The first time I came across R.L. Stine was when my older sister and her friends were watching Goosebumps. I was like 5, so I totally have a reason for freaking out and a ton load of nightmares.
Anyways. Fast forward a few years, and my sister — now a teen — gets into the Fear Street books. She brings some home and begins sharing them with me, and being a precocious and VERY curious preteen I started flipping through them.
Suffice to say it was love at first read.
My first books were the Fear Street: Cheerleaders series.
And then I basically devoured any of the books I could get from the library — which didn’t have the complete series of 50+ books, so that sucked.
Fast forward again to late 2014. At this point all I had to show for my love of R.L. Stine’s amazing series about a certain infamous street were 6 books from the series (7, but one of my friends never returned The Boyfriend).
Imagine my shock when I learned the king of children and teen horror had returned with a new set of Fear Street titles that Fall.
My reaction in a nutshell.
But for some strange reason my desire to get the books took a backseat as life sorta screamed “shotgun”!
Anyways, I finally found some time to get the 2 new Fear Street titles currently available to readers (with a 3rd slated for Halloween 2015 and the 4th for April 2016).
So, without further ado, here’s the review for book 1, Party Games:
One thing I loved about the Fear Street titles is that a lot of the books, excluding any of the self-contained series like the Fear Street Cheerleaders or the Fear Street: House of Evil, could be read out of order. Like you could pick up book #25: One Evil Summer and read it before book #5: The Wrong Number.
I did a lot of that in the series, so that was cool. It’s the same thing here pretty much. Party Games doesn’t require you hunt down the older titles published in the 90s and early 2000s. Party Games follows the story of Rachel Martin who has a huge crush on Brendan Fear, even when she knows the rumors of the Fear family in Shadyside.
But Rachel can’t say no when Brendan personally invites her to his 18th birthday bash. Being quite rich, Brendan’s parties are exclusive and supposedly wildly fun. Rachel wants to experience first-hand…and suss out Brendan’s burgeoning interest in her at the same time.
So on a stormy Saturday afternoon, Rachel, along with the other few partygoers set sail for the Fear family’s private property on Fear Island. As soon as Rachel hits the island’s beach, the first blood is spilled.
R.L. Stine does not disappoint. Rachel faces chapters-worth of frightening encounters. The mystery of the bloodshed and murders hurtles towards a surprising twist. And I fondly recalled why I loved the stories about Shadyside.
Now technically this story doesn’t take place on the legendary Shadyside street named after the purportedly sinister (and ridiculously wealthy) Fear family, but it’s definitely scary…or at least scary enough to appeal to your pre-teen spirit. Though given the amount of people watching GoT and the Walking Dead, I have to go ahead and warn that this book won’t necessarily induce nightmares if you’re a 20-something-plus. BUT then again it probably won’t scare any 12-year-olds today either.
In a couple parts of the book some information seemed off, like a change in wall paper (from green to blue) or this…
Not everyone is accounted for in the party. Two kids are missing from everyone sent to the basement…
Despite all these points, Party Games is an entertaining, quick read! And an introduction to the horror fiction beginner at best.
Brendan sounded cute enough for me to crush on through the book.
Rachel wasn’t annoying — nor was she the TSTL female character in horror novels (*ahem*Paris*ahem*).
The plot twist wasn’t cheesy.
Great pacing in building up Rachel’s horror leading up to the said twist (although sometimes I wished it sped up, it was never in a bad way, but more in the I-can’t-wait-to-see-what-happens-next-and-I-just-hope-Brendan-doesn’t-die).
I didn’t always get along with the dialogue.
Sometimes Brendan didn’t sound 18. Or not any 18-year-old in the 21st century.
Maybe I’m getting older, but the scare tactics sometimes fell short.
I have to admit though the taxidermy thing freaked me out.
And oddly enough I watched The Haunting 2 right after finishing this book.
Why are the sport of stuffing animals…and people…following me?!
Oh and don’t get me started with the tale of the 18th century Fear family hunting party picking off their slaves.
Wrapping this up, I recommend reading Party Games if you can stomach mild horror, some kissing, and…the taxidermy thing is totally intriguing you.
Come on, admit it — you want to know what I’m talking about.