Monday, October 17, 2011

Pretending by Vivian Vande Velde

**(out of four stars)

Brian is taking Kyla to the Halloween dance. There's a full moon overhead and he seems to be lost travelling to her house. He actually likes Kyla but seems annoyed that she lives out in the sticks. He's a city boy and driving on back roads isn't his idea of a good time.

Kyla's family is a bit eccentric to say the least. They really take this Halloween thing seriously. Their dressed in vampire costumes - they even use the cheesy accents. "I vant to suck your blood". Kyla's brother, Trevor, tells Brian that he has a flat tire. Already running late for the dance, Brian is a bit annoyed. The flat tire situation must be fixed and Trevor is the man to do the job. Trevor, however, disappears.

Meanwhile, back at the house, Brian finds that Kyla is still not ready and the rest of the family has also vanished. A bunch of weird shit happens while Brian tries to sort his situation out. He's about ready to leave the house and call it quits with Kyla. A dead rat cooking in boiling hot water over the stove sends him in a bit of hysteria and makes his decision that much easier. If only he had that back tire fixed. Where the hell is Trevor?

Kyla finally yells for Brian and he goes up stairs to get her. But the spookiness continues as a dead body falls out of one of the bedroom doors. Startled, Brian falls down the stairs and is hurt pretty badly. The family insists that it was all a bad joke. Brian is convinced that they are vampires. Mr. Zolla (Kyla's dad) phones the police, but only pretends too. In the end, it's revealed that the family is NOT vampires but a pack of hungry werewolves. The reason why they had stalled him the entire evening was because they were waiting for the full moon to rise.

This story was pretty cool, but a bit on the predictable side. References of the full moon give it away early on in the story. The characters themselves are also predictable. The Zolla family was way too weird. You knew that eventually they'd turn out to be the villains. Nice little story, but a little too predicable. I hated Brian. He's foolish. Why not just ditch the whole idea and phone a friend to get him the hell out of there? Brian's first date with Kyla is his last one. Because he's a moron.

Author: Vivian Vande Velde

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

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