That sleeveless turtleneck and those overalls. That's 1996 for you, right there, in one outfit.


Hillary: Oh man, I had that damn overall and stripped shirt outfit. The shirt was a half top and I'd change into it at school after I escaped my hawk-eyed mother. (Sorry mom!)

Kelly: What about the book do you think drew kids in? Was it the raciness?

Hillary: I think it was the story. I read this book so long ago I genuinely forgot what happened in the plot and where it twisted. That was delightful because I was really surprised when something happened, like when Chad admitting to shooting Ann's brother AND suffocating her mother? He was a killer, just hanging around.


Kelly: Chad covered a lot of ground, murder-wise.

Hillary: And no one noticed. Like, what? How … When …

I think kids like me read this book because it was a digestible version of, say, John Grisham. We couldn't dig into all that legal and adult content so we had Christopher Pike's a-bit-too-old-for-us books.


Kelly: The courtroom scenes were pretty amazing. My favorite moment: "'Objection!' Hanover shouted. 'Shut up!' John shouted back." I don't think that's proper courtroom procedure.

Hillary: When Paul crumbles on the stand, my eyes were going through the lines so fast!


Pike's really good at the build-up. "He knew he was on a roll and he wasn't slowing down." L O L. OK, because the case is solved, the real murderer's outed in 30 pages, cool.

And the sleepy judge who napped during all of his cases—getting a little too real there, Pike. I've been on jury duty, you are fighting to stay awake.


Kelly: Probably the most realistic moment of the book, to be honest.

Hillary: Right. The idea that Ann, as the rich girl couldn't have the life she wanted to she set out to ruin her best friend is a leap in the first place. (Leap, get it? Like her off the cliff?) But Pike's writing is so fun that you just go with it. He's probably the reason I can watch unrealistic fun stuff like Scandal and just say to myself 'suspend your disbelief and cackle!' I blame him for Nashville, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder ... Revenge ... Sons of Anarchy … the list goes on, man.


The story's not scary per se, unless you're thinking about how wacked humans can be. How someone you've known forever can just kill you, your mama and your brother and then have a temper tantrum when someone calls him out on it. How your best friend probably hates you. Frenemies are real, kids! Learn that now! Before Brenda and Kelly on the soon-to-be popular show 90210.

Kelly: I guess that is the secret terror of every high schooler, though. "Literally everyone hates me, secretly."


Hillary: Guess what kids, THEY DO. They ARE all gonna laugh at you.

Kelly: This has been Hillary Crosley of Jezebel, telling the kids the cold, hard truths of life.


Hillary: Before we go, a few odes to my fave ridiculous lines:

"That's how she killed him. WITH HER LOVE. Love can kill just as easily as hate. I hate her, Chad. I want to kill her."

"Then why don't you?" he asked.

Good question. Why do I have to jump off a cliff in the middle of the night to punish someone else, and break my arm and smash my brain?


Ann, do better. Here's another:

"I am crazy. So are you. There isn't a girl in the world who would have done what you did tonight. But you did it. I knew you would do it. You're as crazy as I am."


And also:

"You have to kiss me goodbye." She leaned forward as if she were going to kiss him, carefully raising her left hand toward the candle, slowly moving her right arm closer to his knife. "Because I'm going to kill you."


If that ain't some Dynasty shit, I don't know what is.

Illustration by Tara Jacoby.