This is another special Fear Street post because it has two of my favorite books in the series and the sequel to Fear Street’s first perfect five! 🙂 You won’t want to miss it!
“The Mind Reader”
Fear Street Scale: 5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Second Place
Ellie Anderson has had visions her entire life. She always knew what was for dinner before anyone else. But then Ellie’s visions lead her to the body of a young girl and her visions become terrifying. Ellie struggles to make sense of the violent images that torment her. Are they a warning or a desperate cry for help from beyond the grave? Only one thing is certain, Ellie’s visions will help her find the murderer, but what happens if he finds her first?
I don’t know why, but there is nothing that gets me going more than a girl with super powers. Ellie Anderson is a likeable heroine, shy, soft, and someone who sees her gift as more of a burden than anything else. It might be cool at first, but when she sees things in the future she cannot change (her dog getting hit by a car) no matter how hard she tries or images she cannot explain, like her boyfriend and best friend making out, which makes her paranoid, only to have it happen because she breaks up with the supposed cheater – it can be easy to see why Ellie isn’t thrilled about her visions. They wreck friendships, get in the way of her living her life and after they lead her to a girl’s body in the Fear Street woods, they become terrifying. Ellie keeps seeing a bloody knife in her visions. Terrifying images that seem to be warning her of some unknown threat it is closing in…
In this book Ellie meets a mystery guy and finds out the truth about her mother’s death when she was a toddler (her mother was murdered) and discovers a body all within a 48 hour span of time. The visions could be about her mother’s murder, the murder of the girl whose remains she found or warning her about the mystery guy who is both charming and suspicious. But typical of Stine, he rises to the occasion – why not tie these together with a nice ‘it is all connected’ kind of bow. Ellie gets closer to the killer of the girl and finding out the truth about her mother, while uncovering secrets about the new guy in her life that may be better left buried. The killer in the end may be the last person you suspect and the final showdown not only pays off in terms of suspense, but in a psychological ‘OMG’ kind of way. What more could you ask for, especially from a guilty pleasure book?
To clear something up though, (it is my only real gripe with the book) Ellie is not a mind reader. She is not telepathic and cannot read people’s thoughts or emotions. She has visions of what will happen and unknown truths about what has already happened. Therefore, she is much more of a legit fortune teller or general psychic than she is a mind reader. But the title doesn’t affect how fantastic this Fear Street selection is. It is still a must read and easily one of my favorite books in the series. If it wasn’t for the next book on this list, it would have easily been first place. So, what are you waiting for?
“Cheerleaders: The New Evil” (Super Chiller)
Fear Street Scale: 5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: First Place
Corky Corcoran and the Shadyside High cheerleaders are sure that the evil spirit of Sarah Fear was destroyed. They drowned it in the river – the terror is over. But then the accidents begin: Hannah is mysteriously thrown through a car windshield and Naomi is nearly burned to death. One horrifying accident after another… Now Corky can no longer keep her greatest fear to herself. The evil is back! But where is it? Corky, Kimmy and Debra aren’t going to wait to find out. They have a plan to draw out the evil and destroy it once and for all. Unless, of course, the evil destroys them first…
If you’re going to break a trilogy, which should be its own unit, left untouched then the reason for breaking it and producing another sequel better be pure awesomeness. Thankfully, this book delivers just that! All of the rules go out the window in this book and the suspense of who and how are amped up like never before. The first mystery is the how, when (and maybe even who) in regards to the evil spirit returning. After all, that bitch was drowned in “Cheerleaders: The Third Evil”. Then the question is where is the evil now? Who is it possessing? The answers to these questions are so unexpected and just ‘wow’, it blew me away the first time I read it. It is also the only other Super Chiller that I have read that gives “The Dead Lifeguard” a run for its money. I take back what I said before, Stine didn’t simply change the rules with this book – he changed the game! And what wonderful (and horrifying) changes they are.
After a series of horrible accident: Hannah is thrown through a car windshield, Naomi is nearly burned to death in a fire baton routine, and Hannah’s new replacement gets a screwdriver to the neck (it just flew out of someone’s hand!) there is no question between Corky, Kimmy and Debra that the evil is back. Or is it really? I mean horrible things seem to happen in threes… This is like a body snatcher story because it is spirit possession, but the creep factor is in trying to figure out who is possessed by the evil spirit. The three friends hatch a plan to draw the evil out, but there is a chance they could just end up unleashing it instead.
In the end, it is up to Corky to defeat the evil, just like in every other ‘Cheerleaders’ book, even when she was possessed by it herself (there was that whole Sigourney Weaver ‘Aliens 3’ moment where Corky drowns herself to kill the evil). What Corky must do this time, however, to defeat the evil is intense, unexpected and extreme – and it totally works! Remember, this book defies all of the rules, so even Corky’s life is on the line. In a book where everyone is expendable, I am sad to say that not all of the three main characters (Corky, Kimmy and Debra) will survive the end of this book.
This Super Chiller kicks some serious behind and is a read anyone will enjoy, but I strongly recommend that you read the original trilogy first, featured in Confessions of a Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #8 – Fear Street Books #19-23. This adds so much, not just in terms of back story, but in terms of the stakes, the fear at the idea of the evil returning, the pain of those lost already and knowing what the evil has already done demonstrates just how new and improved it is in this book. The evil spirit was never ‘not a big deal’ but she has clearly upped her game and is ready to play for the ultimate keeps. Read the trilogy and then read this book – you won’t be sorry! 😉
“The Wrong Number 2”
Fear Street Scale: 4.5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Third Place
It has been over a year since Deena and Jade played any pranks on the telephone. Not since they called the house on Fear Street and interrupted a murder… Stanley Farberson killed his wife and then came after Deena and Jade because they knew the truth – a prank that turned deadly. But they are putting that behind them and Mr. Farberson is locked up for life. But then the phone calls start, “You’re not safe anywhere. I’ll get my revenge!” the menacing voice on the line threatens. The caller knows things – things that only Mr. Farberson could possibly know. Deena and Jade soon realize that someone is watching them, following them, longing to reach out and kill them. They’re terrified – has their wrong number really returned for revenge?
Deena, Jade and Deena’s half brother Chuck are back and while things may be different since their Farberson ordeal they are still very much who they were in the original book. Deena and Jade start getting threatening calls and the caller talks about things like where they hid from Farberson when he was hunting them in his house and other details no one else could know and then threatening notes are mailed, cars follow them and try to run them over… it is clear that someone is out to get them, but how can it be Farberson if he is locked away? The answer is simple and it isn’t… Farberson is not locked away for the entire book, but R.L. Stine is not a fan of too easy so think twice before you think he is the one stalking the girls…
R.L. Stine doesn’t normally do sequels in the Fear Street series (between regular editions and Super Chillers, there are only five books he has done sequels for out of a total of 114 books in the series – including all of the trilogies and miniseries) and I am glad he chose “The Wrong Number” (see Confessions Of A Bookholic Guilty Pleasure Edition #2 – Fear Street Books 4-8) as one of the select few to continue. The original book was the very first Fear Street perfect five and one of my favorite Fear Street books to date. It was gripping, fast-paced, and involved a high stakes game of cat and mouse, being framed for a murder and culminates with a lunatic with a chainsaw chasing the two main characters through a house they’re trapped in… what’s not to love?
By definition sequels are inferior to the originals, and this book is no exception, but it was a decent continuation that brought all of the players from the first book back, showed what they were up to now and brought a nice closure to the story overall that the first book lacked. And more importantly, unlike other sequels I have read, it did not hurt, discredit or mess with the original story in any way (I appreciated this immensely).
While this book is not as suspenseful or as fast-paced it answers questions about the original story the reader never thought to consider and it brings a real ending and closure to this Fear Street story that is not drawn out, and is completely satisfying. While this book is a shadow of its former self, its former self was so fabulous it still kicks some butt. Read the original before reading this book, but make sure you pick this up once you do!
Great list – right? This was the perfect blend of supernatural elements and a very real killer, straight up supernatural horror and the real life maniac who is out to kill you kind of terror. I hope you enjoyed the mix because the next list focuses on the horrors of real life. Until then…