It’s been a long time since I have had an actual Fear Street post. Not one of a miniseries within the Fear Street universe, but the original, no substitutions real deal Fear Street. This post is special because it features my favorite Fear Street book of all time. It was my favorite ten years ago, and even after all of the new books I’ve read since, continues to be my favorite. It’s one Fear Street book I think everyone should read. Don’t miss it! 😉
Fear Street Scale: 4 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Third Place
Diane loves sneaking out in the middle of the night, and her friends do too. Late at night, they have the town all to themselves, and every night they come up with a new prank to play. But when Diane’s boyfriend, Lenny, wants revenge on a teacher, the pranks turn to murder. Now Diane and her friends are in too deep, much too deep… with no way out.
This was a book that I had never read before, and I was really excited to. Sneaking out in the middle of the night, dangerous practical jokes… it all seemed so intriguing. It all starts when Diane’s friend, Spencer returns to Shadyside. He used to be friends with everyone in Diane’s crowd, everyone except Diane’s boyfriend Lenny. The book flips between the present and the last time Diane saw Spencer. It matters later on. All of the pranks are committed against a teacher that everyone hates, and like the back cover promises, eventually that teacher ends up dead.
Diane and her friends receive threatening notes and phone calls about their night games, even before they turn deadly, but this felt like an afterthought, because it wasn’t played up enough to garner any actual tension. Diane was likeable enough as a narrator, but her best friend Cassie, actually was a more interesting character. (I found myself more invested in Cassie than Diane, which has not happened before and was kind of weird.) I also wish the night games were more… well just more. They seem fairly limited, which was disappointing.
Still this book was classic Fear Street: a fast read, some false leads and real danger with some potentially supernatural elements. But perhaps that was this book’s greatest drawback. It followed a formula that R.L. Stine has used on at least two other recent books. So, I figured out everything after only a third of the way through the book. With as many Fear Streets books that he has already written, I know always coming up with something new or original may be hard, but in this instance, he doesn’t even change any of the details or circumstances to properly recycle an idea and have it still seem fresh.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked this book. Everything I love about Fear Street was in this book. I just wish it wasn’t so predictable.
“Silent Night 3” (Super Chiller)
Fear Street Scale: 4.5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Second Place
Rich and snobby Reva Dalby is back in Shadyside. She’s home from college for Christmas break and she’s bored. Then Reva throws a fashion show, featuring holiday scarves that she takes credit for. She is having a great time telling the models in her show what to do – until they start dying one by one – strangled with the same scarves in Reva’s show. Reva isn’t bored anymore – now she is terrified, and that’s good. Because this year she has gone too far. And someone is watching Reva – when she’s sleeping, when she’s awake… until she’s dead.
I don’t understand why R.L. Stine thinks that “Silent Night” (See – Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #6 – Fear Street Books 14-18 –Silent Night) was worthy of a sequel, because “Silent Night 2” (Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Guilty Pleasure Edition #12 – Fear Street Books 27-30 – Silent Night 2) destroyed the ending of the original, which was its only redeeming quality. And now there is “Silent Night 3” which tries to prove that the third time is the charm? Once again, Reva Dalby has not learned from past traumatic events and is worse than ever. Like, I didn’t think she could get any worse after the original, but she did in the sequel and now she makes the person she was in “Silent Night 2” look like a frigging martyr. How can a 200+ page book be suspenseful when you want the main protagonist to die by page 5? Like I seriously wanted her to go. In fact my mind kept griping, “I want her to die now, I really have to read 200 pages of her not dying fast enough?” It irritated me.
Despite this problem, however, this book was the best “Silent Night” installment as far as plot, surprises and actual thrills. It kicked the previous installment’s ass, and let’s not speak of the original – at all. But this book has a lot going on, not too much, but enough to stay interested and zip through the pages. First there is Reva’s college roommate, Grace, who Reva invited to spend the holidays at the Dalby’s house. Grace is there because she has a crazy ex-boyfriend who is stalking her after she broke up with him and he doesn’t like the word, “No.” Last time he caught up with her, he beat her up. Then there is Reva’s recently former boyfriend Daniel. He shows up in Shadyside to surprise her and she acts like she has no idea who he is, calls the cops and has him arrested (hey, I warned you she was something more than just a bitch, there is a special place in hell waiting).
And then there is her cousin, Pam, and Pam’s creepy friend Willow. They designed these fabulous scarves and show Reva in hopes that she’ll talk to her father about selling them at Dalbys Department Store. And Reva does, but claims that SHE designed them. She dangles the promise of Pam and Willow making a lot of money on the scarves as a way to keep them quiet, but then Reva won’t draw up a contract, planning to not only screw them out of the fame their popular designs could generate, but actual profit as well. This was especially infuriating to me because back in the day Reva and Pam were besties, at least until Reva lost her soul. Pam’s side of the family is poor and has no money at all. And Reva and her father apparently don’t care. But Pam saved Reva’s life in the first book. And then in the second book Pam is kidnapped and Reva and her father acted like paying the ransom would be giving in to terrorists and they refused. Mr. Dalby didn’t give a shit until Reva was kidnapped and suddenly he was all about paying a ransom. But he didn’t have to because Pam saved Reva again. And Reva keeps being super nasty to Pam. For example, Pam wants to go to college so Reva keeps going on and on about how lucky Pam is not going to college, just to add some sting. So Reva screwing her poor cousin out of money that is rightfully hers after she has saved Reva’s life TWICE, really made me want to cut a bitch.
Needless to say there is a long list of suspects and I have to say for once I wasn’t exactly sure who was actually after Reva and why. And who the killer was and if these two things were related. Stine finally got a “Silent Night” book right and it is full of everything the first two lacked: action, suspense, and a few killer surprises before it’s through. If you haven’t read the first two – don’t. Just read this book and you’ll be plenty satisfied.
Fear Street Scale: 5 out of 5 Fears
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: First Place
Felicia needed somewhere to hide, and she picked Shadyside. It sounded like such a nice, quiet town – the perfect place for a runaway like her. Nobody there would know about her dark powers or what she had done. For once she could be a normal girl. She could finally be safe. She was sure nothing bad could ever happen there, but she was wrong. Someone in Shadyside has discovered Felicia’s secret. Someone knows about the awful things her powers made her do. Felicia doesn’t want to run away again, but soon it becomes clear what she is running to may be worse than what she is running from. And if she stays she might lose control again, and then people would start to die…
Way back in the day when I devoured every Fear Street book I could get my hands on, I read this book. In fact it was the only book this entire post that I had read before. Back then it was my favorite Fear Street book ever, and even though I have read a lot of new Fear Street books for this blog, this book still reigns supreme. So, Felicia is running away because she thinks police are after her and everyone has turned against her, after her friends died. It was an accident, but she caused their deaths, or more accurately her power caused their deaths. I debated on saying what Felicia’s powers are, but you find out in the first twenty pages, so I’m just going to say: Felicia is telekinetic, but I am tempted to say she can just make things happen, because some of the things she does seems to go beyond my understanding of telekinesis. Carrie has nothing on this girl.
This book is the epitome of suspense. First there the focus is on Felicia’s powers and what Felicia did. Then someone finds out the truth about Felicia and stalks her, leaving her threats until they finally try to kill her. Then there is a great reveal and the reader discovers that everything they thought they knew before may not be true after all. This book feels like a second wind because everything is fresher. The characters, the dialogue, it is just better writing that makes this book stand apart. And then there is Felicia. Oh my God, this girl is smooth, and I love it! She is the everyday girl next door, who is forced to suddenly live like a fugitive. She has smarts, totally street savvy, and can be a little con artist when she needs to be. Such as how she finds shelter, and enrolling herself in the local high school (not actually scamming people or doing harm in any way). She’s tough, sassy, yet sensitive. Brave, yet extremely vulnerable. She is a better character than most of the characters in the Fear Street universe.
Finally, this book has the ultimate showdown. Like there was never a better showdown written, that I have ever read before. Even reading it a third time, I’m like, “Damn.” The final twist is sharp, and I never saw it coming the first time around. What happens post-showdown is incredibly original, and the ending was perfect. It didn’t end with some cheesy line, but brought everything full circle. This is a book everyone should read, from a Fear Street virgin to a total fan who has already read it a couple of times. Fear Street at its best! 🙂
There you have it, one of the strongest Fear Street lists in awhile, not to mention a perfect 5 out of 5 fears (it’s been 17 books since that happened). It’s been awhile since I read classic Fear Street and these books did not disappoint, but only reminded me of how much I love the series, and how sad I’ll be when it is finally over (and we’re getting there believe it or not). Until next time! 🙂