Recap #100: Halloween Night 2 by R. L. Stine
Title: Halloween Night 2 by R. L. Stine
Summary: Brenda isn’t really looking forward to Halloween this year. After all, it was only twelve months age that her best friend tried to kill her at a Halloween party and she’d rather not be reminded of that. [Wing: I’d rather not be reminded of that recap either.]
But her friends persuade her to take part in a Halloween revenge prank, guaranteed to scare the victim to death. And soon Brenda realises that she is never going to leave the terror of Halloween night behind…..
Tagline: Trick, treats and…death
Hey guys, how’ve you been? I’m good thank you, a little under the weather-sore throat, headachy that sort of thing but nothing too serious just a typical change of weather cold. Speaking of, the weather has been great here, perfect Autumn weather very mild and breezy, some rain, the type were you can throw on a lovely warm jumper and go for a walk around the Common drinking a hot chocolate or snuggle up in bed with a good book and light rain tapping on the window. Work? Yeah work is going well thanks, except for the ridiculous amounts of stairs I have to walk up and down but at least my ass and legs will get toned-Amirite?
Huh? What’s that? Am I mindlessly rambling on about my daily schedule in order to avoid recapping this book? Now why would you suggest such a thing!? Questioning my work ethic and dedication? Well, yes you’re right I’m doing exactly that. This. Book. Gah. I only vaguely remembered this book before I read it. I don’t know what I was expecting but in retrospect I should have reread Wing’s awesome review of Halloween Night BEFORE I read Halloween Night 2: The EXACT Same Story But Suckier. Everyone in this book is insufferable and Stine has never met a cliff hanger he didn’t want to take behind a shed and get pregnant. That being said, lets all work together and power through. [Wing: NO. I refuse. I did my time. (Seriously, I’m grateful that Tuesday took this one on, because I could not do a repeat of the first book.)]
[Wing: Happy 100 recaps! You, our readers and podcast listeners, are the best part of recapping. You’re smart and funny and engaged, and we appreciate you so much! I’m thrilled we’ve made it this far, and I look forward to 100 more.]
Brenda Morgan is in her kitchen arguing with her friend Angela. You know, based on how Brenda’s friendships ended up in the last book, I wouldn’t be so quick to pick fights if I was her. [Wing: Clearly Brenda learned nothing.] Anyway, Angela accuses Brenda of stealing her boyfriend, Larry, the argument turns violently physical, and Angela grabs a knife. Well, that escalated quickly.
Aaand that’s the end of chapter one, the first of many, many, many cliffhangers.
[Wing: Clearly Stine has also learned nothing.]
Just as Angela is about to stab Brenda, Randy, Brenda’s 10 year old little brother, bursts in. Whilst screaming at Angela to stop with the stabbing, he jumps on her back and grabs the knife wielding arm away from Brenda. Randy is the MVP of this whole sorry tale, like seriously he is 10 years old and he’s saving his sister from a knife attack, rock on Randy. Brenda, instead of helping her brother and graciously thanking him whilst offering to buy him a life time supply of Lego, bursts out laughing and tells him he ruined ‘it’, ‘it’ apparently being a scene as part of a video project they are putting together. I’m not sure if this is a school project or just a for fun project which given Brenda’s last Halloween would be an interesting hobby. Traci (one of Brenda’s BFFs from the first book) is filming the scene. All three girls laugh at how confused Randy is, totally embarrassing him. Well done girls the next time you get attacked by a real murderer Randy ain’t gonna do shit. [Wing: That poor kid.]
Traci says they can keep Randy in the film because his reaction was so real (yeah I imagine seeing your sister get attacked FOR THE SECOND TIME would do that to a child). Brenda says no. Randy, the love of my life, tells them their film is dumb before leaving to go save orphans from burning buildings. The girls take a break from filming and Angela asks for a diet coke because:
She was definitely on the chubby side and always had to worry about her weight.
Oh fuck off Stine, maybe she just prefers the taste? And she doesn’t HAVE to watch anything. I have always preferred diet coke to regular, regular coke hurts my teeth and will put me in a coma.
On the way to the living room, Brenda looks at the knife on the kitchen counter and has a flashback to the previous Halloween when Dina, her former best friend, stabbed her. Wait, so Brenda was able to act out an attempted stabbing and was fine but glancing at the knife gives her a flashback? Wouldn’t acting out an actual stabbing be worse? It was real enough to convince her little brother and why are they using a real knife!? Do their parents know what they are doing? I feel like these girls need a chaperone.
I have never had a flashback so I don’t know which would be the trigger but if I was Brenda then, for me, re-enacting a stabbing would definitely affect me more. Traci tells Brenda she shouldn’t think about last year, which is not great advice Traci, she had a traumatising experience, let her talk.
Brenda mentions Dina and Traci is totally checked out. Angela asks what happened to Dina as, being new, she has only heard part of the story. Turns out Dina was sent away to ‘some hospital’ and that’s all they know. [Wing: This is going well.] Traci is adamant Brenda should move on as everything is different now, but Brenda says that’s everything is pretty much the same as Halley is still living with the Morgans. Hall-ey or Hay-ley? 22 years after I read the first book and I still don’t know how to pronounce this damn name. [Wing: I say Hay-ley, but it could go either way.] Anyway, surprising absolutely no one,Halley and Brenda still loathe each other, the truce from the previous Halloween dead in the water since Halley is dating Ted, Brenda’s ex. Who was a total idiot in the first book so I would be glad if my cousin took him off my hands. [Wing: … this really is just the same book rehashed again. WHY? WHY STINE? (I assume the answer is $$$.)]
Traci doesn’t think its a big deal since Brenda dumped Ted. Thank you voice of reason. Brenda thinks it’s ‘sick’. Well ok then. Angela asks how much longer Halley will be staying, but it turns out a judge found both her parents unfit to raise her so the Morgans have been given permanent custody. Wow. Halley’s parents must be awful if they have had their kid taken off them permanently, it really makes you wonder what was going on in that house. Poor Halley. However all Brenda can think about is how much it sucks for her. Jeez Brenda show some compassion, yeah Halley is an absolute pill sometimes but there may be a reason for her acting out. Brenda says they ‘fight like sisters’ um I’ve never planned my sister’s death but whatever. [Wing: I’ve had some knock down drag out fights with my siblings, and I’ve never planned any of their deaths either. Damn, Brenda.] Brenda says that after last Halloween they got along for a while but Halley went back to her ‘old tricks’. Angela thinks Halley is so sexy looking with her blonde hair so different from her short curly hair. Angela do you have a crush? [Wing: We can only hope.] Angela wishes her hair was blonde like Halley’s or straight like Traci’s. Brenda doesn’t get a look in. Traci wants to start filming again but it has gotten dark so the scenes won’t match plus Brenda is too busy looking out for her boyfriend Jake who is always late. Jake’s excuse is always ‘I got hung up.’ Jake sounds like a peach. [Wing: Dove would be judging Jake hardcore right now. She’s a stickler for being early.] Traci mutters about knowing Jake and
Brenda blinked, then stared for a moment at her friend. She had forgotten that Traci and Jake had gone together at the end of the summer. Before Brenda started seeing him.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME BRENDA!? YOU JUST BITCHED ABOUT YOUR COUSIN FOR DOING THE EXACT SAME THING TO YOU!!! AND YOU AND HALLEY DON’T EVEN LIKE EACH OTHER. TRACI IS YOUR BEST FRIEND FOR FUCKS SAKE! Well its nice to seem some character continuity; Brenda was a terrible friend and generally awful person in the first book and she is a terrible person and generally awful person in this book. Instead of examining her life choices and thinking about anyone but herself, Brenda just hopes that Jake will break his trait of dating anything with a pulse and stay with her for more than a few weeks. Reach for the stars, Brenda. Brenda thinks she is in love with Jake. I think Brenda is a moron. The girls move into the kitchen only to see Dina standing there holding the knife. Cliff hanger alert.
[Wing: BRENDA. WHY ARE YOU SO TERRIBLE. Stine, the same question applies to you. HOW MANY KNIFE CLIFFHANGER CHAPTER ENDINGS CAN WE HAVE IN ONE BOOK?]
Dina lifts the knife up in the air and Brenda is frozen to the spot. Dina puts the knife on the counter saying she found it on the floor. So not only are these girls obnoxious, they don’t even tidy up after themselves, who leaves a knife lying on a floor? Brenda can’t speak she just stares at Dina. We get Dina’s description, a pretty, tall girl but were her hair was short in the first book its grown long now. Dina is very pale as if she has spent a lot of time indoors. Dina doesn’t understand why Brenda isn’t happy to see her. Brenda asks if Dina is ‘OK now?’ Coz thats how mental health works. Dina says she is in her parents’ custody, seeing a therapist and starting back at school next week. Right. I’m sorry but would that happen? Dina stalked, harassed then stabbed Brenda, I know she has been in a mental health facility for a year but would she be allowed to attend the same school as her victim? And wouldn’t Brenda or her parents have been informed? Angela and Traci see Dina, and Dina gets angry because Angela doesn’t smile at her….Dina you may want to look into more sessions.
Brenda asks why she is there and Dina says that she came to see her best friend. Brenda is shocked and says that they aren’t friends and reminds Dina that she tried to kill her. [Wing: What, Brenda, you’re going to let that end a friendship? What’s a little attempted murder between friends?] Dina gets upset and claims that she has no memory of the party or the stabbing, but says nothing about her campaign of harassment leading up to the party, so I’m guessing she does remember the threats she sent, the creepy mask taped to the window, the blood she smeared on the walls and the multiple animal organs and maggots she left in Brenda’s room and bed. Brenda yells that she does remember that night and she almost died, Dina starts to cry asking if she can just apologise Brenda replies:
No it isn’t enough’ Brenda said, turning back to Dina. Her mouth suddenly felt terribly dry, dry as cotton ‘You can’t be my friend Dina. No way. You gave me too many nightmares, too many months of waking up terrified in the middle of the night. Too many frightening memories. You can’t be my friend. You can’t.
I mean, yeah Dina might want to apologise and move on, but she caused a huge amount of trauma to Brenda and Brenda gets to decide when she is ready, if ever, to have Dina back in her life. [Wing: Dina definitely owes Brenda at least an apology, but you’re absolutely right about Brenda getting to make these decisions. Also, in situations like this, too often the person who wants to apologise only wants to do so to make themself feel better. It has very little to do with making things right for the other person.]
Dina turns to leave but reaches for the knife… Aaaaand cliff hanger. Spoiler alert, every chapter ends with a cliff hanger. [Wing: WHY.] Dina doesn’t actually pick up the knife she just spins it on the counter top and runs out of the house. Traci then admonishes Brenda for being too cold to Dina. Fuck off Traci, how would you react if the person who tried to kill you was standing in your kitchen holding a knife? Cold or not, Brenda has every right to tell Dina to leave and to decide she doesn’t want to be BFFs with her attempted murderer. Traci defends Dina, saying she doesn’t remember that night and is used to hanging out at Brenda’s. Um Traci please see above with the whole campaign of terror and harassment. Brenda tells Traci she can’t understand what it is like knowing that your best friend tried to kill you
‘No, you don’t. You can’t’ Brenda accused ‘you can’t know what it was like-knowing that someone I trusted, someone I cared about, my best friend, took a knife and deliberately stuck it in my chest.’
Yeah so shut up Traci, Brenda might be terrible but she’s in the right here.
Angela tries to break the tension by asking what they are doing for this Halloween. Seriously Angela!? Read the frikking room. [Wing: Yes, let’s go from talking about the attempted murderer to the setting of the attempted murder. Brenda, you truly have the best BFFs.]
Brenda and Traci say they have no plans, Angela suggests a party but Brenda says no, because someone tried to kill her at the last Halloween party she went to. Angela you literally just discussed this. Angela then suggests the three of them just hang out, but Traci counters that Halloween might be cancelled because of a ‘Maniac’. And I’m just gonna go a ahead and say it: the ableism from this point onwards is through the roof, like, every other word is ‘crazy’, ‘maniac’, ‘insane’ and so on. I don’t do the counters for the sheer reason that I don’t know how to do the counters…..I’m not very smart BUT if I did do the counters I would break the counters record, this entire recap would just be counters and cliff hangers.
[Wing: You’re fine without the counters, and I love your recaps. Even when I hate the books. Besides, here’s the counter that works best in these situations:
WING GOES BOOM: INFINITY.]
So apparently Trick or Treating is going to get cancelled because there is a creep going round beating people up and robbing them, he’s already attacked two women and two children. Going after children? What can you rob off children? Wow, that’s horrible oh and he’s fat. Stine really hates fat people doesn’t he?
Brenda doesn’t want to talk about it because its scaring her. Instead, they talk about going to a pumpkin patch to get pumpkins to carve, in the UK we just buy them from a supermarket, and meeting at the mall later, wow these guys spend a lot of time together. [Wing: You can buy them at a supermarket here, too, but pumpkin patches are great fun. Usually they have activities and baby animals to pet and food (cider and cider donuts and probably pumpkin everything, but I dislike pumpkin so I don’t care enough to pay attention) and sometimes alcohol. The one I go to regularly has baby piggies this year, and I can’t get over how adorable they are. (Also, there’s something deeply disturbing about how adorable I find them and yet how much I still love bacon.)]
Traci begs off because she needs to study; I love it when you get a character who is really into their education. Brenda wants Traci to come because she needs help picking sweaters. Brenda is the worst. As Traci is trying to make up even more excuses, Jake stumbles into the kitchen, he has been beaten up, badly, one eye is hanging out of it’s socket, there is blood all over his face and his throat has been cut. CLIFFHANGER and its not even a good one because Every chapter ends in a cliffhanger FFS!
Brenda is understandably horrified and rushes to help Jake who starts having convulsions , Brenda screams for help until she realises Jake is laughing, its all a Halloween joke [Wing: Shocked, I’m shocked. Stine is truly being creative and surprising in this book. /deep deep sarcasm] …a little insensitive considering what Brenda went through last year but lets see where this goes. Brenda calls Jake a jerk. Jake thinks its hilarious and lets the gross mouth blood drip all over the floor. Traci yells that they thought Jake had been attacked by the ‘maniac’ and Brenda calls Jake the ‘maniac.’ Brenda and Traci can go fuck themselves. Halley comes into the room all blonde and sexy #hatethesexygirl Jake tells them that he and Halley bumped into each other after school–Halley has been doing the make up for the Autumn school play and was at rehearsals and decided to do Jake who was also there….It’s her way of contributing to the scary movie Brenda is making since she wasn’t asked:
‘I thought Jake could use some scary make up for your video’ Halley told Brenda. Then she added, with some bitterness, ‘Just my way of contributing-since you didn’t invite me to be in it’
[Wing: Well, that’s damn passive aggressive, Halley.]
Brenda says she didn’t think Halley would be interested, but her mind immediately goes to HALEY AND JAKE ARE CHEATING. Because Jake is a know cheater and Halley has previous interest in him. Halley leaves to do homework as she has to ‘meet someone’. Brenda thinks it’s Ted. Oh Brenda you poor dumb fool. Angela leaves after arranging what time to meet Brenda, and Traci leaves probably to tell a burn victim to get over it. Jake and Brenda are alone, Jake asks about a Halloween party and Brenda tries to get deep and talk about what happened last year but Jake is more interested in whether or not he should get an ear piercing. Jake is an ass. [Wing: Seriously, Brenda, after last year, I’m surprised you didn’t wipe all your friendships away and find better people.]
Brenda gets upset and Jake tells her she needs to get over last year. What is with these people telling Brenda to get over being stabbed? I got electrocuted 8 years ago and technically died for 10 seconds and I bring it up Every. Chance. I. Get. Every chance. I was fine I didn’t even go to hospital, I went out clubbing because it was my birthday and we had a booth booked at Whisky Mist, Dev from Coronation Street (A UK soap) bought me a bottle of Vodka. I still have the scar on my hand from those bastard fairy lights. So if my friends and family can put up with me using that as an excuse not to do things 24/7 then Brenda’s friends can let her express her feelings about someone trying to kill her on the anniversary of said attempted murder. GAH. [Wing: Literally laughed out loud with delight at this paragraph, Tuesday.]
Anyway Jake is apparently such a stud muffin he smooths things over with a kiss and all Brenda can think is how she is basically in love with this turd.
[Wing: BRENDA! New friends and boyfriend, stat.]
Angela and Brenda are at the mall gossiping while Angela buys cds. I remember cds; I still have some. [Wing: Me too, though I haven’t bought one in actual years. My brother-in-law collects them and vinyl, but mostly I just buy vinyl for him when I find a good one.] They go to a store called The Clothes Horse which Brenda thinks is tacky but Angela likes because the guy behind the counter is cute. Brenda heads to The Gap to get the sweaters she was going on about earlier. Angela tries on jeans but ‘even the really loose ones don’t fit’ Angela thinks she has to lose weight before she can buy jeans so Brenda tells her to buy a really small size for weight loss inspiration. That is a terrible idea, Brenda you suck at advice. Angela agrees with me. Brenda goes to pay for her awful sweaters (that’s right I’m taking my fat shaming rage out on the sweaters) but she can’t find her wallet. The girls retrace their steps but the wallet is gone.
All Brenda can think about is how much Halley will love this as the wallet had her mum’s credit card in it and Brenda just dented her new car and was given a huge lecture on responsibility by her parents. Brenda thinks about Halley too much. Brenda suddenly realises she is being watched by a big, fat man in a Hawaiian shirt. Due to his weight issue, Brenda make the obvious conclusion that he must be the robber/Muffin Man. The man moves towards her so Brenda grabs Angela and they run through the mall.
Even at 11 when I read this for the first time my instinct was to either go into a shop and tell the staff a man was making them uncomfortable or stop and see what the man wanted as they are in a public place in a mall with mall security and because he probably picked up her wallet. Idiots. They run, nearly bumping into people yet do not stop and ask ANYONE for help. Brenda calls the guy crazy because of course she does.
Angela stops running and looks shocked, Brenda looks at what has made Angela stop and sees Jake kissing Halley. I mean are we shocked? Are we supposed to be shocked? [Wing: I think we’re supposed to be, but are not. We might have been, if Stine hadn’t blown all our potential shock with a billion and one unnecessarily dramatic cliffhanger chapter endings.] Halley has shown she has a complete disregard for any of Brenda’s relationships, Jake dated Brenda’s best friend merely weeks ago before moving on to her, and Brenda has horrendous taste in men. This is not shocking, it’s probably going to be a matter of days before he moves on to Angela or Brenda’s mum.
Brenda is devastated and wants to go over there, but Angela drags her away saying she needs to wait until she’s calmer. Brenda starts wailing and screaming about betrayal. You know Traci didn’t throw a hissy fit when you started dating her ex but then again it’s all about you. They leave, Brenda crying and hiding her face. As they start walking, Brenda thinks about how much she would like to kill them both. You know, it worries me that Brenda’s first thought whenever she feels angry or upset is straight up murder. [Wing: And yet she’s angry about one of her BFFs trying to murder her. HYPOCRITE.]
As they get to the car the man turns up again and chases them. Ok that is scary. They get into the car and the guy bangs on the hood, ok that’s very scary. Oh, during all this there have been like 3 cliffhangers by the way. Brenda is shaken and repeatedly asks ‘Why me?’ because it’s always all about Brenda. Angela and Brenda toss around a few “he’s crazys” before Angela suggests they report him. This is a good idea which is abandoned as soon as she says it.
Brenda pulls up to Angela’s house and it is straight up out of a horror film apparently. Angela’s parents buy old, creepy houses and renovate them but keep the creepy. I want that job. Plus they are obsessed with Halloween so they turn their home into Halloween HQ every year. Yes! Awesome Parents Alert! [Wing: I’d like to move in with Angela’s parents, please and thank you.] Brenda heads home thinking about the lost wallet, Jake and Halley, and the angry man, telling herself she will no longer be the victim, I would have added coming face to face with the girl who harassed and tried to kill me, but Brenda only thinks about the important things. Plus I don’t really think this equates being a victim. Brenda lost her wallet that’s not being a victim that’s being careless, Jake is cheating on her as he has done with every other girl in school, again not being a victim just horrendous taste in men.
When Halley gets home, Brenda is waiting for her on the stairs with all the lights out. Halley? Run. Brenda watches Halley lick her lips and goes on a rage spiral that Jake kissed those lips. And most likely multiple other girls’ lips. Halley is startled when she sees Brenda, and Brenda says she has been waiting for her. Ooh check Brenda being all ominous and mysterious. Brenda tells Halley to come upstairs and, though very confused, Halley follows her. [Wing: Halley. You are making very poor choices right now.]
As they get halfway up the stairs Brenda grabs Halley. Thinking it’s a joke Halley laughs it off. Brenda twists her arm and Halley gets scared and says it hurts, Brenda pulls out a noose and wraps it around Halley’s neck. Yup I would be freaking terrified by now. [Wing: WAIT WHAT? That escalated quickly.] Brenda can smell Halley’s perfume and wonders if Jake liked it, making herself angrier. Halley gets really scared and begs Brenda to stop. Brenda pulls the rope tighter enjoying seeing the rope burn on Halley’s neck as she pulls her towards the banister. Halley is calling for her aunt and uncle to help, but no one answers. Brenda can feel Halley’s body trembling and her pulse beating rapidly. Just as Halley starts to really panic, Brenda lets go and asks Traci if she got everything? Traci pops out with her camcorder. Brenda tells Halley it was a joke and she didn’t mean to hurt her, she thought Halley was playing along. [Wing: … Sure, Brenda.] Traci leaves and Halley is shook. Halley is understandably angry and Brenda snaps that she wishes it was real and that she had killed Halley and she knows all about Jake. Halley has nothing to say except that it just happened Brenda counters that ‘It just happened with Ted too’ Halley tries to talk her way out of it but Brenda’s having none of it and unleashes all her anger and fury on Halley. Brenda yells that Halley has to take everything that’s hers, and Halley bursts into tears and says that maybe she does
‘Maybe I do’ she said in a trembling voice. ‘Maybe I do want what you have Brenda. I mean, you have everything. And I…I don’t even have a family’
[Wing: Except your family that you are currently living with and treating like shit?]
Brenda, possibly for the first time ever, feels compassion for Halley and has an urge to hug her, but then thinks about Jake and lets anger take over, she dismisses Halley and walks away. Halley tells her she will be sorry. Oh Brenda don’t you see? If you just tried with Halley just a little bit things would be so much easier, she is obviously going through a tough time and needs just a smidge of empathy from you; plus if you treated her better and tried to include her maybe she wouldn’t feel like trying to take everything away from you–Not that I’m defending Halley’s behaviour, Halley seriously needs to stop baiting Brenda and the whole stealing everyone of her boyfriends thing is very odd. But if both if these girls could try to understand each other things would be so much easier.
The next day in school Brenda bumps into Jake who literally couldn’t care less that she knows he cheated on her. Brenda has the worst taste in men. Jake just acts like a complete tool, high fiving random people and telling Brenda he still likes her so don’t be mad. Brenda just walks away. [Wing: Umm, you are trying to strangle Halley to punish her, maybe remember that if you’re doling out physical punishment, right or wrong, Jake deserves some too.]
Brenda gets to chemistry class, and Jake and Halley are lab partners being all kissy, kissy. [Wing: How? Shouldn’t Brenda and Jake already be lab partners?] Brenda is embarrassed that the whole school knows that Halley stole another boyfriend from her. That would suck. Halley then asks Brenda for some sulfuric acid for the experiment they are doing, Brenda hands it over and Halley ‘accidentally’ drops it on her hand. [Wing: Are there no safety measures in place in this chemistry class?!] Damn Halley! Brenda feels her hand burning and starts to scream. You can guess what happens next…That’s right it’s a cliffhanger!
No one believes Halley did it on purpose, not Brenda’s parents and not her friends. Angela, wearing orange nail polish and dangly earrings, thinks Brenda is imagining it. Brenda admires Angela’s new look. Angela says she is trying it out to get a boyfriend because she has never had one. Brenda is shocked because even though she has known Angela a few months, she doesn’t know her that well, because if you’re talking about Angela that takes precious time away from talking yourself right Bren? All Brenda really knows about Angela is that she is chubby (go fuck yourself B), a good listener and has a good sense of humour. [Wing: Because of course fat girls don’t date, right? I’ve certainly never had multiple dates ever in my life.] Angela asks if Brenda is serious about Halley pouring the acid on her, and Brenda is 100% on the Halley is guilty train, Brenda says she is scared living with her and waves around her bandaged hand to really drive the home the point. Angela says she was probably just getting even with Brenda about the pretend hanging. Brenda is horrified because she was just playing around. Brenda you put a noose around your cousin’s neck and threatened to throw her over the banister, did you honestly think she wouldn’t retaliate? [Wing: Playing around? You marveled at the damn rope burns, Brenda!] The bell rings and everyone hurries to class. Brenda looks up and see Dina hiding in the shadows watching her. Dina that is very creepy and possibly not the way you want to go if you’re trying to make amends.
Brenda make its home stressed out and upset at the world and having to do everything one handed. There is a card with her name on it waiting for her. I’m getting deja vu–no, nope its actually just Stine rehashing a previous plotline. The card inside is a pumpkin resting on blood with the words Happy Last Halloween scrawled on the bottom of it. This could be from the Muffin Man or it could just be a really bad Halloween Card.
Mrs Morgan is talking to Brenda about the acid incident, telling her that Halley did not intentionally pour acid on her hand on and was very upset about the accident. Yeah, right ‘accident’. Brenda is adamant Halley did mean to do it and sent the creepy card, which she shows to her mum. Mrs Morgan says its probably a dumb joke from one on Brenda’s friends and wants Brenda and Halley to get along, then blames Brenda for everything. [Wing: Because that’s certainly going to make them get along.]
Wow Brenda’s mum sucks. Didn’t last Halloween’s evil shenanigans start off with a creepy card? Why would you dismiss that?
The next day Brenda is getting cabin fever from being in the house, so she heads to Traci’s. [Wing: Brenda! You’ve spent more time outside the house than inside it. How the hell do you have cabin fever already?] Traci’s mum lets her wait in Traci’s room. You know, when I was a kid, and I went to a friend’s house, we would never wait in their room, we would just wait with their parents or come back later. [Wing: It’s just a lazy, too convenient way for Stine to red herring Traci.]
While in the room, Brenda sees marker pens and leaps to conclusions that Traci sent the card, Traci is the Muffin Man! Traci comes in all excited to see Brenda, but Brenda yells and accuses her of sending the creepy card. Traci, with far more patience than I could ever have for this drama queen, explains that she just made a bunch of Halloween cards and mailed them out. Convenient. Brenda explains about what she got in the post and Traci agrees Halley must have done it on top of trying to burn her hand off. I feel like they are really exaggerating the effects of the acid.
Angela calls and asks them if they want to go to her house to do more filming. This film does not make sense to me there doesn’t seem to be any storyline, any schedule, any consistency or any type of plot. They literally just grab a camera and film whatever they want. Maybe its an avent garde piece?
Traci is shocked at how old and creepy Angela’s house is, but Brenda explains that’s Angela’s parents are fixer uppers. Traci wonders when they are going to start. Inside, Traci wants to use the sound of the creaky door opening in the film. That Traci, always thinking. The house is old, dark, creepy and covered in cobwebs and dead insects. Awesome/gross. The girls walk in calling for Angela, but the house appears empty. Brenda notices a thick layer of dust covering everything, almost no furniture and its very drafty. I think Angela’s parents might be taking the Halloween stuff a bit far.
In a living room are two coffins side by side the room is dark and dank with candles flickering. Brenda and Traci start to get really freaked out when they see one of the coffin’s lid is opened partially with a hand dangling from it, the hand is wearing orange nail polish. Brenda recognises Angela’s ‘pudgy, pale hand’. Fuck Off Stine. They look around the room and see two skeletons sitting in chairs watching them, then the coffin lid begins to rise. Cliffhanger.
Angela pops out of the coffin yelling ‘Happy Halloween’. Brenda and Traci are pissed, super pissed. Angela tries to play if off like it was a joke, but they call her sick and a nutjob. I’m realising now why so many of Brenda’s friends want to kill her. [Wing: This is one of the better Halloween jokes in the book. Why in the world is Brenda so angry? It’s a very typical Halloween prank. Though I am a little concerned about all the cobwebs and dead insects. Definitely taking that a bit far, Angela’s parents. I no longer want to move in.] Angela explains that it’s all her parents decorations, and she thought they would appreciate the joke. They head to the kitchen for a soda and it’s a standard looking kitchen no Halloween decorations at all. Traci asks about Angela’s parents but they aren’t home so the girls shoot some more scenes for their movie. Later on Brenda is talking to Traci on the phone asking if she thinks Angela is weird with the whole lying in a coffin and scaring them joke. Hmmmm I wonder if Halley thinks you’re weird for the whole tying a noose around her neck and threatening to hang her joke?
Traci thinks everyone is weird, but thinks Angela is ok. They chat a bit more about homework and Halley and Jake going on a date, Traci tries to convince Brenda that Jake is super boring saying that she would know having dated him before, but Brenda is all me, me, me.
The next day Brenda gets up late, has a stain on her top so has to change her entire outfit, and can’t find her hairbrush. All of this makes her late for school. Perfect Halley has already left early, which makes Brenda’s mood even worse. When she gets to school, she heads to her locker to throw her bag in it, but there is a putrid smell coming from it, when she opens the locker someone has put a rotten pumpkin in there. Gross.
Traci, Brenda and Randy are talking about it later in Brenda’s house while Brenda is babysitting. Brenda is upset at the rehash of the first book’s plot line. So am I Brenda, so am I. All Randy wants to know is if it smelled like a skunk. I love Randy. Brenda is once again convinced Halley is the Muffin Man and is behind everything, so much so that they had a huge fight in the canteen and embarrassed themselves. Brenda won’t tell her parents because they won’t believe her…The school had to clean the locker surely they would believe the school? [Wing: I’m sure they’d believe that it happened, but not that Halley did it.]
Suddenly Angela bursts in, she’s late because choir practise ran on late, and she wasn’t staccato enough, apparently she is never staccato enough. I have no idea what that means. [Wing: Well, staccato means very short and sharp, so that the sounds don’t run together. I’ve never heard someone be terrible about staccato in choir, though I suppose it can happen.] Brenda is distracted with the whole reliving the previous book situation and offers her a pretzel, and Angela yells that she is on a diet and gestures to her ‘plump’ body. For fucks sake we get it Stine she is a hideous gross fat person who deserves to die a horrible death.
Angela announces that Jake and Halley are out front having a huge fight, and randomly Traci wants to film it. Angela thinks this is a bad idea and says Jake hates being embarrassed. When Brenda asks how she knows this, Angela mutters something about him mentioning it one time when they were waiting for Brenda. Subtle. Angela says this is a terrible idea, but Traci and Brenda hurry outside and start filming. They figure out Halley and Jake are arguing about a girl named Teresa. Well damn, Jake is such a dog. Brenda is really happy Halley has been cheated on. Jeez Brenda what about the sisterhood? Suddenly Randy calls Brenda from the house because he wants a drink, Brenda tries to shush him but he’s too loud, Brenda turns to go into the house to hush him up but hears Traci screaming. Cliffhanger. Anyway, Jake has seen the girls filming him and grabbed the tape off Traci. Jake smashes the cassette ruining the film the girls have been working on. You remember, the film they keep mentioning which has no plotline, direction, consistency, and no actual reason to be made. Jake drives off, leaving the girls upset, and Halley storms into the house. The girls all head back into the living room and wonder what they are going to do, Traci says they should kill Jake. Ba Ba Baaaaaaah. Cliffhanger. [Wing: Stine is really at his most Stine in this book, isn’t he?]
The next day they are still talking about what Traci said even though they didn’t take it seriously. Traci says they should make him think they are going to kill him and make him really scared and get it all on tape. Brenda thinks Traci is sick….did you not just do this exact same thing to your cousin? But then Brenda decides that it’s a good idea. Angela is very quiet and hesitant, it’s obvious she doesn’t want to actually do this, but does suggest they should do it at her house because it’s so creepy looking. Angela thinks she could scare Jake the way she scared the girls with the coffin prank, Traci thinks it should be even scarier. Brenda notices Dina sitting alone eating her lunch, Traci wonders why she is staring at them, but Brenda corrects her that Dina is staring at Brenda. Because its always all about Brenda. Brenda realises she is still terrified of Dina, and she hasn’t gotten over what happened last year, and again I question would an attempted murderer really be allowed back in the same school as her victim? Wouldn’t she have gone to a different school? Is Brenda receiving any support from the school? Therapy, a guidance councillor? I’m genuinely struggling to understand
why Stine has shoehorned Dina into this book. I know she is supposed to be the red herring but it’s way too obvious, and she brings nothing to the plot except as another person for Brenda to bitch about. [Wing: She really isn’t necessary, is she? There are plenty of other red herrings.]
Anyway, they want Jake to be so scared he is literally calling for his mummy, but their plan has problems such as how to get Jake to Angela’s house in the first place since Brenda and Traci are his exes, and Angela is too fat to be allowed to exist. They arrange to meet later on to go through all the details. They hurry off to class but someone grabs Brenda from behind….yes, yes its a cliffhanger. So Jake is the one doing the grabbing, Brenda is all ‘get away from me creep’ but Jake is all ‘babe, I messed up, I miss you, lets get back together blah blah fuckboy nonsense blah’. He kisses her, and she has an idea, if Jake thinks she is still interested, he will be easier to lure to Angela’s house. Sure Bren, that’s why you keep kissing him back. [Wing: I mean, she’s not wrong, but that’s certainly not the only reason she’s kissing him despite all his fuckboy bullshit.]
Later on when the girls meet, Brenda tells them what happened. Traci thinks this is a brilliant idea, Angela is speechless. Oh Angela are you in love with Jake? Methinks yes. [Wing: Oh, Angela, no, you deserve better.] Traci double checks that Brenda is only doing this for the Halloween prank, and Brenda is adamant its just a ploy to get Jake to Angela’s house. They suggest telling him they are going to have a party and to dress up but tell him they want to go trick or treating first. Brenda is avoiding parties so she says they should go trick and treating then sort of end up at Angela’s house. Angela could ‘disappear’ and while they are looking for her, Traci could set up the camera, Angela will climb into the coffin then they will tie Jake up, pop a noose over his head and scare him. This idea is dumb. [Wing: And far too complicated.]
Brenda clears up after her friends have left when she hears a noise from upstairs, everyone is out so its just Brenda at home. She goes to check out the noise (don’t do it!) and sees Dina on the stairs. Brenda is shocked and more than a bit scared; she asks why Dina is there when Halley pops out from behind her saying that they were just going over notes for class, but Halley is enjoying Brenda’s fear way too much and it’s such a set up, yeah low blow Halley. Dina leaves and Brenda and Halley get into it. They fight over whether or not Halley should be friends with Dina, Halley thinks she should be able to be friends with who she wants, Brenda says that Halley deliberately chose Dina because she knows Brenda is terrified of her. Brenda says Halley will do anything to hurt her, and Halley bursts into tears saying Brenda doesn’t understand her and has never made an effort with her
‘You only accuse me. You think of yourself and your precious feelings, how do you think I feel, Brenda? Having a court decide that my parents are unfit, that I can’t live with either of them anymore? Having to move in here with you-a cousin who hates me, who is so jealous of me?’
[Wing: They are both pretty terrible, really, but Halley is far more sympathetic.]
Brenda can’t believe Halley thinks she is jealous of her and screams that Halley is the worst and has sent the awful card and left the gross pumpkin in her locker and tried to maim her with acid. Halley is apoplectic with frustration and rage and screams that all Brenda does is blame her for everything…Halley to be fair you have cheated with two of her boyfriends plus the acid thing could go either way, so maybe stop stealing her boyfriends and she will stop blaming you for everything?
Brenda is upset with the fight and heads downstairs, she thinks that maybe Halley has a point but suddenly she see THE FAT MAN from the mall banging on her door. Brenda thinks she has to warn Halley, but decides to call the police first; fuck you too, Halley. Halley, hearing the banging, comes to open the door, but Brenda stops her and says its ‘The Maniac’. Fuck off B. Brenda calls the police and they get out of the house because for some reason they now think he is inside the house…That bit was not explained well.
The police arrive and Halley and Brenda huddle on the driveway while they search the house. [Wing: For how scared they are, they certainly didn’t go far to try to get away from him.] Brenda gives a full statement to the police about the mall, the chasing, the banging on the car and now turning up. The police think it could very well be the person who has attacked and robbed the four women and children. Later on, the family has dinner and its all very strained and tense, Randy was at a friend’s house and hasn’t been told what happened and no one wants to speak in case they give it away. I would think the complete lack of communication would give the game away more. Brenda’s parents keep checking everywhere is locked. Brenda gets on the phone to Angela to tell her what happened and somehow manages to make it Halley’s fault because she left the front door unlocked. [Wing: … wasn’t Brenda the last one to come inside, though?] Brenda tells Angela about Dina and Halley being friends which Angela declares is vicious and decides they should trick them too and figure out a way to get them to come to the Halloween party. [Wing: What Halloween party? Brenda vetoed the party!] After saying goodnight Brenda heads to bed but as she pulls down the bedspread she see that’s someone has smeared a Jack’O’Lantern face on her pillow when Brenda looks closer she realises someone has stuffed the pillow full of worms that are crawling all over her bed and pillow. So disgusting, the Muffin Man really knows how to be gross. [Wing: UGH, this is creepy and gross, and it does make me feel sorry for Brenda.]
Brenda storms out of her room and straight into Halley’s, a red mist descends, and she attacks Halley punching and hitting her until her dad drags her away. Brenda screams that Halley did it, her parents are obviously clueless. Brenda keeps screaming at Halley ‘This is my house you can’t fill it with worms’ while simultaneously wondering if she has ‘lost it’. Insert massive eye roll here. [Wing: You’ve certainly lost your temper, Brenda. Not that unusual for you, though.] Mr Morgan calms Brenda down and she leads them to her room and shows them the worm filled bed. Her parents are in shock, Randy is loving this. Halley is adamant she is innocent, Brenda is convinced Halley did it and tells her parents Dina was at the house earlier. Mr and Mrs Morgan are shocked and ask if Dina did this since y’know, she did it last year. Halley contends that Traci or Angela could have done it. Yes they could of Halley but considering Dina actually did do it last time And was in the house earlier it’s currently more likely to be her. Mr and Mrs Morgan decide to discuss it in the morning. WHAT? Once again the Morgans are TERRIBLE parents. Last year this exact same scenario happened in the build up to your daughter’s attempted murder but they just brush it off not to mention Brenda is obviously suffering some sort of PTSD which they haven’t bothered to address, PLUS Halley and Brenda have some major issues but they just keep telling the girls to work it out themselves. I think it’s past the point of working things out guys, these girls need therapy or parental guidance at the very least! [Wing: I shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t even tell Halley she can’t have Dina over to the house anymore, but I am.] Anyway, they start to tidy the room. Well Randy and Mr Morgan start to tidy up–why drag Randy into this dude? Brenda just leans against a wall hating Halley with every fiber of her being. As Halley go to bed she whispers to Brenda that she will show her ‘trouble’. Really not helping your case there, Hal.
Brenda has a restless night full of dreams of the fat man and worms. The next morning she gets to school early to avoid Halley. She meets Angela, who tells her the house looks amazing in preparation for the Halloween prank. Brenda watches Jake who is flirting with two girls and says she can’t wait for Halloween and their REVEEEEENGE Mwahahaha…sorry Im just trying to entertain myself since this book is killing me.
After school, Brenda is talking to Traci; Traci bought four skeleton costumes because she thinks it will be creepier if they’re all matching (Why would that be creepy?) and stashed her camera at Angela’s already. Brenda has convinced Jake to take part in the trick or treating part of the prank. He initially thought it was a dumb idea, but then decided that children shouldn’t have all the fun or candy. Or maybe kids can have all the fun and candy, and you can go work on your shitty attitude towards women? They go through the plan: They get to Angela’s house, it’s empty and creepy; they lead Jake to the coffins and let Jake discover Angela’s arm hanging out the coffin; one of them screams ‘She’s Dead’ then films his scared reaction, at some point they will tie him up, film him some more and make him beg for his life. This is a terrible plan. [Wing: There about fifty different ways this can go wrong at any juncture. Why so complicated, girls?]
It’s Halloween night, finally. Jake and Brenda are dressed as matching skeletons. [Wing: At first I didn’t realise they wanted Jake to dress like them, too.] Jake is half an hour late as he ‘got hung up’ Brenda just wants to get on with things, Jake kisses her telling her how fun its going to be. Brenda thinks that last Halloween was awful but this Halloween will be great. They head to Traci’s and Jake asks Brenda if she is glad he gave her another chance since she was so upset about being dumped he thought he’d give her another try. Jake is such a tool. [Wing: If she is glad that … he … gave her another chance? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, JAKE?]
Brenda nearly blows the whole prank but keeps calm and says yes even though she is thinking he is a total pig. About damn time, B. They meet Traci and start trick or treating; they get to a house with a woman and her two small daughters, the woman says the daughters are very scared Traci and Brenda try to show the girls they aren’t scary but Jake screams BOOO and the little girls run away. The mother is not impressed. Oh my God I want Jake to die fast, he’s such a troll. They head from house to house and one person tells them to be careful because of the robber going around. Brenda gets in a bad mood because up until then she was having a good time. Brenda’s mood switches are giving me whiplash. [Wing: I’m surprised none of the adults give them grief about trick or treating at their age. That’s generally what happens from at least a few people.]
They carry on with Jake being a jackass until they finally get to Angela’s. Brenda casually asks if they should stop in. They walk towards the house and Brenda is shocked to see a carved pumpkin exactly the same as the one on the card she received. Brenda tells herself that Angela did it because it was so scary. Brenda you are dumber than a box of hair.
They go into the house playing up the ‘where is Angela?’ vibe. They go into the living room and see the coffins in their place; there are eight pumpkins lined up by the wall each with a knife stuck in its side and there is funeral music playing. The room sounds so creepy and excellently Halloweeny. They go further into the room, and Jake is loving all the decorations. Traci actually sounds worried as she calls for Angela. Brenda thinks her acting is great but as she gets close to the coffins she sees that both have the lids firmly shut, Brenda thinks maybe Angela changed the plan and she is inside the coffin, Jake wants to open the coffin and gets Brenda to help him.
The coffin is empty. They check the other coffin and its empty too. Brenda is worried as things are definitely not going to plan. [Wing: Shocking.] Jake wants to get in the coffin with Brenda. Jeez, Jake that’s fucked up. Traci and Brenda split up to look for Angela, but Jake wants to stay with the coffins and skeletons. Brenda searches the kitchen and sees a dark shadowy figure in the corner, the figure steps forward and it’s DINA! Dun Dun Duuuuuuun. Oh I forgot to add in 12 thousand cliffhangers during that chapter.
Brenda is shocked, and Dina says Angela invited her and Halley over. Halley walks in asking where Angela is. Brenda explains that her, Traci and Jake are here; hearing Jake is there, Halley wants to leave. Because Halley might be a man stealing. acid throwing, trouble causing tramp, but she knows when to leave a shitty boyfriend and move on. Dina is angry, thinking it’s a stupid prank and wants to tell Angela what she thinks. Halley just wants to go before she sees that ‘creep’ Jake. Suddenly they hear a cry from the front of the house; it’s Traci. They run to the living room where Traci is pointing at the coffin, Brenda looks and sees an arm dangling from one of the coffins. When she lifts the lid, Jake is lying in the coffin, dead. He’s been stabbed in the chest. [Wing: Well damn.]
Halley screams for someone to call the police while Traci screams Jake’s name over and over. Brenda is in shock. Dina grabs the phone but it’s dead. Then Brenda hears a thump coming from the ceiling; she makes everyone be quiet as she thinks its Angela signalling for help. Halley wants to leave, but Brenda rushes upstairs saying they have to find Angela and they can’t leave her behind. [Wing: It’s a shame that when Brenda has these great moments of being a good friend, she always ends up getting punished for it.] Brenda rushes into Angela’s bedroom, and everything is neat and tidy, but no sign of Angela she hears another thump coming from the closet. Brenda opens the doors and finds Angela bound and gagged; as Brenda unties her Angela says it was The Fat Man, he killed Jake then tied her up and left her in the closet and he is still in the house. But why? That’s not his MO, he attacks women and children, he goes after the more vulnerable targets, and he hasn’t killed anyone before now, why would he suddenly change his MO and go into a house, attack and murder a young fit man and then tie up the witness, why not just kill Angela and get out of the house before the police come? This makes no sense.
They run downstairs and Brenda tells them it’s ‘The Maniac’, for fuck’s sake. Angela grabs one of the knives from the pumpkins for protection. There’s quite a few knives, why don’t they all grab one? They start to leave but Traci stops them and says the camcorder is in the room, Brenda wants to get it later but Traci says it’s been on the whole time and it’s taped the murder. Traci runs back to get the tape when Angela turns to them and says because its all on tape she will have to kill all of them. That’s tight! Angela is the killer! Angela is the Muffin WOMAN. Is it because she’s fat Stine? Cos fatties are killers right?
Angela forces them back into the living room where there are a bunch of knives stuck in pumpkins and she’s out numbered four to one, just sayin’. Brenda calls her crazy, so Angela nearly slashes her face. I feel that’s a natural reaction. Traci reveals the camera wasn’t on she just wanted to flush out the killer, that’s a good plan but what was the end game Traci? Now Angela is going to kill all of you. Brenda says she should have known because Angela was so eager to set this up but no, that’s bad writing, Stine, you already said that Angela was initially hesitant about all of this, so no. Brenda says she was a good friend to Angela and again no, Brenda is a terrible friend to everyone. Angela screams that Brenda stole Jake from her. Really? It’s all about a boy? A complete and utter tool of a boy? Oh Angela. [Wing: I’m pretty sure there was a period of time when Stine thought the only thing that would motivate a teen girl to do anything is wanting the love of a jackass boy.]
Brenda starts calling Angela crazy AGAIN, at this point I’m out of fucks to give. Stop calling people crazy. Angela says Brenda shouldn’t call her crazy in front of her parents the two skeletons sitting in the chairs . Halley points out they aren’t her parents but Angela yells that they are her mummy and daddy and she should have parents like everyone else and a boyfriend like everyone else but since Jake betrayed her she had to kill him now she has to kill the girls. Wait, so her parents are dead? How is she supporting herself? And who sells a mansion to a 17 year old? [Wing: All very good questions.]
Doing what I have been fantasising about doing since page three, Angela raises the knife and is just about to stab Brenda when Halley pops up behind her and slams a pumpkin on her head. Angela falls to the floor screaming that she is being burnt as the candle, hot wax and hot pumpkin innards scorch and burn her face, actually she screams ‘Its SCALDING me!’ but that sentence just doesn’t not work for some reason. Brenda feels someone sliding an arm around her and looks up to see Halley, Halley is asking if she is ok and seems genuinely sincere crying and whispering ‘That was too close’, Brenda realises that Halley saved her life and might actually care about her and she has a lot of apologising to do. Dina and Traci hold Angela down while Brenda and Halley run to call the police…I’m guessing from a neighbour? I’m also hoping at least one of them grabbed a cold compress for her face.
The next day Brenda sleeps late because the previous night she had to talk to the police and have a long talk with her parents and Halley, there were tears, apologies etc. Brenda heads downstairs, Halley is still in her PJ’s eating cereal. Brenda says hi but suddenly THE FAT MAN bangs on the door. Brenda screams and her dad comes running downstairs, he sternly opens the door asking what this guy wants, the guy wants to return the wallet. I TOLD YOU! He also wants a reward. Mr Morgan gives him a few dollars, I feel like he should get more from his description he has obviously fallen on hard times plus he could have kept the wallet and the forty dollars that were in there but it sounds like he gave all the money back. [Wing: Not only that, but he’s tried to return it half a dozen times, only to have them scream at him.] Brenda feels like an idiot because she is an idiot. Brenda decides Halloween sucks (BLASPHEMER) so Halley decides they should pretend next Halloween is Thanksgiving as everyone loves Thanksgiving. So y’all gonna have two Thanksgivings then? [Wing: MMM, twice the turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and pie. Also, plenty of people don’t love Thanksgiving what with that whole colonialism and slaughter of Native Americans and all.]
This was terrible. The ableism was off the freaking charts; every other word was crazy, maniac, insane; I swear if you took those words out it would only be 12 pages long. The utter hate towards anyone over a size 6 was awful-and of course the fat girl was the killer same as a fat man was the robber, what the hell Stine? All we knew about Angela was that she was chronically dieting, that was her only character trait!
Stine basically rehashed the plot from the first book it’s the exact same story line even the build up with the card, the worms, the pumpkin, Halley stealing her boyfriend, it is all the same. There was no character growth from book one to book two. Everyone was insufferable and had almost no redeeming qualities, at this point I felt sorry for Halley for having to live with this awful family.
Brenda is hateful and her parents are utterly neglectful they genuinely do not give a crap about their family they just want everyone to shut up and get along but don’t want to put any type of effort or work into making that happen. Brenda obviously has some serious PTSD that goes completely unchecked and when the same stuff that happened last year that led up to her getting stabbed starts happening again, the Morgans could not care less. Brenda is so unsympathetic I don’t understand how anyone is meant to relate to her at all, she is beyond self involved, everything revolves around her. She is a horrible person, an awful friend and utterly miserable. Angela is fat WE GET IT STINE! WE DON’T NEED A REMINDER EVERY TIME SHE APPEARS ON PAGE! Also how the hell was Angela affording to live in that huge house? Where did she get two coffins? Who sold her the house? And WHY WAS EVERYONE SO IN LOVE WITH JAKE!? He is an utter tool, moves through girls like a hot knife through butter and does not have one character trait that’s makes anyone understand why he is so attractive.
The only decent character was Randy. MVP of this whole shit show.
This book just felt like Stine was asked for a quick follow up so he just took the first book changed a few names and tweaked the ending. There was no thought, planning or care taken with it. The reason I don’t remember it is probably because I blocked it out. Fuck you Stine.
[Wing: It’s such a shame, because the idea behind the books sounds super entertaining, but then the execution doesn’t work.]
I just read a book by the “acclaimed” Sophie Hannah, where the killer murdered people because they bought or owned Kindles, and she hates Kindles. So, suddenly, this book doesn’t seem as awful as it really is. Lol.
I wonder if Randy is the most likable character because he’s around the same age as a typical Goosebumps protagonists, and Stine knows how to write about, and for, middle graders better.
The Point publishers often gave the titles to writers before the book was even written, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Stine was told he had to write this, rather than choosing to. His disinterest in the material comes through loud and clear.
That’s a good point Randy! Stine does seem to write more compelling kid characters than the teens.
Wait, what. I realized I missed the first part of this comment, which is about all the Kindle murders. WHAT? Now I need to read that. For reasons. Laughing reasons.
“The Narrow Bed” by Sophie Hannah. She seems to think she’s a modern-day Agatha Christie.