Friday, May 22, 2009

Freaky Friday :|: 12

Title: Petrified
Author: Joseph Locke
Published: December 1991
Pages: 176
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Editorial Reviews:
Four high school seniors keep the pact they made six years earlier by reuniting in the town they all moved away from. The friends are hoping that Karin Potter, a shy outcast once included in their group, will join them, until Mrs. Potter, Karin's strange, embittered mother, tells them that her daughter has committed suicide. The four are devastated by the news, yet are soon faced with a more immediate concern: after breaking into the now-abandoned Waxhouse, a favorite childhood hangout, they must escape from a maniac who is lurking in the building and has sealed its exits. A grisly murder is followed by a near-fatality as Locke ( Kill the Teacher's Pet ) depicts the madness of the criminally insane. Unfortunately, little happens until the novel's midpoint, and except for the impulsive Bret, there's not much character delineation among the friends. The resolution also sidesteps credibility (an alive, albeit weakened, Karin breaks down a padlocked door), but horror story aficionados may forgive these shortcomings. Ages 12-up. - Publisher's Weekly (from

Gr 8-10-- A lackluster, farfetched, gratuitously violent thriller. Best friends Erika, Bret, Lynda, and Leslie, all of whom are moving away from town for various reasons, meet together for one last visit to their favorite hangout, a wax museum called the Waxhouse. They make plans for a reunion, to be held during Christmas vacation of their senior year in high school. Six years later, they discover the Waxhouse closed with its windows boarded. They break in, only to find themselves locked in and stalked by a maniacal adversary. Readers are led through stilted, unimaginative prose to the graphic, stabbing death of one of the girls. That four teenage girls would pry boards off a window and break into a cold, dirty, unlit, ghostly manor to eat junk food and gossip, when they could be in a warm, motel room, requires too much suspension of disbelief (even if their parents did allow the unchaperoned, cross-country trip). Stick to Christopher Pike's and R. L. Stine's books, where evil also lurks, but plots and characters are better developed. - School Library Journal (from
This book sounds like the precursor to a lot of the horror movies around today: House of Wax, the Saw franchise, Cabin Fever and any number of gore = horror movies being pumped out nowadays. I'm more of a fan of the horror that really scares instead of just makes me want to puke on myself but, given these reviews, I'm actually intrigued to read it. I've read more contrived plots.

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