Category Archives: Book Club

Guest Post – The Point Horror Time Capsule by Michael – The Big Comfy Bookshop


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.

They were basically what I was reading and enjoying as a young adult and thanks to the author Juno Dawson, who started #PointHorrorBookClub on her website in 2013, I have started to re-read these books that I used to rush to the shops every weekend and buy and sit for the whole weekend reading.

Juno announced in January 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on #pointhorrorbookclub and with her blessing I am going to try and carry it on with version 2!  Juno has done a fantastic job – I hope I can keep up her good work *gulps*

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new please click here


It’s Point Horror Book Club day!  And what better way to celebrate than delving deep into my love of Point Horror!

I know lots of people who hold Point Horror close to their hearts and one of those people is wonderful Michael the owner of one of my local bookshops the amazing The Big Comfy Bookshop ! I got talking to Michael on twitter when he was talking about Point Horror so I asked him to stop by for a little Point Horror Guest Post to share some Point Horror memories and he kindly agreed.

It’s very exciting to have Michael here on Tales…I feel very honoured…so thank you so much Michelle!

*Hands microphone to Michael*


The Point Horror Time Capsule

I own a bookshop. It’s comfy and sells just 2nd hand books. You’d expect that I’ve been reading books since before I could walk. Here’s the secret. I didn’t really start reading a lot until I started University. Sure there were books I read when I was younger, The Hobbit stands out as one. There was however one book series, and one book in particular that I loved.

Point Horror.

Here’s another secret. Between my elder sister and I we had about a dozen of them, plus we took a few home each week from the mobile library, but, and here’s the rub, I never really read them. What I liked about them was the covers, and the spines; A beheaded snowman, an open door, a lost teddy. I wanted to be part of the movement, and it was a movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At my high school it seemed every girl had at least one on the go. And it did always seem to be girls. Finally, after listening to my sister talk about them endlessly, I picked up The Babysitter and read it over a few nights, maybe a few weeks, I can’t remember. What I do recall is the sensation of ‘getting it’. Not just Point Horror, but the sense of belonging to something. Knowing that there was a sequel, I delved straight into The Babysitter II. I reckon I liked that more, I can’t recall, but I soon shifted up a gear and consumed them like Pringles (once you pop).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was given the chance of buying my own Point Horror book so I opted for The Mall, purely based on the cover. I like green, it looked cool, and, most importantly, I hadn’t seen anyone else read it. Suddenly I noticed girls at school coming up to me to talk about the book. I stayed in at lunchtime instead of going out to kick a ball about. I’d gotten the bug.

Like a time capsule, each book cover of the series recalls the moment in life I was at, rather than what happened inside the pages. Like Pogs and Push-Pops, Point Horror has a firm stamp on my youth and am always delighted when a copy travels through my bookshop.


About The Big Comfy Bookshop

Name: Michael

Role At The Shop: Owner, general operation mastermind

Favourite Book: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Likes: Books and music

Dislikes: Amazon, Kindles, Spiders and The Future

The bookshop is my home away from home, and as its owner, my fingers are in all the pies. If there’s an event going on at the shop, I’m usually the man both behind the scenes and up front compering. If I’m not in the shop you can usually find me with my head buried in a book or sleeping while standing up. Or both.

You can find out more about the Big Comfy Bookshop on their website – www.thebigcomfybookshop.co.uk

Or why not follow them on twitter- @bigcomfybooks


Why not join in Point Horror Book Club and the discussion on the 13th of every month?

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

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 the a whole load of cray cray?

For all #PointHorrorBookClub posts old and new click here

A huge huge thank you to Michael for featuring on Tales and a huge round of applause for such a fab guest post!

*claps hands excitedly*

Do you remember Point Horror?  Which was your favourite?  Would you like to join in on #pointhorrorbookclub ?

Happy Point Horror-ing!

Guest Post – Growing Up With Point Horror by Michelle Harrison


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.

They were basically what I was reading and enjoying as a young adult and thanks to the author Juno Dawson, who started #PointHorrorBookClub on her website in 2013, I have started to re-read these books that I used to rush to the shops every weekend and buy and sit for the whole weekend reading.

Juno announced in January 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on #pointhorrorbookclub and with her blessing I am going to try and carry it on with version 2!  Juno has done a fantastic job – I hope I can keep up her good work *gulps*

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new please click here


It’s Halloween!  And what better way to celebrate than delving deep into my love of Point Horror!

I know lots of people who hold Point Horror close to their hearts and one of those people is wonderful author Michelle Harrison ! I got talking to Michelle on twitter when she was talking about Point Horror so I asked her to stop by for a little Point Horror Guest Post to share some Point Horror memories and she kindly agreed.

It’s very exciting to have Michelle here on Tales…I feel very honoured…so thank you so much Michelle!

*Hands microphone to Michelle*


Growing Up With Point Horror

I vividly remember my first ‘Point Horror’ book. It was Funhouse, by Diane Hoh, and I was around thirteen years old. My friend had loaned it from the library and told me to read it. From the first page, I was sucked in. Gone, hooked. A ‘Point Horror’ addict.

A voracious reader, I’d grown up reading my grown up sisters’ hand-me-down books, and listening to stories from their own imaginations. While I read for pleasure constantly, my choice was limited as we didn’t have much money for new books. Therefore, the majority of what I read growing up was by Enid Blyton, with a bit of variation from whatever I was reading at school. As I approached my teens I’d begun to start leaving these books behind in favour of magazines such as Just Seventeen. I was also the slightly kooky one in my group who, at sleepovers, would push to rent films from the horror section, while my friends preferred romantic comedies.

Funhouse was a revelation to me. A fast-paced, heart-thumping whodunnit in which Tess and her friends are being terrorised by someone hellbent on revenge for a past wrong which is gradually revealed in a diary at intervals throughout the book. The ending (and the villain) came as a complete shock to me. I LOVED it. Before then, I never knew horror for teens existed. I’d read and enjoyed Carrie, but found myself unable to get into Stephen King’s lengthier works. Funhouse was short, snappy, and about teens not much older than myself. Better still, I then discovered there were more! So began a new routine: every Saturday I’d get my pocket money, head to Dillons book shop in Lakeside, and buy two or three new ‘Point Horror’ titles which would then be devoured through the week. I amassed dozens – close to a hundred, I believe – titles, keeping them all pristine much to my sisters’ amusement. After a sad fate suffered by Dream Date, I only lent them to trusted people whom I knew wouldn’t crease the covers or crack the spines!

For me, the ‘Point Horror’ books had it all: from poison pen letters, to being followed home, butchered pets, creepy phone calls and of course, a generous helping of murder. There were even a few nasty little rhymes: Teacher’s pet, teacher’s pet . . . you’re going to die, but not just yet. What the strongest ones had were great twists, unexpected villains and even greater motives. There were faked deaths, crazy adopted brothers, unhinged love interests, and of course, the unreliable narrator . . .

While Funhouse is always the one that sticks in my mind like a first love, there were several firm favourites: The Hitchhiker, with its iconic cover, dreamy bad boy, James, and a killer twist; Trick or Treat ‒ because houses with murderous pasts and secret crawl spaces are ALWAYS interesting; Beach House with its history repeating itself theme and a killer who seems to disappear ‘as completely as footprints in the sand’. Others stick in my mind for being utterly bonkers: the aforementioned Dream Date (girl meets too-good-to-be-true aka possessive psycho while she sleeps), along with The Perfume (a fragrance called Venom which unleashes our good girl protagonist’s baaaaad side).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must also mention the appeal of location in these books. Growing up on a council estate in Essex, this series, set in various parts the USA, was hugely exciting and exotic to me. From the swampy heat of Florida’s Key West in The Hitchhiker to the sun-soaked sands in Beach Party and The Lifeguard, they transported me away to new and thrilling (and murderous) places. In addition, I have always been a little sad when asked to Americanise my own books for US readers, because I learned quite a bit from the ‘Point Horrors’ about US language and culture, for example, ‘bangs’ being what the British call a ‘fringe’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crucially, the ‘Point Horrors’ bridged the gap between my childhood and adulthood, which is when many readers are lost. My sisters and Enid Blyton may have made me a reader, but this series kept me reading. Are they great works of literature? Perhaps not, but they sure as heck were entertaining, and exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. A time when I began to explore writing as a possible career path. And if there was one thing Point Horror taught me, it was that if I could suspend my disbelief enough for the likes of a story about a murderous perfume, then perhaps the idea of myself as a future published author wasn’t so crazy after all.


About Michelle Harrison

Michelle Harrison is a former Waterstone’s bookseller and assistant editor for Oxford University Press. She now writes full-time. Originally from Grays in Essex, she has a degree in Illustration and lives in Oxfordshire. Her first novel, THE THIRTEEN TREASURES, won the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and has sold into seventeen other countries as well as the UK.

It is followed by two sequels, THE THIRTEEN CURSES and THE THIRTEEN SECRETS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle is also the author of UNREST, a ghost story for young adults. She is currently working on a new novel for teen readers.

You can find out more about Michelle on her website – www.michelleharrisonbooks.com

Or why not follow Michelle on twitter – @MHarrison13


Why not join in Point Horror Book Club and the discussion on the 13th of every month?

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

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 the a whole load of cray cray?

For all #PointHorrorBookClub posts old and new click here

A huge huge thank you to Michelle for featuring on Tales and a huge round of applause for such a fab guest post!

*claps hands excitedly*

Do you remember Point Horror?  Which was your favourite?  Would you like to join in on #pointhorrorbookclub ?

Happy Point Horror-ing!

PHBC – The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick


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 pick….

The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick

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 here!


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


The Tagline

Shop till you drop….dead

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Things are disappearing all over the mall, but no alarm systems are going off!

Ohhhhh creepy!  Tell me more!

Well The Mall was apparently one of the very first Mall’s and was built into the surrounding mountains…like a huge creepy house with secret passage ways, dodgy lighting, creepy elevators and surround by fog…..

Stop!  Not about the actual Mall we are here to read about the actual book!

*coughs*

Sorry I got a little carried away then….

Trish Somerfield has just started working at The Mall at Muffin Mania serving muffins to all manner of people….including a creepy guys who loves muffins a whole lot!

I mean you gotta love a good muffin right? *scoffs muffin*…tell me more….

And then the creepy phone calls start, numerous amount of car trouble, mysterious tapes, dead bodies and the feeling that someone is watching Trish every where she goes……

*chokes on muffin*

The Girl

Good old Trish Somerfield…..well she was our classic Point Horror girl really….you know the type….never thinks guys are after her, doesn’t do dares, Mom out of town in Europe somewhere……yes that old chestnut!

She wasn’t the brightest spark bless her…..I mean who gives their full address and details and the fact she is home all alone to a man who insisted on putting a band aid on her knee….oh yes that’s right…..Trish or Point Horror Girl.

*rolls eyes*

To be fair she did have everything thrown at her – fooled by grey wigs and beards, creepy phone calls, fake car accidents, car trouble complete with scraping sounds, seeing dead bodies in bin bags with ice picks sticking out of them….you know just the norm really.

She did give us some great moments though.  Some classic Trish/Point Horror moments.  Like the time she tried on a dress in the changing rooms and felt like someone was watching her so she LEAVES THE CHANGING CURTAIN OPEN!  NO TRISH!  JUST NO!  Oh and how could we forget when she fell off that escalator…..oh come on we have all done it *chuckles*  Oh just me then?

*coughs*

*moves along swiftly*

Awwww maybe we are being a little unfair on the poor thing….she was actually being stalked to all kinds of wrong levels, but of course she had everything under control.

Disclaimer – she really didn’t!

She kind of redeemed herself when she bravely goes to try and help her friend Imogene when she thinks she has been taken by the stalker…..she takes a lot of time to go down in the creepy elevator to save her friend only just to turn and run back at the first sign of a bloody ice pick!

In fact Trish does a lot of running back…gets a creepy call in the library….decides to run out of the back door, car breaks down….decides to run back to the Mall, creepy man tries to put a band aid on her knee…..sit’s there and trusts him….

She is not our best Point Horror girl we have ever had, but she certainly made me laugh quite a lot…even if this was perhaps unintentional….

The Love Interest

Storm Reynolds….I mean what a name!

*sniggers*

All I kept thinking about was Gladiators (you know the 90’s TV Show not the film or the historical gladiators lol).  The music even played in my head every time he appeared on the page.  Anyway, it turns out there was only a Storm in the American Gladiators so I’m not sure what planet I was on!  But the pleasure was all mine googling him….

Anywho….moving on….

Storm Reynolds (*plays Gladiators music*) with his high cheekbones, cute grin, thick dark hair, his tall slender well built frame, broad shoulders and lean muscle forearms was our love interest/red herring/ undercover cop ……yep you heard me right…..Stormy went all 21 Jump Street on us!  Kind of unbelievable I know… I mean who would have thought that the guy who cocks his head to one side when he speaks, takes women to secluded run down cottages and kisses them was a cop and not some kind of serial killer lurking in the shadows of the Mall.

Also what was with Storm actually man handling Trish and physically forcing her out of the library against her will….not on Storm Reynolds….not on at all.

I don’t think I was too keen on old Stormy….just ugh!  UGH!

The Gang

We had some great supporting characters in The Mall…

Best friend Nita Hanson….who made me think of actual Hanson…you know MMMBop….what happened to me whilst reading this book!?

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes Nita Hanson with her short blond hair, pretty face and tall willowy dancer frame made me laugh lots.  I loved her!  I also love how she loved muffins with no calories in them….yes please Nita although I’m kind of off muffins at the moment for reasons explained below.  She was quirky, boy mad, flirty and just hilarious.  The perfect Point Horror best friend!

Then there’s Imogene….Nita’s twin sister, but the total opposite.  SHE WORKED IN A BOOKSTORE!  That’s all you need to know!  What can top that!  With her mousey hair, round stare (?), wise old owl woman with glasses to big for her face and who eat, sleeps and breathes her work (I mean who wouldn’t …she works in a bookshop) and she always had a theory about everything.  I loved her too….and not just because, I think I forgot to mention, SHE WORKED IN A BOOKSTORE!

Wyatt….the total opposite of our Storm Reynolds….and yes you have guessed it….Chelley had a thing for Wyatt!  With his long combed back hair, holey jeans, combat boots, denim jacket and quirky personality….what was not to love?  And he loved rock music!  Teenage Chelley’s dream come true!  My love for Wyatt this time round came form the Nina and Wyatt car scene!  Classic!  Loved it!  And just like Storm he turned out to be an undercover cop…..where has he been all of my Point Horror life?!

Mystery Creepy Man aka The Muffin Man aka Athan – you know that protector, that guardian, that devoted keeper, THAT STALKER! With his pointed chin, pale complexion, smooth palms, soft voice, gaunt pale face and numerous disguises including grey wigs, facial hair and fake scars what’s not to love.  And lets not forget his passion for ice picks!  I will never ever look at or eat a muffin in the same way ever again *passes sick bucket*  He really did give me the creeps and that was even before he watched Trish sleep in her hospital bed and her little pulse at her throat *shudders*!  I give him one thing though….he took making a playlist tape for your beau in the 90’s to a whole new level!

I’m just going to be quite blunt and come out and say it but he was a borderline rapist and basically a paedophile.  It was well creepy and so wrong on so many levels.  So wrong in fact that it made me actually wonder how the hell this was published for teenagers!  That was some serious creepiness that was just plain wrong!

Special mention goes to mean manager Bethany who was the most frustrated manager on earth who had apparently worked in every store and failed and who apparently was the owner of the Mall’s wife.  I bet stalker features didn’t really kill her off that’s all I’m saying……

Anyone for ice….I mean muffins?

Fashion Faux Pas

I think I was too busy thinking how on earth was this acceptable for teenagers to read so may have missed some fashion Faux Pas but I did notice a denium jacket with the sleeves cut off!

Good old 90’s eh?!

Dialogue Disasters

“Storm Reynolds.  With a name like that he should be in the movies”

Or Gladiators….just saying!

“The way that honey looks on your fingers…..one could almost….taste it”

*gags*

“I’m eating the muffin….it tastes like you”

Ewwwwwww.  I just can’t!

“This can’t be happening to me.  Things like this don’t happen to real people in real life”

Well duh….you’re in a Point Horror and this is the 90’s!

“Oh Mom of all times for you to be out of town….”

Trish has never been in a Point Horror before….this is her first time…..she’s a lucky thing!

“Where’s my Mother?”

“We couldn’t find anyone who’ll claim you”

Awwww Trish….maybe not so lucky? *coughs* *convenient* *coughs*

“We don’t have any all-night guards here at the mall”

I’m really not sure why I wrote this down, but it must have amused me in someway?!

“Then why don’t you ask her who she’d rather be with?”

Storm knows how to be the best kind of cop and prioritise the best questions for interrogation!

“What are you doing?”

“I want to show you something”

“What?”

“Take it easy.  You’re going to like this”

“I want to go home.  Please….I don’t feel good, I….”

“This will make you feel good…trust me”

And here we were thinking that the creepy muffin man was the stalker…..This was actually Storm……You know the super cop off Gladiators!

“Oh how could I have been so stupid”

*stares at Trish with that look….yes you know the one*

Body Count

I counted 3 possible dead people persons!

We had Freida at the beginning – remember her?  Possibly killed …. not sure this was ever confirmed?

Bethany……but she kind of deserved it!  You thought it too *gives stare*

And then of course the potentially dead, but still possibly alive bad guy Athan who in classic horror movie style disappeared after being shot!

Dum dum duuuuuummmmm

Is it scary?

I will admit I thought the whole lift scenes were terrifyingly scary…..the whole lift doors opening and the lift getting stuck and dropping and the person on top of the lift shaft….my little heart was racing so much at that point.

Other than that…..not particularly scary, but the presence of the actual Mall and the atmosphere it created gave the book a chilling feel.

Oh and those spider webs / spiders in the tunnels at the end……we all know what it’s like to walk through a spider web but can you imagine it being thick and full of spiders……oh my….I just can’t type any further about this…..*freaks out*

Did the best friend do it?

Erm…no….we had some creepy muffin man stalker who was all kinds of wrong on so many levels!

Some Mild Peril?

That lift!  Oh my gosh!  That was terrfifying!

And okay I guess being stalked by some creepy, muffin lovin guy who wants to marry you!

Is it any good?

This was basically a Point Horror version of Phantom Of The Opera…..you know it’s true!

I thought it was actually an okay read….but so so wrong on so many levels, but in a weird kind of way….

There was no big reveal even though we were meant to think that Storm and Wyatt were the red herrings and I think it’s important to remember what Richie said herself in our interview we did with her….this was one of the book that actually wasn’t written for the Point Horror brand, but was branded as such in the UK and other countries as it fitted the banner of the market.

Not my fave Richie Tankersley Cusick, but still a worthy addition to the Point Horror collection.

Final Thought

Honey Muffins…..

Cover Wars!

I found this really awesome alternative cover!  Which do you prefer?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over to you!

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

  • What actually happened to Freida?  Did it get forgotton that she went missing on the first page?  Did they ever find her?  Was it death by ice pick?  YOU decide!
  • What would you do in The Mall after dark?
  • Exactly how old were Storm and Wyatt?
  • What would your Mall shop be called?

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

Also one of Point Horror Book Club members, Mark, who lives in Australia as been in touch with some wonderful people….

*hands over to Mark*

What do ‘Star Wars’, ‘Batman’ and ‘Bob the Builder’ have in common? Stumped? I’m not surprised! The answer is that they all involve actors who were part of the Point Horror Tapes (PHTs) between 1994 and 1997! As a club we touched upon this series about 18 months ago when we listened to ‘The Accident (PHT 5)’ as part of our review. After collecting all 8 tapes over the past few years, I thought it would be fun to see if we could learn a bit more about this part of the PH universe and I have been fortunate enough to make contact with William Dufris, Laurel Lefkow, Garrick Hagon and Liza Ross who were all involved in the series over its journey. They have all graciously agreed to field some questions from the PHBC gang, so please send your best-est queries through to Chelle ASAP! For those of you without a totally ace twin cassette boombox, might I suggest a quick trip over to YouTube where you can listen to all the PHTs J

A brief background…

William, Garrick and Liza met around 1990 – 1991 in London when their work with film dubbing, audiobooks and BBC radio dramas brought them together. All three already had lengthy resumes (just check out IMDB!) and around 1994 they made the decision to produce some work of their own and, after looking around for a suitable project, it was actually Garrick and Liza’s daughter, Allison, who suggested that they look into Point Horror. With the PH line only being relatively new in the UK (the first titles published in the UK were around 1991), Scholastic’s David Fickling was obviously keen on the idea of the creation of a series of audiobooks when the idea was brought to him and William, Garrick and Liza’s new production company, The Story Circle, was created.

Although published in the UK, the PH titles were still very American, so the first challenge for the fledging Story Circle team was to locate as many quality US actors working in the UK to help bring the stories to life. Laurel Lefkow, fresh off her role as Florence Maybrick in the Edward Woodward hosted ‘In Suspicious Circumstances’, was exactly the type of actor the Story Circle needed and she was to soon feature regularly in the series, including lead roles in ‘The Cemetery’ (PHT 3) and ‘The Witness’ (PHT 6).

All 4 of our PHBC guests are still very active in the industry – acting, producing and directing – so we’re very lucky to have the opportunity to speak with them and, on behalf of the PHBC, I extend a warm and sincere thanks to William, Garrick, Liza and Laurel for their time.

So do you have any questions you would like to ask William, Garrick, Liza and Laurel?  Leave your questions in the comments below……

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

What will you pick?

NB – As I’m so late getting this post up and really want to get the next one up on the 13th September I have picked the next read already and will start the voting for the next read next month.

Our next Point Horror Book Club read for the 13th September is…….

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….

 

 

PHBC – Prom Date by Diane Hoh


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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 last months pick….

Prom Date by Diane Hoh

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

Don’t forget this months #PointHorrorBookClub for the 13th December…..

The Snowman by R L Stine

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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’d kill for a date….

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

It’s coming up to Prom Night at Toomey High!  You know that night where you get to go to a fancy dance, with a fancy date, in a beautiful fancy prom dress……unless of course someone wants YOUR date all to themselves!

Wait?!  What?!

Yes that’s right!  Someone REALLY wants to go to Prom so they are going to bump off the competition and when they still get turned down for a date bump off some more competition!

Oh the horror!

And that’s not all!  What persues is ruined Prom dresses, creepy lighthouses, a dead body floating in the water, dumpster fires, cash box face hitting and bumper cars!

It’s carnage in this Point Horror I tell you!  Carnage!

So the cancel the Prom right?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha …. you’ve got some good jokes!

*picks out Prom dress*

The Girl

Margaret Dunne was our girl and I kind of liked her.  With her light brown, very fine, straight hair, tall and thin body with good skin that had never seen a blemish in all her life she was a bit of a typical point horror girl, but there was just something different about her.  Could it have been the way she moved so gracefully or her amazing doe shaped deep brown eyes?  Or even her long thick upturned eyelashes or even the fact that she loved sunglasses?  I’m not sure, but she seemed to have it together and in her own words she was an intelligent born leader.  She had never dated a boy exclusively for any length of time, but she was not a heartbreaker, she could never hurt any one.  Margaret loved books and rejected her Mom Adrienne’s attempts to “Beautify” her and most importantly she was most definitely not going to prom!

Well that was of course until hot boy Mitch came along!

Then all bets were off!

Did anyone else notice she called her Mom by her name, Adrienne, for most of the book and the occasional Mom slipped in there every now and again?

Anyway she did adore her Mom and I quite liked the scenes when they were together.  It was great to see a Point Horror Mom not only in a Point Horror, but acting like a Mom too!  Go Adrienne!

That being said Adrienne wasn’t around when Margaret was almost burning to death in a dumpster!  No!  She was swanning it up at Impeccable Tastes with her unnamed boyfriend!  Poor Margaret had to be saved by…….her own shoe!

Margaret does get thrown in the firing line of the Prom Date killer though when her love interest shows up and asks her to prom……

The Love Interest

Other than the million prom dates whos dates get bumped off or injured throughout the book i.e. Michael Danz the poor thing, there was one hot main love interest for Margaret…..Mitch McGill!

With his warm spaniel brown eyes, strong bones and great face.  He was tall with broad shoulders had thick dark hair and a nice smile…… he was our typical Point Horror boy and actually pretty decent.  Not Chelley fancying pretty decent, but decent.

He was a nice all round guy and he genuinely seemed to really like and care for Margaret and I loved how he seemed to avoid the Pop’s at all costs.

He did give me a chuckle though when he got asked to Prom by future Prom Date killer reveal Liza, but didn’t think to mention it until right at the end because you know it wasn’t important…..THERE WAS ONLY A KILLER KILLING OFF BOYS PROM DATES ON THE LOOSE but hey ho!

The Gang

Only fair to start off with best friend to Margaret, Caroline LaSalle.  With her bronze and muddy water coloured hair, good skin, her eyes a little green and a little gray and her thin face that was sharp around the edges no wonder people thought she and Margaret were sisters(?!).  She of course was not going to prom and was holding out for a hot guy to ask her even though a poor underused boy called Scott was pining after her.  She liked to always be right and planned to buy turquoise contact lenses…..well that’s if she ever remembered to put them in, but then say she didn’t say she hadn’t put them in, but really had *mind swirls*.

She was the classic red herring best friend and to be honest let Margaret off quite easily when she got accused of being the murderer because she was so desperate to go to Prom (not).  She did try and pull the feel guilty for going to prom without me Margaret card and I do wish Scott had turned her down when she finally asked him to the prom but other than that she was okay.

Then there were Margaret’s two other best friends because of course there had to be four to make a Quartet (a common theme throughout the book)….Jeannine Baker with her narrow face, tall and thin as a stick frame and red frizzy hair and Lacey Dowd who in contrast was short, stocky (grrrrr very R L Stine, but at least Hoh didn’t make her the murderer!) with a dutch boy bright blonde haired bob.  They were not very good friends really were they…..I mean as soon as one of the Pop’s was bumped off and couldn’t go to the prom they were right there trying to poach their dates.  I did do an evil chuckle when they didn’t end up going to prom in the end!  All the lollingtons!

Then there were The Pop’s……Stiney was way ahead of his time here I think with his unique name for “The Plastics”.

Up first is top Pop Stephanie Markham who may only be remembered for floating by the rocks in her yellow jacket….dead.  Yes that’s right she got pushed from the top of an old creepy lighthouse….that must have hurt!  With her love for all things yellow, her credit card and a prime candidate for prom queen she was our classic queen of the bitches.  She was tall and leopard sleek with dark hair like black velvet and perfect porcelain skin…..did she really deserve to be pushed to her death because someone wanted her Prom Date?

No YOUR nodding!

Then of course to make up the Pop’s Quartet there was olive skinned, perfect make up Kiki and blue eyed, quite the artist and a quieter kid of beauty Beth Andrews.

And then the brilliant Liza Buffet!

OMG I think I loved Liza as the evil, desperate to go to Prom, murderer.  She was described as not as mean as Stephanie, tall, blond and although red was not her colour she loved to kill!  She would do anything for a date and I think that whole scene at the end just made me go QUEEN!  More on that later!  I loved the chapters when we saw her thought process and inside her head and I loved how she just had to have a date to prom so she figures she will eliminate all of her friends.

QUEEN!

I can’t not mention little Scott Noonan with his thing for Caroline.  With his freckles, blue eyes and bushy red hair.  He was severely under used in this Point Horror and didn’t really get a time to shine.  I mean he sometimes bought Caroline a single yellow rose for crying out loud….that’s just too adorable right?!

Fashion Faux Pas

I didn’t spot too many….but a horn rimmed glasses and pink suit combo did slip in there some where although I’m unsure who was wearing this!

There was also a bright yellow shorts and top combi that Lacey wore to the hospital!

*pops on Margaret’s sunglasses*

Dialogue Disasters

“How could your best friend be completely insane without you knowing it?”

I’ve said it before and I will say it again….THIS IS POINT HORROR!

“Was Caroline really insane?  Was that why she’d been doing so much reading about mental illness, because she was afraid she had it?”

NO HOH!  NO!  GRRRRRRRRRR

“His obvious concern warmed her like a wool sweater”

Margaret likes it as hot as a dumpster in her sweaters!

“After a long drought even a few drops of water were a blessing”

This is Margaret’s comparison to dating…….*coughs*

“One of these days he’s going to get tired of being treated like the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag”

Poor Scott was living his own Point Horror nightmare!

“The image of me in a prom dress would be as hard for them to grasp as the meaning of a Shakespeare sonnet”

To be or not to be….

“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas”

Says Margaret waking up from sleep in her hospital bed…..I think this is when Hoh gave Stiney the idea for The Snowman!

“This wasn’t one of those disgusting teen horror films where the girl was so desperate for a date, she took a chain saw to anyone who stood in her way”

No THATS what we call a Point Horror!

“I cannot believe that someone is attacking girls to keep them from attending their senior prom!  It so totally insane!”

It’s so totally Point Horror!

Body Count

1 full on push someone off the top of a light house murder!

Yeah!

Plus of course one stray cat poisoned by accident (death by milk) and three near misses for our other characters!

It was awesome!

Is it scary?

Hmmmmmm not really ….. more borderline slasher horror film that kept me guessing until the very end…..I mean it could have been anyone!

Did the best friend do it?

Oh yes!  One of the Pop’s best friends of course, but it still totally counts!

I mean I was all for Scott being the reveal to be honest because it would have been a better twist than the one we had…….but still Liza took the Pop’s friendship oath of “One For All.  And All For One” very seriously indeed!

And that ending scene when she comes into Prom like something out of Sunset Boulevard was just a Point Horror classic moment!  Just brilliant!

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This being said another good twist would have been that the Pop’s Moms did it……you know it would have been great!  #QuartetForever

Some Mild Peril?

I guess climbing a creepy rotten lighthouse and being pushed off the edge, being locked in a burning dumpster after a failed poison attempt and basically become human prom date bait for Liza classes as mild peril right?

Is it any good?

I have to say I really really enjoyed this one.  It was a lot longer than our normal Point Horror, but I really liked the feel to it.  It had a good range of suspects and a pretty decent storyline.  I could quite easily imagine this being a 90’s film and really enjoying it.

Shout out to the brilliantly names shops in this little old town – Quartet, Impeccable Tastes – I basically want to live there…..but not go any where near Prom!

Final Thought

“Atmosfear”

Cover Wars!

Which do you prefer?

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Over to you!

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

  • What would you do if you didn’t have a date to the Toomey High Prom?
  • You want to make a grand entrance to the Prom…..what would you do?
  • What happened to Liza after the book ?
  • Did Mitch and Margaret stay together?
  • What ever happened to Scott?

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

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub to discuss this months pick……The Snowman by R L Stine !

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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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PHBC – Halloween Night II by R L Stine


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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 Halloween Special!

Halloween Night II by R L Stine

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Check out our thoughts on the first Halloween Night here

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

Don’t forget next months #PointHorrorBookClub for the 13th November…..

417r2r5z4dl-_sx285_bo1204203200_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

Tricks, treats and…death

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

One year after Halloween Night we return to the old gang of Fairview….on Halloween!

Oh No!  Not Halloween again!

Yep!  Clues in the title!  You remember how much Brenda loves Halloween….especially since her best friend and cousin plotted and tried to kill her previously…on Halloween.

You would think she’d be over hating Halloween by now!

*rolls eyes*

How can anyone hate Halloween?!

Well Brenda does, but she likes making films…..not those kind of films…scary films….with her friends Traci and Angela called Night of the Jack O’ Lantern….because you know Brenda has no reason to ever fear pumpkins!

She also has new boyfriend Jake who she loves with all of heart!

Awwwwww how sweet!

No he’s really not….trust me!

And once Brenda gets cheated on and dumped that’s when the creepy cards, rotten pumpkins and pumpkin pillow worms start….., but who could be responsible for ruining another Halloween for Brenda!

And how about a good Halloween trick to scare a victim to death……

*evil laugh*

The Girl

Copper haired Brenda Morgan is BACK!  Back with her downgraded green eyes (they were emerald previously), fair skin and freckles that darken when she gets angry!

Like before I had a very love/hate relationship with Brenda…although I did find her slightly more irritating this time around.  I mean her love for jack ass Jake was just plain annoying….she kind of deserved the Happy Last Halloween card that creeped her out so much!

I loved the fact that her pure hatred of her cousin Halley was still alive and kicking and Brenda’s little blue car was still rattling along.

And her freak out over the “fat man” who simply just wanted to return her lost wallet was hilarious.

It seemed that catching Jake and Halley together and snogging each others faces at the mall over a yellow table really pushed Brenda over the edge.  Poor Brenda really does not have good luck with boys….last time it was slime ball Ted and now jerk Jake!

I also loved how much Brenda hates Halloween for obvious reasons, but yet she was quite happy to go along with a revenge prank oh you know like the one that was played on her a year before!

Will she every learn!

The Love Interest

Jack Ass Jake….oh this boy made my blood boil.  He was a jerk from start to finish.  He loved his own reflection, was constantly late for everything, didn’t date girls for very long and basically loved himself too much for my liking.

Come to think of it he actually reminds me of one of my exes!

Ugh!

He was Brenda’s boyfriend who basically ran off with her cousin and then goes back to Brenda thinking she must be lucky he gave her a second chance!

Just no!

I was so so happy when the girls all started to plot to scare him to death and record it on camera…..it was an extra bonus to me that he actually got killed off!

I’ve never been so happy to lose a Point Horror boy before!

Best part of the whole book and if a coffin too!

No YOUR laughing!

The Gang

Lets start with newbie Angela Bowen.  The curly brown haired, dark brown eyed, chubby girl!  Yes you heard me right…..Stiney actually put a chubby girl in a Point Horror…..so of course she turned out to be the reveal/killer/weirdo.  And of course she had to have the most ridiculous Point Horror capture ever…..befouled by a pumpkin!  Right on the head!  And burnt by the candle inside!  Ouch!

But lets not forget she was fun to be with, had a good sense of humour and was a good understanding listener who liked orange nail polish and lived in a scary house that was like something out of a horror film.  She was pretty awesome right?!

I actually did like Angela…and although I guessed she would be the reveal I think we can all thank her for killing off the worst Point Horror boy EVER which I have to admit was a nice twist that made me cheer with joy!

Oh and silly me….she had a love for skeletons!

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Then we have best friend Traci (with an I) Warner back again with her long black hair and dark eyes (again upgraded from silvery last time) and this time around expert filmmaker.  She blended into the background of any fake scenario for the gangs film project for school which mainly just entailed cat fights over boys to be honest.  Again she kind of just went along with things like before, but I seemed to like her a bot more this time around.

Brenda’s cousin Halley was back again, but this time as a fully fledged Morgan.  Not content with going out with Brenda’s old boyfriend Ted (remember him?) with her sexy looking ways, blonde hair and sweet and spicy perfume she manages to steal Brenda’s boyfriend right in front of her face! I think this was payback as Brenda moaned on about Halley going out with her ex Ted so much even though jerk Jake was Traci’s ex!  All a bit Made In Chelsea if you ask me!

And then there was the return of Dina…..you know the one that tried to stab Brenda in the first book who conveniently doesn’t remember a thing about what happened last Halloween (you can recap here Dina).  Do you think this had anything to do with her tripping over that pumpkin last time?  In custody of her parents after being released from hospital and seeing a shrink she was still the tall, slender, pretty but pale dark eyed girl but this time with hair past her shoulders it’s just a shame that we didn’t get a whole chapter from her point of view again!

It was also great to see Brenda’s little brother make an appearance again although a slightly toned down version from the first book….but I still loved him anyway!

Fashion Faux Pas

Did anyone spot any?

I did spot Angela wearing a canary yellow t shirt and dark green denim jeans with dangling plastic earrings which made me think of Pat Butcher!

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Dialogue Disasters

Not many this time around but these ones made me chuckle…..

“She was definitely on the chubby side and always had to worry about her weight”

That’s no excuse for making Angela the reveal Stiney!

“They had this horrible court fight over who got Halley and the judge decided they were both unfit parents”

Say what now?

“You can’t break cd’s….their indestructible!”

Oh the 90’s!  Bonus points for upgrading from tape cassettes though.

“Tomorrow will be better Bren.  You’ll see”

“Yeah.  Better. Brenda echoed.  Much Better”

“But it wasn’t”

“The next morning, the vest she wanted to wear over her white t shirt had a stain on the front.  She had to change her whole outfit!  Then she couldn’t find her hairbrush!”

*screams*  OH THE HORROR!

And not to forget the best line of this whole book…..

“I just remembered my parents have a really large bull whip in the closet”

All I’m saying is if Angela’s parents didn’t exist I think we all know who the bull whip really belonged to don’t we Angela!

Body Count

1

And I think we were all thankful to Angela for that one!

Lets hope the footage gets leaked!

Is it scary?

Hmmmmm not really….more classic Point Horror through and through.

Although I think the biggest horror of them all was when Brenda lost her wallet AND DIDN’T GET TO BUY HER SWEATER!

Did the best friend do it?

DING DING!

We have another winner!

Okay so not the best, best friend, but the newbie best friend….it totally counts though!

I mean Brenda doesn’t have much luck with best friends does she?!

Some Mild Peril?

One word….pumpkins!

Yep I went there!

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Oh also the fact that Brenda’s parents do not show up in any way shape or form before page 67!  I class that as mild peril considering everything that was going on under their roof when they were meant to be responsible for two teenagers!

Oh how I love a good set of Point Horror parents!

Is it any good?

I enjoyed it, but it felt a little slow.  I enjoyed the Halloween feel to it and the haunted houses, pumpkins and tricks and I must admit that pumpkin ending gave me a good old chuckle and the sense of now I know what they covers all about!

Final Thought

*ponders if this book was sponsored by Coke as it appeared EVERYWHERE*

Cover Wars!

Which one do you prefer?

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Over to you!

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

  • Did anyone miss Jake after his timely death?
  • Where were Brenda’s parents?
  • Was Dina totally under used?
  • Did the girls ever finish their horror film project – Night Of The Jack O Lantern?
  • If you were filming a typical Point Horror scene for your project what would you film?
  • What happened to the fat old man?

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

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on the 13th November to discuss Prom Date !

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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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Spotlight – #ZoellaBookClub Autumn Edition


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A few weeks ago I received a very exciting email from the lovely people at WH Smith asking me if I would like to receive and review that next bundle of books in the autumn edition of the fantastic #ZoellaBookClub!

After being a fan of the first #ZoellaBookClub and buying all eight of the first set of books I jumped at the chance!

I waited with anticipation to find out what the next eight books were going to be and I was absolutely over the moon when the announcement video was released!

After seeing this video I was even more super to receive the books from WH Smith!

And then this arrived……

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img_3621This box was super heavy and after having a sneak peak inside I soon realised that WH Smith had sent me much more than just the #ZoellaBookClub books!

So I decided to do an unboxing on camera to show all the beautiful and amazing things WH Smith sent me……..

**Please note that this video is not sponsored in any way I received this box of #ZoellaBookClubBooks in exchange for honest reviews and does not affect or influence my opinions in any way**

So there you have it!  I feel well and truly spoilt and very lucky indeed!

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Thank you so much WH Smith!


The Books

img_3634So I took some pictures of all of the books I received and I thought I would shine the spotlight on them and share the blurbs.

All these new covers are exclusive to WH Smith and beautiful!

They are such a fantastic selection of books and I can wait to jump in and start reading them asap!

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The One We Fell In Love With

By Paige Toon

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Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?
 
Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…
 
But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…


Frozen Charlotte

By Alex Bell

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Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…

Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lillias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.

Alex Bell’s chilling novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood

You can find my review of Frozen Charlotte here

Or a Q&A with a creepy Frozen Charlotte doll here

Also check out this brilliant guest post by Alex Bell on The Twilight Zone here

Or Point Horror and Haunted Houses here


A Monster Calls

By Patrick Ness

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The bestselling novel about love, loss and the power of story-telling from the twice Carnegie Medal-winning Patrick Ness, soon to be a major motion picture. Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.


Finding Audrey

By Sophie Kinsella

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From the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a story of humour, heart and heartache. Finding Audrey is Sophie Kinsella’s first novel for teens, sure to appeal to her legions of adult and young adult fans all over the world.

Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .


I Was Here

By Gayle Forman

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A brand-new, heartwrenching novel from the bestselling author ofIf I Stay, Gayle Forman

This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend’s shocking suicide.

As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.

‘A pitch-perfect blend of tragedy, mystery and romance’ Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

‘Not only beautifully written and heartwrenching, but IMPORTANT. Wow. Just, wow’ Sarah Dessen

‘It’s about to become your new favourite book’ Sugarscape

‘A potent rite-of-passage tale’ Sunday Times


If I Was Your Girl

By Meridith Russo

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‘So powerful and poignant… I honestly just think this book will change a lot of people’s lives.’ –Zoella

My name is Amanda. I’m 18. When you look at me, you might see that I’m pretty and popular; you might think my life is easy. But being me has never been easy. Because I haven’t always been Amanda. When I was born, I was named Andrew. Now, at my new school, I finally feel like myself. But do I owe my new friends the truth about my past?


Lying About Last Summer

By Sue Wallman

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Skye is looking for an escape from the reality of last summer when her sister died in a tragic accident. Her parents think that a camp for troubled teenagers might help her process her grief. All of the kids at the summer camp have lost someone close, but is bringing them together such a good idea? And can everyone at camp be trusted? When Skye starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister, she knows it’s time to confront the past. But what if the danger is right in front of her?

You can find my review of Lying About Last Summer here

You can also find out which character from Lying About Last Summer you are here


The Twelve Days Of Dash & Lily

By Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

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A teen romance set against the magical backdrop of New York City in December. It is the ultimate Christmas book.

Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone. Even though they are still together, somehow the magic has gone out of their relationship and it’s clear that Lily has fallen out of love with life.

Action must be taken! Dash teams up with Lily’s brother and a host of their friends, who have just twelve days to get Lily’s groove back in time for Christmas.

A warm, wintry read that is guaranteed to be a favourite Christmas book for many years to come.


You can find out more about the #ZoellaBookClub, including exclusive extracts, Q&A’s and more here

You can also buy an exclusive bundle of these books from WH Smith here

Another huge HUGE thank you to WH Smith for not only sending me these fab books to read, but also for all the extra surprise goodies that were totally unexpected and so so generous.

What I love about the #ZoellaBookClub is the fact that people are picking up books and reading and top that off with fantastic books and brilliant authors it makes something very special indeed!

Have you read any of the Autumn #ZoellaBookClub books?  Which one is your favourite?  Which exclusive cover do you like the most? Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

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PHBC – Fatal Secrets by Richie Tankersley Cusick


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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!

Fatal Secrets by Richie Tankersley Cusick

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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 for November! The next book will be announced on 17th October 2016

Don’t forget up for missing last months #PointHorrorBookClub I am posting a special Halloween treat on the 31st October where we will be discussing Halloween Night 2!

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

Also do check out our Q&A with the one and only Richie Tankersley Cusick that went live last month – here !


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


The Tagline

Skating on thin ice…

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Ryan McCauley has just watched her sister drown in icy cold water with only her red ribbons left floating on the surface…all in what seems like a tragic accident with no body left to be found.  But just before Marissa died she gave Ryan a roll of film to develop and tried to tell Ryan a secret!

A secret?  Oh I love secrets!  Do tell!

Well that’s the thing Ryan doesn’t know and when strange things start to happen she begins to think that someone is after her next wants her dead too!

Surely not?!

Yep…..thus begins the moving dolls, presents from the dead, honking car horns, hallucinations and hearing her dead sister Marissa, spiked cider and creepy Father Christmas’s chasing Ryan down the street!

Not a creepy phone call in sight in this book!

For realises?  OMG!

But never fear because she has the best Point Horror boy ever to help her and you can always rely on your boss and your parents right?!

The Girl

Ryan McCauley with her brown hair, brown eyes and love of doll houses and pine cones was actually a pretty decent Point Horror girl I have to admit!  I actually really liked her.

Her sister Marissa’s death seemed to have a huge impact on Ryan and rightly so as she basically watched her drown in the opening chapters and I think this was actually really well done!  Feeling pushed out by her mother and forgotten about all seemed part of the grieving process that the family was going through and I thought RTC captured this well.

I loved he scenes when she was hallucinating in the toy shop, beating up an unsuspecting snowman and being chased by a Father Christmas with a bell….I actually felt scared for her at some points as the tension was mounting!

I mean she actually became scared to death it sent her over the edge…..but wouldn’t you be with all that happening to you?

But most of all I loved her flirting with Jinx!  More on him in a minute!

The Love Interest

Prepare yourself……

Are you ready?

You know what’s coming don’t you!?

OMG I LOVED JINX SO SO SO SO SO MUCH!

*kisses every page Jinx appears on*

Be still my beating heart!

Look I’m a sucker for a funny, cheeky boy and Jinx ticked all these boxes and more!

The so called irritating little brother of Ryan’s best friend Phoebe with his brown eyes , baby face and one dimple in his little cute cheek. He was always making Ryan smile and of course me and lets not forget how his room reflected his personality.

He lit up every page!  I’ve never shipped a Point Horror pair quite like I have with Jinx and Ryan!

OMG THEY HAVE TO HAVE GOT TOGETHER AFTER THE BOOK!

WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME RTC?!

WHY!

Jinx and Ryan’s flirting was everything!  And when Jinx got a little jealous of hunk Winchester my heart ached!

And his love of pizza held no bounds!  The scene when he ran (in slow motion in my head) to Ryan’s rescue dropping his pizza on the floor as quick as anything is surely a pure sign of love!

Awwwwwwwww!

The Gang

Only fair to start with Ryan’s blond curled hair sister, Marissa, who basically dies on page 8!  The typical first victim of any good horror!

With her love of red ribbons in her hair and a blouse that got wet and turned red like blood she was destined to be the victim leaving little clues behind about her “secret” and an undeveloped film which gave me nostalgic flashbacks to those good old days of sending rolls of film off to Truprint!  Oh and don’t forget she prefers the smell of turkey not the cold!  You know because they are totally related!

Then we have the typical best friend, Phoebe, with her dimples, blue eyes, her need for natural curly hair, crazy about guys and lets not forget fancying Steve!  Yes, she fancied Ryan’s Mom’s boyfriend….because he’s such a catch….and an evil gun wielding drug lord!

Phoebe seemed like the best friend that we have come to know and love from our Point Horror’s especially as she was crazy about guys too!

I loved the fight she has with her brother Jinx (*swoons*) …and basically revealed all his deepest darkest secrets out of spite for him getting her grounded!  Loved it!

Winchester the loner with his shy looks, shy slow smile, hair as black as ravens wings and gorgeous looks he was our bit of hot Point Horror totty lets be honest here.  He made me imagine Nick Jonas….which is never a bad thing!

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 He was very caring about his family and basically went out with Ryan’s sister when she was alive but it turns out that he was really after Ryan *eye roll*

However, he was drawn into the drug ring of being the delivery boy….but I will forgive his devilish good looks because his family’s life was being threatened and he basically turned hero in the end by trying to save everyone which I’m tempted to write allllll the fan fiction about especially in his tight fitting jeans!

*fans self*

And there’s creepy Charles Eastman an apparent friend of Marissa’s, a stranger to Ryan and her Mom, who came bearing gifts and was invited to stay in their house!  With his blonde hair, intense stare and creepy personality he charmed his way around Ryan’s Mom all to try and find out if Ryan knew anything about Marissa’s secret.  He was vile from the first page I laid eyes on him and lets not forget he was the worst driver ever!  He got lost, hit a dog, got a flat tyre and drove off and left his intoxicated passenger in the middle of nowhere in the snow!

Creep!

Moving on swiftly to the “artsy section of town”…… to Mr Partini and his toy shop where he makes all the toys himself…..you know to STASH HIS DRUGS IN!  An old Italian man who lost his wife 25 years previously and who employed Ryan in his shop was in on it all along!  Calling Ryan his little Bambalina was just a cover up for his evil streak.  Who would have thought it?!

The Parents!

Yep I’m giving them a whole section to themselves as again this Point Horror reminds me why we should never moan that parents are often “absent” from Point Horror….and not in the way you might expect.

I mean we had Ryan’s Mom….a widow and totally in love with her new beau Steve.  I liked Ryan’s Mom…..she was grieving for one of her daughters who had died and her body not found, she cared for Ryan although Ryan couldn’t necessarily see that.  I mean okay she let a stranger called Creepy Charles stay in her house but still she was a good example of a Point Horror Mom trying her best.

And then there’s Steve……rich, college professor Steve.  With his sports car, boat, cute smile, funny personality, hair thinning on top and a mole on his……(that sentence was never finished and it scares me!).  Oh and lets not forget he’s a drug lord and a killer.

Once I found out he was part of the reveal everything about him literally gave me the creeps.  All the little Step Father pep talks to Ryan and little winks and acts of kindness just to try and find out if Ryan knew anything ….ugh!  And there’s the fact that Marissa had found out about his little drug ring with the others so he got her killed to protect himself and his “business”.  I always remember being shocked when I read this in my teens that an actual parent figure was in on it and I wonder if that’s why this book stuck in my mind all these years later as a fave….I couldn’t remember why it was a fave, but I definitely think this twist was one of the main reasons.  I mean who doesn’t love a good twist?!

Fashion Faux Pas

I did not find any!

Unless you count the blouse that Marissa remembered wearing that got wet and turned red like blood…..knock off?

Dialogue Disasters

I didn’t find too many dialogue disasters in this one…just a few things that made me chuckle as normal….

“Ryan you couldn’t be mean to anybody”

Tell that to the poor snowman she beat up!

“You need a boyfriend”

Pheobe has the best solution to Ryan’s problems…..not!

“And Mr Partini wouldn’t let anything happen to me”

Oh wouldn’t he?

“Ryan wondered how he could often look so cuddly and be such a holy terror”

*daydreams about Jinx*

“Ryan felt like a sack of lead”

Heeeeeaaavvvveee-ho!

“Your entirely too high strung”

With just reason!

“Shadows don’t honk.  Shadows don’t talk”

*coughs* this is Point Horror! *coughs*

“You’ve got about as much self confidence as a rabbit”

Jinx is trying the tried and tested Watership Down chat up line…..I still would 😉

“They’re all big ones”

Point Horror stumbling into Point Romance territory!

And last but by no means least the line that wins ALL of the awards…..

“Without warning the elves started singing their Christmas Carols….but on low speed, demons voices”

Forget killer clowns…..evil demon elves is where it’s at!

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Body Count

2!

You heard me right!

2!

Well 3 if we count the beaten up snowman….RIP Snowy!

But Yayyyyyyy!

Richie gives us Point Horror fans exactly what we crave! One death by drowning in icy cold frozen water at the start and one death by gunshot right at the end!

I feel bad…..but WHAT A TREAT!

Is it scary?

Not entirely, but I did find they whole being chased by Santa with his little ringing bell quite terrifying I will be honest.  How scary was that scene?!

Did the best friend do it?

Nope not this time…..but basically the whole town was virtually in on it….

Okay I exaggerate….it was only the shop owner, the creepy stranger, the handsome hunk and the step dad….no big deal!

*blows mind*

Some Mild Peril?

I guess the whole barn shotgun showdown at the end is a huge mix of mild peril….but up until that point Ryan wasn’t exactly in too much danger really was she?

Oh except those icy roads and creepy Father Christmas!

Is it any good?

I always said that this Point Horror was a favourite of mine back in the day and I always knew the twist at the end kind of shocked me and it’s stayed with me all these years and I have to say this book did not disappoint me at all.

I loved it!

I think the characters were great.  The storyline was great.  The twist and reveal was great.

I even loved the little popcorn mention on page 20!  Mmmmmmmmmm

Final Thought

Who actually did get sent to kill Marissa?

Cover Wars!

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Over to you!

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

  • Winchester, Jinx or Charles?
  • Who really did kill Marissa as Steve did not like to get his hands dirty?
  • You want to send someone mad to retrieve a secret…what would you do?

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

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub for a one off special on the 31st October 2016 to discuss Halloween Night 2 !

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You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read for November here!

Voting closes on the 17th October 2016!

And the winner was…..

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The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 17th October 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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PHBC – Call Waiting by R L Stine


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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!

Call Waiting by R L Stine

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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 22nd August 2016

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

Also do check out our Q&A with the one and only Richie Tankersley Cusick that went live this month – here !


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


The Tagline

Don’t pick up the phone….

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Right!

*flicks hair*

Karen Masters is so in love with douchebag hunk Ethan that when she thinks he is seeing Wendy behind her back she starts turning into Glenn Close circa Fatal Attraction era!

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Please don’t tell be Ethan had a bunny rabbit!?

Nope thank goodness he didn’t that’s all I’m saying!

Anyway, all Karen cares about is how much she loves Ethan and would do anything for Ethan etc etc and then Ethan drops the bombshell!

What she was right? He was cheating on Karen?!  We finally have a gay character in Point Horror?!

We can only dream of such a story line in Point Horror!

Well kind of but not with who she thought, but Ethan wants the best of both worlds and tells Karen that they should “see other people”!

Ugh!

Yep Ugh indeed!

This sends Karen spiralling out of control and she does the only thing she can possibly think of to keep Ethan …… pretend that she is getting creepy phone calls from someone who wants to kill her!  And these phone calls all happened whilst she is on the phone via her Call Waiting beeps!

But soon Ethan finds out that Karen doesn’t have Call Waiting!

OMG THE HORROR!

But that’s not the end of it…..then the calls really start happening!  FOR REAL!

Dum dum duuuuummmmm!

The Girl

Oh dear!  Oh dear!  Where on earth do I start with Karen Masters!?

With her dark short hair, dark eyes and very thin appearance I thought she would be one of those Point Horror girls that I would not forget in a hurry…..this was true, but maybe for all the wrong reasons!

With her parents divorced, brother always out with friends and birdlike Mum always working Karen was in the house on her own quite a lot.  But fear not as Point Horror love interest Ethan saved her from her loneliness….apparently!

Karen and Ethan both love bike rides, trivial pursuit and chessboards on rainy evenings…..the perfect romantic couple……that was until Karen thought Ethan was having it away with prop master Wendy!  Oh the horror!  So naturally Karen does the only thing that any girl should do…..stalk your boyfriend outside his own house to see what time he comes home!

And then get caught out by him whilst chatting to your friend about stalking your boyfriend on the phone!

Yep that’s right!  What a brilliant role model Karen was for all teenage girls (NOT!)…..she was very jealous indeed.

But nothing was going to stop Karen!  She loved Ethan with all her heart…he was even worth getting stressed over which gave Karen a very stiff neck indeed!

And do you know what a stiff neck is like?!  DO YOU?!

And this was just the beginning….when things start to come crashing down and falling apart between her and Ethan (mainly because Ethan was a douchebag – more on this later) Karen becomes a little unstable.  I mean making up receiving threatening phone calls just to keep your man is just the worst and then to get busted for doing it!

Oh Karen…..he’s just a boy!

Was it just me or did anyone else laugh when she started to get the calls for realises?!

Also I did admire Karen’s commitment to date nights and especially the new dance club…..horrific snowy bad weather outside is nothing to Karen!  Ethan still must take her to dance!

The Love Interest

Douchebag Ethan!

Ugh!

I mean he’s not the worst Point Horror boy we have ever had I guess!  He does stick by Karen in the end, but still!

With his long black hair, dark soulful eyes, broad forehead, silver earing through one ear and red Bonneville car he had so much Point Horror boy potential.  According to Karen he was funny, outgoing and playful, but all we got to see was him being a bad liar and lets be honest a bit harsh to poor old Karen.

He constantly broke date nights with Karen, he used the line “I think we should see other people” rather than lets break up AND “We can just go out on Saturday nights”. *rages*  He constantly hid behind his friend Jake who always seemed to be bailing him out of a Karen situation.  UGGGGHHHHH!

Ernie calling in sick so Ethan had to work seemed to be the tipping point!

Okay, okay so Ethan may have reminded me a bit of a guy I went out with at school who did the same to me and yes okay I may still be slightly bitter heartbroken about that whole time, but come on Ethan sucked big time!

I mean I guess he kind of redeemed himself in the end by sticking by Karen with the phone calls and “realising what she meant to him”, but he should have know that all along!

The perfect ending for me would have been Karen realising this and saying “look Ethan I may take you up on that seeing other people thing…hi Jake” but no! NO!

*mumbles under breathe*

What was with Ethan and Jake anyway?!  Ethan “rushing off to do math with Jake” *winks*.  Oh why couldn’t we just have a gay love triangle for once in a Point Horror!

The Gang

I have to start with best friend Micah Davis!  A bit of a flirt with blonde curly hair that she played with a lot, long nails, velvety voice that sounded like a sexy purr (?)  and a serious Kit Kat problem (who doesn’t?  Especially the peanut butter ones!) she was after Ethan all along the hussy!  She was meant to be Karen’s best friend and then when Ethan doesn’t break up with Karen she decides to push Karen further over the edge by actually making scary phone calls to her only to be busted by a chiming clock!  Ouch Micah!  Ouch!  Oh also the big finale girl cat fight!  Wow we haven’t had one of those for ages!  Me-ow!

Jake the best friend who had Ethan’s back ….ALL THE TIME.  Who didn’t want these two to get together?!  They would have been adorbs!  Anyway …. tall, with red wiry hair, long gangly arms, a horse voice that earned him the nickname Frog and who reminded Karen of a Grasshopper was severely under used and only there to get Ethan out of tricky situations with Karen.  I’m putting it out there that Jake fancied the pants of Ethan!  100%!  Who’s with me?

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Okay older brother Chris was our typical joker of a Point Horror character!  The college kid with his passion for comedy shows, practical jokes, sandy hair, millions of friends and apparently lots of girlfriends!  I have to admit some of his practical jokes on Karen were hilarious but maybe that was just me being cruel because it was Karen and it was so funny and…..okay I will stop now!

Cousin Adam was a bit of a pointless red herring character wasn’t he?  Not even his love of horror comics and horror movies or the fact that he was really into history could help him.  Having recently moved back into the area and with his rust coloured hair, dark eyes, black rimmed glasses, zits on his chin and skinny appearance he was the perfect extra character we all needed.  He was shy, had a silent laugh that sounded like coughing (?), carried a brown briefcase and liked calling his cousin after midnight!  Other than that he didn’t really do anything did he?!

And what about poor old Wendy Talbot!  Prop Master for the school production of Guys And Dolls with her straight red hair, grey green eyes and paper Mache head that was so heavy she fell down the stairs *sniggers*…. any way she got a lot of flack for apparently “flirting” with Ethan!  I felt a little sorry for her!  Was there something in that shoulder touch?! And that prop gun that Karen thought was real!!  She must have been the best prop master EVER!

Oh also a quick shout out to the two secretaries arguing over pencils and how dark they are!  THIS.  WAS. BRILLIANT!

Fashion Faux Pas

Oh I spotted a shaggy coat that made someone look like a bear!

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A pale blue down vest over a bulky yellow sweater and faded denim jeans with a hole in one knee.

And the crème de la crème of fashion faux pas’s ……Ethans silky, red and gold patterned shirt!

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Oh the 90’s!

Dialogue Disasters

Here are some bits of dialogue that made me laugh!

“You’re a nervous nut”

Micah being a good friend to Karen here *coughs*

“You’re so pale, Karen.  And you look positively anorexic”

Ugh!  Micah is the worst!

“She put her hand on his shoulder.  Like she owned him or something”

Karen advising us all that we mustn’t ever put out hands on a boys shoulder

“A Pop-Tart?  Since when are you such a health nut?!

Really?  Are Pop Tarts healthy?  I think not!

“Does Adam still spend all his time reading those old horror comics and watching old horror movies?”

*Cheers*

“She had a strong impulse to grab Ethan by the shoulders and shake him”

No Karen you must not touch a boy on the shoulders!!!

“Try to get yourself together okay?”

Ethan to Karen….after he has dumped said they should see other people…..RUDE!

“Karen, Ethan and your brother have just told me a disturbing story.  About Call Waiting!”

I’m starting to wonder if Karen’s Mum and I read the same book?

“Howcome your spending so much time with Jake these days?”

That is a very good question Karen!

Body Count

0!

Stiney offers us more or a “psychological” Point Horror rather than a blood thirsty heavy body count Point Horror this time around!

I’m sad there was no Piranha’s!

Is it scary?

Erm…..nope!  It really wasn’t.

I think I sat more open mouthed about poor Karen’s state of mind and everyone ignoring that fact than it being scary to be honest.

Did the best friend do it?

In the end YES!

DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER!

But this was only after Karen got busted making up pretend phone calls to herself on her Call Waiting option so Micah thought she would do it for realises….you know to push Karen further over the edge AND TO STEAL HER MAN WHO SHE HAD BEEN SEEING BEHIND KARENS BACK!

Some Mild Peril?

I guess driving cars at high speed in the snow and ice could be classed as mild peril?  Other than that….not really!

Oh except a hot fire poker stick in the big finale of course!

Is it any good?

It was okay…..not the worst Point Horror we have read, but certainly not the best.

It was also not as good as some of the Point Horror Stiney offered us over his time writing Point Horror….it did made me ponder if this was ever really a Point Horror or just repackaged as such.

Final Thought

Did Karen turn into Ghostface from the Scream movies?!

Cover Wars!

Which one do you prefer?

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Over to you!

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

  • Ethan – hot or rot?
  • Jake & Ethan – were they secretly together?
  • What flavour Kit Kat?
  • What happened to Ethan and Karen after the book?
  • Are Karen & Micah still friends?
  • Lets hear your scary phone call – what would you have said to Karen?
  • Which secretary was right?  Which pencil is the best?!

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

Richie

Don’t forget our fab Q&A with Richie Tankersley Cusick that went live this month – here !

It’s like a dream come true!

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th September 2016 !

You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 22nd August 2016!

And the winner was…….

phbcsept16

The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 22nd August 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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PHBC – Twins by Caroline B Cooney


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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!

Twins 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 20th July 2016

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

I am still awaiting the answers back from Point Horror author Richie Tankersley Cusick ….. hoping to have them back ready for next month!  Last I heard she is answering all of our questions very thoroughly….eek I can’t wait!


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


The Tagline

Twice The Evil!

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Bear with me on this…..this book was that wacky my brain feels all jumbled!

So…..

Twins Mary Lee and Madrigal are being separated by their parents with Mary Lee being sent to boarding school miles and miles away!

What?!  Why?!

Because their parents think that they are not two individuals but an Event!  A pair merged together as one!

Whilst Mary Lee is at Boarding School they can only contact each other by letter!

That’s harsh!  Surely they can’t do that?!

Well yep they can and they did!  Madrigal then decides to break the rules and go and visit Mary Lee at her boarding school!  Mary Lee wants Madrigals life!  She wants Madrigal’s boyfriend!  She wants to be Madrigal!

And then an accident happens!

*Shocked face*  Oh No!  Please tell me it was the parents!

Erm….no!

*takes big breath*

Basically Mary Lee and Madrigal change clothing and Madrigal dressed as Mary Lee has an accident on a ski lift and dies!  Then everyone thinks Mary Lee is Madrigal (including her parents) and basically Mary Lee decides she can take on her sisters life!

You still with me?

OMG!

But taking on her sisters life comes with consequences!  She starts to realise that her sister was not the twin she thought she was.

And then there’s Jon Pear…..

The Twins

One good, one evil!

Mary Lee /ML / MreeLee aka good twin who was born twenty four minutes before Madrigal with her heavy black hair, long black eyelashes, olive skin and hazel green eyes.  Poor Mary Lee seemed to have so much love for her sister.  She had no friends, never dated and loved her twin dearly.

In fact she loved her sister too dearly which made Mary Lee a little moany groany to say the least.  We got to read Mary Lee’s every thought process and feeling and it grew a bit annoying after a while.

I did feel a little sorry for her though.  She felt totally rejected by her parents before and after the accident where Madrigal dies.  She takes on her sisters life and no one even notices!

She did get some bonus points from me though as she did kick Jon Pear into touch at the end….although it did take a lot longer than it should have for her to realise there was something not right.

And there is Madrigel / Maddy who is exactly identical in looks to Mary Lee but thinks herself far more interesting with a personality and a boyfriend (more on him later)!

She visits Mary Lee at Boarding School which we find out later she had alternative mystery motive that will remain a secret forever as basically she falls to her death off a ski lift chair before she can do anything horrible to her evil sister.

As the story progressed it turned out that she was pure evil along with her boyfriend Jon Pear…..she was out of control and Mary Lee got the punishment!

Mary Lee and Madrigal were basically what I imagine The Corrs to be behind closed doors!

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The Parents

Now we always mock the old Point Horrors for lack of parent action but in this one they were basically almost always there!

They spent all of their time making the twins match whilst they were growing up but now seemingly sick of the twins saying we instead of I or using us instead of me they decide the best thing to do is separate the twins….. you know ship off the good twin and keep the bad twin…as you do.

Twinship had gotten unhealthy apparently.  One twin had become angrier and angrier!

Lets not forget though that they were always there to give good advise to the twin they have sent 1912 miles away to boarding school….

“Try hard.  Make friends.  Stay alive”

“Don’t tell anyone you are a twin”

“No telephone.  Only write letters”

And lets not forget pretending to not recognise one twin from the other!

Best of all though they had the best excuses….

“Having twins was the mistake”

“But it we must lose a daughter, better it should be that one”

“I don’t miss her”

*shakes head*

The Love Interest

Ugh!  I guess I have to talk about this slime ball!

Grrrrrrr Jon Pear.

*shudders*

Apparently a combination of sweet and rough with big firm hands, a fine strong nose and can pull expressions like a deck of cards being shuffled.  An apparently handsome and fierce man with good clothing, great hair and yellow flecks like gold glittering in his eyes!  With his passion for rap music and obsession with wanting to become a twin he loved his car with the leather seats as soft as butter so much he basically kidnapped girls and took them to a bad part of town and then chucked them out and watched them cry.  Oh and did I forget to mention he collects and eats tears!

No joke!

He was vile and horrible and disgusting and UGH!

I hated him so much!

Also he was the reason this book took a very weird turn.

It did kind of make me laugh though when he couldn’t reverse a car without crashing …. all the loll’s and then met a icy cold bath death in the end….or did he?!

The Gang

So there was third year at boarding school friends Bianca and Mindy who seemed to be the worst people to ease Mindy Lee into Boarding School to be honest.

Scarlett who was afraid of rats and Jon Pear (rightly so) and her protective brother Van.

Now for some reason I made more notes on Van than anyone else in this book…. why couldn’t he have been the main love interest!  Why!

Van with his thick blonde silky hair, khaki pants, blue blazers, passion for water polo and who has friends named Geordie and Kip seemed like a decent Point Horror boy!  I loved his protectiveness over his sister and the fact that he was kept back in first grade and had a hyperactive personality.  I just know if he was upgraded to Point Horror boy I would have fancied him hook line and sinker!

And poor Katy!  *hugs Katy forever*.  I just wanted her to run off into the sunset with all the rats and live happily ever after!

Fashion Faux Pas

I noticed a few sign o the times fashion….

There were ski suits!  Especially darkly striking crimson and green plaid ski suits with black velvet trim and black boots like Madrigel wore.  And there’s Mary Lee’s turquoise complete with blue knitted cap of course!

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And lets not forgot later on in the book a mention of a hot pink jacket which as it’s the 90’s a pictured as a shell suit (remember them?)

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And who could forget that green barrette!

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Dialogue Disasters

“You don’t understand because you’re ordinary people….we’re not regular sisters”

You can say that again!

“For your mental health and Madrigal’s”

Hats off to Point Horror for mentioning mental health!

“Girls as beautiful and as incredibly alike as these two were not girls so much as an Event!”

*confused face*

“What you need is a boyfriend.  Just pick one!”

Yep a boyfriend solves everything in Point Horror…Madrigal should know! *coughs*

“The snow seemed to laugh”

Say what now?

“Bianca and Mindy crept into the room like great big fashionable mice”

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“How could parents not know their child!”

Reason number…oh I’ve lost count!  They are Point Horror parents okay!  There are no excuses and no rules!

“Her hair which had always had feelings prickled”

Oh tingly!

“She was as nervous as a cat on a string”

Understandably so!

“I don’t do anything I could go to jail for”

Oh Jon Pear…..really?

Body Count

3!  Yep you heard me right….I had to think back through the hazy ride this book took me on but there was in fact 3!

The evil twin Madrigel….right at the beginning of the book!

The old man that Madrigel and Jon Pear drowned in the lake!

And then it is implied that Jon Pear has been bumped off by the rest of the school at the end of the book!

I’m classing that as 3!

Is it scary?

No!  Not scary at all!  Funny and completely wacky, but not scary!

Did the best friend do it?

There was not really a mystery to this one, but effectively the bad twin and Jon Pear did it!

Although was Madrigal’s death really an accident?!

Some Mild Peril?

I guess the ski lift chair breaking on the ski slope and dropping you to your death could be classed as mild peril!

Look anything was more mild peril than driving to a bad area with rats and catching someone’s tears in this book to be honest!

Is it any good?

I have to admit I struggled a little with this one.  It was just one wacky ride and not anything up to the previous CazCoo books we have read.

I think it was the whole Jon Pear thing….it was just….. weird.  I kind of feel CazCoo went of on a tangent here to see what she could get past the Point Horror editors!  And voila Twins was published.

Final Thought

Mirror mirror on the wall….

Cover Wars

Which do you prefer?

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twins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over to you!

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

  • What really happened to Madrigal on that ski lift?
  • Jon Pear – hot or rot?
  • Which part of the gang was most underused?
  • What really happened to Jon Pear?
  • Mary Lee or Madrigal….who was the best twin?

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th August 2016 !

You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 20th July 2016!

And the winner was…..

phbcaug16

The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 20th July 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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PHBC – The Fever by Diane Hoh


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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 Fever by Diane Hoh

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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 20th June 2016

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

I am still awaiting the answers back from Point Horror author Richie Tankersley Cusick ….. hoping to have them back ready for next month!


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


The Tagline

Try to stay cool….because fever kills!

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Poor old Duffy Quinn has a fever and has been admitted to Twelvetrees hospital?!

Oh No!  Poor Duffy!  She must be really ill!  I bet her parents are worried sick (excuse the pun)!

Ermmmmmm not exactly.  Basically her Mum & Dad are extremely busy accountants and just do not have the time to look after their daughter whilst they are doing their tax returns!

Lol!  What a good excuse for missing parents in Point Horror!  So was Duffy okay?

Suffering from a fever Duffy thinks she has imagined an incident that happened in her room when she shouted out for help in the middle of the night (and was ignored…how very dare they).  She is trying so hard to work out what she has heard that someone decides that Duffy deserves to die!  That’s when the nausea, dizziness and funny lights start and fever aside basically all Duffy really wanted was a shower!

A shower?!  Hasn’t Duffy seen Pyscho?

The killer is so determined to bump off Duffy by any means!  This includes swapping of an out of order elevator sign, releasing the brake off Duffy’s wheelchair down a hill (laughs hysterically), trys to kill her in the shower and with a pillow!

*gasps*

Fear not Duffy has a pink razor, bug spray and a wide range of Point Horror boys to save her at every turn!

The Hospital

Yep the only hospital in Twelvetrees is getting a heading all of it’s own!

Wow!  What a hospital!

I loved the creepy tall, grim, gradually decaying building with it’s worn grey stones, mildew and covered in ivy walls setting.  And not to forget mentioning the wooden wheelchairs (!).  It was like something out of a horror movie….only with real live patients, staff and volunteers inside!

I don’t think it was the swapped medication that was making Duffy ill….it was obviously those pea green slacks and tunic combo that the safe wore as uniform.

And lets not go there with health and safety and hygiene……how was this hospital still running?!?

The Doctor

Dr Jonus Morgan took on a whole new level of Dr I just had to give him a quick mention.  Young, tall, boney and skinny with thick shagging eyebrows, beard and gold earing he really did not look after his patient well did he?  And although he frowned a lot I kind of found him more appealing than the boys in this Point Horror – more on that later!

The Girl

Cue worst patient in the world….well according to everyone in this Point Horror anyway…..

Dorothy “Duffy” Quinn with her sudden unexplained fever, cinnamon red hair, pretty oval face, temper and her self proclaimed odd sense of humour had never been sick before!  And after ending up in Twelvetrees hospital I bet she never wants to be sick ever again!

I’m not entirely sure what I think of Duffy.  She did have some get up and go in her as I think most Point Horror girls would have just lay there in the hospital bed.  I mean Duffy was determined to have a shower after all as she obviously found the expert sponge baths and delicious back rubs the nurses gave her as creepy as I did whilst reading it!

She did go through a lot before she figured out someone was trying to kill her though.  There was the Elevator scare, the runaway wheelchair (omg that was hilarious – sorry Duffy), shower attack and then the pillow attack and of course someone changing her medication!  Who knew a pink ladies razor, a carafe of water and a can of bug spray would come in handy!

*pops these by the side of my bed forever…just in cases*

I mean that must have hurt right?!

And yes a ladies razor bloomin hurts when you cut your leg shaving!

thepinklady

All in all Duffy was a determined Point Horror girl even when no one believed her over anything.  Even her parents!  The less said about them the better!

I found her quite entertaining.  Especially when she ran out of the shower looking like this in my head……

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Or was this just the effect of the Digoxin?!

The Love Interest

There was that many boys lusting after Duffy whilst she was high with fever that I do not know who the love interest was in the end so I’m renaming this heading….

The Boys

Oh where to start!

One thing these boys all had in common is that they were all lusting after Duffy!  Fever or no fever!

Okay lets go with the boy version of Cinderella only without the happy ending……Kit Rappaport! Cute, smart and nice, a math wizard with carroty red hair.  Duffy rescued his frog and they had been good friends ever since.  Orphaned at the tender age of nine (and unfortunately killed off Point Horror style at the tender age of, I’m guessing 16), turned down for a scholarship and forced to work in his Uncle’s shoe shop we didn’t get to see much of him as he “moved to California” aka snuffed it before chapter two!  Although this was not revealed until the end.

I feel we missed out on a decent Point Horror boy here as he was cruelly taken away from us!

Dylan Rourke blue eyed, devilish and shrewed with a square honest face and a trail of freckles on his nose that had been broken twice and leaned to the right.  An employee as janitor at the hospital and classmate of Duffy.  He was the total opposite of Kit and struggled for good grades.  He had recently broken up with Amy and basically fancied the pants off Duffy.  I liked Dylan….he can run after my runaway wheel chair and save me any day!

And last but my no means least Smith Lewis!  An orderly at the hospital and I think he was meant to be our Point Horror hunk!  With his eyes the colour of root beer, sexy proud walk (which Duffy found arrogant), thick straight hair, practical jokes and black sports car he apparently sent pulses racing where ever he went and his catch phrase “You think I’m adorable right?” made me want to grab the sick bucket!  I’ve been watching this years big brother whilst reading this book and all I could picture was Marco!  Help Me!  I think I have caught Duffy’s fever!

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The Girls

Blue eyed Amy Severn a junior volunteer at the hospital and of course classmate of Duffy.  She was kind and helpful with her blond hair perfect and sprayed so much into place it looked like plastic and her preppy clothes which included plaid skirts and sweaters she was a quiet and dutiful student and made it quite clear that looking at patients charts was illegal in Twelvetrees hospital!  She had cruelly been dumped by Dylan and gave Duffy’s the evil’s inbetween smiles and patient care of course.

Best friend Jane Sabatini was described as breathtakingly beautiful with thick dark lashes, dark curly hair, heart shaped face, perfectly flawless ivory skin, almost violet eyes and perfectly arched brows.  And yay for another overweight not skinny fab Point Horror character!  I loved Jane!  I wish she had featured a little more.  I mean she walked up four flights of stairs just to bring Duffy some magazines and ran errands for her when she had been running errands all morning with no questions asked.  A true friend indeed.

In fact I’m starting her own hashtag on twitter – #GIVEJANESABATINIHEROWNPOINTHORROR !

And last and most intentionally least we have junior volunteer and so determined to get into medical school that she TOUCHED AND MIXED UP THE PATIENT CHARTS FOR THE MAN WHO OWNED THE HOSPITAL, Cynthia Boon!  With she straight sandy hair, pale eyes, full mouth, shiny skin and tension lines she was described as ambitious and energetic and a KILLER!!  She killed off poor Kit after he discovered that she killed off Mr Latham who funded the hospital with as many wooden wheelchairs as possible and then because she killed Kit in the middle of the night in Duffy’s hospital room she had to kill Duffy next!  You have to feel sorry for her a little bit…..she was given a classic Point Horror ending and was sprayed in the eyes with bug spray and stabbed herself in her face with a hypordermic needle and then shoved on a slate in the morge!

Fashion Faux Pas

I spotted a few…..

Too tight Bermuda shorts over an oversized hot pink sweatshirt and hot pink bow!

And best of all…..Jane wearing lime green pedal pushers and a hot pink short-sleeved t shirt with the slogan, GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY GIVE ME A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE!

Get me one now!

Dialogue Disasters

Here’s some lines that made me giggle…..

“Residents of the town of Twelvetrees, Maine, had often remarked sourly that it was not the sort of look a hospital established to welcome the sick and ailing should have”

The obviously had not been inside Twelvetrees hospital….it was far worse than the outside!

“Had it been someone out in the hall doing something useful with the old metal bedpans?”

*sniggers*

“Dr’s were supposed to be balding or grey”

Duffy has never watched Casualty or Holby City then?  Or even visited Hollyoaks?!

“He might look like an ad for a physical fitness magazine, but there was a lot more to Dylan then brawn”

Any volunteers to answer this?

“Sensing that Duffy would rather spend valuable visiting time with her friends, her parent didn’t stay long”

Oh there’s a surprise!

“I wish we could come more often.  I worry about you every minute.  But it’s tax time, honey, and you know what that’s like”

I sense Duffy’s parents are LIARS!

“What you need is a man in your life.  Someone to take you out to a funny movie or dancing”

Firstly no Amy!  No!  And secondly I’m surprised Cynthia didn’t bump Amy off for saying this to her!

“What was Amy shaving with?  A power saw?”

All the lol’s!

“No one will ever be able to tell that you were dead before the car ever went off the road”

This was pre CSI so I will forgive Cynthia for this comment!

Body Count

2!  One pre the book starting and one in front of our very noses!

Is it scary?

Hmmmmmm not really.  I mean this was no Stiney Phirana Pit was it?!  Other than the fact there was not a squirt of hand gel in sight in that hospital which was scary enough and the clear breaches of patient care aka changing someones medication in order to bump them off!

Oh!  I did find the whole shower scene a little scary actually I have to be honest….I mean it was kind of violent and horror movie style scary!  It made up for me laughing so hard at the whole wheelchair scene!

*starts laughing again*

*doesn’t stop…ever*

Did the best friend do it?

Hmmmmm not really, but most of the characters in this Point Horror were a confusing hot sweat of friends/classmates/worked or volunteered at the hospital and who liked visiting Duffy more than actually you know…doing there job!

Some Mild Peril?

It’s like PHBC just want me to keep mentioning the runaway wheelchair again!

*laughs*

I think being admitted to a hospital because your ill with a fever and almost falling down a lift shaft, being rolled down a hill in a runaway wheelchair, being attacked when you finally get a shower and having your medication changed could be classed as mild peril don’t you think?

Or was Duffy just overreacting?

Is it any good?

Possibly not the best Diane Hoh offered to the Point Horror brand, but certainly not the worst.  I loved the concept of this one with the unknowing witness to a crime becoming the target and must be killed by any means in a creepy hospital setting, but the various coming and goings of the so called “friends” at every given opportunity and the amount of time Duffy waited and moaned about wanting a shower was a little strung out.  However the “attacks” on Duffy were pure classic Point Horror gold!

Final Thought

Kadunk!

Even PHBC member Tara’s cat got the fever!

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Cover Wars

Which cover do you prefer?

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Over to you!

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

  • Which boy (or maybe girl) would Duffy have got with in the end?
  • But what would have happened if Kit was still alive?
  • What happened to Cynthia?
  • If you had to bump Duffy off what method would you choose?
  • What would your Point Horror weapon of choice be for getting that killer?!

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th July 2016 !

I promise to be on time!

**EXCITING POINT HORROR BOOK CLUB NEWS**

 I have sent our questions to  Point Horror legend – author Richie Tankersley Cusick!  I am just awaiting them back….hoping to have these ready for next month!

You can vote for your next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

Voting closes on the 20th June 2016!

And the winner was Twins by Caroline B Cooney!

phbcjuly16

The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 20th June 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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