Tag Archives: YA Megamix Summer

Bart Simpson is correct.

34. When Darkness Calls – Janet E. Gill

As Bart Simpson once said, “All the best bands are affiliated with Satan.” And like most things, the Simpsons writers are correct about this. But, Janet wants her reader to assume that being affiliated with Satan is equivalent to being affiliated with Nazis by casually incorporating the swastika into random situations where they only needed to be present if these teen Satanists were also white supremacists…and considering their group was multiethnic, they were not white supremacists. The not-Nazi religions and groups that used that symbol and slightly different versions of it prior to its co-opting for racist bullshit were not and are not Satanic (it’s just really hard to picture any type of Buddhists caring about Satan, amongst other reasons this made no sense), so it’s being used as a lazy shortcut to these black wearing teens being evil and frankly, saying they’re Satanists who wear Baphomet pendants to school is enough to lazily do that.

This book was essentially Don’t Make Me Go Back, Mommy, teen edition, but even that ridiculous, debunked, horrorshow of a children’s book warning about teachers and daycare and rabbits (it’s the rabbits that should’ve tipped everyone off, clearly, but maybe also the capes) didn’t equivocate Satanists and white supremacists like shorthand for being seriously evil. Like really, really, really evil, you guys. They smoke pot and encourage this poor new girl who wants to get in her new school’s student government to cheat on her boyfriend, but with Peter Drake and his magical disappearing car, not just Satan. They also force her to go to a heavy metal concert! She wears white and pink to a heavy metal concert! What a rebel, she’s just a Satanist of the individualist type and doesn’t even know it. And then gets fake chicken blood all over her outfit – which, yeah, that’s not cool. I hate it when there’s sticky shit at any concert, because the floor is already sticky, we don’t need more mess and definitely don’t need to endure music we don’t like to fit in and “give us [the awfully pushy Satanists who apparently never saw the Indiana Jones films that make it clear the goals of the WWII Nazis were not to eat chips, smoke pot, worship Satan, listen to shit music, and rule a high school] a chance.” The horror of what one does to be allowed to fundraise and go on the class trip to DC.

Finny, the antichrist of my home, says those teens were always going to peak in high school anyway.

Mixtape:

1. A Witch Stole Sam – Mark Korven
2. Sinners – The Cramps
3. N.I.B. – Black Sabbath
4. I Hear Satan – Dax Riggs
5. Am I Demon – Danzig
6. Louis Cyphre – Burning Tapes
7. I’m the Devil – Electric Six
8. Demons from Hell – Ice Dragon
9. Amaranth – Windhand
10. Kill You – Dethklok
11. Hel Vete – Finntroll
12. Fire Fire (Live) – Motorhead
13. Black Mass – Electric Wizard
14. The Hooves of My Lord – Ice Dragon

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You have died of exposure.

42. Driver’s Dead – Peter Lerangis

Move into a new house and there’s a dead kid in the closet. Geez. At least he’s not literally in the closet, but, learning to drive and navigate a new town is bad enough without all that moaning about his untimely death and whatnot…although maybe if Kirsten wasn’t accepting help from the creepers responsible for said untimely death he might not have as much reason to haunt her closet and fliers and help her find his floppy disk-based diary so she can learn more secrets that will scare her into helping him out with his unfinished business.

Sorry, little Crumples, no one could teach you how to drive in any of the three towns you lived in because you were always too short with no forward vision.

Mixtape:

1. World In My Eyes – Depeche Mode
2. Always Crashing in the Same Car – David Bowie
3. The First Vietnamese War – The Black Angels
4. Phantom of the Motorway – The Mangled Dead
5. Hate Breeders – The Misfits
6. No Class(Live) – Motorhead
7. Bowels of the Beast – The Raveonettes
8. Into the Void – Black Sabbath
9. Mess of Wires – METZ
10. The Wretched – Nine Inch Nails
11. Carrion Flowers – Chelsea Wolfe
12. Way Abandon – Repeated Viewing
13. Surrender – The Duke Spirit
14. Walk Between the Lines – Witchcraft
15. Red Eyes and Tears – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

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“Shattering! Shivering! Shocking!”

37. Fan Mail – Nicole Davidson

Acting! Rivalry! Obsession! This was a fun read, if you ignore the descriptions of Randi and a few other things. Chris, the not at all stuck up actress and her plump, plain, supportive best friend Randi (see), get to hang out sometimes – but Chris has always been focused on her career and Randi’s always been able to accept and understand that. Now if only she could get a boyfriend. It’ll be hard now that she’s the lead in a horror film shooting in her hometown. She’s the lead, and her rival with a stage mother from hell isn’t.

And there is this one guy who has a bunch of pictures of her in his locker – pictures he took, pictures he cut out of the newspaper, but he’s not obsessive or anything, he has to wrestling championships to think about. If only those creepily obsessive photographs could lead to something… Well, they will, a misunderstanding of epic proportions and more creepy behavior. I’m in this tree outside your window, Chris, it’s totally normal and I’ll help you find the person trying to scare you with answering machine messages, blood on your mirror, and not drilling holes in that coffin you have to stay in for long enough to hyperventilate.

I’m beginning to find movie sets a very suspect location for teenagers. Some of them just can’t be professional and assume threats are just a PR stunt.

Salem has his best friend the T-Rex to protect him, so, he’d be cool on film. Hire him, the 90s.

Mixtape:

1. Young Pros – Bass Drum of Death
2. Out of Line – The Bravery
3. I Am the Sun – Swans
4. You Don’t Know Me – The Butthole Surfers
5. LA Venice Bitch 80s – Carpenter Brut
6. Venom – Dance with the Dead
7. Posed to Death – The Faint
8. Grey Areas – Electric Six
9. Super Goo – The Cramps
10. Leave Me Alone – The Butthole Surfers
11. Evil La Girls – The Raveonettes
12. Rival – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
13. Turbo Killer – Carpenter Brut
14. High School Roaches – Bass Drum of Death
15. Scrape – Chelsea Wolfe
16. Night Walks – Black Mountain
17. Close Your Eyes – Edward Bear
18. Forever the End – Burning Tapes

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There should be a conversation heart that says, “No.”

11. Be Mine – Jane McFann

You didn’t notice me in class and I like you, therefore I will scare you and people you care about so that you will be vulnerable to me and my obsession. Rude. Why do any men feel entitled to women’s attention at all? It’s not theirs, not even on holidays when you might be able to make them think their boyfriend is creeping into their house to leave anonymous hearts on things.

Horace’s method of hitting on ladypigs makes it impossible not to notice him, he’d just pretend to fall on them from the back of the couch. It was…a little obvious.

Mixtape:

1. In Your House – The Cure
2. You’re Mine – The Black Angels
3. Bedroom Hymns – Florence & The Machine
4. The Sky Is Falling – Queens of the Stone Age
5. I See Through You – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
6. Eva – Burning Tapes
7. Cut Me Loose – UNKLE
8. My Least Favorite Life – Lera Lynn
9. Save a Prayer – Eagles of Death Metal
10. Heartbeats Acoustic – Dick Valentine
11. Demented Mantra – Ogre & Dallas Campbell
12. Invader – Dance with the Dark
13. Are You Satisfied? – Reignwolf
14. For Blood – Bass Drum of Death
15. Vicious & Disgusting – Burning Tapes

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An overreaction to tacky necklaces.

48. Twisted Summer – Willo Davis Roberts

Mistake one – going to Crystal Lake, I mean, haven’t these people heard about the camp?

Okay, so, location names that now mean something much different than they used to aside – Wait! This was originally published in 1998. She should have known better. Credit rescinded. – this story has more parallels with the concepts raised by Friday the 13th. The girl that got killed last summer had a bad reputation… but apparently everyone thinks she was murdered by some townie’s older brother, who is cool, but a poor townie, so of course he’s a great scapegoat. His name is Jason. I’m kidding. It’s Brody and he went immediately to jail even though he totally didn’t do it. I mean, his name is Brody, he very well could’ve done it, but if he did, main character Cici’s summer won’t be ruined and she won’t get Brody’s younger brother as a boyfriend either. Bummer.

Just so everything’s clear, this book is actually pretty well structured, unlike my review. It’s also got characters that are better developed than the ones in the first novel I read by Willo Davis Roberts, The Tarot Spell, which demonstrated just a giant dearth of female empowerment and so I was very glad this was better. The children deserved better.

“Nobody thought about that association? Really? The ‘Final Friday’ had already come out,” Belvedere knows Jason is a household name for murder-reasons.

 

Mixtape:

1. The Guest at the Window – Pentagram Home Video
2. Chattox – All of Them Witches
3. Little Thing Gone Wild – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
4. Bad People in a Bad Place Doing Bad Things – Repeated Viewing
5. Haydee – Burning Tapes
6. Rain Grey, Dark Sky – Brass Hearse
7. The Weeping Willows – Espectrostatic
8. Flower Phantoms – Blood Ceremony
9. The Dove & the Serpent – Devil Electric
10. Crux – Electric Citizen
11. Architecture for the Night – Harglow
12. Eye of the Storm – Dance with the Dead
13. Rabbit Run – Ogre and Dallas Campbell
14. A Dream about the Lake – Espectrostatic
15. Last Rays of Daylight – Ogre and Dallas Campbell
16. Damned if She Do – The Kills

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“Don’t these creeps take ‘no’ for an answer?”

24. Summer’s End – Robert Hawks

Weirdos on an island! They have onion breath and the ability to wipe memories. The police are in on it. The pharmacy is in on it. The popular girl who throws beach parties is in on it. Spoiler alert – Your dad is in on it. And yet, the main character managed to find a boyfriend possibility. One thing never changes (and the ancient vampire dude in charge should really be aware of this by now) – summer romance is going to happen. It will end the world someday.

Peregrine’s first summer romance was with Ozymandias. It was cute enough to kill an ancient vampire.

Mixtape:

1. “Indoctrination (A Design for Living)” – Dead Can Dance
2. “Night Chill” – Samhain
3. “Rain Grey, Dark Sky” – Brass Hearse
4. “Dead End City” – Espectrostatic
5. “Vampire Circus” – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
6. “Jaktens Tid” – Finntroll
7. “Climb Safely” – Restavrant
8. “Ancestors, The Ancients” – Chelsea Wolfe
9. “To Walk the Night” – Samhain
10. “The Invisible Guests” – King Diamond
11. “Necromania” – Electric Wizard
12. “The Birthing” – Samhain
13. “Jugular Infection” – Terrortron
14. “The Village Idiot” – Wolfmen of Mars
15. “Dead Wrong” – Hanni El Khatib

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“Do you cry over a guinea pig? This boy is a free police case. “

29. Blood and Chocolate – Annette Curtis Klause

Werewolves have more weaknesses than silver. The teenage werewolf at the center of this novel goes weak in the knees for poetry. One hippie kid writes a wolfy poem and she’s gone. Trying to fit in. Trying to out-flirt the human girls. Trying to prove herself through the overconfidence of being a supernatural beast creature. It doesn’t really work out how she wanted. They’re never ready to know the truth, the ones who say they are lied. Vivian finds out the hard way (the “Did I murder someone last night?” way) that she has to stay with her own kind and marry some older dude with a motorcycle that also almost dated her mom.

“One’s place in the hierarchy of any group is earned, and not through messing around with humans.” Pammy was queen of my herd for quite a while, she accepted her place with dignity and didn’t rebel…but she was like three years old at that time, an age of certain wisdom for a guinea pig. Also, we cry over all the guinea pigs if we need to in this house.

Mixtape:

1. “Until the Night Is Over” – Timber Timbre
2. “Funeral for a Great Drunken Bird” – All Them Witches
3. “Dog Inside Your Body” – Butthole Surfers
4. “Under Tva Runor (Under Two Runes)” – Finntroll
5. “Offering” – Chelsea Wolfe
6. “Birthed into a Grave They Made for You” – MAKE
7. “Bottomless Pit” – King Dude
8. “Girl” – Suicide
9. “Past Lives” – BORNS
10. “Four Teeth” – True Widow
11. “Kiss of Steel” – Samhain
12. “Hallucinatoria” – Wolfmen of Mars
13. “Midnattens Widunder” – Finntroll
14. “Ghost Dance” – The Bright Light Social Hour
15. “Killer Wolf” – Danzig

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“She eats unmarried young girls.”

4. Call Waiting – R.L. Stine

It used to be much easier to make intimidating phone calls. Just ask the Golden State Killer. Or Karen in this book. Of course, when you’re intimidating yourself to guilt your boyfriend into staying you don’t even have to make the phone calls; you can just wail and act scared and say you’ve been getting them and your boyfriend will reluctantly stay for a while. Get your shit together, Karen. You’ll never be good enough for a Deadly Women segment at this rate. You’ve got to be patient or maybe just let those hard to reach chips that don’t want to date you anymore go.

Finny is looking for hard to reach chips that fell behind the couch. Chips help with unexpected breakups. Especially freeze dried banana chips.

 

Mixtape:
1. “I’ll Be in Touch” – Electric Six
2. “Nightcall” – Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx
3. “Johnny” – Suicide
4. “You Can’t Quit Me Baby” – Queens of the Stone Age
5. “Unholy Passion” – Samhain
6. “Sad Transmission” – Raveonettes
7. “Find Another Girl” – The Hives
8. “I Know Where You’re Hiding” – Terrortron
9. “Speed Sick” – Icarus Line
10. “Cheap and Cheerful” – The Kills
11. “Little Thing Gone Wild” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
12. “You Would Know” – Queens of the Stone Age
13. “Mesmerism” – Dead Can Dance
14. “All Are Lost” – Brass Hearse
15. “They Don’t Want Me” – Wall of Voodoo
16. “You Hit Me (I’m Down)” – Raveonettes
17. “(Who the Hell Just) Call My Phone” – Electric Six

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“Kind of an extreme reaction to not being invited to the party. Don’t you think?”

6. The Cemetery – D.E. Athkins

Oh, Deathkins. Your characters are some doozies, especially in this one where there were so many of them I can’t even remember who is who and I totally read this in this, the year of my herd 2018. Recently I was re-watching the He Man and She Ra movie while painting (Classy. Artist. Me.) and I noticed that everyone kept repeating their relationships to each other – “This is Angella, she’s my mother.” “Let’s save Glimmer’s mother, Queen Angella.” “I wonder what my former pupil, Skeletor, is up to.” “Hello, Skeletor, my former pupil.” “Suck it, Hordak, the teacher who abandoned me.” I may be paraphrasing in that last one, but it was annoying there and would be useful here. There are way too many people in The Cemetery. And Cyndi, the most memorable one, likes “to push people.” She’s rich and bitchy. Her name is perfect. She planned a Hallowe’en party in a cemetery – The cemetery – and then some dude makes the mistake of dying during it. So you could say Cyndi pushed him – put on sunglasses – to death. YEEEAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Okay, maybe it’s not really CSI: Miami quality, but, there’s a possibility that it is. Anyway, so, death, then some more death, and some supernatural stuff and I really thought that it was just going to be a murderous groundskeeper who is tired of those damn kids stomping around in his eroding hilltop cemetery during their oh-so-spooky parties but…it wasn’t.

Finny never gets invited to Ozma’s parties in the cemetery. She doesn’t think he’s serious enough for hide and seek. Someday he will have his revenge.

Mixtape:

1. “Within the Wall of Tress” – Wolfmen of Mars
2. “Aldhissla” – Finntroll
3. “Lady Velvet” – Devil Electric
4. “Loss of Feeling of Loss” – Pinkish Black
5. “It’s Not Cranberry Sauce” – All of Them Witches
6. “Prisoners” – King Dude
7. “The Doom that Came to Marble Town” – Espectrostatic
8. “Kiss of the Broken Bottle” – Wolfmen of Mars
9. “The Number of the Beast” – Electric Six
10. “Archangel (Samhain cover)” – Beastmaker
11. “Bloody Revenge” – Terrortron
12. “Nocturnal Me” – Echo & the Bunnymen
13. “Living for the Grave” – Brass Hearse
14. “The Delirium of Negation” – Espectrostatic
15. “Once-Over” – Terrortron

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“Yeah because no offense there’s absolutely no zazz to be found, not here anyway, not in these parts.”

33. 13 Again – A. Finnis, ed.

We have reached the last of the Point Horror 13-based short story collections. This one felt way longer to me, perhaps because there are a bunch of the same authors in the second one and this one and none of the multi-title whizzbang Point authors I’m used to are represented. Not even Diane Hoh. The stories were longer than in the other two collections, they needed a big dose of the old razzle-dazzle and honestly, I got pissed that I was bored. I don’t want to be bored by short stories. For one thing, they’re short so it seems like that shouldn’t happen. For two, most of the time when I dive in to a Horror anthology, I find weird things and gross things and surprising things and zazz. Not so much here. So, with that very inspiring introduction, let’s get on with it.

Ozymandias was the smarter one, so he was always waiting for Danger Crumples to realize that there was less zazz present than necessary.

“Anjelica’s Room” – Laurence Staig – It did have a promising start. A couple arguing about painting, well, never heard that before… I meant that “promising” thing, anyway, a couple who don’t really like each other that much are trying to paint a small cottage and one of the rooms has really ugly brown wallpaper all over the walls. The lying-by-omission male half of the couple leaves the female half and her giant amount of anxiety alone and the room pulls her in and it gets worse from there in a good and gory way. Phew.

“Foxgloves” – Susan Price – This entry was not as interesting as “The Cat-Dogs” from the last collection. It’s hard for me to envision a hetero teenage boy that wouldn’t just follow some ghostly seductive chick into wherever. Especially if he’d just had a bit of a break up with his girlfriend…that’s the most likely time they just wander off the path with ghostly seductive chicks. I mean, geez.

Danger and Ozy basically followed the ladypigs whenever they could. Whenever. It took them forever to calm down around the ladypigs and that’s one more reason I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for “Foxgloves.”

“The Ultimate Assassin” – Malcolm Rose – This just didn’t pack enough punch for me. There’s mild tension, a downer ending, a dog named Chips (I used to know someone named Chips. He was fun but only knew me as “Hey Girl”), and the titular assassin but…it was just okay.

“The Rattan Collar” – Garry Kilworth – Garry with two “r”s has put in some effort here and it’s one of the more interesting stories in the collection. Is the potbellied pig evil? Do I just like this better because there’s some kind of pig in it? The answer to both is no, but, you haven’t read this yet. Uh oh, spoilers.

“Boomerang” – David Belbin – In 1995, this story was prophetic. It seemed so wrong that anyone would go to college, get a solid degree with good marks, and then fail miserably at getting a job and have to move back in with their parents. In the U.S. though, only five years later, it would start getting next to impossible not to become a boomerang. And some of those graduates didn’t try to murder their parents- a tradition that lives on to this day.

Danger and Ozy never tried to murder me while we lived in my mom’s attic. They did order me out of my own bedroom while they were exploring though. It was very insulting, but also funny.

“The Delinquent” – Maresa Morgan – In my current job I am sometimes looked at as though I have just walked in from juvie and am smoking in the corner. I’m not a fan of it and this is the only place I’ve been looked at that way so consistently, but at least I know I’m not as awful as the delinquent in this story. She gets what she deserves; I know I deserve to be recognized for who I actually am, not just the differences between me and the rest of the office. I’m quite good at what I do and have the personalized messages from patrons to prove it.

“The Ghost Trap” – Lisa Tuttle – The girl in this story goes to a haunted house she heard of because of a story. The author of the story is totally living in the house and using some Scooby Doo methods to entrap victims. I have to say, if anyone came to my house (which is not haunted) specifically because of my work I still wouldn’t answer the door because that’s intimidating and it’s possible to see me in public and accost me that way instead. Or don’t accost me. It’s better if no one gets accosted. I’m usually selling something or hunting books down if you see me in public, feel free to distract me, I promise I won’t murder you or pull off my mask to reveal that I own the old boarded up amusement park.

“Close Cut” – Philip Gross – Uh oh, we have a situation here that involves World War II and slivovic. World War II angst and the question of what one is to do when one finds a Nazi (a real, time appropriate one, not just the insecure emulating jackasses from the now time) living near them.

“Grandma” – Colin Greenland – I know that it can be very complicated trying to assist the elderly, especially if they have memory issues or habitually set things on fire. If this household just had some decent books, I bet everybody would’ve gotten along much better and maybe Grandma wouldn’t have minded being locked in her room so much. What am I saying? There’s no way that keeps anyone with any of their faculties remotely happy. But books would help.

Ozy and Danger certainly liked their excursions outside their houses. They wanted to explore and be finicky and demanding and super cute and their grandma totally let them.

“Vampire in Venice” – John Gordon – Here we are in Venice again. Ah, Venice. A place where British girls can argue about who is more attractive and/or stupid to be mooning over vampires. Hint – your friendship isn’t strong if the one the vampire likes more chooses you as her first meal.

“Picking Up the Tab” – Stan Nicholls – Money horror. This just doesn’t have that much impact after you’ve been through the nonsensical labyrinth of trying to afford what you need without making enough and that’s kind of the norm for my generation. Being messed with monetarily is never a surprise. Being valued and paid accordingly is.

“Evidence of Angels” – Graham Masterton – Here he goes again with the sentimental and not particularly horrific. It’s a bit familiar here, after all, having an annoying baby brother named Toby is familiar to everyone who saw Labyrinth. The unfortunate aspect here is that angels do not resemble David Bowie. Believers have nothing to look forward to.

In lieu of David Bowie, I’ll accept Danger Crumples and Ozymandias leading me to an eternal rest in Pighalla, which I made up but also happens to be where I belong after death.

“Hospital Trust” – Dennis Hamley – Again, what happens in this story is kind of normal now in the United States. A doctor that several patients haven’t liked (in the U.S. this part would be played by the insurance company, the ones who get to determine how much care you really get) sending them somewhere they shouldn’t be for substandard care and/or murder. Healthcare really is a right and not a privilege. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise.

Mixtape:
1. “Mud” – Legendary Shack Shakers
2. “Beautiful Gardens” – The Cramps
3. “Phantom of the Motorway” – The Mangled Dead
4. “Comanche Moon” – The Black Angels
5. “Several Sins” – The Birthday Party
6. “Let Me” – Widowspeak
7. “Garbage City” – Hanni El Khatib
8. “Feet Don’t Fail Me” – Queens of the Stone Age
9. “We’ve Seen the Blood” – The Mangled Dead
10. “Rats in Paradise” – The Birthday Party
11. “Kill!” – Raveonettes
12. “Flesh without Blood” – Grimes
13. “The Number of the Beast” – Electric Six
14. “At the Barn” – Wolfmen of Mars
15. “Be Free” – King Dude & Chelsea Wolfe
16. “Cut Me Loose” – UNKLE

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