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Hell Phone by William Sleator
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Hell Phone

by William Sleator

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Love the premise of a demonically possessed cell phone. Great spooky fun! ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Intriguing concept. Young Adults looking for a chilling tale or suspense filled horror story should enjoy this, as long as they don't question the logic of some the characters, and the ending is a little "tidy". But the action is fast paced, so, just go with it. ( )
  Rigfield | Jul 6, 2011 |
in this book nick is the major character. he is the protagonit in the story because ( )
  Despereaux2 | Nov 19, 2009 |
Reviewed by Karin Perry for TeensReadToo.com

All Nick wanted was a cell phone so he could talk to his girlfriend, Jen, in the evenings. What he got was a nightmare he would have never imagined.

Nick's mother, who works hard every day, usually from daylight to sometime in the night, doesn't earn enough money to keep much food in the house, much less afford to keep the phone turned on. Nick works almost every day himself in the hospital cafeteria after school and has saved up money to buy a cell phone.

After school one day, before he headed to work, Nick rode his bike to a store that was advertising used cell phones on a flyer he received in the mail. Once he walked in, Nick noticed that there weren't many phones on display that looked like they'd be cheap enough for him to buy. He only had fifty dollars for the phone and the minutes. When he told the salesperson how much he had to spend, there was only one phone that he would sell at that price. It surprised Nick that it looked pretty cool and he considered himself pretty lucky, even with the drawbacks. The drawbacks were that the Caller ID had been disabled and there were no returns or refunds. So, once he bought the phone he was stuck with it or just out the money. In the end, Nick decided to take the phone and paid for one-hundred-and-fifty minutes--and left the store.

When Nick arrived home after work, his mother still wasn't home from her job so he used the time to make his first call to Jen. As soon as he turned it on, it rang with an annoying mewing sound. He answered it, thinking he'd just have to tell the caller that the previous owner didn't own the phone anymore. Instead, what he hears on the other end of the line was a nasty, threatening voice asking who he was, what he was doing with the phone, and where he lived. Frightened, Nick hung up and quickly called Jen, only to have Call Waiting constantly beep in on their conversation. Disappointed with the first use of the cell phone, Nick turned it off for the night so it wouldn't ring and wake up his mother once she got home from work.

What follows is a nightmare for Nick. He is asked to gather supplies in order to help the persistent caller. The only way to get the supplies is to steal them, something he has never done before in his life. Having the cell phone leads him to lie to Jen, which is something else he has never done. He knows the phone isn't good for him, but he feels compelled to keep it, thinking he can save someone involved in this horrible mystery. In the end, his life unravels completely, leaving him in jail, sentenced to be executed, and eventually landing in Hell. However, with lessons he learned while he had the phone, Nick leads himself to a better place.

William Sleator has written a fast-paced horror novel that requires the reader to suspend disbelief and accept the story for what it is -- a thrilling read, not to be picked up right before bed. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 11, 2009 |
All Nick wanted was a cell phone so he could talk to his girlfriend, Jen, in the evenings. What he got was a nightmare he would have never imagined.Nick's mother, who works hard everyday, usually from daylight to sometime in the night, doesn't earn enough money to keep much food in the house, much less afford to keep the phone turned on. Nick works almost everyday in the hospital cafeteria after school and has saved up money to buy a cell phone. After school one day, before he headed to work, Nick rode his bike to a store that was advertised used cell phones on a flyer he received in the mail. Once he walked in, Nick noticed that there weren't many phones on display that looked like they'd be cheap enough for him to buy. He only had fifty dollars for the phone and the minutes. When he told the salesperson how much he had to spend, there was only one phone that he would sell at that price. It surprised Nick that it looked pretty cool and considered himself pretty lucky, even with the drawbacks. The drawbacks were that the Caller ID had been disabled and there were no returns or refunds. So, once he bought the phone he was stuck with it or just out the money. In the end, Nick decided to take the phone and paid for one-hundred and fifty minutes and left the store. When Nick arrived home after work, his mother still wasn't home from her job so he used the time to make his first call to Jen. As soon as he turned it on, it rang with an annoying mewing sound. He answered it, thinking he'd just have to tell the caller that the previous owner didn't own the phone anymore. Instead, what he hears on the other end of the line was a nasty, threatening voice asking who he was, what he was doing with the phone, and where he lived. Frightened, Nick hung up and quickly called Jen only to have Call Waiting constantly beep in on their conversation. Disappointed with the first use of the cell phone Nick turned it off for the night so it wouldn't ring and wake up his mother once she got home from work. What follows is a nightmare for Nick. He is asked to gather supplies in order to help the persistent caller. The only way to get the supplies is to steal them, something he has never done before in his life. Having the cell phone leads him to lie to Jen, which is something else he has never done. He knows the phone isn't good for him, but he feels compelled to keep it, thinking he can save someone involved in this horrible mystery. In the end, his life unravels completely, leaving him in jail, sentenced to be executed, and eventually landing in hell. However, with lessons he learned while he had the phone, Nick leads himself to a better place. William Sleator has written a faced paced horror novel that requires the reader to suspend disbelief and accept the story for what it is – a thrilling read, not to be picked up right before bed. ( )
  kperry | Oct 26, 2008 |
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Book summary week1 (Pg1-50) : Nick is the main character in Hell Phone. His primary conflict was that he wanted to spend more time with his girlfriend Jen, but couldn't because they were both mostly always busy.Until he found a solution, he decided he will buy a phone. Nick has been working after school and saves up enough money to buy a phone.He works after school because his mother doesn't earn enough money to keep much food in the house.So he finally goes to a discount store and buys a phone,but it has a few drawbacks.The phone cant be returned ,it doesn't have caller i.d,you cant change the number,and it was used.Nick buys it and heads off to work.
 As soon as he gets out of work and gets home, Nick turns on the phone.It was a creepy voice, threatening him.After hanging up he calls Jen and tells her about the creepy caller.After days with the phone people keep on calling Nick for help.nick decides to consult Jens father about his phone so he does and her father checks it out.After that Nick just starts to check out the phone by looking at all the things it has.Nick soon finds out the name of the creepy caller,Fleck.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0810993600, Paperback)

A modern murder story with a devilish twist

Master of horror William Sleator has created another creepy, heart-pumping classic in Hell Phone. Nick wants a cell phone so he can talk to his girlfriend, Jen, after school, and the used phone he buys seems like a bargain. That is, until the phone calls begin—demanding, disturbed strangers calling night and day. At first Nick wants to get rid of the phone, but the creepy callers and the phone’s ghoulish games pull him into a web of crime, pushing him to steal, con. . . and kill.

Fans of Sleator’s The Boy Who Couldn’t Die will enjoy this equally diabolical thriller.

Praise for Hell Phone

“An entertaining and unquestionably dark diversion . . .” —Publishers Weekly

“Sleator, the author of Interstellar Pig, The Boy Who Couldn’t Die, and many other SF thrillers for YAs, excels at this genre, and horror fans will enjoy every nasty detail.” —Kliatt

“A suspense-filled plot and touches of macabre humor will appeal to both horror fans and reluctant readers.” —Kirkus

“The rapid pace and vivid, unsettling conception of the Inferno will grab horror readers.” —School Library Journal

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Seventeen-year-old Nick buys a used cell phone only to call his girlfriend, but strange and desperate people keep calling--one of them a denizen of Hell--begging for or demanding his help.

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