The cover to this one is so cringey I love it. Our beautiful main girl Holly is shown looking terrified as she wanders around camp late at night.
I'm so excited to read this I love horror movies and books set at camps! Let's read!
This book is dispersed throughout with letters written to Chief, from someone who signs off as "me". This irritates me bc I really don't think ANYONE would ever finish a letter saying "from me". How is the recipient going to know who it's from? Ugh. Just a stupid way to conceal our killers identity. Anyway I'm assuming Chief is dead and the letter makes it clear that whoever wrote it is planning on vengeance by posing as a camp counsellor. Ok cool.
Now the real story begins. Holly's Uncle Bill runs Camp Nightwing and has asked Holly to help him out this summer. A camper (Chief?) was killed in a boating accident the summer before and he'd been having trouble getting people to come back. Even though she hates the outdoors she's keen to help her fave uncle! What a cutie!
She regrets this decision when she finds a spider on her pillow. She solves this problem by sneakily placing the pillow on someone else's bed until later when the spider will be someone else's problem.
Holly you sneaky little fuck if I found out you did that to me I'd literally spit on you. Should have just brushed it off outside you bitch! Not sure how we feel about Holly just yet!
Best friend Thea walks in and the lair discuss the cute boys that will be there this year. Thea was a counsellor last year and had a fling with John and she hopes he's back this year, hehe!
The girls are interrupted by screams for help and rush to the source. It's Uncle Bill, trapped under a cabinet in the rec room! The girls free him and the discuss how weird it is the the cabinet had fallen when it's suppose to be bolted to the wall. 2 of the screws were missing. Hmm. Strange. No one is too suss though. Not yet anyway.
Also Holly and Uncle Bill have decided not to tell anyone that they're related to spare Holly from being teased. Would anyone actually tease her for that though that's so stupid. Literally what the actual fuck?
Anyway the girls offer to clean up the mess while Uncle Bill goes and gets a toolbox to fix the cabinet bolts when they find a red feather behind the cabinet. Curiouser and curiouser!
Then Geri Marcus, another counsellor who resides in Waynesbridge (eeeeeewwwwww) shows up and I'm Holly can't believe this and basically has a heart attack bc they hate eachother. She's all like "no! It can't be!" And I'm like "Holly fuck up and stop being so dramatic" but she doesn't acknowledge me at all bc she's a fictional character in a book from the 90s.
Apparently they were best friends when Holly lived in Waynesbridge 2 years ago. Until Geri got a boyfriend, and asked Holly to cover for her when she was with him bc her parents wouldn't allow it. Holly is a hopeless liar and accidentally tells Geri's mum, who thinks her daughter is with Holly, that Geri isn't there. The mother puts two and two together and grounds Geri for the rest of the semester and Geri has hated Holly ever since. That's literally it. I hate these people already omg.
Thea introduces Holly to Debra, the senior counsellor and who holly will be assistant to, and Mick, who's super gorgeous and looks like Kevin Bacon. Yeah sexy I guess... But holly is on a vacation from boys bc of a bad break up recently. We'll see how long that lasts Holly, you're a Shadyside girl remember!
Later before the big cookout, she practically shits herself over a bat in her cabin and Debra makes a huff about it and has to come chase it out while Geri snickers. Bitches.
At the cookout Mike can't comprehend the fact that Holly, who hates horror, hasn't seen any of the Friday the 13th movies.
Another boy, Kit, pretends to be a serial killer when he breaks out of the woods in a costume with a hatchet but Uncle Bill isn't fooled although his niece is for a moment. Afterwards Thea goes to talk to John, who has been by himself all night but he doesn't seem interested at all. Poor Thea. Holly talks to Mick for a bit and realises that the reason she finds him so hot is bc he seems so dangerous! That's exactly why Holly, you may have moved from Waynesbridge but you truly are a Shadyside girl at heart. After he leaves Holly spies Geri hardcore glaring at her. Fuck off Geri you mole.
Next is a letter to Chief revealing that "me" loosened the bolts on the cabinet.
Bc we didn't figure that out straight away ourselves. Ok.
The next morning is so beautiful that Holly can't resist a swim in the lake! Uh oh. She bumps into Sandy on her way there, who is just out for his morning run. Sandy is rich and good looking. Yum! Snap him up Holly! He warns her about the sudden deepness of the lake and about the leeches in the muddy bank. Aw qt. I bet he's the killer.
Then Mick appears, on his way to check out the boats and canoes. Holly accompanies him and they find 3 of the 4 canoes sunk with a hole in each one. (There use to be 5 canoes but the 5th one was involved in the accident last year). In one of the canoes is a soggy red feather.
Holly is really smart and contemplates the notion that the cabinet and the canoes weren't just accidents, and maybe the feathers are a warning!
She hurries back to greet the incoming campers, trying to tell Debra why she was late but Debra is a bitch and doesn't care. K.
Holly rounds up 6 girls in her cabin (one of them is named Candy, yuck! It better be short for Candice) and suddenly one of the bunks collapse when the camper Tracey climbs onto the top one! All the girls start crying and Holly is super shocked. Debra comes in and yells at her even though it's not her fault and Geri also comes in and smirks, followed by Uncle Bill who promises to get it fixed along with the canoes.
Inspecting the bed, Holly finds another red feather! After taking the girls out to play games with the other campers, she scurries off to Uncle Bills office to discuss her thoughts but he dismisses her bc he's too busy. Cunt. She's just trying to help you.
On her way to lunch she sees Debra and tries to apologise, and asks politely for her to not degrade her in front of the campers like she did that morning.
Debra goes off he rocker and tells Holly won't get special treatment bc she's Uncle Bill's niece and storms off. Fuck me what a bitch!
Holly again sees a smirking Geri and suspects that she told everyone about Holly's relation to Uncle Bill.
I still don't see why their relation matters if this was the real world would people even care? Wtf right?
Then Thea appears and tells Holly she found something out that will explain a lot and to meet her at the lake after the campers are in bed.
WHY CAN'T YOU JUST TELL HER RIGHT NOW THEA YOU FUCK HEAD. I bet Thea will be dead by the time Holly gets to the lake tonight. Serves her right.
At lunch Kit tries to play another joke by bursting in with a fake snake wrapped around his arm. Kit you're actually lame get out. Holly is terrified of snakes but calms down when she realises it's not real.
Debra is a bitch to her for freaking out. Fuck off Debra!
Later that night Holly and Thea meet to discuss what Thea had found out. Get ready for this. The goss so jawdropping she couldn't possibly tell her without arranging to meet up somewhere secretive! Ready?
Debra... Is friends with Geri! Yes that is literally all. No wonder Debra is being a bitch to her!
They discuss the idea of a conspiracy to humiliate Holly. Settle down you two it's literally day one.
On her way back to her cabin she bumps into Mick who is really coming on strong with the flirting and I'm positive he's about to rape her when he finally gets lost.
As she nears her cabin she thinks she sees a figure in the shadows exiting the door and sneaking off but she can't be sure! Then Sandy appears and he's soooo0000oo hot. There's no point to him appearing. Do all the boys come out at night to prey on the girls?!
Finally Holly makes it to bed where she finds a snake under her pillow!!!!! Oh shit!
The next day she tells Uncle Bill about the red feathers and her theory but he dismisses it as a coincidence bc as he points out, there is feathers all over the camp! Ok dickhead.
A letter to Chief now reveals that whoever is causing all these shenanigans is now planning on killing a girl who's kinda cute! Also "Me" is a bit sad bc Chief hasn't replied in sooooooo long.
That's bc he's dead honey.
Back to Holly, who decides that bc the accidents started happening before the campers got there that the culprit must be a counsellor! She basically stalks them all that afternoon at a camp sports game but no one does anything suss. Mick asks her to meet him at the lake that night and even though holly is always frightened when she's around him she agrees. Typical Shadyside girl.
At the lake that night Mick is kinda forceful again and goes off at Holly when she says she just wants to be friends. She's super turned on by his burst of anger but fights the urge to kiss him and he ends up in the water.
He storms off and Holly is interrupted by Geri who promises that Holly won't ruin her life here like she did in Waynesbridge! She'd watched the whole thing with Mick and is not ready to give him up to the likes of Holly! Hop off Geri, hop off.
The next day Holly bumps into Thea who is upset bc John didn't meet her the other night bc he was too busy writing letters (to chief?! Doubt it).
On her way back to her cabin Geri appears with Kit and Mick, who pins her arms behind her back (this book is SO SO rapey I can't deal with it) while the other two tease her with a bucket of leeches.
Then they push her into a shallow muddy creek and pour the bucket on her.
Literally. What. The fuck.
Apparently this will teach Holly that she's not better than everyone else, according to Mick. R u srs cunt she didn't want to fuck you on the lake so you're gonna pour leeches on her? Ok. But then he feels bad and convinces the others to stop.
On her way back to her cabin, Holly hears cries of protests and dashes to the noise where she's confronted by John who accuses her of spying on him and threatens her. She storms off in a huff and bumps into Sandy, who she thought she saw watching the leech incident but couldn't be sure so she lets it slide. I reckon he's the culprit behind all these accidents.
He gives her a list of the people who are going on the overnight canoe trip in a few days and she's horrified that accompanying herself, Sandy and some unknown boy will be Geri, Mick and Kit. Che Disastro! They'll probably push her off a cliff!!
At dinner time that night, Debra is nowhere to be found and neither is John! Holly goes to suss out where they are and finds Debra dead in the crafts cabin.
Apparently her necklace had got caught in the electric potters wheel, and when Holly finds her her face is nothing more than a bloody mass of flesh and pulp. Yum! John appears and runs off to get Uncle Bill while Holly stays with the body and notices yet another red feather nearby. Muuuurderrrrr!
Holly gets a chance to talk to an investigator the next day and tells him about her theory with the feathers. As usual she's dismissed bc there's no actual proof. Surely a feather at each one means something? It's obviously linked? Idk I'm not a police officer but srsly I'd probably look into it.
Geri, who takes Debra's senior counsellor place in Holly's cabin,seems to think that Holly murdered Debra. Harsh.
That night while the campfire is on, Holly sneaks away to search through Mick, Kit and John's cabins for proof that one of them is the culprit.
Kit's belongings are boring although he does have some stationary and envelopes in his desk. Is he writing letters to Chief? Apparently Holly isn't snoopy enough to read his letters. That's nice of her, I say as she looks through his drawers. Yolo?
She's just going through John's stuff when she finds a small box that needs a key. She finds the key under a slat on the bunk and just as she's about to open it, John bursts in.
Apparently he'd helped a camper to their cabin after they got sick.
Holly's excuse for being in the boys cabin is that she lost something and thought maybe Kit had found it. Good save Holly. Idiot.
Of course he doesn't believe her and she spills her guts and theories. He threatens to do something if she tells anyone about his locked box, but we still don't know what's in it.
Even though she had just gotten caught she ventures over to Mick's cabin to rifle through his personal belongings too. But she sees him inside writing a letter. And She sees some Native American rattles on his desk, each one decorated with a red feather. Omg it's Mick!
I bet you $20 it's not. I still think it's Sandy.
A new letter to Chief reveals that Holly will be next to die, on the canoe trip. Party!
The day before the canoe trip Uncle Bill announces to all the counsellors that if one more thing goes wrong he'll have to shut down the camp. Oh no!
On the camping trip, the other counsellor who we don't know has fallen ill so John has taken his place. Later on the trip, Holly is making a fire when she hears someone crying. Following the sound she discovers John and Courtney, a 15 year old camper. Apparently they're in looooooove. O0000oooOOh. No wonder John wasn't interested in Thea anymore, he'd found some younger prey!
We discover that Courtney is who Holly had heard shouting the day of the leech incident, and inside John's locked box is a photo of her and some letters. Gaaaaay.
Holly tells them she won't tell anyone but she won't lie for them bc she literally cannot lie. Dumb bitch.
So John is no longer a suspect. And Sandy has never really been a suspect so he obviously is the killer right? I hope so.
Sandy wakes her up early the next day before anyone else awakens to see if she wants to suss out the river with her in a canoe before the campers go in and I'm definitely thinking he's going to try and kill her. Surely?
Holly thinks he's super cute so agrees to go. Uh oh.
Sandy sits behind Holly in the canoe and I just know he's gonna hit her with the paddle at some stage.
WATCH YOUR BACK HOLLY!
He starts dropping hints that he's a culprit like crazy and Holly is literally that stupid that she doesn't pick up on it and I'm about to kill myself bc she's that dumb. All she's said for like 2 pages is "what do you mean?" Or "what are you talking about?" Ffs Holly pull your head in!
Sandy reveals his brother Seth is the camper that died the previous summer. It was on the same trip Holly is now on, and it was Debra's carelessness that caused him to die. If you count it, the words "careless" and "carelessness" are literally said 2939392 times in this chapter. Ok.
Sandy reveals that wrote to Seth every day while at camp and still he writes letters to Seth every day but hasn't had a reply in a while. Then he says he use to call him Chief. And that red feathers were his sign as he pulls one out of his pocket.
And FINALLY Holly realises that Sandy is the killer! About fucking time, Holly.
Sandy wants to make everyone connected to the camp pay for what happened to his brother, and Holly needs to go because she's too curious. True.
The canoe approaches some rapids and Holly is horrified to see Sandy throw his paddle from the canoe bc now they'll both be killed!
As he lunges for her she knocks him out with the paddle before being thrown into the rapids when the canoe hits a rock.
She manages to swim to shore and attempts to walk back to camp when Sandy appears behind her! He chases her into the thick woods and she lumbers up a small rocky hill, intending to hide in the cave at the top. As she reaches it though she sees a nest of hissing snakes. Hahahahahahahahaha oh Holly!
She manages to throw one at him and he falls down the hill and lies unconscious. Then Mick appears!
He'd wanted to apologise for his behaviour as of late and saw the pair leave so he decided to follow them. Luckyyyyyyyy!
Back at camp Uncle Bill tells her that Seth was Sandy's step brother and that police had found a bunch of letters addressed to Chief in his room with a stash of red feathers.
He doesn't apologise for constantly biting her head off whenever she tried to tell him about the feathers.
If I was Holly I'd be like "I was fucking right you piece of shit" idc if he is my uncle or not he was so rude to her!
Mick comes up and asks how she is just as a tree snake drops in front of them!
Holly fearlessly picks it up and throws it into the woods, apparently over her phobia. Aww cute.
My only problem with this is that Sandy obviously wanted to get caught bc he was leaving feathers all over the place and yet the minute someone catches on and tries to solve the mystery he decides they need to die? Wtf why even bother leaving a calling card at every accident if you don't want your credit for them u hobgoblin!
And my favourite line, "thrills and chills" wasn't used. Hisssss! Boooo!
Bonus points for not being completely predictable as well. I did guess the killer pretty quickly but I was wrong about Thea dying. She was kind of a pointless character though. Oh well.
3 letters to Chief from "Me" out of 5!