There were several authors who wrote young adult thrillers when I was growing up, and I could probably write about any of them. Christopher Pike was unique, I think, in that his books had more of a horror feel than some of the others.
His books were hit or miss for me, in that some were wonderful, and others were just meh. Slumber Party was the first one I read, and it hooked me. It was the first book I ever read with such a huge plot twist, and for the next several years, everything I wrote had a bad plot twist. (I’m not saying that his plot twists were bad; I’m saying that my imitations were.)
I enjoyed his other books, but my favorite of his is Remember Me, about a girl who dies and has to solve her own murder. This one also had a plot twist, but what I liked about it was the fact that the main character was dead. I know that sounds kind of morbid, but most teenagers go through a phase where the grapple with the big questions on life and death, and this book was a semi-lighthearted way for me to think about it.
The inclusion of a main character who was dead, no tricks or miracle rebirths, was creative and unusual in 1989, before the current cultural obsession with dead girls as main characters. I still read this one every couple of years.
“Relationships are mysterious. We doubt the positive qualities in others, seldom the negative. You will say to your partner: do you really love me? Are you sure you love me? You will ask this a dozen times and drive the person nuts. But you never ask: are you really mad at me? Are you sure you’re angry? When someone is angry, you don’t doubt it for a moment. Yet the reverse should be true. We should doubt the negative in life, and have faith in the positive.”
― Christopher Pike, from Remember Me
Road to Nowhere actually inspired a short story I wrote. My story was a cheap ripoff, but I think that imitation, in early days of writing, is a good thing. It’s a way for young authors to practice writing and try out different things until they find their own style. At least, that’s what I tell myself. My ripoff story stuck with me, even though the original version was awful. Some of the characters from that story took on a life of their own to become something much different than the original.
That’s the beauty of falling in love with a story. Everyone who loves the story will take something different from it. What I take with me, I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.
Any other Christopher Pike fans out there? Which was/ is your favorite?
Remember Me was great!! That’s the one I loved. They were the first books from which I really graduated Nancy Drew. I realized there was this whole other bizarre world out there.
Do you know that I’ve never read any Nancy Drew? That’s a huge hole in my cultural education, I think.
Great choice! I loved Christopher Pike books in my younger years. They scared the crap out of me but I still read them. Two that I remember are Chain Letter and Die Softly.
I don’t remember anything about the two of them, but I actually own them. Once I get my books unpacked, I may reread my Christopher Pike collection. Because why not?
This is awesome! I’d never heard of Christopher Pike before, but I’m going to check him out now! Thank you 🙂
Well, good for you! They’re super short reads (back when YA novels were shorter). I obviously recommend Slumber Party or Remember Me as your first contact. Enjoy, and if you do read one, I’d love to hear if you liked it or not.
I’ve never read anything by Christopher Pike. This book looks really interesting.
stopping by as part of Pam’s Unconventional Alliance on the a to z challenge.
Remember Me was pretty great, but it’s YA, and it’s 90s YA, which is different than what’s out there now. Everything was different in the 90s…
I loved REMEMBER ME. Did you read the two books that came after the first book?
Thanks for visiting my blog today. How cool is it that we both blogged about Christopher Pike today.
I’m a new subscriber to your blog. Hope to learn more about your fave reads this month.
Thank you! And no, I didn’t read the two books that came after. I think they came out after I had moved on from his books. I looked on Amazon and thought about buying them, but the Amazon reviews were really, really bad. So I think I’ll just stick with the wonderfulness that was the first one, and let it end there in my mind. Thanks for coming by! I’ll be curious to see if we have any more overlap.
I haven’t thought about Christopher Pike in ages! That cover takes me back. He and Lois Duncan. So twisty, so mysterious. I think these blasts from the pasts are one of the most fun aspects of the A to Z Challenge!
A Bit to Read
Yes! I thought about doing Lois Duncan (or one of her books) but it didn’t work out, and I didn’t want to do both of them.
They were awfully similar, I can see why you’d want to do one or the other! I even still group them in my mind.
Wow, that post just sent me down memory lane! I loved Pike’s book Chain Letter. I don’t actually remember anything about the book, but the cover has stuck with me all these years later. I really should reread it, although I’ll probably wonder why in the world I liked it!
That’s happened to me sometimes, but more often, I appreciate the nostalgia.