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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:

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.]

Summer of 1956

So, we start in 1956 with Amy, Maria, Ronnie and Buddy.  They’re listening to Sh-Boom Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream).  Which was actually released two years before, so wouldn’t this music be out of date for cool kids?  Also, Crew Cuts is two words, not one.  And if you didn’t flash back to a scene from Clue when I mentioned that song, then you’re doing life wrong.

[Wing: Two year old music is so last year. Or, you know, two years ago.]

Characters:

Maria – silky, straight black hair, lead character.  She’s a hottie, but has never gone steady before.  She has to work hard not to be jealous of…

Amy – blonde curly hair, known as “mouse”, she’s going steady with Ronnie.

But Maria had to admit that with her tight blonde curls, gray-blue eyes, and tiny button nose, short, skinny Amy really did resemble a mouse.

What the heck type of mice do they have at the Stine household?

[Wing: Just snorted tea. That is a very good point.]

Ronnie – Amy’s boyfriend, the obligatory joker.  And by “joker”, since this is Point Horror, you know I actually mean “annoying asshat whose behaviour is generally closer to cruelty than humour”.

Stuart – Ronnie’s friend.  He’s soooo cool.  In fact, I have to quote:

Stuart was Mr. Rock and Roll. Mr. Real Cool Cat. Stuart was a lot of fun. Always joking, always messing around. Always snapping his fingers to some tune no one else could hear. Always combing his heavily Brylcreemed hair, which came up in a tall wave in front and then was swept into a ducktail over his shirt collar in back.

Christ, I want to stab this guy in the throat already.

[Wing: Mr. Real Cool Cat. Mr. Real. Cool. Cat.]

Buddy – someone they all met this summer, he’s good looking but kind of intense (why is “intense” always the description?) and very serious.  He lives at the titular beach house, which nobody has ever lived in ever.  No-one knows why it’s always empty.

Buddy and Stuart are contenders for Maria’s first serious boyfriend, but she hasn’t decided which one she wants yet.

Her thoughts are interrupted by Ronnie and Stuart running up and gleefully informing them that they’ve depantsed Buddy and left him in the ocean.  At some point Stuart wears Buddy’s trunks on his head.  Which is just weird, frankly.  Oh well, we’ve found the kinky one of the book, anyway.  Maria makes a token effort to get the trunks back, but fails.  Buddy asks them to bring him another pair or hand him a towel, and the boys pretend they can’t hear and then encourage the girls to leave with them, which they do.

And with this, we bump three different counters at once:

All my friends are a bag of dicks: 1

Oh you wacky kids, with your hi-jinks and your pranks: 1

Cheer on the killer: 1

I know I’m the evil twin, because now I’m all “Screw that shit, Buddy, you go forth and kill those fuckers!” Not just because of the prank, but because everyone just goes on with it.  I don’t like people who are all “Oooh, we shouldn’t do this, it’s naughty,” and then let it happen anyway.  Also, I always support team heel when we watch the wrestling.

[Wing: Weak sauce motivation though, one prank. Though you’re absolutely right that people like that suck.]

Later, Stuart asks Maria to blow off her date with Buddy and go to a drive in with him (admittedly, in a pink T-bird convertible with grey leather seats).  Stuart makes fun of Buddy, and Maria again makes a token protest before going along with Stuart’s idea.

[Wing: I would not be seen in a pink T-bird convertible.]

We don’t get to see the date, but the next day on the beach she tells Amy that she enjoyed it, and she’ll have to lie to Buddy.  Buddy then comes over to them and Maria tells him she didn’t feel well and tried to call.  At which point he cuts her off and says there’s no phone at the beach house, and Maria feels terrible that he’s so easy-going about it.

[Wing: Pretty easy going considering he’s supposed to be so intense.]

Amy has to go, due to some plot contrivance that I can’t remember, so Maria is left along with Buddy.  He suggests they go swimming, even though it’s a really cold day and there’s a heavy fog obscuring their vision.  He tells her that the water is warm because of this.  It’s not.  But she goes swimming anyway, even though she’s a weak swimmer.

They get so far out that she doesn’t know which way to turn to go back.  Buddy’s demeanour changes, and he says that she hurt his feelings.  He cuts her to attract the sharks, then swims away.

Well, that escalated quickly: 1

Some unknown time later Amy, Ronnie and Stuart are on the beach together, crying over Maria’s disappearance.  They tell the police that Buddy was the last person to see Maria alive and they all head towards the beach house, which is completely empty.  Where is Buddy?  Also, he is a lying liar who lies.

This Summer (or, you know, 1994)

Right, so Chris Jericho flies out to Hawaii and is met by The Rock… wait, wrong book.  I’m sorry, but Jericho’s book is far more interesting than this.  I mean, I love this book, but putting it up against Jericho was cruel of me.  Aaaaand back to Beach House:

[Wing: Wait, The Rock in Hawaii? I want to hear more about that! Hot.]

And the characters for the 90s are:

Ashley – a spoilt brat who has done some modelling (silver-blonde hair, green eyes, incredibly pretty) who torments Ross, her (sort-of) boyfriend, is the kind of girl everyone hates because she plays silly games, e.g. she’s being a real bitch to Ross, who suggests she gets a new hobby rather than teasing him, such as aerobics or saving rain forests, and she then goes straight for “are you saying I’m fat?” while pouting adorably.  Please god, let her be the first victim. Oh, and she flirts with everything with a penis.

(Seriously, if you are this girl in real life: stop.  Other girls don’t hate you because you’re beautiful, they hate you because you’re annoying.)

Ross – looks like Matt Dillon, is a controlling asshole, who explodes every time Ashley flirts with some other guy.  Guys, just break up.  This is not a healthy relationship.

Lucy – red curly hair, blue eyes, really pretty, boys like her, so Ashley wonders why she’s with Kip.

Kip – looks like Vanilla Ice.  Oh, and by the way, that’s a compliment in this book, also described as a “tough-looking townie”.  Ashley doesn’t like him because he’s mean to Lucy all the time and has no sense of humour.  Also, he’s way defensive because he has to work this summer and is a townie of all things.  Everyone else is just on holiday.  Is everyone in the 90s a complete sociopath?  It’s not that hard to just be nice to each other.  Or get other friends.  Or something.  Anything.

[Wing: Yes, I would absolutely describe Vanilla Ice circa 1994 as tough.]

Are there no nice men in any point horrors?  Oh, wait, Conor.

So, there’s a scene to introduce you to all the above assholes, and Ashley spies the Beach House, she thinks it’s creepy that nobody has ever lived there and wishes someone would tear it down.

All my friends are a bag of dicks: 2

Then, and Stine is a beast for this – although they all do it, the chapter ends with a shocking cliff-hanger as Ashley is scooped up by a large hulking figure and kidnapped.

CHAPTER END! OMG! WHAT WILL WE DO? LET’S ALL FUCKING PANIC!

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN! 1

Anyway, in the next chapter, it’s revealed that the hulk is actually Denny and he’s a friend (well, not a friend, just a guy she knows who she doesn’t like, basically he’s here as a red herring) and he’s just going to toss her in the water.  I hate this shit.  Wing hates Bad Guy POVs (to be fair, so should everyone), and I hate this.  Making cliff-hangers out of nothing.  There’s no need for it.  It’s bad writing.

[Wing: AGREED! Trying to great false ~tension.]

Denny asks her out, she blows him off, he stomps off in a huff and then she gets back and finds a good looking guy wearing a banana hammock sitting with her friends.  This is Brad.  He had tennis lessons with Ross last year.  Someone asks if he’s a townie and he says he’s not, he’s got a big expensive house on Ocean Drive.  Well, he just says Ocean Drive, and everyone else salivates at the thought of it being posh.

All my friends are a bag of dicks: 3

Just so we’re clear, we don’t have this townie hang-up in England.  If we’re in a city or town that gets tourists or students, we despise them for being part-timers, and they envy us because we live where they flock to.  Or, in the case of the small pretty towns that have nothing in them except views, we are incredulous that anyone would bother visiting at all.

[Wing: We need to discuss this whole townie thing, because what you’re describing in England is basically the whole point of the townie versus tourists/students thing here.]

[Dove: Ah, ok, what I mean is, we don’t go to towns and then look down on the people who live there, as these horrible kids appear to do.]

Ashley fancies Brad, Brad fancies Ashley and Ross is fuming.

The more she thought about it, the angrier Ashley became.

She had a sudden impulse to grab Brad by the back of the head with both hands, pull his face close, and plant a long, passionate kiss on his lips.

Give Ross something to really be jealous about.

Fuck off, Ashley.  I don’t have a problem with you having issues in your own relationship.  I don’t have issues with you finding someone new to fancy.  What I have problems with is the fact that you clearly hate your current boyfriend but don’t have the decency to dump him and move on to the new guy.

In my teenage years, I once had the joy of sitting with my girlfriend as she and another girl fell happily in love with each other, talking all night and ignoring me, flirting and touching (and it was unfortunately a location I could not leave and neither could they).  And you know what?  It’s wretched when you realise that you’re dating a flirt who doesn’t care for your feelings, especially when they don’t have the decency to end it (or, in my case, let me end it).  I’m with Ross on this.  Ross does what I could not: leave.

Oh, wonderful, Ashley thought, sighing. She watched him disappear over the dunes, heading for the road. Now what have I done?

To quote The Miz

Really? Really? Really?

Cheer on the killer: 2

Annoyingly, Ashley follows him and they make up.  Or at least, Ross gets angry but manages to keep it under control as he lays out his concerns (along with one irrational one: that she enjoyed being carried off by Denny), and Ashley does not reply to any of them, momentarily musing that she’s afraid of him, and instead kisses him.  Ashley, I hope you die horribly.

Cheer on the killer: 3

All my friends are a bag of dicks: 4

They go to the beach house to warm up, and find Lucy and Kip there.  Kip is furious that they’ve barged in.  They all wonder why the beach house has never been used.  Kip says it’s because of the murders that happened there.

Ross and Ashley leave because Ashley gets creeped out hearing that there were murders in and around the house.  They wonder why Kip is such an ass and why he seemed to amused by the murders.

“He’s just got a problem because he’s a townie – and we’re not, and he thinks we all look down on townies.”

“Well, we do, don’t we?” Ross joked.

I’m sure that should be Ross “joked”, rather than Ross joked.  Face it, people, you do look down on him, otherwise you wouldn’t be bringing it up every couple of pages.

All my friends are a bag of dicks: 5

Ross goes home, then Ashley is apprehended by Denny, in another annoying DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUUUN moment/cliff-hanger/chapter break.  He asks her out, she turns him down and she thinks that she’s afraid of him.

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN! 2

The next day Ashley goes to the beach:

A few minutes later, the sun out full force again, she saw Brad walking by the shore. He was walking slowly, laughing and talking with a tall, redheaded girl, very pretty, very skinny, in a skimpy black bikini.

Ashley waved to Brad, but he didn’t seem to see her.

She sat up and started to call to him, then decided not to. She felt a pang of jealousy. She realized she resented the tall redhead.

I’d like to walk on the beach with you, Brad, Ashley thought.

You’re so cute.

And so rich.

First things first, “very skinny” is not a compliment.  When I hear “very skinny”, I think of people who cannot control their weight-loss, or people who do not get enough to eat through no fault of their own.  “Slim” is a pleasant way to say it, but “very skinny” just makes me think of skeletal figures.

Next: Ashley, please, for the love of all that is holy, dump Ross.  I’m sure he would be less of an ass if you would just let the poor guy go, at least he’d know where he stood, instead of watching his girlfriend swoon over any penis that swings by.

Finally: it speaks volumes that “so rich” is important to you.

Cheer on the killer: 3

You know, these books are why I despised the popular kids at school.  I was sure they were all dickheads, just like the kids in these books.  None of these people would know friendship if it walked up to them, tied in a white silk ribbon and sang “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen.

On the subject of friends, Ross moseys over and announces that Lucy and Kip have vanished, they never came home last night.

Summer of 1956

Amy has a dream about being eaten by sharks.  She meets up with Ronnie on the beach and they bump into Stuart, who’s going home.  He doesn’t want to be around since Maria died.  Amy and Ronnie then discuss why nobody is wondering where Buddy is, at this point, they think he’s missing with Maria, so it’s a big shock when he runs up to them.  He’s covered in blood, which he writes off as being from a cut finger when he made a sandwich.  And I actually believe him, since nobody else died, right?  And since we know he’s the killer, I have no idea what this scene is supposed to achieve.

Naturally they want to know where he’s been, and he says his mom took him to his cousin’s house after Maria vanished.  And I have to say, Ronnie and Amy must be overcome with their grief, because this is the weakest explanation for what happened ever.

Buddy says that he decided not to go swimming because the undertow was too strong, but Maria insisted.  They argued, she called him a chicken and then went out alone while Buddy stormed off in a huff.  Even though she can barely swim and her friends know that.

Buddy apparently called the police from his cousin’s house.  The question is, how did he know that Maria was missing?  He was in a huff with her, there’s no phone in the beach house.  Apparently it’s because police were swarming the beach searching for her.  So he didn’t speak to the police then?  He went up to them, asked what was going on, realised that his sort-of-girlfriend was missing/dead, and then went home and told his mom, who insisted that he go away to his cousin’s house for a few days?

DED FROM STUPID: 1

Weaksauce.  And Amy and Ronnie should have asked more questions.

Anyway, they mosey off and find Stuart dead on the beach with his skull caved in.  Oh, right, this is why Buddy was covered in blood.  Soz, R L Stine, I retract my sarcasm from earlier.  Completely forgot about this.

By the way, I love that the characters wind up dead in this book.  Too many in this series aim for carnage and chicken out with sprained wrists, broken legs and convenient-plot-amnesia-causing head injuries.

[Wing: Right? Finally, successful deaths! And since all of the characters are assholes, I’m not upset they’re dead. Of course, it would be a better story if I cared about the characters.]

Buddy gets a bad guy chapter, which can be summarised by “I have a hard on!”

Mwahahahaha! 1

Then he runs out to see Amy and Ronnie and pretends to be upset, Amy is sceptical, suddenly remembering the blood and Buddy’s attitude towards being made fun of, then she remembers how upset he’s been over Maria and things like that.

DED FROM STUPID: 2

Later, Amy is walking alone and Buddy asks her if they can talk about Maria, she goes back and forth on whether she should because he scares her, but also he does seem broken up about Maria…

DED FROM STUPID: 3

All my friends are a bag of dicks: 5

Summer of 1994

Ashley and Ross are talking about everything: Lucy and Kip (they vanished, remember?); Brad (Ashley wants him); their relationship (Ross is jealous, Ashley is annoyingly flirty and indecisive).  They nearly fight, then kiss, then run to the beach house to take cover when the rain starts.  Ashley is looking for towels to dry off with when she finds Lucy’s silk scarf in the closet of the beach house.  They act like this is a major revelation, but it’s not really if you’re reading this for the first time.  Ashley and Ross saw Kip and Lucy canoodling in the beach house bedroom right before they disappeared, it’s possible Lucy was exploring, or wanted blankets or something, and dropped it while she was looking.  However, if you’re reading this story for the second (or more) time, then it’s OMG SO IMPORTANT TO THE PLOT.

I’m just saying, on a first read, this DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUN reveal is jarring.

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN! 3

[Wing: It really was. Duh, of course her scarf was there, they were fooling around in the house.]

The next day they go to Brad’s house to play tennis with Brad and his cousin, Sharon.  Ross is unnerved by the opulence of Brad’s abode.  They’re both freaked out by Brad’s help, who is described thusly:

A stern-faced servant in a starched white uniform stared out at them. She was a thin, middle-aged woman with dramatic, dark eyes ringed by dark circles. She had short, bushy hair that must have once been black but was now streaked with wide stripes of gray. “Won’t you come in?” she asked coldly, motioning for them to enter.

Ashley stepped into the front entranceway. Despite the July heat, the servant’s uniform was long-sleeved, and the starched white collar of her blouse came up high on her neck.

Every rich person has a stern, humourless servant who clearly hates their visitors.  It’s just the rules.  So, Brad flirts heavily with Ashley and she thinks it’s sweet.  Ross does not and storms off in a huff.  Ashley decides she’s done with him.  She doesn’t tell him or anything like that, but she decides, which is… like, minor progress, I guess.

The next day she’s in town when Ross comes up to her to apologise but she doesn’t want to hear.  Suddenly Denny (remember him?) turns up and punches Ross in the guts.  Ross collapses to the floor and hurls.  As the police approach, Denny bails, then Ashley runs off too.

All my friends are a bag of dicks: 6

She spends the rest of the day walking around and thinking and decides that it’s over.  (Didn’t she decide that two scenes ago?)  When Ross calls she dumps him.  Well done, Ashley.  I still think you’re a shameless flirt (and not the good kind), but I am pleased you stopped stringing Ross along.  And just for clarity, I think Ross is a tool, both for putting up with her shit and then exploding about it all the time, it’s just I sympathise more with him because when I was cheated on I reacted badly too.

Cheer on the killer: 4

Next she gets a call from someone who claims to be dead and tells her to stay away from Brad otherwise she’ll end up dead too.  For a while she thinks it’s Ross, then Sharon, who has a husky voice, then she thinks the voice really does sound dead.

Ashley’s on her third date with Brad, they go see a movie and as they walk to the beach, Ashley thinks she sees someone following them.  She chalks it up to Ross’ stalker tendencies and the way he can’t get over her.  On the beach, Brad kisses her passionately.

His dark eyes caught the light of the full moon and filled with sudden excitement. “I want to… show you something,” Brad said breathlessly.

I can’t help it, but I just imagined him whopping his junk out right then and there.

[Wing: Dirty! Also, “light of the full moon” needs more werewolves! Werewolves eating these fucking people.]

“It’s something kind of special,” he continued. “A secret.”

No junk.  He tells her there’s a magical secret in the beach house and he has to show her and she won’t be sorry.

She stares at him and tries to work out whether she should go or not…

Summer of 1956

Amy goes to the beach house with Buddy to cheer him up, but Buddy’s in a funny mood.  He starts to make fun of her, then reveals that he killed Maria and Stuart, and also, off screen, Ronnie.

Buddy says that he killed them because they were big bad meanies who laughed at him and hurt his feelings.

Well, that escalated quickly: 2

Also because he doesn’t live here.  Nobody lives at the beach house, everyone dies there.  Amy makes a break for freedom, running out of the beach house, and makes it up the beach, but nobody’s around to help.  Also, Buddy knocks her out with a shovel.

He then ties her to the strut under the beach house and walks away as the tide comes in.  Which is a seriously horrible way to die.  The idea of that scared the life out of me when I was younger.  I don’t really like water.

[Wing: I love the water, and this is a terrible way to die.]

Summer of 1994

Ashley isn’t keen to go in the beach house, she asks Brad to tell her the secret, rather than show her, but Brad gets seriously intense about it.  Ashley tries to change the subject by asking why she can smell gasoline, but he just keeps on about how special she is and how he hasn’t felt this way before and he really has to show her the secret.  Jeez, just fuck already.

Brad instead gives a brief family history: Grandpa was an explorer and he made all their money by exploring new fabrics; Daddy was an explorer and explored other women and lives away from his family; brother Johnny explored and it led to his death.  Brad was supposed to be watching him when Johnny ran off to explore a half-built house down the street.  He fell from the second floor to the basement and broke his neck on the concrete.  Brad has been trying to honour Johnny’s memory by exploring.

Ashley’s still not keen on going in the house, but she spies her stalker and wants to give Ross what for, so she takes Brad’s hand and goes inside.

He kisses her hard, and she starts to get frightened because it’s like an assault.  He stops, and then tells her the surprise is in the bedroom.  Ashley also has visions of him whopping out his junk, not that the text says that, and says no.  He promises he won’t try anything.  Then tells her to get in the closet.  When she says no, he drags her in.  They walk for a bit and Ashley gets scared and says she wants to leave.  He says she’s seen too much.

I beat you because I love you: 1

As they walk, she is grabbed from behind, I don’t know if this is badly written or I’m just tired of the recap, but it’s a bit confusing, there’s flickering orange and she’s yanked away from Brad.

Anyway, when the text clarifies, Mary, the housekeeper, is the person with the torch (the old kind, stick on fire).  She strips off, the word “bra” is used in this Point Horror!  Scandal!  Her scars from the shark attack are visible!  It’s revealed that she is Maria.  She survived the shark attack, but was in the hospital for so long that when she got out her friends were dead and she was so broken she couldn’t go back to her old life.  This is actually really sad.  All of this is taking place in the closet.  In short, it’s a wormhole, built on a time warp, leading to 1956.

Maria nodded solemnly. “Yes. Buddy discovered that he could go back to 1956. You step into the closet. You walk and walk through a heavy gray fog. It seems as if you’re walking forever. But when you finally emerge from the fog, you are back in 1956.”

“You can go back to 1956 and then return?” Ashley asked. “You can go and come back just by walking?”

Maria shook her head. “No. Going back in time is easy, just a long gray walk. But moving forward in time is hard. Somehow Buddy learned how to move forward, how to get back to his own time.” Deep sadness crept into her voice. “It took me all of my life to figure out how to get here, how to follow Buddy to the future, to his time.”

I remembered this as she just lived her life, because Mary’s in her fifties, she was sixteen in 1956, which is forty years ago, the maths makes sense.  So, really her normal life would have taken her here anyway.  But, that’s irrelevant, because TIME TRAVEL, BITCHES!

Ashley realises that Kip and Lucy must have gone back in time and now must be in their fifties too.

[Wing: I loved the realization that Kip and Lucy are the two people they see at the beginning of the book, on the beach, where the girl is wearing a scandalous two piece.]

[Dove: OMG. Really? That’s awesome.  I never even noticed. Just so we’re all clear: I am the evil one; Wing is the clever one.]

Oh, wait, we’re getting an explanation for the time travel.  Mary/Maria was rescued by fishermen, and wished she had drowned.  She moved away and lived her life until she was twenty-five, then she came back to the beach house, where she saw Buddy appear out of thin air in the closet.  She was determined to follow him, so she did, but when she came out in 1994, she had aged nearly thirty years.

Mary/Maria is bitter (and too damned right).

She raised the torch, a trail of flame streaking the air. “No, Buddy. I told you, you’re never coming out.” She pointed the flame at his chest. “Go back to 1956, Buddy. The police are waiting for you back there. Go back and receive the welcome you deserve.”

“No way,” Buddy scowled, tensing his entire body, preparing to leap out again.

“We still had the electric chair back then,” Maria told him, a strange smile playing over her lips. “It’s waiting for you. Go back – now. Back is the only direction you can go. Because I’m not letting you out.”

“That stupid torch doesn’t scare me,” Buddy said, his face filled with contempt. “I killed you once, Maria. Do I have to do it again?”

“Do you smell gasoline?” Maria asked, not the least bit impressed by his threat. “Do you, Buddy?”

Ashley realises that Maria is not just bitter, she’s totally willing to kill herself, and Ashley, just as long as Buddy dies/gets trapped in 1956.

Hot on the heels of this realisation is…

Then, her face still a blank, still dead, Maria lowered the torch to a puddle of gasoline by the doorway.

With a deafening roar, the beach house exploded in flames, killing them all.

And a cliff-hanger chapter.  This one is justified.

Ashley is not dead, though.  She was luckily blown out of the window by the force of the explosion.  I call bullshit on that actually being able to happen, but, y’know, whatevs.  She runs into Ross’ arms – yes, he’s there, thank god he’s the stalker type!

The beach house burns to the ground, they found a woman’s body, but no Brad/Buddy.

Final Thoughts:

So, Buddy escaped to 1956.  I’m not entirely convinced that he would get prosecuted because who knew him except for all the people he killed.  If the cops ever asked him anything, he could just say “Buddy?  No, never heard of him.  I’m [insert new name].”  He doesn’t exist in 1956, so providing he moves away, he can go on killing anyone who mocks him forever.  I believe Maria created a monster.  So, in Dove’s head, evil won that one.  Especially since Ashley survived.

Still, I love-love-love the concept of this book.  Maybe not the execution.  I wish that everyone didn’t have to be a complete bastard in these books in order for us to suspect them.  Couldn’t everyone be nice so that people would think “Ooooh, he/she would never commit a murder” rather than “OMG! I’m terrified of my BFF! I bet he/she is a homicidal maniac!”.

Final note: Chris Jericho’s book is better.

Final Counts:

All my friends are a bag of dicks: 6
Cheer on the killer: 4
DED FROM STUPID: 3
Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN! 3
I beat you because I love you: 1
Mwahahahaha! 1
Oh you wacky kids, with your hi-jinks and your pranks: 1
Well, that escalated quickly: 2

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2 Comments

  1. GCR
    Posted 22 July 2013 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Oh wow, when I was eleven our teacher let the class suggest novels for her to read to us, and the popular boys suggested this… she got to the end of the first chapter and refused to read any more, announcing so with a stern lecture about misogyny and pacifism – I think she thought the mild eroticisation of Maria’s murder was not elementary-classroom appropriate.

    • Dove
      Posted 4 May 2014 at 1:07 am | Permalink

      Generally all the Point Horrors have awful messages, but they are recommended for 12+ age, so it’s not entirely inappropriate!

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