Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #62: Twins by Caroline B. Cooney

Twins by Caroline B. Cooney
Twins by Caroline B. Cooney

Title: Twins by Caroline B. Cooney

Summary: Twice the evil.

Twins Mary Lee and Madrigal are living double lives – with some shocking secrets

Mary Lee and Madrigal are twin sisters, beautiful and deeply attached to each other. Then in high school, Mary Lee and Madrigal’s parents decide to send Mary Lee away to boarding school – cruelly separating the girls. The twins have only been apart a handful of times in their lives. Mary Lee is devastated at first, and then horrified as Madrigal betrays her by approving of their parents’ shocking plan. Spending high school apart, as two separate sisters – not as twins?! What about their special twin bond? Madrigal seems to be thriving in her new solo life, and even finds a fabulous boyfriend. Mary Lee, lonely and unhappy at boarding school, begins to wish she had her sister’s seemingly perfect life. But when her secret wish disastrously comes true during a weekend ski trip, Mary Lee learns more about Madrigal’s new life than she could have ever dreamed… or feared.

Every kid’s fantasy is to be a twin. Now, that innocent dream is turned into a nightmare by a million-copy selling author. Caroline Cooney spins a shivery tale about a young girl who steps into the shoes of her dead identical twin sister and uncovers a horrifying legacy of evil.

Tagline: Twice the evil.

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.

Initial Thoughts:

I’ve never read this before, but I kind of wish we’d done this one before Perfume, because I am ridiculously charmed by their names. Still, at this point, I’m pretty attached to “Wing,” so I guess it’s no problem. Back to the book, I’m both looking forward to Cooney’s whimsy and also braced for it, because the last couple of her books that we’ve recapped have been a little bit much for me, whimsy-wise. Ah well, on to the evil twin shenanigans. (I certainly hope they’re better than the Perfume shenanigans. God forbid someone skip brushing their teeth.)

[Dove: I loathe this book. Actually, when I was recapping The Stranger, I thought the plot of this book happened in that one. I was glad to be wrong, because I actually liked The Stranger.]

(Here’s the podcast episode for this book.)

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Posted in Nightmares Recaps

Recap #61: Books of Blood 3: The Coach by M. C. Sumner

The Coach by M C Sumner - Scan by Mimi
The Coach by M C Sumner – Scan by Mimi

Title: Books of Blood 3: The Coach by M. C. Sumner

Summary: The town is plagued by vampires who can change shape to appear to be anyone they like. The baseball coach is convinced Chris killed his daughter – and he’s out to get him. But it was the vampires, and Chris is out to get them. Finally Chris saves himself, his friend and his town from the vampires.

Tagline: Playing games of death…

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.

Initial Thoughts:

I really didn’t get along well with the second in this series, so I’m really not looking forward to this one. However, it’s the third in a trilogy, so maybe it will perk up.

[Wing: I quite enjoyed the second book, and I find that cover both ridiculous and fun, so I have hope that I will enjoy this book.]
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Posted in Other Recaps

Recap #60: Bad Blood #3: Judgment Night by Debra Doyle and James Macdonald

Bad Blood #3: Judgment Night by Debra Doyle and James Macdonald
Bad Blood #3: Judgment Night by Debra Doyle and James Macdonald

Title: Judgment Night by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald

Summary: “I HAD A BAD DREAM…”

Valerie Sherwood knew all about nightmares. Three years ago she was turned into a werewolf, and ever since that strange moonlit night, she understood the power of the darkness. The only thing to fear was fear itself. And tonight, that fear came to her in her dreams.

“IT SEEMED SO REAL…”

When Valerie awoke, the nightmare didn’t end. Even by day, she was haunted by terrible shapes and sensations: The horrible vision of a giant, skeletal bird. The foul smell of decay. The chilling sound of eerie music. And that was just the beginning.

“I’M SCARED…”

There are some things so dark and evil that even a werewolf would be afraid. Now Valerie is about to learn the awful truth about the ancient force that calls to her from the mountains: It feeds on her fear. And it’s hungry for more…

JUDGMENT NIGHT

The dark legacy of terror lives on — in the shattering sequel to BAD BLOOD and HUNTERS’ MOON.

Tagline: It’s the One Night That Every Werewolf Fears

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. Except I pretty much never call anyone the Muffin Man, so moot point.

Initial Thoughts:

I don’t know how many times I can say I love this book and this series, but it still holds true. I love this book and this series. To be fair, this is probably my least favorite book in the series, but I still adore it. [Wing: Note from the future. In recapping it, I realized how damn much I loved it.]

[Dove: I had never read this before — apparently in my excitement of finding the series, I read the first two, then passed out in the sheer joy of finding them. So if you heard me sounding proud on the podcast when I told Wing I’d read this, that’s why.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #59: Freeze Tag by Caroline B. Cooney

Freeze Tag by Caroline B. Cooney
Freeze Tag by Caroline B. Cooney

Title: Freeze Tag by Caroline B Cooney

Tagline: Cold Hands Evil Heart… Tag you’re dead

Freeze Tag by Caroline B Cooney - Scan by Mimi
Freeze Tag by Caroline B Cooney – Scan by Mimi

Summary: Meghan and West, girl and boy next door, play an innocent game of Freeze Tag with their neighbour Lannie. But Freeze Tag is no ordinary game… when Lannie is playing. For when she tags someone, they really do freeze-like an ice blue statue-like death.

One that same day, ice hearted Lannie extracts a horrible promise from Handsome West: “You must always like me best…”

Now they’re older and Meghan and West are in Love. That one terrifying game has been forgotten… until Lannie reminds West of the promise he was forced to make all those years ago.

And if he refuses, she will freeze Meghan… to death.

Notes: Hello readers! I’m Tuesday and I’ll be doing the recap this week for Freeze Tag, I just want to give a huge shout out to Dove and Wing for giving me this opportunity and I shall try my hardest not to screw it up. I thought I’d start by introducing myself so: Hi y’all I’m Tuesday and this is my first recap, I adored Point Horror, Nightmare Hall, Fear Street and even Point Crime I can’t remember exactly how I got in to Point Horror I think it was a progression from The Babysitters Club to Sweet Valley High to Point Horror which my sister, Noodle, and I devoured. We probably read the books for far longer than we should have before making the giant leap to Karen Slaughter, Kathy Reichs, Stephen King, etc. and I blame Point Horror for my love of the crime, horror and mystery genre in fact I can’t read a book unless someone dies and there is a huge mystery to solve. So enough about me on to the recap… hooboy.

[Wing: Thanks so much for taking on the recap, Tuesday! We’re glad to have you.]

Initial Thoughts:

I remember reading this as a child and having lots of questions about the ending, about Lannie, about her ability to freeze people so it will be interesting to see if I have those same questions… and I remember enjoying the book but not loving it like I did some of the other Point Horrors. The story of a girl with the ability to freeze people always struck me as really cool way before anyone was into Frozen plus in this book No Singing yay! The cover of this book always creeped me out as a kid with the hands and the blood and the ice that looked like knives. As an adult it still creeps me out but for far more different reasons, I recently got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes so those bloody fingers just remind me of what I look like after a blood checking session when my fingers don’t want to cooperate.

Update: I did not love this book nor did I enjoy it.

[Wing: I’ve never read this book before, but just from the very first page, I can tell it is written in typical, whimsical Cooney style, which rarely works for me in Point Horror. We’ll see how the rest of it goes.]

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Posted in Other Recaps

Recap #55: Bad Blood #1: Bad Blood by Debra Doyle and James Macdonald

Bad Blood #1: Bad Blood by Debra Doyle and James Macdonald
Bad Blood #1: Bad Blood by Debra Doyle and James Macdonald

Title: Bad Blood (Bad Blood #1) by Debra Doyle & James Macdonald

Summary: It started with a group of teenagers telling scary stories around a campfire. No one believed Jay’s wild tale of moonlight and werewolves. They thought he was kidding when he said, “By morning, you’ll all be dead.” But Valerie saw the strange hunger in the boy’s eyes – and that night, she felt the sharp touch of his fangs…

Tagline: The moon is full. Beware the beast.

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. There’s no actual hidden Muffin Man in this story.

Initial Thoughts:

I love this damn book so, so much. Dove read it when she was younger, and then lost it for years. It took us ages to finally track down the title, and then I read it for the first time and fell in love. With it, with the entire trilogy. Here’s hoping I can manage an entertaining recap when I adore a book this much.

[Dove: As Wing said, I bought the sequel to this from a bargain bookstore, and I think a friend “borrowed” it and it never came back. Knowing how much Wing loves werewolf books, I told her about it, hoping she’d know who it was by. She didn’t. So every so often, at the end of a writing session, we’d devote about an hour to searching for it, and after so many years, Wing found it. And it’s just as awesome as it was back then.]

NOTE: This recap will be without book cover and Dove’s comments for awhile on Monday morning. With the holidays, I didn’t finish this until too late for her to comment before it went live.

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #53: The Bride by D. E. Athkins

The Bride by D. E. Athkins
The Bride by D. E. Athkins

Welcome to completed recap #50! We have a fun celebration planned for later, but I wanted to note it here, too. I can’t believe we made it to 50 recaps. We would not be having nearly as much fun with this project without you guys, our lovely readers, and we appreciate each and every one of you. Here’s to 50 more ridiculous books.

Title: The Bride by D.E. Athkins

Summary: Jamie’s thrilled to be invited to her cousin Blaine’s wedding — after all it’s going to be the event of the year. Blaine Harrod, the gorgeous supermodel, marrying the wealthy handsome Preston Alden — it’s a fairy tale come true… or is it? Because things start to go wrong, very wrong.

Tagline: Till death do you part…

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.

Initial Thoughts:

D.E. ATHKINS ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

Now that that’s out of the way, Athkins is already abusing punctuation in the summary and tagline, so maybe we have another Cusick on our hands. I’ve never read this book, and I find weddings absolutely ridiculous, so I’m sure this is going to go well.

[Dove: FYI, Wing organised my wedding. Mr Wing organised my husband. She may find weddings ridiculous, but damn if she and Mr don’t get shit done. Also, I vaguely remembered this from back in day, I knew how it ended, but I couldn’t remember why.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #51: Followers by Anna Davies

Followers by Anna Davies
Followers by Anna Davies

Title: Followers by Anna Davies

Summary: To tweet or not to tweet . . . what a deadly question.

When Briana loses out on a starring role in the school’s production of Hamlet, she reluctantly agrees to be the drama department’s “social media director” and starts tweeting half-hearted updates. She barely has any followers, so when someone hacks her twitter account [Dove: Yeah, that never happened.], Briana can’t muster the energy to stop it. After all, tweets like “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark . . . and a body’s rotting in the theater” are obviously a joke.

But then a body IS discovered in the theater: Briana’s rival. Suddenly, what seemed like a prank turns deadly serious. To everyone’s horror, the grisly tweets continue . . . and the body count starts to rise.

There’s no other explanation; someone is live-tweeting murders on campus.

With the school in chaos and the police unable to find the culprit, it’s up to Briana to unmask the psycho-tweeter before the carnage reaches Shakespearian proportions . . . or she becomes the next victim.

Tagline: Briana’s next update might be her last. . . .

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.

Initial Thoughts:

Dove and I were epically excited when we learned there would be new Point Horrors published. We probably should not have been.

[Dove: I have been dreading reading this. Ever since Wing said she’d do a new PH, I’ve been dragging my feet over reading this. And maybe cursing her name. Just a little. Especially since this is the author who gave us “Identity Theft”, the book that made me quit new PH.]

[Wing: I am truly the evil twin. Also, the cover of this book has nothing to do with the content. Be better, new Point Horrors. Be better!]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #50: The Accident by Diane Hoh

The Accident by Diane Hoh
The Accident by Diane Hoh

Title: The Accident by Diane Hoh

Summary: On the eve of her “sweet sixteen” birthday, a girl meets a ghost with a tragic past.

Megan Logan’s sixteenth birthday party is in eleven days, and she still doesn’t have a date. For months she’s been secretly in love with her best friend, Justin, but she’s afraid to tell him how she feels. By the time her party starts, though, boys will be the last thing on her mind. While Megan tries on her party dress, three of her friends go for a ride to the lake. As the car makes a sharp turn, the steering malfunctions, and the girls fly headlong into a utility pole. Two escape with minor injuries, but one is rushed to the hospital in critical condition. As Megan worries about her friend, a spirit appears in her mirror: the ghost of a girl who died decades before, on her sixteenth birthday. As the ghost attempts to take over her life, Megan just hopes she can make it through her party alive.

Tagline: She has returned. From the dead…

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.

Initial Thoughts:

I used to love this book. It had actual ghosts in it. Instead of being lured in with the promise of supernatural, only to find out it’s a regular human being, this one had actual supernatural. And it was lovely. I also remember that it had a heavy dream summer/romantic feeling throughout, slightly hazy and lazy. It’s one of the reasons I love Diane Hoh so much. I have not read it as an adult though, and I’ve been putting this off, because I’m worried that, like so many before, I won’t enjoy it as an adult.

In other news, I am addicted to Planet Coaster, and this recap is taking me away from it. If anyone else is playing, let me know, and we can discuss how utterly swoon-worthy the game is.

[Wing: I’ve never read this book before. It is a little strange, but not nearly as weird as last week’s Pike. In comparison, this one is practically reality.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #44: 13 More Tales of Horror Part Two

13 More Tales of Horror
13 More Tales of Horror

Title: 13 More Tales of Horror by Various

Summary: A terrifying journey into horror – thirteen tales guaranteed to fill you with fear. What are the mysterious creatures stalking the woods at night, and who will be their next prey? A chilling game of cat and mouse! Who is the mysterious party guest in the frighteningly real costume? Each breath he takes is death. Isn’t it lucky that the beautiful ring is so cheap? It’s all she wants for her birthday. Only this gift drives Kate out of her mind… Thirteen master storytellers invite you on a rollercoaster ride through the imagination. How much can you take?

Tagline: None

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.

Initial Thoughts:

I’ve read this one before, mostly because Dove threw it at me and told me I would love the first story, “The Cat-Dogs” by Susan Price. She was not wrong. I remember enjoying this collection a lot more than I did 13 Tales of Horror (Part One, Part Two, Part Three), but we’ll see if that is actually true. So far, it is true.

I will not be doing counters for the stories, because last time I find it annoying with short stories. I originally planned to do this in two parts, but I forgot how long each short story recap is, so instead we’ll break it into three parts. Go to part one.

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #44: 13 More Tales of Horror Part One

13 More Tales of Horror
13 More Tales of Horror

Title: 13 More Tales of Horror by Various

Summary: A terrifying journey into horror – thirteen tales guaranteed to fill you with fear. What are the mysterious creatures stalking the woods at night, and who will be their next prey? A chilling game of cat and mouse! Who is the mysterious party guest in the frighteningly real costume? Each breath he takes is death. Isn’t it lucky that the beautiful ring is so cheap? It’s all she wants for her birthday. Only this gift drives Kate out of her mind… Thirteen master storytellers invite you on a rollercoaster ride through the imagination. How much can you take?

Tagline: None

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.

Initial Thoughts:

I’ve read this one before, mostly because Dove threw it at me and told me I would love the first story, “The Cat-Dogs” by Susan Price. She was not wrong. I remember enjoying this collection a lot more than I did 13 Tales of Horror (Part One, Part Two, Part Three), but we’ll see if that is actually true.

I will not be doing counters for the stories, because last time I find it annoying with short stories. I originally planned to do this in two parts, but I forgot how long each short story recap is, so instead we’ll break it into three parts.

[Dove: I adore this set of stories.  It’s the absolute best of all of the Thirteens (Tales, Again and More). I knew I could get Wing to read them with The Cat-Dogs as the opening story.]

[Wing: Should I be worried that Dove knows how to manipulate me into doing what she wants? Probably.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #41: The Surfer by Linda Cargill

The Surfer by Linda Cargill
The Surfer by Linda Cargill

Title: The Surfer by Linda Cargill

Summary: Surf’s up. You’re dead.

Jessie has never seen the daring beauty on the surfboard before. The one who gets a thrill out of surfing on the stormy seas. And now it seems Jessie will never know her.

The girl disappears beneath the treacherous waves… never to surface again…

So who’s the new girl in town?

The one who casts a spell over everyone she meets. She can’t remember her name. Or where she came from. Jessie thinks she knows… Has the beautiful surfer come back from the death? Or is it something worse… much worse…?

Tagline: Surf’s up. You’re dead.

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.

Initial Thoughts:

I’ve never read this. I’d never even heard of it until Dove found it. And Dove has been super negative when talking about it, but y’all? I’m excited to read it. I love seaside horror and surfing, that summary is pretty thick with queer girl potential, and that cover makes it look like some sort of clawed monster attacked the board. EXCITING!

[Dove: Once I saw the cover, I knew this was a Wing book. That lady loves her oceans. And her surfing. And from the description, a girl falling for another girl. Actually, to be honest, this sounds like a Dove book too.]

[Wing: Right. I mean, I do love those things, BUT SO DO YOU. Possibly because I infected you with my love for most of it, but still.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #40: The Stranger by Caroline B Cooney

The Stranger by Caroline B. Cooney
The Stranger by Caroline B. Cooney

Title: The Stranger by Caroline B. Cooney

Summary: From the first moment she sees him in class, Nicoletta is drawn to Jethro, fascinated by his dark, mysterious face. She is attracted yet repelled, interested but afraid. Nicoletta becomes obsessed, unable to think of any-thing but this strange boy.

But she knows so little about him.

Until she follows him to a deserted cave on the edge of town… and learns the truth.

Jethro is not like the others. No, not at all.

He has a terrifying secret. A secret no one must ever find out.

The Stranger by Caroline B Cooney - Scan by Mimi
The Stranger by Caroline B Cooney – Scan by Mimi

Tagline: He’s not like all the other guys

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, no bad guys.

Warning: I like this. A lot. Despite its faults.

Further Warning: This story is Twilight. Really. Only it gets to the point quicker. And it’s a lot less offensive.

Once again, Mimi has provided her copy of the front cover, which gives a much better idea of what this book will be about.

[Wing: I agree, Mimi’s cover wins this one. I enjoyed this, though not as much as Dove did. Mostly, I found it ridiculous.]

Initial Thoughts:

I thought I’d read this before, and that Jethro was a dickhead who invited our protagonist to play a “dangerous” game, which involved scaring people. Apparently that was Twins. This I had not read before.

[Wing: Gee, that certainly makes me want to read Twins immediately — wait, is the dude in Twins actually named Jethro too? Because that is ridiculous.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #39: The Phantom by Barbara Steiner

The Phantom by Barbara Steiner
The Phantom by Barbara Steiner

Title: The Phantom by Barbara Steiner

Summary: When Reggie Westlake turns up at the school rally marking the start of the football season, the crowd goes wild. He’s the greatest player Stony Bay High School ever had. Quarterback and Captain, Reggie led the winning team for two years running, raising the school spirit higher than ever before. No one could forget his black and gold jersey bearing the number nine. He’ll always be the school hero, the one everyone loves. There’s just one thing… Reggie’s dead.

Tagline: He’s got the killer instinct

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.

Initial Thoughts

I’ve never read this one before, but I love high school football and ghost stories, so … who am I kidding, I’m pretty sure this is going to be terrible. I guess we’ll see.

(Note from the future: Actually, I quite enjoyed it, until that ending.)

[Dove: I had never read this before either. Hadn’t even heard of it until I bought a bundle of PH books and it was in there. I wish I could go back to that time.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #38: The Vampire’s Promise (Vampire Series: Book 3) by Caroline B. Cooney

The Vampire's Promise by Caroline B. Cooney
The Vampire’s Promise by Caroline B. Cooney

Title: The Vampire’s Promise by Caroline B Cooney

Summary: Lacey and her friends are looking/or excitement a night to end all nights. So they break in to the Mall House, the mysterious, dark house with the circular tower. The Vampire Tower…

They wake the Vampire from his slumbers and he comes to them, holding them prisoner in the crumbling ruin. And the Vampire promises them one thing – that he will let them go – except for one who will satisfy his hunger.

And between them, an horrific decision must he made. They must decide which one of them will he his…

Tagline: Never make a deal with a vampire…

The Vampire's Promise by Caroline B Cooney - Scan by Mimi
The Vampire’s Promise by Caroline B Cooney – Scan by Mimi

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. Thanks to Mimi for the alternate cover art, with the big spoiler on the front cover!

[Wing: My god, publisher, what were you thinking with that cover? WHY SPOIL THINGS?]

Initial Thoughts:

You can also read my recaps of The Cheerleader and The Return of the Vampire.

Well, as I said on the last recap:

I believe I have read the third, but can’t remember a thing about it. I will be recapping it next time. I personally hope that, since the hatefulness of the protagonist is escalating, the next book is about a girl who is utterly ruthless. No dithering about, she basically goes to the vampire with a laundry list of things she wants. “I want Suzie’s hands, and Jenna’s eye-shape, but Cathy’s eye colour, and Jo’s hair, and Beth’s boobs, and Kayla’s butt, and…” and the vampire is at first delighted that he’s found his perfect mate, but ultimately ends up killing her because she’s far too demanding.

I doubt that will happen. If anyone wants to write it for me, I’ll love you forever.

The summary leads me to believe this is not the case, so I’m already disappointed.

[Wing: I know I’ve read this book, though not until I became an adult. I never found a copy when I was reading the first two. And yet I remember nothing about it. NOTHING. So clearly it is a wonderful, memorable story.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #36: Return of the Vampire (Vampire Series: Book 2) by Caroline B. Cooney

The Return of the Vampire by Caroline B. Cooney
The Return of the Vampire by Caroline B. Cooney

Title: Return of the Vampire by Caroline B Cooney

Summary: Devnee is tired of being ignored. Tired of feeling ordinary. All she wants is to be beautiful. If she’s beautiful, everything else will fall in to place: popularity, friendship, even love. Devnee’s family has just moved into a new house – a house with a vampire in it. He can grant Devnee’s wish, but there’s a price. Is she willing to pay it?

Tagline: He’s back for more…

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.

Initial Thoughts:

Return of the Vampire by Caroline B Cooney - Scan by Mimi
Return of the Vampire by Caroline B Cooney – Scan by Mimi

I remember that I found Devnee particularly loathsome when I was a teenager, so I have no doubt she’s even worse now I’m an adult. Back in the day, I actually read this before The Cheerleader. Despite having Return in the title, it did not occur to me it was a sequel. This is one of those things like how it never occurred to Wing to hunt down Class Trip, after reading Class Trip 2.

[Wing: Yours makes sense, though. I mean, Return of the Vampire works as a title of a stand-alone book just as well as it does for a sequel, because vampires. Always with the returning and acting alive even when they’re dead, etc.]

Also, thanks to Mimi, the sublime, who has provided alternative covers.

[Wing: I had the same cover as  Mimi back in the day, but I really like the mirror cover a lot better.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #32: My Secret Admirer by Carol Ellis

My Secret Admirer by Carol Ellis
My Secret Admirer by Carol Ellis

Title: My Secret Admirer by Carol Ellis

Summary: Jenny is new in town. Her parents go away, leaving her all alone in an isolated house. The mountains surrounding the town loom ominously, guarding the secret of what really happened the day of Diana Benson’s accident. Then the phonecalls start…

Jenny has a secret admirer, who courts her with sweet messages and flowers. But she also has an enemy, who chases her on a lonely road. Does she know too much about the “accident” on the cliffs? And is there anyone she can trust?

Jenny has no-one to turn to.

Except her secret admirer…

But who is he?

Tagline: He was crazy about Jenny. Crazy enough to kill her.

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.

Warnings: NONE. After the past two recaps, which have handled touchy subject matter (with varying degrees of success), we are back to a regular Point Horror, which features the standard tropes. Boys. Alpha bitches. DEATH (not really, it’s actually a convenient coma). Wing and I will resume our usual level of goofing off, adding silly gifs, and using “BITCHES” to mean “dearest readers, who I love to pieces” (that last one is just me).

[Wing: I am still really angry at the world, for a lot of reasons. Not sure how much fun times I’ll be providing in recaps for awhile, to be honest.]

[Dove: Yes, I probably phrased that wrong, I just meant it was more appropriate to goof off in this silly recap than the serious one of last week.]

Initial Thoughts:

I read this back in the day, but it didn’t really stick with me. Generally speaking, I like Carol Ellis. When I was younger, Camp Fear and The Window were my favourites. As an adult… I still enjoy Camp Fear, but The Window had a lot of faults. I remember it being a story that didn’t really move very fast. And given that it’s one of the shorter PHs around, that’s a worry. [Wing: Camp Fear remains one of my favorites. I’ve never read this one before, but since I have good memories of Ellis from Camp Fear, I am excited.]

Right, let’s do this thing.

Also, please note the various covers for this book. I particularly like the one of the right. BEWARE THE JAZZ HANDS, BITCHES! [Wing: The middle cover isn’t terrible, but the jazz hands one is the greatest thing I have ever seen, and by greatest, I mean most terrible. And also, I definitely thought that phone booth was a window standing in the middle of nowhere when I first saw it. Because in Point Horror, things don’t have to make sense.]

My Secret Admirer Covers - (l-r) Sinister Stalker, Oozing Flowers and JAZZHANDS WILL GET YOU.
My Secret Admirer Covers – (l-r) Sinister Stalker, Oozing Flowers and JAZZHANDS WILL GET YOU.

Edit: Extra fun – our lovely Mimi has provided a copy of the American cover, so you can see the glorious jazz hands in high quality. Enjoy!

My Secret Admirer by Carol Ellis (American Cover - Jazz Hands Edition - Scan by Mimi)
My Secret Admirer by Carol Ellis (American Cover – Jazz Hands Edition – Scan by Mimi)

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Posted in Nightmares Recaps

Recap #31: Home Before Dark by Beverly Hastings

Home Before Dark by Beverley Hastings
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…

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.

Initial Thoughts: 

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.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #28: The Baby-Sitter III by R.L. Stine

The Baby-Sitter III by R. L. Stine
The Baby-Sitter III by R. L. Stine

Title: The Baby-Sitter III by R. L. Stine

Summary: The third in R L Stine’s terrifying BABY-SITTER trilogy

Bad Company…

Jenny is desperate to forget Mr Hagen – the maniac who terrorized baby-sitters, including her.

Even when she goes to stay with her cousin Debra for the summer, she is still plagued by the same nightmares. Because Debra is a baby-sitter too, and now she’s getting terrifying phone calls, just like the ones Jenny used to get…

“Hi Babes. I’m back. Company’s coming…”

But Mr Hagen’s dead now, isn’t he…?

Tagline: He still wants her… alive or dead.

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.

The Baby-Sitter III by R L Stine - Scan by Mimi
The Baby-Sitter III by R L Stine – Scan by Mimi

Initial Thoughts: I’ve never read it before, but based on book one and book two, I am in for a miserable ride. Thank fuck you all are strapped in next to me, and we’re speeding too fast down this twisty road, at night, in the rain, for you to be able to leap free.

… That metaphor might have gotten away from me, but you won’t.

(Oh dear god, this feud is breaking my brain. Damn you, Stine. Damn you!)

[Dove: My initial thoughts? Wing is going to explode and you guys will see the resulting mushroom cloud, no matter where you are in the universe.

Also: Who the buggery puts a bassinet right behind the front door?]

[Wing: Surely that’s supposed to be the door into the baby’s room?]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #26: The Cheerleader (Vampire Series: Book 1) by Caroline B. Cooney

The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney
The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney

Title: Cheerleader (Vampire Series: Book 1) by Caroline B. Cooney

Summary: Cheerleaders are beautiful, popular and exciting – girls that Althea longs to be. But Althea is nobody – she gets no phone calls, shares no laughter and has no friends. Then one day she meets him, a vampire who offers to make her a cheerleader in exchange for a simple bargain.

Tagline: She wants it all. But he wants blood…

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 “Bad Guy” is a vampire, and owns it proudly, so no need to be coy.

The Cheerleader by Caroline B Cooney - Scan by Mimi
The Cheerleader by Caroline B Cooney – Scan by Mimi

Initial Thoughts:

I remember loving this book back in the day. Not least of all because I had a strong desire to be popular. Not that I wanted to be the centre of the world, just that I wanted a few friends, so let’s just say this one hit home and if someone had asked me to hand over [popular kid] in exchange for it, I totally would’ve done it. In fact, I was pissed off by the end of the book, which I’ll cover when I get there.

Note from the future: it was really hard to trope count this since most of the tropes were triggered by the vampire. I went with it, but they don’t really count for the most part. I probably should’ve used the “I beat you because I love you” tag on every sentence, but didn’t really think about it. (more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #21: Beach Party by R.L. Stine

Beach Party by R. L. Stine
Beach Party by R. L. Stine

Title: BEACH PARTY by R.L. Stine (Not to be confused with BEACH HOUSE, which we already recapped. Unfortunately.) [Dove: What do you mean “unfortunately”? It was better than this. It had time travel. Nothing beats time travel. Especially this.]

[Wing: This had better characters. Mostly. Also, what part of FEUDING WITH STINE means I’m supposed to be happy to recap ANY of his books. Ha!]

Summary: It’s the ultimate beach party in California. And Karen, who’s just broken up with her boyfriend, is going to enjoy every minute of it – especially having two new guys who like her. But the party takes a nasty turn when Karen realizes someone is out to spoil the fun by getting rid of her.

Tagline: Some come to party. Some come to die.

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. (Note from the future: Never had to refer to the bad guy, so no Muffin Man.)

Initial Thoughts:

Don’t think I’ve read this one before, but I started a recap awhile back, and now can’t access where it is saved and must start over. So it’s sort of like I’ve read it before, in that I’ve put up with this shit before, damn it, and I want to be done.

[Dove: I thought I hadn’t read this, but I have. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. So I’m consistent.]

[Wing: Unlike Point Horrors.]

Had this thought the other day and need to share: I don’t actually hate R.L. Stine. I’m a big fan of how he helped popularize middle grade and young adult horror before YA was really a huge book category. I’ve heard him on podcasts, and he’s smart and funny and delightful. I even enjoy some of his books.

Just not the books we’ve recapped so far. Damn.

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