Tag Archives: Point Horror

Guest Post – 7 Reasons I Love Trick Or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick by Joshua Winning

 


Happy Halloween!!

*evil laugh*

Today I have a spooky guest post featuring a book after my own pumpkin heart!

Anybody that knows me knows my love for Point Horror and I’m always super happy to find others who share that passion and have Point Horror memories to share

Today the Spooktacular Joshua Winning does just that talking about his ultimate Point Horror fave in the fab guest post….

Check out Joshua’s YA Horror read – Vicious Rumer!  It’s awesome!

Jessica Jones meets Dragon Tattoo in a thriller that’ll keep you up all night. 

A fresh and fiercely unique thriller, Vicious Rumer features one of the most complex and unusual heroines in years. The ruthless and independent Rumer Cross is a snarky survivor whose moving story explores notions of identity, family, death and redemption. It will appeal to fans of Patrick Ness, Ruth Ware and Joe Hill.

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

*Hands microphone to Josh*


7 reasons I love Trick Or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

When I was a teenager, I devoured Point Horror books the way a zombie devours brains. Of the many, many I ate up, my favourites were Teacher’s Pet, The Accident and, top of the pile, The Babysitter, which I still couldn’t get enough of three sequels later.

 But Trick Or Treat has a special place in my cold, dark heart because it’s a book I could return to every Halloween for maximum seasonal chills. It had everything you wanted from a creepy story, from the spooky mansion to the secret graveyard and beyond. In fact, I’m pretty sure the graveyard stuff directly inspired the cemetery scenes in my book Vicious Rumer (Unbound, 2018).

 In the immortal words of the book’s dad, “Guess Halloween’s got me inspired!”, so here are seven reasons I still love this book, even though I haven’t been a teenager for a (very) long time…

 It’s Halloween

Before I ever watched John Carpenter’s classic slasher movie Halloween, Trick Or Treat was my benchmark for holiday horror. It just gets so much of it right, in particular the very specific Halloween atmosphere of dread mixed with candy-stuffed excitement.

 Richie Tankersley Cusick perfectly evokes the season with flourishes of detail, like the “trees nearly stripped by October winds”, and the house where “someone had propped a scarecrow against the porch, and its hideous face flickered… in the sputtering glow of a jack-o’-lantern”. I love Halloween, and this book captures the mood perfectly.

 The cover art

The front cover of this book is other-level spooky, but in a really simple way. That autumnal sky, the jack o’lantern and the bare tree are hella evocative, giving the book a subdued look that felt really grown-up when I was a kid. And then, of course, there’s the shadow of a person sneaking inside…

 Even today, the art is really cool – I love old-school illustrated covers like this and wish they were more of a thing nowadays. Reading the book, I constantly referred back to the cover, which brings me to the next thing I love about Trick Or Treat…

 The creepy house

This pile of bricks looks and sounds like something out of Psycho, only minus the motel, and, right from the start, the old Bedford place is spooky. Take our heroine Martha’s first glimpse of it. As Cusick writes, “The house looked strangely ghostlike, rising up through pale wisps of fog, its dark stone walls and chimneys interwoven with bare, twisted trees.”

Yeah, shudder, and it only gets more interesting the more you find out about it ­– there’s a reason this house immediately gives Martha the creeps. I love the idea of a closet door that keeps popping open (who hasn’t had a door like that?), and the fact that it leads somewhere dark and dangerous is even more disturbing.

 The scares

Point Horror books are well-known for their fake scares, and while Trick Or Treat has its fair share, there are also plenty of genuinely hair-raising moments that really stick in the memory.

 The backstory about Elizabeth is both tragic and scary, the scarecrow stuff is properly chilling, and the phone calls are genuinely unnerving: “You’re dead, Elizabeth. Trick or treat.” (If you want a movie equivalent, check out the movie Black Christmas (1974), which was some of the most disturbing obscene calls you’ll ever hear.)

 The family

The nuclear unit was getting pretty outdated even by 1989, when Trick Or Treat was published, and it was so refreshing to read a book about a family that didn’t sound like the Waltons. Martha’s dad has remarried, and Martha has to contend with a new step-mom (at least, until they go away) and her new step-brother Conor.

 Conor is hot (“he was tall and slender, but his shoulders were broad… those strong shoulders hunched against the chilly night air”), quick-witted and tawny-haired (who isn’t tawny-haired in Point Horror?). Naturally, that leads to some really confused feelings for Martha (hello, sorta incest). Speaking of…

 Conor

Martha is a bit of a whiny drip (all right, she’s a huge whiny drip) but her step-brother is all kinds of awesome. “There was just something about Conor,” Cusick writes, and she’s not wrong. He’s always ready with a killer quip, most of them at either Martha or his mother’s expense, and who doesn’t love a cute joker?

 As Wynn notes, “Heads have been turning since he got here. Like the domino effect every time he walks down the hall. They haven’t been able to keep their eyes off him.” I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out with this guy? He’s brilliant and clearly the hero of the book.

 The twist ending

Warning: SPOILERS! This book has such a great twist ending that I genuinely didn’t see coming. Of course, re-reading it, Cusick cleverly weaves in subtle clues from the start, particularly with the idea of a family who all look alike.

 Cusick keeps us guessing right up until the final couple of chapters, when Martha and Conor finally discover the secret passageway that leads from the cellar. “It was scarcely more than a crawlspace,” writes Cusick. “They had the most horrible feeling that they were crawling deeper and deeper into the earth.”

 What they find is a gorgeous, ghoulish nod back to Hammer Horror films (“An altar wreathed with candles… And the stale, faded sweetness of dead flowers…”), and a final confrontation that really pulls the rug out from under you.

 Happy Halloween!

Josh

You can buy a copy of Vicious Rumer here


Joshua Winning is an author and film journalist who writes for TOTAL FILM, SFX, GAY TIMES and RADIO TIMES. He has been on set with Kermit the Frog, devoured breakfast with zombies on The Walking Dead, and sat on the Iron Throne while visiting the Game Of Thrones set in Dublin. Jeff Goldblum once told him he looks a bit like Paul Bettany. In 2018, Joshua’s YA thriller VICIOUS RUMER was published by Unbound. His dark fantasy series THE SENTINEL TRILOGY was published by Peridot Press, and he also co-wrote ’80s teen horror CAMP CARNAGE. In 2015, Joshua’s short story DEAD AIR appeared in SPEAK MY LANGUAGE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF GAY FICTION.

You can find out more about Joshua on his website- www.joshuawinning.com

You can follow Joshua on twitter  – @JoshWinning


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.

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

You can find links to all #PointHorrorBookClub posts here

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?

A huge huge thank you to Joshua 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 – Point Horror vs. Stephen King – How The Two Faces Of Teen Horror Influenced Savage Island by Bryony Pearce


Today I a SUPER excited to be sharing a post from the wonderful Bryony Pearce to celebrate the release of another book in the brilliant Red Eye Series, Savage Island.

Savage Island was released today, the 5th April 2018 published by Stripes and if you love YA Horror then this is the book for you!

Also Happy Book Birthday Bryony!

So anyone who knows me knows I am a huge nostalgic Point Horror fan and I was so happy to find out that Bryony also loved Point Horror!  Find out how it influenced Bryony in this fab guest post….


Prepare to be scared out of your wits with a brand new Red Eye.

In SAVAGE ISLAND, Lord of the Flies meets Saw as Bryony Pearce takes the reader on a perilous game of survival of the creepiest. A gripping YA horror, full of fast-paced action.

When reclusive millionaire Marcus Gold announces that he’s going to be staging an “Iron Teen” competition on his private island in the Outer Hebrides, teenagers Ben, Lizzie, Will, Grady and Carmen sign up – the prize is one million pounds each. But when the competition begins with a gruesome twist, the group begins to regret their decision. Can the friends stick together under such extreme pressure to survive?

When lives are at stake, you find out who you can really trust…

Red Eye is the killer YA range from Stripes publishing, a modern day Point Horror that gives the genre a chilling update for a new generation of fans.


Point Horror vs. Stephen King – How The Two Faces Of Teen Horror Influenced Savage Island

My younger sister, Claire, has always loved all things terrifying. While some people were being stretchered out of Saw, my sister considered it fairly tame (I’ve never seen it and never will).

I, however, am a wimp. As a child I watched Jaws and have never been able to watch anything with sharks in. Ever. Again.

If you try and say “Candyman” to me, I’ll freak out and run for my life. It’s not funny!

I am a voracious reader though, and despite my initial allergy to all things scary, as a teenager I did discover Stephen King. For me it was Eye of the Dragon first, and then I devoured everything else he ever wrote, including the Bachman Tales (I’m reading Sleeping Beauties at the moment). The only time I was ever sent out of class was for reading The Stand while my teacher was taking the register (to be fair she was late and once I’m into a book there is little that can get my attention, so I blame her for this injustice).

Having no problem with Stephen King, I decided, one bookless day, to try one of my sister’s Point Horror books.

Point Horror was a series of horror novels, similar to Goosebumps but aimed at a slightly older, teenage, audience. Stephen King was written for adults, so I was expecting to find Point Horror an easy read. Scary only for my little sister and her friends. Sleep over thrills. I had forgotten at this point that my sister considered Freddy Krueger to be light comic relief.

I read one Point Horror book.

I still have nightmares about it to this day!

In this particular novel, the name of which escapes me, the main character ends up buried alive.

What?

I’d been reading Stephen King, where in almost all of his novels, the main character defeats the bad guy. Reading King is about finding out how they solve the problem, how they get out of it, how they defeat the monster.

But in this, the monster won! The character, who I’d become attached to, woke up inside a coffin, scratching at the lid and screaming until she ran out of air. The end.

What?

That is where I learned was proper horror was. Stephen King, in my view writes fantasy – where the status quo is restored. True horror, for me, is the removal of all hope.

I’ve avoided it since.

And so, to Savage Island.

When I decided that I was going to write a horror novel, I drew on Stephen King, because he’s the master and because I’ve read everything he wrote and internalised his lessons. He writes wonderful supernatural creatures, but he also writes terrifying men and women, who are the real monsters – the ones you can’t immediately see.

Monsters are real … They live inside us. And sometimes they win. (Stephen King)

I intended that Savage Island should include all of the things that make Stephen King’s novels great for me:

Subversion of expectation (What’s in the box?)

Gore (that bit with the tooth!)

Using our own fears (being hunted in the dark would be pretty scary for anyone, but I also include being unable to escape and amateur dentistry)

Suspense (foreboding, tense atmosphere and jump scares)

Emotional connection to the characters (I hope my characters come across as real people, who you love to root for)

A twist (the whole thing was a what?)

But because I was writing horror and for me, true horror is the removal of hope, I drew on Point Horror too. And I hope I’ve managed to write a book that leaves you hiding under the covers, just like that Point Horror book for me.

By the way, no-one got buried alive in the making of this story.

You can buy a copy of Savage Island here or from your local book shop!


About Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce was a winner of the 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition and is the author of ANGEL’S FURY and THE WEIGHT OF SOULS, winner of the Wirral Grammar School Award – Best Science Fiction. She has written PHOENIX RISING and PHOENIX BURNING for Stripes. Bryony lives with her husband and two children in a village in Gloucestershire.

You can find out more about Bryony on her website – www.bryonypearce.co.uk

Or why not follow Bryony on Twitter – @BryonyPearce


Previously On Tales…

You can find previous post featuring Bryony and her books by clicking on the below links!

Cover Reveal – Phoenix Rising by Bryony Pearce

Guest Post – My Favourite Literary Pirates by Bryony Pearce

Tales Q&A with Bryony Pearce

Tales Quiz – Which Character From Phoenix Burning Are You?


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!

#SavageIsland    #RedEye


A huge thank you to Bryony Pearce for such a fab guest post and to Charlie at Stripes for asking me to be part of the blog tour and sending me a copy of the book!

Have you read any of the Savage Island?  What did you think?  Did it scare you?  Have you read any of the other books in the Red Eye series?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

PHBC – Beach Party 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…

#pointhorrorbookclub

Join in the discussion with this months pick….

Beach Party by R L Stine

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

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

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


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


The Tagline

Some come to party.  Some come to die.

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Karen lives in sunny LA and her best friend since they were 9, Ann-Marie, is coming all the way from New York to stay.  Karen ditches all parents and takes Ann-Marie to stay in an apartment by the beach for the month!

Oh wow!  Sun, sea and relaxation right?

Well…..no not quite, but there’s lots of dangerous snorkelling, polluted sea water which is as green as pea soup (*heaves*), creepy phone calls and messages, jellyfish and contaminated sun cream!

Sounds kosha to me to be honest…..

Let’s move on shall we!

I missed out a mention to the secret beach party’s, sunbathing, hot men, lots of snogging and some murder!

Murder?!  But you are destroying the dream!

Yes!  Murder my dear friends….murder.  This is Point Horror after all!  And when Karen gets involved with Jerry someone is not happy about it…..not happy at all!

The Girl

Karen Mandell with her straight black hair, oval face, dark skin that always looked like she had a tan, black eyebrows and shocking blue eyes which were so wide and so blue completely won me over at the start with her quick witted since of humour and sarcasm making me feel like she was going to be pretty kick ass.  And she was great….all with the exception of her attraction to danger which she always seemed oblivious too…. lets going snorkelling Karen even though I hate your guts, jump on my motorbike Karen even though you don’t know me and I might be a murderer …. you get the idea.

Mentionable nod to the fact that I was cheering Karen on for throwing THE BEST insults at Vince and his gang of friends who were circling her and Ann-Marie at the start of the book…..she was so close to kicking his botty before Jerry came swooping in to save the day *rolls eyes*

Karen liked driving fast in her navy blue mustang convertible that her Daddy bought her following his divorce from her Mummy and with her crystal from her ex boyfriend Mike (more on him later) around her neck she had a strange tendency to compare everyone to not only famous people of the 90’s (when this book was written), but also animals.

And Karen gets bonus points for not one but two holiday romances!  She snogged two boys!  Although after the snog she had with Jerry I wouldn’t be going back for more!  What a kiss from hell!  Ugh!

She was actually an okay Point Horror girl to be fair.

The Love Interest

Ugh goody two shoes Jerry….or should I say Todd? #PlotTwist Too soon?  *puts plot twist back into the book*  With his preppy looks, straight dark hair, light eyes, perfect straight nose, broad chest, powerful looking arms and a passion for the smell of coconut….he apparently looked like Tom Cruise!

Jerry got on my nerves just a little.  I mean he cheats on his girlfriend Renee and effectively kills her as Todd, but he was just too ugh for me and omg that kiss with Karen sounded excruciatingly painful that I was cringing!  Tom Cruise lookalike or not….I think I will pass.

And I can’t move on without mentioning the quickest ending of all Point Horror’s when we find out that Jerry’s brother Todd died a year before and Jerry, who felt so guilty as he couldn’t help Todd, took on a split personality of his brother Todd who just happened to be evil and a murderer.  How convenient!  The ending of this book was a complete blur following this revelation that we seemed to only have what felt like one paragraph to explain and digest everything.  It actually made me feel a little mad if I’m honest.

The Gang

Best friend Ann-Marie who had been friends with Karen since she was 9 and visiting Karen in LA from New York was not your typical Point Horror best friend.  She was the total opposite to Karen in everyway….thin, looked like a fashion model, straight blonde hair, fashionably short with high cheek bones, pale creamy skin and emerald eyes she had all the makings of a Point Horror best friend but too be honest she didn’t do much at all except get with Karen’s ex Mike and make tea.  Every time Karen was in danger or an “accident” had happened to Karen she was no where to be seen and yes she was our classic Point Horror red herring, but there still would have been a story without her.

Renee, Jerry’s girlfriend, who with her high pitched voice like a little mouse, oval face, big dark brown eyes, frizzy brown hair,  parents in Bel-Air (yes I did sing Fresh Prince), strange sense of humour and passion for Carrie Fisher’s gold bikini was a little possessive over her boyfriend Jerry, but to be fair he basically cheated on her with Karen in front of her face….or at least whilst she was standing in the shadows.  She loved him that much….that he killed her!  Yes!  She didn’t see that plot twist coming when she signed up for this Point Horror!  Poor Renee.  I was actually starting to like her a little too.

Bad boy Vince got Karen all hot under the collar with his bad boy looks and yes I knew exactly where she was coming from with this!  Tall and lanky, dimples in his cheeks, eight ball tattoo on his wrist, short blond spiked hair, a leather and denim combi and diamond stud earrings and to top all of this off …. a motorcycle!  Bad ass or what?!  And then Karen goes and compares him to Sting *bursts balloon with a slow screech*

*looks at picture of young Sting*

*blows balloon back up quickly*

Anyway enough of that….he kept the mystery going all the way through apart from being a complete and utter ugh at the beginning with his gang!  And he gets the girl!  What more can we ask for?!  Oh a proper ending….just putting it out there!

Then we had Mike, Karen’s ex, who just so happens to be in the same place at the same time as Karen.  With his straight brown hair, big broad shoulders, muscular arms, wide neck, round brown eyes and square forehead he seemed okay and I loved the fact him and Ann-Marie have a secret thing which of course Karen finds hilarious (she was the only one).  He looked like Jim Belushi according to Karen…..

Wow Karen has very different tastes in men!

Little mention goes to Marty who I would have liked to have seen more of as he seemed funny. With his curly brown hair, round puffs of cheeks, black eyes, round face, horse scratchy voice and skateboard ….. me and Marty could have been friends but he was whipped away from me!

And let’s not forget Stephanie….you know who I mean right?!

*looks at notes*

*Reads Marty’s girlfriend and long blonde hair*

*moves on swiftly*

Fashion Faux Pas

Ohhh lots of good old 90’s fashion in this one!  I spotted blue sleeveless t-shirts, lots of spandex bicycle shorts, tie dyed jean cut-offs and lots of Day-Glo!

Go 90’s!

Dialogue Disasters

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

“It was bright yellow, burning hot on the outside and frozen solid on the inside”

“Must have been lasagne”

“How did it taste?”

“Fabulous!”

Karen and Ann-Marie are auditioning for the next GBBO hosts!  Someone give them a job!

“Like gag me with a spoon”

Say what Ann-Marie?!  She’s from New York don’t you know!

“She was like a zombie for months.  She’d sit around playing her old Beatles records and cry”

Sounds like a standard Saturday night for me to be honest!

“And your Dad?”

“He’s driving a red corvette and he’s blow drying his hair”

“Weird”

Is it?  Is it really?

“But Karen do you really think this is a good idea?”

“Of course it is – what could happen?”

That old classic Point Horror line!  Your in a Point Horror girls….what do you expect?!

“He looks like a squirrel.  A fat squirrel storing up nuts for the winter”

Harsh Karen!  Harsh!

“That’s Kenny, Alisha, Normy and Seth”  Karen said hi to them forgetting their names immediately

Ah!  The names of the one page Point Horror characters….bless their little cotton socks!

“One kiss and your brain has turned to oatmeal”

To be fair after that kiss with Jerry Karen I don’t blame you!

“She looks like a really scary Jack O Lantern”

It’s the lighting okay?!  We can’t all be blessed with Point Horror standards you know!

Body Count

Oh this one had an actual murder!  And yes I do worry about how excited I got about this ….plus she kind of deserved it!

There was also one off page death from the past, but we all know it’s what happens in the Point Horror story that counts!

Is it scary?

Hmmmm not really scary to be honest however that nightmare/dream that Karen had lit my little horror heart a light with those two pages of gore!  Yes Stiney!  You legend!

Did the best friend do it?

No!  We could only have hoped that Ann-Marie had the umph in her to actually do something really couldn’t we?!

Some Mild Peril?

I would say the beach where they were staying was packed full of mild peril!  Polluted sea, gangs, lots of boys in heavy metal t-shirts (my kind of boys may I just point out) you know that kind of thing.

But yes other than that there was the usual drowning whilst snorkelling, drowning whilst snorkelling again, and jellyfish!  Yes imagine finding all those Jelly fish in your bed! Ugh!  That’s almost as bad as kissing Jerry!

Is it any good?

I actually quite enjoyed this one and flew through this quite quickly.  The ending was a little rushed and sudden and whilst I didn’t see the twist coming (and obviously nowadays I’m not sure if it should have been better handled), but I quite liked the premise and the actual feeling of a who dunnit in this one.

Also a nod to getting rid of the parents straight away at the start of the book with Karen’s parents being divorced and Karen and Ann-Marie staying an apartment owned by her Daddy for the summer who conveniently stayed away longer than planned.  In fact it wasn’t unit page 114 that we saw glimpse of a parent, because strange and scary things are happening to you, but pffftttt who needs their parents when you have sun, sea and jellyfish to contend with.

Final Thought

Stay away from Jerry……except if it’s Ben and Jerry’s because nom!

Cover Wars!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over to you!

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

  • Which Point Horror Boy….Jerry, Vince or Mike?  You decide!
  • Wouldn’t the jelly fish have stung Karen?
  • What was Ann-Marie ACTUALLY doing for the whole book?
  • What happened to Marty and Stephanie?
  • Ending?  Yay or Nay?

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

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

As the next #PointHorrorBookClub with be on the 13th February I have tried to pick a few romance-y Point Horror titles….if that’s even possible!

What will you pick?

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

And the winner was…..a tie!

Therefore I have flipped a coin and picked The Invitation for next months #PointHorrorBookClub!

 

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

Thanksor joining in….

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….

 

 

Guest Post – Thrills, Chills and Nightmares – Point Horror Box Sets by Mark Stewart


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


I know lots of people who hold Point Horror close to their hearts and one of the things I love about hosting the #PointHorrorBookClub is getting to chat to other fans from all over the world!

Mark Stewart , who lives in Australia, is also a huge fan of all things Point Horror and has been joining in with us on #PointHorrorBookClub for what seems like ages now.  Mark and I were chatting and he had a brilliant idea for a guest post about the Point Horror Box Sets so I invited him along to chat about them!

It’s such a fascinating post and shows how different the Point Horror Books were marketed in Australia and possibly were even released way before here in England! 

You can find out more about how the Point Horror Books came to be in England in this fab guest post about Publishing Point Horror by Anne Finnis-  here

*hands microphone to Mark*


Thrills, Chills and Nightmares – Point Horror Box Sets

As the popularity of Point Horror (PH) began to grow in the late 1980’s, Scholastic hit on the bright idea of packaging up some of their best-selling titles and selling them in box sets. These various sets were released until the mid 1990’s and, seriously, what horror junkie wouldn’t have loved unwrapping one of these babies on Christmas morning?

 Information on publishing dates, numbers released, titles included is scarce to say the least – in fact, even just finding out what sets exist is tricky! So I’m hoping that by sharing what information I have, that maybe some other information might come to light. Wherever I have made an assumption, I’ll endeavour to justify my reasoning.

 So let’s start at the start…

 The ‘Thrills, Chills and Nightmares’ (TCN) box set appears to be the first one released. There are a few reasons why I believe this to be the case: 1) The books included are from 1985 – 1988, 2) The ‘Point’ logo on the spines is pre ‘blood splatter’ and 3) the cover price of the set is $11.00 USD. The cover price is especially telling as I have no other PH box set with an $11.00 cover price; every other set I have has a higher price.

As pictured, I’ve been lucky enough to find a sealed set for my collection. Given that it is sealed, I feel it’s safe to say that the books included in the first TCN set are:

·         Slumber Party (1985) – Christopher Pike

·         Weekend (1986) – Christopher Pike

·         Twisted (1987) – R. L. Stine

·         The Lifeguard (1988) – Richie Tankersley Cusick

 The presence of ‘The Lifeguard’ dates this set as being from 1988 (at the earliest). I would assume that ‘The Lifeguard’ would be an early edition, potentially a first edition, whereas the others may be subsequent printings – but I’m not about to open my set to check!

 Including such big YA horror hitters as Pike, Stine and RTC I’m assuming led to a sales return from the box set idea that was pleasing to the powers that be at Scholastic. So the TCN box set was re-released, this time with a cover price of $11.80 USD. It’s quite easy to see the difference as the re-release’s cover price is on a white background as well.


Now here’s the catch – although I have two of the re-release box sets, both are unsealed and while both contain the same 4 books, one clearly has a couple of later release versions in it that someone presumably added in at a later stage. This leads to the biggest question mark I have over PH box sets – determining the make-up of the titles. Given that I do have two copies of the TCN re-release (from different places) and they both have the same titles, I’m 99% certain that these are the books originally included. One clue that helps me to be 99% confident is that the total cover price of the 4 books – $2.95 x 4 = $11.80

 The re-released TCN contains 3 different novels from the first:

·         Weekend (1986) – Christopher Pike

·         The Boyfriend (1990) – R. L. Stine

·         The Accident (1991) – Diane Hoh

·         The Snowman (1991) – R. L. Stine.

 As with the original TCN set, the age of the books helps identify a release date. So while the original TCN was released c. 1988, the TCN re-release was released c. 1991. The Accident and The Snowman in my set are both second edition printings, which makes some sense – I would assume that the initial print run would have been sold as standalone novels and then subsequently bundled into the box set.

 One other point of note with the two TCN sets is that the re-release features the cover art of a book (Slumber Party) that is absent from the set. This is pretty rare for PH box sets.

 The fact that the re-release of TCN seems to be c.1991 is made all the more intriguing by another great feature of PH – the sequel. In the case of TCN, two follow up box sets ‘More Thrills, Chills and Nightmares’ (MTCN) and ‘Still More Thrills, Chills and Nightmares’ (SMTCN) were released as the PH machine kicked into high gear.

It would appear that two versions of MTCN were released, however unlike TCN there is no difference in the cover price (both $11.80) and I would assume that both sets were released at the same time c.1989 based on the titles included.

 Version 1:

·         Blind Date (1986) – R. L. Stine

·         The Babysitter (1989) – R. L. Stine

·         Trick or Treat (1989) – Richie Tankersley Cusick

·         Party Line (1989) – A. Bates

 Version 2:

·         The Babysitter (1989) – R. L. Stine

·         Trick or Treat (1989) – Richie Tankersley Cusick

·         Party Line (1989) – A. Bates

·         Prom Dress (1989) – Lael Littke

 The only difference between the sets is ‘Blind Date’ and ‘Prom Dress’. Online research shows a number of different sites listing both versions. I’ve yet to see a sealed set, so I can’t be 100% sure of the titles, however these two combinations are all I’ve ever come across, so I don’t believe there is a third version.

 So our time line now reads:

 1988 – TCN

1989 – MTCN

1990 –

1991 – TCN (re-release)

 “So what about 1990?” I hear you cry – and you have a point. Filling that gap is SMTCN. Also with a cover price of $11.80, its line-up of titles suggests that it is our c. 1990 set. I’m only aware of one version of this set:

·         My Secret Admirer (1989) – Carol Ellis

·         April Fools (1990) – Richie Tankersley Cusick

·         Beach Party (1990) – R. L. Stine

·         Final Exam (1990) – A. Bates

 In summary, the ‘Thrills, Chills and Nightmares’ series of box sets provided PH fans with a great selection of titles across 5 sets spanning 4 years. With the inclusion of some PH classics, I’ve no doubt that the sets were big winners with the fans. The re-release of TCN in 1991 is a bit of an oddity; perhaps they had left over sleeves that they wanted to use up as opposed to designing new ones? Perhaps the presence of other box sets on the shelves led Scholastic to believe that readers who may have missed out on the first set and had since bought the latter sets might want to complete their collection? There is certainly no doubt that the sequel sets preceded the re-release of TCN, so it might just remain a mystery for some time to come!

Well, that’s enough for today – I’ll have another box set story for you shortly 🙂

Please feel free to comment below.

Mark


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

I honestly cannot thank Mark enough!  Point Horror was my childhood and I feel so honoured to be able to still chat about it today! 

*claps hands excitedly*

It’s such a fascinating post and shows how different the Point Horror Books were marketed in Australia and possibly were even released way before here in England!

Were these box sets even released over here in England?  And with the likes of Pike appearing in these box sets and Twisted by R L Stine under the then named Point banner why were these excluded from the Point Horror brand in England?  So many questions!  But so many extra books to potentially add into our Point Horror collections!

You can find out more about how the Point Horror Books came to be in England in this fab guest post about Publishing Point Horror by Anne Finnis-  here


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?

You can find all #PointHorrorBookClub posts old and new here

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

Happy Point Horror-ing!

PHBC – The Snowman 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…

#pointhorrorbookclub

Join in the discussion with this months pick….

The Snowman by R L Stine

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

A cold blooded killer

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Heather Dickson is one very unhappy girl.  She can think of nothing better than killing off her nasty, vile Uncle.  She has a loving boyfriend and a best friend and a job that she hates….what more could she ask for?!

A boy called The Snowman turns up in Twin Valley but he’s not all what he seems…….

The Snowman?!  Oh he sounds frightfully chilling!

He really is not that terrifying.  Heather seems to loose all common sense and gets swept away by The Snowman’s cool charms and good looks and starts cheating on her boyfriend with him whilst giving him lots and lots of money from her trust fund whenever he asks.

I’m not sure I like this Snowman guy!

Fear not dear reader, he does however redeem himself by killing the vile Uncle of Heather…..with his snowman red scarf!

I bet Heather loved him even more after that…I mean she hated her Uncle right?!

Hmmmmmm no……It’s then she starts to realise that not everything with The Snowman is as it seems……

The Girl

Wow!  Where do I start with unhappy Heather Dickson!  With her golden hair featuring an off centred pony tail, her dark blue almost violet eyes, her high cheek bones and creamy pale skin….she had high hopes to be a classic Point Horror girl didn’t she?  She turned out to be this and much much more…..worse.  I think I spent nearly every chapter screaming OH HEATHER!  WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING!  ARE YOU CRAZY! and shaking my head at her….lots!

Heathers parents died years before in a car crash and she is now living with an Aunt and Uncle for the last 13 years whom she hates with a passion.  And that passion made me chuckle on numerous occasions with her fantasies about killing Uncle James.  I mean she even fantasises about killing her Uncle whilst kissing her boyfriend…..need I say more!

Oh yes I can!  She also cheats on her boyfriend because she takes a fancy to the mysterious Snowman and thinks about him too whilst kissing her boyfriend…..poor Ben.

Always living her life in slow motion, her Dad’s lighter always at hand (phew) and with a trust fund stuffed full of money she threw money at The Snowman constantly!  Pay for this Heather, oh silly me I have forgot my wallet, LET ME BLACKMAIL YOU HEATHER AND THEN YOU CAN STILL GIVE ME MONEY.  Even at the end when he kidnapped Heather she was still offering him money!  Say what now!

Bless her!  She was captured under The Snowman’s spell!

The Love Interest

The Snowman!

Boo!  Hiss!  Boo!

With his amazing pure white (not silver) parted in the middle hair which was wavy and long, his apple breath, dark features, ruddy skin which was almost tanned, his adorable cleft in his chin and dark brown eyes that were like dark coals he made Heather swoon and swoon and swoon and throw money at him left right and centre.

He was kind of horrible to Heather, but evidence above indicates she kind of deserved it!  And lets face it he killed the horrible Uncle and destroyed our comedy value of fantasy deaths….I shall never forgive him!

The Gang

Ben with his large dark eyes, straight black hair and his Honda Civic was the perfect dumped Point Horror boy.  He deserved so much more than pining after Heather.  Evidence above indicates he is potentially not a good kisser either!

Uncle James with his narrow face, thin lips, yellowed false teeth, thick glasses, long boney arms and legs that made him look like a gigantic insect and ancient olive coloured overcoat was completely vile!  The best thing about this guy was they way Heather kept killing him over and over again in her dreams and of course when he finally got bumped off I have to admit I did a little giggle when the ambulance people left him on the front porch for the night!  Oh gosh this made me laugh more than it probably should have!

I guess I could put best friend Kim Slater in here as a severely unused point horror best friend can ever be.  Kim was short with brown curls and a hoarse scratchy voice.  Stiney also felt the need to point out to us that she was a little chunky even without the 3 long sweaters she wears (grrrrrr)…..but yeah she popped up every now and again and didn’t really do much to help her friend Heather.  She must have realised, like us, that Heather was past help!

Oh and poor Aunt Belle – she was the only character I actually felt sorry for in this book – bless her fragile bones and lilac smelling skin.

Fashion Faux Pas

I think I was that wrapped up in trying not to laugh too much at the Point Horror I didn’t notice any terrible fashion!

Dialogue Disasters

“He looks like a big green squirrel”

“You were fascinating that I was a large roast beef”

“He looks like a pencil with a red eraser at the top”

“He suddenly looked to Heather like a department store mannequin”

“He looks like a tooth pick”

“You look like a Heather…..You know.  All blonde and pretty.  Heathery”

“I dance like a water buffalo on roller skates”

“He looks like a toothpick”

There was a wide range of comparisons to things in this Point Horror!

“Coffee, tea or me?”

Heathers chat up lines are the best!  Take note!

“And through the gray thoughts, the bright pink head of her uncle appeared, like a flowering weed sprouting up through a concrete sidewalk”

No YOU laughed!  You did!  I know you did!

Body Count

1!  And lets face it….he deserved it right?!

Loved all the fake Uncle James deaths more though especially the sledding one!

Weeeeeeeeeee!

Is it scary?

No!  It’s really really not!

It kind of enforces the don’t fall for the mysterious stranger or any stranger you set eyes on vibe though!

Did the best friend do it?

Nope!  This book was what it said on the tin….all about The Snowman!

And not the walking in the air kind either!

Some Mild Peril?

I guess being chased by a car in the middle of the night in the icy snow could be classed as mild peril.  Other than that not really!  Unless we class snowman gate at the end as a contender?

Is it any good?

This one was mildly okay, but mainly for comedy value for me.  With a fab opening chapter and an egg cracking death by page 5 I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better…..how wrong was I?!

That’s right old Stiney thought that Raymond Briggs ending to The Snowman was for whimps and decided that the only possible ending was to but a live person inside a snowman to try and kill them….luckily Heather had seen the The Snowman on TV every Christmas and knows a snowman melts!

Final Thought

For once I am speechless……..

Cover Wars!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over to you!

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

  • Your given the title The Snowman to right a Point Horror – what would it be about?
  • What happened to The Snowman after the book?
  • Did Heather and Ben stay together?
  • Where was Kim throughout this whole book?!

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

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

What will you pick?

And the winner was…..

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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point1-510x180

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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