My grandparents recently brought me a box full of some of the (many, many, maaaaany) books I collected as a teenager. In what I’m sure will be a shocking twist for anyone reading this, many of those books were horror-related.
I’ll pause for a moment so you can recover from your surprise.
Specifically, some of the titles found in the box include books from Fear Street (in its various iterations) and Goosebumps. So, rather than looking this gift horse in the mouth, I’m going to re-read some of these books from my childhood and post about them in these Childhood Revisions posts.
I’ll probably do one or two of these a month, depending on how
many I can bring myself to read low I am on other materials much I can contain myself. And, let’s face it, these wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t get a bit spoilerific about the plot of these books. So, if you’ve really been hanging out to read these decades old (ohgodIamsoold) books, I suggest that you not read on.
Otherwise: SO IT BEGINS.
An invitation to the new transfer student’s Halloween party quickly turns from being intriguing to terrifying, as Terry and his girlfriend Niki realise that someone at the party has prepared some nasty treats for them all.
I honestly wish I could remember what I thought of these books when I first read them because, maaaan, the amount of melodrama in Halloween Party is just astounding. Is this what I’m going to experience throughout this experiment of mine? And, if so, what have I done to myself?!
Still, I also have my limits. And – maybe this is just my own social anxiety talking here – if I were invited to a party with a select group of people I didn’t really know and/or like? Sorry, new girl; talk to me at lunch or something, because I’m not interested in spending an undefined amount of time hiding in the corner at a party being held in a house on a street that everyone repeatedly mentions, in a bizarrely casual manner, is known for being the site of some scary shit. Not even on Halloween.
Terry and Niki are clearly not me though, because they agree to go to this mysterious party – even though Terry somehow gets himself caught up in the lamest jocks vs. wimps rivalry in history as a result. Seriously, not only do I not understand the motivation for the divide (unless it really is as simple as ‘Alex (Terry’s former best friend, and Niki’s ex-boyfriend) is a sore loser,’ and the other jocks are sheep’), but it further reiterates my previous point about how going to this party seems like a really stupid idea.
And, of course, it is. So TAKE THAT, fictional characters in a young adult novel. I’m smarter than you! HA.
Not only does the most exciting thing about the party seem to be the buffet-style offering of food, but of course there’s something strange about the transfer student who so vehemently insisted that only the nine seemingly random students that she invited to her party. WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED!?
The party takes up most of the book, but, honestly, it doesn’t bare going into in any great detail. It can essentially be summed up as: food-dancing-surprise-dancing-food-surprise-dancing-oh wait, someone is dead. There are really only two interesting things that happen during this part of the book:
1. It’s revealed that their host, Justine, is a drag queen.
Okay, not really; but Niki finds that, for some reason, despite not feeling the need to pretend that she has the need for casual age-appropriate clothing in her actual closet, Justine has a hidden closet full of designer gowns. That she’s hiding being a drag queen from her uncle is the best reason I can come up with, because I don’t see the point in hiding these clothes otherwise.
Also, even a drag queen should have some comfy home time clothes, Justine.
2. The party is crashed by two of the group’s motorbike-riding classmates, who probably deliver the most shocking scene in the book. They’re apparently so angry about not being invited to this party (WHY!? I DON’T UNDERSTAND!) that they’ve decided to drunkenly drive their bikes into Justine’s house, physically assault her uncle, and get into a fight with some of the other students. Later, they’ll attack one of the group who’s escaped the house, and hide his body when they think they’ve killed him.
Nothing will happen to them, because apparently this is acceptable behaviour on Fear Street.
Back at the rudely interrupted party: now that someone is dead and two of the teens have completely destroyed the crime scene, the group allows themselves to be herded into the dining room after one of them runs for help (because all of them leaving would have made no sense, right?). Here, Justine reveals that she is, in fact, a drag queen (of sorts): she’s actually in her late 20s (I think) and has been masquerading as a high schooler, for the sole purpose of luring this group of students to their doom. See, their parents were responsible for the death of her parents in a car crash when she was a baby, and so she’s spent her life travelling around the world collecting designers gowns to hide in a false closet – and plotting her revenge!
The funniest thing about all of this that Justine leaves her guests in the dining room and goes outside, to deliver her evil monologue through a dining room window. Just…just picture that for a moment, and tell me it doesn’t look stupid to you.
Of course it does. Don’t lie.
Having delivered the least dramatic evil monologue of all time, Justine starts a recording of the sound of a car crash and sets the house on fire, because she might not know how to deliver a speech with flair, but at least she knows how to bring the drama to killing a bunch of teens.
And she would’ve gotten away with it, too! Except Niki is deaf (yeah, I suppose I should have mentioned that earlier) and therefore unaffected by the sounds debilitating her peers, which gives her enough time to escape the dining room, save Justine’s uncle (who was apparently okay with her plan right up until the point where she actually killed someone, and then got himself knocked out like the useless person he was), escape the house, and save her friends. Somehow.
Being a true diva, Justine tries to throw herself into the burning home, only to be dragged out by Terry and Alex, who are now friends again, because EMOTIONAL RESOLUTION, THAT’S WHY.
Then everyone lives happily ever after, if you ignore the psychological trauma of having one of your friends murdered and then almost being set on fire by a woman whose grand plan for revenge against your parents (who drunkenly killed people in a car crash, by the way) was to pose as a teenager – and you, in all of your brilliance, fell for it. Double burn.