Sunday, 20 July 2014

Return To The Point Horror Genre With Teacher's Pet

While most middle-graders were joining sports teams, school marching band and other activities, I had my nose in a book during the 90s. I would keep a couple of paperbacks stored in my desk and when any free time came available, I would grab the book and read like there was no tomorrow. Of course I read the Goosebumps series during this era, but my favorite books were under the Point Horror brand. Such authors as R.L. Stine, Diane Ho, Christopher Pike, Caroline B. Cooney and Richie Tankerlsey Cusick wrote horror titles involving teenage characters in these books.

I can't pinpoint one favorite book from this genre, as there too many of them, but Teacher's Pet by Richie Tankersley Cusick is in top of my lists. I appreciate Open Road Integrated Media for releasing it to an eBook format for a new generation to read.

Originally published in November 1990, Teacher's Pet centers on an aspiring teenage horror author, Kate. Her teacher, Miss Bunceton, signs her up to attend a writing writer's conference camp, which one of the classes is being taught by her idol - horror author, William Drewe. To her disappointment, when she arrives she learns that William Drewe hardly ever attends his own classes, but instead sends his brother, Gideon, in his place.

Despite William Drewe's absences, Kate is enjoying her retreat. She even made a few new friends, but then strange things begin to happen. She starts to realize that someone is trying to kill her. 

While the overall plot isn't the best, the author does a remarkable job adding bits of scariness and shock around every corner. It is basically a throwback to the 80s horror films, where you don't know exactly what is going on or who the killer's identity is until the very end. Today's middle-grade and YA horror books are too tamed and have too many romantic plots; while the Point Horror generation were straight up old-fashioned horror novels, where any character can die at anytime. Overall, Teacher's Pet is definitely a fun and creepy read!

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

For three decades, Richie Tankersley Cusick (b. 1952) has been one of the most prominent authors of horror fiction for young adults. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana—home to some of the country’s most ancient ghosts—Cusick grew up in a small bayou town called Barataria. Inspired by the eerie Louisiana swampland, she began writing at a young age. After college, Cusick took a job at Hallmark and moved to a haunted house in Kansas City, where she began work on her first novel, Evil on the Bayou, whose success allowed her to leave her job and begin writing fulltime. Since then, Cusick has written more than two dozen novels. She and her three dogs live in North Carolina, where Cusick writes on an antique roll-top desk that was once owned by a funeral director. The desk is, of course, haunted.

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