PHBC – The Window by Carol Ellis

 


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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!

The Window by Carol Ellis

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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 January 2016

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

She’s seen the killer.  Has the killer seen her?

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

*Stares out of window*

*Grabs binoculars*

*Turns head to side to ensure window does not steam up*

*Writes name on window*

*Coughs*…erm excuse me your meant to be writing this months Point Horror Book Club about The Window not doing a Jody and being a nosy cabin housemate staring out of the window!

Oh yes!  Sorry about that! *coughs*

So poor old Jody Sanderson has been ditched by her friend Kate who is sick with flu and cannot make the skiing trip anymore so Jody goes on the skiing trip to Brevard Pass with six complete strangers!

Woah!  Brave girl…..hang on a minute where on earth is Brevard Pass?

Tuts!  You mean you don’t know!

Brevard Pass is THE place to go skiing!  Named after Charles Brevard it used to be just a plain old mountain pass used by wagons!

Who?!

You know Charles Brevard!  He was the first person to cross it back in 1852!

I’m disappointed in you!

Anyway….Jody starts to enjoy herself but then she has an accident whilst skiing!

Oh No!  She didn’t suffer the worst humiliation ever of taking the ski lift DOWN the slope did she?! 

Yes!  Yes she did!  But right after she slipped on some ice in her ski’s banged her head (she thinks) and sprained her ankle!

Oh the horror!  The humiliation!  What did she do?!

Well basically whilst laid up in bed she decided to snoop on a gorgeous girl in the cabin opposite and even uses binoculars and witnesses something she has to use her observation skills and brain to piece together!

Spoiler alert…. it involved red nail polish or possibly blood and some wilted roses!

What was it?!  Did someone lose their temper trying to paint their nails?

Let’s just say that someone saw her watching….and was not a happy wolfy!

Jody had witnessed a murder!

The Girl

Jody Sanderson!  With her dark curly brown hair and love of soup and staring out of windows watching people she was actually a pretty good skier!  That is until she sprains her ankle!  She was a little over the top on the old invalid act, but overall she was pretty likeable.  A Point Horror girl with a brain who thought things through and worked through things in her head.  Future detective in the making!  I will forgive her for falling for Drew!

The Love Interest

I’m going to class two characters as love interests in this book….

Drew “Mmm-bop” Hanson with his brooding brown eyes, dark blonde hair and quiet and moody manner…he flirts with Jody and basically falls in love with her without even speaking to her or getting to know her, but drooled all over Leahna Calder until she obviously told him bye bye.  I give him credit where credit is due though he brought back ribs and flowers for Jody!  What a guy!  Possibly a typical Point Horror love interest.

Beautiful Leahna Calder!  Gorgeous, rich and spoilt (kind of like that Lady Gaga song!).  Nothing / nobody lasts with Leahna Calder!  Described often throughout the book as poison, rotten, has claws and a beautiful creep she was the love interest of many a character in this Point Horror with Drew and Cal practically fighting over her.  I kept picturing Channel number one from Scream Queens!  She basically won my heart over when she got the orange peel!  She didn’t deserve to die!

The Gang

Oh wow!  This gang were like the cast of Made In Chelsea!  I could hardly keep up with all the goings on!

Ellen fancies Drew who flirts with Jody, but Chris fancies Drew who hates Leahna who Cal is crazy about who is killed by Sasha who is horrible to Billy who loves her then hates her and then it turns out Ellen really fancies Cal…… *heads spins*

Anyway….

Spiky blonde haired Christine “Chris” Castello with blue eyes that always stared at the air above your head.  With a personality as spiky as her hair and lots of bracelets and rings to boot I kind of liked her.  She was edgy and cool and just did not care about anything that was going on around her other than Drew, parties and skiing.  We needed to see more of her!

Frail looking thin Ellen Cummings with her soft hazel eyes, light brown hair and airy voice which was kind of sing songy was kind of what it says on the tin.  Although I did love it when she raged about Leahna!

Cal Wolf!  Twin of Sasha Wolf!  Beautiful, tall and slender and basically sexy!  He is crazy about Leahna and uses his blue eyes to communicate with his twin rather than speech.  I liked him better than Drew.

Sasha Wolf….. like Cal, beautiful, long dark hair, slender and blue eyes to help communicate non verbally with Cal.  She was the driver that makes you reach for the sick bag and with her apparently low throaty voice was a little pushy and liked to organise things…including killing her brothers crush…yes murder!  And then dumping the body and losing her bracelet in the process!  She got what was coming to her…..Smacked and knocked off her feet by a pair of binoculars!  She deserved everything she got….especially after being so horrible to Billy!

Which leads me onto….Billy Feldman (not to be confused with Corey Feldman who along with Point Horror Book Club member Billy I kept imaging throughout the whole book….like a Corey/Billy mix and match!).  I loved Billy!  He made me laugh!  He was the comedian of the group and of the book.  The laugh man!  He can’t ski, but went on a skiing holiday!  With his liquid brown eyes, his comedic charm and stuffy breathing he won me over.  I also loved how a rug sent him over the edge of one minute loving Sasha and the next hating her so much!  He deserved to be the hero at the end pinning Sasha on the floor in a citizens arrest and making her drop the knife!  Go Billy Go!

And just a quick mention to Kate, Jody’s “Best Friend”….. basically the most selfish worst friend EVER!

Fashion Faux Pas

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With the exception of bright coloured ski clothes which I presume are still in fashion (?) although I kept picturing them as shell suites I didn’t spot anything between the pink wool sweaters that appeared occasionally.

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Dialogue Disasters

I can’t believe these words are about to be typed….but I didn’t find that many dialogue disasters in this one!  I know!  Did I just miss them?

Of course I did find a few that made me chuckle….

“Who’s want to spend their time staring into windows?”

Do I win a prize for guessing the answer correctly?

“She’s beautiful like Snow White’s step-mother”

I think I wrote this down because I got confused with Cinderella and thought of the ugly step sisters and……. *brain explodes*

“But my parents are away”

That old chestnut!

“It’ll be wild!”

So you think this would be about the skiing or the parties or the fact that his sister is a murderer wouldn’t you….well no…this was Cal’s response to having a 5ft sub sandwich at the party!

“I’m fine, not frothing at the mouth or anything”

Jody…just before she says oh my ankle I couldn’t possibly have another pain pill for the 100th time for the sympathy vote!

“Don’t you think you’re taking this invalid act a little too far?”

I did not write down who said this to Jody but *hi fives*

And of course…..you totally knew this was going to happen Point Horror Book Club member Billy….

“Billy was kind of a klutz”

“Billy laughed a little too loudly at his small joke”

“I’m the laugh man”

Well now I feel as mean as Sasha!  *Stares at Billy to communicate my feelings*

Body Count

1!

A half on the page, half off the page murder!

*throws red nail polish at wall in homage*

Is it scary?

Hmmmmmm not really.  Mainly Jody sitting around the cabin feeling sorry for herself and…well basically staring out of the window and watching someone get murdered!

Actually I have to admit that I was slightly terrified by the whole knife from the kitchen I am going to murder you end!  It did get my heart racing quite a bit!

Oh and also when Jody is watching the killer looking for something in the snow and then looks directly up at her!  Oh that gave me the shivers!

Did the best friend do it?

Nope!  Jody was brave / crazy enough to go on the ski trip without her best friend and with six strangers…who would have thought one of them was a killer?!

Some Mild Peril?

Snow and Ice!  And lots of it!

Also Sasha’s driving!

Oh and SASHA!

Is it any good?

I liked this one!  Although I found quite a lot of the Jody in bed / cabin / invalid scenes a little stretched out and longish, but I liked the story.  I even liked the reveal and the ending and enjoyed it.

This one didn’t feel dated like some we have read or cheesy (pun intended) and would do well nowadays.

I also liked the reminder of the good old fashioned telephone in the kitchen and one in the bedroom and the click of either receiver being put down whilst on the phone….pre mobiles…those were the days!

Final Thought

Was it just me or did anyone think Jody’s friend Kate was really at Brevard Pass and was basically just avoiding Jody?!

Over to you!

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

  • What colour ski suit would you don yourself in for Brevard Pass?
  • In honour of the character Billy in The Window what truth would you ask Point Horror Book Club member Billy which he HAS to answer?
  • What party food and games would you play?
  • Why was Kate so horrible to Jody?!

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

Point Horror Book Club member Mark has sent me the American cover for The Window!

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What does everyone think?

I think this is better than the UK one….and sums up the book well!  Although I do like the blood stain on the UK one I have to admit!

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th February 2016 !

You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 17th January 2016!

And the winner was….

feb16ph

The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 17th January 2016!

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 – The Window by Carol Ellis

  1. cmilton81@gmail.com'Cazzy

    Hi PHBC!

    I agree with your review, Chelle, this was a good one, even if the story was slightly borrowed from Hitchcock. No massive dialogue blunders or fashion faux pas, a protaginist that wasn’t dumb and as annoying as hell (even if she did milk the ankle situation) I was almost disappointed 😂 This was one of the first PH books I ever read (many years ago) and I actually remembered the basic story and as soon as I saw Sasha’s name, i remembered that she was the killer. I also liked Chris and Billy but it was just as well Sasha and Cal were beautiful because they were dull as dishwasher.

    Q: What colour ski suit would you don yourself in for Brevard Pass?
    A: Has to be hot pink
    Q: in honour of the character Billy in The Window what truth would you ask Point Horror Book Club member Billy which he HAS to answer?
    A: Favourite PH book?
    Q: What party food and games would you play?
    A: pizza and truth or dare
    Q: Why was Kate so horrible to Jody?!
    A: she wasn’t very well and when her best mate wasn’t bending her ear about a biatch she hates, she was accusing her of not being home when she was asleep in bed :'(

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Cazzy! Yeah I read someone’s review on Goodreads and they said it was an exact copy of Hitchcock. I’m loving you hot pink ski suit 😉

      Plus you raise very good points about Katie!

      Reply
  2. paulhirons81@gmail.com'@PaulHi

    Happy 13th of the month, gang!

    I agree, this was a classy affair. Not the most exciting PH we’ve read, but a decent, solid whodunit with some pretty effective tension-ramping, especially in the last chapter before Sasha’s identity was revealed. I think the main problem with it, just like previous Carol Ellis effort Camp Fear, was that it just wasn’t terribly earth-shattering. Maybe it was because, Like Cazzy, I remembered that Sasha was our resident psycho, or maybe it was just the fact that it took so very long for Jody to realise what she was spying on. In the end I just found it a little difficult to care.

    Fortunately, none of the characters bugged the living shit out of me like they usually do, despite their romantic entanglements being way too complex for me to be bothered attempting to keep track of (that was a terrible sentence; just go with it). Even Leahna, who I think we were meant to hate (??) seemed pleasant enough to me. And sneery Chris was a bit of a hoot; I could have done with more of her (and less of Billy, who just needed to get a grip and tell Sasha to clean her own damn rug, ffs).

    I can’t say I was massively convinced by Sasha’s motive. I mean, I’ve got on board with some pretty thin reasons for psychotic antics during the PHBC’s existence, but ‘My brother fancies her’ is ropey, even by 90s teen horror standards. Also, I could have done without Ellis’s fixation on that piece of flamin’ orange peel, which I swear had more page-time than Leahna.

    No fashion faux pas or dialogue disasters at this end either, though I do think Sasha’s watch that DOUBLES AS A STOPWATCH deserves a special mention.

    Oh, actually, I lied. There WAS one character who bugged the shit out of me. What in the name of holy orange peel was nasty piece of work Kate’s problem? “Tell me about Leahna! God, stop going on about Leahna! Why aren’t you telling me about Leahna? Call me! Why aren’t you calling me? Stop calling me!” Holy moly. What. A. Beyotch.

    Okay, questions!
    Q: What colour ski suit would you don yourself in for Brevard Pass?
    Is invisibility-cloak a colour? If so, that. All the better for catching unconvincing murderers.
    Q: in honour of the character Billy in The Window what truth would you ask Point Horror Book Club member Billy which he HAS to answer?
    Ha! Okay Billy, if you were holed up in bed with a broken ankle, spying on your fellow PHBClubbers, which of us would you assume was a wacko serial killer?
    Q: What party food and games would you play?
    All the party foods. ALL of them. And probably a nice wholesome game of Cards Against Humanity. Or, I dunno, Kerplunk?
    Q: Why was Kate so horrible to Jody?!
    See above. Kate was HORRID. I hope Jody froze her the hell out of her life when she eventually got down off that mountain.

    Enjoying the valentine’s options for next time. I’ve voted Sinclair Smith because I’m convinced there must be hope for him after the disasters that were Dream Date and The Boy Next Door, but I’ll be happy with any of them… See y’all next month!

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Hi Paul!
      I loved Chris too….she didn’t get enough page time for my liking!
      Lol to the orange peel having more page time than Leahna! RIP orange peel!
      Yes Sasha’s watch! How could I not have included this! Also so glad you agreed about Katie! OMG she was the most annoying off page character ever!

      I’m also loving your question to Billy…and very intrigued by his answer 😮

      I put so much thought into these valentines options and I am beyond shocked you voted for Smith! I kind of put that on there as a joke Paul 😉 lol

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

    Howdy gang! *slaps some high fives*

    ‘The Window’ was just great PH! Not the best, far from the worst – just a great example of the style. I enjoyed the splash of ‘Final Destination’ at the start of the story with the imaginary van crash. The Wolf twins. Now, I’m not suggesting that this even crossed Ms. Ellis’ mind, but the first thing I thought of when they were introduced was the story of Romulus and Remus, the twins from Roman mythology who were raised by a wolf and eventually one destroyed the other. It proved to be an interesting parallel as Sasha strove to create a perfect world – her Rome – and did an A+ job of screwing the pooch instead. Who says us PH weirdos aren’t ed-u-cat-ed? 😉

    Moving on…Surprised no-one else flagged the 5 foot party subs as worthy of a mention! Nothing says par-tay like 10 feet of Subway! Can I get a whoop-whoop?

    Ok, help me out – Leahna. Is it Lee-ann -a? Lee-na? Just sticks in my craw when I have to stumble over characters names throughout a whole book! I know, I know – I’m just getting old. In my day kids had simple names like Bob and Ethel – and we were damn proud of ’em!

    I hear you Chelle, on the hot tub roulette goings on – he loves her, she fancies someone else, they’re making eyes at someone else again. I’m a tad surprised someone didn’t tip out the Doritos and throw some room keys in the bowl!

    Massive splash of ‘Rear Window’ throughout the book. I’m guessing when Ms. Ellis received the title, she was watching TCM and just went **** it, 90s kids won’t have seen this movie, I’m golden!

    Now Jody, I’ve had a sore ankle before, but did you really have to go down the stairs on your rump carrying stuff in your mouth like a Labrador? Just hop and hold the rail love! Sheesh!

    The killer made sense (enough) but we didn’t really get any clues, did we? I love that Jody didn’t actually solve the crime – she was Chief Wiggum-ing her way through it and was as clueless about the truth as we were until Sasha sauntered into the room!

    There were definitely some spooky moments in the book. I’m a sucker for the big empty house motif, so the creaking steps, eavesdropping, shadows and softly closing doors all resonate with me.

    I actually think a better solution may have been one like ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (SPOILER ALERT – then again, do you really need a spoiler alert for an 80 year old story?). In that tale the victim was so despised that there was not one killer but several who all had a turn sticking in the knife. I reckon that given the general feeling around Lee-ann-a (that’s what I’m going with!) that several of the kids might have wanted to smack that Regina George down a peg!

    Question time:

    1. What colour? Easy – the same red as my beloved Shannon Smith’s hair – *sigh*
    2. Who runs the better PHBC? James or Chelle? ;-P
    3. Fairy bread and those little frankfurts. Games wise? Gotta be Twister!
    4. Aren’t girls generally mean to each other? Maybe she was particularly nasty because all that was on TV was re-runs of ‘Lost River’.

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      *Hi fives Mark*

      Wow that is one deep Point Horror comparison Mark re Romulus and Remus….this has actually really intrigued me!

      I think I mentioned the 5ft party sub in my dialogue disasters….someone said the party was wild because of it lol

      Jody did take the sprained ankle a little too far didn’t she! lol

      Ohhhhhhh…. And what a tough question for poor old Billy lol That’s so cruel Mark :-)….personally I think that I waffle on a little where as Juno was to the point and wity 🙂

      PS – I cannot believe you are still lusting after Shannon…your as bad as Billy with Jenny lol

      Reply
      1. Chelley Toy Post author

        Mark has also sent me the American cover of The Window which I have added into the post….I think it’s so much better than the UK one!

        What do you all think?

        Reply
  4. paulhirons81@gmail.com'@PaulHi

    Oh, agreed, the US cover is much better than the UK one. Maybe the transatlantic comparison should become a regular feature of PHBC?

    Double Date? Oh dear God, what have we done?

    Reply
    1. Chelley Toy Post author

      Yes – will make it a regular feature for sure…may try a little vote thing etc

      And yes DOUBLE DATE! Even though there were obviously a few people that voted for this I am holding you personally responsible 😉 he he he

      Reply

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