Well, this is another one I that I didn’t read when it first came out. I don’t think I would have liked it as a kid either. This book was too all over the place and that ending was a bit odd since I think that Cusick is leaning towards a love triangle or something. Once again this one is more adult than I was thinking of for the time it was written (1993). We have a character threatening to rape the main character a few times. We also have once again a parent that is missing in action throughout this book. I swear I should do a YA horror cheat sheet. Do you have a parent that is never around when some scary stuff is going down? You may be about to be murdered. Once again a good example of the “Fear Street” square for Halloween Bingo 2019.
“Help Wanted” follows teenager Robin. Robin is looking to make some extra money and then responds to a help wanted ad that is up at her school. When she goes to the interview she is shocked to find that the new job is at Manorwood that has been a long abandoned mansion in the town. However, it has recently been occupied again by the uber rich Swanson family. The family’s elderly patriarch is who is looking for help cataloging some books from the dead second wife of his son. Robin though quickly realizes that something is wrong at Manorwood and that someone seems intent on causing harm to Claudia, step-sister to Parker Swanson. And Parker seems intent on warning Robin off and saying that Claudia is just crazy, just like her mother.
So Robin didn’t really do a lot of investigating. Just running from scene to scene screaming Claudia’s name. The book sparks up a bit IMHO when she is dealing with her friend Faye.
Faye though disappears about halfway through the book and we just have Robin dealing with the Swanson family and another new book in town, Walt.
Walt is enigmatic and seems to be around to just say random phrases and disappears again.
I really didn’t like Parker at all and thought he definitely had some issues with his whole grabbing Robin anytime he wanted to thing and starting intently into her eyes and telling her what a mess Claudia was.
Claudia is a scared rabbit through the whole book and one wonders how she managed to dress herself and get through the day.
The parents in this book are missing. We do get a sighting of Robin’s mom when she pops up to tell Robin to bring in the groceries. Parker’s step-mother is dead, we find out his mother died in a car accident. His father is…somewhere? Business trip? I don’t even remember.
The mystery of the book really is about who is out there scaring Claudia? Claudia believe her dead mother is now haunting her and wants Claudia to join her in death. Robin is determined to figure out what is going on and then starts to become scared when she it appears that something paranormal is going on.
The ending though was definitely a surprise. I thought I knew who was doing things and why and turned out to be wrong. I do have to say though that I thought the book ended on a weird note. And I ask again, what happened to Faye?