Thought we'd head back to Fear Street again but instead we're off to Seahaven for the Summer with protagonist Amanda Conklin! But she lives on Fear Street so I guess that's ok.
I love this cover, but I hope the girl is suppose to be Chrissy and and not Amanda bc she looks super creepy dancing with her cat.
Roll call! (Important people only)
Amanda - protagonist, possibly mentally ill!
Chrissy - the hired help, possibly evil???!
Dave - the hunky love interest!
Ok so the very first chapter takes place after the rest of the book apparently, bc Amanda is in the "Psychologically Disturbed Offenders" ward at Maplewood Juvenile Detention Center. You mean Shadyside doesn't have its own juvi???? That's honestly surprising but let's go with it anyway!!
Amanda is in there for murder (oooooooh!!!) hopes she doesn't look like the rest of the psychos here, bc they all have the same look. And by that she means that you can tell when someone is psychotic by their physical appearance. I'm not so sure about that one Amanda but okeh.
She's only been in there for 3 days so far, and has another session with Dr. Miller soon which she's not happy about bc she already told him yesterday about how everything is Chrissy's fault!
Which is when we flashback to the beginning of Summer and the drive down to Seahaven, where the Conklin family has a beach house. Lucky!
On the drive, we discover that Amanda failed Algebra and has to spend half the day at a Seahaven summer school during the weekdays, and since it'll be a working vacation for her parents, they'd placed an ad for a Mother's Helper to help take care of Kyle, 8, and Merry (really???), 3. We also learn that Merry is super annoying and Amanda is super dramatic.
To me at least. They also have 2 birds named Salt and Pepper and a cat named Mr Jinx. I have a feeling the birds are gonna get murdered. Waaah.
We also learn the house is on a hill and is close to some bluffs overlooking the ocean! I'm sure someone will get pushed off of that later, yay!
As soon as they get to the beach house, which Amanda luckily approves of, (I'm sure your parents wouldn't have cared if you didn't, hunni!), the rest of the family scurries off to get some groceries and visit a family friend at the inn.
And straight away Chrissy arrives (Merry and Chrissy?? Merry Christmas!), and bc Amanda knows how much her parents need a helper for the Summer, she calls the inn and gets through to her parents straight away. Convenient.
Jinx doesn't like Chrissy and growls at her, and Amanda spies Chrissy baring her teeth hissing back at it. Ahahahahahahaha. Maybe she's part cat!
The parents arrive and interview Chrissy while Amanda makes her siblings lunch and tries to eavesdrop. Chrissy is looking for a live in job while her cousin is back home from college for the summer, as she lives with her Aunt. Amanda's parents are super charmed by Chrissy, and Mrs. Conklin comes into the kitchen to call Chrissy's references, but there's no answer at either of them. How convenient!
She decides to hire her anyway, against Amanda's warnings that that's super reckless and how the cat didn't like her.
Chrissy shows a bit of arrogance by announcing she'd already packed up her stuff with her so she's ready to move in now! Bitch what if you didn't get the job????
After winning over Merry and Kyle easily, the family goes to help her collect her things. Amanda notices that the birds, which are usually always singing, have stopped and seem stunned!
She shrugs it off and heads upstairs to help Chrissy unpack, where some newspaper articles from two years ago fall out of her suitcase. She lets Amanda read one about a girl named Lilith who's in a coma after suffering from monoxide poisoning.
Chrissy angrily reveals that Lilith is her twin sister, and tells Amanda not to be sorry for her bc Lilith is evil!!!!!!!!!
You're probably Lilith, Chrissy!!
We flash forward a bit to the first day of summer school, where Amanda meets Dave who's super cute. He says he doesn't know anyone named Chrissy, which is suss to Amanda since its such a small town.
After school, she gets home to find Merry drowned in the pool.
After diving in fully clothed, she realises that Chrissy is underwater holding Merry up, teaching her to float.
Later, Amanda continues to tell her mother about how uneasy she and the animals are around Chrissy, especially since they still haven't been able to contact her references, and bc Dave has never heard of her. Amanda's mum is all like "calm down bitch" and tells her to go easy on Chrissy, since her parents died in a car crash and her twin is in a coma. And Mrs. Conklin believes Amanda misheard Chrissy when she tells her that Chrissy says Lilith was evil.
After changing out of her wet clothes, Amanda heads to the kitchen to get some Oreos. She lets Jinx outside, and watches her siblings play with Chrissy on the front lawn as a car suddenly speeds towards them!!!!
The car smashes into the family's car and Chrissy manages to save the siblings, but Jinx is dead. Waaah :(
The man says that it was like the car took on a life of its own; he couldn't steer or break or anything!
Amanda reckons she sees Chrissy smiling about the dead cat, and goes to bury him out in the woods with Kyle.
That night the family plays charades, without even asking Amanda to play. She feels like she's being replaced. Aw.
After waking from a nightmare, she goes to get some water and notices Chrissy's door open. Inside, Chrissy is floating off the ground and spots Amanda, and cackles!!!
She ends up fainting and next thing she knows her parents are waking her up in the hallway. She trie to tell them what she saw but they don't believe her obviously, so she pulls them into Chrissy's room, who's fast asleep in bed.
Chrissy wakes up and is all "what's going on?" And Amanda attacks her calling her a liar!
Her parents pull her down into the lounge and decide that she must have sleepwalked and dreamed of what she saw bc of all the stress she's going through.
Sounds reasonable so Amanda reluctantly agrees and goes back to bed.
Then she wakes up again later bc she can hear someone walking around the house, and investigates. It's just Chrissy downstairs eating some Oreos.
Heading back to her room, Amanda notices the newspaper clippings on Chrissy's bed bc her door is open, and decides to snoop.
Before she can read any though, she's caught by Chrissy, and suddenly a wind picks up (witch behaviour!) and blows the clippings onto the floor as Chrissy threatens Amanda to stay out of the room.
Amanda scurries out and finds a stray clipping from a Harrington newspaper (a town near Shadyside), dated from 2 years ago like the first clipping and revealing that Chrissy's parents in fact died of carbon monoxide poisoning as they slept, as the car was left on in the garage and once the garage filled up the poison went through the air ducts and stuff. Aww.
Amanda decides she'll show it to her parents tomorrow, but as she goes to hide it it suddenly bursts into flames!! Oh no!!
Then she hears Chrissy laughing... but it's coming from inside her head!
Girl you crazy!
The next morning she gets up super early so she can call her best friend and next door neighbour from Shadyside, Suzi, who she asks to go look at all the back issues in the library of the newspapers for anything relating to the last name Minor.
Suzi is a bit sassy so I like her, but agrees to do it.
Before she hangs up tho she asks if the blonde girl ended up finding her. The one who came to Amanda's front door straight after they left looking for them.
But the phone starts melting (?) as Amanda presses for more information, and she hears Chrissy's voice instead of Suzi's, who tells her not to worry and that the girl will find her when the time is right. But it will be too late for Amanda by then!!
She decides to run up to her parents room in hopes that when they see the melted phone they'll believe Chrissy is evil (??? Logic?).
Anyway her parents aren't there, she spots them outside watching their car get towed away. She finds Chrissy's sheet of references and decides to force her mum to call them again, but back in the kitchen the phone is back to normal??
She calls Suzi again, who's mother tells her that Suzi went to the library.
Ok so that part of the conversation was real! Good.
Then she rushes off to school, where she tells Dave all about Chrissy and he believes everything straight away (sussssssssssss). She also tells him where her aunt supposedly lives, and he tells her that that place has been abandoned for ages bc of some murders. And he also asked around about Chrissy and her aunt and cousin and no one's heard of any of them before.
After school he takes her across the ocean on a wave rider to an island that has a shed in it which used to be used for hunting but had since been abandoned, with lots of dried food and furniture and stuff still in it. Including a knife, which Dave encourages Amanda to plant in Chrissy's room so her parents will freak out and get rid of her. I have doubts about the success of this plan but let's go with it anyway. They kiss and then head back to Amanda's house.
After some subtle digging, Chrissy reveals that the address on her reference sheet is the house that her aunt is looking at buying, and she thought they'd be living there by now. But her current house is actually in Seaport, the next down over from Seahaven. Convenient.
Chrissy asks to see Dave's fully sick classic mustang, and he takes her outside to see it while Amanda ventures upstairs to plant the hunting knife. But then the knife starts spraying blood all over her!
She throws the knife into Chrissy's top drawer, still spraying blood, and runs downstairs where she finds her two birds dead at the bottom of
their cage with slit throats.
Her family rushes in, including Chrissy who bolts upstairs and comes down quickly with the knife saying she found it in her drawer.
Since Amanda is covered in blood, her parents deduce that she killed the birds, despite her accusations against Chrissy, who's terribly upset about being accused of such horrible things. Amanda's dad decides they need to call a doctor for Amanda.
She has a meeting with Dr Elmont the next day who decides that she's upset about failing algebra and disappointing her parents, so she's self conscious and hates Chrissy bc she feels like she's being replaced. Makes sense but Amanda's not buying it. Instead she decides to pretend to go along with it, and fakes being asleep on the car ride home so she can eavesdrop on her parents talking about her.
Apparently Dr. Elmont told them not to fire Chrissy bc that would show Amanda that she was right and she could behave like this again in the future to get her way. Makes sense too and I honestly don't know whether to believe that Amanda has a mental illness or that Chrissy is indeed evil!
Back at home she takes Chrissy outside to apologise, and a kitten comes up to them and hisses at Chrissy.
Later Amanda sneaks the kitten up to her room so Chrissy doesn't know about it and can't kill it hahahah.
After falling asleep her mother wakes her up bc Carter Phillips (from The Cheater which I have read but not reviewed!) is on the phone with some bad news about Suzi, who started bleeding from her mouth and nose at the library and fell unconscious. She's in the hospital having tests run now, but Carter thought she'd call to find out if Amanda knew why she was looking up papers from Harrington county.
Amanda lies about knowing anything, and asks Carter to call he tomorrow with more information about Suzi, if any comes up.
Then her parents tell her it's Chrissy's day off and ask her to watch over her siblings while they go visit some friends, which she agrees to bc it gives her a chance to snoop for more newspaper clippings in a Chrissy's room and phone her references.
Before she leaves, Chrissy goes to say goodnight to the kids and read Merry a book, so Amanda decides to phone the references. The one that never answers doesn't answer as usual, but the other one gets answered straight away.
It's a girl named Rachel whose family are neighbours to the family who owns this house (and phone), and she talks about coming over bc they hadn't seen the family in ages but something bad has now happened to them!! She doesn't say what, but does tell Amanda to get out if Chrissy is in the house and hangs up!!
Chrissy comes into the kitchen to get a glass of milk for Kyle while Amanda tries to subtly convince her to leave the house.
Then she goes upstairs to see if the kids are ok, before going back down to get the milk for Kyle where she sees Chrissy putting brown powder in it. Poison!
Amanda takes it, planning to pour it down the sink, when the doorbell rings. It's Dave, whose bought over the assignments from school that day.
Amanda tells him about the poison milk which he knocks out of her hand as Chrissy comes in to welcome him. Chrissy informs them that it was chocolate milk and that was the last packet of chocolate flavouring that she'd used in it. So it wasn't poisoned! Or is she lying?!? I really don't know, Stine (or his ghost writer) is doing a pretty good job with everything in this book!
Amanda goes to get more milk for Kyle while Dave asks Chrissy to a movie to get her out of the house which she agrees to.
Once they leave, Kyle is asleep and doesn't need milk anymore so Amanda starts snooping straight away, where she finds a an article with a photo of her own father in a shoe box in Chrissy's closet.
Reading the article, she discovers that her father (a public defence lawyer) was taking the case of a homeless man charged with setting fire to a building complex that happened to house the office of Anton Minor.
As she finds more articles, she hears a car arrive and looks outside to see Chrissy and Dave back already!! Oh no.
By the time she gets all the shoeboxes back into the closet, she doesn't have time to escape the room before Chrissy sees her, so she hides under the bed with all the clippings.
Except one, which has fallen to the floor, and Chrissy sees it as she walks in. She picks it up the heads to Amanda's room, seeking her.
Realising this is her only chance, and that she HAS to go get her parents and show them these articles, she dashes out and down the stairs to Dave, telling him to drive to the inn where the family friends are staying, leaving the kids inside the house. With Chrissy. Uh oh.
During the drive, Amanda reads another article stating that her father got the homeless man acquitted and is seeking to press charges against Anton Minor for the fire.
Dave and Amanda are all "so Chrissy wants revenge!" But can't figure out how her weird powers fit into it.
Then Amanda looks at another article and is completely horrified when she's a photo of Chrissy with the caption calling her Lilith.
She simply can't believe it!
Me and Dave are all like "hunni you KNOW that Chrissy and Lilith are twins" and Amanda's like "oh yeah lol". Dumb bitch.
Amanda remembers how the first article she stole caught on fire that time and realises she has to hurry before something happens to these ones!!
BUT THEN she's like "what if my parents aren't at the inn and went out for dinner? I better call first" so they drive to Channings Bluff where there's a phone booth.
Ok I'm sorry but if I was in that much or a hurry I'd go straight to the inn and if they weren't there ask the concierge??? Not waste time going out of the way to a phone booth first? Bloody hell Amanda.
As they arrive at the phone booth Dave parks and then suddenly goes into a trance and pitches forward, hitting his head on the steering wheel as blood pours from his mouth and nose. Just like Suzi!!!
Amanda quickly searches through his wallet for coins but then discovers that the doors won't open. Che disastro!
She finds a screwdriver and beats the window with it until it finally cracks.
But then Chrissy appears!
The doors are suddenly opened by a strong wind and Amanda is pulled out of the car by an invisible hand as Chrissy floats above her.
Chrissy apparently is able to use her brain's full potential, unlike everyone else who can only a small percentage. So that's how she's able to do all these weird things! She reveals that her father tried to kill the whole family through carbon monoxide poisoning bc their lives would have been destroyed by the charges against him. So deeeeep.
So Chrissy is getting revenge against the judge and the assistant D.A. and Amanda's dad by killing them and their families. The judge and assistant D.A. were the families she used for references, and no one ever answered bc they were all dead! And now it's Amanda's family's turn!
Suddenly Amanda is thrown back into the car, doors locked, engine started, and handbrake off.
The car rolls off the cliff with her and Dave inside.
So intense!!!! I love it.
The car lands on some boulders and Amanda is able to climb out. She feels for Dave's heartbeat before she does so, but he's dead. Aw :(. Then the car tumbles into the ocean.
Amanda manages to climb down the rocks and onto the sand, where she falls asleep until daylight comes. She realises her only choice is to walk along the sand until she can get back to her house, which takes a few hours but she manages! Sneaking into the house, she overhears Chrissy on the phone to Amanda's parents, telling them she overheard Amanda talking about wanting to go back to Shadyside so Dave probably drove her there. So that's where her parents are now. Oh no!
Police come and tell Chrissy about the broken railing up on the bluff, and that it will take a while before they can dredge the sea below for cars. Chrissy lies and says she thinks Amanda and Dave just drove off somewhere, and goes to have a shower when the police leave.
Amanda is super hungry so goes to eat a few handfuls of cheerios before sneaking upstairs and getting the kitten. She then sets it free outside but it doesn't move. I feel like the kitten is gonna turn out to be Lilith. Ugh.
Merry and Kyle come inside and call to Chrissy, who tells them it's breakfast time then asks who left the cheerios open.
Uh oh. Amanda decides it's time to flee and runs back into the woods. But then she hears Chrissy's voice inside her head. Chrissy knows she's not dead and vows to kill Amanda first. Oh no!! This hurts her head and a nearby old man having a picnic asks if she wants some aspirin which is over on his rug. Amanda is all like "yes please!" Bc she's an absolute fuckwit but then thinks she seeks Chrissy coming through the woods so she steals the old man's waverider and heads over to the island Dave showed her!
She arrives and runs into the shed and grabs a knife. Chrissy gets into her head again, knowing she's not as close as she was before. Then she's all "don't worry I'll find you. Now I've got other things to do. Come here, Merry!" And Amanda is super scared and runs back to the waverider and heads back to the house. She sees Chrissy on a boat with Kyle and Merry inside, bound and gagged, heading towards the island.
Chrissy spots Amanda too and sends headaches her way, but she can't steer the boat and have a mental connection simultaneously so she makes a lightening bolt come from the sky and hit Amanda. Okeh.
Amanda is alive and refuses to drown, and when she surfaces again she realises she's just below Chrissy's boat! So she climbs aboard and Chrissy grabs Merry, holding the hunting knife Amanda had planted in her room the other day against her.
Amanda tackles her and they have a scuffle which involves Chrissy sending Amanda up into the air and flying her like a kite (hahahahahaha) and then the boat hitting a rock and sending Chrissy herself flying into the air, coming down only to crack her head on the side of the boat.
Amanda quickly unties her siblings and reties Chrissy, and they all head to shore, dragging Chrissy's lifeless body up into the house. Kyle is in shock and doesn't say a word the whole time. Apparently he can't talk. Poor boy. Inside the house Amanda goes to call the police when suddenly Chrissy wakes up! She sends furniture flying around the room as Merry and Kyle run outside, and starts a fire to kill Amanda.
Suddenly the kitten appears and trips over Chrissy, sending her flying face first into the fire. Amanda escapes the house and runs to Merry and Kyle, where they see Chrissy run out the door in a fireball. She then burns to death.
Then we head back to Dr. Miller's (from the start of the book) office, who explains he just wanted to clarify Amanda's story and make sure she understands why the police arrested her.
She confirms bc they don't believe her and think she's a murderer, and bc Kyle still hasn't talked since the accident she's not getting out anytime soon.
And then Miller tells her Kyle started talking this morning and marcher her story! Yay she's getting out!
He then explains that Chrissy was indeed Lilith, who must have developed powers in her coma, woke up one day and escaped the hospital to get her revenge. Rachel, the neighbour of the judge who spoke with Amanda on the phone, also gave information about Chrissy that confirmed Amanda's story.
And then he drops the bomb that Lilith probably assumed the name Chrissy of that was the name of her cat!!!
I don't really get this part, so was the kitten Lilith's cat then or? Oh well whatever.
Afterwards, the family then heads home with the kitten, and as Amanda turns back to get one last look at the house's remains she sees a girl resembling Chrissy, who disappears when Amanda tells her parents to look!
Ok I REALLY liked this book!!! I loved how dark it was, it kept me guessing about Amanda's mental state, and I liked how Stine wasn't afraid to kill off the animals here!! AND HE KILLED THE LOVE INTEREST!!
I would have loved to see more of Suzi, and it loses points for not telling me if she ended up being ok or not, BUT it gains points again for killing off the love interest (does that ever happen?!) so I'm still giving it:
8 sassy Suzi's researching in the library against her wishes out of 10!