Friday, October 14, 2011

The Super Nostalgic Book Flashback Challenge: Round 10 Part 1 Reviews

It's October, y'all! And what better way to get Halloween time nostalgic than by reading some good ole R.L. Stine?! 

EvilEva reviews...... The Babysitter by R.L. Stine. 

Circa: 1989.

Dissecting The Cover:
Because you can judge a book by its cover!
* The babysitter is either super freaked out or really cold. Although I don't know how she could possibly be cold in that thick, bitchin' sweater!
* Look to the left, kids. Before the earth was inherited by the cellphone, there were things called "landlines." They had cords. It was CRAZY!
* Who's she babysitting for? The Tchotchkes? Holy balls that's a lot of knick knacks!
* The tagline reads:
Every step she takes, he'll be watching.
Is it Sting? Is Sting her stalker? Or is it Diddy? Is this the remix?

Lets Review:
After saving a wayward child from the dangers of a mall fountain, Jenny lands a babysitting gig for Thursdays and Saturdays.
Forget that these people are complete strangers, they live out in the woods where no one can hear you scream and the fact that there's been a rash of babysitter hate crimes in the community lately--- Jenny needs money for Christmas (even though she only has her mother and one friend and I'm sure they'd understand if she didn't get them anything if it meant that she didn't end up in a rock quarry somewhere.)
But Jenny happily accepts the job cos little Donny has some exquisite blond hair. Who cares if the papers say there's some kook out there specifically targeting babysitters? Who cares if Donny's dad, Mr. Hagen, seems to have a few screws loose? And who cares that Jenny has an over-active imagination, seeing a man's silhouette when it's so clearly just a fucking rock! She's gonna babysit the shit outta this gloriously coiffed child, babysitter stalker be damned!
But then the phone calls start. Some perv asks Jenny if she's all alone and then assures her that "company's coming." Well Jenny is understandably freaked and also too stupid to call the police.
Then she meets the Suspicious Neighbor With A Scooby-Doo Villians Name, Willers, sneaking around the Hagens property. And still she's too much of an idiot to call the police or at the very least tell the Hagens that some weirdo is wandering around their yard late at night.
Then she kinda falls for Chuck, the new boy in school who loves goofing off and telling lame jokes. But she's apprehensive about falling for him cos there's a slim chance that he's the cray cray caller.
The more time Jenny spends in the old house, the more freaked out she becomes. The phone calls continue. Jenny hears strange noises. And she finds a picture of a baby girl that looks just like Donny! Jenny just assumes that Donny had a sister and she must have died. You know, because he couldn't just have like a cousin that looked similar and is just maybe off in another state somewhere, completely alive and looking vaguely like Donny. Nope. Jenny's first thought is "awww. dead baby."
Anyhoo, after becoming suspicious of a car near the driveway, Mr. Hagen tells Jenny that they'd prefer she not have any friends over--- even though they live on the outskirts of town and she's there all by herself save for the 6 year old whose life she's in charge of and there's some crazy babysitter hater apparently roaming the streets.
Jenny and Chuck get closer so she invites him and her bestie, Laura, over to the Hagens one night to study. Because Jenny doesn't know how to follow instructions.
Well Chuck and Laura come over, along with Laura's fuck buddy Eugene and whattayaknow, they all forgot to bring their books! Guess studying is outta the question. Lets makeout instead! So Laura and Eugene go to another room, leaving Chuck to get a little under the sweater action with Jenny.
But oh noes! The Hagens come home to this teens-in-separate-rooms-orgy! And Mr. Hagen proceeds to lose his fucking shit. He dismisses Chuck and the fuck buddies but Jenny has to stay behind to get a stern talking to about her irresponsible, slutty ways.
Mr. Hagen is gonna drive Jenny home but first he needs to calm his ass down. Jenny goes to get her jacket out of the Hagens bedroom closet (I don't know why you would hang someone's jacket up in your own closet. I mean, I know they said the hall closet wouldn't open but still. It's not like Jenny was wearing mink. It was just a stupid down jacket. Couldn't she have just thrown it over the arm of the couch?)
While rifling through the Hagens closet, Jenny accidentally knocks down a shoebox filled with newspaper clippings, all with headlines about the babysitter hater. It's at this point, when a box of evidence literally falls at her feet that Jenny realizes the scary phone calls weren't from Chuck or from Willers or from...... Red Herring! Mr. Hagen is the crackpot! And he's standing behind her, ready to take her home! Jenny thinks she'll play it smart by being stupid and pretending she didn't see the clippings and accepting the ride from the guy that pounds on the faces of babysitters. In other words, another smart decision on Jenny's part.
So since Jenny got in the car knowing Mr. Hagen was completely crazycakes, it should come as no surprise when instead of driving her home he drives her even further nowhere to a rock quarry. And he wants to shove her into said rock quarry until she's dead.
Then who should show up but Willers! Turns out he's with the "town police" (whatever the fuck that is.) He was assigned to the Case of the Babysitter Hater and had been staking out the Hagens house. He had a feeling that Mr. Hagen beat the shizz out of babysitters in his freetime (and instead of just telling Jenny to find another profession he just let her ass continue babysitting for a babysitter hater even though it put her in serious danger. So... way to go, town police.)
Anyhoo, so Jenny's on the edge of the quarry, Mr. Hagen wants to push her in, Willers walks up with a gun but Mr. Hagen's too cray to care, he rushes towards Jenny, she moves, his ass falls in the quarry, apparently the "town police" don't believe in checking bodies so Willers and Jenny just assume Mr. Hagen's dead, Willers drives Jenny home and tells her that Mr. Hagen did have a baby girl that died mysteriously and he blamed the babysitter which apparently made him loathe every babysitter that ever sat.
So Jenny didn't die. Chuck wants to be inside her lady parts. Donny and his beautiful tresses are now fatherless. Mr. Hagen is probably dead. And Jenny's mom is an insensitive bitch that tells Jenny, pretty much right when she gets home from her harrowing night of Not Dying, that some woman down the block called and wanted to know if Jenny could babysit her twins next week.
What a bitch! I think someone else should've been thrown in that quarry!

Say Whaaat!?!:
And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
I would give this award to Jenny's mom for that last bit of ridiculous bullshit but since I already mentioned it, I think I'm gonna have to give it to Jenny, for being fairly fucking dumb her damn self:
Whoever was out there pounded again, three hard raps, then three more.
It sounded like a burglar, Jenny thought.
I'm pretty sure that when someone's burgled, the person doing the burgling isn't polite enough to knock on the door first to announce that they're about to rob your ass.

EvilEva reviews...... Switched by R.L. Stine.
Circa: 1995.

Dissecting The Cover:
*Wow, this cover looks super 90stastic! Look, the girls are wearing vesty shirts! They look like white, non-twin versions of Tia and Tamera! And that one chick is wearing a motherfucking scrunchie! And there are a variety of lightning bolts about! I don't know why since there was never a storm in this book but whatever cos I guess lightning bolts make everything look much cooler.

Lets Review:
Nicole's life totally sucks donkey balls. Her parents are all up in her grill, her boyfriend just dumped her and if she doesn't make up a biology paper that she "didn't feel like doing" over the weekend then she won't be able to graduate! Ugh! Such problems! It's like she's a teenager or something.
But what luck! Nicole's BFF, Lucy has a shitty life as a teenager too. But she's got a solution to their problems. They'll switch bodies! By jumping off a magical wall in the woods! Nicole thinks this is an excellent idea because Nicole has never heard an actual excellent idea before.
The girls find the magical Freaky Friday wall and holding hands, jump off of it. When they land on the other side, they've switched bodies! Nicole looks like Lucy and Lucy looks like Nicole! And I'm confused not only because the premise of this switcheroo is extraordinarily stupid but because if you had a shitty life why would you wanna switch bodies, and therefore lives, with someone whose life is equally as shitty as yours? Wouldn't you wanna trade with someone that has an awesome life? Like Jennifer Aniston? Or Oprah? Perhaps I'm giving too much thought to this one little detail considering they switched bodies by JUMPING OFF A FUCKING WALL !
Anyhoo, back to this ridiculous shizz. So Nicole goes to Lucy's house, ready to enjoy a slightly less sucky life than the one she woke up with. But when Nicole opens the front door she discovers Lucy's parents dead! She starts freaking the fuck out because now she's got to tell her bestie that her parents have been murdered. Oh and also that they need to switch bodies back posthaste cos even though Nicole's life is a vast wasteland of suck, she so doesn't wanna deal with someone else's murdered parents.
I feel like this would be my luck. I switch my shit life with someone on the day that their parents are brutally murdered and now I've got to deal with it. Typical.
Anyhoozle, so Nicole goes to her own house where she hopes to find Lucy but no one's home.
This would also be my luck. I would be dealing with dead parent trauma while my bestie was out in my body with my parents at the Red Lobster having a real fanfuckingtastic time. So typical.
And btw, lets not even bother calling the cops and reporting this horrible crime. No, lets find our friend first. That seems like the logical thing to do. Stupid Nicole. Anyway, so Stupid Nicole tries Lucy's boyfriend, Kent's house. Lucy isn't there either. Nicole breaks down and tells Kent all about the body switching and the magical wall and Lucy's dead parents even though she and Lucy agreed not to tell anyone about the switch. So way to go, Nicole.
Kent, bee tee dubs, takes all this craziness extremely well. Like, too well. Like switching bodies by jumping off a fucking wall isn't out of the realm of possibility well. Kent tries to calm Nicole down by getting her some water but he's really calling the police! Nicole high tails it outta there. She goes back to Lucy's house to get some "fresh clothes" and to "fix her hair," like ya do after you've switched bodies with someone and you've just discovered their parents lying in a pool of blood. So Nicole goes to Lucy's room and finds that all her clothes are missing. Which is totes weird, no? No. It's becoming very clear that Lucy set your dumbass up. Could you come to that conclusion already, Nicole!
Nicole finds a knife sticking up from Lucy's desk and there's a note under it! It reads:
I had to kill them.
I couldn't take it anymore.
Lucy K.
It's at this point that Nicole really starts freaking out because now she realizes that Lucy set her up to take the fall for the murder of her parents. Nicole sees that there are two police officers at the door. Uh oh. This doesn't look good for her. So she hauls ass outta there. She goes to get her own car from the school parking lot so that she can cruise around searching for Lucy while also avoiding arrest. She decides to check the mall. Well that makes sense cos if she doesn't find Lucy there at least it won't be a total wash cos she could totes find some super cute jeans and treat herself to an Orange Julius! 
But what luck! She sees Lucy hanging out at a pizza parlor with their mutual friends, Margie and Hannah. Nicole barges in to give Lucy the ole whatfor but when she reaches their table, Lucy is gone! And Margie and Hannah called Nicole by her own name instead of Lucy's! So Lucy must have filled them in about the body-switching! Nicole promptly loses her shit. She leaves the mall and returns to Kent's house cos that worked out so well the first time. 
When she gets there, Kent's body is splayed on the floor and his head has been cut clean off. 
So Nicole books it back to the Changing Wall and tries to do a reverse switcheroo by jumping off the wall while holding a picture of Lucy. Shocker it doesn't work. So Nicole decides to go to school to talk to Margie and Hannah. Again, cos that worked out so well for her the first time. But this time she's gonna demand they tell her where Lucy's hiding. 
When she gets to the school, there are police guarding the entrances. So Nicole sneaks in and hides in a closet in the girl's locker room, waiting for Margie. Well Nicole goes complete crazyballs on Margie. So Margie tries to talk Nicole down from her obvious break with reality. Then someone comes in the locker room so Nicole hides again and when she comes out she finds Margie on the floor with her head bashed in. Nicole thinks Lucy is killing off all the people that know the switcheroo secret. 
So Nicole heads for Lucy's grandmother's house. At this point I don't know if she's trying to avoid Lucy or trying to find her. Anyhoots, when Nicole gets there Grandma calls the cops on her ass too! So Nicole hides in the barn where she finds Lucy! Lucy runs off and Nicole chases after her. I don't know why you'd be chasing after the crazy bitch that's just killed four people but then I don't think Nicole is what you would call a "smart person." 
Lucy runs to an old well and jumps in. So, of course, Nicole follows her. But before she can get to Lucy someone grabs her from behind. It's *gasp* Kent! He's alive! Or maybe a zombie. That would be cooler. I'm hoping he kills Nicole and starts eating her flesh. But he doesn't. Nicole wants to go save Lucy from the well but Kent tells her to just let Lucy drown. Then suddenly Lucy's no longer in the well. She's right next to Kent and she rips his head clear off his body. Then the two police officers grab Nicole. Then another car drives up and inside it are Nicole's parents, Lucy's parents and *the gasps continue* Kent! And they're all alive! For reals this time! And the police officers aren't actually police officers! They work at a mental health facility! Cos it turns out that Nicole is a total crazycake! It also turns out that Lucy died in a car accident three years ago! And all this crazy bullshizz has been in Nicole's head cos Lucy's death totes fucked her up! 
So no one was murdered. There's no Changing Wall. No one switched bodies. It was all just in Nicole's head. Like St. Elsewhere. So.... thanks for wasting my time, Nicole.

Say Whaaat!?!:
And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
Nicole, for why her dumbass parents wouldn't "get" how she switched bodies with her BFF:
My parents are practical, common-sense type people. They're very smart, but they don't have great imaginations.
No offense, girl, but I think you'd have a hard time finding anyone to believe that you switched bodies with your friend by jumping off a fucking wall. I don't think it's your non-imaginative parents with the problem. Sorry, hon.

Part 2 will be coming soon! Until then please comment away if you've got something to say! I'll start you off with this topic: if you could switch bodies with anyone simply by jumping off a fucking wall, who would you wanna switch with? Discuss amongst yourselves.

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