My favorite movie about abandoning a baby is Willow.

17. Hush Little Baby – Caroline B. Cooney

I’ve never been a person who has wanted to have children, so this was quite the horror story for me to read. When you stop by your father’s house and your ex-stepmother shows up, about the last thing you’d expect her to do is run away and leave you with her child. Before embarking on a wacky game of twists and turns taking care of the ditched baby, narrator Kit makes it very clear that her ex-stepmother is not the smartest. None of the characters in this book seemed to be particularly smart though, they made very strange decisions. It did remind me a bit of the end of Drive Angry. I enjoyed that movie quite a bit, but felt very annoyed about the “here, have a baby!” ending. The girl’s stuck in the middle of an abandoned prison, she just left her job and her living space with her stupid fiancee, and Nicolas Cage destroyed her car to help rescue said baby, and now she’s got a baby to take care of forever. Not Nicolas Cage, who, granted, is not really in a position to take care of a baby at the end of that movie – but who is? Wacky.

Mixtape 7:

1. Livin Thing – ELO

2. Bedlam – Gallon Drunk

3. Hold Tight! – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, & Tich

4. Everybody’s Going Wild – The Detroit Cobras

5. 96 Tears – The Stranglers

6. Infected Girls – Electric Six

7. Heads Will Roll – The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

8. Halfway Home – T.V. on the Radio

9. Willow’s Theme – James Horner

10. I’m Your Villain – Franz Ferdinand

11. Don’t Play With Guns – The Black Angels

12. Plowed – Sponge

13. The Seeker – The Who

14. Burnin’ In – Spirit Caravan

15. Heavy Soul – The Black Keys

16. Mister Mental – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

17. Sucker – Peaches

Thaddeus’ little face looks so cute and so hopeful in this picture. He could have been in Willow.

Thaddeus is about to climb the ridge of this pillow and see if there’s a baby on the other side. Pammy turns her back on any potential babies. She was spayed. She took care of her little one already.

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Oh, the old “shove them in a ravine.” If ladies really want to kill someone, Deadly Women has taught us that they use poison.

64. The Overnight – R.L. Stine

OMG Suki Thomas is such a skank! Like, how many dudes at Shadyside High has she gone out with? Did you hear that she’s fast? Her clearly terrible hookeryness has to be the reason why Della ends up killing a man. Damnit, Gary, why couldn’t you just stay a couple? Why did you have to move on so quickly? Why? Della didn’t even have time to listen to side one of her Pretty on the Inside tape before you were with Suki.

I know that whenever my relationships have ended, I’ve been able to reignite them by joining an outdoors club with my ex and his new girl, wandering off into the wilderness once I get pissed off at their canoodling, and killing some random dude. It’s very endearing, not at all insane. A stress reliever, really. In other news, this is the third Fear Street book and it takes place mostly on an island.

Mixtape 5:

1. So Hard – The Panderers

2. Wall of Death (cover) – Dax Riggs

3. Crab – Weezer

4. The Sweater – Meryn Cadell

5. Tonight – Basement Jaxx feat. Phoebe

6. I’m On Fire – Dwight Twilley Band

7. Sing – Blur

8. When the Lights Go Out/We Own the Night – UNKLE

9. Down in the Park (cover) – Foo Fighters

10. Teenage Disease – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

11. Mediocrity Rules – Le Tigre

12. Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But… – Arctic Monkeys

13. Tropical Pets – The Diableros

14. It’s Not Right – The Creeps

15. You Really Wake Up the Love in Me – The Duke Spirit

16. Howlin’ for You – The Black Keys

17. Like Calling Up Thunder – The Gun Club

18. Chaw – Spirit Caravan

It’s just funny to me that several of the early Fear Street books only have tenuous ties to the street. When did R.L. Stine decide that he should figure out its history and start cultivating some weird evil and misspellings?

Mortemer’s leaving. He doesn’t like gossip and he’s not going camping with you. Not now, not ever. No matter how many people you kill.

 

 

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You don’t want to go down that run. That run’s got a history.

28. Ski Weekend – R.L. Stine

Icy roads, teenagers, and stranger danger all come to play in this tale from Fear Street. Well, it’s labeled as Fear Street, but it’s quite a stretch to consider an out of the way ski resort and creepy middle of nowhere cabin to be part of Shadyside, it would almost be nice to start the story via a meeting of Fear Street’s version of the Midnight Society – flashlights up! Anyhow, there is some decent tension in the story once the teenagers run off the icy road and end up shacking up with some weirdos in their hilltop lodge. As much as I like a good supernatural twist, sometimes in R.L. Stine books those seem like a total reach and it works better to stick to just people. I am a little pissed that there was virtually no skiing in the book though. I blow at skiing, but I do enjoy a good 80s ski movie parody and I wish someone would have foreshadowed at them about how they’re “gonna have a bad time.”

Mixtape 3:

1. Montage – Team America

2. Acceptable in the 80s – Calvin Harris

3. Five Seconds – Peeping Tom

4. Temple Music – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

5. Cold War – Death from Above 1979

6. Let the Poison Spill from Your Throat – The Faint

7. Wannabe in LA – Eagles of Death Metal

8. Handsome Devil – The Smiths

9. Den Frusna Munnen – Finntroll

10. Laboramus – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

11. Weapon of Choice – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

12. Romantic Rights – Death from Above 1979

13. Running Fire – The Duke Spirit

14. Leaves – Bass Drum of Death

15. Twisted Nerve – The Damned

16. The First Vietnamese War – The Black Angels

17. Alaska Highway – Dan Bern

Asspen is frankly one of the greatest South Park episodes of all time. Of all time.

Pickles knows that hibernating in a down quilt is the best possible way to get through winter.

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The suspense in this book was a lot like the suspense in Parasite by Mira Grant.

14. The Fever – Diane Hoh

This book was a bit of a cross between the hospital episode of Buffy way back in the second season with Der Kindestod and Emergency Room , that oh-so-specific tale from Caroline B. Cooney. Duffy Quinn has enemies, apparently, and she’s sick. And she’s confident and has no trouble finding boys despite being in the hospital and apparently very ill, unlike her chubby best friend. Duffy is bed-ridden, but she still makes time to pity her pretty faced-chubby best friend…what a peach. She also uncovers a scandal in the hospital and is plagued by delirious dreams of weirdly squeaky noises and a malfunctioning wheelchair and all the volunteer workers she knows don’t believe her! Well, maybe they do. Especially after she makes her chubby best friend do the work to prove there is a scandal afoot. I guess it is helpful to have a friend who isn’t sick and isn’t so busy trying to hit on the hospital staff.

Mixtape 6:

1. Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer – Morphine

2. Fast Fuse – Kasabian

3. Sidewalking – Jesus and Mary Chain

4. The Sanity Assassin – Bauhaus

5. Naked Cousin – PJ Harvey

6. Aneurysm – Nirvana

7. So Long Goodnight – Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

8. Running Joke – Queens of the Stone Age

9. D.R.U.G.S. – The Raveonettes

10. Eleven O’Clock – Morphine

11. Drain You – Nirvana

12. Hang Wire – Pixies

13. After Hours – Electric Six

14. Vomiting Mirrors – Clockcleaners

15. The Difference Between Us – Dead Weather

16. Ulysses – Franz Ferdinand

A beast! A sweet little beast!

Shortly after Danger Crumples made it to my house, I found that Thaddeus had symptoms of pneumonia…it was massively stressful. Six weeks of medicine later, all six pigs who took it pulled through and baby Danger never showed any symptoms. Now he’s three and a total beast.

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My log saw something that night.

43. The Lost Mind – Christopher Pike

I never read Christopher Pike’s books when I was in middle school. They were rampant, and shelved right next to all kinds of 1990s YA pulp that I did read, but for some reason I thought they would be “too adult” for me or “too scary.” I now know that I was clearly deranged in my thinking after reading The Lost Mind. I’ve acquired several Christopher Pike books now and I intend to read them, despite my experience with The Lost Mind, which was terrible to say the least. Next to nothing in this book made sense to me and for the most part I thought the story was constructed using a blender and some random ideas that seem like good ideas until you put them together: girl wakes up covered in blood not knowing who she is – good idea; girl turns out to be a total asshole – sort of good idea, I do like Laura Palmer; random Egyptian mysticism – bad idea…because although it starts with amnesia and maybe this girl could have been an asshole and a practitioner of mysticism, these elements never really come together in a sensible way in this book.  It needed Special Agent Dale Cooper to sort it out in a dream.

Mixtape 9:

1. Bang! – The Raveonettes

2. Twist of Cain – Danzig

3. Crying Lightning – Arctic Monkeys

4. Jennifer’s Body – Hole

5. Hank is Dead – Red Fang

6. Secret Plans – Eagles of Death Metal

7. Warsaw – Joy Division

8. Naked Cousin – PJ Harvey

9. The Bat’s Mouth – Bat for Lashes

10. Turn My Blue Sky Black – The Mooney Suzuki

11. You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar but I Feel Like a Millionaire – Queens of the Stone Age

12. Who Was in My Room Last Night? – Butthole Surfers

13. Lithium – Nirvana

14. Idle Hands – The Gutter Twins

15. Gone Forever – The Raveonettes

16. Walkin’ with the Beast – The Gun Club

17. Everybody’s Under Your Spell – The Duke Spirit

18. Ablivion – UNKLE

I can’t believe I ever thought Pike’s books would be too scary for me. Too dumb, maybe, I should have just read the blurbs.

Look into Belvedere’s eyes – if you can – you will find the ability to coherently develop a plot about mind switching there.

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Her library card and the books she checked out and needed to return became her best means of escape.

Welcome to my YA Thriller Megamix Summer! All Summer I will be barely reviewing the works of authors on the Point Horror & Point Thriller imprints and they will come with mixtapes, if you wished to create a sixty minute  cassette tape of these tunes you totally could, as long as you have the songs and a double cassette deck. These will be some of the most useful reviews I have ever written.

20. Mother’s Helper – A. Bates

This is the first book I’ve been able to locate by the elusive A. Bates, one of the luminaries of the Point Horror novels. It features a character named Cleve. Yes, Cleve. That’s an unexpected name for the male love interest/potential psychopath, so I approve. Also, reading this made me glad I’ve never had to live with anyone that I work for. Finding that balance of “I have my own needs as a human and they involve not being at work 24/7” and “I’m paid to take care of your child who is alive 24/7” is apparently very complicated. It was hard for protagonist Becky to find the time to hang out with/be suspicious of Cleve and his potentially murderous/amorous nature. This was a book of dualities.

The elusive A. Bates. I’m coming for you D.E. Athkins! Actually, you’re coming to me, I broke down and ordered one of your Point books for $3 on Amazon.

Pammy is on the lookout. If anyone, Cleve or otherwise, sneaks up on this chair in my former living space, she will see and they will not get to her towels.

 

Mixtape 1:

1. Kiss Them for Me – Siouxsie & the Banshees

2. Love Song – The Cure

3. 867-5309/Jenny – Tommy Tutone

4. Dance Hall Days – Wang Chung

5. Nightcall – Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx

6. Velvet – The Big Pink

7. To Never Know You – The Black Ryder

8. So Alive – Love and Rockets

9. Atari Baby – Sigue Sigue Sputnik

10. Stop Me If You Think… – The Smiths

11. Lips Like Sugar – Echo & The Bunnymen

12. Just Like Heaven – The Cure

13. Antmusic – Adam and the Ants

14. Our Love’s in Jeopardy – Greg Kihn

15. Black Sheep – Metric

16. Interchangeable Knife – Electric Six

 

 

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Skin tags, the Pacific Trash Vortex, and a nuclear standoff cannot stop the pursuit of a vintage Cure t-shirt

13. Worst. Person. Ever. – Douglas Coupland

The department I’m currently a part of is stationed in the basement of the main branch of the 11th largest university library system in the country (last I checked). I spend most of my time in the main branch searching either virtually or physically for books and articles and one of those searches led me to a reshelving room where I found this book peeking out from underneath the Diary of Edward the Hamster 1990-1990. I didn’t even know he had one coming out this year! So, I promptly stole it away and checked it out. Finders keepers and also, sorry, person who was trying to secretly keep these two books in the second floor reshelving room, but now I’m done with it so I might just check it in and return it right back to that spot like library magic.

Anyway, this is the second Coupland book that I was a mite disappointed with. I adore Generation X and there was some level of flashback to that in this with all the little explanatory aside paragraphs – some did mimic what I was wondering and that was sort of fun. My problem with it is that although I get the book’s purpose and was generally having a good time reading it, I don’t understand the purpose of bringing in pristine sixteen year olds. Also, the poop fixation was not my cup of tea. I also found nothing useful about any of the female characters, but at least there were several – although there’s a problem with the best one and that problem is a little annoying when considering this book is written by a man. I guess that’s the only way to be a relatable character, be a man. Neal was great and the description of Neal in the beginning was one of the most disgustingly tangible smell scenes I’ve ever read. I usually don’t review anything remotely close to when it came out – just City of Devils and this one, maybe a Charlaine Harris, um, tangent- and so I’m trying not to spoil things, sort of, technically I don’t care if I spoil literary fiction for anyone [maniacal laugh] (if I was in this book, I’d now be explaining why a ‘maniacal laugh’ is the right end to that sentiment).

Perd Hapley? More like Turd Crapley. – Reading this made me want to re-watch that episode of Parks and Rec where Ben melts down on Ya Heard? With Perd.

“Ozymandias’ World” A photo in which Ozymandias the guinea pig contemplates living in a world where women are fully allowed to explore the same range of ideas in their writing that men are and be published without impunity. There’s a reason why his rump is positioned toward the camera.

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Glamorama

6. The Sentinel – Jeffrey Konvitz

There’s this model – I pictured Katharine Ross because I thought I was reading the book version of that movie with the cat head coming out of a hand on the cover (The Legacy) but The Sentinel has its own film version – and she moves in to this brownstone. She has issues with both her religion and her father and her father died and she left Indiana for New York City and now she has this boyfriend who vacillates between creepily invested in her issues and avoidant and she wanted to move out so she found the apartment in the brownstone. Some super creepy people live in the building and she spends a lot of time fixing the apartment to her liking and ragging on the paintings the owner or previous tenants had chosen (this was very odd to me, but no one really loves anyone else’s decor). It reminded me that it doesn’t seem like the altering and the “this is not to my liking in this tiny space owned by not me, have it painted” happens as much now – it’s kind of take it or leave it in the finding an apartment game these days- at least for me. I hate apartments but current finances and space availability won’t allow me and the pigs to have our own house; I would especially hate living in a building where people often came to my door, to me neighborly=spooky and if main character not-Katharine Ross aka Allison the model was like me, maybe things would have gone differently for her.

Anyway, Allison the model has headaches and dizzy spells and she gets stuck in that fun loop of “this is happening/oh no, that’s not really happening you must be nuts” that happens in horror stories. I thought she had been previously possessed and that’s why she didn’t want to tell her boyfriend about her childhood trauma because this book clearly links religion and horror and when I think adolescent religious horror, I think possession. Plus she keeps messing with her cross necklace and her boyfriend asks her why she’s wearing it and constantly badgers her about what happened with her father. I was wrong, but I wasn’t on board with the resolution to this story either. In theory, everyone wins, but also no one wins.

Apparently this was a bestselling novel. It also has one of the creepiest covers I’ve ever seen.

I read this book while waiting for a train to come in with Mr. Cheese on it and while waiting for an oil change and so I will always associate it with Union Station and Jiffy Lube and a never-ending winter.

Twiglet is hiding from the uber-creepy priest image on the cover of The Sentinel. It was a good choice not to use that same image as the movie poster and it really surprises me that something with that cover was a bestseller.

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Russell Stover Red Velvet Eggs, unexpectedly glorious.

43. Carrie – Stephen King

I was probably one of the last people of my generation not to know that this is an epistolary novel. It’s not the example that’s usually used in high school English classes when explaining those, although it would probably be more relevant to the students than Samuel Richardson’s Pamela (which I do not like, thanks very much 18th century satire class I took in college and totally hated-I like satire [especially Shamela the satire of Pamela from the same century], however, the class mainly dealt with my professor’s interest in Indiana and basset hounds, strangely not major topics in 18th century literature so I barely learned anything). Carrie apparently has been the target of book banning attempts in schools, though, so maybe my idea wouldn’t work so well. I just remember that in my second semester freshman English class everyone was reading Stephen King books for their book reports. Everyone except me, I chose Silence of the Lambs (time well spent). Some people accidentally (I say accidentally because I doubt any of them bothered to open the books before choosing them and one person complained to me directly because I was “a reader”) chose King’s short story collections, which were my gateway to Stephen King’s books, and I found that kind of funny. It’s hard to write a book report about a short story collection…especially if you are a high school freshman. It turned out that many of my fellow students weren’t able to finish their books in the allotted time before the report was due. If anyone had chosen Carrie, it would have been easily finished AND I would have known what I was getting into when I picked it up.

The things I enjoyed most about Carrie were the descriptions of Carrie herself. All the bovine language really struck me. I’m so used to reading about beautiful nerds and damaged characters that just need to remove their glasses and shake out that ponytail that it was refreshing to have a main character like Carrie. She wasn’t just bovine, she was unredeemable and she had a dark purpose. She didn’t make many choices that were on the up and up and seemed to be well aware that she was doomed just based on how she came into the world. It feels weird to say that’s refreshing, but it is. She’s telekinetic – but she’s nobody’s chosen one.

Ain’t nothin’ bovine about this little lady, she was a beautiful piggy all the way through.

If Duncan had been telekinetic, I believe my produce bill would have been much higher for the year 2009.

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I don’t think we’re going to save the community center in this case.

21. April Fools – Richie Tankersley Cusick

Check it out – timeliness! Oooh. That’s probably the last time I come up with something relevant to the month in which it is posted. Mostly because I’ve spent too many words pointing out my timeliness. It’s time to stop. So, April Fools, published via the Point Horror imprint, one of my favorite imprints of all time. The cover has awesome, jagged neon orange relief letters spelling out the title – man, I miss YA having painted covers, kick ass relief lettering, and being distributed in conveniently sized paperbacks. I may have covered these feelings in previous posts…I truly feel them. If I could make raised letters with my silkscreen for my covers, I would, but I don’t have the ink that does that or an appropriate cover subject for that ink yet. Anyway, this is getting less and less reviewy as I keep going, guess I’m distracted by congratulating myself for posting an April themed book in April. The only loser in this is anyone still reading this paragraph – the next one will be relevant, promise.

The story follows a bit of a familiar pattern: a group of teens does something horrific with their car, the one with a conscience watches as terrible retribution starts to happen and gets threatened, the ones without consciences have a bad time (they French fry when they should have pizza’d), and someone else in the story has a secret. A terrible secret. Or was it terrible? I can’t quite remember. Mostly I remember the angst pouring off the Adam character and that many things happened in the dark at his house while the teen with a conscience (Belinda Swanson, no relation to Ron based on her actions) tried to tutor him. It was like Beauty and the Beast without the rose. I think he had a snake. Anyway, having a conscience is definitely a good way to survive these teenage nightmares.

Tale as old as time...stupid teenagers do something stupid.

Belvedere was not intimidated by doll heads. Or stuffed turtles. He conquered stuffed turtles and then posed with his chin up and foot out like a teeny conquistador, as seen in this photo.

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