Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #6 – Fear Street Books 14-18

Last week’s Fear Street list was a tough act to follow, but this is list is still a decent effort. There is one total hit, a miss and three solid books that fall in between. This list also features the second Super Chiller of the series. Read on, if you dare…  😉

“The Secret Bedroom”
Fear Street Scale: 3.5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Fifth Place

Lea Carson can’t believe it when her family moves into an old, creepy house on Fear Street. The creepiest part of the house by far is the secret room in the attic. The room has been locked for more than a hundred years. The story goes that a murder was committed in that room and it has been boarded up ever since. Lea knows she should stay away, but she keeps hearing footsteps inside the secret room – and voices. Someone (or something) is waiting for Lea in there. It knows she can’t resist opening the door…

I wanted to get into this book. But the first time I read it in high school, I wasn’t and when I reread it on my own, I wasn’t and then again for this blog – I wasn’t. The plot centers around a secret bedroom that has been locked up for over a hundred years. Except, there is the first problem. Any hardcore fan (particularly one with a memory such as mine) knows that Fear Street wasn’t even paved until 1900. Being generous, the house may have been finished in 1901, but unless the murder in question happened immediately upon moving in, factor in some time for that as well. This book was published in 1991.

All right, so I am a stickler, but that isn’t the only reason this book doesn’t work. My problem is that I don’t know why it didn’t work, but since I have read it three times (at different times in my life) I know for a fact that it doesn’t work for me. It includes ghosts, buried secrets, dreams, possessions, and secret pasts… all of the things that I love. So, why doesn’t it work for me? This was the most perplexing part of the book. But I encourage anyone who reads this blog to read this book and then report back to me. Was it just me?

“Silent Night” (Super Chiller)
Fear Street Scale: 4 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Third Place

Beautiful and cold Reva Dalby thinks she can have whatever (and whoever) she wants. After all, her dad owns Dalby Department Stores. If only Reva had listened to that warning, but she doesn’t listen to anyone. Now someone has some surprises in store for her. Robbery, terror and maybe even murder. Someone is stalking Reva and wants to give her a holiday she’ll never forget. Her money can’t help her – no one can. Who can you turn to when murder comes gift-wrapped?

This is Fear Street’s second Super Chiller and yet it is a Super Chiller in name only. (Don’t worry, this is a rarity in the series, nearly every Super Chiller lives up to that name.) Like other Super Chillers, it was longer than regular Fear Street books, and divided into more than one part, but that is where the similarities end. It is still an asset to the series overall, just not all that ‘super’. The book follows two main characters, rich Reva Dalby and her poor cousin from the other side of the tracks (literally!) Pam Dalby. Pam is part of a robbery gone wrong, but she is sure that it didn’t end in the murder that the papers claim. But since she was part of the robbery, how will she clear her name without implicating herself and the other people who were in on it? Meanwhile Reva is taunted with threatening notes, a needle inside her lipstick tube (ouch!) and is being sent a clear message: become a human being over the holidays, or else

There are many things to appreciate in this book. The first is Reva. It would be so easy to play the spoiled little rich girl card, but R.L. Stine doesn’t go there. That is simply the part that Reva plays, but it is painful memories of loss and true depth that motivate her character (and in particular, motivate her coldness). I appreciated this, and I think Stine must have realized something was needed because Reva really is a Royal Bitch. Yet her characterization makes the reader feel for her, care about her and hope that she sheds her cold armor and learns that to be human is worth the risk of pain, because otherwise it is not really living. I also appreciated how both storylines are connected and yet they are not, at the same time. Are there two killers, or a single killer working both Pam and Reva? The answers to these questions are not obvious and keeps the reader guessing, which propels one forward and on to the end. I also appreciated this very much. You know that you have to check out the second ever Super Chiller in the Fear Street series. So stop putting it off! 🙂

“The Knife”
Fear Street Scale: 4 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Second Place

There are many things to keep quiet about at Shadyside Hospital. Just about every private room holds a secret of its own. Unfortunately, Laurie Masters stumbles onto the hospital’s sickest secret of all, centering on a boy who was recently a patient there. Now she has seen too much and the doctors and nurses are taking a close look at Laurie as she starts to ask questions. Can Laurie uncover the terrible truth before it’s too late? She may not be sick, but if she isn’t careful she is going to get one deadly diagnosis.

This book reminds me of books on the past two Fear Street book lists. I definitely feel like this was Stine stretching his creative muscles and trying to test exactly where the limits of the world of Fear Street existed. This is a great book, but I don’t know how well it fits into the series itself (much like “Missing” on Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #2 – Fear Street Books 4-8). This is more of a crime and conspiracy thriller than a murder or supernatural one. Yes, this book involves murder, but the why of it makes these murders different. I loved the mystery that Stine weaves, however, and how fast I was turning those pages says more about this book than how it fits (or doesn’t fit) into the big picture that is the Fear Street series does. So, this book proudly earns its Second Place ranking. This book has it all: mystery, conspiracy, and murder. Check it out today!

“The Prom Queen”
Fear Street Scale: 5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: First Place

A warm spring night, soft moonlight, dancing couples and five beautiful Prom Queen candidates should be the perfect ingredients for romance. But if you stir in one brutal murder – then another, and another – the recipe quickly turns to horror. Lizzie McWay realizes that someone is murdering the five Prom Queen candidates one by one and she’s next. Can she stop the murderer before the dance is over – for good?

This is the clear winner of this list! Perhaps it is because this book has the highest body count? Perhaps it is because this book’s ending is so twisted that I only considered it a possibility as to who the murderer was when I thought, “it would be totally screwed up if…” The book starts with the announcement of the five Prom Queen candidates, who all go out for lunch together afterward. The reader learns that most of them have been friends since kindergarten and there are the usual competitive tensions, but nothing more. Then the first body drops. Then the second. Then the third. Each death more brutal than the last. When the fourth candidate is nearly killed, Lizzie realizes that it can’t be her competition working their way down the list. But who else would want to see the Prom Queens dead? How else are they connected? Remember, it doesn’t need to be a real connection, just a connection a twisted mind can make (one of paranoid delusion). The pace, the suspense and the constant push forward is quick and insistent. The end of this book is sweet – will there be anyone left to be crowned Prom Queen? Read and find out!

“First Date”
Fear Street Scale: 4 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Fourth Place

Chelsea Richards is shy, lonely and looking for love. She would give anything to go on a real date. And then suddenly there are two new boys in town, and they both ask her out. Too bad one of them is a crazed killer. Poor Chelsea… will her first date, also be her last?

“First Date” was a fun book that gives the killer some POV time (which I personally love). The reader can witness his horrible acts and most recent murder as well as what makes him tick. Even though his time is much more limited than Chelsea’s in terms of POV, it is far more interesting. Chelsea is so whiny it got to be a bit much for me. Factor in that the killer was so obvious (at least to me) that it killed the suspense of the question of who the killer is and it really comes down to his moments on the page. Of course, the face off at the end also makes the case of a solid selection in the Fear Street series. A must for any fan!

I hope you weren’t let down by this list. If so, just blame last week’s fabulous list and if you haven’t read it check it out at Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #4 – Fear Street Books 9-13. The series is really starting to pick up and the next Fear Street list will be the end of what I call “Old School Fear Street” as the series evolves like any series should and gets even better.

Next week I am posting my monthly noteworthy book blogs, so it will probably be two weeks before I post the next list of Fear Street titles.


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One Response to Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #6 – Fear Street Books 14-18

  1. Pingback: Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #12 – Fear Street Books 27-30 | Just A Little Red

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