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review 2019-09-11 20:24
Goodnight Kiss, Fear Street Super Chiller #3 by R.L. Stine
Goodnight Kiss - R.L. Stine

 

Fear Street Square: Teens roam at their own risk in Sandy Hollow, a beach community beset with vampires.

 

The book begins with Jessica, a townie in the beach community, shopping for her blind date with Gabri. She's excited its summer again and there will be so many people around. The date with Gabri is enchanting, but there's a problem. It turns out they're both Eternals. Vampires, and so both of them wasted a night going for that sweet vein nectar. They refer to blood as nectar. Gabri and Jessica are both pushy jerks and they decide that the better vampire will be able to 'turn' a teen before the other. This requires three feedings spaced out, otherwise the teen would die and the bet would be off.

 

The next day April is helping her parents and twin sisters move in to the summer cabin. It's so much better in Sandy Hollow than in Shadyside! She's happy that her boyfriend Matt's family is coming to the beach again this year, as well as their friend Todd. Todd appears to be ok, even though he lives in one of those dumps on Fear Street.

 

The vampires make their bets, the unsuspecting teens go about visiting arcades, going to pizza shops and visiting the carnival. Will they make it through the summer alive?

 

This was OK. There wasn't much to jeer or cheer. The plot was instantly supernatural, but the vampires are still like bratty kids (take that Stephanie Meyer!). April makes a really strong case for liking her boyfriend, but then proceeds to complain about every one of his interests. Girl, get your priorities straight.

 

I'll keep saying it: these super chillers are only 15 pages longer than regular 'Fear Street' novels, I'm not sure why they didn't just cut some of the banter and descriptions of baggy swim trunks and publish them as part of the main series. In reality, it probably had to do with the publishing schedule of the others, but if publishing more than one a month floods the market how is the different packaging preventing the flood? I don't know.

 

Oh well. I have the sequel on hand, but since this is a 'Fear Street' novel they may not share any characters. We'll see....

 

Fear Street Super Chiller

 

Next: 'Broken Hearts'

 

Previous: 'Silent Night'

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review 2019-09-05 20:11
Silent Scream, Nightmare Hall #1 by Diane Hoh
The Silent Scream (Nightmare Hall) - Diane Hoh

 

Dark Academia Square: The fictional Salem University only has the one accursed dorm, but it inspired 29 books of chills in the mid '90s.

 

The first of a teen thriller/horror series that completely missed my radar back in the day, but is a perfect fit for the season.

 

Jesse is excited to begin college and, as a freshman, was eligible to be a 'monitor' (RA?) of Nightingale Hall, the off-campus house where she and five other freshman will spend the year. Little does she know that it was a tragedy last spring, the suspicious death of a bright young coed, that meant only freshman who didn't know any better applied to live there.

 

The house is described as a three story brick house, with spacious formal rooms and a kitchen downstairs and bedrooms on the second floor. The third floor presumably housed the chaperone, who falls down the stairs early in the book and leaves our youngsters alone in the house for most of the semester.

 

It is not as diverse a group of students as I would have expected, but this was the '90s and only white kids were allowed into Salem University at the time apparently. Of the seven students we have our heroine Jesse who is pretty, but can't afford day-glo clothes like some people, the rich playboy with a beemer, the beautiful overachiever, the loner poet, the girl with the athletic scholarship who loves him, the almost-too-handsome Ian (no other character traits so I had to give him his name) and the nominal adult handyman who lives over the garage and takes night courses.

 

There are supernatural elements that defy explanation - shredded swimsuits and shattered glass, etc. - but this is mostly a straight-forward teen thriller about abusive boyfriends (they're ALL about abusive boyfriends) and whether or not Ian will invite Jesse to the Fall Ball.

 

This had some fun nostalgic elements that reminded me a bit about college - the textbook bill though, urgh - and would have appealed to the young readers who could fantasize about their own "grown-up" college days to come.

 

As a bonus, 'Nightmare Hall', like early V.C. Andrews books, had die-cut covers that hinted at a cool frontispiece. Poor blonde Giselle lies face-down in her lavender bedroom, that day-glo yellow halter top couldn't save her.

 

Nighmare Hall


Next: 'The Roommate'

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review 2019-08-12 19:17
High Tide, Fear Street Super Chiller #12
High Tide - R.L. Stine

A plot with genuine surprises and my admiration for some totally legitimate psychiatric practices combats with my absolute disgust for the relationship dynamics present in 'High Tide' makes for a noice Super Chiller! I remember the Super Chiller's being, uh, bigger, but its literally 16 more pages. Was the Super part, the Maturity of the protagonists? Everyone's in college and living in apartments or rented cottages with roommates. 

 

Adam can't stop thinking about how his girlfriend Mitzi drowned last summer, and about how it was all his fault. He's haunted by vivid nightmares of that fateful water scooter ride and awake he has hallucinations of missing limbs, phantom scooters, and dead girls. For some reason he and his doctor still feel he's adequate as a lifeguard at Logan Beach....

 

Another lifeguard and erstwhile buddy is Sean, who is violently jealous about his "girlfriend" Alyce, whose every word and gesture indicates she wants nothing to do with him. He entertains Adam with a story about how he once almost beat a guy to death for going out with his girl after a slow campaign of escalating threats. He tells Adam to not look at Alyce again. Fun guy.

 

Adam's current girlfriend is Leslie, who has some anger problems of her own, albeit a trifle more legitimate. She totally freaks out when Adam breaks a date with her, saying he isn't feeling well, being mentally ill and all, and she sees him holding hands with some floozy from the beach. She should really just calm down.

 

Rounding out the main cast is Adam's womanizer roommate Ian who consistently borrows all of Adam's clothes, his car, and doesn't buy groceries. But, he doesn't complain too much when Adam's screams wake him up in the night, so he's a keeper.

There are a couple of fellow Shadyside alums, Joy and Raina, who show up on the beach for a good time and then there's TV Psychiatrist Dr Thall who has been working with Adam for a year on those nightmares and may resort to some experimental treatments....

 

No one in this book deserves to be in the horrific, toxic relationship hell they are in. It was stunning. Sean's behavior is supposed to be disturbing, but where Stine ends up going with it....wow. The 1990s were not that long ago, but a whole lot more was tolerable. I enjoyed the insane plot twists, but its the couples that will keep me up at night. This should really get five batshit stars, but I just can't.

 

Fear Street Super Chiller

 

Next: 'Cheerleaders: The Evil Lives!'

 

Previous: 'Silent Night 3'

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review 2019-08-11 19:53
Truth or Dare, Fear Street #28
Truth or Dare - R.L. Stine

April sure is glad she sat next to Dara in that science lab. She doesn't know Dara that well, she only just moved to Shadyside, but she's loaded. She invited April to come to her family's ski cabin for the weekend - vacation cabins are, like, the number one murder sites but ok - and allowed April to invite Jenny and Ken, too. Jenny and Ken are the most beautiful people April has ever seen, they're so amazing, but she's sick of them making out in front of her all the time. In the limo that was sent to pick them up, is also Dara's friend Josh, who is cute in a nerdy way.

 

Dara meets them at the cabin - but it turns out Dara's parents couldn't make it! Also, Dara's family apparently shares the cabin with another family and their son Tony and his girlfriend Carly Rae are there by mistake, but have already made out in every room. Dara's none to pleased, but decides to make the best of mixed company with a little party game.

 

There are few shockingly over the top reactions to the truths that are shared, but other than April admitting she knows something she doesn't want to know, it all seems innocuous until the horror begins the next morning!

 

This brings us back to standard thriller territory, but I liked how April not only had some mean comments about everyone in her head, but totally took charge of the situation in-between freaking out about that murder stuff. At one point she leads the interrogation of the suspect, coolly making herself a cup of coffee before sitting down at the table. Right on April, but readers will have to find out for themselves if you can survive.

 

Fear Street

 

Next: 'Dead End'

 

Previous: 'Wrong Number 2'

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review 2019-08-09 19:07
Night Games, Fear Street #40
Night Games - R.L. Stine

Yeeesssss, this is what I'm talking about! 'Night Games' has a great pay-off.

 

Diane Brown is not your typical Fear Street heroine. She's apparently the ugly friend even though she has all the boys coming after her. Her scraggly blonde hair and poor clothes have nothing on her friend Cassie's red hair and model looks. Diane does have the requisite rage-fueled boyfriend, Lenny. Gauging from the cover though, Diane does seem to be a bit hard on herself. Also, why is she going into a cemetery with Lenny? They never go near a cemetery in this book. Huh.

 

The book opens with Diane, Lenny, Cassie and Cassie's boyfriend Jordan walking home late one cold night after dancing at Red Heat. They're surprised to see an old friend of theirs, Spencer, climb out the upper window of a darkened house and approach them. Is he a burglar now?! Naw, he's just sneaking out late and causing mischief! He calls it his Night Games. The boys are all in, and the girls reluctantly agree. They get into it later.

 

The Night Games get serious when the the pranks begin focusing on Mr. Crowell, the hardass math teacher who lives alone, has excellent taste in home furnishings and really, really loves Christmas. Uh-oh. What are they going to do to the gay man's house? Fear Street needs gay dollars to gentrify!

 

The book focuses on Diane's poor choice in boyfriends, because of course an ex gets involved and there's some history with Spencer, too; homework and lab partners; and academic probation; but stick with it! This turned into my favorite Fear Street book. I'm not even gonna hint.

 

Fear Street:

 

Next: 'Runaway'

 

Previous: 'Boy Next Door'

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