PHBC – The Invitation by Diane Hoh

Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s? The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book. There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read? Are you new to Point Horror? Has our opinion changed? Are they still as good? Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror? Or are they a whole load of cray cray?

Lets find out…


Join in the discussion with this months pick….

The Invitation by Diane Hoh

Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy

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

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read at the bottom of this post!

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

The Tagline

A party like no other….

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Rich snob and popular bitch Cassandra Rockham is throwing her annual fall party and Sarah and her friends all get an invite.  But why would she invite the unpopular crowd?

Well maybe Cassandra was worried she was leaving them out?

Well Cassandra certainly gave them a party they would never forget.  They played musical chairs and….

Oh I love musical chairs!

….And became part of the party and Cassandra’s “people hunt” game!

A people hunt?

Yes that’s right….. Cassandra gets Sarah and her friends locked up in rooms around the house and instruct people to follow the clues to find them and collect stickers to win!

Think Saw….but with brightly coloured stickers instead!


Well Sarah and her friends don’t think so!  And when someone begins playing another game and putting Sarah and her friends into new hiding places and facing near certain death things take a sinister twist….but who is doing this and why?

The Girl

Violinist Sarah E Drew was our Point Horror girl living in her yellow house with her braided hair the colour of  beach sand and her sandy brows and thin pretty frame.  Sarah was actually a pretty decent Point Horror girl.

I loved how she was nifty with a credit card and quickly managed to escape the room she was locked in and basically ruin Cassandra’s people hunt to save her friends!

Big shout out to Sarah giving Cassandra a right roasting over finding the freezer key.

The Love Interest

Riley White with his canary yellow sports car, great smile, crisp white shirts, thick straight dark brown hair, brown eyes and was oh so cute was our Sarah’s love interest.  Part of the it crown and with a good knowledge of his way around the huge mansion I love how he teamed up with Sarah to piss off Cassandra….and of course pull and woo Sarah.

To be fair he wasn’t my cup of tea and he didn’t really do much other than solve a few clues….he was a bit of a waste of space.  Cassandra should have seen the opportunity and locked him up forever and thrown away the key!

I guess I’m being a little in fair….he was bothered about Sarah looking at him and always thinking about the night her and her friends got locked up in rooms and almost murdered……

The Gang

I simply have to start with Cassandra Rockham!  I know she was meant to be the snobby bitch of this Point Horror, but I absolutely LOVED her!  Part of the “hill crowd” of Greenhaven and in her 3 storey white mansion on the hill complete with Swedish sauna and powder blue bedrooms and with her thick glossy black hair, scarlet nails and lips, soft pale cheeks, dark lashes and chestnut eyes she was an absolutely unforgettable Point Horror character who made me smile lots…..she just didn’t care!  Literally didn’t care about anyone or anything! Her Annual Fall party was “the” party to get an invite to and who knew that she would find such pleasure in luring a group of unpopular kids to her party, playing pretend musical chairs, hire a band but then mute the sound and then lock Sarah and her friends up for a people hunt.  Classic!  I mean what would you do if your “people hunt” started taking a turn for the worst… the police?  Get help?  Or be like Cassandra and kiss boys in blue blazers and claim that her party has been ruined as someone is attempting to murder the people that she locked up in the first place.  More Cassandra please!  More!

Lets move onto Sarah’s trusty group of friends otherwise I will be raving about Cassandra throughout this whole post!

First up Eleanor Whitter (Ellie) who was so happy about being invited to Cassandra’s party (bless her) much to her sister Ruth’s disgust!  With her broad body, tall frame, plain honest round cheerful face with cheeks pink as sunset, warm sense of humour and blue eyes shiny as the ocean she was so kind hearted and naïve.  Although she took trying that Swedish sauna out a little to literally as she was locked in there for the people hunt.

Ruth, Ellie’s sister,,,.wow she could give Cassandra a run for her money.  The perfect suspicious red herring!  With her unpredictable temper, dark hair and eyes she literally ruined her sisters beautiful dress so that she had to wear her Moms dress to the party!  I mean this was the 90’s so lets face it this was probably a full on 80’s fashion disaster.  That in itself is pure evil!

Maggie Delaney who took driving a little too seriously…..well maybe that was because she was moved from her original hiding spot and put in a car with handles and ignition removed to be gassed to death until she floored that car through a wall to save her self!  She was great!  With her copper coloured short curly hair, tall willowy frame, freckled skin and thick lashed brown eyes what was not to love?

Shane Magruder the new arrival with the mysterious past that Maggie took under her wing.  With her white blonde hair, tiny frame, thick straight hair to her shoulders and pale blue eyes it was implied that something happened in Rockport before she moved to Greenhaven and this had me intrigued!  I loved Shane she was shy, quiet and with a fear of heights….who knew that stealing a ring a few years ago and moving away would cause some one to come and hunt her down with a plan of killing her and her new friends!

Donald Neeson who was super chill…..oh I mean got locked in the freezer…my bad.  With his red herring of a girlfriend lifeguard and swimmer Dolly who was meant to be jealous and a bit obsessive and his shy smile and husky voice was basically there to be the love interest for Maggie.

And who would have thought that an author would make so much use out of a random person who decided to join in helping Sarah and Riley…. I even wrote Gabe and Gwen….lol at random people in my notes…..but whoa what a reveal!  Gwen was actually the mystery person  with the baggy coat and large floppy hat all along!  YEAH!  Yes that’s right random Gwen turned out to be Lynn from Shanes past who had flipped out over being caught shoplifting a ring and left to be ridiculed for it for the rest of her life!

Fashion Faux Pas

There was reference to a buttery soft suede jeans and peach silk blouse as some point, but other than that there were no hideous dresses or illuminous outfits that I noticed.

Dialogue Disasters

Not so much dialogue disasters as in lines that made me chuckle a little….

“Something about this while thing just didn’t feel right to Sarah”

I beg to differ….something felt right to me!  This Point Horror was brilliant reading.

“Her parents were packing for their thirty-day excursion to the south of France”

This happened on Page 3!  I think this is a record for the “getting rid of the parents” classic

“Sarah’s best friend looked as mis matched as pizza and chocolate cake”

Harsh but yummy!

“The new dress was bright red….blood red….it was a very happy dress”


“Doesn’t she make it sound as if the loser would be taken out and shot”

Shhhhhh don’t give Cassandra any more ideas!

“But if Cass knew that Sarah was a musician, pumping this heavy metal garbage into the the room where she was being held prisoner was about as mean as a person could get!”

Really?!  REALLY?!  Not read any other Point Horrors?!  Really?!  Plus everyone loves a bit of Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit!

“I’ll never be able to throw a party again”

Oh Cassandra I heart you!

“And no one could kill four people at a party crowded with guests.  That was crazy”

But pure entertainment for us Point Horror fans!

Body Count


And by gosh what a death!  Death by dart which knocks you off balance over the edge of a balcony to certain death!

This book rocked!

Is it scary?

Welllllll….Not really …. more fun times!  Well for the reader any way.  I tell you what was scary though….the fact that it took any of the characters till page 125 to finally call an ambulance and then to page 143 to call the police…..that’s some commitment to “people hunting”!

Did the best friend do it?

Well actually kind of yeah.  Shane and Lynn were best friends from where Shane previously lived so I am classing this as a winner!  Ding Ding!

Some Mild Peril?

Okay I give this book a high five for the mild peril…..I mean locking people up in freezers, saunas and cars and locking the doors is definitely classed as mild peril for sure!

At least Cassandra locked them up in decent places for the “people hunt”…gosh Lynn just wanted more death and danger than Cassandra was obviously aiming for!

Is it any good?

I really really LOVED this Point Horror!  I think this one could actually stand up to a present day audience really well.

I loved how it was told from multiple points of view and I loved the riddles that Cassandra set for the hunt.  This might just be personal preference but I love a good mansion full of hiding places and riddles and murder!  Oh and to top it all off you had to collect stickers when you figured out the clues!  Be still my Point Horror heart!  Sign me up!  *coughs*  I mean ….. just awful who would ever think of such a thing!

*Makes notes for future birthday parties*

I also loved the fact that the catering and kitchen staff are in this house and don’t bat an eyelid to anything going on around them!

Final Thought

What on earth happened to the band Cassandra hired?!

Cover Wars!

Which cover do you prefer?






Over to you!

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

  • Cassandra!  Love or hate her?
  • Your having a party…..what games would you play?
  • Let’s here your best riddle!
  • Who had it worst out of all of Sarah’s friends?
  • Will Sarah always look at Riley and think big scary death mansion?

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

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

The next #PointHorrorBookClub with be on the 13th April and I have recruited the awesome Oliver Clark who is a  Point Horror fan to pick our three potential reads for the vote….

What will you pick?

Pick Your Next Point Horror Read for the 13th April 2017!

Voting ends and the next Point Horror Book Club read will be announce on the 17th March 2018!

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

One thought on “PHBC – The Invitation by Diane Hoh

  1.'Amy McCaw @yaundermyskin

    I loved this Point Horror! Mostly I read them for nostalgia/laughs at the piranha deaths but this one really stood out for me! I agree that Sarah was a great example of a Point Horror girl, with plenty of guts and initiative. I thought this book was really fun and creative, and the twist totally got me at the end!

    Now, as for the questions.

    Cassandra! Love or hate her?
    What’s not to love? She was so outrageous and self-absorbed – Point Horror’s answer to Regina George.

    Your having a party…..what games would you play?
    The Forbidden Game 🙂

    Let’s here your best riddle!
    I’m rubbish at these! What about…
    Q – The more you have of it, the less you see. What is it?
    A – Darkness

    Who had it worst out of all of Sarah’s friends?
    Suffocating in a car sounds pretty horrific!

    Will Sarah always look at Riley and think big scary death mansion?
    I think she’ll look at Riley and realise that without the scary death mansion he’s not that interesting. Sorry Riley – not my favourite Point Horror boy!


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