Nostalgi-Aaargh! with Zooloo’s Book Diary: Blind Date – R. L. Stine

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A few words about the Nostalgi-AAARGH feature:

I was chatting with Zoé O’Farrell, fellow book-blogger of Zooloo’s Book Diary fame, about…well, books, of course! During our chat it turned out that we both spent large chunks of our early teen years enthralled by a series of books published by Scholastic from 1991 onwards under the series banner Point Horror.

Personally, I devoured every Point Horror book I could find in my school and local library – some of them multiple times. I have fond memories of summer holidays spent reading these books by authors such as Christopher Pike, R. L. Stine, Richie Tankersley Cusick and more… on the beach, in the garden, behind the sofa, but most of all, under the bedcovers with a torch and a shiver!

As we are both bookcrazy, Zoé and I decided that our towering TBR piles were just not enough, and so we hatched a plot to read all of the Point Horror books (in the order listed here), to relive some of those teenage chills and see how they hold up in our *mumbles* years. And so the Nostalgi-AAARGH joint-feature was conceived.

Now read on… with caution!

Blind Date – R.L. Stine (1986)

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Blurb: Kerry’s had a very bad year. But now his luck has finally changed.

He’s got a blind date with a girl who sounds really hot.

He can’t wait. He knows this girl is going to be really different.

Kerry’s right.

Because his blind date really is the girl of his dreams.

Or maybe his worst nightmares…

 

 

 

I don’t actually remember whether I read this one in my teens or not, but the style and formula were instantly recognisable.

Kerry is having a run of bad luck, with a whole load of his schoolmates blaming him for the serious injury of their school’s star player. Now he’s out of the team, and everyone seems out to get him. Add that to his missing brother that no one talks about, and his missing memories from the previous year, and you would think he has plenty to worry about.

Luckily there is a ‘foxy’ distraction around to help take his mind off…well, everything, as he starts getting some flirty phone calls from an unknown female. Surely this is his luck finally starting to come good?

Well, no, obviously not! This is Point Horror, not Point Romance (yes, I may have read a few of those too!).

So of course, everyone around Kerry begins to act suspiciously, he gets no adult help whatsoever, and he makes silly personal safety decisions like heading out to meet a complete stranger, alone, at night.

I actually did find this book quite nerve-wracking, as it was clear that Kerry was genuinely under threat, possibly from multiple directions, and that his own mind may be against him as well. I did spot some of the twists before they happened, but others blindsided me, which I always enjoy.

Yet again, the language and attitudes were dated. Kerry seriously reassures himself that he can’t expect a nice girl to go all the way before the movie; he and his friend discuss the ‘fox’ on the phone as if she’s a tasty steak or a new toy; and mental health issues are simply people being ‘crazy’ and needing ‘locking up’. All shocking in today’s world, but not in its time.

I was amused by how Kerry was shown to be so obsessed with the idea of a possible date that he was willing to drop any fear of the mysterious events surrounding him, and lacked much curiosity at all about why he can’t remember the past year, whilst constantly pondering whether the potential date might like him. I couldn’t decide whether this all added up to a stereotype, or a reasonable depiction of the human teen male!

Blind Date is a slightly dated, mildly creepy, quick and fun teen horror read. I enjoyed it and am pretty sure my teen self would have found it fairly scary.

 

The phone rang, and he jumped.
Who would call at this hour?
Probably Josh, calling to see how he was doing. Josh was one of those people who never slept. He needed only two or three hours a night, that’s all. Drove his parents nuts!
Kerry picked up the phone after the first ring. “Hello?” His voice had cobwebs in it.
“Sticks and stones can break your bones.”
It was a strange female voice, a phony voice. It sounded as if she was pinching her nose and talking.

– R. L. Stine, Blind Date

 

 

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Find more from R. L. Stine at his
website here, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Blind Date is available on Amazon Marketplace via various second-hand booksellers.

 

 

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And now… it’s time for something a little different:

BLIIIIIIIIND HATE!!! And here’s your host, Miss Killer Rack!

Thank you! Thank you! And welcome to Blind Hate. On tonight’s show we have Kerry who is looking for a foxy lady to help him forget… or maybe remember! But first, let’s meet the three lovely ladies who are just dying to get to grips with our hapless hunk!
Let’s start with Number One. Hello Number One, what’s your name and where do you come from?

1: Hi Killer! I’m Jessie and I come from Revere High School!
Hi Jessie, nice to meet you. I’ve never been to Revere High School, but I’m sure it’s a scream! Enjoy Blind Hate, Jessie ladies and gentlemen! Number Two, let’s move on to you. What’s your name and where do you come from?

2: I’m Sharon and I’m also from Revere HS! Give it up for Revere everybody! Whoop whoop whoop!

Wow Sharon, we love that enthusiasm, but save a bit of that wild energy for what’s ahead! Good luck on Blind Hate, Sharon everybody! And finally, Number Three. You know the drill… what’s your name and where do you come from?

3: Hello Killer. Hello everybody. I’m Mandy. I’ve just started at Revere, so it’s good to get to know a few faces!

Awww, well maybe if you do well tonight our Kerry might show you a few of the sights too! Give it up for Mandy everyone!

Well you’ve met the girls, so let’s bring out the boy! His name is Kerry, and he also goes to Revere! Kerry everybody!!!

Kerry, tell us a bit about yourself. I understand you like playing video games?

K: That’s right Killer. Me and my best mate Josh like to play together, but it would be nice to play with a girl for a change!

Oy oy Kerry! Cheeky boy! Well let’s get on with it then and get straight to your first question.

K: Hi ladies! Er…well.. my first question is… I don’t get out much and it’s a bit miserable at home these days, so where would you take me on a date to cheer me up a bit?

1: Hi Kerry! I would take you to the local ComicCon so you and Josh can spend all day arguing about which is better, DC or Marvel. That’s guaranteed to get you grinning, or at least grimacing!

2: I’d take you to the Revere game, so we could watch my boyfriend win! Or rather, I would, if you hadn’t TOTALLY DESTROYED HIS LIFE KERRY!!! So maybe bowling?

3: Well helloooo Kerry. Mmmmm, I would like to take you somewhere dark and secluded, where I can do things to you. I’m sure I could take your mind off whatever is making you sad…

K: *gulps* Well, yes, right, okay that’s… okay! Question number two. What do you look for in a guy? Just for information, y’know?!

1: Oh definitely brains. I mean, I’m not a zombie, but braaaaiiins! Amiright?!

2: I like them sporty and fit. I know you like games Kerry, but you’re not much of a team player, are you? Don’t worry… I can play your game too!

3: Oh I like guys who look just like you Kerry, and talk like you, and dress like you. You could say I have a very specific ‘type’… Kerry!

K: Phew! That’s, well, thank you Number Three! I… don’t know what to…Question Three! If you were a Point Horror book, which would you be and why?

1: That’s easy! Teacher’s Pet! You would love my lessons Kerry… you have so much to learn!

2: I would have to be The Witness. Because I saw what you did to Sal, Kerry! I saw! And you’ll be sorry!!!

3: Blind Date, of course! Because one date with me, Kerry, and you won’t have eyes for anyone else!

K: *heavy breathing*

Right Kerry, that’s all three of your questions asked, but don’t tell us yet who you’re going to pick, because it’s time to head over to our Zoé for a quick reminder!

So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, if you want to find out who Kerry picked, and how they got on on their blind date, you need to head straight over to Zooloo’s Book Diary… I’ll meet you there after the break!

 

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You can find Zoé’s full review here, plus the other half of our Blind Hate feature with the lovely Killer Rack!Zooloo Copy-of-Add-heading-1 2

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Zoé’s website: Zooloo’s Book Diary

Zoé’s Facebook: @zooloobookblog

Zoé’s Twitter: @zooloo2008

Zoé’s Instagram: @zooloosbookdiary

Zoé’s Goodreads: Zoé-lee O’farrell

 

Zoé and I will be back soon with our next instalment of Nostalgi-AAARGH, in the form of Weekend by Christopher Pike. In the meantime, keep your eyes open…!

 

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13 thoughts on “Nostalgi-Aaargh! with Zooloo’s Book Diary: Blind Date – R. L. Stine

  1. I used to read the Point Horrors too! I found them variable, some were a lot better than others. I don’t think I read Blind Date but at least half of the series seemed to be Stine, as if he wasn’t busy enough writing Goosebumps too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, most of the ones I read were Stine or Christopher Pike. You’re definitely right about the variable quality too. I think they were still feeling their way in earlier books as teen-targeted horror was relatively unbroken ground then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed – and I didn’t think before that this series might have been a new wave of teen books. Pike was my favourite (I still have a few of his books, not PH ones though) and I think Richie Tankersley Cusick (who wins the best name award!)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My all-time favourite Pike was Monster, which wasn’t a PH. I think I got it out from the library every few months to re-read it!

          We have an RTC book coming up soon on this feature… one I definitely do remember reading as a teen 😊

          Liked by 1 person

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