Friday, April 14, 2017

Christopher Pike Cheerleaders #2 Getting Even, Slumber Party, and Weekend

I was a big fan of Christopher Pike from 1988 until 1995.  I didn't stop liking Pike in 1995; it's just that my active interests changed, so I quit purchasing his books.  I recently decided to read my Pike books again.  If the reading went well, then the plan was to purchase all of Pike's books and read all of them.  I did end up purchasing all of Pike's books, and I am currently reading all of them.

Christopher Pike is the pseudonym used by author Kevin Christopher McFadden. McFadden took the name Christopher Pike from a character in Star Trek.  I love Pike's sense of humor, and I love his absurd plots.

Pike's first books were published in 1985.  One of them was a title in Scholastic's Cheerleaders series.  I have read a few reviews by Pike fans who were disappointed in the book, because they expected the cheerleaders to kill each other.  They wanted blood!  This is not that kind of book.  You can tell by the cover and synopsis that this is a teen romance book, not horror!

In Cheerleaders #2, Getting Even, the school year has just started.  Mary Ellen has just made the cheer squad.  The story follows Mary Ellen and the other cheerleaders as they experience romance, jealousy, and backstabbing.

The book is unlike all of Pike's other books, since Pike had to follow the formula for the Cheerleaders series.  However, little bits of Pike come through at times.

On page 1, Mary Ellen worries about her speech.
"Hi, my name's Mary Ellen and these are my good friends:  Nancy, Angie, Olivia, Walt, and Pres!  We're here to share with you the excitement we have for our fantastic football team!"

In her mind's eye, she could see rows and rows of bored faces.
That sounds like something Pike would write.  He also describes a short girl as looking like a hobbit.

I enjoyed this book.

Slumber Party was Christopher Pike's first teen horror book.  In Slumber Party, a group of friends spends the weekend in a house near a resort. The same group of friends was present when a terrible event happened years before.  That event resulted in a girl's death.

I never cared for Slumber Party years ago, and I still do not like it.  Pike's first teen horror books are weaker than his later ones.  Slumber Party has too many characters who are introduced too quickly with inadequate descriptions.  It's hard to care about characters when one can't keep them straight.  Additionally, I find a lot of the dialogue to be silly and uninteresting.

Weekend was Christopher Pike's second teen horror book.  I also never cared for this book years ago.  I don't like it that much now, but it is a little better than Slumber Party.  Pike had already begun to improve as a writer.

In Weekend, a group of teens vacations in Mexico.  The premise of this story is actually quite similar to Slumber Party in that the teens who vacation together were all present when one of them was poisoned during a previous party.

The main problem with Weekend is that the book begins with an excessive amount of expository information.  It's not very interesting.  The book is boring until around two-thirds through the story. From that point until the end, the story is pretty interesting.

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