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Party Line

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Mark has discovered a way to meet girls—on the teen party line. Unfortunately, he also discovers that some of the new girls he meets on the phone have disappeared. What started as a way to get dates, leads Mark into a frightening mystery—one that becomes dangerous as well!


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Mark has discovered a way to meet girls—on the teen party line. Unfortunately, he also discovers that some of the new girls he meets on the phone have disappeared. What started as a way to get dates, leads Mark into a frightening mystery—one that becomes dangerous as well!

30 review for Party Line

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    3.5 Stars ⭐️ Omg! That was horrible and good at the same time! I loved it 🤣😂. I remember party lines, but I don’t remember them costing anything 🤔 This was a buddy ready with my friends at Horror Aficionados! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 3.5 Stars ⭐️ Omg! That was horrible and good at the same time! I loved it 🤣😂. I remember party lines, but I don’t remember them costing anything 🤔 This was a buddy ready with my friends at Horror Aficionados! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Done! I quite liked this one, I know I read it as a teen and I even remembered whodunnit, but I still enjoyed the story and the characters, especially the main character who went from having no idea about girls, to thinking he knew it all, to then realizing he know pretty much nothing! A buddy read with some of the crew over at Horror Aficionados, and some fun teenage nostalgia time for me :-)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elysa

    Mark is a 17 year old who is awkward and shy around girls. He can't pick up signals and comes off as rude because of it. A cute girl named Marcy comes up to him at a dance and tries to talk, but he's so awkward he seems standoffish and uninterested so she leaves. However, using the Party Line , he learns how to gain confidence and communicate with girls. With this new power, he dates Marcy and another girl, Janine. There's also car repair, self-defense classes, and roller skating. But, mostly Mark is a 17 year old who is awkward and shy around girls. He can't pick up signals and comes off as rude because of it. A cute girl named Marcy comes up to him at a dance and tries to talk, but he's so awkward he seems standoffish and uninterested so she leaves. However, using the Party Line , he learns how to gain confidence and communicate with girls. With this new power, he dates Marcy and another girl, Janine. There's also car repair, self-defense classes, and roller skating. But, mostly, this book really feels like it's a story about a teen guy growing up and learning how to manage relationships. However, the mystery/horror part of the book, the story about the girls disappearing, it really only becomes a real thing in the last 1/4 of the book in a sudden change of the story's pacing. Not what I expected, but a solid short read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Latasha

    This book was not part of my teen years. I read this with a group of friends in the group Horror Aficionados in 2021. This book was published in 1989. First of all, I did not like Mark. He is an ass. The relationship he has with his mom is parasitic, him leeching off his mother, not caring one damn bit about her. And girls! What can he do to get more girls?! One finally gives him the time of day and all of a sudden he is God’s gift to women everywhere and oh boy! Can he kiss! Watch out ladies! This book was not part of my teen years. I read this with a group of friends in the group Horror Aficionados in 2021. This book was published in 1989. First of all, I did not like Mark. He is an ass. The relationship he has with his mom is parasitic, him leeching off his mother, not caring one damn bit about her. And girls! What can he do to get more girls?! One finally gives him the time of day and all of a sudden he is God’s gift to women everywhere and oh boy! Can he kiss! Watch out ladies! Oh yeah, the mystery. Girls are disappearing. But don’t worry cause Mark has it all figured out. The only good thing he does is he goes to the cops. But these are of the Fear Street quality and they are quiet useless. Thank goodness we have Mark to save the day- he really does. I didn’t like the character, the story was thin and at times boring. I would read more by A.Bates but only with a group. I wouldn’t seek her out on my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tyler J Gray

    I quite enjoyed this one. I felt for the characters and wondered what was going on. I did think it'd be predictable but I was wrong. I had a fun time with it. I quite enjoyed this one. I felt for the characters and wondered what was going on. I did think it'd be predictable but I was wrong. I had a fun time with it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Corinne

    Sad sack working-class Mark has to use the discount teen party line if he ever wants to score a girlfriend (is there a teen in the world who has any idea what a party line even is anymore?). I grabbed this 1989 teen horror novel at the thrift store thinking it would be good for a laugh, but unfortunately it was mostly....really dull. 90 percent of the book follows Mark and his lonely high school friends learning how to date 1950s style (I took Janine out last night but now Marcy at the roller ri Sad sack working-class Mark has to use the discount teen party line if he ever wants to score a girlfriend (is there a teen in the world who has any idea what a party line even is anymore?). I grabbed this 1989 teen horror novel at the thrift store thinking it would be good for a laugh, but unfortunately it was mostly....really dull. 90 percent of the book follows Mark and his lonely high school friends learning how to date 1950s style (I took Janine out last night but now Marcy at the roller rink wants to go steady, what shall I do?) and the entertainment to be had was in the outdated tech (computers have spell check now sometimes) and in Mark's terrible musings about girls (When I kiss her my knee joints tingle! Girls are just boys with boobs!). The guy making girls disappear from the party line doesn't appear until the end, and he's the least scary slasher ever. Boo!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Justin Fraxi

    Sometimes I'll see a book like this on Amazon, and I'll ironically click "I'd like to read this book on Kindle". Something about teen thrillers from the '80s and '90s which feature technology that isn't even relevant anymore amuses me. Sometimes I'll see a book like this on Amazon, and I'll ironically click "I'd like to read this book on Kindle". Something about teen thrillers from the '80s and '90s which feature technology that isn't even relevant anymore amuses me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Francisco

    Another Point Horror book and this time we have an interesting concept, which unfortunately is not utilized to its full potential, but is still good enough to make this an intriguing mystery book. I am pretty sure the elevator pitch for this was simply "Like Rear Window but with telephones".  So, our main character, Mark, is addicted to a Party Line, something which is completely alien to today's youth, but which was something in the 80s and 90s. You'd call up a phone line where other people were Another Point Horror book and this time we have an interesting concept, which unfortunately is not utilized to its full potential, but is still good enough to make this an intriguing mystery book. I am pretty sure the elevator pitch for this was simply "Like Rear Window but with telephones".  So, our main character, Mark, is addicted to a Party Line, something which is completely alien to today's youth, but which was something in the 80s and 90s. You'd call up a phone line where other people were connected to and you'd meet people over the phone. Like a chat room/group but with landlines. Mark learns how to fake a hangup, making a sound that sounds like he hung-up the phone, so that he can listen to conversations without anyone knowing he's there. When girls who he recognizes from the line start disappearing he has to solve the mystery.  I would have enjoyed this a lot more if that premiss would have gone throughout the book and the voyeuristic qualities of listening to other people's conversations had been explored more. But I get that this is a book for teens and so you have to get some romance into it, and Mark eventually leaves the line to juggle two girls and get one of them to act as bait for his supposed killer... not very smart. Still it's a fun book with a really intriguing core idea.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    3 1/2 stars Mark is enjoying the phone party line until girls start to disappear. Could the phone have anything to do with it? I read this in one sitting, it was a decent way to while away an evening. back cover below ***************Mark has discovered a way to meet girls—on the teen party line. Unfortunately, he also discovers that some of the new girls he meets on the phone have disappeared. What started as a way to get dates, leads Mark into a frightening mystery—one that becomes dangerous as we 3 1/2 stars Mark is enjoying the phone party line until girls start to disappear. Could the phone have anything to do with it? I read this in one sitting, it was a decent way to while away an evening. back cover below ***************Mark has discovered a way to meet girls—on the teen party line. Unfortunately, he also discovers that some of the new girls he meets on the phone have disappeared. What started as a way to get dates, leads Mark into a frightening mystery—one that becomes dangerous as well!

  10. 5 out of 5

    James

    Nice mystery. Not very realistic, and the main character was so dumb, but the ending was worth it! Completely caught by surprise at who was the villain!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    Notes before I start: this was published in 1989, so I'm expecting some great 80s references. Please don't let me down, A. Bates! --------- Okay, so now that I've finally finished this re-read, I have to say I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed the read. It wasn't as terrible and cheesy as I was expecting. I guess one complaint is that there just wasn't enough references to the era in which it was written, e.g. not enough descriptions of terrible clothes, etc. (the dance did feature some jean skirt Notes before I start: this was published in 1989, so I'm expecting some great 80s references. Please don't let me down, A. Bates! --------- Okay, so now that I've finally finished this re-read, I have to say I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed the read. It wasn't as terrible and cheesy as I was expecting. I guess one complaint is that there just wasn't enough references to the era in which it was written, e.g. not enough descriptions of terrible clothes, etc. (the dance did feature some jean skirts, but still, the fashion wasn't a highlight of this book). However, there were SOME other highlights that had me laughing (or cringing/marvelling): - There's only a house phone at Mark's place, and he's running up a huuuuuge phone bill with the Party Line (that era's version of social media messaging I guess) - The Party Line is pretty creepy, actually, particularly at moments like this: p.10 - Q: "Fifteen. Is that too young?" A: "Depends what for, I guess." - Mark is hilarious about the chicks he's dating. I love the scene where he's being all reasonable and 'feely' with Marcy about why he can't commit to a relationship, because that wouldn't be fair to ANY of them - himself, Marcy, or his second girlfriend. - Mark frequently amused me - he was well written as a teenaged guy. Like when he has 5 hotdogs for dinner, and then eats the rest 'cause he may as well finish off the whole lot. - Mr. Santos was pretty 'hip', it seems, but he seemed to take it rather far at this point: p.33 "everyone likes feeling high." - There was mention of a "spell check program for computers", and the fact that Janine had a microwave and Mark was overawed, and Janine said "it's kind of fun to use!" (Paraphrasing) - At one point, "pollution stickers" for cars are mentioned. I have no idea what that is. Is it related to leaded petrol? - Unlike many Point books, this one gave some insight into the life of Mark's mother - we got to know her quite a bit, and how she wanted to live her own life etc. So I thought that was interesting. - Dramatic ending! Mark was impressive, which also surprised me :P All in all, I think I'm gonna have to add some of my fave quotes from this book onto GoodReads, to highlight how it entertained me at times (which was unexpected for me). Here are my detailed notes about this book: (view spoiler)[Party Line - p.1 - I would have said "Fucksake" instead of what he said. - bloody arm. Ha! - p.2 - so he's a pantser, not a plotter! - pp.2 - 3 - Love that there's only a house phone. - The chat - wow, that's creepy. Also, Traci! and Steffie! - p.10 - creeeeepy. This is like the precursor to online chat rooms. Q: "Fifteen. Is that too young?" A: "Depends what for, I guess." - p.13 - dude, your mum is gonna kiiiiill you! - p.15 - five hotdogs for dinner. Yikes. Then he goes in for the rest! - p.19 - "dumb shows for dummies..." - p.21 - at the dance - fashion description. Jean skirts etc - p.22 - "kids" - tapes and albums - p.24 - "like a dolt." Un-teeny - p.33 - teacher: "everyone likes feeling high." 😮 - p.34 - "spelling-check programs for computers." - p.37 - "these kids are all right. Even the girls." - p.40 - Marcy: "you know, I really resent being vulnerable." - p.41 - self defence classes are $3 per session - "cheaper than a movie." - p.44 - eek, the sleaze on the party line sounds like Santos? Creeeeepay! - pp.48 - 49 - usually we don't get insight into the parents. This one gives us insight into Mark's mum - p.51 - poor lil 13 yo Nicky 😢 - p.62 - "do I love her?" Yeah, wayyyy too soon - p.64 - "fresh and lovely" - doesn't sound like a teen dude - Also, "awfully young". - p.70 - geez, he's playing the field! - p.84 - is A. Bates big into cars? - p.85 - what's a pollution sticker?! - p.87 - I can't picture this outfit ... Is it horrendous? - pp.94-95 - Mark and Janine are cute together. They make me go aww - p.95 - "I've never seen one cook before." - Mark, talking about a "microwave oven" 😂 - p.96 - stereo system - tapes and records, VCR - p.97 - "...excitement made his knee joints tingle." Wut? - p.102 - sexual harassment joke about Mark being "too grabby" ... awkward - p.103 - "Oh, Janine. Oh Marcy. Oh my." I mean, rly? - p.106 - "...I have a second girlfriend too." Haha! - p.108 - this guy! Considering taking gf1 to the dance at his school where gf2 would be. "Maybe that wasn't such a good idea." Ya think?!?! - p.122 - Santos not at school. Suss! - Also, Mark, it's not that complicated what girls want. Get a clue! - p.123 - hilarious last paragraph! Cracked me up! - p.131 - all this talk of "oily" guys on the party line. Ha! - p.152 - NOT Santos ... Vince! - Quite the dramatic ending! (hide spoiler)]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    If I'm being honest I picked up this book because the author has same initial/last name as me. I kept it around for years for that reason. When I finally actually read it it was sooooooooo dated and I don't think any modern teenager would be able to understand the premise of a teen chat line that you dial into from your corded home telephone where someone is stalking/killing the participants. As 80s teen thrillers go, this is not as good as Christopher Pike who I adored as a teen, but not the wo If I'm being honest I picked up this book because the author has same initial/last name as me. I kept it around for years for that reason. When I finally actually read it it was sooooooooo dated and I don't think any modern teenager would be able to understand the premise of a teen chat line that you dial into from your corded home telephone where someone is stalking/killing the participants. As 80s teen thrillers go, this is not as good as Christopher Pike who I adored as a teen, but not the worst thing I've ever read either.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    RL Stine memories from jr high and high school. (reading the books, haha)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Cohen

    I went to a cabin for a weekend and this was one of the few books there that wasn't an encyclopedia. And I really think that's the only circumstance in which a 35-year-old should read this book in 2020. Look, contrary to most reviewers here, I thought the book was actually alright! It doesn't rise to the level of my fave 90s thriller writers like R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike; this book kind of seemed like their tamer older cousin? Yes, it's super dated, but in a way that made it kind of charmin I went to a cabin for a weekend and this was one of the few books there that wasn't an encyclopedia. And I really think that's the only circumstance in which a 35-year-old should read this book in 2020. Look, contrary to most reviewers here, I thought the book was actually alright! It doesn't rise to the level of my fave 90s thriller writers like R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike; this book kind of seemed like their tamer older cousin? Yes, it's super dated, but in a way that made it kind of charming. I've never experienced a party line, but I imagine it's something like an early internet chat room or Chatroulette, except not nearly as awful as that. The main character felt drawn very much to appeal to teenage boys. Since I am not a teenage boy in the late 1980s, I don't know if it rings true. But I did feel that his development over the course of the book was genuine, and I really did care what happened to him. The pacing is generally good for a thriller. I really did feel suspense building around the question of what was happening to the disappearing girls, although I was bothered that this somehow wasn't a major topic of concern in the town overall. And the ending kind of blew it; happened too fast, the villain seemed like a total wtf, everything just *happened* to work out OK. Bit of a letdown. But overall, glad I spent some time reading this book because it was some fun late-80s teenage escapism.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I really wish you could award half stars, because I'd give Party Line 3.5. I'm re-reading Point Horror books from my childhood, and this is the third or fourth one I've re-read, although I don't remember reading this one back in middle school...Aside from the cheesy title and obsolete technology, Party Line is actually an interesting read, main character Mark is a truly decent human being, and the dialogue wasn't vapid. Not the stereotypical empty-headed teeny bopper characters who only care abo I really wish you could award half stars, because I'd give Party Line 3.5. I'm re-reading Point Horror books from my childhood, and this is the third or fourth one I've re-read, although I don't remember reading this one back in middle school...Aside from the cheesy title and obsolete technology, Party Line is actually an interesting read, main character Mark is a truly decent human being, and the dialogue wasn't vapid. Not the stereotypical empty-headed teeny bopper characters who only care about going to the mall. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tehnehn Kaijaah Edwards

    Utter garbage. The writing was awful, the character's were awful, the plot spent more time on a boring teen love story then the suspense of the party line kidnapper. Our lead was annoying, immature and all in all a douche bag. I would have given it one star, but it is still not the worst book I have read. If you a fan of these Point thrillers... Skip this one. Utter garbage. The writing was awful, the character's were awful, the plot spent more time on a boring teen love story then the suspense of the party line kidnapper. Our lead was annoying, immature and all in all a douche bag. I would have given it one star, but it is still not the worst book I have read. If you a fan of these Point thrillers... Skip this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Meh

    Really good book was funny and enjoyable to read a little to fictional in ways things occurred but an overall really good book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hope

    Re-read from high school. I liked it the first time and I liked it this time, too. Mark was a good kid. This was a glimpse into the lives of late 80s teens, for anyone who ever wondered.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I'm in a group that's reading Point Horror books from the 80s/90s and so far it's a lot of fun. I'm enjoying revisiting these. They don't necessarily hold up, but the nostalgia is great. I'm in a group that's reading Point Horror books from the 80s/90s and so far it's a lot of fun. I'm enjoying revisiting these. They don't necessarily hold up, but the nostalgia is great.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cayden

    It's a little boring. It's a little boring.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marie Laporte

    3,25

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kasey Loftis

    This was a pretty good book. It was very similar to 1-900-killer. I liked the idea of it and I love the young adult 90's horror. This was a pretty good book. It was very similar to 1-900-killer. I liked the idea of it and I love the young adult 90's horror.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sadie

    In this short book there was a whole lot of nothing happening. The mystery was interesting enough but there’s too much about the main character doing mundane things like fixing a car, his romantic interests, etc at the expense of the mystery. When things started to pick up, it was like 90% into the book. Also, the ending was kind of lazy and a cop-out, plus had weird levels of sympathy for a kidnapper. Just not very good.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Bernard

    Brings me back to middle school!! A quick read but I really enjoyed it, I do wish the ending was different, after Mark discovers what is going on and who is involved it completely rushes details into the last chapter. The chapter before ends with a lot of questions and then the very next/last chapter they do a quick run through of the what happened, kind of disappointed in that. Certainly could've explained a lot more and more details, but it was a fun read Brings me back to middle school!! A quick read but I really enjoyed it, I do wish the ending was different, after Mark discovers what is going on and who is involved it completely rushes details into the last chapter. The chapter before ends with a lot of questions and then the very next/last chapter they do a quick run through of the what happened, kind of disappointed in that. Certainly could've explained a lot more and more details, but it was a fun read

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    What a difference time makes. Read this when I was thirteen, so I thought I would revisit it for nostalgia's sake. Some books should stay in the past. Can't understand what it was about this book that I enjoyed, but as an adult I was bored out of my mind. I'm only giving it the extra star just for the nostalgia and because Point Thrillers will always remain a part of my youth (even if it was a clunker). What a difference time makes. Read this when I was thirteen, so I thought I would revisit it for nostalgia's sake. Some books should stay in the past. Can't understand what it was about this book that I enjoyed, but as an adult I was bored out of my mind. I'm only giving it the extra star just for the nostalgia and because Point Thrillers will always remain a part of my youth (even if it was a clunker).

  26. 4 out of 5

    C.

    If you ever experience confusion as to whether 1989 is a long long time ago, this book will clear that right up for you: yes, it is. 1989 is a foreign country and they do things differently there, with their phones that are connected to lines, and their on-the-phone "chat lines" and all. It's more amusing than actually scary, but it bubbles along at a nice clip, and I happily devoured it in an hour. If you ever experience confusion as to whether 1989 is a long long time ago, this book will clear that right up for you: yes, it is. 1989 is a foreign country and they do things differently there, with their phones that are connected to lines, and their on-the-phone "chat lines" and all. It's more amusing than actually scary, but it bubbles along at a nice clip, and I happily devoured it in an hour.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shirlayy Chen

    Mark finds out an easier way to talk to girls by calling the party line. He thinks its easier if nobody know who he is. But then, girls are slowly disappearing. Mark thinks it has something to do with the party line. He keeps hearing the same guy over the phone and Mark knows he know the owner of the voice. He found the owner of the voice and it turns out its not Todd, Robbie or Mr.Santos. It's Vince. Mark finds out an easier way to talk to girls by calling the party line. He thinks its easier if nobody know who he is. But then, girls are slowly disappearing. Mark thinks it has something to do with the party line. He keeps hearing the same guy over the phone and Mark knows he know the owner of the voice. He found the owner of the voice and it turns out its not Todd, Robbie or Mr.Santos. It's Vince.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Simpson

    I will keep a hold of this I think. A boy is the main character so he might like it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ella

    Pretty good. I usually enjoy books better that feature female characters; especially thrillers.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alice Ambrose

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