This list is full of winners and it was also the hardest so far in terms of picking a first place. I kept going back and forth because we’re talking about two perfect Fear Street fives with intricate stories and shocking twists by the end. Two Super Chillers, two perfect fives and zero misses. This is one Fear Street list you won’t want to miss! 😉
“Broken Hearts” (Super Chiller)
Fear Street Scale: 5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Second Place
“Roses are red, corpses are blue. On Valentine’s Day, you’ll die too!”
There’s someone who kills on Valentine’s Day, out there, lurking. Josie and Melissa are scared when they receive threatening valentines… and then the murders begin. Who is sending these horrible valentines and who will be the next to die?
“Broken Hearts” is a book that is full of surprises. I never expected the story to go in the direction that it did, but I am not the least bit disappointed. The book spans seventeen months and is the first book in the series to cover such a long timeline (besides the Fear Street Saga books, obviously). It begins in September when a horrible accident takes place changing the lives of Josie, her sisters Rachel and Erica, and her best friend Melissa, forever. I still can’t get the screaming at the end of the prologue out of my head – it followed me throughout the entire book. Five months later, all of them have drifted apart just trying to forget the painful past they shared on that fateful day. Then the valentines come. At first it seems like a sick joke, until the murders begin, carrying out the promise of each valentine. Can Josie and Melissa survive Valentine’s Day or will the next one be their last?
This was originally ranked first, but there is no shame in being a close second. This is one of the better Super Chillers by far! It is a story with depth, about pain – all kinds. I could not figure out who the killer was and while it was one of the people I considered, I had a list of suspects! Like trilogies, the main characters are not necessarily safe. The end is chilling and as horrifying as the killer’s actions are, you can’t help but empathize at the same time. Lives are ruined, lives are lost – Happy Valentine’s Day!
Fear Street Scale: 4.5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Third Place
Carter Phillips is under a lot of pressure to ace her math achievement exam. The pressure gets to her so much that she gets Adam Messner to take the test for her in exchange for one date. But afterwards, Adam wants much more than one date and Carter has no choice. She has to do whatever he asks or he’ll tell her secret and ruin her life. Soon Adam’s control gets more and more unbearable. Carter is desperate to get rid of him… is murder the only way out?
This book is the very first book of what I call Fear Street 1.5 (I debate on whether “Broken Hearts” is old school or Fear Street 1.5, but this is at least the first regular Fear Street 1.5 book) and is the Fear Street version of a psychological thriller. Carter is likeable because she is one of the most real and authentic characters of Fear Street so far. She is an overall good person with very real flaws and lots of good choices with a few major bad ones mixed in for good measure. Her dad is a judge and he puts way too much pressure on his daughter, so that aspect of the story is not just in her head. She is an only child and his father expects nothing but perfection from her. She also doesn’t seek Adam out, he approaches her and the whole thing is his idea. It doesn’t make it any less wrong, but she is hardly the mastermind behind it. It soon becomes clear Adam thought this out well as he makes demands beyond their original date almost immediately. They include, but are not limited to, giving him her expensive jewelry, stealing things from her parents, giving him cash, inviting him to the exclusive country club she belongs to and breaking dates with her boyfriend. When her thoughts move to murder, she dismisses them as crazy, but then an actual murder does take place. And Carter, who is clearly out of sorts over everything to do with Adam, is the main suspect.
Stine does a great job of playing off Carter’s inherit good nature as much as he is at playing up her poor choices that spin out of control, leaving her desperate. Desperation is what this book explores and what it is all about. Carter is convinced she is not the killer, but at times even doubts herself and her sanity, causing the reader to have similar doubts. The who, how and why of this book may not be completely shocking, but they are certainly unexpected. Pick up this book if you’re fan (or even if you’re not). You’ll love the ride!
Fear Street Scale: 5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: First Place
When Claudia Walker accepted her friend Marla’s invitation to spend the weekend at her beach house she was expecting soaking up the rays and getting the perfect tan. Instead, horrible accidents occur on the beach and inside the house; accidents that could easily be fatal. But Claudia is sure they are not “accidents”. Someone is out to get them, to kill them and suddenly what should have been fun in the sun, turns dark and deadly.
Claudia, Joy and Sophie have not seen Marla in a year, since summer camp and that fateful night her younger sister plummeted to her death. It was a horrible accident, a dare gone horribly wrong, but the girls are still surprised to hear from Marla. They always figured she blamed them for not stopping things before they got out of hand, even if it was Marla who made the dare in the first place. The girls are all eager to reconnect and catch-up, but the fun weekend promised is far from what is in store for them at Marla’s house. Boating accidents, being buried alive, absolutely fried, waking up to blood sucking parasites feeding, drowning and electrocutions are just a few of the things the girls find instead. They are certain Marla knows about what happened after she left them with her sister and wants them all to pay with their lives. When storms roll in on the isolated beach – there is no way out!
“Sunburn” is a real scream. Correction, it is several screams, one after another, with no signs of stopping until everyone is out of that house and the murderer is revealed! And that is perhaps the best part, because despite their suspicions, that would be too easy. The killer is someone you won’t see coming and that ‘aha’ moment is chillingly sweet. This book is so great, it beat out one of the best Super Chillers I have shared so far. So, you know you have to read this – yesterday! 😉
“Silent Night 2”
Fear Street Scale: 4 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Fourth Place
Reva Dalby promised to be nicer after last year’s horrors. But a spoiled, rich and beautiful girl like her always thinks she can have anything – or anyone – she wants and never pay, until now… It’s payback time – someone is out to kidnap Reva. This year, Santa is bringing Reva a little holiday fear and just around the corner is the biggest and most horrifying Christmas gift of all – murder. And it’s all hers!
This book is a sequel to Fear Street’s second Super Chiller “Silent Night” (Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #6 – Fear Street Books 14-18). This is the first sequel in the series and in terms of the story it matches and perhaps even surpasses the original. That being said, it also manages to ruin the original and not help itself in the process because of Reva (her character). I discussed in the original’s review how I was happy that Stine fleshed out her character the way that he did. On the surface she is a total bitch. Snobby, self-centered and with no sense of human decency or the real world (even Scrooge would be like, “Damn, girl!” before his own transformation that fateful Christmas). In the first book, Stine showed us that she wasn’t always like that, but after her mother died she shut down. It was her defense to not feel that kind of pain again. This was shown over and over and after the first book’s horrors, Reva genuinely changed, or more accurately became her old, likeable, self again…
In this book, she is even worse than she was in the first book! The difference is we have been through this song and dance before and it becomes clear that Reva just can’t help herself. Even though this story has much more suspense and a more interesting plot than the original, it is hard to care about such a wretched girl. In the first book we see glimpses of someone who is acting terribly in a misguided attempt to shield herself from pain, but who is actually fairly decent deep down. In this book Reva is nothing but surface and when you scratch it away – more surface. The writing and the story are there, but because of who Reva turned out to be, this book only left me feeling sad. (And just so you know, there is a “Silent Night 3” and no I haven’t read it yet, but it just goes to show some people can’t change their horrible stripes.)
And that is the first official list of Fear Street 1.5. Not too shabby, huh? I know there are only four books covered as opposed to the usual five. Just like with my Sweet Valley High posts, I am going to cover three to four books so these blogs don’t end up being the length of a novel. 😉 Spoiler Alert: The next Fear Street book list is even better than this one! Stay tuned! 🙂