Posted in Nightmares Recaps

Recap #52: Hall Pass by Robert Hawks

Hall Pass by Robert Hawks
Hall Pass by Robert Hawks

Title: Hall Pass by Robert Hawks

Summary: I have to get rid of the bodies… They’re clawing back to the surface.

The hall pass is a privilege, but Mr Elliot gives it out freely. His students are the problem kids – they need to roam.

Melissa has roamed too far and stumbled upon a gruesome truth.

Now she knows what happened to the others.

Join your classmates, Melissa.

Tagline: Don’t be too sure you want to get out of class.

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 had never read this before, but I do like Nightmares, because they tend to have an actual bodycount and crimes that go beyond gaslighting (which is pretty bad when you’re the victim, but when you’re the reader and have been sold on a murder-death-rampage, and all you get is an abusive boyfriend and a few poison pen letters, it’s a bit of a letdown). Also, Nightmares is the series that gave us the ISUZU TROOPER, BITCHES, so there is that.

[Wing: I had never read this before either. Now I have. It is certainly something.]

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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!

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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 Other Recaps

Recap #13: Weekend by Christopher Pike

Weekend by Christopher Pike
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.

Initial Thoughts:

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.]

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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

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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.

Initial Thoughts:

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

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 #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.

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