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 #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 #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 #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!

(more…)

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

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #14: The Window by Carol Ellis

The Window by Carol Ellis
The Window by Carol Ellis

Title: The Window

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

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

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

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

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

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

Initial Thoughts:

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

[Wing: Muahahahahahahahahahaha.]

[Dove: *cries*]

(more…)

Posted in Nightmares Recaps

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

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

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

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

Tagline: Don’t go in the water…

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

Initial Thoughts:

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

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

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #9: The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick

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

Title: The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick

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

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

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

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

Initial Thoughts:

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

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

Recap:

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

Ellipses used: 691
En Dashes used: 764
Appropriate usage of the above: less than 10%

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

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

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

(more…)

Posted in Nightmares Recaps

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

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

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

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

Tagline: You may never leave…

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

Initial Thoughts:

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

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

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #7: Dream Date by Sinclair Smith

Dream Date by Sinclair Smith
Dream Date by Sinclair Smith

Title: Dream Date by Sinclair Smith

Summary:

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

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

He’s only a dream…

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

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

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

Tagline: Sweet dreams… and rest in peace.

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

Initial Thoughts

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

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

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

Let’s get this show on the road.

(more…)

Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #5: Beach House by R L Stine

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

Title: Beach House by R L Stine

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

Tagline: Don’t go near the water…

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

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

Initial Thoughts:

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

Recap

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

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

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #3: Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

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

Title: Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Summary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Initial thoughts

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

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

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

[Wing: That is not evil happiness, that is pure, good happiness.

It is a good cover though. Minus the horrible twee poem.]

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Posted in Point Horror Recaps

Recap #1: Funhouse by Diane Hoh

Funhouse by Diane Hoh
Funhouse by Diane Hoh

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

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

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

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

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

So, let’s go.

Title: Funhouse by Diane Hoh

Summary:

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

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

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

Tagline: You can die laughing…

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

Trope definitions are found here.

*** (more…)