Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s? The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book. There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.
Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read? Are you new to Point Horror? Has our opinion changed? Are they still as good? Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror? Or are they a whole load of cray cray?
Lets find out…
Join in the discussion with this months title!
Drivers Dead by Peter Lerangis
Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy
There is a link to a poll at the bottom of this post to vote for your next #pointhorrorbookclub read! The next book will be announced on 17th April 2015
For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new please click here
Please do check out the fab guest post by author Lou Morgan about Point Horror here!
** Please note that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers**
A crash course…..in murder!
Okay ….so…What’s It All About?
Drivers Dead starts with a flashback on a murky misty night, woods, a stolen car with odour de la Old Spice and wet dog…a “talk”, a little drive….and BOOM!……you know the whole works! With a little love triangle going on, a steep ravine and a “YO! YOU’RE IN THE WRONG LANE” shout out….. someone ends up dead within the first few pages!
Moving to present day is when we meet poor old Kirsten who is new to the area and moved into the old house of Nguyen Trang, the poor guy that was killed off in the first few pages of the prologue! Although Kirsten is told it was suicide… as the drama unfolds she discovers the truth!
We discover very early on that Kirsten cannot drive! Since moving to the neighbourhood she has crashed her Dad’s car into a tree and gives digging your finger nails into the dashboard of your car a whole new meaning during her drivers-ed lessons!
That is until she meets Rob *swoon*! He teaches her how to use a gear stick properly! That is until he winds up DEAD!
DEAD?! The love interest is killed off!?! What is this Point Horror!
Oh yes indeed! *pumps fist in the air*
(Don’t judge me he was horrible about Nguyen in the prologue!)
This is when Kirsten realises something strange is going down in funky town! She starts hallucinating, hearing noises like “”ooohhhhhh” , seeing things like blood coming out of her wardrobe and smells of dead animals in her house and to top it all off she starts seeing ghostly figures!
Ghostly figures and a whole lot of weird! Woah! What’s that all about!
Well it has a lot to do with a man who looks like roast beef, a dead guy, floppy disks (remember them?), a computer with DOS (so 90’s), haunted lockets, ever changing contest flyers with a fab prize of an Escort and telekinesis (you know like in the book Carrie)……I kid you not!
And it’s AWESOME!
Kristen….oh I mean Kirsten Wilkes …suspect number one!
I feel Kirsten is one of our better Point Horror girls! She is feisty and determined and really does give as good as she gets! Rob I’m looking at you Mr Love Interest (more on that later). She kicks Rob’s ass in the park on their “walk”!
I mean she does start seeing and hearing things…a lot! But don’t worry that’s just the ghost who’s haunting her because he wants his locket back and maybe a slight bit of revenge! Yeah!
And we mustn’t forget Kirstens top tips on how to NOT get mugged! Even if the mugger turns out to be a mail box….you can rely on these tips and these tips alone….
- Swing your arms crazily.
- Walk in the street.
- Sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (?) at the top of your lungs.
- Pick your nose!
Although I loved Kirsten…she disappointed me a little when after putting Rob in his place earlier in the book later on she listens and goes along with Virgil’s request when he says “meet me, don’t tell anyone where you are or that I called” …errrrmmm….. NO! KIRSTEN NO! But I suppose we can forgive her…. She never would have suspected Virgil remember!
I also adored her total, hateful, worthless dork of a brother…I loved his tricks on Kirsten….classic little annoying brother and brilliant comedy value even cracking the code on her diary and writing diary entries! He has provided me with the new classic line I am going to try and use on my boss when he is angry at me…
“Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!”
Huge shout out to Kirstens love of Jason Priestly!! 90’s heart throb if I do say so myself!
The Love Interest
Rob! Rob! Rob! Being killed off quite early on in the present day story by a mystery car is possibly the best thing that happened to the boney faced, alligator green-gray eyed (the colour of polished Jade) Kamikaze leather jacket wearing heart throb! I mean he didn’t even wash his finger nails…they were black with axle grease! Yuk!
And I can’t even bring myself to mention his car! Inviting Kirsten into his car and having to move soda cans, magazines and plastic wrappers also billows of shredded foam…what a car! And what a man….he offers, not only to pay for Kirsten to make a phone call but also for Kirsten to sit on a t shirt to save her bottom getting all foamy! After Kirstens initial thought being HE EXPECTS ME TO SIT ON THAT! and then hearing that THE SHIRT WAS CLEAN! (YAY!)…OH WELL IN THAT CASE Kirsten will oblige!
Also I love how after Kirsten gets in Robs car she does not bat an eyelid about the rot and disgusting pig sty Mr Busk’s personal car is later on in the book! What a gal!
And Rob offering to Kirsten to the park…well apparently we are all smart enough to know what that means! Yep that’s right Rob gets his lip bitten by Kirsten for being an idiot and “forhing” himself on her! Go Kirsten! You rock!
Basically Rob = bad love interest!
Oh wow where do I start….I will try and do a little description of everyone….
Gwen Mitchell…apparently a hot, red haired, killer smile, chewing fruity smelling gum type of person who wears a purple anorak! But don’t get too close as Gwen will give you a murderous gaze and her lips will draw back from her teeth like a wolf about to pounce! Grrrrr! The poor thing gets compared to Jeffrey Dahmer! And what happened to her towards the end of the book? She disappears! Why did she have to sell all her goods to the pawn shop! Soooo many questions!
Poor old Nguyen Trang, a rare person of colour in Point Horror and a refreshing welcome! Yay! The meek and invisible Vietnamese guy with the plaid shorts and pocket protectors who has been drooling after Gwen since sophomore year and who won her over with magic tricks, levitating ashtrays and making objects disappear from photos! I would so fall for this guy *daydreams about Nguyen*
Then there’s Virgil! Mr I’m to afraid to be alone without my girlfriend, the good guy who seemed trustworthy who gives perplexed looks and is brilliant at singing the twilight zone
Virgal also has a Mac computer called Wolfgang and is know for overreacting and saying things like…
“We’re all going to die!”
With a promising life ahead of Virgil…..I love his freak out later on in the book!….
“Kirsten we’re fugitives! Our faces will be hanging in post offices coast to coast. We won’t be able to stop for gas. What are we going to do – drive around till we find a plastic surgeon who can change our looks for free!”
BEST. LINE. EVER!
Little old best friend Maria…..she was a bit classic Point Horror best friendy….a bit…..meh! although she has prompted me to make a not in my diary!
*writes note to self to buy waterproof mascara as I must remember that when I cry and my mascara runs down my face that I will look like I have witches fingers sown in my checks*
Thanks Maria….I knew you would be helpful for something other than being Point Horror best friend!
Errrrrmmmm I really don’t know where to start with Mr Busk the drivers ed teacher with a drinking problem….raspy voiced like he cleaned his vocal cords with a bottle brush, with potbelly and receding hairline although apparently still looked fit enough to storm a beachhead (?) and with a rumour that he lost his voice in the war along with his sanity (explains a lot)…when he returned he kind of snapped. Oh and don’t forget the back of his neck reminded Kirsten of roast beef and his hair like cut grass in a drought!! What a man!
I think this maybe where Lady Gaga got her meat dress idea from! You heard it here first!
I just have to mention Olaf (who I kept imagining as a cute snowman rather than an old man)…the town pawn shop owner, who gave us all a history lesson and who’s car was stolen in the prologue! Poor Olaf! Respect!
Fashion Faux Pas
Hmmmmm….were all the characters in Drivers Dead naked?! I honestly struggled to find any fashion faux pas! Oh the horror!
Did any one pick up on any or do we have a Point Horror first?
I have to say these are not so much dialogue disasters, but more like lines that made me chuckle! This book was full of cutting one liners!
“But that face looks as if someone has chiselled it out of slate in a hurry with a rough blade”
Not a nice thing to say to your friend Virgil!
“Gwens been glomming all over him”
Ewwwww! (Am I the only one who looked this up?) Further more…
“If Gwen had to Glom, why couldn’t she have picked him!”
*holds hand to mouth*
“Bottle brush, napalm, roast beef, dry grass, scouring pad. Mm what a guy!”
3 guesses who Kirsten is describing here….no it’s not Point Horror Book Club member Billy Goat! You are all so cruel! It’s Mr Busk!
“Mr Busk stood up slowly. His fists clenched. The veins in his temples stood out. The roast beef was becoming raw!”
I’m never eating roast beef again in my life!
*Looks at what I have for tea….B B B B BEEF!!!*
“Zing! The Lightbulb of Obvious Answers switched on”
Another catchphrase I am stealing! I love this!
“Oooohhhhhh” When she heard the moan her eyes popped open. A cat, Kirsten assured herself. They sound so much like people when the wail”
Don’t Cats go meow?
“Kirsten felts as though someone has thrown a warm blanket of mud over her”
*opens mouth to say something*…..Nope I have nothing…..
“Virgil looked at her as if she’d just pulled a bicycle out of her nose”
“Cram it Virgil! You’re not smelling like a rose yourself”
Maybe a tulip then?
This book had a comedy value that was just brilliant!
Good old Peter Lerangis gives us….
*drum roll please*
……2!!! That’s right 2 dead people persons!! And possibly a 3rd, but that is left up to the imagination on a massive cliffhanger to beat all Point Horror cliff hangers! EVER!
*Hi fives Mr Lerangis*
Is it scary?
It’s not so much scary, but it had my heart racing on a few occasions especially the car losing control/car being stuck on a train track! This may sound a little Point Horrorish of me, but the feel of this one kind of reminded me a bit of Final Destination meets Polterguiest meets I know What You Did Last Summer!! You know the whole something unexplainable is out to get me…whos next kind, lets cover up a murder kind of vibe? Just me?
Did the best friend do it?
Well no….but there’s 3 ways of looking at things here….
Nguyen Trang was killed in an accident, but in classic Point Horror style and a little I Know What You Did Last Summerish….it had to be covered up so Rob and Virgil made it look like Nguyen was driving.
The mysterious circumstances of Rob’s death and possibly Mr Busks…..the Escort disappearing off the flyer coming to get them to bump them off….revenge of Nguyen…who’s next? And all with a supernatural twist and a hunted locket!
Then you have the whole Mr Busk story line….he caused the crash, got Rob and Virgil to agree to cover it up and tried to get Kirsten killed in a train/car crash! Then he tried to bump Virgil off! And he gave a whole new meaning to roast beef when he disappears at the end of the book…attack of the Escort on the flyer…Nguyen’s revenge!
So if you look at it Virgil’s best friend did it as Rob started it all off in the first place!
But to summarise…well no…the best friend was not guilty…Maria was too busy looking like Alice Cooper to care! 🙂
Some Mild Peril?
The prologue provides some mild peril in the form of a car losing control and ending up down a ditch!
Also the hallucination of Kirsten and the supernatural side of things got a little bit touch and go!
Is it any good?
I really enjoyed this one! Although the ending all got a bit cray cray with the haunted locket and the oak tree and basically poor Nguyen just wanted his pictures out the locket! All that for pictures!! Wow! That’s one determined ghost!
But in all seriousness I think Lerangis pulls off a great Point Horror in this one!
Also did anyone else notice Lerangis’s constant words describing sounds! It was awesome! Like Whirrrr Whirrr and Whack and OHHHHHHH!
Don’t forget ….. next to your overgrown mushroom lamp, your computer screen that looks like a screaming mouth and your shag carpet that looks like a bed of worms, waiting silently to devour your feet….there will be someone waiting in the shadows….waiting for you…probably with two nostrils that look like raisins set at the bottom of a twisted stalk, with swollen puffs for eyes and ripped white, wrinkled skin with gelatinous ooze and with a hand pointing towards it’s throat….please just hand over what it’s asking for….whatever that may be!
Fab Point Horror Guest Post
Today we also have a fab Point Horror guest post from the lovely Lou Morgan ….Lou discusses what Point Horror means to her – click here for the post!
Over to you!
As well as your thoughts on the book here are some questions to consider.
- As always thoughts on the book?
- Would Nat (Kirstens younger brother) be a good match for Eli from The Babysitter II?
- Let me hear / see your best word to describe a sound!
- What does Olaf walk around town talking to himself about?
- What do you think happened to Gwen?
- If you were a ghost how would you have haunted Kirsten ?
You can leave a reply by using the reply button at the top of the page!
See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th May 2015 !
Vote for the next #pointhorrorbookclub read here – what will you pick?
And the winner was….as it was a tie The Dead Game has been picked!
(Prior to me taking the snapshot of the poll The Dead Game was in the lead!)
Don’t forget to check out Lou Morgan’s Point Horror Guest Post here !
The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 17th April 2015!
I am also hoping I may have some exciting news for you all in the next week or so….watch this space and / or the #pointhorrorbookclub hashtag ! *crosses fingers*
Thanks for joining in and drive safely…and you know… may be watch out for magical Escorts and haunted lockets!