By: Shirley Duke
Publisher: Lerner Classroom
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2010
She’d met the psychopathic creep on Facebook, but of course she thought he was around her age. Her Mom had warned her, but she didn’t listen. She didn’t know his was a “thirty-year-old serial killer.” The girl desperately tried to escape, lamenting the fact that she’d ever said she hated her mother. He began to strangle her, a slow, but certain death. The words came quickly to Omar Phillips whenever he had a vision. The faceless girl and her imaginary death felt real to him and whenever these freaky visions came to him, he was compelled to write them down as fast as he could. Writing somehow soothed him and “made the visions go away.” Of course there were some benefits to it because once he posted them on Facebook he gained more friends and a ton of comments. The kids at Bridgewater High treated him like a minor celebrity. Omar could deal with it.
Omar’s home life wasn’t so hot with an absent father and a little brother, Gabriel, who had night terrors, but his Facebook fame somehow made up for it. He spotted a comment by that weird Goth girl, Sophie Minax. On her site she had a drawing of something he’d seen in one of his visions. His best friend, Jon, said she was a “total psycho.” He was always there for him and even comments like, “You can’t help being a tortured artist, man,” were comforting. Whenever he had another vision coming on, he had to make a quick retreat. The next vision was totally spooky, enough to make Stephen King break out in a sweat. He had to hurry home to write about it.
He’d seen a “boat exploding in flames.” There were people going into the water. A mother zipped her baby into her clothing before jumping into the water. Omar became totally immersed in his visions and could see even the tiniest details. His dream was to “be a published horror writer” and maybe writing about these freaky visions was a good start.. They were coming one right after another now. One of them was about some guy in a place called Dead Man’s Cave. The poor sap had a noose around his neck and was pushed into a bottomless pit. These visions were something else, but soon something about them would become horrifying.
Natasha Monroe was missing. They grew up together and every neighborhood picture had the two of them in it. Everyone was frantic as they began their search. Omar and his mother quickly joined a search party. He could feel what had happened to Natasha as they came closer to where she was . . . behind that rock he’d seen. His mother began to shriek out her name, but he knew she couldn’t hear her. Omar’s story had become true. Slowly each one of his stories began to take shape and creep into reality. Psycho Sophie had begun to exert her powers over him. How could he stop the visions? He realized Jon was the poor sap in the cave. Was he going to be able to save him? Would he be able to save himself?
This is a totally freaky story about Omar Phillips, a Facebook visionary writer whose creepy stories came true. I loved the way this story was crafted. It was so well done I just had to keep reading and reading to find out what happened to everyone in his stories. It was as if all the characters were in a Twilight Zone episode, desperately trying to come back to reality, a reality that had been eaten up in Omar’s visions. The characters were well developed and even though this is a relatively short novel, I felt as if I’d known them for some time. If you want to read a really crazy, spooky story, you might want to pick this one up. Just make sure that some guy named Omar Phillips doesn’t write a story about you on Facebook or you could be next!
Quill says: If you are into spine-chilling horror and don’t mind breaking out into a sweat, you might want to invite Omar Phillips over to write a story . . . about someone else!