Monday, April 4, 2011

The Super Nostalgic Book Flashback Challenge: Round 4 Part 1 Reviews

What up, fellow nostalgia lovers? I think it's time for us to put on our big girl panties and start reading literature that's a little more sophisticated. So this month we're gonna take a ride down Fear Street and drive straight on through til we reach Sweet Valley. Who's with me!

EvilEva reviews...... Hit and Run by R.L. Stine.
Circa: 1992.

Dissecting The Cover:
Because you can judge a book by its cover!

*Aww! The chalk outline guy is waving at me! Or possibly doing "the sprinkler." It's unclear if I'm being greeted or if I just got served.
*The tagline reads:
Look before you cross...
Or maybe you should "look before you plow over someone." Maybe watch where you're going, car-haver.

Lets Review:

Cassie has three guy friends. Which is totally cray cray because, HELLO!, she's a girl! Girls can't be friends with BOYS! They have wee-wees, for Christ sake! But against all odds, Cassie somehow manages to maintain a friendship with these three penis-wielders.
There's Long Lost Baldwin Brother Scott, who Cassie has a major crush on even though he giggles and is "a sheep." I never really understood why Long Lost Baldwin Brother Scott's penchant for following the crowd was relevant to the story but Cassie mentions it like 3 or 4 times in the book so I guess it matters to her.
Then there's Winks. He's the practical joker. His target of choice? Friend number three! Eddie! Eddie is the scaredy cat of the group. Everyone thinks it's so hilarious to crack on Eddie.
Anyhoozle, the four friends are days away from getting their licenses. So one night they think it'll be a great idea to borrow-without-asking one of their parents cars and practice driving on a long semi-deserted road. This should work flawlessly.
Shocker! It doesn't. With Eddie at the wheel, the teens totes run over some guy. The guy is dead now, y'all. They totally killed that guy. But instead of reporting it, they decide to push the body to the side of the road, haul ass, and spend the rest of their lives trying to forget it ever happened. But they can't just forget about it. Well, truth be told, to begin with they can kinda just forget about it. I mean, at times they're down right cavalier about it.
But then the body starts haunting them via phone calls and Polaroid pictures. Then Winks gets mowed down and ends up in the hospital. The body wants the kids as dead as they've made him.
But is it really the dead body causing all this mayhem? Nope. It's Eddie. He's tired of being the fool Mr. T pities. So he decided to play a joke on his so-called "friends." He borrowed a dead body (like ya do) from his cousin Jerry that works at the morgue. They staged the whole thing to frighten the fuck out of Cassie, Winks and Scott. But then Eddie started taking things Too Far, what with running over Winks and sending Cassie threatening Weekend at Bernie's photos.
So Cassie nearly gets killed by Eddie but luckily Cousin Jerry the Morgue Loan Officer and Long Lost Baldwin Brother Scott realize that Eddie's screws have come loose and they save the day just in time!

Say Whaaat!?!:

And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
This book was riddled with ridiculousness. So I couldn't pick just one. Instead, here are my top three...
Cassie, for her inspiring pep talk to Eddie after they have run over a man, presumably killed him, kicked him to the curb and decided to NEVER speak of it again:
"Winks is right, Eddie," Cassie said, finding herself becoming a little impatient with him. "There were no witnesses. That was really lucky."
Yeah Eddie. Quit your fucking whining. Being involved in a hit and run is just a part of learning to drive. I mean, you're gonna kill a few people before you get the hang of it. You just hope that no one sees you and go on with your life. Uh duh!
Next, we have Eddie, revealing to Cassie who the stiff is:

"Some homeless guy," Eddie replied, shrugging his narrow shoulders. "No one claimed him. So Jerry let me borrow him."
I wasn't aware the morgue is somewhat of a dead person library where you can check out the deceased presumably for pranks and perhaps Halloween decorations. I wonder what their return policy is.
Lastly, courtesy of Cousin Jerry the Morgue Loan Officer, after he finds out Crazy Eddie has been hiding the dead body in the trunk all this time:

"Well, let's get it out so I can return it," Jerry said, still holding on to Eddie, but moving quickly toward Eddie's car. "Okay if we put it in your trunk, Scott?"
Sure Jerry, why not. I'm sure my parents won't wonder why there's dead person goo all over the inside of their trunk. And I'm equally sure they won't mind that it smells like 3 day old homeless man in there now.
I would be willing to bet that Jerry no longer works at that morgue. I would hope so anyway.

EvilEva reviews...... Party Summer by R.L. Stine.
Circa: 1991.

Dissecting The Cover:
*Phoebe Cates is at the beach with Rachel Hunter. They are very frightened by a menacing shadow. Not frightened enough to get out of their sexy lounging poses but frightened enough to make little gasp-y faces with their mouths.
*It's a Fear Street Super Chiller! Which is superer and chillier than a regular old Fear Street novel.
*Tagline says whaaat!?!:
There's no vacation from the terrors of Fear Street!
That's right. The terror will follow your ass. Especially if the place you decide to vacation at is OWNED BY THE FEAR FAMILY! In that case you're kinda just asking to be terrorized, really.

Lets Review:

It's summertime! And Cari, Jan, Eric and Craig are super stoked to leave dull, boring Shadyside for the exciting, beautiful Piney Island! There they'll work in the majestic Howling Wolf Inn for a man named Simon Fear. And with a name like Simon FEAR, everything's gotta be on the up-and-up.
But, shocker! It's not! Once the kids get there, they discover the inn is deserted. Oh no! Now who will they fetch towels and mojitos for? But fear not (ha! see what I did there?) Simon has work for the four to do. They can help renovate the inn. But shizz starts gettin' real. The teens stumble upon a secret passage, Cari is "haunted" by a "ghost," Jan disappears, Simon and his brother Edward get in a fight, Edward shoots Simon and would very much like to shoot everyone else on the island. Because, turns out, Edward is crazeballs and likes to hunt----PEOPLE! Shit! Cari, Eric and Craig are people!
So they run all over the inn and the island trying to escape this lunatic. They try to call the cops and end up finding Simon! He's not dead! But he's also Edward! Whaaaaaaaa!?!?
It seems homeboy has a split personality. And a love of people-hunting. Run!!!
But they can't run because Simon/Edward has his rifle pointed at them. Cari tells him to shoot her first. He does. Nothing happens. You see, his manservant/caretaker/enabler Martin doesn't care if Simward goes off on a literal man-hunt, frightening the bejesus out of some poor teenagers who think they're at a resort as guests but he does draw the line at Edmon actually being able to kill them. Thanks Martin. You know, you could have saved us a lot of time and terror and many a pair of now shit-stained underwear if you had just told us when we showed up, "Hey. Uh, you guys may just wanna split cause this dude is completely batshit." Thanks for the great party summer, you useless douche.

Say Whaaat!?!:

And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
Jan, for giving us the phrase "party summer:"

Jan had immediately said what she thought the point of the summer would be---to meet great new guys and to party, party, party. "It's going to be a party summer." That was Jan's phrase.
Truth be told, I remember this book. I remember reading it at some point during my youth. Why do I remember this particular book? Because even as a tweenie/teeny who knew little to nothing, even I knew at that time and now, that Party Summer is about the stupidest name for a book.
Even though that was ridiculous, I managed to find two more gems of ridiculousness.
Here's Cari describing her crush Eric:

He's cute in those mirror sunglasses and jean cutoffs, she thought. I like his ponytail too. Her thoughts surprised her.
They surprised me too. Because what girl has ever thought the words "I like his ponytail?"
Here's a bit of advice Cari, mirror sunglasses , jean cutoffs and a ponytail are pretty much the rapist trifecta. You may not want to have a crush on this particular guy. Especially if your next thought is "I can't wait to go for a ride in his windowless van."
And finally, we're back to Jan who knows a thing or two about ghosts:
"Maybe now you'll all believe me," Jan said, examining her sticky fingers. "This is a well-known supernatural phenomenon. A ghost has materialized in this room."
Or masturbated in it. Wash your sticky fingers, Jan. You don't know where that ghost has been!

And so ends the first half of April's Flashback Challenge. Check back soon for part 2 where we'll be trading in Shadyside for Sweet Valley! 

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