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.]

(more…)

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.]

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #37: The Snowman by R. L. Stine

The Snowman by R. L. Stine
The Snowman by R. L. Stine

Title: The Snowman by R. L. Stine

Summary: Poor little rich girl… Coveting her money, Heather’s uncle/guardian hates her and makes her life miserable. Heather sometimes cannot help wishing her uncle dead. But when Heather’s uncle really does die, her new boyfriend tells Heather that he killed her uncle… for her.

Tagline: A cold-blooded killer.

A cold-blooded killer does what? That is not a tagline!

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. [Dove: and as Dove requested, Wing has finally updated her bloody template.]

[Wing: Oh stop your griping, I updated it the same day you asked. You’re the one who took it upon yourself to update the ones I already had in the queue. Not my fault I’m a billion books ahead of you, slacker.]

Initial Thoughts: I do not remember reading this before, but Stine has let me down over the past few books of his I’ve read (though his short story was surprisingly great), and I hate cold weather and snow. I don’t think this is going to be fun. Alas, it is time for me to return to my Stine feud, after taking a break for a few books. Might as well knock another of his off the list.

(more…)

Posted in Nightmares Recaps

Recap #35: Horrorscope by Nicholas Adams

Horrorscope by Nicholas 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.

Initial Thoughts:

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.)

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #34: The Stalker by Carol Ellis

The Stalker by Carol Ellis
The Stalker by Carol Ellis

Title: The Stalker by Carol Ellis

Summary: Performing in a school production of Grease, Janna is delighted when her talents win her much praise and the attentions of an apparent fan, until the harmless token gifts of flowers and notes become the threatening moves of a stalker.

Tagline: I’m closer than you think…

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:

The Stalker by Carol Ellis (American Cover - scanned by Mimi)
The Stalker by Carol Ellis (American Cover – scanned by Mimi)

I had not read this back in the day. I had never read this when I bought it a few years ago. I have tried about three times to read it, and can’t seem to get through it.

So. This will be a fun recap, eh?

[Wing: I’d never read it, either. I wasn’t missing much.]

Edit: Extra fun – our lovely Mimi has provided a copy of the American cover. So here it is:

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #33: The Waitress by Sinclair Smith

The Waitress by Sinclair Smith
The Waitress by Sinclair Smith

Title: The Waitress by Sinclair Smith

Summary: The food is great. The service is deadly. Dying for a good meal? Come on over to the Dog House, where Paula works after school. It’s a great place to meet friends – if they are still alive. At the Dog House accidents can happen, and they often do. You could wind up with more than just an upset stomach. You might just wind up dead. Of course, when things go wrong everybody always blames the waitress. Now Paula’s first job might be her last.

Tagline: The customer is always … wrong. Dead wrong.

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.

Initial Thoughts:

That is very clearly ketchup smeared on the plate, not blood. The scariest thing on this cover is the spilled salt. Salt is gross.

(more…)

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.]

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #30: Help Wanted by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Help Wanted by Richie Tankersley Cusick
Help Wanted by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Title: Help Wanted by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Summary: Robin’s convinced her new after-school job is going to be easy money. The only problem is, it means working at Parker Swanson’s house the most arrogant, attractive boy in school…

And Parker’s family is seriously weird. Scary, too. They’re all morbidly obsessed with Parker’s dead stepmother… And if she’s dead, how can she be scaring the life out of her daughter, Claudia?

And what is it that Robin keeps hearing, alone in the house at night…?

Tagline: Part-time job or full-time nightmare…?

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.

Help Wanted by Richie Tankersley Cusick - Scan by Mimi
Help Wanted by Richie Tankersley Cusick – Scan by Mimi

WARNING: This book contains a rapist. Not the usual Cusick fare of “lol no means yes, I’m your boyfriend so it’s just a joke” but an actual rapist. In my opinion, it’s actually less creepy because the text presents this as a bad thing (for once), but still, my triggers are not your triggers, so a warning is needed.

SECOND WARNING: Suicide is a plot point and the book is heavy with mental health being dealt with in a callous manner. Not the usual “crazy people kill” but “woman up, crazy chick, who cares if your mum killed herself, quit your moaning”.

Good lord, this book has a lot of issues. Wing is not going to like it.

[Wing: No. No she is not.]

Dove’s final note: given how awful this book is, and Wing’s book choice for the next recap. I have decided that I’m going to recap a wacky, hi-jinks style book next time around. Probably a Goosebumps.

Initial Thoughts:

I have never read this before. I ordered it off eBay when I realised I was running low on Cusick, so my initial thoughts are simply that I’m sure ellipsis are being abused in this book.

According to my Wordle, not so much. It’s all about the EnDash here.

Also: CUSICK! I’M BACK! I HAVE MISSED YOU. *snuggles the books*

It speaks volumes of how much I hated Defriended by Ruth Baron when I’m delighted to be back in Cusick world. Still, I love/hate her so much.

Help Wanted Wordle - apparently Cusick is over her elipsis
Help Wanted Wordle – apparently Cusick is over her elipsis

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #29: The Baby-Sitter IV by R. L. Stine

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

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

Summary: Jenny is recovering from her horrifying experiences of baby-sitting. Now she’s in a new house. In a new neighbourhood. And Jenny has sworn never to baby-sit again. But then Jenny’s new neighbour has a crisis and begs Jenny to baby-sit…

Poor Jenny. She should have said “no”. Because someone is watching Jenny again.

Someone who hates baby-sitters. Someone who wants her…dead

Tagline: New neighbourhood…new nightmare.

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: My takeaway from the summary is that they’ve completely given up at this point and do not even care that the same story keeps happening to Jenny over and over and over again. Why is she dumb enough to keep baby-sitting? Why would anyone want her to baby-sit anymore? I’ve never read this book before, and already I hate it.

Also, this is the book where Dove thinks Jenny is an alien based on the cover. I can’t actually disagree with her after looking at it. [Dove: look at the cover!  That’s an alien. Sidenote: Despite your Stine feud, I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE the Goosebumps movie with Jack Black. Thought this seemed like a good a place as any to mention it.]

[Wing: Up until this book, my Stine feud was actually mostly friendly and though I had issues with some of his writing, I thought he was pretty charming and delightful when I’ve heard him speak, but I am legitimately furious over this one. Still, the Goosebumps movie is on my Netflix queue.] (more…)

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?]

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #25: 13 Tales of Horror Part Four

13 Tales of Horror
13 Tales of Horror

Title: 13 Tales of Horror edited by T Pines

Summary: Can you face your worst nightmare? These thirteen horror stories guarantee to chill you to the bone. Read about the mysterious Black Walker and discover his grim secret. Shiver in fevered anticipation as Mark enters the House of Horrors, perhaps for the last time… And uncover the truth of the murder who leaves a message on his victim’s computers before he leaps in for the kill. Each take draws you further into a web of horror exquisitely woven by thirteen master storytellers. Prepare to be terrified!

Tagline: No tagline.

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, and we’ve never recapped a short story collection. I guess each story will be its own mini-recap, plus its own counter totals and final thoughts. I’m splitting these into a couple different posts, though, because in just the first three stories, I was already approaching 6000 words. No way do I want to subject you guys to 50k of snark in one post.

If the editor’s introduction is anything to go by, we are in for a world of pain.

We are, shall we say, thrilled to “death” that you’ve decided to join us on this trip into darkness. Ask any vampire, it’s so much easier to see once your eyes have become adjusted to the dark, and we have so much to show you….

This anthology is a compilation of the best horror writers of the young-adult thriller genre. With the overall success of horror novels and “thrillers,” it was just a matter of time before this book became a reality.

What we have here is true horror: everyday occurrences gone awry. The supernatural is frightening, what with ghosts, zombies, witches, and ghouls. But when you discover that your best friend has a nasty habit of doing away with the people he or she no longer likes – that is horror.

We read horror because we like to be frightened. It is a way to delve into other people’s fears and feelings, knowing all the while that if it gets too scary we can always close the book. But what happens when we can’t close the book? That is horror.

The authors who have contributed to this anthology have mastered the art of conveying horror through the written word. In Christopher Pike’s “Collect Call,” the going rate is a little too costly – it will make you think twice before accepting the charges. Patricia Windsor’s “A Little Taste of Death” is a compelling tale explaining why your parents told you never to take sweets from strangers. R. L. Stine spins a story of a self-defeated young man who decides to let his hypnotic gate help erase his problems… but it gets a little out of hand. Similarly, Ellen Emerson White tells of an average girl in a quiet New England town, neither of which are what they appear to be.

So sit back and relax. Don’t worry, that creaking noise you hear is only the house settling, and that soft fluttering noise is nothing more than the turning of the pages of this book. And those footsteps…

–T. Pines

Everything is going to hurt, and nothing will be good. Deep breath, grab your alcohol, and let’s do this. This is, of course, the fourth and final part. First part can be found here. Second part can be found here. Third part can be found here.

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #24: The Baby-Sitter II by R.L. Stine

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

Title: The Baby-sitter II by R.L. Stine

Summary: Jenny’s last baby-sitting job nearly killed her – literally. But she’s getting over it and she’s even taken a new baby-sitting job.

Then the phone calls start again – and when she answers she hears a familiar voice. It’s a voice from the past, a voice from beyond the grave…

“Hi Babes, I’m back,” he says.

Is it Mr Hagen, returned from the dead to wreak a hideous revenge? Or has Jenny got a new and more deadly enemy?

Tagline: Knock, Knock, Who’s there? … Don’t ask.

[Wing: Oh, good, weird capitalization and unnecessary punctuation. We’re off to a great start.]

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

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:

Never read this before, absolutely not looking forward to it after the shitshow that was THE BABY-SITTER. Here. We. Go.

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #23: The Train by Diane Hoh

The Train by Diane Hoh
The Train by Diane Hoh

Title: The Train by Diane Hoh

Summary: Hannah and her friends are on a train trip that begins as a fun cross-country tour – until they learn that Frog’s coffin is on board with them.

His real name was Roger, but he was nicknamed Frog by his classmates, who taunted and ridiculed him.

One by one, Hannah’s friends guiltily confess the nasty things they did to Frog. And then, one by one, they are viciously attacked.

It seems Frog is out for revenge. But Frog’s dead – isn’t he?

Tagline: A one-way ticket… to terror.

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. [Wing: And of course Dove tries to inflict “Muffin Man” on our guest snarkers.]

A quick introduction by Dove:

Hi all, Dove here, hijacking Dade’s post.  Since Wing and I were tied up with other stuff, we put out the feelers to see if anyone else wanted to recap in the interim.  Dade, who you’ve probably already met under a different name in the comments here, was the first to reply.  So, from Wing and myself, thank you for doing this for the site.

[Wing: Thanks so much, Dade! You did an excellent job on a book that overall bored me.]

Initial Thoughts:

Diane Hoh’s my favourite Point Horror author. She doesn’t try to be trendy. She writes solid mystery thrillers that just happen to be about teenagers. (Unlike D.E. Athkins/Nola Thacker, who was cringeworthy, and ironically ghost-wrote some of Hoh’s Nightmare Hall entries). [Wing: That’s news to me. Interesting.]

I was about 12 when I first read The Train. I liked it, but I can remember writing my own fan-fic sequel in which I killed off all the survivors, because I didn’t like them very much. (My first recap and I’m already confessing dark secrets about my juvenile fiction writing career). [Wing: We embrace fanfic around here.]

Time to regress to my 12-year-old self (unfortunately not hard) to see why I felt this way.

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #22: Defriended by Ruth Baron

Defriended by Ruth Baron
Defriended by Ruth Baron

Title: Defriended by Ruth Baron

Summary: Jason has met the perfect girl. She loves indie rock, plays the guitar, quotes cheesey 80s films, and hates people who compare every book to The Great Gatsby. There’s just one small problem. Although Jason and Lacey spend hours chatting online, she refuses to meet up in person. Suspicious, Jason starts Googling, and his cyberstalking leads to a shocking discovery: According to multiple newspapers, Lacey died a year earlier. Soon, Jason finds himself caught in a disturbing mystery. Has he found a way to Facebook message the dead? Or is someone playing a dangerous trick on him? Either way, Jason has to uncover the truth before it’s time for him to meet Lacey in the afterlife.

Tagline: LACEY has changed her status to deceased

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 never did mention the bad guy. So no Bad Guy or Muffin Man.

Initial Thoughts:

Catfish.

CATFISH.

CAT FUCKING FISH*.

* may contain hipsters.

I told Wing I absolutely was NOT going to recap Fatal Secrets until EVERY SINGLE POINT HORROR IN THE ENTIRE WORLD had been done and I was all out of other options, I thought Defriended would be the easy option.

Insert hollow laugh.

[Wing: This is what happens when you try to avoid your nemesis.]

[Dove: Yes, I have learned from this experience.] (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.

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #20: The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick

The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick
The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Title: The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Summary: There’s a stalker on the lose at the mall—and there’s no safe place to hide

Working at the mall is supposed to be fun. Trish’s job at Muffin-Mania is hardly intellectually challenging and her boss is a piece of work, but it’s worth it to have a job in the same building as her two best friends, the Hanson twins. And the hot guys who hang out there are an added bonus. But something isn’t right about this mall. It’s the oldest mall in the state, remodeled over a dozen times without rhyme or reason, and there are many strange nooks and secret passages behind the bright gleaming storefronts. Someone has been stealing housewares, furniture, and food, and now a mysterious man with ash-gray hair and a whisper-soft voice has started harassing Trish on the phone. He knows her secrets, and he has dark plans for her.

The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick - Scan by Mimi
The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick – Scan by Mimi

Tagline: Shop till you drop… dead

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 use the term “Muffin Man” to refer to our bad guy, because that’s what the text calls him. In fact, I want to call all future Bad Guys the Muffin Man. Wing, make this happen. Update your template.

WARNING: Just so you know, the entire book has a very rapey vibe (not just from the Bad Guy). It’s mild, because this is Point Horror, but I thought I’d better give a warning regardless. My own personal issues can be triggered by watching Brave, so honestly, there’s no guessing what can upset people. So consider yourself warned. Additionally, as I warned Wing when I first read this, “Just because I enjoyed it, doesn’t mean I won’t be using the phrase ‘statutory rape’ in my recap.” So, again, tread carefully if you have triggers.

Apology

First of all, I’d like to apologise for the delay in getting this up. It has taken me ages, because my skin keeps falling off my face, and sometimes the only way I can deal with it is to hold a wet cloth to my face to numb and moisturise the skin. Currently I look like the love child of Freddy Krueger and Sloth from Goonies.

Also, I posted this for Wing to comment on, and told her I was too tired to sort out all the things I wanted to link to. Wing went through and cleaned it up for me. I love Wing. Best friends means never having to hyperlink. ♥

[Wing: *preens*]

Initial Thoughts:

I had not read this before. I think I’d read the first few chapters a couple of times and bailed out, but I don’t actually remember anything from it, so I have no initial thoughts other than, “Oh god, when will the Cusick end.” So imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying it.

Disclaimer: You may require: an obsession with abandoned buildings, a high level of love for the Silent Hill franchise (especially SH3), and to be listening to the soundtrack as you read to enjoy it the way I did.

[Wing: I had all of those things and I did not enjoy it the way Dove did. In fact, I may have actively hated it. Possibly I wanted to burn things to the ground by the end.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #19: The Witness by R.L. Stine

The Witness by R. L. Stine
The Witness by R. L. Stine

Title: The Witness

Summary: This summer’s going to be a real killer…

Sand, surf sun… Roxie lives for the summer But this year things aren’t going the way she planned.

Because when she broke into Lee Blume’s house just to win a stupid bet, she saw something she shouldn’t have seen. And now she the only witness to something she can’t forget.

But someone’s looking for Roxie. Someone who wants to spoil her summer. Someone who wants her… dead.

Tagline: I know what you did…

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 don’t think I read this when I was younger. I don’t remember it. I do remember reading it a few months ago, back when I first embraced this Stine feud. It is a terrible, terrible book. Terrible.

[Dove: I had also never read this before. And my life was better for it.]

[Wing: I know. I’m so sorry.]

[Edited 2 May 2017: Teen Creeps did a podcast episode on this book, which was also published under the title “I Saw You That Night”.]

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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 Point Horror Recaps

Recap #15: The Diary by Sinclair Smith

The Diary by Sinclair Smith
The Diary by Sinclair Smith

Title: The Diary by Sinclair Smith

Summary: Was she going to die… again?

Delia can’t stop reading the old diary which mysteriously appears in her locker one day. Little by little, she starts to become more like the girl whose words she reads – even having her memories and seeing the world through her eyes. A dead girl’s eyes. Soon Delia is convinced that she was the girl who wrote the diary – in a past life.

But the terror is about to come alive once more. For the girl who wrote the diary was murdered. And the killer is after her again…

Tagline: A dead girl’s diary … in her own handwriting.

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 don’t remember reading this at all when I was younger, so odds are I didn’t. Oh joy. I always have so much fun when I read one for the first time to recap it. /sarcasm

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