Welcome to my feature here at Attack the Stacks called I Got Class(ics), 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 call 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.
This week’s classic is:
A weekend of sun and fun in Acapulco turns into a nightmare when nine teenagers trapped in a mansion realize that they have been lured there for a deadly reason.
Once again I have selected a Christopher Pike book. I really should just call this feature “I read and review everything Pike has ever written,” because if I’m talking personal classics that’s pretty much what this is going to be. Plus I’ve been dying to re-read his books for ages just to see if the nostalgia value holds up for me. It did with Slumber Party, but that always was one of my favorite of his. I was curious to see if Weekend – which I remembered liking but wasn’t one of my faves – would hold up over the years. It did, though not to the degree of Slumber Party.
As with the last one, rather than an actual review it’s easier to just sum these books up in a list of observations. So here it is!
- There are apparently very few things that can drive a wedge between friends – or even frenemies – in a Christopher Pike book. One is a teenage crush – they’re willing to kill each other over those. But poisoning one another, killing a mutual friend in a totally avoidable accident, nearly killing someone on purpose…all small potatoes. Friends forevah!
- Teenage drinking is no problem, except when it occasionally results in someone being poisoned or burned to death in a fire. This is Pike’s second book and the second one where teenage drinking has resulted in some serious malfeasance. I think there might be a message here.
- There is a seriously crazy group of friends in this book. I did not go to high school with people like this and I certainly did not have people like this in my group of friends. We were all just kind of…normal. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. We went to school, we played sports, we got up to the occasional mild skullduggery. We didn’t have any deadly bombshells or former gang members with hearts of gold or daughters of tycoons among us. This group has all of the above plus a football player with the IQ of a tree stump, a Harvard-bound preppie, a cute-but-mysterious guy with an English accent and someone who poisons his/her friends in their spare time. WOWOW! I also definitely didn’t drive a Porsche in high school. I didn’t get my first car until I was 19 and it was a Pontiac Sunbird that my witty friends and I referred to as “The Suckbird.” We had to lean forward when driving up a hill because it would slow to a crawl due to the fact that: a) there were always 57 teenage girls packed into it at any given time; and b) it was a shitty car. Tangent: Suckbird died a tragic death when it was hit by a drunk driver while parked in front of the house I lived in at the time. Completely totaled, which probably meant it had at least $125 in damage. It was replaced by an equally shitty Pontiac GrandAm that was dubbed “Suckbird Junior.” I no longer buy Pontiacs.
- There’s a boy from England. Of course there is, because English accents instantly make men more attractive. It’s a scientific fact.
- Listed under Shani’s drawbacks: “…had read too many of the classics and had a repulsive habit of sounding intelligent, all of which was enough to make any adolescent male insecure.” Because smart girls are a problem because all boys are dumb. Gotcha.
- Teenagers are also always evil geniuses, implementing plans that would make any Bond villain totally jealous. Snakes under glass operated by a microphone lever? Sure! Faking spontaneous human combustion to freak people the hell out while you club their friends over the head, drag them to a basement, and douse them with kerosene? YES PLEASE.You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads!
- These kids are in high school, where in the hell are their parents? I mean, my parents weren’t the strictest in the world. They pretty much left us alone as long as we kept our grades up. They didn’t closely monitor which movies we watched or which books we read, so in that way they were actually pretty lenient as long as we didn’t give them a reason to be more strict. That said, if I had asked them if I could drive to the middle of nowhere in Mexico in a piece of crap car (like the Suckbird or the Suckbird Junior) with no adults to be found for hundreds of miles to go to a weekend-long party hosted by the sister of a girl who we had already POISONED HALF TO DEATH during some teenage drinking shenanigans, I’m pretty sure the answer would have been a resounding no.
- Somewhat gross plot device I noticed in this book – people were constantly peeing, pooping, barfing, and expelling various bodily humors and then talking about it. Gross.
- I love that people can torture each other, poison each other, shackle each other to a wall in a pit of vipers, etc. and still at the end, all is pretty much forgiven. And I don’t even think I’m being sarcastic there. For as mean-spirited as Pike’s books could be (I mean, let’s be honest – in all of them somebody is being destroyed literally or figuratively) they tend to have some form of happy-ish ending.
- I love you, Christopher Pike.
I already got Chain Letter from the library so I’ll be reading that one within the next few weeks. Hooray for re-living my youth!