I Got Class(ics) Review: Spellbound by Christopher Pike

Welcome to I Got Class(ics), my meme here at Attack the Stacks where I read and review classic books from my youth, and occasionally the actual classic. But mostly books I liked growing up.

Spellbound
By Christopher Pike
211 Pages
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: March 10, 1988
Source: Library.

From Goodreads:

They found Karen Holly dead in the mountain stream and thought Jason had murdered her in a fit of rage. Now Jason has a new girlfriend, and together with some new kids in town is returning to the place where Karen was killed. Some will die. The others will come face to face with a horror beyond imagining.

Hey, this book has a character with my name! Someone other than half of my friends’ moms shares my name! Awesome! Oh no wait…she’s dead before the book even starts. Nevermind.

As usual, these reviews will be done in “hey, this is interesting” bullet point style instead of a nice analytical (or as analytical as I get) review. I have more fun with them that way. And there are major spoilers.

  • So, Cindy. Cindy is dating a guy who may or may not have murdered his previous girlfriend. I mean, he proooobably didn’t, so it’s ok, right? I don’t claim to be an expert on dating or relationships or anything but this doesn’t seem like the wisest choice of a mate to me. I know from experience that the pickings in the dating pool tend to be slim (and if they’re bad right now I can only imagine what they were like in 1988 – every guy probably had a mullet and drove an IROC) but still…you won’t care how cute or rich he is when he’s cleaving your skull with an axe.

On second thought, maybe the axe murderer doesn’t sound quite so bad.

  • We find out on page 9 that Cindy has a dog named Wolf who is…wait for it…almost entirely wolf. Yep, almost no domestic dog at all in his blood. And he’s been taught to sic but only responds to that command if it comes from Cindy. GEE, I WONDER WHERE THIS IS GOING TO GO?
  • Cindy is worried that her brother, Alex, will never date. I mean, he just got his drivers license but he’s never asked anyone out. He’s 16 and not dating! He’s one step and a penis from being a crazy cat lady! Am I the only one who finds it weird that an older sister would push her younger brother to start dating and/or interfere with his love life? I’m an older sister to a younger brother and trust me, when he was 16, the less I knew about his personal life the happier we both were. If I’d have started snooping around in or making snarky comments about his dating life he would have murdered me in my sleep.
  • Another “ugly” best friend. Pam is short, has a big nose and her backside is chunky, but she somehow “avoids being a dog.” Cindy thinks that it’s because she’s always ready for a good time – in other words, she gives it up. Apparently willingness to have sex somehow is able to manipulate your appearance or something? As someone who is short and has a bit of a chunky backside (chunkier now than when I was in high school, granted) I can’t even tell you how rage-inducing I find reading something like this, especially in a YA book. Hey…if you’re short and a little chunky and your nose is on the large side it doesn’t make you ugly. Saying that it does is dumb. I’ve noticed the trend in Pike’s books that the heroine is always a slim long-legged type with a tan and long flowing hair. I know this isn’t unique to him but the habit of creating an “ugly” friend who isn’t built like a supermodel as a foil to the gorgeous protagonist is a pattern in his books. And hey, I’m not hating on the pretty girl either – I abhor girl-on-girl violence and I think there’s plenty of room for all types. But still, come on. You don’t have to be a supermodel to be pretty and having a little junk on the trunk doesn’t mean that you have to be a ho in order to not be considered ugly.
  • I feel like a broken record here, but tanning is BAD FOR YOU. If you’re going to do it that’s your business, but it shouldn’t be encouraged in YA books. You might not think it’s a big deal while you’re a teenager, but it is. Trust me. While these tan goddesses may look good now, they’re going to look like an alligator handbag by the time they hit 30. Trust me, I’ve seen it first hand. And those of us who remain ghastly and pale year round? We’re still getting carded buying liquor in our mid-30s. So there. Ahem…rant over.
  • If your boyfriend maybe possibly didn’t kill somebody, don’t return to the scene of the crime with him. Even if you don’t think he did it. It’s always best not to push your luck.
  • I seriously don’t remember reading this book at all. I thought I had read the entire Pike catalog but I’m wondering if I may have skipped this one? I don’t remember a single thing about it.
  • Possibly one of the most melodramatic reactions to anything ever – one of the characters, upon hearing of the death of another, actually says “damn this world!” Damn this world. Lulz.
  • At one point the sheriff of the tiny town of Timber, WY decides that he no longer feels safe raising his children there and decides to pack up and flee to the much safer confines of Los Angeles. What? And please don’t misunderstand, I’m not putting down LA in any way, but I do have a hard time believing that the crime rate there is lower than a small town in Wyoming. Call it a hunch.
  • Murderer or no murderer, Jason is a dickbag.
  • I hated the ending. Hated it. Who is mean to a blind old parrot and lets a vulture spirit enter its body willy nilly? Bitch move, Cindy. Bitch move. And it kinda made me think of this:

I still love you Christopher Pike. Even if your aversion to overweight women borders on pathological and the ending of this book was totally uncalled for.

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5 Comments

  1. I’ve read Christopher Pike’s Thirst Series. I liked the first book a lot, but the last few books were meh. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Have never heard of these books…thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Oh, christopher Pike is awesome. He definitely won’t pack the same punch if you read his stuff as an adult, though. It seems kind of outdated and silly now.

      Reply
  3. Hahaha Karen this was hilarious! I read a bunch of Pike’s books when I was younger and more impressionable and man, this was a trip to read.

    Reply
    • I loved Pike so much growing up. His books definitely don’t seem as good as they did when I was younger but there’s definite nostalgia value. I poke fun out of love.

      Reply

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