Tales Point Horror Book Club – The Hitchhiker by R L Stine
#PointHorrorBookClub was created by author Juno Dawson in 2013. Juno announced in 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on so, with her blessing, I took over the reins.
So why not grab a copy and join the discussion with this months #PointHorrorBookClub
The Hitchhiker by R L Stine
Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on a re-read? Have they not stood the test of time? After a hit of nostalgia? Or are you new to Point Horror and want to see what its all about?
Want to explore previous #PointHorrorBookClub posts? I’ve got you! Head to the main page here
Christina and Terri – two friends driving around Florida and having the time of their lives – pick up a hitch-hiker who seems too good to resist. But is their more to this hitch-hiker than meets the eye?
Don’t stop now!
Okay ….so…What’s It All About?
Two girls, Christina and Terri have been living dangerously and visiting…… Florida!
Florida! But everyone in Florida walks around in Mickey Mouse ears and goes to Disneyland every day and smile lots and lots and lots!
Other than putting people off visiting Florida for life (I joke) the two girls decide their next destination is Tampa as they just cannot deal with everyone in Florida driving 15mph! This is when they decide to pick up a Hitchhiker called James who shows them how to work the a/c in their car!
Oh wow! What a man!
I dare you to say that to the poor diner man who James beats up along the way and his cousin who he leaves unconscious on his front lawn!
Anyway, the three characters travel along and soon realise they are being followed….but by who! And with reports of an elderly man being killed by a hitchhiker suspicions soon fall on the bad tempered James.
Well I sure hope the person who killed that old man get’s their comeuppance!
Oh yes they do! They do indeed! And I think it’s one of the best Point Horror endings….ever!
Oh where to start!
I mean both girls were 17 with there birthdays weeks apart it’s hard to choose…..
Okay I’m going for it…..
Christina Jenkins…with her boyish, thin and wiry (?) figure, teasing smile, mischievous face, dramatic dark eyes brown playful eyes, slender shoulders and blonde corkscrew curls that she really should learn to brush was a typical Point Horror girl. She was impulsive, loved to drive fast and who’s every sentence seemed to involve the word “boys”. Even seducing our Point Horror slime ball love interest James (That whole back of the car scene was just cringey).
I have to admit I only guessed she would be the twist towards the end as until then I’m not sure I could see what direction this book was going in other than that a hitchhiker had killed an elderly man good enough to offer a lift. But her excuse for killing him….. “Terri and I only wanted his car” #Saywhatnow
I would like to say I didn’t like Christina, but a little niggle in the back of my mind kind of makes me laugh a little at how she lured James in and then threw him under the bus or should we say tried to get him eaten alive at the end. OMG I feel so evil!
Terri Martin….the seemingly exact opposite to her best friend Christina. Who knew that a mention of her being an awesome swimmer at the start of the book would come in use at the end of the book…not once, but almost twice! GO TERRI! She was uneatable to say the least!
With her straight black hair, sky blue eyes, creamy white skin and chubby “full bodied” appearance (finally a chubby girl in point horror!) who showed us that you don’t have to be skinny to survive a Point Horror! *hi fives Terri*.
She was a bit or a worrier and far more cautious than Christina but that was completely understandable when her best friend was basically a murderer and a femme fatale! Although I smelt a rat when although she claimed to be scared of James she quite happily went off for a walk in a remote wood with him and kissed him.
I actually kind of liked Terri other than the fact that she should have done the right thing from the offset and not waited until they were on a cliff with a Phirana pool below!
The Love Interest
With his olive green eyes, handsome face, powerfully built with a broad football player neck and short blonde buzzed hair you would either think this was a description of Vanilla Ice 90’s style….
Or some gorgeous Point Horror boy for Chelley to swoon over at least!
James Dark and his love of country music and slapping mosquitoes was definitely not swoon worthy. His temper and anger and the way it was just dismissed made me a little ragey! I mean that poor diner guy! And his cocky attitude towards women i.e. thinking her could have both Christina and Terri made me feel physically sick.
I mean I totally get that he was meant to be this mysterious hitchhiker who was going to cause the girls trouble and presumably we were not meant to like him and I do admit I reluctantly warmed towards him towards the end, but part of me really wanted him to end up in that piranha lake with the rest! He deserved that at least rather than the full circle ending he got.
He deserved to learn more lessons other than “hanging around with the wrong women” really didn’t he?! I mean it sums him all up really that he constantly thought the two girls were arguing over him and not the real reason that one of them was a murderer!
The Rest Of The Gang
Well everyone else was basically just fish food in the story but I wanted to mention a couple of them anyway….
Paul and Paula with his thining hair, potbelly and lively blue eyes and her pink plastic glasses, and small face they made me think of these characters from Keeping Up Appearances….
I mean why leave a wallet of cash laying around the house and then let strangers and your cousin in the house….that’s just asking for trouble. I really hope Paul was okay though?!?
Poor old Roger Eckridge….his death didn’t even happen on the page, but he still needs a mention as obviously he is pivotal to the plot that surfaced. Killed by Christina and dumped on the side of the road. What a why to go!
And then there’s Blue Taurus man otherwise know as Art Eckridge, Rogers son, a young man with black-rimmed glasses who somehow after dropping his Father to hospital, after spotting Christina and Terri dumping him on the side of the road whilst he was driving the other way up the highway, manages to track his Father’s killers down, run them off the road only to loose them again to then stumble across a half conscious Terri in the woods who has been beaten to a pulp by her best friend to then manage to pick Christina and James up on the side of another road hitchhiking to then kidnap them and take them to a remote cabin next to a phirana lake to then only be killed by his best friends phiranas!
There’s a joke in all that description I’m sure of it!
Fashion Faux Pas
I spotted a reference to a very 90’s oversized chartreuse t-shirt and green spandex bicycle shorts combo!
Also Paula’s pink plastic eyeglasses!
Here’s some lines that made me chuckle…..
“Life isn’t a soap, Terri”
Yep listen to Christina Terri…..or maybe don’t. This is Point Horror!
“He’s okay – He’s a truck driver Terri”
After Christina drives a truck driver off the road and can’t be bothered to check he’s okay, because this is the 90’s and she’s watched Terminator Two you know and they are always fine and walk out of accidents like this!
“James giggled for some reason. A high pitched giggle. It just escaped from him like air whooshing out of a balloon”
“Freddie Kreuger’s little boy”
I wonder if Stiney is referring to himself here?
“But he’s so cute. He’s just like a big cuddly teddy bear”
Only Christina could call James the sleezeball this description! Feed her to the piranha’s quick!
“He’s always been a little squirrely”
“Window shopping for what? Tractor Tyres?”
Terri and Christina couldn’t work out how to turn on the a/c in their stolen car so they are upgrading!
“Terri and I didn’t have enough money to call home”
Well don’t worry Christina it seems that your parents weren’t even worried about you at all.
“Listen Art, I’ll do something really nice for you if you let us go”
Don’t do it Art! She’s only after your…..car!
“Don’t kidnappers only kidnap rich kids so they can get a big ransom?”
Sometimes you have to feel a little sorry for James don’t you *coughs*
“Show me the money”
Uh Oh! I’m sure this is from a movie staring Tom Cruise. But what came first The Hitchhiker or Jerry Maguire? #lawsuit
That’s right! THREE!
One off the page death (Roger Eckridge) and two rather bloody deaths at the end!
You rock Mr Stiney!!!!
Is it scary?
No! More violent than our usual Point Horror!
Although that whole Piranha Lake ending and the description of it….Stiney did not hold back!
They only thing is as the Piranha lake was revealed I started getting a little excited and smiled at the fact that these characters where going to face such a horrible scary death!
I’m slightly worried about myself!
Did the best friend do it?
And we have another winner!
Yes! The best friend did do the deed…..of killing the person who was kind enough to pick her and her friend up and then kill him just for his car so she could get back home to her not so worried about her parents and then whilst on the way picked up another hitchhiker who she then tried to seduce, pin the murder on to save her own skin (literally) and push him in a piranha lake!
So the best friend well and truly did it this time!
Some Mild Peril?
Stiney upgraded us from his usual egg cracking death with a new splash, chomp and go style death!
There was even a new way of getting rid of Point Horror parents from the story….smeared across the highway!
Oh and Christina’s driving!
Is it any good?
Hmmmmmm….I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of this book until about the last 50 odd pages when the blood bath basically kicked off! It was slow up until that point.
Although I can’t tell if I liked the last 50 pages because I was hoping (praying) that Stine would kill Christina and James off in what I think is the best Point Horror climax of them all….a Piranha lake!
This ending alone added an extra star to the book on my Goodreads page! I’m not quite sure what that says about me as a person?!
And I thought this Point Horror contained quite a bit more violence and guns than our average point horror and I did find some of it a little disturbing I have to admit.
Over to you!
As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!
- What happened to Paul?
- Would you rather have an egg cracking Point Horror Death or Death By Piranha?
- Did Christina’s parents ever realise she was missing?
- What happened to Terri and James after the book finishes?
Feel free to pop me a comment using the reply button at the top of the page.
Want to explore previous #PointHorrorBookClub posts? I’ve got you! Head to the main page here
Thanks for joining in….