Ok so I haven't read this one in like almost ten years I reckon but I feel like I remember Cindy being an ungrateful bitch (so obviously she was my favourite character!) and it being so damn obvious who the killer is (I think I forgot but I'm sure I’ll figure it out again quickly), even to the other characters but the killer still manages to convince them otherwise! So everyone's stupid, yay. I'm anticipating a lot of anger while I read this. Woo!
Idek what to make of this cover, looks like there's an unwanted threesome about to happen front and centre while another girl clings to her partner for dear life in the back ground. Everyone's expressions are super intense I love it.
Let's read on!
Gretchen - our protagonist. And one of the most annoying next to Martha!
Hannah - Gretchen's best friend.
Gil - Hannah's boyfriend.
Patrick - everyone’s number one suspect
Jackson - stares at Gretchen a lot. Like basically 24/7. She describes him as "one strange dude". Okeh.
Cindy - the birthday girl and first victim! She's a cunt but we love her anyway :)
Marco - Gretchen’s boyfriend that has no purpose other than to be a red herring for 2 seconds.
Ok so the book begins with the whole gang (except Cindy) heading over to Cindy's house to kidnap her for her birthday. Great friends! They're taking her to Gil's uncle's cabin on Fear Island where they're gonna have a fully sick all night party!
We learn that Gretchen has only lived in Shadyside for 6 months but Hannah made her feel welcome straight away and she was instantly part of the group. Cute, friendship goals! It's their senior year as well, and Gretchen is a bit uneasy bc she keeps getting prank calls to the private line in her bedroom, where the called hangs up as soon as she answers. Strange.
She thinks it's Jackson bc all he does is stare at her. Literally. He's staring at her right now.
Anyway they arrive at Cindy's and sneak in using the spare key under a rock, and pounce on Cindy in her room and tie blindfold her.
And then Patrick pulls out a gun.
Understandably everyone's like "wtf cunt" and he reveals that it's not loaded and he thought t would make the kidnappping seem more realistic.
Ok well first of all you've blindfolded Cindy so she didn't even know there was a gun until someone said it out loud. Second of all who are you trying to make it seem realistic to?? No one tried to hide their identities so Cindy saw them come into her room before tying and blindfolding her (kinky btw, yum!) and although she doesn't really know what's happening I'm sure she knows that her friends won't kill her? (Little does she know that later one of them will!! Hahahahah). Anyway they tell her they're kidnapping her for an ALL NIGHT PARTY but won't tell her where and bundle her into the car.
Hannah seems a bit icy towards Cindy, and Gretchen thinks about how the friendship between those two is so weird. More like a rivalry. Gil (Hannah's boyfriend) used to date Cindy too. So there's that.
Also Cindy is blonde and blue eyed and petite, while Hannah is a tall athletic ranga (so pretty sure she's the girl in the threesome on the cover!) so obviously that means Cindy is the school slut and Hannah must be jealous of her.
Anyway on the drive over to the lake they ask why Patrick bought the gun with him, and he tells them it's for protection bc although the police are keeping it fairly quiet, a prisoner escaped from the prison upstate and was spotted in Fear Woods. Patrick's dad, a police officer, gave him the gun for protection. Everyone wants to know why the prisoner was locked up in the first place, and Patrick reveals it was bc he murdered three teenage girls.
I call hardcore bullshit on this but no one else does so I guess we have to continue.
Hannah's super nervous now and suggests going somewhere else, but Cindy reasons that the prisoner would be long gone by now, trying to put as much distance as he can between him and the police. Gil agrees, saying that all their stuff is already on Fear Island anyway so either way they need to go across the lake anyway.
Jackson continues to be creepy towards Gretchen, saying he knows she's scared despite her protests. Okeh.
Anyway they all squeeze into a bit and start rowing over. Cindy's super cold so Gil gives her his jacket, which Hannah clearly isn't happy about. Patrick pretends there's a shark in the water (he's so annoying) and then Cindy asks why Marco isn't there. Bc he's soooo cute. And also Gretchen's boyfriend. Cindy's a bitch. I love her.
Gretchen has been trying to break up with him for the past few weeks and hopes that by not inviting him tonight he'll get the hint. Apparently he's got a temper. And he's a real rebel too, what with his long black hair, silver hoop earring and motorcycle. Not to mention his aversion to rules and schoolwork.
Gretchen doesn't want to talk about him, and they arrive at the island just as a storm begins. Naturally. Gretchen remembers that she was suppose to run ahead and light all the birthday candles in the house for when Cindy got there, so she hurries up the trail alone, rejecting Jackson's offer to walk with her.
When she arrives, the lights won't work. Weird.
And then she's attacked!!!!
I'm sure we all knew before we were told that it was only Marco.
Anyway the rest of the gang arrives and Cindy is super happy to see Marco, giving him a big hug, and she's super thankful for all the effort her friends went to to decorate the place! She declares that she'll remember this night for as long as she lives!!! Which isn't very long, home girl's gonna die tonight :(((.
Anyway the gang starts cooking some hot dogs in the fire and having a good time (with Jackson being a stare bear as usual) until Gil and Cindy start flirting. After Cindy and Hannah have words about what Gil likes and doesn't like, Cindy points out that she and Gil went out for six months while Hannah's only been dating him for one.
I REALLY don't know why Cindy's being painted as the villain here, by the sounds of it Hannah stole Gil from her??? Idk.
Hannah ends up storming into the kitchen and Gretchen follows to comfort her.
Hannah reveals that it's not just the flirting getting to her. Cindy won a the scholarship that Hannah was relying on to get into college. Cindy doesn't need a scholarship bc she's rich. And she wasn't interested in the scholarship until Hannah applied for it.
Ok maybe Cindy is the villain. I still like her tho, tehe!
Gretchen has never seen Hannah so angry before, so angry that she blurts out she wishes sometimes that Cindy was dead!!!!
Next it's time to open the presents, and Cindy is basically super unappreciative of them all. Gretchen reckons she's so spoiled and rude and self centred.
Patrick tells her he forgot to wrap her present so he'll give it to her later (is it.... MURDER?!?) so the last present is from Marco.
Cindy opens it and is all "oh gross!!!" So I'm thinking it's a dead animal or something and the chapter ends.
Award for most pointless and misleading chapter break goes to this fucking book bc guess what the fucking present was. A box of slasher movies. She's all "yuck" and when Patrick says he'll have them she's quick to quick to palm them off to him.
Bitch that's literally the best present you got. Cunt.
Anyway everyone seems kinda down now from Cindy's rudeness so Gretchen decides to put some music on so they can all dance!!
Except when Marco asks her to dance she says she's too tired. Bc she wants to break up with him but won't actually do it. Instead she's trying to ignore him. Worst girlfriend ever orrrr????? Marco's all like "you can't be tired this is an ALL NIGHT PARTY(!!!!!)" so Gretchen dances with him but thinks about the Hannah-Gil-Cindy love triangle the whole time.
Turns out I was wrong before about Hannah stealing Gil from Cindy.
Cindy broke up with Gil when he and some other boys stole a car. Not long after that Hannah nabbed him.
Ok so still super rude to go after your friend's boyfriend but this is Fear Street and if girls aren't fighting over boys then they have no purpose.
Jackson continues to stare at her so when the song finishes she decides to go get some firewood alone to get away from him and Marco. She knows that if she accepts Marco's offer to come with her he'll just want to make out. Gross!
As she leaves, Hannah pipes up offering to walk her out bc her and Gil wanna go down to the dock and watch the stars. Gretchen reckons they just wanna go make out but I reckon they wanna FUCK!
Patrick says he'll stay on the couch bc he's so full. Ok.
Anyway Gretchen goes to get firewood near the kitchen window where she overhears Cindy arguing with a boy but can't place the voice. She assumes it's Jackson but decides not to interfere, even when she hears one of them slap the other (I think the boy slaps Cindy bc Cindy cries out). Instead she goes deeper into the woods for firewood bc Marco and Patrick are still inside and they'll interfere if help is needed. Ok bitch.
Her flashlight starts dying so she heads back, bc suddenly she's scared of being alone in the dark, a fear she's had her whole life but still ventures out into the woods alone anyway. Even when she thinks there's a killer on the loose. :) ok Gretchen.
Her flashlight dies and as she struggles to make her way back to the cabin in the dark she hears noises and is suddenly attacked!!!!
By Marco. Again.
She cuts loose at him and reveals that she didn't want to invite him bc she doesn't want to see him anymore.
He gets super angry and pulls out a switchblade and is all "I'm gonna use this tonight" and he then PLUNGES IT INTO HER CHEST (the book's words not mine!). Only of course the chapter ends her and the next one reveals he stabbed the tree behind her instead. Okeh.
They head back to the cabin in silence, where the fire is out and everything is silent. No one is around. Gretchen's all "where is everyone" and heads to the kitchen to look where she finds Cindy dead in a pool of flour, a large bleeding gash on her side.
Gretchen vomits and runs out of the kitchen where she bumps into
Marco. She tries to tell him Cindy is dead but can't get the words out. Then Patrick appears from upstairs with blood all over his shirt. (Strike 1!). Oh no!!
Gretchen knows he killed Cindy but he says he cut his hand open opening a window upstairs and holds up a bandaged hand. Marco heads into the kitchen to see what she's talking about while Patrick comforts her. He's like "the escaped prisoner! But why did he kill Cindy?" Gretchen has not said out loud that Cindy is dead yet. (Strike 2!!) Gretchen doesn't realise that he knows Cindy is dead already without her telling him bc she's a dumb fuck.
Gil and Hannah arrive from outside, closely followed by Jackson who comes in with a bundle of firewood. They all go into the kitchen and see Cindy's lifeless body and are all upset.
Patrick tells them they can't get the police bc there's no phones on Fear Island (why not?) and the killer is probably outside waiting for them! He's very adamant to keep them in the cabin (Strike 3!!!) even though the others want to get help. Then Hannah points out that the killer could be INSIDE watching them.
Wow this is turning out to be some ALL NIGHT PARTY!
After a brief discussion about whether to get the gun or not (they decide no, bc they're jumping to conclusions about the killer being in the house and I guess it's a lot safer to NOT have a gun with you just in case???) they decide to check the house and proceed to reject gender stereotypes as all of the boys head upstairs to search for the killer while Gretchen and Hannah stay downstairs to search. Hooray for strong female characters in a Fear Street book!
Except Gretchen thinks she sees someone outside the window and rushes outside in the rain to catch whoever it is.
Even though she's afraid of the dark.
Even though there's an escaped prisoner on the island that she's well aware of.
Even though one of her friends was just murdered by the escaped prisoner.
Even though she's scared for her own life.
Come on Stine, a book this short should at least have some character continuity!
Anyway Jackson appears behind her and they head inside, the other boys come down and Marco and Jackson offer to check the kitchen bc Hannah was too scared to go back in and she didn't want Gretchen to go alone either while they were alone down here. Clingyyyyyyyyy. I miss Cindy already.
The boys take ages so Gretchen decides to listen at the door for them. She hears silence and starts screaming that the killer has killed them. Literally. I fucking hate her.
Like 2 seconds later the boys come out of the kitchen. They were in the walk in pantry which had no one in it. The house is free of escaped prisoners. Coooool.
Marco then confronts Patrick about the blood on his shirt, since there was no blood on the windowsill upstairs.
Patrick is all "bc I cleaned it up? Go check the bin for broken glass if you don't believe me" and I think we all know that Patrick is the killer by now but did he just smash a window to make it look like he cut his hand orrrrrrrr? I don't think the book mentioned the glass actually smashing. And neither did Marco. I'm suss. (Strike 4!!!!)
Gretchen confronts Jackson about his argument with Cindy and he denies it, suggesting it was probably Patrick, who says he wasn't even in the cabin bc he went out to get fresh air.
Even though he said he wasn't gonna budge bc he was so full.
Hannah can't stop crying and Gil yells at her to shut up and they get into an argument where Gil reveals that he was gonna break up with her, and they both practically wish that the other one was dead.
Such a lovely couple, these two! Relationship goals af :)!
Then the wind blows the door open and they all shit themselves. Boring.
They decide they need to stick together to avoid being picked off one by one.
Jackson wants to go back into the kitchen to inspect the body, bc maybe they'll find a clue as to who the killer is. So off to the kitchen the Scooby gang goes, where Gretchen notices that Cindy is clutching a baseball cap in her dead hand. It's Patrick's. (Strike 6!!!!!!)
Everyone realises he's the killer, even more so when he's like "if I wanted her dead I would have shot her with my gun not stabbed her with a bread knife" and Gretchen's like "how do you know it was a bread knife?!?!" And he points out that the bread knife is missing from the knife block. So he further manages to convince them he's not the killer since he apparently left the hat on the coat rack when he came in, and Cindy is also wearing a Jacket that was in the hall closet. They decide that Cindy must have been heading outside and put the cap on so her hair didn't get wet. I can believe that I guess.
As they all head back into the living room Gretchen notices a boot print in the flour. The boys grab Patrick and tell Gretchen to go check under his boots at the door, and sure enough there's a thin layer of flower underneath one of them. (Strike 7!!!!!!!)
They tie Patrick to a chair in the kitchen and decide to go look through his things, where they find a note in his bag.
It's from Cindy, who says she can't keep their secret and she's going to tell her parents. (Strike 8!!!!!!!!)
Well, this is all the proof Gretchen needs to know Patrick is the killer.
Not the blood on his shirt.
Not his baseball cap in her hand.
Not his boot print in the flour.
Not his knowledge on what weapon was used.
But a note saying that Cindy can't keep their secret anymore.
Gretchen I fucking hate youuuuuuu.
They head back into the kitchen to confront Patrick, who was so certain they didn't find anything. Until the show him the evidence.
He denies murdering Cindy again, saying that someone is framing him. His logic is that if he killed Cindy, he would hide all these clues, not leave them out in the open for everyone to find so easily. Which makes a lot of sense. He demands to see the note, which he reveals looks like Cindy's handwriting, except there's not heart dotting the 'i' in Cindy's name, which she NEVER forgot to do.
Everyone believes him a little but they're still unsure, so they leave to look through Cindy's things to see if they can match the handwriting together.
They find old history notes in her bag, which reveal that the 'y's in the note to Patrick are completely different to the 'y's in her history notes.
And this is considered proof that Patrick is being framed!!
Next they go back to the kitchen to untie Patrick bc they now know he's innocent. Ok.
And then they notice Hannah's not with them. They rush back out to the living room and find a note from Hannah saying she can't be here with a killer anymore. Gretchen, being the true friend she is, wonders how true this is. Maybe Hannah is the killer, and is running away now so she won't get caught.
They see her footprints outside and rush out to catch up to her, but Gretchen needs to put on her boots first. Which is when she spots Jackson staring at her. Again. Coming closer.
So she literally runs away from him, outside into the woods, up a hill, and slips down the other side "like a rubber ball". Hahahahahaha. Jackson chases her the whole time and falls down the hill too, landing on top of her.
He's all "why'd you run away"
And she tells him she's scared of him and thought he was gonna kill her.
Hunni he literally just walked toward you and you ran off. I hate Gretchen.
He apologies for scaring her and staring at her all the time, and confesses that it's just bc he likes her and has since she moved here.
Then they have sex, right there on the hill. Yum!!
Just kidding. But he does confess his crush on her, which she thinks is weird but cute too I guess, and as they decide to try find the others, they hear Hannah screaming. Oh no!
They follow the sounds of Hannah's constant screaming back to the cabin where they find Patrick Gil and Marco dragging her inside.
Gil accuses her of being the killer bc when they were at the dock, she got cold and went back to the cabin for her jacket for a bit.
Hannah counters this by saying when she got back to the cabin, Gil was gone! Glad to see these two truly had a ride or die relationship. Cute.
Then after more interrogation Hannah declares she did kill Cindy, and she's gonna kill all of them two! And everyone in Shadyside!
And then Gretchen realises she's being sarcastic.
FOR FUCK'S SAKE GRETCHEN PULL YOUR FUCKING HEAD IN YOU DUMB CUNT.
Then Gretchen realises her lips are sooo00oOOo0 dry and she fishes through her purse for her Chapstick, but instead spills everything on the floor.
As she puts everything back, she finds an old note in her purse and opens it to see what it is.
And recognises the handwriting as the same as the fake note to Patrick.
But that's not all. The handwriting IS Patrick's!! Twist!!!! (But not really!!!!)
Gretchen confronts him and he pulls the gun on her, revealing he'd been planning on killing Cindy tonight since they decided to throw her a party! Bc she was always teasing him about something he did before he moved to Shadyside. Something terrible that my even his parents know. Except later a policeman reveals that his secret was that he set a fire in Waynesbridge and his FATHER got him off all charges bc his father is a cop?????????? Okeh.
Anyway Gretchen realises that it was Patrick she heard arguing with Cindy earlier and not Jackson, and just as Patrick's about to shoot her dead (I fkn wish) a policeman kicks open the door and Patrick is distracted enough for Gretchen to tackle him and knock the gun out of his hand.
He's quickly cuffed, and the police reveal that his dad had called them bc Patrick had stolen his gun and wanted them to get it back off him.
Okkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Patrick reveals that he made up the escaped prisoner story (duhhhhhhh) so they'd think he was innocent, and framed himself so they would again think he was innocent. Then the police take him away, promising to send another boat back for them.
Cindy's dead body is still in the kitchen tho. Okeh.
Then Hannah reveals that Cindy didn't know Patrick's secret at all. She just liked to tease him, probably because she had a crush on him.
Bc girls only deal with their crushes by being mean and boys deal with their crushes by staring at them constantly. I love it when fiction captures teenagers perfectly!
Then the book ends with Gretchen saying "party's over" and me thinking "fuck you Gretchen."
I'm sure I enjoyed this as a kid but this was fucking painful this time around. It was SO obvious who the killer was, at least 8 things that I picked up on pointed to him, and the dickheads still believed he was innocent!
Gretchen was stupid and annoying, Hannah was a bad best friend, Marco was the most pointless character ever, literally only there to offer up one chapter of being a red herring, and everyone else is not even worth talking about.
Except my poor sweet Cindy. RIP pal xx
Anyway, bc it still was a lot better than Trick Or Treat, I'm giving it:
4 tubes of Chapstick that inadvertently reveal who the killer
Is out of 12!