I Got Class(ics) Review: Last Act by Christopher Pike

Welcome to my feature here at Attack the Stacks called I Got Class(ics), where I review both personal classics from my youth and books that are actually considered classics. The name is punny. Get it? Class(ics)? It’s funny because in reality I have very, very little class.

Today’s review is yet another Christopher Pike book. SHOCKING.

Last Act
By Christopher Pike
240 Pages
Published by Archway Paperbacks

A group of high school seniors put on a play about murder. When one of the leading ladies is shot, another actress must ferret out the killer.
As usual for this feature, my observations will be presented in a nifty bulleted list. And as always, spoilers ahoy.
  • This is the first Pike I’m re-reading as an adult where I remember absolutely nothing about it. This leads me to believe that it wasn’t one of my favorites then, and it’s still not one of my favorites now.
  • In one of the most colossal dick moves of all time, Melanie’s boyfriend breaks up with her BY SNAIL MAIL. I’m pretty sure telephones existed back in the 1980s so this is an unforgivable transgression. Sort of like a retro version of the email breakup (which I have been a victim of and please do not do this to someone because it’s really very shitty and rude). Also? He threw her over for a girl named Judy who he met while – I shit you not – playing Centipede at the arcade at the mall. Centipede. Arcade. THE MALL! Well actually, I guess malls still exist. Still, how 80s can you get there?
  • Since when do students direct plays? or do they? They never did at my school, probably because some joker would have put on a production of Boogie Nights or something. No, we always had adults directing our plays.

“And you tell me you’ve got some P.E. teacher directing? That makes me want to puke all over your head, sir.”

  • The douchey guy in the book wears leather pants. I thought this was a work of fiction! And he’s violent over a role in the school play. Step down, girlfriend. Stop dressing like a member of Skid Row if you want a role in an Iowa high school play. But wait…what’s this? It’s the guy who already HAS the starring role in a play! He’s just pretending to be an unstable lunatic!
  • I never did plays in high school but if Pike’s book is realistic in any way, it certainly did attract the drama llamas.
  • Melanie orders milk on a date. When a hot guy agrees to go out with her, her reaction is “Oh, neat!” Frankly, she should be behind bars. This was the 80s, not the 50s. Have a little pride.
  • Melanie makes herself exceptionally annoying by continuing to ask the guy she’s currently on a date with/dancing with/kissing about his feeling for another (hotter) girl. Ladies, don’t be dumb.
  • There is no way on this earth that high school kids are allowed to use a real gun for a school play. The entire PTA would spontaneously combust. Plus, who would even WANT to? I’m not letting some teenager point a gun at me, even if they say it’s unloaded or filled with blanks. That’s just crazy talk. Even when I WAS a teenager I didn’t trust teenagers. It’s such a preposterous idea that is so central to the events of the story that I had a hard time getting past it.
  • After their co-actor/classmate has been murdered, they decide to get together to re-enact it. Ok, that’s kind of a Scooby Doo solution, but whatever. I can see it happening, I suppose. But their “re-enactment” took place in front of a crowd. They sold tickets to a murder re-enactment! That school is really looking to recoup their costs for putting on the play.
  • I enjoyed that in the heat of a catfight involving gun play, the first insult to spring to mind – by someone who has already murdered one rival and is in the process of attempting to murder another – is “you little pipsqueak!” Because it’s ok to shoot someone in the face, but you’d better watch that potty mouth.

I liked this one less than the Pikes I’ve re-read and reviewed previously, but it still has his trademark teenage insanity.

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