Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Review #1 - Point Horror - Nightmare Hall - The Wish by Diane Hoh or Seriously Diane, how many times are they going to go to Vinnie's?

Hi readers,

Sorry this wasn't posted yesterday but you can blame that on the boring geography I was enduring till 19:00. My next post will probably be a currently reading of Point Horror - Nightmare Hall - Monster by Diane Hoh or a review of it on Friday.

Anyway let's move onto the review shall we :

The Wish (Nightmare Hall, #4)

I've read 5 of the Nightmare Hall books (Silent Scream in 2011, The Roomate in 2011,Guilty in 2012,Scream Team 2009 and Pretty Please last week)and nearly all of Diane's stand-a-lone Point Horror books. In my opinion she's one of the series' best writers and I wasn't disapointed by this novel.

The Wish begins in a setting that appears in all the Nightmare Hall books but rather to an over-kill point in this one (8 TIMES) - Vinnie's Pizzera which is basically a less superior version of The Dari Burger (SV) but specialising in pizza's instead.

Our main character Alex - whom is a plain jane (typical point horror) - stumbles across The Wizard ,a creepy beyond belief fortune telling booth , that she happens to be afraid of due to a fortune telling incident when she was 9 - so random.

As she's quaking in fear at this 'harmless' antique her posse approachs including the Sweet Valley Twins ! Not really but Julie and Jenny (why is there always a Jenny/Jennifer in Point Horror books?) are dead-ringers for the Californian beauties - long blonde hair, one twin is studious and often wears blouses and the other lives to party and is addicted to dating.

Other honourable characters I'll mention are Kiki,whose name even sounds bitchy. Kiki is known for her bitchness and constantly failing diets. And Marty whom Alex is besotted with.

Back to the story - 2 of the characters decide to make wishes and get their fortunes told. Julie wishes for an exotic face - you definetely wouldn't catch Jessica Wakefield wishing for that - and her fortune card reads "BEWARE THE LOOKING GLASS,LEST YOU SEE YOUR TRUE REFLECTION". Gabe , Julie's boyfriend and your typical jock, wishes for wheels and his card says "SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE".

2 more of the characters are about to make wishes when suddenly a power cut strikes because of a raging storm happening outside. When the lights finally turn back on the students decide to return to their dorms. But not all of them make it...

Julie crashes the car into a tree lying across the road and her face is completely destroyed. Gabe's confined to a wheelchair. Alex realises their fortunes have come true !

The next day the reminants of the gang are at Vinnie's again and Kiki wishes to be 5 pounds thinner . Her fortune card reads "SELF-DISIPLINE IS THE GREATEST OF ALL VIRTUES".

They then venture to the hospital visit Gabe, Julie and Jenny (who stayed overnight because she didn't want to leave her sister). But before Alex can reach the room she hears a blood-curdling scream from Julie's room - Poor Jenny's learnt she's missed a trip to Vinnie's! Only joking this book may be far-fetched but not that much.

Inside she discovers twins fighting over a snake patterened mirror that was gifted to Julie anonymously - possibly by a snake in the grass ?

After this fiasco Jenny decides not to protect her twin from this creepy Santa but chooses to return to the dorm instead.Meanwhile Alex goes to her job at the radio station and  Kyle closes the door to the radio booth with Alex inside. During her radio work she receives an anonymous request to play the song "Who's sorry now?" for Julie.

She ends her shift rather abrubtedly after this - just because Julie may have a pyscho after her doesn't mean you should be slacking on the job Alex - but the door to the booth is locked. To the reader Kyle is looking pretty shifty but Alex dismisses his involvement and tries to phone for help.

Predictably the line is dead and darkness suddenly descends upon the radio station. This next part now is a bit weird : an unexplainable wind tries to drag Alex off the balcony that's connected to the radio booth. Seriously Diane ?

Fortunately the head of the radio stations saves her and so the next day she's recovered enough to go to - drum roll please - Vinnie's ! During their pizza Alex has several bitchy thoughts (that are repeated several times throughout the book) about Kiki eating the most out of anyone on the table. I thought Kiki was supposed to be the bitchy one !

Alex forgets her resentment towards The Wizard by having her own fortune told with Marty. Marty wishes to not have to do an upcoming speech. Alex doesn't wish for anything which is a bit strange considering the title of the book. They both get the same card that reads "SILENCE IS GOLDEN".

Now this was when I started getting my suspicions about Bennet - a member of the group who badly damaged his legs in a previous accident that is never explained (so much for back stories) so wears crutches and is always groaning about his inability to play football due to the crutches-who is the only one who hasn't visited the Wizard.

The next day it's time for another group outing not to Vinnie's this time - SHOCKER ! - but to a football game. During the intermission Alex receives phone that tells her to "Take me seriously or you'll regret it "The voice is disguised of course - it always is in point horror books - but Kiki later admits that it was her who called intending for it to be a joke about Alex's refusal to take The Wizard seriously - her bitchy side has finally been unleashed!

While the others go to Vinnie's, Alex goes to a party back at the dorms.And sees Kyle being thrown over the balcony... I should point out this is a plot hole because Kyle is written to be at Vinnie's and so is the thrower who I'll reveal shortly.

Alex decides to investigate to see if any clues to the identity of the thrower are on the balcony - wow Alex look at you giving Nancy Drew a run for her money - after Kyle's been carted to the hospital in a coma. She finds a shiny gold football medallion (hence the cover) in a plant pot and discovers that it's the same design that was given to every member of the football squad. Including : Gabe, Kyle, Bennet (who's now looking SUPER FISHY) and Marty.

The next day whilst she's visiting her friends at the hospital she illegally searches through Kyle's belongings to see if the one that she found is his. It's not as Kyle's as it's amongst his possessions but before she begins to question the other suspects Kiki collapses in the ward (how convenient ?) and is hospital due to her dangerous weight.Karma's a bitch and so is Kiki.

This certainly doesn't stop the gang visiting Vinnie's - I swear that place would be bankrupt without them - and Alex gets each suspect alone to ask them about the football charm. They all claim to have lost it. Seriously Diane,everyone's so carless?

Alex gets the shuttle bus home from Vinnie's as she's lost her friends and finds that it's completely empty with the exception of the driver. As soon as she's inside he begins careening the bus at high speed like a maniac. When they reach the woodland near Nightmare Hall ,the same place as the car accident, he jumps out. Magically the police appear moments later to save Alex.

To cheer Alex up the following day the friends go to Vinnie's - seriously Diane ? what sort of diets do these kids have - and thus begins Alex's strange shouting rant with the Wizard about why all this is happening to her .Suddenly a fortune card comes out of the machine ,and I swear at the time I read this a shiver went down my spine , that reads "THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND".

Frightened , Alex pleads for Marty to take her home but changes her mind and wants to go to the hospital instead to check if Kyle's jewel football is still there for a reason that remains unexplained. Of course ,as anyone could have guessed, the football has miraculously vanished !

We then come to the worst 'scary' scene ever :it has come to the time when Marty has to deliver his speech  but his voice has gone , taken by a voice stealer it seems.

If you're like me you may have worked out now that a bad thing has happened to everyone but Bennet. Way to make it obvious Diane!

To make me even more convinced that Bennet is behind all these 'accidents' his ex-girlfriend tells Alex that she had Bennet's football charm and only just gave it back to him.

Alex then goes to Vinnie's thankfully for the final time and confronts the Wizard again - like any 'sane' person would. He starts sending her fortune cards that say things like "You dare threaten me ?".

Gabe appears and points his crutch at her and she realises that she's forgotten a majorly important detail of the night Kyle was thrown from the balcony....

The weird length of the throwers arm.Exactly the length of the crutch Gabe has and Bennet but Alex has completely overlooked Bennet so is convinced Gabe is the perputraitor. Alex is knocked unconscious by an unknown and when she awakes she finds herself in the storage closet of Vinnie's.

As it is unlocked she quickly escapes and the Wizard is directly in front over her screaming -yes he can talk and if you're like me and petrified of creepy dolls (thank you Poltergeist) you'll be having nightmares tonight - that she and her friends are responsible for everything that has happened.

Alex spots a crutch poking out from behind the Wizards booth - thank god the Wizard wasn't the one talking - and she assumes obviously that it's Gabe. Out pops ... Bennet! I KNEW IT.

Bennet explains that the Wizard telepathetically told him to cause all the accidents and his legs would be fixed allowing him to play football again. The Wizard did the humanly impossible things like making Marty lose his voice. Seriously Diane?

Bennet is carted off to a mental hospital before he can do his final deed to the wizard - killing Alex - and the book ends with the Wizard being sold to a burger joint owner - The Dari Burgers' possibly ? - who's unaware of the terror it will cause.

My rating of The Wish :

 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Bye for now,


  1. The covers to your editions are so much cooler than ours! Ours all had a blank brick wall on the front with a picture and sometimes it opened to show a bigger picture. I also love that you compared it to Sweet Valley. I read so many of these and can't believe I never thought of the pizza place in that way :)

    1. I've seen the covers you're talking about and I actually think that 'the scream team' cover of your version is better than ours. It's a better representation of the story. Thanks for commenting !