trip. I enjoyed it — sort of. And now I’ve come back to Class Trip II, which I loved when I was a teen. Here’s hoping it holds up. (I’m reading an updated version, I think, so who knows how that will compare.) [Wing: Note from the future, I didn’t actually notice any differences, because I was so enthralled.]
Continue reading »
Books of Blood 2: The Hunger by M. C. Sumner
Title: The Hunger by M. C. Sumner
Summary: Her friends are disappearing – and Talli will be next.
Chris is still in high school, but his sister is a teacher, and together they move to Westerberg after the death of their parents. Driving into town they notice posters on every telegraph post depicting missing teenagers. Slowly Chris finds out they were killed by vampires.
Tagline: The Hunger will eat you alive…
Notes: 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 now refer to the bad guy as “Muffin Man” because of The Mall. Nope, I’m going to refer to the bad guys by name, because that’s the kind of book we’re in.
Well, since I really enjoyed the last one, I have high hopes for this, although sequels generally are not as good as their originals. And if you guys want to get into a lively debate in the comments section on successful sequels, I’m all for it. (I personally like Scream 2, Terminator 2, and Halloween H20, better than the originals.)
Once again, I’m going to recap as I do my first read through. True, last time this resulted in one of the longest recaps ever, but I can see the benefit. If this sucks, I only have to read it the once.
Note from the future: Thank god I did. As it is, it took me four days to do this book.
Books of Blood by M. C. Sumner – Don’t you just love it when the cover is so exciting and intriguing?
Title: The Principal by M C Sumner
Summary: Talli knows a deadly secret – and wishes she didn’t.
Principal Volker is tough on discipline, and anyone who steps out of line is summoned to his office, and gets a detention. But no one seems the same afterwards and pupils start disappearing. Talli knows it has something to do with Volker. She follows him to his house and discovers he’s a vampire.
Tagline: You’ll die if you get detention… (Yeah, nope, another Nightmares tagline written by someone who’s never read the book.)
Notes: 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 now refer to the bad guy as “Muffin Man” because of The Mall.
Books of Blood 1: The Principal by M. C. Sumner or “Robert distracts Class 4 during assembly”
I have been dreading doing this. So I can only assume that this book is significantly better than I think it will be. Or at least it shouldn’t be as bad as Hall Pass.
I’m doing a Wing here, and recapping as I read for the first time. Usually I read through the entire book, then recap. I’ve only done it this way once or twice before. And generally it highlights how bad I am at guessing what’s going to happen.
One of the reasons I’m so loathe to recap this is that bloody cover to the right. It looks stupid. I remember when I was in primary school, aged around eight, Robert, a kid in the year below me, was sent out of assembly for goofing off. He spent the rest of the assembly pressing his face against the glass in the door and making silly faces to crack up anyone who could see him. This cover sums up that memory perfectly. This is going to be ridiculous. (Also, I get unnaturally angsty when I can’t find a nice high quality cover for my recap.)
[Wing: I love it when the summary just flat out tells me the mystery behind the principal.]
Hall Pass by Robert Hawks
Title: Hall Pass by Robert Hawks
Summary: I have to get rid of the bodies… They’re clawing back to the surface.
The hall pass is a privilege, but Mr Elliot gives it out freely. His students are the problem kids – they need to roam.
Melissa has roamed too far and stumbled upon a gruesome truth.
Now she knows what happened to the others.
Join your classmates, Melissa.
Tagline: Don’t be too sure you want to get out of class.
I had never read this before, but I do like Nightmares, because they tend to have an actual bodycount and crimes that go beyond gaslighting (which is pretty bad when you’re the victim, but when you’re the reader and have been sold on a murder-death-rampage, and all you get is an abusive boyfriend and a few poison pen letters, it’s a bit of a letdown). Also, Nightmares is the series that gave us the ISUZU TROOPER, BITCHES, so there is that.
[Wing: I had never read this before either. Now I have. It is certainly something.]
I.O.U. by Nicholas Adams
Title: I.O.U. by Nicholas Adams
Summary: Haunted by recurring nightmares, high school junior Sharon Anders begins to confuse dreams with reality and is soon plunged into a desperate struggle between good and evil.
Tagline: Someone has to pay…
Note: As Dove requested, I’ve updated my template, because we now apparently call the Bad Guys Muffin Man. Hey, it makes as much sense as most Point Horrors.
I’ve never read it before, but after my last experience with Nicholas Adams, I’m keeping my hopes low, though I didn’t hate Horrorscope nearly as much as Dove did. This sounds like it could be a lot of fun, but it also sounds like it could end up being another ~crazy Muffin Man.
(Also, I am disproportionately frustrated about Adams’ Horror High title, because I have a book series that needs to use that title and I can’t. Damn you, Adams.)
Horrorscope by Nicholas Adams
Title: Horrorscope by Nicholas Adams
Summary: Aries: Avoid confrontations. A bad day for relationships.
Soon she would come.
It was written in the stars.
Finally Jenny Warren left the protective light of the streetlamp behind. She walked fast, her shoes tapping on the sidewalk.
In the shadow of the night, the watcher smiled. His hands tightened their grip on the scarf. “You should have paid attention, Jenny,” he whispered to himself. “Didn’t you read your horoscope today?”
This is a novel by John Peel writing as Nicholas Adams.
Tagline: This will be your day to die…
Note: As Dove requested, I’ve updated my template, because we now apparently call the Bad Guy the Muffin Man. Hey, it makes as much sense as most Point Horrors.
Never read it, but love horror stories based on horoscopes, and I really enjoyed the depth and detail of the last Nightmares book I read, even if the subject matter was terrible, so I have high hopes for this one. We’ll see how quickly Adams can ruin that for me.
(And on the other hand, under his John Peel name, he wrote DANCES WITH WEREWOLVES, which was entertaining enough but not great. And we should really recap that at some point, too.)
Home Before Dark by Beverley Hastings
Title: Home Before Dark by Beverly Hastings
Summary: HURRY HOME…
“This isn’t the way to my house,” she said, with uncertainty in her voice.
“Yes, it is,” he reassured her. Already his heart was thumping a little faster in anticipation.
“It’s getting late,” she told him. “I’m supposed to be home before dark.”
She felt his heavy forearm across his throat. She screamed, but he just laughed.
At first, a year in Ohio with her aunt and uncle seems like a jail sentence to teenager Sara Langdon – after all, she’s from sunny L.A. The kids accept her with no problems, though, and she soon starts dating the captain of the football team. Then terror strikes, as a killer begins stalking high-school girls.
Tagline: No one is safe when the sun goes down…
I’ve never read it before. I didn’t know much about it, though when I chose it, Dove warned me that it was about rape, at the same time she warned me about the good times I’d have with Help Wanted.
This recap is a little different. For one thing, there will be no counters. I tried to add them in after I wrote the first draft, but they felt frivolous and distracting from the main point, which is: this book is at times a pointed commentary on rape culture, and the recap expands on that theme. A lot. Nearly 16,000 words worth of a lot. This is a recap of Home Before Dark. It points out all the things we love and hate about Point Horrors and its ilk, as always. But Home Before Dark actually handles the rape aspect fairly well, and certainly better than Help Wanted did. This is more than a recap.
The timing on this is important as well. Rape is in the news in the USA because Brock Turner, a convicted rapist, was given six months in the Stanford rape case. SIX FUCKING MONTHS. Judge Aaron Persky gave him a lenient sentence because, and I fucking quote, “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.”
Let that sink in. A prison sentence, as punishment for a crime he has fucking been convicted for months ago, would have a severe impact on him. The criminal. Who cares about the impact on the survivor, right?
This is rape culture. We live in rape culture. It is constantly stewing all around us. Slut shaming. Victim blaming. It mixes with racism and white supremacy. Letting white rapists off because punishment will hurt them, and they were just drunk, and boys will be boys. Punishing black rapists because they are thugs and dangerous and We Must Save the White Women From Dangerous Black Men. Asking girls and women what they did to not be raped, how much they fought, but didn’t you really like it a little. She was asking for it. Look at what she was wearing. She was drunk, it’s her fault versus he was drunk, it’s not his fault.
The most shocking part of all of this actually isn’t that he got six months, and will likely be out in three. It is that he was charged and found guilty and sentenced at all. It is that the media covered it at all. Most rapes go unreported, or if they are reported, they aren’t investigated, or if they are investigated, no one is ever charged, or if they are charged, they are not convicted. Most rapes do not receive media coverage, particularly if it involves women of color, queer women, queer women of color, men as the victims — rape is endemic to our society.
So yeah. We often get serious around here, but this even more serious than usual, even more of a social commentary than usual, even more a shout of rage than usual. I am Wing, and I am a rape survivor, and I am angry.
[Dove: I can’t remember who said it, but I’ve seen it going around the internet: rape and crimes of that ilk are the only ones where the victim gets questioned so thoroughly. The example they gave is that when someone says, “I’ve been robbed, someone’s nicked my TV,” nobody replies with, “Oh. Are you sure you didn’t just give the TV away?”
Additionally, I find it particularly distasteful that his father referred to the rape of an unconscious non-consenting woman as “20 minutes of action”, which, no matter what his intention was regarding word choice, reads to me as “Look, he had a crap shag, and he’s off his food, pity him.” Actually, I find it utterly disgraceful that his father was trying to defend his actions in any way, shape or form. The wording just made it worse.
Obviously, given the subject matter, there probably won’t be much flippant goofing off in this recap. So my comments may be sparse.]
[Wing: Dove makes a great point. And not only has his father spoken out in his defense, so have his friends. I say this later in the recap, and I say it extensively, but to sum it up here: I can almost guarantee that (a) you know someone who is a rape survivor, and (b) you know someone who is a fucking rapist, no matter how nice or kind or good you think that person is.]
Arcadia 4: The Attic by T. S. Rue
Title: The Attic by T.S. Rue (Part 4 of the Nightmare Inn/Arcadia series)
Summary: Tessa and her three best friends are planning a weekend of total fun. They even get a special deal at the New Arcadia Inn. But taking it is their first mistake, for this is the Nightmare Inn. And checking out the screams coming from the attic may be their last mistake.
Tagline: Afraid of the dark?
Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy.
Counters: Dove and I have started counters for the tropes we run into over and over again. You can read all the definitions in this sticky post. I’m going to try to define them the first time they are used in each post, too, if I can remember.
WHY IS IT ALWAYS SPIDERS?!
I know I read this when I was younger, but basically all I remember is that THERE’S A GIANT FUCKING SPIDER IN THE ATTIC. Which you can tell from the cover. So basically, I remember nothing.
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.
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*)
Arcadia 2: Room 13 by T. S. Rue
Title: Room 13 by T. S. Rue (Part 2 of the Nightmare Inn/Arcadia series)
Summary: Erin Naughton wants to stay home with her boyfriend. Her father wants to take her on a family vacation. Dad wins: vacation time. Then Erin meets Sam, the mysterious boy in Room 13 at the Arcadia Inn, and her vacation takes a terrifying turn. Whenever she’s with Sam, Erin’s darkest wishes come true, and soon accidents begin happening to her parents.
Tagline: Don’t open the door to…
I never read the first or second books of this series until Dove and I started recapping, yet I read the third and fourth. Once again, I read later books in the series but never tracked down the first. What in the world was wrong with me?
After having read it: Well. That was a thing.
Pretty much every scene in this book should get a point, but I am not counting each one, so I am winging (heh) it:
World of fail: 1 billion
(World of fail = It’s meant to be scary or threatening or disturbing, and, in all honesty, it’s kinda lame.)
I am also not counting each time I hate Erin.
Cheer on the killer: infinity
(Cheer on the killer = Because the protagonist is such an insufferable wretch that you can’t help but side with anyone who wants him or her dead.)
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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