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April Fools

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Coming home from a forbidden April Fools party, Belinda and her friends witness a horrible accident. When no one appears to have survived, the three friends vow not to admit they were there. Then the sick pranks begin, and Belinda must discover the truth to save their lives!


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Coming home from a forbidden April Fools party, Belinda and her friends witness a horrible accident. When no one appears to have survived, the three friends vow not to admit they were there. Then the sick pranks begin, and Belinda must discover the truth to save their lives!

30 review for April Fools

  1. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer

    Really twisty. Refreshing to read "old-style" 80's YA horror by an accomplished author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex (Hey Little Thrifter)

    Belinda and her friends are involved in a car accident and, against Belinda's efforts, her friends insist they leave the scene of the crime. Belinda is convinced someone saw what happened that night and the accident comes back to haunt them all. Richie Tankersley Cusick is a really great writer and this was a great story. It definitely goes a bit further than some other Point Horror books do. The characters were also really good. I loved the butler Cobbs! The mystery and suspense were excellent a Belinda and her friends are involved in a car accident and, against Belinda's efforts, her friends insist they leave the scene of the crime. Belinda is convinced someone saw what happened that night and the accident comes back to haunt them all. Richie Tankersley Cusick is a really great writer and this was a great story. It definitely goes a bit further than some other Point Horror books do. The characters were also really good. I loved the butler Cobbs! The mystery and suspense were excellent and I thought the romance was well done too, and a lot of times that's my least favourite aspect. I definitely recommend this one!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    Just re-read this for Episode 5 of the Teenage Scream podcast (lovingly dissecting the best and worst of 90s teen horror). Listen here, or subscribe on your podcast app: https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream Just re-read this for Episode 5 of the Teenage Scream podcast (lovingly dissecting the best and worst of 90s teen horror). Listen here, or subscribe on your podcast app: https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I was remembering how much fun I had last year re-reading some books from my childhood, so I decided to read some more. I 100% remember owning this book, but I remembered 0% of the story. It is ANOTHER book about teenagers being involved in a car accident which they keep secret, but then later, someone who seems to know about the accident seems to be getting revenge. The protagonist of the story, Belinda, is filled with guilt about the accident she and her friends caused, and can't get past the I was remembering how much fun I had last year re-reading some books from my childhood, so I decided to read some more. I 100% remember owning this book, but I remembered 0% of the story. It is ANOTHER book about teenagers being involved in a car accident which they keep secret, but then later, someone who seems to know about the accident seems to be getting revenge. The protagonist of the story, Belinda, is filled with guilt about the accident she and her friends caused, and can't get past the memory of seeing a person trapped inside a burning car moments before it exploded. Her terrible friend Hildy, and her even more terrible friend Frank constantly berate and make fun of her for still being troubled about the accident two weeks later. (TWO WEEKS!) Come on, Belinda, two weeks is PLENTY of time for a teenager to get over inadvertently murdering someone, watching them get burned alive, and then keeping it secret. Soon, Belinda is asked to tutor a mysterious teenage boy named Adam who was ALSO in an accident two weeks ago and was badly scarred. SO WEIRD! Amateur detective Belinda is convinced that this must be the same accident, but her friends tell her she is being, like, sooooo dramatic. After all, Adam might be totally hot or something, and Belinda really needs a boyfriend! As it turns out, Adam is not hot, but he does have a hot stepbrother named Noel. He and Belinda hit it off, even though she is really poor and he is really rich. He promises to protect her from Adam, who Belinda believes is trying to kill her as revenge for the accident. But Belinda still comes and tries to get through to Adam with her tutoring because she is noble and really feels that she can make a difference, you know? There are a bunch of random snakes in the house, which I thought would be important, (because Chekhov's Gun and all) but they actually are 100% random. OH! And there is also an actual monogrammed handkerchief that is a clue in the mystery. For real! Anyway, stuff happens, there are plot twists and a dramatic confrontation and then that is the end. I know I am being snarky about this book but that is only because I am reading it as an adult and I am not the intended audience. I can see why I would have liked it in 7th or 8th grade. When you are that age, you don't really know that a monogrammed handkerchief is a cliche or that high school kids really don't spend their days completely free of contact with any authority figures. Of course it would be exciting to imagine a whirlwind romance with a good-looking and kind (he loves his pet dog!) rich guy! I think books like these are cool for kids because it primes you to recognize certain literary tropes and to appreciate when those tropes are inverted. Plus, they are fun! I loved the heck out of books like this when I was a kid, so kudos to the authors for knowing their stuff.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Belinda is filled with guilt after she and her friends cause a terrible accident. Two weeks later she’s asked to tutor a named Adam - whose also been involved in an accident. Surely the two can’t be connected. Maybe not entirely original, but the suspense really works with this story. Belinda is so convinced that someone is out to get her is really believable. The characters are well written and with an engaging plot this is one of the better Point Horror’s.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Rating: 4 of 5 April Fools was among the many Point Horror books I read in the 90s, between the ages of 12 to 16. In those days, when I wasn't buried in a Stephen King novel, nine times out of ten I was reading L.J. Smith, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Caroline B. Cooney, or Richie Tankersley Cusick. Their novels always thrilled and entertained, and yes, there was a healthy dose of jumps and creepies. Nowadays, I'd recommend the Point Horror books for younger 12- to 15-year-olds, who want to d Rating: 4 of 5 April Fools was among the many Point Horror books I read in the 90s, between the ages of 12 to 16. In those days, when I wasn't buried in a Stephen King novel, nine times out of ten I was reading L.J. Smith, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Caroline B. Cooney, or Richie Tankersley Cusick. Their novels always thrilled and entertained, and yes, there was a healthy dose of jumps and creepies. Nowadays, I'd recommend the Point Horror books for younger 12- to 15-year-olds, who want to dip their pinkie toe in the horror pool. (These books will likely fall short for anyone who's already dabbled in adult dark fiction or film.) The horror elements are mild, for the most part, the mysteries usually keep you guessing right up 'til the end, but some of the teenager-y behavior may seem a little outdated. Other than that, these are great fun! Note: My rating is based on what I remember from 20+ years ago and, of course, includes a fair share of sentimentality.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    An enjoyable teen horror that focuses on a car accident that Belinda, Hildy, and Frank were in on April Fool's Day. Except they weren't alone that night. Another car was there. Another car that went off the road and exploded in a ball of fire. Belinda got out of their car and wanted to help, but there was nothing she could so. She thought she saw someone on the road that night. Belinda was worried and starting to get paranoid. Her paranoia was justified when she started being chased, reviving di An enjoyable teen horror that focuses on a car accident that Belinda, Hildy, and Frank were in on April Fool's Day. Except they weren't alone that night. Another car was there. Another car that went off the road and exploded in a ball of fire. Belinda got out of their car and wanted to help, but there was nothing she could so. She thought she saw someone on the road that night. Belinda was worried and starting to get paranoid. Her paranoia was justified when she started being chased, reviving disturbing mail, hearing her name in the middle of the night... Belinda is recruited by Mrs. Thorne to tutor her stepson, Adam. The Thorne house is a strange one. And it gets stranger every day. Belinda slowly realizes that Adam was in the crash she witnessed on April Fool's Day. Mrs. Thorne was all bruised and Mr. Thorne is in the hospital dying. Could Adam be behind it all? Adam's stepbrother Noel starts to date Belinda and he's determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. (view spoiler)[Adam and Noel both planned the car accident to kill Mr. and Mrs. Thorne together so they could split their inheritance. Adam and Noel killed Mrs. Thorne later since she survived. They were trying to push Belinda, Hildy, and Frank off of Suicide Cliff in a car when police arrived summoned by Mr. Thorne's personal live in worker Cobbs. After everything Cobbs gets a job working for Belinda and her single mother. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liam Underwood

    April Fools marks the third Richie Tankersley Cusick Point Horror book I've now read (following The Lifeguard and Trick or Treat ) and I must admit this is almost my favourite Point Horror book so far. April Fools has pretty much everything you could want from a Point Horror book - a likeable protagonist, murder, mystery, pranks, handsome love interests, snakes - and then throws in a suspicious butler for good measure. Speaking of suspicious butlers, allow me a moment to remark that Cobbs April Fools marks the third Richie Tankersley Cusick Point Horror book I've now read (following The Lifeguard and Trick or Treat ) and I must admit this is almost my favourite Point Horror book so far. April Fools has pretty much everything you could want from a Point Horror book - a likeable protagonist, murder, mystery, pranks, handsome love interests, snakes - and then throws in a suspicious butler for good measure. Speaking of suspicious butlers, allow me a moment to remark that Cobbs is such a delightful character to read. Richie Tankersley Cusick excels at writing drily sarcastic characters (see also: Trick or Treat ). I am typically awful at figuring out these books as I'm reading them, and April Fools is no exception. I think at one point I was pretty much suspicious of everyone, and I found the reveal to be pretty well handled (sometimes with these Point Horror books the big reveal can come so far out of leftfield it practically makes no sense). There was a moment during April Fools where it almost became my favourite Point Horror book, but sadly the ending didn't pack the bite I was longing for. The writing, for the most part, is solid, but a couple of key moments felt kinda rushed - particularly the climax. I also wasn't a huge fan of how everything wrapped up. Therefore, April Fools comes close to being my fave (so far), but just falls short of Trick or Treat . I must admit I am having an absolute blast revisiting these books. 3.5/5 Point Horror Ranked 1) Trick or Treat - 3.5/5 2) April Fools - 3.5/5 3) My Secret Admirer - 3.5/5 4) The Lifeguard - 3.5/5 5) The Baby-Sitter - 1.5/5

  9. 4 out of 5

    jadereidabook

    Out of the point horror books, the ones by Richie Tankersley Cusick have by far been the best in my opinion. The thing about point horrors is they allow your imagination to actually see what's happening as if you were really there. You get sucked in. And me well I'm not big on horrors. But these are friendly. Sometimes I wish I could put the book down but their just too good. Luckily most of them end happily!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Another great 80s Point Horror. This one was hard to figure out on who the killer was. Didn't know till the very end. I had my suspicions of course. This is an April Fools Day joke gone horribly wrong, and the jokes just keep going in a very negative way.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sonja

    THE KING OF FOOLS!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erica Leigh

    Everyone is terrible except for Cobbs and the dog

  13. 4 out of 5

    Armand

    This is one of the best juvenile fiction that I've evee read. It's fuller and darker than I expected. It has a depth and complexity to it that most retro YA's can only aspire to, and there is a very real sense of menace hovering above everything. So this is what a true classic reads like. The characters are not the one-dimensional, paper cutout figures you'd expect from books like these. You actually sympathize with Belinda, instead of mildly musing what creative forms of sadism the perpetrator h This is one of the best juvenile fiction that I've evee read. It's fuller and darker than I expected. It has a depth and complexity to it that most retro YA's can only aspire to, and there is a very real sense of menace hovering above everything. So this is what a true classic reads like. The characters are not the one-dimensional, paper cutout figures you'd expect from books like these. You actually sympathize with Belinda, instead of mildly musing what creative forms of sadism the perpetrator has in store for our lead. Surprisingly, some of these characters actually become more complex as the story progresses. Like Belinda's tutee, Adam. Even though he's sinister, at first you don't know whether to feel sorry for him or to lock him up in an institution. But all that gets thrown out of the window as Belinda slowly discerns what he really is. Same with Frank - he comes across as a charming buffoon at first with all his funny and ironic quips before he comes out as a full-fledged bastard. I really like Cobbs though. I thought butlers were supposed to say the barest, most courteous minimum when replying to their betters, but he has wit and spunk. But then again, not everyone is as they appear, and the most seemingly trustworthy characters often have ulterior motives. The mystery at the heart of the book is mighty interesting. It's not exactly easy to parse, what with all the red herrings thrown our way. That whopper of an ending though. Wow. If I were to rank this among its YA horror contemporaries, this would appear near the top. Taken on its own merits, I'm giving it 8/10 or 4 solidly enjoyable stars out of 5. Now I'm going to get myself more Cusicks to feed my retro binge.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gayle Noble

    After being involved in a car accident with her friends Hildy and Frank, an accident that saw the occupants of another car severely injured, Belinda begins to suspect that someone saw what happened. When she is asked to tutor Adam, a boy her age who is recovering from an accident, Belinda fears that it may all be connected. One of the best Point Horror books written. The plot came back to me as I read it but I still enjoyed rereading it. Plus Cobbs is one of the best characters ever, with his dr After being involved in a car accident with her friends Hildy and Frank, an accident that saw the occupants of another car severely injured, Belinda begins to suspect that someone saw what happened. When she is asked to tutor Adam, a boy her age who is recovering from an accident, Belinda fears that it may all be connected. One of the best Point Horror books written. The plot came back to me as I read it but I still enjoyed rereading it. Plus Cobbs is one of the best characters ever, with his dry wit.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was delightfully creepy. My favourite character, Adam was actually one of the most intense characters I've ever encountered in a book. Although he's supposed to be somewhat insane, I get an image of someone really damaged, and not just physically. I felt sorry for him, although I don't know if the author intended for anyone to feel that way about him.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    Creepy. Wonderful imagery. I think reading this in October really heightened the suspense. I have to say that Hildy and Frank were horrid people, to think you could have caused a horrifying wreck, and not even care. Not cool.

  17. 5 out of 5

    A. R.

    This was a "Deal of the Day" that I snapped up without realizing it was a YA title. Adjusting expectations based on the target audience, I have to say it wasn't a bad read. Fairly predictable, but the story was well-done with the requisite mix of terror, friendship, and romance you'd expect.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    I read quite of a few of the Point Horror books during my early teens, & really enjoyed them. I read quite of a few of the Point Horror books during my early teens, & really enjoyed them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniella Clear

    i loved this book as a kid, not so great now but was great as a teenager

  20. 4 out of 5

    Arkham Reviews

    April Fools has certainly been the best Point Horror story that I have reviewed to date. The plot is well-written and escalates quickly. As the car accident takes place within the opening chapter, no time is wasted in introducing the core cast and allowing Belinda's torment to begin. The threat this time is nicely paced, as Belinda's first strange encounter with the police soon leads to sinister items being mailed to her and an attack by an unseen driver. The plot is dark and a little more comple April Fools has certainly been the best Point Horror story that I have reviewed to date. The plot is well-written and escalates quickly. As the car accident takes place within the opening chapter, no time is wasted in introducing the core cast and allowing Belinda's torment to begin. The threat this time is nicely paced, as Belinda's first strange encounter with the police soon leads to sinister items being mailed to her and an attack by an unseen driver. The plot is dark and a little more complex than the earlier instalments as, for the first time, the protagonists are undeniably connected to a crime. The fact that Belinda may have a caused an accident that has mortally wounded a person is central to the story, and her guilt is certainly felt throughout the tale. However, less sympathetic are Hildy and Frank. As Belinda's two "friends" are the ones who were actually responsible for the audience, their dismissal of Belinda's fears just made them both feel like utter monsters from start to finish. The plot built steadily over the course of the story as Belinda became more involved with the Thorne family and begins to uncover their dark secret. While it's still quite easy to guess who the villain must be, the novel this time did do a better job of concealing this than some other instalments, carefully hiding their true identity and motives until the final act. The climax of the novel was also very exciting, putting Belinda and her friends in a deadly situation over the last few gripping chapters. Even the characters this time around were all rather memorable. Cusick spent a lot of time fleshing these out making disfigured Adam, gentle Noel and loyal Cobbs all deeply memorable. While Hildy and Frank were both terrible people, Belinda was at least a sympathetic protagonist. While her guilt about the car crash ate away at her, she was very much shamed into silence by the fear that Frank would allow all blame to fall on her. Her devotion to making amends by helping the Thorpe family was admirable, even though Adam certainly did not make this easy for her. All in all, I really enjoyed this instalment. Here's hoping that the next is equally as strong.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elusive

    In 'April Fools', Belinda, Hildy and Frank get involved in an accident on their way home from an April Fools' Day party and flee the scene. Two weeks later, the fates of the other car's occupants continue playing heavily on Belinda's mind. She is troubled by the person stuck in the ablaze car and the man who watched them. A series of disturbing pranks leads her to believe someone knows what they've done.. The author managed to weave so much into this short book - the horrors of the accident, emot In 'April Fools', Belinda, Hildy and Frank get involved in an accident on their way home from an April Fools' Day party and flee the scene. Two weeks later, the fates of the other car's occupants continue playing heavily on Belinda's mind. She is troubled by the person stuck in the ablaze car and the man who watched them. A series of disturbing pranks leads her to believe someone knows what they've done.. The author managed to weave so much into this short book - the horrors of the accident, emotional turbulence Belinda experienced, suspense / mystery (regarding Adam, the identity of the watching man and the person behind the pranks) and even a dash of romance, all of which gelled together and were conveyed excellently. The characters were an interesting bunch with discernible personalities. Belinda was understandably anxious yet likeable while Hildy and Frank lacked conscience. I especially liked the introduction of Cobbs (household caretaker), Adam (my pick for scene stealer), Noel (Adam's stepbrother) and Sasha (Noel's dog). They created an undercurrent of unpredictability. The journey to the denouement was fun and thrilling though I would've preferred (view spoiler)[Adam being innocent (hide spoiler)] - that would've been a fantastic twist. I liked that (view spoiler)[Noel was working together with Adam the whole time, only to be caught off guard by Adam turning on him. I was pleasantly surprised by Cobbs coming to the rescue. On a side note, I found Noel incredibly likeable (hide spoiler)] . Overall, 'April Fools' was a riveting, suspenseful read with a nice balance of serious / dark and light-hearted / tender moments.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Bennett

    I didn't have high hopes for this one but ended up really enjoying it. Reminds me of: I know what you did last summer. "It was probably just a practical joke" moment: (view spoiler)[ Frank was a joke. What a lame character. What on earth did Hildy see in him? "You probably just imagined it" moment: Handkerchiefs, men on cliffs, being overheard, being followed. Innocent victims?: I think Hildy and Frank deserved everything they got. What horrible immoral people. How blindingly obvious?: Sort of bu I didn't have high hopes for this one but ended up really enjoying it. Reminds me of: I know what you did last summer. "It was probably just a practical joke" moment: (view spoiler)[ Frank was a joke. What a lame character. What on earth did Hildy see in him? "You probably just imagined it" moment: Handkerchiefs, men on cliffs, being overheard, being followed. Innocent victims?: I think Hildy and Frank deserved everything they got. What horrible immoral people. How blindingly obvious?: Sort of but not really. As soon as we met Cobbs I thought it would be him because he's British and we all know the Americans love nothing better than a British bad guy. Unless it's a British guy pretending to be a German guy. That they love better. (Hans Gruber, I love you.) Then we were nudged to suspect Cobbs so I wondered if it might be Hildy. Then we met Noel and I thought it has to be him, but then it all went quiet about Cobbs again and I thought maybe it could be him. I even suspected Noel and Adam's mother at some point. I never suspected Adam because he was so obvious. Plot holes / Unfinished plot lines: At one point Belinda's mum comes home from work has a five minute conversation and goes out to work again. Why bother coming home? Very convenient to the plot, that's why. Inappropriate happy ending: The ending was ridiculous and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!! Who needs a boyfriend when you have a butler and a dog? I mean, actually I think that could be a new life model. Forget crazy cat lady. I want to be Butler and Dog Lady. (hide spoiler)]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tazzie Dee

    On the way home from an April Fools party, Belinda & her friends were involved in a car accident. The other car was swayed off the road and Belinda went to see if she could help the passengers in that car. Her friends Frank & Hildy followed her but before she could do anything, she found herself being tackled by Frank and then the car blew up. But that’s not the only thing Belinda remembered from that night. She remembered the man up on the hill watching them from outside their car. And before s On the way home from an April Fools party, Belinda & her friends were involved in a car accident. The other car was swayed off the road and Belinda went to see if she could help the passengers in that car. Her friends Frank & Hildy followed her but before she could do anything, she found herself being tackled by Frank and then the car blew up. But that’s not the only thing Belinda remembered from that night. She remembered the man up on the hill watching them from outside their car. And before she knew it, Belinda & her friends were targeted with sick pranks. She knew someone wanted them dead. But the question is who? And why? This is a good book. I read it in one day & struggled to put it down.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bea Tea

    You know, I rather enjoyed this one. The premise is probably a classic of the slasher genre by now, reckless teens cause a car crash, and just stand about gormlessly as the passengers in the other car burn to death. Normal Friday night, right? But for some bizarre reason our protagonist feels bad about it(what???) and can't forget it (it's been two weeks already omg let it go) and then the weird stalky stuff starts kicking off. It's predictable, it's full of dumb teenagers acting like psychopath You know, I rather enjoyed this one. The premise is probably a classic of the slasher genre by now, reckless teens cause a car crash, and just stand about gormlessly as the passengers in the other car burn to death. Normal Friday night, right? But for some bizarre reason our protagonist feels bad about it(what???) and can't forget it (it's been two weeks already omg let it go) and then the weird stalky stuff starts kicking off. It's predictable, it's full of dumb teenagers acting like psychopaths, it's got a bloody doll's head (ahhh) and stuff (ahhh) and I have to admit I really rather enjoyed this stupid, fun ride.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I love this author and it would have been a 4 star book except that I grew to dispise every part the main character's 'best friends' were in. It kind of ruined parts of the book for me in the end. However I did love the reveal at the end, so many things were brought to light that I wasn't expecting! So maybe 3.5?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I vividly remembered the cover of this book but absolutely nothing else about it. I always thought Richie Tankersley Cusick was the best writer in the 90's teen horror craze, and I still think that now, but this wasn't her best. I still enjoyed re-reading it, though.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Richard Haas III

    It was sort of like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Fear Street. It was easy to get into and it's enjoyable; kind of like how these pocket teen horrors tend to go. It wasn't all too predictable, the bad guy was only my second initial guess.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    I vaguely remembered the plot of this one from my childhood reading. This time, I just kept thinking about how nice it is to have a mobile device. I have a feeling that will be a recurring thought as I read through all these books - how much the technology has changed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    One of the better books I've reread from the Point Horror franchise. There seems to be a recurring theme throughout all these books however where there is a distinct lack of adult supervision, and ridiculously stupid teenagers. An enjoyable read for the most part.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Quite dull, in fact very dull. This book promised a lot and delivered almost none of it. I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror. https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream Quite dull, in fact very dull. This book promised a lot and delivered almost none of it. I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror. https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream

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