Diane Hoh – Last Date
Title: Nightmare Hall #11: Last Date by Diane Hoh
Summary: A night you’ll never forget. Call me. Demi does it on a dare. She places an ad in the personals column of the Salem Chronicle. Lots of guys call. And the nights are everything she advertised. Unforgettable. Unforgettably frightening. Because one by one, Demi’s dates start having nasty little accidents. Disappearing. Even…dying.
Notes: I will now refer to the bad guy as “Muffin Man” because of The Mall.
I didn’t even like this one when I first read it 24 years ago. 24 years. Bloody hell. If that weren’t bad enough, Nola “Hack” Thacker is back in the driver’s seat for this ride, so I’m anticipating severe bouts of carsickness and a strong urge to nap. (Note from the future: and a lot of swearing, too). [Wing: Another one I don’t remember reading. Somehow, I think I missed most of the Thacker ones, even though at the time, I didn’t know they were being ghostwritten.]
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Title: Nightmare Hall #7: Pretty Please by Diane Hoh
Summary: Johanna Dunn is strikingly beautiful, just like all her friends. Until the accident. Now her perfect face is scarred and bandaged. She’s embarrassed by the strange looks she gets on campus – even from her closest friends. A pretty face isn’t everything, is it? Somebody thinks it is. Some thinks she’s plain old ugly now. Too ugly to live…. [Wing: Well damn, that escalated quickly.]
Love the cover of this one, with the bandaged face looking back out of the mirror. Once again, I remember the identity of the Muffin Man all these years later. The concept of a killer going after a person they consider “ugly” may sound thin, but I think it’s quite unique, living as we do in a very looks obsessed society. Diane Hoh usually delves deeper into hot button issues than other YA thriller writers did at the time, so I’m hoping she finds some time for some light social commentary in amongst the thrills.
[Wing: I’ve never read this one before, but I like the idea that Hoh is going to take on the power of beauty in our society. I hope this goes well. And I don’t think it’s too far fetched for a killer to go after someone they consider ugly; just look at how fat people, for example, are treated. People casually call for their deaths all the time.]
Title: Fear Street #14: The Knife by R. L. Stine
Summary: Welcome to Fear Street
Don’t listen to the stories they tell you about Fear Street. Wouldn’t you rather explore it yourself…and see if its dark terrors and unexplained mysteries are true? You’re not afraid, are you?
Quiet — hospital!
Sshh. There are a lot of things they want to keep quiet at Shadyside Hospital. In fact, just about every private room holds a private secret of its own. Poor Laurie Masters. The student volunteer innocently happened to stumble onto the hospital’s sickest secret of all. Laurie has seen too much — and now the doctors and nurses are taking a close look at Laurie. What they come up with is a deadly diagnosis. Laurie may not be sick, but she’s getting a prescription anyway — a prescription for horror!
[Wing: Oh god, that summary. That last line. I am dying. This is terrible.]
Tagline: In this hospital people are dying — to get out.
I’ve never read this one before, and thank god I wrote this recap before I read that summary, or might have never read it at all. The book is a billion times better than that summary.
Title: The Cemetery by D. E. Athkins
Summary: At a Hallowe’en party with very exclusive guests, the disguised play a game of hide and seek in an ancient cemetery as midnight approaches. When someone is killed, all the partygoers can do is suspect each other – unless there is an unknown player.
Tagline: Don’t look behind you…
Every time I see the name D. E. Athkins, I laugh, which is probably not the intended response. I can’t help it. Deathkins writing Point Horror? Good lord, be more subtle.
Beyond that, I find D. E. Athkins’ work hit or miss, whether under this pseud or as Nola Thacker (who also wrote the Graveyard School series as Tom B. Stone and sometimes filled in as the ghost writer for the Nightmare Hall series under Diane Hoh’s name). (My god, the authors we recap here are an incestuous lot, aren’t they?) (Note: No actually claim or accusation of real incest here.)
All that being said, I love the summary of this book (… minus the Hallowe’en spelling, which just looks twee), and I hope we’ll all enjoy it.
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.
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.]
Halloween Night I by R. L. Stine
Title: Halloween Night by R. L. Stine
Summary: Brenda hates her cousin, Halley, and she’s not the only one. Halley shouldn’t go around stealing other people boyfriends, it could get her into trouble.
Brenda is determined to have her revenge – the perfect finale to her Halloween party She’s going to stop Halley’s evil games once and for all, and give her just what she deserves… Come party time, Halley’s in for a nasty surprise…
But does Brenda really hate Halley that much? Surely she only having a little Halloween fun… isn’t she?
Tagline: This party is a killer…
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’m pretty sure I read this back in the 90s because the US cover looks familiar (and is much better than the UK cover), but I have absolutely no memory of the characters or what happens, so it will be like I’m reading it anew. I love Halloween, I love horror, and I feud with R. L. Stine. What could possibly go wrong?
Happy Halloween, guys!
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?
I.O.U. by Nicholas Adams
Title: I.O.U. by Nicholas Adams
Summary: Haunted by recurring nightmares, high school junior Sharon Anders begins to confuse dreams with reality and is soon plunged into a desperate struggle between good and evil.
Tagline: Someone has to pay…
I’ve never read it before, but after my last experience with Nicholas Adams, I’m keeping my hopes low, though I didn’t hate Horrorscope nearly as much as Dove did. This sounds like it could be a lot of fun, but it also sounds like it could end up being another ~crazy Muffin Man.
(Also, I am disproportionately frustrated about Adams’ Horror High title, because I have a book series that needs to use that title and I can’t. Damn you, Adams.)
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
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.]
Arcadia 2: Room 13 by T. S. Rue
Title: Room 13 by T. S. Rue (Part 2 of the Nightmare Inn/Arcadia series)
Summary: Erin Naughton wants to stay home with her boyfriend. Her father wants to take her on a family vacation. Dad wins: vacation time. Then Erin meets Sam, the mysterious boy in Room 13 at the Arcadia Inn, and her vacation takes a terrifying turn. Whenever she’s with Sam, Erin’s darkest wishes come true, and soon accidents begin happening to her parents.
Tagline: Don’t open the door to…
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 never read the first or second books of this series until Dove and I started recapping, yet I read the third and fourth. Once again, I read later books in the series but never tracked down the first. What in the world was wrong with me?
After having read it: Well. That was a thing.
Counters: Dove and I have started counters for the tropes we run into over and over again. You can read all the definitions in this sticky post. I’m going to try to define them the first time they are used in each post, too, if I can remember.
Pretty much every scene in this book should get a point, but I am not counting each one, so I am winging (heh) it:
World of fail: 1 billion
(World of fail = It’s meant to be scary or threatening or disturbing, and, in all honesty, it’s kinda lame.)
I am also not counting each time I hate Erin.
Cheer on the killer: infinity
(Cheer on the killer = Because the protagonist is such an insufferable wretch that you can’t help but side with anyone who wants him or her dead.)
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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