PHBC – The Boy Next Door by Sinclair Smith


n11869pointDo 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!

The Boy Next Door By Sinclair Smith

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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 September 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

He’s too close for comfort…

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Hi There!

*sets the scene*

A house full of creaks and groans isolated out on the edge of town!  The only house on a dead end street with spooky woods out back.  An absent father “away” for three weeks on a business trip.  An empty run down house next door!  A teenager all alone to fend for herself!

Wow this is the perfect Point Horror / Horror movie set up right!

Tsk Tsk!  If only it were that simple!

Basically Randy is the good girl, but then she falls in love with a complete stranger called  Julian, dumps her boyfriend, turns into a rebel and pulls some pranks!

Ohhhh that sounds fun!  What type of pranks?

Playing pranks on teachers and friends is how Randy rebels and all to woo her new man and basically to keep him from going all hulk and getting angry!

But someone discovers her little secrets!

Really?  Who?

Randy’s BFF Alice figures things out, but starts to think that Randy’s new boyfriend is a figment of Randy’s imagination and she’s gone bonkers!  Can this be true?!  We all think it until a piece of cheese tells us otherwise!

The Girl

Randy, Randy Randy! Miss Randy Bell *sniggers*  Always the sensible one who sometimes wishes she wasn’t!  Maybe she wishes she wasn’t called Randy when her real name was Charlotte!?  Whaaaaa??

She basically quits cheerleading practise, plays pranks on people at school which include a toy tarantula, a love note and an oil patch all to impress a boy!

She meets Julian over a romantic setting of garbage cans and within minutes she is captivated by his apparent television advertisement looks and basically becomes willing to do anything he says before you can say Stupid Point Horror girl!  Grrrrrrrr

She basically goes off into the woods with a stranger and calls Julian unusual!

But I gave her a few brownie points for using a piece of cheese to try and kill her attacker at the end of the book!  A PIECE OF CHEESE!  I hope it was extra smelly too!

The Love Interest

What can I say about Julian Dax that you are all not already thinking!  He can give horrible old Chuck from The Babysitter 1 & 2 a good run for his money!  Again with conveniently absent parents and a little hot headed!

Ice Blue Eyes.  Long Black Hair!  Golden Skin part tropical island water ski instructor part skiing instructor in Aspen and with such white teeth!

We could only wish he was a young Jared Leto with that description *heart beats*

Jared-Leto-jared-leto-29430176-2560-1640

But no!  No! No! NO!  He’s the worst male love interest in the Point Horror re reads so far!  Yuk!  I felt rather uncomfortable with the way he manipulated and controlled Randy (even though she was willing) and not in a normal Point Horror I’m the murderer way…it was shockingly frustrating and just awful!

And his excuse for being this way I guess was because when he was hungry a guy who’s car he was working on wouldn’t give him a cupcake to eat!  A CUPCAKE!  I mean I like cake, but COME ON!

He basically controls Miss Goodie Randy Bell and turns her into Annie Douglas from Sunset Beach!

And what was with the “Hi There” all the time!  By about the 100th time I wanted to shove him off that roof myself!

Remember Denny Drake from the Beach House who accidently was in the wrong Point Horror book ….well I think we found him and he was not a happy bunny and developed a slightly deep masculine chuckle that went like this!

“AH-HA. HEH-HEH-HEH. HA HA”

Or like this

“AHHHHH.  HEHEHEHEHEHHH”

He also knows how to woo the ladies….

“I can’t stay away from you sweetheart.  I wanna get close to you…real close…SO I CAN PUT MY HANDS AROUND YOUR THROAT AND SQUEEZE UNTIL YOUR EYES BUG OUT!”

I mean who could resist someone who says this…

“DON’T WORRY SWEETHEART.  I’LL BE WITH YOU IN A JIFFY…AND BREAK YOUR NECK!”

Enough said!  *THROWS CHEESE*

The Gang

BFF Alice knows there something strange about Julian and cross examines Randy about him a lot!  Thinking there was something fishy she starts catching Randy out on her pranks and also calling her out on it!  She also is one tough cookie!  Entering the spooky empty house alone looking for evidence and being thrown down the stairs she was fab!  I really like Alice a lot!

Poor old Ted Kaminsky!  He gets dumped by Randy at the start of the book and up until the end when he miraculously shows up to save the day he is cast aside like Darlene’s appendix in the hospital!  Randy describes him as not handsome in a conventional sense, but such sincerity and good humour with thick red hair and deep green eyes with a tall muscular frame!  How could she be so cruel and dump him for Julian!  Disgraceful!  I feel he could have been the character that turned the plot around and was severely under used!

Randy’s Father or as I renamed him Bob after Bob The Builder.  He has his own tv show called Fix It Man, but never fixes anything in his own house which obviously and happily lead to Julian’s down fall (get it?)  although I still feel it was the cheese that did it!  I loved how his first words to Randy upon his return are about fixing the house up!  All the loll’s!

Maxine – head cheerleader and little miss bossy pants herself fell foul to Randy’s rebellious pranks!  I really wanted Maxine to get with Ted and hop on over to one of those Point Romances!

Special mention to poor old Mrs Newton!  I felt her pain!  Scared to death by a toy tarantula! Oh the shame of having your last word in a Point Horror to be “AAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!  AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!  AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!  AAAAAGGGGGHHHH”!  Mind you I think this may have summed up my thoughts well!

I cannot move on without mentioning the names of characters in this book other than the ones mentioned above already!  They were very Point Horror and possibly one of the best parts of the book for me!

Durk Tupper!

The classic jock boyfriend of the head cheerleader Maxine!

Officer Covik and Office Diva!

Yes you heard me right they were da police and not a tennis player and Mariah Carey turning up at Randy’s door to investigate a light shining in the abandoned house next door!  And talk about giving a girl a telling off for calling the police!  The were more scary than Julian!

Wayne Dziezenowski

King of wrestling at Huntington High don’t you know!

Zizzy Maxwell

Who never stopped telling anyone he knew first aid and CPR and who couldn’t wait to give Mrs Newton the kiss of life!

Darlene Lund, Chris “The Mouth” Cavanaugh and Ernie Scozik!  The list goes on and on!

Fashion Faux Pas

Unbelievably I did not pick up any fashion faux pas!  Did I miss these or was I blinded by my obvious hate for Julian?

Dialogue Disasters

“You know nothing bad ever happens in Huntington”

Right at the start we should have known this was a sign of things to come?!

“I didn’t hear a sound… (Chelley becomes nervous) I didn’t even know he was right beside me… (Chelley gulps in anticipation at the big scare!) until he said, “Hi There” ( *Chelley blinks …wait what now?!)

“Ted adores you so much he probably wouldn’t care if you wore a burlap sack to the dance”

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I heard Ted’s sigh of relief when he got dumped!

“Whooah!  Whoosh!  Whoopie.  Well done kiddo!”

Well that makes a change from Hi There Julian!  Whoopie!

“You weren’t even falling unless you were falling for me”

Ewwwww Julian made me do a little sick!

“There isn’t anyone like me.  They broke the mould”

THANK GOD JULIAN!  THANK GOD!

“He was breathing like a human steam engine”

Choo Choo!

“Is it long, or short?  Is it bigger than a bread box?”

*Chokes on buttery popcorn*

“Maybe if he hadn’t eaten that other cupcake he would have made it home”

Julian takes Bake Off very seriously!

“Try to keep both oars in the water…as they say”

Do they say?

“I didn’t mean to scare you.  Is my makeup on backwards or something?”

Alice tested her new Halloween outfit and it worked!

“He howled in pain and rage as it [the cheese] hit him right between the eyes on the bridge of his nose!”

“Too much cheese is bad for your cholesterol Randy yelled at him”

Best. Line. Of. The. Book!  Ha ha ha ha ha

“Randy felt as deflated as a life raft with all the air let out”

Randy sums up my feelings about The Boy Next Door!

“Here’s Johnny!”

Now Julian thinks he’s in The Shining!  Oh Boy!

Body Count

We get one dead body at the end of the book!  And yes I cheered with joy and laughed that he got hit in the face with a block of cheese!

Is it scary?

NO!  Not at all.  Not one little bit!

Did the best friend do it?

We could only have hoped and dreamed for this plot twist!

Some Mild Peril?

I guess the ending had some mild peril when Randy goes all classic horror styley and runs up the stairs away from the attacker which she wasn’t sure if she had made up or not or if he was real!

Also why stand on the edge of a crumbling cliff in the woods with a stranger?  Randy made her own mild peril in my opinion!

Is it any good?

I have to be honest this book gave me a few laughs.  The Point Horror names, the cheese the cheesy lines, but it is my least favourite Point Horror to date.  I didn’t understand the point in the whole plot and it had no umph about it!  I expected a little more from a Point Horror entitled The Boy Next Door 🙁

Final Thought

What would have happened to Randy if she refused to do anything that Julian told her to do!  Now that would have made a while different The Boy Next Door Point Horror!

Oh and what was with that epilogue?!

Over to you!

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

  • Who would have been the better plot twist?
  • What do you think happened to Mrs Newton?
  • Before reading what did you think The Boy Next Door would be about?
  • Thoughts on Julian!
  • What cheese would you have thrown at Julian?

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

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th October 2015 !

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!  I should have a fab guest post from her in November and then any questions fire them at me and she will be willing to answers these for our December post!

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

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27 thoughts on “PHBC – The Boy Next Door by Sinclair Smith

  1. billy.lane@live.com'Billy

    Great write up as ever Chelly, thanks!

    (opens Notes app on phone)

    I am unfortunately inclined to agree that this is (so far) the worst PH we have read… and Lord knows we’ve read some bad ones in our time! I thought it was actually off to a good start when Alice and “Randy Bell” (seriously?) were eating buttery popcorn by the second page, but how quickly my hopes were dashed.

    It started going downhill with the arrival of the police officers, and you pictured Officer Diva as Mariah Carey, I pictured her as Aretha Franklin, complete with colourful head wrap and long glittery gown sashaying around her as she investigated the house next door.

    I failed to see what Randy thought was so “sophisticated” about Julian… I mean, he grabbed her from behind and was laughing maniacally upon their first meeting. He wasn’t sitting in some trendy coffee shop smoking elegantly and reading Chaucer. He also spoke in riddles and wore a denim jacket… I mean, he couldn’t have been more unsophisticated if he tried! And it seemed equally as unusual that Randy would decide to turn her entire life upside down after one brief, bizarre meeting with a boy with solid gold skin. I did not see what was so exciting about walking across a creek in the woods? Just completely unfathomable.

    Anyone else annoyed by the complete OVERUSE OF UPPER CASE THROUGHOUT THE BOOK? Was Sinclair Smith’s italic button busted or something? Some words didn’t even need to be shouted (I read capitals as shouting) like GIGGLE GIGGLE, and then when somebody *was* supposedly shouting, it was written in normal case?!

    Mrs. Newton was about the only decent thing in the book… but perhaps Alice was right about nothing remotely interesting ever happening in town as the students appaz found her habit of using a new piece of chalk “a riot” (??)

    And Chelley, tsk tsk, you missed out my favourite descriptive sentence – “as deflated as a life raft with all the air let out”. At times I honestly thought Mr. Smith must have outsourced this book to one of his kids lol. Like, how did Alice not notice another person standing there in front of her and push her down the stairs? Was she partially blind or something?

    I re-read the following about 100 times because I didn’t get it, perhaps one of you can help me out: “Alice stood there a moment longer, and then she lifted her hand to her cheek before she turned and walked away so fast she was practically running”. Do people usually hold their hand to their cheek before running? Or ever? Am I missing something?!

    Towards the end of the book it just descended into chaos. The Shining reference was complete madness, and lol, the “TOO MUCH CHEESE IS BAD FOR YOUR CHOLESTEROL” line was indeed the best in the entire book… love how Randy managed to think up a James Bond-esque quip during her near-death experience. And to be taken out by a lump of cheese… it’s original, I’ll say that much.

    Anyone else notice that Randy ended up with a broken arm, and then mere sentences later came “‘DAD!’ Randy ran to him and flung her arms around his neck” – hmmmm.

    The questions…

    •Who would have been the better plot twist?
    Alice, definitely. Especially if she managed to convince her Julian was a figment of her imagination when it was really her dressed up or something… but that would have been even stranger I guess.

    •What do you think happened to Mrs Newton?
    I think she reflected on her life in the hospital, ran off with the CPR boy to Idaho, changed career paths and opened up a little haberdashery store in an old mining town.

    •Before reading what did you think The Boy Next Door would be about?
    Well, a strange boy who lived next door… but I thought he’d be a killer and not just some escaped mental patient.

    •Thoughts on Julian!
    Oh gosh. The most badly written character in a long time – the “Hi there” entrances, the turning into Jack Torrance at the end, and I’ll never forgive Sinclair for giving him a broken rib from a roof fall and not using the egg cracking default line.

    •What cheese would you have thrown at Julian?
    Knowing my luck the only cheese on hand would have been brie or something equally as liquid-y. But if I had a choice it’d be stilton so the smell could also overpower him.

    Can’t wait for next month… anything would be better than this haha!

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Billy Goat!

      I had to cut my write up down as it was going on way to long lol

      How did I not notice them eating buttery popcorn by the 2nd page! How did I miss this?! And mrs Newton using a new piece of chalk being the best thing since sliced bread lol

      Totally agree re UPPERCASE LETTER AND WORD USE! ARRRGGGHHHHH!

      Also I’m sure I put the sentence “as deflated as a life raft with all the air let out” towards the bottom of the dialouge disasters?

      As for Alice lifting her hand to her cheek …. I maybe wrongly presumed that it was implying she was crying…but yeah maybe something was edited out here?!

      Fab comments as always Billy and fab Point Horror spotting …. lets hope that nexts months read stimulates or Point Horror brains more 🙂

      xx

      Lol to you picturing Aretha Franklin as the police officer!

      Reply
  2. paulhirons81@gmail.com'@PaulHi

    Evening All!

    Boy oh boy oh Boy Next Door. There’s no sense in beating about the bush: this was cocking AWFUL. Like, properly, offensively bad. Sinclair Smith might as well have come round to my house and spat in my undeserving face. In fact, I’d have welcomed that if it meant avoiding this boring, lazy, nonsensical pile of turd. Gang, I hated it. *shakes head, punches cat*

    Chelley, you’ve hit the nail on the head many, many times in your post, but given that I’m still furious, I’m going to repeat some of your points. I need to work out my rage.

    Firstly, there was next-to-zero plot, and what little attempt at a story we were given made absolute-zero sense. Randy Bell(end) was barely even a character, let alone a heroine, and the central mystery of whether or not Julian existed only in her head was interesting for all of 12 seconds. I hated Randy. She was a plonker and a bore. And she certainly didn’t deserve a mate like Alice, who was the only character in the entire novel to act like a human being.

    Speaking of Alice, there was a deeply weird moment at the end of one of the chapters where she told Randy she was sounding crazy, before randomly lifting a hand to her cheek and walking away. Were we meant to infer that Randy had SLAPPED her? If so, I hate Randy even more, but why not TELL US that that had happened? Was it edited out, or was Sinclair Smith just too lazy to write it? Man, this book sucks.

    Bonkers character names aside (Zizzy Maxwell and Durk Tupper made me laugh out loud), the supporting cast were no better. From the unbelievably mean cops who stumbled INTO UPPER CASE SPEECH MID SENTENCE FOR NO REASON to barely-a-person Ted, I had no time for any of them. Only poor old Slapped Alice acted in any way human.

    Hang on, I need to rant some more about Randy because she was just so awful and oh my god I wanted to push her off a cliff. It took no more than a single conversation with Julian for her to decide that she was bored of her boyfriend, her life, her hobbies and her clothes. One conversation, in which Julian spoke and acted like a complete weirdo from start to finish. ALSO, she had no sense of humour whatsoever: when Julian delivered his admittedly awful “I’m very…handy” zinger, she went straight for the single entendre and responded with, “Sounds like you mean something else”. WELL NO SHIT RANDY, THAT WAS THE POINT, YOU DICK. Uch. Did I mention I hate Randy?

    Julian, of course, is dreadful. He doesn’t work as a wandering psycho. He doesn’t work as a figment of Randy’s imagination. His pranks make no sense. He has no motivation. He wigs out and turns homicidal over a frickin’ cupcake. He has the weirdest laugh in the history of literature (bafflingly transcribed as “GIGGLEGIGGLE” at one point). He rips off his lines from The Shining. He’s our worst villain to date, and it would have been more convincing if he’d bored his victims to death instead of orchestrating car crashes and dropping comedy oil slicks.

    As for the cheese moment… Well, yes, I applauded it, although I wasn’t entirely sure whether or not I’d fallen asleep. I’d speculate that such a conspicuous reference was a cheeky comment on the quality of the Point Horror genre in general, but frankly, I don’t think Sinclair Smith is that subtle. In fact, I’m not sure Sinclair Smith was fully conscious at any point during the writing process.

    Finally, that epilogue, which somehow managed to make even less sense than the rest of the book. So, what, the lot is HAUNTED now? By what? Does this book really exist or have I just gone crazy?

    Okay, questions:

    1. ANYTHING. ANYTHING would have been a better plot twist. Julian was an alien. Randy ran away and became a trapeze artist in Berlin. Alice, Maxine and Randy formed a Misteeq tribute act and never spoke of Julian again. I would have gladly bought any of these.
    2. She came to life and murdered Sinclair Smith for putting her in this stupid book.
    3. To be fair, I thought it would revolve around a cute boy who may or may not be a psycho, living next door to an insipid girl from the 90s. I did not expect cheese to be involved.
    4. See above. He was lame and gross and stupid and boring.
    5. Ha! I would have blinded him with the goo from a freshly-baked camembert. Alternatively, I’d have gone for a more scattershot approach with the contents of a Tesco cheeseboard platter. Also, Kraft cheese slices because they never let you down despite containing no actual cheese.

    Well, I can’t say I enjoyed this month, but I’m pleased to say I’m feeling a little better, having got all of that off my chest. It’ll be a while before I vote for a Sinclair Smith title again, mind you (although The Waitress still sticks out in my mind as being a goodie, so who knows?). Looking forward to next month – there are a couple of random options in the frame, which could be fun, though I like the idea of keeping it seasonal with Halloween Night. I’ll sleep on it, and vote tomorrow.

    Looking forward to the guest post and Q&A too – great work, Chelley! 🙂 See y’all next month!

    PS. I learned this weekend that Diane Hoh did NOT write all of the Nightmare Hall series! Some of them were ghostwritten by one Nola Thacker, which is the real name of – dun dun DUN – our old mucker, D E Athkins! SCANDALOUS, no?

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Paul! You vent away! This is your time to pass comment 🙂

      Totally agree on all of your points!

      I should have asked if this was better or worse than Dream Date in our opnions? What do you think?

      With regards to the epilouge…..does that mean we were going to get a spooky sequel and leave us on the edge of our seats?!

      And basically that Nightmare Hall revelation is shocking! How did you find this out!? I am on the hunt now for a Q&A with Ms Thacker asap!
      I went to an event recently where the author (Michael Grant) revelaed that him and his wife ghost wrote some of the Sweet Valley High books! THE SHOCK WAS CLEAR ON MY FACE!!!!

      Reply
  3. paulhirons81@googlemail.com'@PaulHi

    Billy, we have once again posted at the same time, and made some startlingly similar points. You are my brother from another mother. *high fives*

    Reply
  4. hedwigtheowl@yahoo.co.uk'Hedwig

    Hi! This is the first Point Horror that I’ve read in about twenty years, so I’m glad that you all think it’s not a good one. Means I’m not alone 🙂

    Opening seemed like I remember them – Dad’s ‘away on a trip’ for 3 weeks. A mysterious trip. That’s what I remember, random parents just wandering off!

    I can’t say I liked much else – Randy was really unlikeable, and I didn’t really understand what on earth she thought was great about Julian, or why she’d just go along with everything he said, and dump her boyfriend – where I did giggle, as it seems to be the oddest breakup ever:
    “You quit cheerleading, so I guess we break up now?”
    “Pretty much” – because … reasons. I guess walks in the woods at night are really her thing. Plus Julian never really does much that’s threatening except laugh. Or giggle, I guess.

    I thought the police officers were ridiculous, even without the ALL CAPS DIALOGUE. What kind of cop is angry that a teenager who’s living alone is spooked when she sees something in the house next door? Surely the fact that there’s no-one there is something they should be happy about?

    (Come to think of it – what *did* she see? Later in the book it seems clear that Julian hasn’t been in the house, so there can’t have been any lights. Is the whole point that Randy doesn’t call the police later because of this? If so, why not say so? Argh.)

    I did like the character names, and also the cheese, because who could resist cheese as an offensive weapon? The cheese made it worth reading ;D and there should have been more Alice, though I guess that would have made it a shorter book… I really wish they’d done something more with the gaslighting at the beginning – it seems clear that Julian’s been moving her stuff, but she never seems to twig until she sees her cheerleading sweater. More of Randy thinking that she was losing it would have been interesting, and probably creepier than the whole oil on the road prank! And I kind of enjoyed random unexpected Ted at the end, just for having such an conveniently timed arrival and being kind of unnecessary.

    Final thought: I would like to take away the author’s caps lock key.

    Questions:
    Who would have been the better plot twist? Anyone. Anyone at all.
    What do you think happened to Mrs Newton? She’s still teaching, but keeps her chalk on the desk now.
    Before reading what did you think The Boy Next Door would be about? I did think there would be more spooky goings on. Giggling and very slight persuasion were unexpected.
    Thoughts on Julian! He’s an escaped mental patient, who ‘might be a psychopath’. The least demonstrative psychopath *ever*. He really felt flat to me. I really wished he’d been a figment of Randy’s imagination, because then he’d have been more convincing.
    What cheese would you have thrown at Julian? The biggest, hardest lump I could find. One of those giant ones that are covered in wax.

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Hedwig! Welcome to the Point Horror Asylum ie Point Horror Book Club! Thanks so much for joining in 🙂

      Agree with Paul. so sorry this was your first re-read of Point Horror! There are some gems in there I promise (see previous posts and hopefully future re-reads)

      And yes what did she see?! So the police were right all along!! lol

      I forgot about at the start the missing telephone notebook etc….it seemed a really irelevant point that I guess we were meant to rememeber but didnt by the end. We were obviously laughing too much at cheese gate! lol I mean what a way to go! Maybe Julian didnt fall from the roof but was so emabarressed by cheese gate he faked his fall to make him look more macho!

      Reply
      1. hedwigtheowl@yahoo.co.uk'Hedwig

        The cheese was a brilliantly bizarre moment! Shame the rest of the book couldn’t live up to it 🙂

        I will be back next month – I refuse to let one dodgy book put me off!

        Reply
  5. paulhirons81@googlemail.com'@PaulHi

    Welcome, Hedwig! I’m so glad you loathed this one as much as the rest of us; I can only apologise that your first foray back in the Point Horror fold was such a crapfest.

    EXCELLENT point about what exactly Randy saw in the house next door in the first place… Maybe she was nuts all along. (Or maybe Sinclair Smith is just a terrible writer.)

    Reply
      1. paulhirons81@googlemail.com'@PaulHi

        Baha! On the strength of Dream Date (not quite as bad as The Boy Next Door, but close), I’d have to say I think I dislike Sinclair Smith more :-O :-O He gets ONE more chance before I truly decide, though, in the interests of balance.

        My Nola Thacker/DE Athkins/Diane Hoh discovery was the result of a flick through a random Nightmare Hall title, in which Nola Thacker is listed as author on the copyright page. A bit of googling, and the plot was EXPOSED *Poirot face*

        Reply
  6. mark.stewart@bendigoadelaide.com.au'Mark

    Hey team!

    Sorry I missed practice – I was, y’know, trying on some teen angst for a moment. Oh wait – that was Charlotte Randolph Bell (is there an emoticon for a face palm?). Randy, the short, compact cheerleader who is also apparently a master forger…wait; what? I agree with the rest of you, this was a pretty weak PH title. It felt a lot like Sinclair was just rehashing the central theme of Dream Date: the mystery guy who allows the heroine to be someone else and even the way the mystery guy appears. All I could think of when I read Ted Kaminsky was “wasn’t he the Unabomber?” Maybe when Randy dropped him like a hot rock he ran off to his shack and wrote his manifesto…

    Some other great dialogue not mentioned so far:

    “She felt a small surge of relief when the sandpapered tones of a 911 operator’s voice drew across her ear”

    “Time moved like sludge through a glass tube”

    I think we (read: Michelle) need to start showing the US covers as well as the UK ones. The US cover for this book is HEAPS BETTER (sorry, caps key got stuck 😉 ) and the tagline is better too: “he’s just to die for”.

    Ahhh…the cheese scene. Julian must be ultra lactose intolerant!

    The end of the book was weird. The ending was very quick, abrupt, like a word count had been reached. But then a quaint but out of place epilogue was tacked on like there was now a need to add a few extra words in!

    I thought the twist was ok; I was thinking that Julian was really in Randy’s head (plenty of room!)

    The questions:

    1. The twist? Julian is Randy’s brother – she just forgot.
    2. Mrs. Newton married Randy’s dad so she could spend years tormenting Randy as her evil stepmother.
    3. I think I was thinking he’d be a ghost, maybe a ‘Driver’s Dead’ kind story?
    4. Sinclair seems to struggle with the concept of a heart throb. Julian played out like the annoying little brother that R.L Stine would create except he was meant to be Christian Grey! If you think cheerleaders are really into this sort of guy, I’ve got a bridge I can sell you.
    5. I’m thinking some good cheddar slices would work well like ninja stars!

    I guess the PH machine churned out enough product that you have to expect a few factory seconds.

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Yay! Hi Mark! We missed you last month 🙂 so glad you have stopped by!

      Fab comments! I will add a section going forward saying American cover art if I can find them on the internet 🙂

      I also meant to ask the Point Horror Book Club….was it Sinclair Smith who crosses some aspects of Point Horror accross all his books? I’m sure there was a comment on Dream Date saying the cafe or something was the same in The Waitress ? I may be really wrong on this? I just wondered if anything cropped up in this out of his other books etc?

      xx

      Reply
  7. paulhirons81@googlemail.com'@PaulHi

    Mark! Good to have you back, buddy. Your dialogue disasters are ON POINT this month. Superlol at The Unabomber.

    Yes! Trixie’s Diner, mentioned in Dream Date, is where most of The Waitress takes place (the first Point Horror I ever read!). I didn’t spot any other crossovers, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there…

    Reply
  8. boo_gray@hotmail.com'bookiesnacksize

    GUYS! I’M SO SORRY I’VE BEEN AWAY FOR SO LONG DID YOU MISS ME GIGGLEGIGGLE sorry I think this capslock thing might be catching.

    Anyway, firstly I am really sorry you all read this. I feel partly responsible after gleefully tweeting about the Cheese Weapon incident. That was in fact my favourite bit. The rest of the book sucked ass.

    To sum up: it combined the worst aspects of the Point Horror franchise in the most unappealing way. Ridic names? Check (what the hell kind of nickname is Randy for a girl called Charlotte anyway? And Randy Bell? Might as well call her Knob End, which is in fact what I did call her in my head throughout the story) Rubbish heroine? CHECK. Creepy love interest? Check checkity check check. All par for the course except creepy love interest is always too creepy to make him a believable manipulator. Mysteriously absent parents? Check. So many cliches, so badly used, so badly written, SO MUCH CAPS MY EYEBALLS STARTED TO BLEED. I do adore the ridiculous as you know, but this was just poor.

    A far better ending would have been if the CREEPY COPS were behind it all. Seriously so creepy. That’s right, kids, don’t call the cops when you’re scared because they’ll come round your house AND THREATEN TO LOCK YOU UP FOR WASTING THEIR TIME IN CAPITALS. Or if Randy were crazy. Practically any other ending, really. Apart from the cheese.

    Basically, this Point Horror should have been published in Comic Sans.

    By the way, I must stick up a tiny bit for Richie Tankersley Cusick. Help Wanted and Fatal Secrets are both gloriously bonkers, melodramatic tosh. Far superior to Sinclair Smith’s ridiculously bonkers, melodramatic tosh 😉

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      BOO!!!! YOUR BACK! WE HAVE MISSED YOU! (caps lock fully intended there 🙂 )

      You roped us in with your cheese tweet…. it was our punishment for being on twitter! lol

      And I have to admit Richie Tankersely Cusick was my favourite when I was younger! I seem to remember Fatal Secrets being my fave Point Horror. I have high hopes for it if we ever read it 🙂

      Reply
      1. boo_gray@hotmail.com'bookiesnacksize

        I will take any punishment you care to give. I do seriously think this is the worst Point Horror I have ever read!

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

    Mark, Boo – glad to see you both back in the asylum. How was your time as out patients? And welcome Hedwig, great comments and particularly loved your dialogue disasters haha.

    Just catching up on everything from my sun lounger in Greece (applies sun tan lotion). Can’t wait for Halloween Night, though every copy on the Bay of E seems to be Halloween Night 2?!

    The Waitress was my first PH too! Well actually, it was Babysitter III but I gave up midway because I was like “I really ought to read one and two for this to make any sense” (cut back to me after reading all three) “nope, didn’t make a difference”

    Lollingtons.

    Reply
  10. muncasterclaire@gmail.com'Claire Muncaster

    Re Julian – I wouldn’t be surprised if Randy had made him up. Am I the only one that fancies the pants off of him. He (& all other PH boys) is the main reason why I loved the series so much. PH boys just don’t look, act/sound like real people.

    Reply
      1. muncasterclaire@gmail.com'Claire Muncaster

        If Julian Dax said that re squeezing to me I’d just send him a copy of ‘Stranglehold’ by Ted Nugent

        Reply

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