Guest Post – Point Horror by Sophie Cleverly
Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s? The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book. There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.
They were basically what I was reading and enjoying as a young adult and thanks to the author Juno Dawson, who started #PointHorrorBookClub on her website in 2013, I have started to re-read these books that I used to rush to the shops every weekend and buy and sit for the whole weekend reading.
Juno announced in January 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on #pointhorrorbookclub and with her blessing I am going to try and carry it on with version 2! Juno has done a fantastic job – I hope I can keep up her good work *gulps*
For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new please click here
I know lots of people who hold Point Horror close to their hearts and one of those people is wonderful author Sophie Cleverly ! I got talking to Sophie on twitter when she was talking about Point Horror so I asked her to stop by for a little Point Horror Guest Post and she kindly agreed.
Do check out Sophie’s fab Scarlett and Ivy series – perfect for fans of Holly Webb and Harry Potter and mysteries that demand to be solved and set in a creepy boarding school!
This is the story of how I became my sister…
A spine-tingling mystery set in a creepily atmospheric boarding school. Ivy must uncover the secrets behind her twin sister Scarlet’s disappearance before it’s too late.
When troublesome Scarlet mysteriously disappears from Rookwood School, terrifying Miss Fox invites her quiet twin sister Ivy to ‘take her place’.
Ivy reluctantly agrees in the hopes of finding out what happened to her missing sister. For only at Rookwood will Ivy be able to unlock the secrets of Scarlet’s disappearance, through a scattered trail of diary pages carefully hidden all over the school.
Can Ivy solve the mystery before Miss Fox suspects? Or before an even greater danger presents itself?
The twins have been reunited, but are definitely not out of danger…
Evil Miss Fox may have fled the scene, but headmaster Mr Bartholomew is back, imposing a reign of terror with his threats of epic punishments should any of the pupils step out of line.
When possessions and food start going missing, and the finger of suspicion is pointed firmly at troublemaking Scarlet, she knows she must uncover the truth to clear her name. The twins’ investigations through the school in the dead of night reveal a secret hidden deep within the walls, a terrible crime committed many years past, and a very real threat to their present…
It’s very exciting to have Sophie here on Tales…I feel very honoured…so thank you so much Sophie!
*Hands microphone to Sophie*
One of my earliest recollections of Point Horror is noticing the covers in the shops. They stood out, looking so garish with their creepy cover images and shiny titles like blood. I’d read a lot of Goosebumps, and these seemed like the next step up – they looked darker, scarier, more adult. I was a little younger than most readers of the series at the time, being only about nine or ten years old. But having been a huge fan of Buffy since I was seven, I loved the idea of American high school horror.
The books were addictive. Once I’d read one, I wanted to collect them all. I would go to the local library and take out a whole stack of them. They were tattered paperbacks that looked like they’d been read a hundred times, but that somehow added to the thrill – it had the feeling of something being handed down to you, like someone telling you an old ghost story around a campfire.
I think one reason I liked them is that they were just scary enough. Most of them weren’t all-out horror, but psychological thrillers with jealous teens resorting to murder. Lots of them followed similar patterns, which made them all the more easy and comforting to read, in spite of the scary subject matter.
There was a particular Point Horror book, though, that did properly scare me. It was part of the Point Horror Unleashed mini-series. I only learnt recently from this site that, contrary to my belief at the time, the books weren’t under that banner because they were particularly more frightening, but because they were by British authors, and had a slightly different style to the US books. In a way though, this did make them more frightening. A US high school seemed far-off and glamorous and distant to me, whereas the kids in these stories were much more relatable, which added a whole extra creepiness factor.
The book in question was Eve’s Party by Nick Turnbull. The weirdness of the cover certainly got my attention – it shows a girl’s face peering out from under murky green water. Clearly, this was not going to be the nice sort of party. The story is about kids who visit a mysterious village, which seems quaint and happy, except for the fact that no-one will talk about the terrible thing that happened back in 1936. And then the weird stuff begins. I remember quite vividly the description of Eve’s party itself, and exactly what she fed her guests. There’s a lot I can’t recall about the book, but many images from it were so weird that they’ve burned into my brain – blank-eyed children in an old school photo, savage dogs, a strange hut down by the water…
Although I may not have realised it at the time, I think I learnt a lot from Point Horror. It helped to teach me how to plot a thriller with plenty of twists and turns (and red herrings… has any series ever had more of the things?). And I think using bizarre imagery to burn the book into people’s brains is a fabulous idea (one reason why Miss Fox’s office in my books is the way it is).
Would I re-read Point Horror books? I’m not sure – I don’t think I could relive that magic of reading them as a 90s kids. But the Unleashed series… they were a bit more unusual and interesting, and threw some great UK authors like Celia Rees into the mix. I would be interested in giving them another go!
About Sophie Cleverly
Sophie Cleverly was born in Bath in 1989. She studied for a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing For Young People. The first two books of her Scarlet and Ivy series are out now from HarperCollins, with book 3 coming in July 2016.
Aside from writing, she can often be found blogging about symphonic metal, watching fantastical TV and struggling to find her way out of her ever-increasing pile of books.
Find out more about Sophie and her books on her website – hapfairy.co.uk
Or why not follow Sophie on twitter using @Hapfairy
Why not join in Point Horror Book Club and the discussion on the 13th of every month?
Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy
Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read? Are you new to Point Horror? Has our opinion changed? Are they still as good? Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror? Or are the a whole load of cray cray?
For all #PointHorrorBookClub posts old and new click here
A huge huge thank you to Sophie for featuring on Tales and a huge round of applause for such a fab guest post!
*claps hands excitedly*
Do you remember Point Horror? Which was your favourite? Would you like to join in on #pointhorrorbookclub ?
Happy Point Horror-ing!