PHBC – April Fools by Richie Tankersley Cusick

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#PointHorrorBookClub was created by author Juno Dawson in 2013. Juno announced in 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on so, with her blessing, I took over the reins.

So why not grab a copy and join the discussion with this months #PointHorrorBookClub

April Fools by Richie Tankersely Cusick

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on a re-read? Have they not stood the test of time? After a hit of nostalgia? Or are you new to Point Horror and want to see what its all about?


Want to explore previous #PointHorrorBookClub posts? I’ve got you! Head to the main page here


Beware…….Spoilers Ahead


Revenge is no joke
On their way home from an April Fools’ party, Belinda and her friends mistakenly cause a horrible accident. Fearing they’ll be on the hook for murder, they flee the scene and vow to keep silent. But weeks later, Belinda’s conscience won’t give her any peace—and neither will the mysterious person who is terrorizing her with cruel pranks. After enduring a series of sickening jokes, Belinda fears that she and her friends aren’t the only ones who know their secret—and that these pranks may be a deadly warning in disguise.

The Tagline

It’s no joke….it’s murder.

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Well it all starts very I Know What You Did Last Summer on a long and winding road on a cliff (an apparent shortcut) 100 miles away from home after a party on April Fools day!

Classic Point Horror! But why were the 100 miles away from home? Thats a long way for a party!

Well yes……but dramatic cliffhanger tension and all that!

Anyway Frank is drunk, Hildy is driving and Belinda is staring through the steamed up back window through the rain when a car behind them keeps honking.

Awwwww I bet Hildy pulled over and let them past….

How about Frank grabbing the steering wheel , honking the horn and somehow hitting the gas pedal, lurching the car fowards and running the other car off the road! All because he’s the King of Fools so nothing can happen to him (sadly)

GASPS! They called the police right?

Well….no…..but Belinda does get out of the car and runs down the gorge to the mangled car wreck, tries to convince Frank and Hildy they need to get help as theres someone still alive in the car…… but she gets dragged away screaming “nooooooooooooooooo” buy her two “friends”, but thats not before she uses an old rag with a letter A on it for her cuts and sees a shadowy figure on the hill who doesn’t seem to want to help either……

Dum! Dum! Duuuuummmm!

Flash forward to two weeks later and the gang…well Hildy and Frank have decided to make a pact and keep it all a secret. No one will know right?!! But then the creepy packages start to arrive, figures start chasing Belinda through her short cuts and appear at her window and then theres the snakes…Surely someone must know? But who? With someone turning up at Belindas school asking her to tutor her son who just happened to have an accident two weeks before….could this be a coincidence?

The Girl

Our Belinda Swanson was such a worrier wasn’t she? Not much of a physical description for our Belinda except for the slight mention of blonde hair towards the end of the book. She was classed as the best student at her school and turned her hand to tutoring as her and her Mom needed the money since splitting from Belindas Dad. With her mind racing in a millon directions she was known to be a natural and good with people, very mature, dependable and known for always crying at the wrong times.

Belinda was always terrified, but not at the things you may expect…..I mean Adam scares the poor girl to a point she is in a panicked states and shes mainly worried about the back gate being open…even though it was lucky it was open other wise she may have been brown bread! Then theres a creepy package turning up at her door….. who is it from? What does it contain?….shock horror…a calendar with a circle in blood around April 1st…..but theres Belinda ….why does it have no stamp? OMG! Oh the pre Amazon days lol

Oh and what was with Belinda and her bus obsession lol. I mean she mentions that Cobbs is the high point of her day but I beg to differ….she sees a bus and she’s a happy little Belinda. And why would you go in a dark room, already scared with a stranger…..I don’t think Belinda made some very good choices especially being so vocal about her fave shortcuts!

Shoutout to Belinda and Hildys Mall showdown which spilled over into a swimming pool showdown……wow! Belinda really lost her shit and rightly so! She told Hildy what for didn’t she! And Hildy deserved it! (More on Hildy later)

So I was totally team Belinda….all the way! I would have believed her! I would have helped her! I would have gladly punched Frank in the face for her! But I cannot forgive that bloody ending! WHY WOULD YOU STILL PINE AFTER NOEL AND KEEP HIS BLOODY HANDKERCHIEF!! WHY BELINDA WHY! *slams book shut with rage*

The Love Interest

Noel Ashby….. Mrs Thornes son…..with his soft hazel coloured eyes, sun bleached hair, and red Mercades. He comes home for the holidays from bording school when his allowance is running low (according to Cobbs) and sweeps everyone up with his charm…..until that plot twist! His real Dad died when he was 13 and he was so very good a weaving stories

He basically charmed the pants off everybody, even Belindas Mom. And he always told very convincing stories, but with the plot twist at the end its hard to tell if the stories he told about Adam were real of part of his joint plan.

His distrust for unsafe buses held no bounds meaning he could give Belinda lifts everywhere! Bonus points for him bringing his dog, Sasha with him though! Cute! The dog not Noel!

EWWWWWW and what was with the whole scene with Belinda in Noels Moms sexy nightdress and Noel coming back in Belindas room 1) without knocking and 2) because the door was unlocked and checking her out and borderline having sexy times….. don’t get me wrong yay to sexy times but that whole scene was more distubing that Adam! Lol Creepy creepy! A whole other level to that snake in her room!

Anyone else do a cheer when Belinda dumped his sorry ass….but he charmed his way back in flash speed …. in the next sentence.

He had all the makings of a Point Horror love interest….and then boom….and I didn’t beelive that he has a concious at the end did any one else?

The Gang

Lets start with best friend Hildy Crane …. she has a lot to answer for! With her pale green cat like eyes, long silvery braids (no one else in the world has hair like that apparently….RIP braids) and mini skirts she really was the most uncaring best friend wasn’t she? Always trying to convince Belinda that things are all in her head and not actually happening *eye roll*. She was easily distracted by talking about boys. She doesn’t dwell over problems and hates little annoyances upsetting her social life and boy did we know it!

Your best friend recives a creepy package …. what do you do? Well Hildy simply shrugs it off as the senior picnic details are far more important! “Stop I don’t want to hear anymore” was definately Hildy’s cathphrase along with “Are you serious?”

She also loved to interfere…..what was with trying to palm Belinda off on any boy Belinda dare look at and convincing Belinda they were her type! We know Hildy likes to date a lot, but she was not the best at picking boys was she…..I mean bloody Frank! FRANK!! More on him later! But UGH!

I actually think she may have been scared by Frank so went along with every vile thing he ever does or says. Frank this. Frank that. It’s just Frank….the King Of Fools…..he’s harmless. Are’nt you tired of blaming Frank for everything Belinda. UGH And god forbid if her family found out she was at a party….there would never let her see Frank again! Yay….grass her up Belinda! Take one for the team!

And she was in on the pranks (pre the plot twist)….what a BITCH!

Thats it. I can’t hold off anymore…..lets go there!

Vile FRANK!

Or as I like to call him Douchebag!

“Is this a fight? No hair pulling or blouse ripping without the referee” He grinned wickedly.

“Come to think of it any kind of stimulation certainly wouldn’t hurt me”

“Well, aren’t we feeling just a tiny bit paranoid today?”

“Well tell that to your neurotic friend her. Tell her to forget it instead of driving the rest of us nuts!”

“Okay I’ll do penance, I promise. Fifty lashes with Hildys tounge – or would you like to volunteers?”

OMG he made my blood boil!

Self proclaimed King Of Fools Frank Scaleri with his handsome features and irristable grin…..oh and who was basically a complete jerk with a perverse sense of humour. He hated his step mum and lets be “frank” I hated him! Did anyone even like him?! It wasnt just the fact he never took anything serious. He claimed he loved Hildy but OMG he treated her so badly! And his obseesion with Belinda fancying him and pitching Hildy and Belinda against each other…..Belinda was definately not interested and he just wouldn’t stop! And lets not forget that he missed swim practise to go to that party so you know….huge sacrafise and all that. Car wrecks happen every day should have been his catchphrase. Frank gets blamed for all the pranks…..and suprise bloody suprise he was involved with the first few….I mean why ?! Oh yeah its because your a douche Frank! A douche! Theres so much more I could say but he just makes me so angry!

*takes deep breathe*

Mrs Gloria Thorne (Step Mom to Adam and Mother to Noel) had been married to poor old dieing Fred for 3 years. Tall, severe looking with cold eyes, bleached blonde hair, layers of makeup, and her love for black clothing (I loved the description of her sitting in the principals office in a black veiled hat). She was such a bitch and I kinda loved her. She reminded me of the amazing Melinda Clarke.

She doesn’t believe her son (Noel) should work and hated Adam with a passion for him inconviencing her. Hated him. And wouldn’t care less if she didn’t see him again. She busys herself with her husbands business and basically ends up brown bread off the page and the hands of her kids all for the inhertiance. She married for money and died for the money. And shoving Belinda into a dark room with a boy….big no no Mrs Thorne!

Last but not least….okay yeah possibly least….. eighteen year old Adam Thorne. Where do I start! With his deep expresionless voice, love of snakes and apparent current depresive state he was the perfect hostile, difficult evil looking, evil seeing and evil doing Point Horror bady! An enigma who was apparently quite bright with his black eyes, black hair, tanned face and his tall frame made him beautiful and evil all at the same time. He hates his step mum and the feeling is mutual and he loves the dark! His tragic back story being sent away at the age of 10 to stay with relatives and possibly abused was quite the back story and the whole fact that they died in an accident and his ex girlfiend was involved in an accident and now he was involved in another accident meaning now (fake) walks with a cane and one foot dragging uselessly behind the other – he covers the mirrors don’t you know. Red flags anyone?

And boy did he love snakes!! I know they were his Dads snakes but Adam wore them like a scarf! That whole scene where he is teasing Belinda with the snake is teriyfying! And that phone call that Belinda listened in on waiting waiting waiting for his Dad to die…OMG! Mrs Thorne was so right about him! Also he was obsessed with those 6 inches towards the end of the book wasn’t he….compensating much Adam??!

Also it was just so Adam to try and double cross Noel wasn’t it! EVIL!

A very reluctant shout out to Mr Grumes the school principal ….ugh! Was it me or was he just weird and a bit pervy!

“I wasn’t sure if you dressed for the gym yet”

“She seems to have the magic touch” He gave her a sly wink

And also pimping out your student to random strangers with no background checks at a strangers house!! WTF!?

Cobbs

Yes Cobbs gets a heading all to himself!

Wonderful Cobbs. Good old Cobbs. I LOVED him. English, pale, six feet tall, ramrod straight, calm hooded eyes, very thin with receeding white hair and a gaunt cadaverous sort of angular face he had been a housekeeper to the Thorne family for years keeping the house running smoothly and was very upset about Fred. Belinda thought he was born looking like an old man.

He was the classic red herring but we all knew it wasn’t him right? He was always kind of expresionless but his wit and saracasm knew no bounds and thats exatly why I loved him! That black suit, starched and neat, a voice that left no room for arguement and handles a meat clever like no other! He left England when he was a young man and is always willing to fix you some tea and toast.

He introduced me to cream in my tea and in a cup and saucer too…..apparently now i’m civilized …yay *cough*

He was never sure about Adam and Noel and always had his suspicions…..and lucky for Belinda he did and with that little car telephone…..oh god love him! Although why didn’t he let Hildy and Douche bag go over that edge and claim Adam and Noel did it I will never know!

This may be a bit way out there but an early version of Snape anyone?

Cobbs Classic lines

Mrs Thorne: “I don’t have any idea what to wear – “

Cobbs: “How about a gag , madame?”

Mrs Thorne: “What about my bag?”

*

Mrs Thorne : “Between Fred and Adam, I’ll just go out of my mind, won’t I Cobbs?”

Cobbs: “Right into the straitjacket, madame”

*

Belinda: “But…aren’t you afraid they’ll get out?”

Accross from her the old man’s face remained bland.

Cobbs: “I live in terror”

*

Cobbs: “Dear little darlings of the household” He raised one shaggy eyebrow. “Mister Noel and Mister Adam”

*

Belinda: “But I can’t wait. Isn’t Noel back yet?”

Cobbs: “Yes. He’s invisable”

*

“Attila the Hun would be a dream” (about Mrs Thorne)

Fashion Faux Pas

Clothing was not really mentioned much in this one…..with the exception of Mrs Thornes black attire. Unless I was that wrapped up in everything and I didn’t notice. Let me know if I missed anything dodgy!

There was a sign of the times nod to a fax about halfway through the book.

Dialogue Disasters

Not so much dialouge disaters……but some quotes that made me laugh or rage ….I’m looking at you Frank!

“You’re acting kind of depressed”

Hildy is the best friend you could ever ask for!

“You’re really being dramatic about this”

Classic Hildy!

“You better get your act together. You’re getting to be a real bore with all this”

Thats it Hildy you are FIRED as best friend! Get out!

“Best friends accepted each other uncondtionally didn’t they?”

Oh Belinda. Belinda!

“Arn’t you getting kind tired of blaming Frank for everything”

No Hildy we are really not…..open your eyes!

“Frank, sometimes I think your totally insane”

Has Hildy finally seen the light?! I think not!

“He’s always weird when he’s been bad at practise”

Hildy your boyf is just always bad!

“Youre crazy, Belinda. Forget about Adam. Your’e the one who’s completely crazy. Totally over the edge”

HILDY!

“Moms, he apologised. It’ll probably be too long….. but I’m sure it’ll look better on you than it does on her”

To far Noel! TO. FAR!

“All teenagers are crazy. It happens to be their on constancy”

Cobbs understands. Noel and Adam take it too far!

“And you’re very stiff”

*chokes on my freshly made tea…with cream not milk…..I am no longer a commoner you know* BELINDA HEARTS COBBS!

“You’re making yourself crazy for no reason. Your’e seeing ghosts, in every corner”

Oh really Frank….says the person who helped scare Belinda half of the time.

“It’s not Frank. It’s only his jacket”

Damn!

“She felt him stiffen”

That old chesnut!

“Good heavens. Is it safe to touch?!

Lets leave it there!

Body Count

We get two dead peoples right at the end. One from the accident that happened and the start of the book and one at the hands of babes! Of the page sadly lol but still we can’t complain at 2!

And lets take a moment of scilence to mourn Hildys braids…..

Is it scary?

Some parts of this book were actually pretty scary. That whole mutilated doll in the mall box description with no eyes and smelling gave me the creeps and made me feel a little queasy. The descriptions of people trying to run people off the road late at night high up on the cliffs, of mutalted Adam, of someone at Belindas window. The way RTC describes the movements of the snakes (I have a snake phobia so this may have been more scary to me than others), the walking through the park late at night. These are just some examples of how RTC ramps up the scary tension and it really works and I love her for it.

Did the best friend do it?

She may have bloody well have and thats all I have to say on the matter! Technically she did help Douchebag Frank with the first lot of pranks….but Noel and Adam were the real baddies….all for the inheritance.

Some Mild Peril?

I would say car accidents over cliffs, being shoved in a dark room with a stranger, potential dead bodies in swimming pools, snakes, gross doll heads recieved in the mail box and kidnapping all counts as some mild peril!

Boy this was jam packed! Love it!

And thats not including being trapped in a car by your lover and his crazy step brother and 6 inches from the cliff edge….

Is it any good?

I really loved this one. Its one that I have re read the most I think out of all the Point Horrors. Mainly because its good and becuase RTC is my fave. I could read this over and over and never get tired.

Final Thought

Don’t forget peeps……car wrecks happen every day *eyeroll*

Over to you!

  • Were the stories Noel told about Adam true or part of his plan?
  • Was Noel really sorry at the end? Did we buy that crap?
  • Team Frank?
  • Cream of Milk in your tea?
  • Heart Cobbs forever?

Cover Wars

I actually couldn’t find that many different April Fools covers….I am loving the cover with the snake!

Live Event

Want more April Fools? Check out these fab Podcasts!

Or looking to buy Point Horror check out Welcome To Point Horror – I highly recommend!


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Want to explore previous #PointHorrorBookClub posts? I’ve got you! Head to the main page here

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talesofyesterday@live.co.uk'
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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