Saturday, June 29, 2013

Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge by David Lubar

First thanks to Macmillan-Tor Forge and Netgalley for allowing me to read an egalley of this book of short stories.  I am very grateful in this case because of how good the stories are.  They remind me in a way of how good Stephen King's short stories are.  Some of the stories were really scary, and they were in no way wishy-washy little kid "scary" stories.  In fact it warns even in the beginning of the book that it is not for little kids.  I would say probably no younger than 7th or 8th graders, about ages 12-13 and up.
Let me tell you about a couple of my favorite stories.
The very first story is one that I really liked.  It's called Running Out of Air and it is kind of a revenge story, but one that I think kids can relate to.  It's about a really horrible, mean gym teacher.  And she is hard on all the girls.  Especially one with asthma.  She is so hard on the girl that one day she collapsed in class and they had to have an ambulance come take her to the hospital.  The girl's friends tried to stick up for her, and all that did was get them a worse grade.  So one night the main character, Deeva, stayed late at school, and saw the four girls also at school late.  You see Betty, the girl with asthma was in bad shape, but the teacher, Ms. Pelham didn't get in trouble at all for what happened.  So the girls have come to get the teacher back for this.  They tape her hands up with masking tape, and tell her she has to race them.  If she can beat them in one lap, then they'll let her go.  But it's not just being tied up, they want her to feel what it was like when Betty was trying to run with asthma.  So they tape a plastic bag around her neck.  You can guess what happens from there.
There's a really good story about teenagers who have to stay in a haunted house over night for a reality tv show to make money.  And, well, is the house really haunted?  One guy who has watched all the episodes, thinks he knows how it works, and plans to win.
There's a story about a boy who lives with a dad that abuses his mother, and his plan to take care of the problem.
A story about a beautiful girl who moves to the school and seems to make the boy she is with as happy as can be.  Until he seems to do something so reckless it is almost suicide.  Then she goes to a friend of his, and the pattern seems to repeat.  Until, our main character gets the beautiful girl.
There's a story about what seems to be a Chinese good luck/bad luck or really maybe a supernatural creature that is killing people in the import/export business.
There are 13 stories in the book.  Some are shorter than others, but all have a good little kick at the end.  One or two, kind of predictable, but still in a good, scary way.  Can't wait to recommend this to people who are looking for good scary stories.