Title: Graveyard School #15 – The Fright Before Christmas
Author: Tom B. Stone/Nola Thacker/D.E. Athkins
Cover Artist: Mark Nagata [Wing: That cover is so much cheesy fun.]
Summary: Have Yourself A Scary Little Christmas…
Christopher hates Christmas. He calls it a howl-iday, not a holiday. The fat man in the red suit? Santa Claws. That eight-reindeer vehicle? A slay. And Chris isn’t kidding. Welcome to Christmas at Graveyard School. It’s sure to be very merry. And very, very scary. [Wing: CHRIS YOU ARE TEASING ME WITH WEREWOLVES.]
Here we’ve come to the second of the two Christmas Carol bootleg books I’ve reviewed for Point Horror, and I feel this one’s much better than “Fright Christmas.” [Wing: Everyone loves a Christmas Carol retellings, I guess.] For one thing, it’s got something of a meta bent to it. See, this is a rare Christmas Carol copy where it acknowledges the original work as something that exists. In almost every other take on the famous novel by Charles Dickens, the characters never seem to recognize what they’re currently experiencing. Out of the few times where such a thing occurred, there was
This book also gets to demonstrate how smart these kids really are. They’re quite clear on why Christopher, the Scrooge stand-in, pisses them off so much. They don’t dislike him because he doesn’t like Christmas, but they DO dislike him because he’s got such a bad attitude about the holiday. They know lots of people don’t celebrate Christmas, but Christopher’s so pissy about it no matter what culture he comes from they think he wouldn’t celebrate ANY holiday. So look, if you don’t want to participate in some holiday fine, but don’t ruin the fun for everybody else. There’s also the understanding that his dislike of the holiday is coming from somewhere much more complicated.
I could be wrong though, and if any of you feel this is coming from some place of bias feel free to tell me. I’d LOVE to have a discussion on it.
[Wing: Well now I am super interested. Let’s do this.]
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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.
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.)
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.
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.
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. . . .
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!]
Whisper of Death by Christopher Pike
Title: Whisper of Death by Christopher Pike
Summary: Returning home one day, Roxanne and Pepper find their small town – and surrounding towns – empty. Finally they find three other teens and realize that all five are each connected through the death of Betty Sue, the plain, shy girl who committed suicide only three months before. Betty Sue had written stories about them, stories of hate, revenge, and death… in a dead world.
Tagline: They returned home to a dead world…
Dove Warning: Just a fair warning — there are mild references to rape in this. Nothing graphic or detailed, but still, worth a mention so nobody gets blind-sided by it.
I’ve read this one before, but not for a long time. Christopher Pike is my favorite of the PH-esque authors, but this book is weird. Really weird. Deeply weird. Brace yourselves.
Note: I am deeply angered and terrified by the political climate in the USA. That may bleed into this recap, as our politics bleed into our lives. I may also be even more bitter and critical than ever, though I am trying to keep to the light-hearted fun of the recapping.
[Dove: I had never read this before, and my only thought was, “This had better be more interesting than the last Pike Wing recapped. It was.]
[Wing: Updated 29 Jan 2017: One of our readers recently introduced us to the Teen Creeps podcast, which also recaps teen genre books. Where applicable, I will link their episodes from our recaps so you have another viewpoint on the books. We are not affiliated with their podcast. Teen Creeps does Whisper of Death.]
The Claw by Carmen Adams
Title: The Claw by Carmen Adams
Summary: The mark of death…
Kelly is excited about her summer job at the local zoo – even after the threatening phone calls warning her away.
Nothing can dampen Kelly’s resolve to work with animals.
But wild animals can be very dangerous and someone has left the door to the black leopard’s cage open. Who could be that careless… or that malicious? As the leopard leaves a trail of terror all over town, Kelly soon realizes that the bloody claw marks are leading straight to her…
Tagline: The mark of death…
I’ve never read this one before, but it’s right up my alley. (Creature feature, potential shapeshifters, man-eating animals — I love them all.) I am already entertained by the fact that, per the summary, no one can catch a rogue black leopard. Come on, people! What kind of zoo are you?
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?
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.]
Weekend by Christopher Pike
Title: Weekend by Christopher Pike
Summary: The weekend in Mexico sounded like a dream vacation. Four guys, five girls–and a gorgeous ocean-side mansion all to themselves. It should have been perfect.
Except nothing was going the way they’d planned. There was the girl upstairs who was fighting for her life. The phone lines that went dead. And the explosion in the garage that could have killed them all.
But not even that prepared them for what happened next. Because while they were getting some sun, someone else was getting revenge–and the terror wouldn’t stop until the weekend was over.
Tagline: A weekend of sun and fun in Acapulco turns into a nightmare when nine teenagers trapped in a mansion realize that they have been lured there for a deadly reason.
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 really enjoying this book when I was younger, despite the weird metaphorical story that threads through it. We’ll see how it stands up.
[Dove: I read the first chapter dozens of times in my teenage years, I never got any further than that. Then Wing forced me.]
[Wing: Considering you forced me to read Room 13, we are nowhere near even.]
[Wing: Updated 29 Jan 2017: One of our readers recently introduced us to the Teen Creeps podcast, which also recaps teen genre books. Where applicable, I will link their episodes from our recaps so you have another viewpoint on the books. We are not affiliated with their podcast. Teen Creeps does Weekend.]
The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney
Though Caroline B. Cooney did write some of my favorite Point Horrors of all time (The Cheerleader | The Return of the Vampire | The Vampire’s Promise), I’ve never read The Perfume. Since our names + evil twins come from this book, it was fitting that it would be my first recap.
Title: The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney
Dove doesn’t want to buy the perfume. The sound of its name fills her with fear and its fragrance wraps itself around her heart. But somehow she can’t help herself. It’s almost as if something – or someone – inside her is forcing her to try it.
And when Dove puts on the perfume, she unleashes a part of herself that has been locked away all her life… the second self she never knew existed.
And it’s evil…
Tagline: The sweet smell…of EVIL.
Memories: I have no memories of this book. However, I love the use (or abuse) of ellipses, and the heavy emphasis on evil. (Literal emphasis, I mean. There’s very little actual evil.) Because I am the evil twin.
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Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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