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Episode 30 - Message from Nam

DO NOT FUCK PAXTON ANDREWS.  Avoid accidentally making eye contact with Paxton Andrews.  If you absolutely must enter a room with Paxton Andrews take extreme precautions so you don't die horribly in the Vietnam War.  It's pretty good for her career as a journalist tho.
This one has no sexual assault but it does have a horrible pointless war, an awful murder-suicide, bombings, screaming, howling, and a mammy.  (YES A MAMMY.  Yeah I wasn't expecting that either.)
You got it, we're reading Message from Nam as our second 4 for 40 book for Sara!  I would like to apologize to the Academy...

So I actually did borrow this from my aunt's bookshelf when I was a young person (what, like 10 maybe?) and I expected it to be Well Intentioned Racism About Vietnam.  And don't get me wrong, it is that - but it's also Well Intentioned Racism With Regards to the Civil Rights Movement and urrrrrrgh y'all.  It's also.... I mean I hate to use the word "Mary Sue"…

Episode 29 - The Boyfriend

Monstrous teenagers and teenage monsters!  Thrill as mean teenagers fake deaths, fake zombiefication, fake other deaths, and then can't figure out why nobody likes them!  Chill as everybody has a silly expensive car but no moral compass whatsoever!  It's 2 AM, do your children know how to close and lock a window?

Joanna is a stuck up bitch.  Her boyfriend Dex is an insane gaslighting.... secret prosthetic makeup expert?  When Dex falls off a cliff and dies, Joanna keeps seeing him around, like, at the mall.  Is Dex dead?  Is Dex alive?  Are all of these people awful humans anyway?  It's The Boyfriend by RL Stine!

I chose this as one of my 4 for 40 books partly to complement Courtney's choice of Fear Street: First Date and partly to revisit this book I got off a paperback spinner rack at a library when I was a kid even then reading way more grownup horror books to try to figure out why exactly I found it a little scary?

So this is part of the Point Horror series, a 90's attempt by Scholastic to capture the nascent YA segment with authors like RL Stine and Christopher Pike writing for a slightly older audience than the Goosebumps crowd.  I already thought I was way too old for this stuff (I missed Goosebumps by a few years), but for some reason I did pick this one up.  Oddly it looks like the series published all the way to 2014?   And there are a ton of them.  It's kind of unique in that most of these teen horror series I'm aware of are single-author, but this is more of an... imprint, honestly, than a series.  Although evidently there's a Stine one about a babysitter in peril and he wrote three sequels about the world's unluckiest babysitter and maybe we should read all of those one of these days because that sounds dumb as fuck, y'all!

Sadly I didn't look at what bloggers are doing about this series before we recorded, otherwise I would have noted the excellent theory espoused here that Joanna's dad upped stakes and left with a redhead and didn't even call on her birthday and her mom got a lot of money because he died and this is the insurance policy. Perhaps under suspicious circumstances!


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