Deb Rachel Was a Thriller Groupie

I was all set to write about how I’ve always been too scared to read thrillers.

But then I remembered.

Christopher Pike!!!

I somehow mentally blocked this phase of my life until today (don’t know why I haven’t thought about it in years), but there was a time when all I read were Christopher Pike novels. They were the best. I collected them all and devoured them during the late-night “sneak reading” that involved hanging over the foot of the bed so I could read by the light of the hallway that seeped into my room.

I was into R.L. Stine, too, back in the day. Always Fear Street. Never Goosebumps. 

But, if I had to declare my devotion to just one, I was a Christopher Pike girl. Chain Letter. Chain Letter 2. The Remember Me and Final Friends trilogies.

I mean, could your 11-year-old self resist this book? “When Alison first read the chain letter signed “Your Caretaker,” she thought it was some terrible sick joke. Someone, somewhere knew about that awful night when she and six other friends committed an unthinkable crime in the desolate California desert. And now that person was determined to make them pay for it. One by one, the chain letter was coming to each of them … demanding dangerous, impossible deeds… threatening violence if the demands were not met. No one out of the seven wanted to believe that this nightmare was really happening to them. Until the accidents started happening — and the dying…”

The answer, in case you’re having trouble channeling your inner 11-year-old, is NO. They were irresistible!

Once I found out that a friend’s aunt used to know Christopher Pike, and I grilled her the way today’s pre-teens would grill the guy who once delivered mail to Justin Bieber. Total fan girl.

Since “growing out” of Christopher Pike (and I use quotation marks because I think my love of YA shows I haven’t grown out of a damn thing), I haven’t read thrillers. I don’t think any could live up to my Pike memories. To be honest, I’m about five clicks away from scouring Ebay for the whole Christopher Pike canon. Just ’cause.

What were your favorite thriller books as a kid? Any other Christopher Pike fans out there?

Anyone? Anyone?


9 Replies to “Deb Rachel Was a Thriller Groupie”

  1. LOL! Love Ferris Bueller.

    Didn’t get into reading thrillers until I was older, alas. At eleven I was way too into horse books and Trixie Belden mysteries. Hmm. Come to think of it, it would be interesting to see how well those hold up. Or maybe not. I’d hate to spoil my memories of them with an infusion of cold reality.

  2. Oh, for me (as I’ve confessed repeatedly this week and before) I hid in the adult paperback nook of our small town library and though I never checked out any of the pulpy thrillers of the day, I could glean SO MUCH from their incredibly evocative covers (FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, anyone? EYES OF LAURA MARS? LEGACY? THE STEPFORD WIVES (with that really creepy broken, dead-eyed face on the cover–aiyyee! Running screaming just thinking about it!!!!)

    But I do recall some doozies in the YA aisle…now I just have to try and remember them. For some reason I remember there were lots of gothic thrillers for the young set in the late 70s, very early 80s. GOOSEBUMPS hadn’t yet crossed my path. I DO remember Christopher Pike’s covers, though! Scary!!

  3. I never read any Christopher Pike books, but Erika has just reminded me of my love for the VERY sordid and dark (and did I mention sordid?) FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC books. Those books were MUST READS in my high school and I guess they must have stood the test of time, because they re-released them recently.

  4. I have a LOT of CP books at my house — feel free to come raid the shelves anytime!

    During my senior year of college, a fellow English major and I went to the used bookstore and defiantly bought a handful of Christopher Pike — it felt like a great rebellion at the time. Take this, Milton! Some of them are pretty well written, actually. Remember Me is awesome.

  5. Hmm, I read the Scholastic Book club books – until about 4th grade, no thrillers there that I recall. I thought Nancy Drew was kind of a thriller for a young girl – she was so grown up and daring after all. I think I was in college before I really read thrillers. Strange to consider that.

    1. Scholastic Book Club! Remember how you’d get those little two page “catalogs” on that great-smelling colored newsprint, and then you’d have to fill out the little order slip, maybe cut it out and bring it back? I ALWAYS wanted the Shawn Cassidy bios or the ones that had some TV/celebrity affiliation. Sigh.

  6. Gosh yes! Between 4th and up til 7th Grade I read every Christoper Pike and R.L Stine book I could get my hands on. They were great reading material. After that I started getting into more stuff like V.C Andrews books. One of my fav Christoper Pike series was The Last Vampire series. Good stuff:)

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