Welcome to my new feature here at Attack the Stacks, in which I will be re-reading personal classics (and maybe the occasional actual classic). Most of these will be books I read when I was a tween/teen and loved. I’ll be seeing how they have held up over time. I’m calling it I Got Class(ics) because: a) it pretty much sums up the point of the feature; and b) it amuses me, since in actuality I have very little class. I am also very easily amused.
Without further ado, my first personal classic is…
It was a perfect weekend … for murder.
Lara thought the ski trip would be a blast. The old gang was getting together for the first time in years. But then there’s a very unexpected visitor…
First of all, please to be noticing that even though they have apparently done me dirty and given Pike’s books one of those fancypants modern cover makeovers that are so so terrible, I have decided to stick with the classic cover that was on the version of the book I had growing up. I mean really, the supposedly “better” covers are awful. Let’s take a look at alternate cover #1:
What even? It’s a girl. On fire. Let’s sum up the ENTIRE BOOK ON THE COVER because then people won’t even need to bother reading it! Oh, and instead of making it look like the fire is painful, let’s just make her look kind of confused like she can’t quite figure out why she smells bacon.
Believe it or not, alternate cover #2 is even more ridiculous:
It’s a snowman and he is also ON FIRE. If you’ve guess that fire plays a role in this book, ding ding ding! You’re not a turnip. I actually almost used this cover because when I looked carefully at it I actually laughed out loud. How pissed off does that snowman look? He doesn’t even look like he’s in pain from all of the fire melting his body to the ground, he just looks supremely annoyed. He’s like the snowman version of the office IT guy.
And while I’m airing my grievances, they’ve apparently given it a modern update on the inside as well. At least, they’ve felt the need to go in and explain away the lack of modern technology. For example, early on a park ranger who looks like Colonel Sanders feels compelled to tell the girls that there’s no cell service in the area. Why? Why do we need to care about this? Why can’t we just know and appreciate that these books were from a different era, an era where cell phones were as futuristic as a flying car and every 8 year old wasn’t accessible everywhere he or she went? It was a simpler time. Just leave it be. We don’t need some gratuitous old guy with a cookie duster letting us know that the girls won’t be able to get on the twitters for a couple of days. Eat it, Colonel Sanders.
Anyway, let me wax nostalgic for Christopher Pike for a moment. Oh, Christopher Pike. You are one of the authors who is responsible for my love of reading. I had every one of your books, and by the time I grew up and got rid of them they had been read so many times they were practically falling apart. I read your books almost exclusively. Once I got my grubby paws on my first Pike, it was curtains for those numbnuts Wakefield twins and their stupid lavaliers (necklaces. just say necklaces.). I pimped these books out to everyone I knew. I was even lending them to my friends’ parents! So I went into this re-read with a lot of nostalgia and a little trepidation, to say the least.
Things I learned:
- The fat chick jokey-jokes bug me, and not just because I have a little more junk in the trunk than I did the last time I read this book. It’s such an obnoxious trope in a lot of the older YA novels/series – the chubby and homely but boy-crazy friend who could actually get a date if she’d just stop shoving her face for a couple of minutes. But she can’t, because food is just like soooo awesome. At one point Fat Friend Dana (or FFD, if you prefer) actually commented that she wished anorexia was contagious and she knew someone who could infect her. Yes yes yes! Because the only way to not be fat is to starve yourself until your hair falls out and you stop menstruating! Oh, those wacky days before eating disorders were looked upon as a bad thing!
- Insta-love is not a new concept in YA. It took 30 minutes for Lara to give her heart to Percy. That’s like the Domino’s Pizza of falling in love. 30 minutes or less or it’s free, folks! And she was so smitten that she was willing to sell out her BFF (FFD) to a potential date rapist just so that she could get Percy to come to her stupid dinner party. That’s love, folks. Obviously the concept of bros before hos didn’t exist in the 1980s.
- Oh, Percy. Insta-love boy. I miss the halcyon days when a guy who dropped out of high school in 9th grade and proceeded to spend his time shiftlessly migrating around taking low-paying temp jobs and living with a rapey roommate was considered a catch just because he was CUTE. Once you hit 30 you require a guy to bring a resume on your first date. Meanwhile, these girls are literally willing to cause dangerous ‘accidents’ to one another to fight over guy who is basically a hobo.
- You could see the end coming a mile away and I really didn’t give a shit because getting there was so awesomely hilarious and fun.
- I still love you, Christopher Pike.
I have Weekend as well (the book has both novels in it) and I can’t wait to get started. I hope it’s equally squeal-worthy and appalling in a kitschy way!