Thursday, September 18, 2008
The New Year's Party (Part Two) or "Shadyside Kids Don't Care Enough About Their Friends"
On to Part Three! This part opens where we left off in Part One. In 1965, Jeremy and Beth just crashed their car into a ditch, and Beth peacefully pointed out on the way down that Jeremy killed them both. Thanks for the play by play Beth! Except she was wrong because both kids are miraculously unhurt! They climb out, and decide they should go back and look for that pesky boy they ran over. I thought it was a raccoon BETH? Anyways they can’t find the boy’s body so they assume he’s fine, even though they find a sick puddle of blood. Nice. Now they try to flag down cars and trucks but no one even slows down for them! Where is their New Years spirit? They even try banging on the windows of some houses but everyone continues to ignore them… I wonder what’s going on!
They decide to head back to the car to keep warm. They try to crawl back into their mangled car, but discover that two bodies are in there! A boy and a girl! Beth recognizes them! It’s … them! They’re dead! Took them long enough to catch on. Jeremy creepily tries to crawl back into his body, but to no avail. Jeremy fades from Beth’s view and then blackness surrounds her. End Scene. Well it can’t be a Super Chiller without some ghosts!
Part Four picks up exactly where Part Two ended. P.J. is lying dead in the middle of a party while people stare silently at him. Sean FINALLY gets around to suggesting someone perform CPR. Reenie and Sean do it while Greta and Artie force everyone to leave. P.J. does not pull through. However, Greta sees a car pull into Reenie’s driveway and assumes it’s her parents! Wait a minute. Weren’t her parents gone for a few days? Did she throw a party on the night they got home?? Or are the kids so dumb they forgot the parents were out of town? Well, they’re certainly not geniuses because they decided to HIDE P.J.’s body in the basement from Reenie’s parents. They force him, inch by inch, behind the furnace. BLECH! I don’t understand what their plan was. Didn’t he die in front of like 50 kids at a party? How were they planning on just playing that off?
Except it wasn’t Reenie’s parents, it was just someone turning around in their driveway. The gang decides to finally call the police (wasn’t someone supposed to call 911? Did they just not do that?) and go take the body from its hiding spot. BUT! It’s not there anymore! Everyone is super relieved, thinking that it was a practical joke played by P.J. and that he’s fine.
When the police get there, they tell them what happened: the joke on P.J., P.J. “pretending” to die, HIDING THE BODY, and then P.J. being gone. UM, if I was the police, I would be a little bit more suspicious when a bunch of teenagers told me they hid what they thought was a dead body. Like, really, that’s suspicious! But the police officer just checks behind the furnace and then leaves. Well done Shadyside Police Department!
The next day at school. Wait. Reenie had a party on a school night, the night her parents get home from a trip?? Reenie is slow, isn’t she? No one even ASKS what happened with P.J. The gang all thinks he’s fine, but everyone saw P.J. die. How is it not a bigger deal?! These Shadyside kids are waaaay too relaxed about witnessing murders. Also, an officer shows up to school to interview the Reenie, Sean, Greta, Artie and Sandi and tells them P.J. is missing. They still think it’s a joke. These kids have zero sense of guilt too.
Greta decides that now is a perfect time to breakup with her boyfriend Artie. Because she thinks he’s too into Marc. Fair enough! But she brings Reenie along to break up with him… I think I smell a plot contrivance. Righto! They get to Artie’s house and Marc is there. Not for long! When the three of them go to check on Marc, he’s lying over the hood of the car, with his neck broken. Yikes! The three friends are finally freaked out! Good! Show some appropriate emotions for once!
All the friends are pretty scared, so Sandy and Reenie go to pick up Sean and Ty (remember Ty? He’s their friend that spends all his time with Liz, P.J.s sister) from their job. Only once Reenie comes out of the bathroom, she finds Sandi in the trashcan. With her neck broken. Ooooh, that sucks. All the remaining friends think that P.J. is not dead, and it killing people that pulled the prank on him. Well, that would be an extreme reaction, don’t you think?
Liz sends out invitation to a New Year’s party that she’s having. She says in that she knows P.J. is gone but wants to put the year behind her and celebrate. Okay, here are a few things: 1. P.J. disappeared at a Christmas party, so that would be like two weeks previous. Liz is either a sociopath who didn’t care about her brother, or wants revenge. Neither option is good! 2. Also, isn’t Reenie suspicious that Liz is only inviting the people that were involved in her brother’s death/disappearance? DON’T GO TO THE PARTY. BAD IDEA.
Well of course they go. Reenie thinks Liz looks great in her red velvet dress (from the cover!) The only guests invited are Reenie, Sean, Artie and Greta. Hmmm, weird! And the whole house is decorated in black. And there are no chairs (which struck me as the weirdest part) just punch and a yearbook from 1965. FLEE! Also, Ty also shows up as crazy Liz’s date. So Liz suddenly confesses to murdering Marc and Sandi, and tells the group that she got tired of picking them off one by one so got them all together here. That’s just some lazy serial killer work there, Liz! She should really take more pride in her killings.
Liz has a big knife and Sean and her wrestle around with it. P.J. suddenly bursts through the door and Reenie is super relieved, thinking that he came to rescue them. Um, why would you think that? Didn’t you think he was the murderer up until 3 minutes ago? Right, he’s not there to save them, but to SAVOUR their deaths. Nice! Sean and Liz wrestle again for the knife and Sean stabs Liz through the chest. But no blood comes out. Wait. NO EFFING WAY. Are they? Can it be?
Liz and P.J. are ZOMBIES!!! My absolute favourite!! Liz tells the gang of friends all that she and P.J. can’t be killed because they’re already dead!! This book just got 1000 times better. Liz shows them a year book picture of Jeremy and Beth from 1965 (good time for show and tell, I guess?) and its Liz and P.J.! I guess Jeremy and Beth were brother and sister. Their obsession with each other in 1965 is really gross now. Liz/Beth tells everyone that they died in 1965 because of the prank played on Jeremy and they were brought back for revenge! Everyone’s like “unfair! We didn’t kill you!” which is a fair argument. Liz/Beth goes back to trying to kill them until … Ty interrupts!
Ty tells her and P.J./Jeremy that they weren’t sent back for revenge, HE was! Because, you see, Ty is the “raccoon” they hit that night! And he’s back to kill them for good! Liz/Beth actually still maintains it was a raccoon.
“Don’t!” Liz snapped at her brother. “We didn’t kill him! We hit an animal. A raccoon!”
Liz/Beth is a cold-hearted bitch.
So here comes the big climax. The clock starts to “bong” out that it’s midnight (side note: they got there at about 9 o’clock. Did that really take 3 hours? I would have given it 30 minutes). Ty/Raccoon grabs a hold of Liz/Beth. P.J./Jeremy tries to throw him off. The three of them start to whirl around, faster and faster as the clock “bongs”. They’re a ghost whirlwind! thinks Reenie, the slow one. Then the ghosts fade dimmer and dimmer until they become smoke and disappear. Wait, what!? That was the big finish for these ghost/zombies? They just fade away? Effing LAME, R.L. The book ends with the obligatory, inappropriate “Happy New Years!” from Sean, but surprisingly no New Years kiss.
So, even though the climax was extremely anti-climatic, this book was awesome. Not only were there gruesome deaths, but there were ZOMBIES. And you can’t beat Zombies. Not in my book!
One question for thought though: P.J. played a convincing dead body at the party because he actually WAS a dead body. But did no one notice that he, Liz and Ty were always cold and clammy? That they didn’t have a pulse or every breathed? That they were just reanimated dead bodies?! I guess it just shows us how terrible Shadyside kids are. Their own friends are zombies and they don’t even notice. O well. 8 Zombie whirlwinds out of 9!