Tag Archives: The Boy Next Door

PHBC – The Boy Next Door by Sinclair Smith


n11869pointDo you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s?  The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book.  There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

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

Lets find out…

#pointhorrorbookclub

 Join in the discussion with this months title!

The Boy Next Door By Sinclair Smith

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

 There is a link to a poll at the bottom of this post to vote for your next #pointhorrorbookclub read! The next book will be announced on 17th September 2015

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

He’s too close for comfort…

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Hi There!

*sets the scene*

A house full of creaks and groans isolated out on the edge of town!  The only house on a dead end street with spooky woods out back.  An absent father “away” for three weeks on a business trip.  An empty run down house next door!  A teenager all alone to fend for herself!

Wow this is the perfect Point Horror / Horror movie set up right!

Tsk Tsk!  If only it were that simple!

Basically Randy is the good girl, but then she falls in love with a complete stranger called  Julian, dumps her boyfriend, turns into a rebel and pulls some pranks!

Ohhhh that sounds fun!  What type of pranks?

Playing pranks on teachers and friends is how Randy rebels and all to woo her new man and basically to keep him from going all hulk and getting angry!

But someone discovers her little secrets!

Really?  Who?

Randy’s BFF Alice figures things out, but starts to think that Randy’s new boyfriend is a figment of Randy’s imagination and she’s gone bonkers!  Can this be true?!  We all think it until a piece of cheese tells us otherwise!

The Girl

Randy, Randy Randy! Miss Randy Bell *sniggers*  Always the sensible one who sometimes wishes she wasn’t!  Maybe she wishes she wasn’t called Randy when her real name was Charlotte!?  Whaaaaa??

She basically quits cheerleading practise, plays pranks on people at school which include a toy tarantula, a love note and an oil patch all to impress a boy!

She meets Julian over a romantic setting of garbage cans and within minutes she is captivated by his apparent television advertisement looks and basically becomes willing to do anything he says before you can say Stupid Point Horror girl!  Grrrrrrrr

She basically goes off into the woods with a stranger and calls Julian unusual!

But I gave her a few brownie points for using a piece of cheese to try and kill her attacker at the end of the book!  A PIECE OF CHEESE!  I hope it was extra smelly too!

The Love Interest

What can I say about Julian Dax that you are all not already thinking!  He can give horrible old Chuck from The Babysitter 1 & 2 a good run for his money!  Again with conveniently absent parents and a little hot headed!

Ice Blue Eyes.  Long Black Hair!  Golden Skin part tropical island water ski instructor part skiing instructor in Aspen and with such white teeth!

We could only wish he was a young Jared Leto with that description *heart beats*

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But no!  No! No! NO!  He’s the worst male love interest in the Point Horror re reads so far!  Yuk!  I felt rather uncomfortable with the way he manipulated and controlled Randy (even though she was willing) and not in a normal Point Horror I’m the murderer way…it was shockingly frustrating and just awful!

And his excuse for being this way I guess was because when he was hungry a guy who’s car he was working on wouldn’t give him a cupcake to eat!  A CUPCAKE!  I mean I like cake, but COME ON!

He basically controls Miss Goodie Randy Bell and turns her into Annie Douglas from Sunset Beach!

And what was with the “Hi There” all the time!  By about the 100th time I wanted to shove him off that roof myself!

Remember Denny Drake from the Beach House who accidently was in the wrong Point Horror book ….well I think we found him and he was not a happy bunny and developed a slightly deep masculine chuckle that went like this!

“AH-HA. HEH-HEH-HEH. HA HA”

Or like this

“AHHHHH.  HEHEHEHEHEHHH”

He also knows how to woo the ladies….

“I can’t stay away from you sweetheart.  I wanna get close to you…real close…SO I CAN PUT MY HANDS AROUND YOUR THROAT AND SQUEEZE UNTIL YOUR EYES BUG OUT!”

I mean who could resist someone who says this…

“DON’T WORRY SWEETHEART.  I’LL BE WITH YOU IN A JIFFY…AND BREAK YOUR NECK!”

Enough said!  *THROWS CHEESE*

The Gang

BFF Alice knows there something strange about Julian and cross examines Randy about him a lot!  Thinking there was something fishy she starts catching Randy out on her pranks and also calling her out on it!  She also is one tough cookie!  Entering the spooky empty house alone looking for evidence and being thrown down the stairs she was fab!  I really like Alice a lot!

Poor old Ted Kaminsky!  He gets dumped by Randy at the start of the book and up until the end when he miraculously shows up to save the day he is cast aside like Darlene’s appendix in the hospital!  Randy describes him as not handsome in a conventional sense, but such sincerity and good humour with thick red hair and deep green eyes with a tall muscular frame!  How could she be so cruel and dump him for Julian!  Disgraceful!  I feel he could have been the character that turned the plot around and was severely under used!

Randy’s Father or as I renamed him Bob after Bob The Builder.  He has his own tv show called Fix It Man, but never fixes anything in his own house which obviously and happily lead to Julian’s down fall (get it?)  although I still feel it was the cheese that did it!  I loved how his first words to Randy upon his return are about fixing the house up!  All the loll’s!

Maxine – head cheerleader and little miss bossy pants herself fell foul to Randy’s rebellious pranks!  I really wanted Maxine to get with Ted and hop on over to one of those Point Romances!

Special mention to poor old Mrs Newton!  I felt her pain!  Scared to death by a toy tarantula! Oh the shame of having your last word in a Point Horror to be “AAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!  AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!  AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!  AAAAAGGGGGHHHH”!  Mind you I think this may have summed up my thoughts well!

I cannot move on without mentioning the names of characters in this book other than the ones mentioned above already!  They were very Point Horror and possibly one of the best parts of the book for me!

Durk Tupper!

The classic jock boyfriend of the head cheerleader Maxine!

Officer Covik and Office Diva!

Yes you heard me right they were da police and not a tennis player and Mariah Carey turning up at Randy’s door to investigate a light shining in the abandoned house next door!  And talk about giving a girl a telling off for calling the police!  The were more scary than Julian!

Wayne Dziezenowski

King of wrestling at Huntington High don’t you know!

Zizzy Maxwell

Who never stopped telling anyone he knew first aid and CPR and who couldn’t wait to give Mrs Newton the kiss of life!

Darlene Lund, Chris “The Mouth” Cavanaugh and Ernie Scozik!  The list goes on and on!

Fashion Faux Pas

Unbelievably I did not pick up any fashion faux pas!  Did I miss these or was I blinded by my obvious hate for Julian?

Dialogue Disasters

“You know nothing bad ever happens in Huntington”

Right at the start we should have known this was a sign of things to come?!

“I didn’t hear a sound… (Chelley becomes nervous) I didn’t even know he was right beside me… (Chelley gulps in anticipation at the big scare!) until he said, “Hi There” ( *Chelley blinks …wait what now?!)

“Ted adores you so much he probably wouldn’t care if you wore a burlap sack to the dance”

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I heard Ted’s sigh of relief when he got dumped!

“Whooah!  Whoosh!  Whoopie.  Well done kiddo!”

Well that makes a change from Hi There Julian!  Whoopie!

“You weren’t even falling unless you were falling for me”

Ewwwww Julian made me do a little sick!

“There isn’t anyone like me.  They broke the mould”

THANK GOD JULIAN!  THANK GOD!

“He was breathing like a human steam engine”

Choo Choo!

“Is it long, or short?  Is it bigger than a bread box?”

*Chokes on buttery popcorn*

“Maybe if he hadn’t eaten that other cupcake he would have made it home”

Julian takes Bake Off very seriously!

“Try to keep both oars in the water…as they say”

Do they say?

“I didn’t mean to scare you.  Is my makeup on backwards or something?”

Alice tested her new Halloween outfit and it worked!

“He howled in pain and rage as it [the cheese] hit him right between the eyes on the bridge of his nose!”

“Too much cheese is bad for your cholesterol Randy yelled at him”

Best. Line. Of. The. Book!  Ha ha ha ha ha

“Randy felt as deflated as a life raft with all the air let out”

Randy sums up my feelings about The Boy Next Door!

“Here’s Johnny!”

Now Julian thinks he’s in The Shining!  Oh Boy!

Body Count

We get one dead body at the end of the book!  And yes I cheered with joy and laughed that he got hit in the face with a block of cheese!

Is it scary?

NO!  Not at all.  Not one little bit!

Did the best friend do it?

We could only have hoped and dreamed for this plot twist!

Some Mild Peril?

I guess the ending had some mild peril when Randy goes all classic horror styley and runs up the stairs away from the attacker which she wasn’t sure if she had made up or not or if he was real!

Also why stand on the edge of a crumbling cliff in the woods with a stranger?  Randy made her own mild peril in my opinion!

Is it any good?

I have to be honest this book gave me a few laughs.  The Point Horror names, the cheese the cheesy lines, but it is my least favourite Point Horror to date.  I didn’t understand the point in the whole plot and it had no umph about it!  I expected a little more from a Point Horror entitled The Boy Next Door 🙁

Final Thought

What would have happened to Randy if she refused to do anything that Julian told her to do!  Now that would have made a while different The Boy Next Door Point Horror!

Oh and what was with that epilogue?!

Over to you!

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

  • Who would have been the better plot twist?
  • What do you think happened to Mrs Newton?
  • Before reading what did you think The Boy Next Door would be about?
  • Thoughts on Julian!
  • What cheese would you have thrown at Julian?

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

See you at #pointhorrorbookclub on 13th October 2015 !

And the winner was…

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I’m thinking of running a post of peoples favourite Point Horror Books or Point Horror Moments soon – so have a think about that over the next few months and we will see what we can come up with!

Also in other Point Horror news I have managed to get in touch with the lady who bought Point Horror to the UK!  I should have a fab guest post from her in November and then any questions fire them at me and she will be willing to answers these for our December post!

The next read will be announced on the #pointhorrorbookclub page here and on twitter using the hashtag #pointhorrorbookclub on the 17th September 2015!

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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