PHBC – Beach House by R L Stine

 


Beach-House

 

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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…

#pointhorrorbookclub

 Join in the discussion with this months title!

Beach House by R L Stine

Beach-House

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 August 2015

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here


** Please note that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers**


The Tagline

Don’t go near the water…

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

All reet!

We get two Point Horrors with lots of characters for the price of one with the Beach House!  One half set in 1956 and one in present day with Mickey Mouse blankets in 1956, MTV blankets in the present day, swimsuits and burmuda shorts in 1956 and very tight blue spandex trunks and bikinis in present day..you get the picture!

Basically the gang in both 1956 and present day just want a relaxing holiday on the beach, but what they get is murdered!

Murdered?

Yes that’s right!  Well most of them anyway!  Some one is set on murdering the group of friends in 1956 and questionable goings on echoing the 1956 murders in the present day bear a spooky resemblance to the unsolved mystery!  Mind twirls!  And in both 1956 and present day there is a Beach House!

A Beach House?  Still standing after all those years are you crazy wouldn’t it rot?

Apparently it was one sturdy beach house hiding a secret which one member of the gang has discovered!

Spoiler alert – it may involve time travel oh an a huge closet ….basically this is the Narnia of Point Horror!!!!  Yes you heard me right Time Travel in Point Horror!  And with added chapter headings taking the tension to unbearable Point Horror status!

Chapter Headings?!  Your kidding right?!

Yes!  All this time travelling, murder spree beach holiday book was split into chapters with CHAPTER HEADINGS!  Woah I hear you say!  This can’t be true!  But yes!  CHAPTER HEADINGS ROCK! And maybe blew my tiny Point Horror mind a bit!  My personal favourite heading was WORRIED ABOUT SHARKS….not your average Point Horror you know!

The Gang

There were that many characters in this book I’m going to split them into different catergories this month…and lets face it the story was told from different point of views and they were all swapping partners like they thought they were on Love Island or something?!

So here goes….

The Girls

First up let’s talk about Maria with her straight black silky hair and dramatic brown eyes and her fun enthusiastic personality…basically she’s to blame for the whole Buddy turning all murderer by going on a date with Stuart tipping poor Buddy over the edge and then becoming shark food!  I actually thought she was TSTL (Too stupid to live) by falling for all of Buddy’s wobbly bottom lip but turning out to be the some what questionable twist in the end was a genuine surprise so she went up in my estimastion….she basically survived JAWS!!!

Amy “Mouse” with her tight blond curls, small boyish figure, grey blue eyes tiny button nose she resembled a mouse!  A very cute mouse!  I did actually kind of laugh when she was running from Buddy in fear #sorrynotsorry.  I feel she was thrust into the spotlight as Maria became shark food and was a little typical Point Horror girl I feel.

Ashley…the model…. and wannabe WAG… thin and beautiful with straight silvery blonde hair, high cheekbones, striking green eyes, perfect straight nose and delicate heart shaped lips!

*eye rolls*

Oh and wants a rich man!  aka future WAG!

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She literally would flirt with anyone….even the life guard…even Buddy!  Enough said!

Shout out to her swim suit which let Stiney get a cheeky reference to Madonna in!  *air punch*

The Boys

Ronnie was so tall and lanky he resembled a long lanky giraffe when he ran!  This is basically the only notes I made about Ronnie!  Uh Oh!  Was he that forgettable!  He was one of the main characters *mind goes blank*

Stuart ….Mr Rock and Roll.  Mr Real Cool Cat.  Mr I love Brylcreeme. The Joker.  Trying to look the tough guy but apparently he was too cute and funny!  Look where that got him!  Steeling Maria off Buddy got him clobbered of the head with a log and dead!  Our typical joker of a Point Horror character!

Ross “Matt Dillon” lookalike with straight black hair, heavy eyebrows, intense serious face and apony tail…he was a little bit possessive, but Ashley could calm him down with a kiss….I find this quite disturbing!  He got dumped and I laughed! #opppssiieess

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The Extras!

And not forgetting Mr Vanilla Ice on a bad day look alike himself…Kip with his diamond stud earring and rather protective over his ice cream!

Vanilla-Ice

And of course auburn hair, enormous eyes, freckled Lucy!

Yep I forgot about them too!  #Gonetoosoon….they fell victim to the Point Horror extra discarded at the first chance Stiney had!  The poor children back in 1956 had no ice cream after poor Kip went missing and that’s just pure wrongness! *cries*  He’s a baad dude!

And classic point horror naming could not go a miss in this Beach House with Denny Drake (the animal!)….jumping out on poor Ashley at every opportunity and nicknamed Hulk!  He was a bit stalkerish!  I felt like he was jumping over from another Point Horror and just got muddled up in this story!  The Beast!  He beat up Ross…although I think he may have deserved it!

Oh I also want to mention the 1956 policeman, deep voiced, Officer Barrett, who with his short topped hair and blue eyes apparently looked like Tab Hunter (below)….do you think he conducted his investigations like this?

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BRAD.BUDDY.BUDDY.BRAD! 

Buddy in 1956, grey blue eyes who just popped up in the sand beside Maria one day, shy, aukward and clumsy….oh except when killing people!  Duh!  He wasn’t exactly a million laughs!  He basically seduced Maria to get in the sea with a towel….watch and learn peeps…watch and learn!  All this being said I really think he came out of his shell as the book went on…albeit normally when he was murdering people with a certain glint in his eyes but still!

All over a pair of stolen swimming shorts!  Was he worried the sea was too cold?! *winks*

Buddy was Brad in present day and basically the same so it was a bit guessable that he had something to do with the 1956 murders!  Oh and he wore blue spandex trunks that were very tight *my burning eyes* and t shirts that were too big for him (making up for the excuse of the coldness of the sea?  Proving a point? he he he).  Living in the posh mansion of Ocean Drive!

On a side note whenever Brad was Buddy I kept thinking of this song and film….

And whenever Buddy was Brad I kept thinking of this song….

HELP ME!

Fashion Faux Pas

There were lots of Hawaiian style swim trunks that people were running about in!

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Also reference to Orange Day Glo Baggies??!  Anyone?

And not forgetting those tight spandex shorts!  *wolf whistles*

Dialogue Disasters

“Buddy hates jokes like that”  “He’s so square he’s cubed”

I wouldn’t say that to Buddy if I were you…he will feed you to the sharks!

“When he tries to smile he looks like Howdy Doody”

Who?  Well I actually googled it!  Brace yourselves….

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“I can borrow my Dad’s Thunderbird tonight.  We can go to the drive in in style”

AWESOME!  5.4.3.2.1….Thunderbirds are go!

“You have a Thunderbird!  What colour?”

“Pink with grey leather seats and convertible!”

Yep…still would!

“All boys are immature”

Coughs!

“I’ve never seen his parents”

THIS IS POINT HORROR AMY!  POINT HORROR!  Amy has all the jokes!

“Where are Buddy’s parents?  Why haven’t they contacted the police”

Sighs!  Points to above!

“My mom isn’t here Buddy said quickly.  She had to go….somewhere”

I bet she did! “Somewhere” indeed”

“Here come your parents”

Last page joy *celebrates*

“I’ve always wanted a house with wings”

Awwww I hope Kip’s dream came true…where ever he ended up!

“What am I going to do?  She asked the moon What am I going to do?”

Awwww poor Amy never had Siri in 1956…poor thing!

“If it’s too loud your too old”

Rude Ashley!  Rude!

“My hair is soaked I must look like little Orphan Annie”  “No you don’t you look like Marilyn Monroe”

Buddy knows how to charm the ladies before he murders them!  Possibly Billy’s new chat up line?

“Elvis Presley?  That’s a stupid name isn’t it?  Is he any good”

I like Mr Stines jokes!  Although did people really say the phrase he’s really gone?!

“No-one likes to be laughed at”

These characters should have thought of this before laughing at Buddy / Brad!  Have they never read Point Horror!  Disgusting!

“He’s a crazy murderer”

It took Amy long enough to realise this!

Body Count

SO.MANY.DEAD.PEOPLE!

Yep this book knocked up a few of the old dead bodies!  There were people getting killed and disappearing all over the place in both 1956 and present day!  I definitely agree that Point Horror knocked up the body count as the books became more popular!

To sum up (and I hope I have this right!)

3 confirmed dead (Amy, Stuart…and eventually Buddy/Brad)

2 possibly dead not confirmed (Ronnie, Buddy / Brad)

2 missing (Lucy, Kip) – sent back to the past!

1 presumed dead, left to be eaten by the sharks, but became the shock twist ….oh and then presumably died (Maria / Mary)!

Like the Beach House at the end of the book – Mind blown!

Is it scary?

I actually thought the scene when Maria was in the sea and disorientated was actually quite scary!  And then Buddy coming for her with the knife!  I mean where did he keep the knife up until that point?!  He only has Bermuda shorts on! *winces*…..this could have led to a whoooollleeee other type of Point Horror story indeed!

Did the best friend do it?

Well not the best friend exactly no…but some one that both groups befriended on the beach!  I feel this is a warning to teenagers and their holiday romances!  Lol

Some Mild Peril?

Sea, Sharks, wooden logs, Buddy, a time travelling closet in a beach house, knives being pulled out of very tight shorts and lots of running, tennis and volleyball!  Lots of mild peril!  Lots!

Is it any good?

I actually really really enjoyed this one!  A few boom boxes aside it didn’t feel that dated and time travelling wardrobe / beach house aside also I liked the premise.

Yes there were a few plot holes (I want to know how Maria managed to get back to present day and ended up working as a servant!) and yes the 1956 part of the story needed more than a few TV and music references (Sh-Boom, Sh-Boom, Sh-Boom) to feel like the 50’s, but I actually really enjoyed this one.

I feel this was one of the better Point Horrors…I mean it was a plus Jenny from the Babysitter didn’t turn up to offer her services!

Final Thought

Classic Point Horror absent parents were evident in this book….although how dare they show up to comfort Ashley right on the very last page!  Rude!

Later, alligators!

Over to you!

As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!

  • What happened to Denny Drake?
  • Was Ross the Chuck (from the babysitter) of this story?
  • If you has a time travelling Beach House where would you go?
  • How did Maria get to the present day?
  • Were those spandex shorts really too tight?!

You can leave a reply by using the reply button at the top of the page!

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th September 2015 !

Vote for the next #pointhorrorbookclub read here – what will you pick?

And the winner was….

Capture

I’m thinking of running a post of peoples favourite Point Horror Books or Point Horror Moments soon – so have a think about that over the next few months and we will see what we can come up with!

Also in other Point Horror news I have managed to get in touch with the lady who bought Point Horror to the UK and possibly someone who had something to do with

The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 17th August 2015!

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Thanks for joining in….

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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek!
Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016!

© 2014 - 2017 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

6 thoughts on “PHBC – Beach House by R L Stine

  1. paulhirons81@gmail.com'@PaulHi

    Oh Chelley, this was a treat. “They just want a relaxing holiday on the beach, but what they get is murdered!” may be my favourite PHBC recap line so far.

    I loved this one too, despite remembering a lot less about it than I thought – most significantly, the shocking body count. Poor old Amy tied to the supporting leg of the beach house and left to drown made me genuinely sad. A bit like that bit in the English Patient, where (spoiler alert) what’s-her-face gets left in that cave, and dies all tragically and alone, without Ralph Fiennes. Also, even though she didn’t actually die, Maria’s mid-ocean-knife-attack-shark-food debacle was horrific. Buddy/Brad was a right wrong-un.

    Stine’s great at giving us heroines who amount to more than a simpering pile o’ dishcloths, and boy-crazy horndogs Maria and Ashley were no exceptions. Maria, for one, was a fickle pickle – give her a glimpse of a pink-lined Thunderbird and she was anybody’s. And Ashley’s flirty milkshake brought ALL the boys to the yard; even the time-travelling serial killer ones. Maybe dial it down a smidge, eh Ash? Come to think of it, not even the girls were immune to her charms; the bit where best mate Lucy inexplicably and lovingly dried post-swim Ashley’s hair and shoulders for her could only have been an indication of some on-the-side lady-loving. Who said Point Horrors were disappointingly hetero-normative?

    Essentially, everyone in this book a) existed entirely below the waist (like you, I cannot get beyond the weirdly specific description of Brad’s ‘very tight’ blue spandex bathing suit), and b) was a bit of a selfish sally. Case in point: Ronnie and Amy, who, upon learning that two of their friends had been brutally murdered, spent a delightful afternoon playing volleyball with some strangers. Nice job, guys.

    My biggest problem, though, was Stine’s weird habit throughout of aspirationally describing his female characters as ‘thin’ and ‘skinny’. Not even ‘slim’ or ‘athletic’. This was gross, and made me even sadder than when Amy met her watery demise ☹

    The time travel conceit was fun, though clunkily explained at the end (‘built on a time warp’ indeed), but the Mary/Maria twist was ace, even though it made hardly any sense on closer inspection. I thought it was interesting how the 90s section seemed way more dated than the 50s – Vanilla Ice! MC Hammer pants! Chevy Chase! – but named chapters are never not a solid cheesy bonus. Thumbs up on all counts.

    The ropiest dialogue disaster I came across was this unnecessary gem, during the dramatic denouement: “The main thing that was special about Johnny was his curiosity.” “He had a scientific mind?” “No. He just just had this incredible curiosity.” Oh, well, cheers for clearing that up. There was also one solitary moment where we were given access to Ross’s thoughts, which was just plain odd: “He’s a weird guy, Ross thought.” Erm, thanks, I guess?

    There were so many gaps in logic during the big reveal that it almost seems pointless to mention them, but I couldn’t get over the fact that Maria said she returned to the beach house a year after being presumed dead, and saw Buddy again. So, what, the Narnia wardrobe doesn’t always lead back to 1956? Sometimes it’s 1957? Or did he just hang around there for a year, knowing that he was the prime suspect in four murders? Also, why did Stine have Maria ‘work out’ how to use the beach house to travel forward in time, instead of having her live out her life until she finally ‘caught up’ with Buddy in the present? Why did she age but Buddy didn’t? Why did Kip and Lucy not conspicuously appear in 1956 too? You know, the more I think about it, the angrier this is making me. Question time!

    1. Denny realised he served no purpose other than as a weirdly angry red herring, so chucked himself off the pier.
    2. Yes, this was in my notes! Ugh, I was delighted when Stuart turned up dead. It was like Stine was rewarding us for sitting through the Babysitters’ Chuck fiasco.
    3. Back to 1993 so I could talk RL Stine into making this plot make a shred of sense.
    4. See above. Literally no idea. Maybe she got transported there atop a shark.
    5. Yes they were, though not, I imagine, as tight as Tab Hunter’s shorts in that pic you’ve posted. Jeez Tab, maybe an adult size next time?

    Oh, bravo Stine. A Bates may blame you for destroying the 90s YA horror genre, but you will never not be a batshit-but-fun cut above most of the gubbins we come across here at PHBC.

    Looking forward to next month. Any of the three would be good, but it looks like The Boy Next Door is our current frontrunner. Let’s face it, it can only be better than Dream Date.

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      lol…I’ve actually just read the post back to myself and chuckled a lot! Is it bad to laugh at your own posts lol?

      Oh yes I forgot about Amy being tied to the leg of the Beach House…..forget mild peril that’s horrifying peril!

      Lol about Ashley using her milkshake to bring ALL the boys to the yard!! That made me laugh a lot!

      Yeah I noticed the thin and skinny descriptions too! Is this a reoccurring Point Horror flaw? I cant think, but in my mind all the Point Horror females seem to be described and therefore pictured as thin and skinny *rages*

      And wow! I never picked up the Ross’s thoughts moment…I obviously blanked that from my memory! lol

      Reply
  2. billy.lane@live.com'Billy

    Well there’s fashionably late, and then there’s just plain rudeness lol. I apologise unreservedly for my tardiness this month all, things have been slightly chaotic on both the personal and professional front, but things have calmed, I have a day off work, and I am here typing up my thoughts.

    So after Frauline Bates’ comments on Mr. Stine, I opened the book seething and raging and ready to give it a roasting but, man, it was just too damn good! Beach House is the best ones we have read in a while, and I agree, it was all down to the titled chapters. I mean, wow.

    Shelly this write up was great! So musical lol, loved it, thank you!

    I loved how many deaths there were – took me back to when we read The Cemetery, and interesting to see the jump from the tamer instalments of the early 90s.

    I think I’m going to gloss over the tight spandex trunks, as I sympathise all too well with that particular problem. Being as I am, somewhat of a champion swimmer, I of course wear ‘professional’ swim shorts, and was informed by a team mate that a certain new pair I was wearing were a teency bit too small and, well, I put on quite the show. :/

    But yes. The time travelling beach house. Typed up it sounds bizarre, and actually reading about it in the book was bizarre, but it seemed to work in some crazy way! The only issue I had was that, how could Stine – the self-appointed king of the egg-cracking death himself – kill off so many characters and have not a single one of them fall from a great height to a rocky area below? Wasted opportunity.

    The ‘drowning’ chapter in the foggy water was very good indeed, and one of the best passages I’ve read in a PH (not quite up there with the trip to the cinema with the buttery popcorn which still makes a lump in my throat appear because I want to marry that sweet girl whose name escapes me, but close).

    Anyway, the q’s:

    1. Denny Drake married Cappie Cabot and sired Debbie-Crystal Drake-Cabot.
    2. I’m unsure as to why Stine would want to create another Chuck clone!
    3. Hmmmm. I would travel back to the early 90s, gather the PH writers together, take Stiney aside and tell him to reign it in a bit and let the others shine.
    4. With time travel things always get confusing, and I can categorically state now that time travel will never ever be invented (because someone would have come back and told us about it/invented it earlier) – but maybe it like ‘defaulted’ to 1956 and she worked out that she could actually programme in a date like in Back to the Future. Beach to the Future.
    5. If they were anything like mine… then yeh. :S

    I’m trez excited about the next one – I don’t think I ever read it before, so this will be completely new for me. 😀

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Billy! No need to apologise for lateness….the post will always be here :-)….hope your okay anyway *hugs*

      Yes I thought I would add a musical aspect as there were a lot of musical references to indicate the time span in the book lol

      Basically I think I just wanted an excuse to put Chesney Hawkes in a blog post!

      Thanks for sharing the story of you in your tight spandex shorts! Well hasn’t this been an eye opening discussion this month!

      Reply
  3. billy.lane@live.com'Billy

    Oh and my comments are so brief because I accidentally deleted the notes I made on my phone. 🙁

    But y’all covered off everything far better than I ever could!!

    Reply

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