Tag Archives: Call Waiting

PHBC – Call Waiting by R L Stine


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

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

Lets find out…


 Join in the discussion with this months title!

Call Waiting by R L Stine


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?


*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!


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”!


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!


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!


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?


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!


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!


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?”


“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


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!


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?









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!


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…….


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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