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Book Reviews: Paperback Crush+The Other+What October Brings, part 1 😥🎃😥🎃😥🎃😥🎃😥🎃

Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History Of '80s And '90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle moss

This is a very USA-centric take on the YA books of the 1980s-1990s. The author goes on about a 401(k) without explaning what it is and uses the word problematic a lot. This is divided into chapters and was obviously inspired by 'Paperbacks From Hell'. This was good but you feel a lot has been left out of this nostalgia fest.

Chapter 1 Love

The 'Sweet Dreams' series are mentioned. I never read them but can recall racks of them in newsagents. I read one 'Couples' book. I learn that Janet Quin- Harkin was the pen name for Rhys Owen. The title of 'Is This Is Love, I'll Take Spaghetti' sounds familiar.

Chapter 2 Friends

Books about cheerleaders, clubs, ponies and bullying which seem hacky.

Chapter 3 Family

Books about divorce, family issues, 'Sweet Valley High' and its 'Slam Book' spin off. Who didn't read 'Sweet Valley High'?

Chapter 4 School

There was a series called 'Video High'? There are books about boarding school and college. Oddly there is no mention of the 'Room-mates' series.

Chapter 5 Jobs

Books about babysitting (which I never read) and so many books about summer camp. Nancy Drew is mentioned as are Isla Fisher's YA novels and a series about beauty queens.

Chapter 6 Danger

Books about issues, doomsters and gloomsters.

Chapter 7 Terror

Christopher Pike, Point Horror, Twilight Where Darkenss Begins, Fear Street and Lois Duncan. Again, very US-centric.

Best Lines:

“Soul-killing endeavor,”

“Writing to trends,”

“Charmingly falling on their face into a pile of meat-garbage.”

“Not exactly a high point of tolerance.”

“Stephen King for the retainer-wearing crowd.”

“Lord of mall-based terror.”

“Culturally pioneering.”

“Social concerns.”

“Familial discord.”

“Everyone (including her parents) like her more.”

“What it means for her best friend to love that terrible, irritating idiot.”

“Terrible toxic person.”

“An annoying jerk who picks fights with toddlers.”

“A bottomless need for pointless drama.”

“Zero emotional growth.”

“Plot momentum!”

“Emotionally hideous.”

“Menacing punk rockers.”

“Absorb a nuanced lesson.”

“Unwitting march to doom.”

“Endless self-created personal problems.”

“Ambition free.”


“Don't have hippies in them.”

“That little incident last year when you stole Ted Blane's school files and then concocted that story that he was a drug addict.”

“Wealthy lunatic bullies.”

“Cultural calamity.”

“Inspire the people around them to better themselves.”

“Social menace.”

“People who are better than you,”

“Dire fates,”

“Unexpectedly grim.”

“Rage thoughts.”

The Other by Thomas Tyron

From the author of the good 'Harvest Home' and the bad 'All That Glitters' comes this inept tale of an evil twin and his disturbing influence on those around him. It is a grim depiction of people making horrendous mistakes and ignroing a murderous, animal abusing brat who will end up unvisited in a nut ward.

This was not particularly meancing, it's full of idiots who even in the 1930s forgive a spoilt brat creepy child his excesses. This was relative ineptitude. A boy acts aggressively and cheerlessly. Where are the police? Nobody finds the brat's endless bad acts peturbing? There are adverse events in perptuity. In the inevitable double twist ending the brat ends up forlorn in a nut house.

Lies were deliberately, repeatedly and maliciously told. Distress, anger and loss were caused. There was clear intentionality of evil actions. This book was inexplicably popular in 1971 but I don't care about the brat's evil destructive plans. The brat ends up in the nut ward, everyone and everything he ever knew of long dead and lost to history.

This was absolute hell. People dismiss the warning signs around them with resigned helplessness. There is more familial chaos than in a Virgina Andrews novel. There is terrifying cruelty and this was not magisterially epic. This was not necessitous. Why did no one have serious concerns about the brat? He just kept commiting worse outrages and brought upon his own disgrace in a final reckoning. This was intolerably dank and cheerless. I felt general distain for this.

What October Brings: A Lovecraftian Celebration Of Halloween edited by Douglas Draa, part 1



Hallowe'en In A Suburb

An incoherent Lovecraft poem.

Uncle's In The Treetops

A boy has a taste for betrayal and his dark thoughts make him a fateful harbinger in this good story.

Best Line:

“Lots of embarrassments hidden away in attics.”

Down Into Silence

A blogger visits Innsmouth. This was a good and deeply regretful take on the cultural artefact.

Best Lines:

“Places of ill or unusual reputation.”

“Plain lunacy.”

“Fell to ruin.”

The War On Halloween

This is a tale of a hell house and its inescapable power. This does not leave you terror stricken.

Best Lines:

“I tried to leave, but it won't let me.”

“They don't put on masks at Halloween, they take them off.”

“The world would cower in fear of him.”

That Small, Furry, Sharp-Toothed Thing

This tale of madness and Halloween costumes makes little logical sense and is soulless and forumulaic.

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