PHBC – Freeze Tag by Caroline B Cooney

 


freeze-tag

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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!

Freeze Tag by Caroline B Cooney

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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 December 2015

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

We also have a fantastic guest post from the lovely author and Point Horror fan Sophie Cleverly – HERE!


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


The Tagline

Cold hands…evil heart

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

In a little town there is a road called Dark Fern Lane and four children play a game called Freeze Tag.

Awwwww Freeze Tag I remember that game!  It was fun!

Not the way Lannie plays it….she plays it for realises!  With one touch she can freeze you so you can feel cold passing through your heart and snow piling on top of your eyes and basically going into another world……DEATH!

Ooookkkkaaaayyyy….Lannie sounds like she would be good to play Christmas board games with!

Wrong!  After making local hunk West promise to like her best (seriously) a few years later when Meggie-Mogs and West are getting it on Lannie gently reminds everyone of the promise that was made that must not be broken!

Oh No!  What will happen if Meggie-Mogs and West try to have a sneaky kiss!?  No one can stand in the way of true love!

One touch by Lannie and they will take Freeze Tag to a whole new meaning and be frozen FOREVER!

And Lannie never lets anything get in the way of her and her man!

The Girl

Meghan Moore – little old Meggie-Mogs!  I actually quite liked the long thick haired, popular only child who, in my opinion, did not put her flute and piccolo playing to much use in this book.  Bless her…after adoring West all of her life after the prologue it made me smile that she finally got her man…well that’s until Lannie threatens to freeze her….to death!

She did at least try and fight for her man and I loved the relationship between her and her best friend Tuesday (West’s sister).

I also loved that special moment after being absent for half of the book that Meggie-Mogs shares a tender moment with her Mom with snuggles on the bed.  It was actually quite emotional.  At a point where Meghan had no one because of ice fingered Lannie.  Of course this was soon to be dashed by her Mom telling her to listen to her Dad and do as she is told and go outside to the girl who wants to kill her…but you know as long as Meggie-Mogs Dad is happy!  *tuts*

Given all this I loved how Megham thought the Trevor family are how families should be, but then maybe realises that she is possibly wrong after all.

The Love Interest

I cannot make my mind up if I like West Trevor the boy next door or not.  Sometimes I did.  Sometimes I didn’t.  Apparently his name sounds like a street or a town in Ireland (?), he owns all the best cassettes and cd’s, loves doing the dishes and calls all girls he doesn’t like babe?!?.  He is courteous, manages the football team, owns a Chevy that he can’t drive and has a long cross wide grin.

What’s not to love?

He was so loved up with Meghan, but then fear gripped him like an icicle and he was forced to dump Meghan and date Lannie through fear of his sister, Tuesday, becoming frozen by Lannie!

Sounds like an episode of Hollyoaks!

Hmmmmmm still can’t decide on him….

Lannie

The baddie of the book gets a whole heading to herself….basically I’m scared she will freeze me to death if I didn’t!

Skinny as a popsicle stick, wispy and as pale as Kleenex with long thin fingers that will terrify you and freeze you if touched!

Where did she get her freezing power from?

Did she grow up to be Elsa?

I’m not gonna lie she was truly terrifying!  Creeping around unseen and unheard, always standing as close as a sweater to share your oxygen (?) and with the smile of ice and snow she sent shivers down my spine on every page!

The back story of her Mom and Dad and their love for cars especially Jaguars was tragically strange, but gave us a good reason why she had absent parent syndrome.  Well, other than the fact that she freezes her Step Father to death sitting in his car, freezes the family dog because she is jealous and kills her Mom in a car crash by freezing her!

And don’t forget those pale bleached in wash eyes and cobra hood eyelids!

She was actually pretty scary!

The Gang

Tuesday, West’s little sister and Brown, West’s little brother make up the rest of the gang.  I didn’t make many notes on them, but I loved them both especially Brown.

And I can’t not mention the lovable feeder Mrs Trevor!  She was awesome!  She reminded me a bit of Mrs Weasley from Harry Potter!  Although I did feel a little let down that she feel for the it’s hard to park trick when West turned down driving her car and not realising that her son was being forced through fear of being frozen to date Lannie!

Oh also huge shout out to Z list character Valarie who whilst getting dating tips for West off his girlfiend Meghan so she could pretend to date him (who does that?!) calls Lannie a pale faced shrimpette from the zoo!  I hope off page Lannie froze her so she could never say such nasty things ever again!

Fashion Faux Pas

The only reference I picked up on was plaid wool pants and a dark sweater…..that’s not that bad is it?

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Dialogue Disasters

This is Caz Coo!  The Queen!  I found is quite hard to find dialogue disasters so as always here’s a few that made me giggle!

“Lannies eyes, as pale as though they has been bleached in the wash”

Ouch!

“What was the other side of Lannie made of?!”

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,  bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens…..oh wait!

“Probably no other family on earth with children named West, Tuesday and Brown”

I feel that Kim Kardashian and Chris Martin may have been fans of Point Horror and adopted this policy!

“Her heavy eyelids lifted like cobra heads”

:-0

“The sun fell like a wet plate out of a dishwashers hands”

This is my new excuse when I drop a plate and it smashes *angelic grin*

“Lannie tightened like a bow and arrow”

Tense!

“She whispered so hotly she could have lit a match with her breath”

We all feel like this after a super hot curry *passes breath mint*

“She couldn’t understand why she couldn’t just take West and walk off with him.  Sort of like shoplifting a lipstick”

I always wondered what shoplifting a lipstick would feel like!

“The only thing that moved was Lannies hand, stroking here, touching there…”

*coughs*

“Gag me with a spoon”

Erm before or after the stroking and touching 😉

“He took her to pizza hut Meghan!”

Dum Dum Dummmmmm!!!  Oh no!  How could he!

“I’m probably the only girl in America who has to defrost her boyfriend”

*passes hair dryer*

Body Count

Hmmmmmm…..body count off screen so to speak, but they still totally count!

Two human frozen bodies and one dog *sniffles*

Oh actually was their reference to an unknown school student in hospital too?

Is it scary?

I’m actually going to admit I found this quite scary.  I mean not in a scary jump out of your seat gruesome scary but definitely creepy scary!

The prologue when all the characters are younger captures youth and sets up the tone of the book and you really do feel every word as if it’s ice and cold and freezing throughout!  The prologue helped build a chilling back story and makes us fearful of Lannie from the offset!

I genuinely found myself feeling fearful when loved up Meghan and West take the mickey out of Lannie at the start of the book when the story jumps to the characters as teenagers.  You know it is not going to end well!

And that scene in West’s Chevy at night when Lannie is sitting there in the dark and brushes her fingers against them!  O.M.G!

Did the best friend do it?

There’s no mystery to this Point Horror.  It’s a straight up creepy Point Horror and you know who the baddie is from the off set.

Some Mild Peril?

I’m sure being frozen to death by someone’s touch is mild peril enough!

Is it any good?

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  The queen of Point Horror does it again!  Another brilliant story of good versus evil and very much, in my opinion, like The Perfume a different tone from other Point Horror’s in the series almost like this was never meant to be an actual Point Horror.

Caz Coo is basically just a genius!

Although….the end?  Not sure how I feel about the end?  I presume all Lannie really wanted was to be loved and have friends……yep….that explains freezing people to death!

Final Thought

RIP Buttery Popcorn!  Cheese popcorn is all the rage now!

Although buttery popcorn did make an appearance to help the characters think towards the end of the book….fear not Billy!

Also who knew fresh snow and maple syrup make instant candy!  Mind Blown!

Over to you!

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

  • The ending?  Did we like?  Not Like?
  • What did Lannie and West really get up to for three hours in his car?!
  • Who would you promise to like best to save your friend from getting frozen to death?
  • Cheese Popcorn, Buttery Popcorn or our knew Point Horror treat of Snow Candy?

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

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th January 2016 !

You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 17th December 2015!

And the winner was……

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Don’t forget to check out the fab  Point Horror guest post with author Sophie Cleverly – here

Also don’t forget the lovely Anne Finnis has said we can put some Point Horror related questions to her which she is going to answer over the Christmas break!  Do you have a question for Anne?  Let me know and I will include it in my Q&A with her which will go live next month!

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

10 thoughts on “PHBC – Freeze Tag by Caroline B Cooney

  1. paulhirons81@gmail.com'@PaulHi

    Hey gang!

    Well, what an unexpected treat this was! We’ve discovered from The Perfume and The Cheerleader that CazCoo’s highly individual style is a cut above most Point Horror authors, but this was, in my humble opinion, MILES beyond anything we’ve read so far. I was properly, genuinely enthralled from start to finish – the writing was beautiful, the plot was gripping, the characters were believable. None of which makes for much in the way of hilarious snarking… can we have Sinclair Smith back next month? (JOKE).

    Like you Chelley, I was friggin’ terrified of the gloriously-named Lannie Anveill and her icy fingers of doom. Sure, we got absolutely no explanation for her wintry powers, but at least we got some neglect-laden backstory, which is way more than most PH psychos are allowed. No messing about with mutilated dolls in lockers and angry purple-crayoned notes for old Lannie, either – we were straight into the serial murder and terrorising of neighbourhood children, which was mega-shocking. CazCoo said in her Q&A with James that she avoided obvious violence in her books, and tried to deliver some kind of Christian message wherever possible, and though both of those things sound like a recipe for a total snoozefest, they worked really well here.

    The Trevors were fascinating too. Comedy names aside, their transition from heroes to collaborating murderous villains was brilliantly done. I didn’t know WHO to root for in the end. Even the parents had a role to play in this one – the ramshackle Trevors, the distant Mooreseses, the messed-up Anveills… I loved them all, and like you have to confess to a minor festive lump in my throat during the mother-daughter bonding scene.

    Questions!

    The ending? Did we like? Not Like?
    I remember being massively frustrated by the ending the first time I read this one, and I’m still a little let down by the lack of resolution. It would have completely destroyed the redemptive ending, but I wish CazCoo had had the conviction to end on the previous page, with Meghan realising what had happened but unable to decide whether to save Lannie. Leave it up to the reader to decide what would happen, etc.

    What did Lannie and West really get up to for three hours in his car?!
    She sexily spat up ice cubes while West jabbered on about his boring old car.

    Who would you promise to like best to save your friend from getting frozen to death?
    I have no friends who deserve anything like this level of sacrifice, so I dunno… Sinitta?

    Cheese Popcorn, Buttery Popcorn or our new Point Horror treat of Snow Candy?
    I am OBSESSED by this idea of maple syrup snow candy, which I’m positive CazCoo dreamed up and then convinced herself was an actual thing. Cheese popcorn on the other hand needs to remain in the USA, where I imagine it is singlehandedly responsible for 80% of all cardiac arrests.

    Good choice this month, guys! Really pleased to have read this one again. The vote for next month is looking pretty close at the moment, but I’m happy with any – The Train because it’s the ONLY PH I don’t currently own, and I’ll have a reason to buy it and complete my collection; The Mall because I’ve become a sucker for RTC punishment; and The Window because…. it’s called THE WINDOW, you guys. Boy, someone at Scholastic was phoning it in, that day.

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Fab comments as always Paul! I love how we all seemed to really love this one this month! Its funny as I remember always loving and craving the R L Stine or RTC books when I was younger, but now I’m seeing a whole different side to things! I basically love Caz Coo!

      And yes! We must simply try Maple Syrup Snow Candy and compare our thoughts! *prays for snow*

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

    Hey PHBC!

    Great write up as always Chelle, and Paul – lolling as usual at your comments haha. Great stuff.

    I’m pleased to say that I concur and that CazCoo has once again delighted with this instalment. It is indeed one of the best we have read, and like Perfume and Cheerleader, has this strange kind of cloudy dreaminess to the prose which I’ve never experienced before.

    However, I did pick up on a few simile clangers that should not go unnoticed:

    As completely and silently as a chemistry experiment
    As pale as though they had been bleached in the wash
    As skinny as a popsicle stick
    As pale as a Kleenex
    As insubstantial as a tissue
    As dangerous as a collapsing bridge or a caving-in cliff
    As deep as company on Thanksgiving

    But that aside, I really enjoyed it, and I remember the cover always being one of my faves as a little’un. Lannie was incredibly unnerving – especially as we had no idea where her strange power came from and the fact she never appeared to age at all, and freezing her step father and mother was quite unsettling. Her hatred/jealousy of Meggie-Megs was done well, and in the end, I actually felt for her. It was the part towards the end, when she had come round the Trevors’ place to see West and Tuesday told her to go to the truck, there was a line about her wading through the snow drifts to go and wait for him, and I just felt incredibly sorry for this girl who wanted to be loved but had no idea how to go about it. It was brilliant how at the end, the table was turned for me in that the Trevor siblings had become the evil, calculating, devious ones and I was rooting for Meghan to ditch them and rescue Lannie – thank God she did. I agree Paul though that ending it earlier would have been ace as we would be left drawing our own conclusions.

    I loved that there were parents present in this one. I adored Mrs Trevor (every kid in town calling her ‘Mom’ was quite sweet), and my heart ached for Meghan’s mother when she said she had bought provisions on the off chance the children ever came round her place but they never did… it was like the buttery popcorn moment all over again for me. I just wanted to marry her. And then when she had the moment snuggled on the couch… brilliant stuff.

    I was fairly indifferent about the Trevor kids (though Brown was the best one). It was implied that they were difficult teenagers in comparison to West, but that never really came through.

    Want to give a shout out to Su-Ann (aka Regina George). Her one paragraph was not enough!

    And let’s all take a moment to remember Jacqueline or Jennifer or Jessica.

    Quessies:

    •The ending? Did we like? Not Like?
    We liked. Very much. Loved the complete 180 and how my allegiance switched at the end.

    •What did Lannie and West really get up to for three hours in his car?!
    I imagine they sat there as silently as a chemistry experiment.

    •Who would you promise to like best to save your friend from getting frozen to death?
    Chelle 🙂 – I think deep down you’re jel that I have a thing for Jenny from My Secret Admirer.

    •Cheese Popcorn, Buttery Popcorn or our knew Point Horror treat of Snow Candy?
    I’m sorry, but it’s always going to be buttery popcorn, and I grinned when I saw it mentioned in passing lol. But if it does snow this Winter I am totes getting out the maple syrup to see what happens.

    A great read, really enjoyable one this month! Thank you CazCoo!

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Lol Billy! Yes there was a lot of simile actions going on! I think As insubstantial as a tissue is now my favourite insult ever! And Jacqueline or Jennifer or Jessica who? lol

      And I can’t believe my jealousy of Jenny has been caught out! YOU PROMISED TO LIKE ME BEST BILLY!! REMEMBER THAT!

      Reply
  3. cmilton81@gmail.com'Cazzy

    Hi PHBC!

    I loved this book! I thought it was genuinely creepy and for once, didn’t know where the plot would go. On the whole, I think was one of the best PH books in terms of writing and had a bit more to it than most of them.

    Caz Coo writes such interesting characters, although with some of the most ridiculous names. Lannie was scary and utterly pathetic by turns. She reminded me a little of Althea from The Cheerleader: unloved, ignored and lacking in parental guidance or care, but as she’s cast as the ‘villain’ rather than the protagonist, you don’t sympathise with her as much as a reader, but there are glimpses into her life that are quite tragic.

    I also loved the scene with Meghan and her mother. It was then that I really began to see the Trevors were not as perfect as people seemed to think.

    There was one fashion faux pas i picked up on that also serves as a confession: Tuesday’s neon pink bomber jacket. I actually owned one of these circa 1990 (in my defence, I was 9!) ??

    In answer to your questions:
    1) I loved the ending. Most of the book, Meghan was just a girl mooning over a boy, but in the end she trusted her own conscience and stood alone, while the Trevors were just as cold hearted as Lannie with less reason.

    2) Meghan spent hours trying to get out of the crappy truck, trying to make her dramatic exit. Epic fail.

    3) no-one. Maybe I’d just include people instead and not be so cliquey.

    4) buttery popcorn….hmmm

    Reply
    1. Cmilton81@googlemail.com'Cazzy

      Sory, one last comment! I guess the book raises the question of nature vs nurture. Lannie had only known coldness and therefore treated others in the same way (literally). The Trevors had a nice family and were treated with care but turned out to be cold in nature when it came down to it. Meghan had a good balance of a loving home and a warm heart and therefore, was the one to give Lannie a reprieve.

      Reply
      1. Chelley Toy Post author

        Wow! You are so totally right here! This is the brilliance of Caz Coo…..she gives us meanings and morals to her stories! She is the queen of Point Horror *bows down*

        Reply
  4. muncasterclaire@gmail.com'Claire Muncaster

    i don’t think this was meant to be a point horror either. always amused me that it was called point horror with none in it – dad called them ‘point horrible’ — but then since reading 1st 1 my nd for same has got steadily worse never knew there was meant to be some sort of christian message in author’s book, but it explains a lot. freeze tag = actual freezing when you tag someone. wonder if it works on facebook. due to the fact i can hardly move i nvr played it. i think it was meant to show how you can’t make people like you. her name. ‘anveill’ = anvil. unveil. cross between 2. also reminds me of a judas priest song. amazing.

    Reply

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