Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: It’s Not a Blighty One


I just don’t get it.

I’ve read Cusick’s Silent Stalker more than once, and I sat down to write this review several times before I gave up entirely. I have spent the past six months not writing a review for this book, because I can think of no other way, no better way to describe it than batshit crazy.

Silent Stalker is my white whale, so welcome aboard the SS Curious: we’re gonna harpoon a bitch.

We’re just going to get straight into this, because if I try to think about it too much, my brain will melt. First, let’s meet our ‘heroine’ Jenny and her douche nozzle father who doesn’t need a name and possibly doesn’t have one anyway, because he’s the nozzle of a douche, and who knows what that’s even called.

“You’re being a brat,” said Dad under his breath as he pulled their suitcases from the car. “You’re upsetting me.”

“Because I’m scared to stay here?”


“Just like your mother,” he snorted. “Always trying to ruin my plans—”

In case you haven’t already guessed, Jenny’s mother and father are divorced. Jenny’s mother, who only appears briefly at the end of the book but still manages to come across as the most well-adjusted of the characters, wants her ex-husband and daughter to spend some quality time together. So Jenny finds herself at a rebuilt English castle in the middle of rural America where her father is going write an article about a local Renaissance Faire. Sounds mundane, yeah? In case you think Jenny’s being hard done by, please note that she has a habit of coming out with daft shit like this:

“Is it…is it real? Jenny heard someone whisper, and then realized with a start that it was her.

I hate Jenny.

So Jenny and Superdad rock up to this castle during an actual dark and stormy night and a tree falls on their car, proving that even nature hates this book, which gives Superdad the perfect excuse to just invite himself—”oh and that pain in the ass I share my genes with I guess what a drag mmm cookies”—over to stay the night. Before you get all jealous, the castle is a mess. And it’s inhabited by an inbred gang of total fucking nobheads: the Worthingtons. There’s Derrek and Malcolm, dashing if you like that kind of thing identical twins, who dress up in “romantic clothes” all the time; their demented father Sir Something-or-other; and their younger brother, who dresses as a court jester. His name…his name is WIT. Yeah, you read that right. I don’t think I can take this much longer.

When Jenny wakes up the next day, her father’s already fucked off to go write some other article…and left his daughter in the care of complete strangers who talk in terrible rhymes and who, instead of calling Child Protective Services like reasonable human beings, proceed to torture the poor girl for no discernible reason. I mean, it’s obvious Jenny scares easily–that’s the Cusick protagonist trope–but they really go for it in this: chaining her up to the wall, playing mind games, going “woo-woo” while wearing sheets, and other things I didn’t bother to note down because I gave up. But it’s okay man, cos two of the brothers are wikkid hot and one is, like, boyishly handsome with dimples and sociopathic tendencies, and it’s not Jenny’s fault that she suspected them all along when actually, once she ends up in exactly the same climactic sequence as Kelsey in The Lifeguard, she finds out it was the third twin I mean triplet who’s truly psychotic and has been trying to kill her all along, even though the others knew the whole time and instead of warning her just fucked her about and put her in danger because they have such wonderful senses of humor okay cool let’s all be friends The End.

And then they literally all ride off into the sunset together as the best of friends in the epilogue.

Fuck off.

I give this blight five what-the-fucks out of I can’t even. Is this a good book? Goodreads thinks so. Is it a bad one? I honestly can’t tell, but some things should probably stay buried in 1994 where they belong. I only have myself to blame for digging it up.

I still love you Richie!

Next week on Pointless Horror:


Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: It’s a Blighty One, Part 1


You guys. It’s happened again–I know the title, I know the cover…but I have absolutely no idea of the story inside. No clue. I even broke my own rule and had a very quick and squinty-eyed peek at the synopsis, but no. No bells were rung, not a single memory was jogged. Let’s see what Open Road Media has to say about this:

Trapped in a madman’s castle, a young girl must fight to save her sanity

Thunder bellows as Jenny and her father pull up to the gate of Worthington Hall. As they inch onto the grounds of the ancient estate, a disheveled young woman thrusts her head through the open window. “Leave!” she yells. “Before it’s too late! He’ll kill you. I swear.” Jenny is terrified, but her dad laughs it off. The girl is just an actress—part of the medieval fair being held on the castle grounds. But it’s not long before Jenny wishes they’d heeded the warning. The house is a drafty maze of narrow hallways and dungeons. Jenny wants to flee, but her father is intent on the work he’s come to do. Soon the Worthington family sets upon young Jenny, playing twisted tricks on her until she forgets what’s real. The Worthingtons play cruel games—and if Jenny loses, it will mean her life.

Looks like Jenny’s getting off the block (of small-town middle America) for this one. But who the hell are these insane-sounding Worthington freaks? ‘Hey, uh, thanks for coming to help us set up our Ren Faire. Can we terrorise your daughter? Oh, no real reason, just for the lulz.’

Point Horror, ladies and gentlemen.

Room 27

Pointless Horror: Mystery Meat, Part 2


This cover makes me want to gag.

Seriously, Open Road Media? Clip art of a hole in the ground, that’s your cover for Fatal Secrets? It’s like you’re not even trying anymore.


Me too, little buddy. Me too.

I’m sorry to say that my projected synopsis from Part 1 was completely and utterly incorrect, but I was right in thinking that I would be gutted about it. Such an idea, so much promise! And actually, now that I think about it, one detail wasn’t that far off, as we’ll see a bit later. So I’m patting myself on the back for that. And it turns out I have read Fatal Secrets before–I guess it didn’t make that much of an impression the first time round. Ouch.

Fatal Secrets opens with high school senior Ryan McCauley (surprise–it’s a girl) tromping through woods on a snowy evening with her sister Marissa in search of pine cones for some reason I don’t care enough to remember. Blah blah holly mistletoe Christmas spirit whatever, Ryan and Marissa have a bit of a fight because Marissa is being jumpy and paranoid and annoying and is not looking for pine cones hard enough oh my god don’t you know this is my life, so they split up and then Marissa screams, just as you knew she would. Marissa’s fallen through the ice and Ryan tries to save her but can’t quite get a grip. (Oh! The cover clip art is meant to be a hole in the ice, not in the ground! I totally get it now…and it’s still a crock of shit.)

Fast forward three weeks.

‘It’s Christmas time,’ she mumbled to herself. ‘And no more bad things can happen, because it’s my favorite time of year.’

Aw, Ryan’s so delusional it’s almost sweet. But also understandable, because she watched her sister die a few weeks ago and now her mother is just sitting in Marissa’s room all day mooning over her favorite daughter’s death and wishing the good Lord Jesus had taken Ryan instead. Or, you know, that’s how it feels.

IT’s okay, though–Ryan’s bestie Phoebe thinks all Ryan needs to get over her teenage sister’s untimely death under mysterious circumstances is a boyfriend, of course. So it’s a good thing we’ve got a candidate just hanging out for a body shop at night.

As Ryan gazed up into the young man’s face, she felt her breath catch in her throat. Winchester Stone was staring down at her, silhouetted against the slate-gray twilight.

Winchester Stone. Who the whiplashed fuck names their kid ‘Winchester’? But think about it…I pretty much hit the nail on the head with Tornado Lightningballs, didn’t I? You know it.

Sadly Winchester‘s going to have to take a back seat, because Ryan’s got some stranger things to deal with. Random friends of her sister turn up at her house and somehow manage to wheedle an indefinite invitation to stay, mom’s boyfriend Steve (such a common name) seems really interested in whether Ryan has a secret, as does Ryan’s comedy Italian boss at the toy shop, and (the moment you’ve been waiting for) a person (or persons) unknown is making a pretty decent attempt at scaring the crap out of Ryan. Because it’s a Cusick novel, that’s why, and I’m sure it’ll be explained at great length nearer the end.

In my review of The Mall, I mentioned that I was getting a little tired of characters acting weird for a single scene, with no clear motivation, just so the protagonist would suspect them. Richie must have known what I was thinking (way in advance, like twenty years ago), because while everyone is a suspect in this book too, it also transpires that everyone did it. Like, everyone. It literally takes twenty pages at the end to explain how and why all the characters are jumping out of the dark like evil Jacks in the Box. It’s hilarious, tedious, and surprising all wrapped up in a little misshapen package with appropriately Christmas-themed paper and bows. I gotta kinda sorta respect that.

Fatal Secrets gets three-and-a-half Red Ryder BB guns for turning my expectations on their head, even if the journey was a bit meh.

Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: Mystery Meat, Part 1


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers! And to everyone else, I pity your lack of pumpkin pie.

But we’re not here to talk turkey–we’re here for Point flippin’ Horror. And our next installment is going to be all Fatal, all Secret, all the time. That’s right, it’s 1992’s Fatal Secrets by Richie Tankersley Cusick, and if you’re wondering why I haven’t got straight into what I remember about the book, it’s because I remember nothing. Not a single damn thing.

Granted, I’m not one to recall titles all that well, but even this cover looks only vaguely familiar to me. It’s kind of a mishmash of themes, with its creepy doll, haunted-y house, and carnival detritus, so I’m not getting a clear sense of the story from that either. What about the tagline?

The killer is only a heartbeat away…

Yeah, that could mean literally anything. I know I must have read Fatal Secrets–I’m pretty sure I read every Richie title in the nineties, as her books were kind of my jam–but man, I got nothing. So let’s make some shit up!

Beautiful, young, and improbably named Titanic Nietzsche takes a part-time job at the local travelling night carnival to feel less lonely while her deadbeat Fortune 500 CEO mother honeymoons with the new husband on Mars. When creepy things start happening at the ring toss kiosk, she teams up with undercover cop Tornado Lightningballs who, disguised as a carousel horse, has been tracking a gang of possessed Punch and Judy marionettes intent on flooding the town’s black market with kidneys harvested from the local high school’s population. Can Titanic and Tornado the Wonder Horse stop the kindeynappings? Is it weird that no one ever wins at the ring toss, or is it designed that way? Find out if the gigantic metal bar anchoring Tornado to the carousel floor gets in the way of his budding romance with Titanic in Fatal Secrets.

If Fatal Secrets isn’t exactly like this, I’m going to be crushed.

Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: Mall Brats, Part 2

Holy crap, time got away from me for a minute there. Did you miss me? It’s been two weeks since Part 1, but since I didn’t remember a huge amount about this book pre-read, it probably doesn’t matter anyway. God, I’m starting to sound like a teenager again. I hate my life and stop telling me what to do.

Enough of that. To the review and beyond!


Naked mannequins are well creepy. There’s no denying that they’re similar to dolls in their power to render even the bravest of us a slobbering mess. But on this cover of Cusick’s suburban teenage horror The Mall (1992), they just look a bit staid and generic. So sorry, Open Road Media, but the original’s neon hysteria wins the round. Again. (I’m beginning to think I might be some kind of throwback: ‘You kids don’t know how good you have it. Back in my day everything was hot pink!’).

It’s been a couple of weeks since I read The Mall, so let’s try to remember the story together, eh? Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young princess named…uh…Trish. No, yeah, it was Trish. She kissed a frog, and then it turned into a serial killer? Hang on, let me check my notes.

Ah, yes, here we are: Young Trish gets a job at the bakery in her local mall’s food court because teenagers like money and those white jean skirts aren’t going to buy themselves. Sounds pretty typical, right?

‘I’m telling you, weird things happen at this mall,’ Nita shook her head. ‘Gives me the creeps.’

That’s on like page four, kids, so we’re getting to the point real quick in this one. (Not that it ever takes long in Point Horror–this isn’t Stephen King we’re talking about.) Our Nita, along with her bookish and therefore instantly likable twin Imogene, are Trish’s best friends. They also work at the mall, in a clothing store called something embarrassingly nineties and a bookstore, respectively. I like Imogene best, for obvious reasons. Trish’s single mother is, of course, as far away from this plane of reality as she can get without actually being dead.

‘She’s still on that stupid business trip flying around Europe somewhere,’ Trish said ungratefully gloomily. ‘You’re so lucky your parents aren’t divorced. And that you have a normal mother instead of a business executive!’

Right. Moving along.

So Trish is working her first shift at the muffin grinder–grinding muffins–when she catches the eye of a slightly odd gentleman with a penchant for honey muffins. His manner is a little off, but she pays it no mind because at the pizza place across the court she’s just noticed the man of her effing dreams, guys. Get ready for it…

‘I never have trouble remembering his name,’ Nita sighed. ‘Storm Reynolds….’

Because who could possibly forget an improbable name like STORM REYNOLDS. You have truly outdone yourself this time, Ms. Cusick. Truly. And I love you for it.

Storm–may I call you Storm?–Storm is exactly what you’d expect him to be: tall, handsome, high cheekbones, hung like a…. And the ladies can’t keep their eyes off him (except Imogene, who prefers his friend and metal-enthusiast Weird Wyatt, which is also why I like her best.) The girls are just having their day in the mall, you know, when all of sudden Trish gets sort-of called away for a phone call (on a payphone yeah you heard me rite).

‘I’m eating the muffin,’ he said. ‘It tastes just like you.’

Well. Shit just got not funny. I guess Nita was right. Turns out weird things have been happening at the mall (lots of missing girls (some dead), merchandise disappearing, honey muffins all over the goddamn place like Winnie-the-Pooh got perverted, you name it). Trish is the latest in a long line of the Muffin Man’s obsessions, but that’s practically beside the point because Storm and Wyatt (spoiler) are undercover cops.


Now, in Part 1 I said I hoped this would be the book that bleached my brain clean of all traces of Vampire, and I’m happy to report it was. Not only did Cusick have a little fun with her formula, she brought some realistic fear to an otherwise over-the-top (if pretty imaginative) crazy stalker/serial killer character. And with Cusick introducing both the possibility of a dangerous environment (creepy mall) and the Muffin Maniac* within the first ten pages, Trish’s immediate and escalating fear didn’t come across as unfounded and hysterical–just pretty fucking rational under the circumstances. No running from wet leaves like a Southern train for this girl.

A few tiresome cliches still poked through (how many times are the good guys going to have uncharacteristic attacks of outpatient behaviour just so we have weak reason to suspect them?), but all in all, an entertaining read.

The Mall gets four out of five honey muffins for genuine stalker fear and for releasing me from Vampire’s egregious embrace.


*Fun fact: The bakery Trish works at is called Muffin-Mania. MUFFIN-MANIA, y’all!

Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: Mall Brats, Part 1


Early nineties’ clothes are terrifying.

Aaaand we’re back in the room.

After a much-needed week off, we’re continuing the Pointless Horror series with The Mall, Richie Tankersley Cusick’s 1992 offering. Judging by the five-star Amazon UK rating, this should be a smidgen better than the book That Shall Not Be Named, also known as The Book That Broke Pointless.

I don’t really remember the killer or the premise of this story–except, you know, it’s in a mall–but I do know there’s a definite 21 Jump Street angle to it, with undercover cops posing as high-school students. It makes me wonder just how many cops actually look like children, and how much that must suck for them.


The fabulous mullets make up for all the beatings.

Tune in Monday for what I hope will be a happy happy joy joy review of awesomeness, because I just know this is going to be the book that turns things around (even though we already had that).

Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: Just a Little Prick, Part 2


I am losing the will to live.

Well, maybe losing the will to read.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was in a bad mood when I read Cusick’s Vampire. It happens. But I’m pretty sure that had I been in the best rainbow stuffed unicorn happy happy mood ever, I still wouldn’t have been able to cope with the protagonist’s full-on wandering womb hysteria.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Improbably named Darcy’s crappy mother is getting married again and taking off to Europe for her honeymoon, leaving Darcy with her Uncle Jake, whom she’s never met and her whole family hates for basically no reason. So we’re off to a good start.

Uncle Jake runs a horror museum, and although the exhibits are just static wax figures of classic horror monsters (think Bela Lugosi et al.), Darcy is pants-shittingly terrified of them.

As he pushed her to the guardrail, Darcy felt her skin crawl…Darcy turned away, strangely unsettled by the coffin…Darcy continued on…shuddering at all the gory details…Darcy shut her eyes, trying to force all the grisly scenes from her mind…

She is, in fact, pants-shittingly terrified of everything. Even before she has reason to be. Remember Martha and Belinda? Darcy has made me miss Martha and Belinda. I shed a single tear for their relative bravery, even though it hurt me to do so.

(But it’s okay that Darcy’s so hysterical–that just means all the boys can protect her. And they all want to protect her, are fighting to protect her, because she’s really pretty and that makes it easier to stare into the void where her personality should be.)

Oh god, this is awful, isn’t it? Let’s continue.

Not long after Darcy breezes into town, someone starts slitting the throats of teen girls for fun, leaving them with his signature: two dots, made with red lipstick, over their jugular veins. For some reason, the kids find the fake vampire bites more disturbing than the gaping throat wounds, because they’ve all been doing a lot of vampire research lately for reasons you just don’t need to know, and this killer could be any kind of vampire. Any kind.

‘Do you think this Vampire–the killer, I mean–really believes he is one?’

‘If he does then that makes him extremely dangerous…. Because he can be any kind of vampire he wants to be, so that makes him unpredictable.’

Right. He’s dangerous because his free rein in the vampire pantheon makes him unpredictable; the fact that he’s a homicidal fucking maniac is just a side note. Right, got it. Consider my priorities straightened.

Turns out the killer is totally predictable, being the only one of Darcy’s new peer group to be voted Most Likely to Not Be Suspected in high school. True to formula, I suppose…or is it? You see, I came out of this book more than half convinced that the main vampire-ish murderer plot is actually just a smoke screen to mask the real horror lurking beneath the surface of the narrative.

Uncle Jake.

Yes, ‘gorgeous’ Uncle Jake, who at twenty-three years old not only owns a horror museum, but also runs a club (I mean, ‘Club’) for minors where they serve Coca-Cola and kids can stay out of trouble, allegedly. Uncle Jake, whose only friends in the book are high-schoolers. Uncle Jake, who recently dated a seventeen-year-old, and who currently has the hots for his equally seventeen-year-old niece (oh my god no wait it’s okay he’s adopted!).

Uncle. Fucking. Jake.

Like I said, I was in a bad mood. Maybe I’ll revisit Vampire at some point, but I need some space, okay? Some…alone time.

Vampire gets one out of five Belas-in-the-headlights, because I didn’t like it.


I’m taking a one-week break to carve pumpkins and plan my (late) Halloween costume, so regularly scheduled programming will return on Thursday, 3 November with…The Mall!


Happy Halloween!

Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: Just a Little Prick, Part 1


I’ve never really been a fan of the vampire as a horror genre construct. I’m not sure I can even explain why–vampires have always just left me a bit cold (geddit?!). Even when I went through my Anne Rice phase during university, I somehow managed to avoid reading almost all of her vampire novels, sticking to the fringe, Lestat-less stories like Violin and Cry to Heaven instead.

(I did enjoy the Interview with the Vampire film when it came out, though, which probably had more to do with my youthfully misguided crush on Christian Slater than the story. I say ‘misguided’, but man he is good in Mr. Robot, ain’t he? But let’s be honest–it’d be hard to be bad on a show like that.)

There are always exceptions to the rule, of course. I’ve recently reread some of the old Stephen King classics, and I was surprised to find that ‘Salem’s Lot is actually one of my favourites of his. The follow-up short, ‘One for the Road’, is great, but I’m less enamoured with the prequel/origin story ‘Jerusalem’s Lot’, and yet I feel like the ‘Salem’s Lot universe is one that could be, and probably should be, revisited.

Knowing my bloodsucker aversion, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that when it came time to write about Vampire, Cusick’s own take on the icon (I guess?), I couldn’t remember a single damn thing about it. Not one. I wasn’t even convinced she’d written the book–I had to double-check to ensure my sources were correct for my own peace of mind. Total memory vacuum.

Luckily, during a fifteen-minute yoga session this morning that has left me crippled (this health kick is brought to you by my birthday next month–please kill me), one major detail jumped unbidden into my conscious mind: the killer leaves two dots of red lipstick on his victims’ necks. That’s why the book’s called Vampire.

And that’s all I know.

Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: The First Is the Worst, Part 2


After two poor showings, I feel I can say that Open Road Media has out-covered the original edition with this one. Just. While the 1990 April Fools cover is more literal–there is an actual doll’s head in a mailbox in the story, and I don’t care how macho you think you are, but if you found a bloody, mutilated doll’s head in your mailbox I know you would drop a load in your shorts and then scream like a little girl at her first clown-themed birthday party–this one brings the horror to the fore, what with the knife and the blood and the doll’s cold dead eyes hidden beneath colder, deader lids.

‘You are so easy to scare…. Anybody could scare you–‘

Martha? Is that you?

A windblown leaf scraped across the pavement, and she jumped.

Oh no, it is you, except this time your name is Belinda and instead of screaming at light and shadows and everything in between you have a serious issue with seasonal foliage. What the fuck is your malfunction, Belinda?

Sorry, sorry…I shouldn’t be as hard on Belinda as I was on Martha. I mean, if I killed a man just to watch him die and then my best friend turned out to be a massive dickhead, I guess I’d be a bit jumpy too.

Here’s the 411, or the lowdown, or the deets–whatever the kids call it today: Belinda, her best ‘friend’ Hildy and Hildy’s personality-disordered boyfriend Frank are driving home from an April Fools’ Day party, because that’s a thing, when drunk Frank decides to play a prank by grabbing the steering wheel from Hildy and repeatedly ramming the back end of a passing vehicle while they’re on a twisty dark road and it’s raining. Haha funny! Just like The Hitcher, and that was a hilarious little prank, right?


Even C. Thomas Howell thinks it’s funny.

So Belinda watches, helpless, as her psychopathic ‘friends’ (you’re going to see quotation marks around that word a lot) run this poor car off the road. Belinda gets out to help but her companions won’t let her; when the car bursts into flames, as cars always do, Hildy and Frank break out the marshmallows and form a Satanic prayer circle instead.

I’m kidding about that last bit…but seriously, close enough. Because Frank and Hildy are assholes.

Two weeks later everyone’s back at school and Belinda is the only one who seems to think there might be repercussions to the accident–possibly quite horrible repercussions of the You Literally Killed People kind. Get this conversation between Improbably Named Hildy and Belinda:

‘Car wrecks happen every day–‘

‘But they don’t have anything to do with us!’

‘And this doesn’t either. You’re acting like this is some huge tragedy or something….’

Oh. My. God. 

‘It is a tragedy! I just keep–keep feeling that somehow we’ll be…paid back for what we did.’

We can only hope.

I’ve mentioned in other reviews how much I tend to like the supporting characters in Cusick’s books–particularly the protagonist’s female friends, who are often far more brave and rounded than the stars of the show–but April Fools is a complete reversal. And it should have worked well: make our hero Belinda truly isolated, truly on her own as she dealt with the creeping horror of a car-wreck victim out for revenge. Unfortunately, I didn’t find Belinda particularly heroic, or even anti-heroic, for the same reasons Martha rubbed me the wrong goddamn way. I suppose that’s why her ‘friends’ are just beyond the frikkin’ pale, to provide some kind of meaningful foil, but they all end up being a bit of a shitshow and I found myself rooting for the bad guys instead. And they were, you know, pretty bad. (Which is, of course, meant to make the vehicular manslaughter thing at the beginning less terrible, but that’s total bullshit.)

After Teacher’s Pet, I can’t help but feel we’ve backslid here, particularly with the protagonist who’s once again let us down as readers, as women and as non-joyride-murderers. I’m starting to see why Point came under fire for the characterization of its female protagonists back in the day, but then again, I don’t remember feeling this way as a teenage reader. I’m going to think about why this might be and write a separate post on it at some point. Lucky you.

April Fools gets two out of Seven Psychopaths, for the attempt rather than the accomplishment. I swear had no idea my blog title would turn out to be prophetic.

Pointless Horror series

Pointless Horror: The First Is the Worst, Part 1


Oh Chucky. If it weren’t for you, you murderous little shit, this cover probably wouldn’t be nearly as creepy as it is. So cast your mind back, dear reader–if you can–to a sad, sad world before Child’s Play was even a glimmer in Don Mancini’s eye and riddle me this: Would a doll in a mailbox have given you even the slightest pause?

Who are we trying to kid? Of course it would have. Because dolls are creepy.

Dolls have always been creepy.

I’m assuming the cover of Cusick’s April Fools–her fourth outing for Point Horror–is illustrating a holiday-appropriate prank that’s about half as disturbing as the creepy clown phenomenon currently sweeping the western world. But soft, what words through yonder cover break…

It’s no joke…it’s murder.

Because Point Horror is where the bad shit happens, and you’d better not forget it.

While I was in the shower the other day thinking about having to read April Fools, I realised that I remember quite a bit about the story, or at least the set up. I also remember that the boy I wasn’t supposed to like, the really obviously bad one with the big evil scar on his face, was the one I found most attractive.

‘Twas ever thus.

What I don’t remember is what exactly April Fools’ Day has to do with it. This and Trick or Treat are Cusick’s only holiday-themed books, as far as I know, and while Halloween is a no-brainer for a horror series, April Fools’ Day is a bit more of a head-scratcher. Or it would be, if we didn’t know that Cusick shares her birthday with that holiday.

And how do we know this? Because every Open Road Media reprint I’ve read of Cusick’s books so far features the same mini-photo biography at the back. It’s a somewhat lengthy written bio supplemented with captioned photos of Cusick at various stages in her writerly existence. The bio is repeated verbatim in every book, so don’t think that more books will offer more insight, but considering the lack of information about Cusick on the ‘net, even this small glimpse into her private life feels like a great boon. We’ve got photos of her as a child in Missouri (where she still lives), of her high school newspaper editor’s badge and of her hard at work at her ‘haunted’ desk. To be honest, I’m not sure I even knew what Cusick looked like before this rereading odyssey began, so well done, Open Road. I, for one, am pleased.

All right, kids, let’s meet back here on Monday, when I’ll post my scintillating review. To the Batkindle!