15. Someone at the Door – Richie Tankersley Cusick
One of my all-time favorite stories that includes hitchhiking and being stranded in the wilderness with a killer on the loose is An American Werewolf in London. The rest of the movie focuses on what happens as a result of the hitchhiking and escaped killer, of course, so this comparison is utterly valid because without that ride in the truck with the sheep nothing would have ever happened. My comparisons are always air-tight.
“Especially for Girls Presents: Someone at the Door” has a similar set up – it has its own escaped lunatic, its own hitchhiker in the wilderness, and people in peril as a result of the escaped lunatic. It also has its own terrible boyfriend – Kurt (How in tarnation could you name a terrible boyfriend Kurt in 1994? Why? Oh wait, book Kurt is a rage-monster football player, like the one in Heathers, and not a suicidal rock icon, whatever.), an isolated house that’s both old and has one of those creepy past incidents, a very messy garage, and a dog named Bruce. Some typical Cusick-isms are on display here: there’s some histrionics (Hannah, geez, you’re a senior), shadows doing scary things, some yelling at the situation, and parents are out of town – in this case, they’re stranded by the gigantic and neverending snowstorm of doom! Speaking of the snowstorm of doom, at the time of my writing, it’s way below freezing with a negative temperature windchill – stupid winter.
Moving on in a way that winter rarely does, I enjoyed this story way more than I thought I was going to. For one thing, I refuse to open my door most of the time. My current dwelling came with a phantom doorbell ringer and since I refuse to participate in my own true crime novel (anymore), I won’t answer unless I am expecting someone or something. The phantom ringer seems to come at a variety of times, like 1:30 AM and 9:30 AM and 12:38 PM and seems to know exactly when I’m feeding Merricat her Critical Care, when I retire to read, and when I least need to be woken up. It’s creepy. I’ve started to assume that the person who lived here previously was a drug dealer and I feel like I may have mentioned this before – anyway, in the dead of winter when I don’t want to be creeped out, it seems like a bad idea to read a book about that exact thing happening…but I really liked it. It read extremely quickly, the characters acted in very consistent ways, and I totally dug the ending, it was very unusual for a YA book.
Fun fact: My copy of this was previously owned by – a different Rachel. Rachel T. I am Rachel S. Coincidence? Unlikely.
Mortemer and Belvedere lived in Iowa for one winter. It was a mild one, so there was no need for vigilance against escaped lunatics, but Mortemer was always a very vigilant pig.
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