Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fear Street Relaunch #1-2

After nearly 20 years, R.L. Stine has decided to revisit his young adult series, Fear Street. With well over 100 books previously released based on Fear Street, including spin-offs, Stine said that he was stoked to "explore new horrors."  The first book in the new series being Party Games, released September 30th, 2014 and the fourth book, Can You Keep A Secret? is expected to drop in April of this year. 

Party Games (Fear Street Relaunch #1)

19286536Goodreads summary: "Her friends warn her not to go to Brendan Fear's birthday party at his family's estate on mysterious Fear Island. But Rachel Martin has a crush on Brendan and is excited to be invited. Brendan has a lot of party games planned. But one game no one planned intrudes on his party—the game of murder. As the guests start dying one by one, Rachel realizes to her horror that she and the other teenagers are trapped on the tiny island with someone who may want to kill them all. How to escape this deadly game? Rachel doesn't know whom she can trust. She should have realized that nothing is as it seems… on Fear Island" 

First going into this book I didn't really know what to expect. I had obviously read the summary before picking it up, but knowing that Stine had a huge fan base with the original series, and having never known he relaunched it until just recently (I heard no talk or publicity around it) I was a little concerned.
The book started off a little slow, would get intriguing, than went back to being underwhelming. But when the story got going, it sure got going, in fact it escalated rather quickly. The twists and turns in the story were rather entertaining in themselves but when it got to part four I no longer knew what to think of the story. The twist itself wasn't a bad idea (go Stine), but I felt like the execution was a little off. I still can't quit put my finger on what was off about the ending for me, maybe it seemed a little like Stine himself wasn't completely sure where he wanted to go with it. I will say though, it's a pretty entertaining, short read that would be a good read for someone getting out of a reading slump.
I have seen people make the comparison of the book being a rip-off to the old horror film April Fool's Day, but since I have never seen the movie I can't confirm nor deny the similarities.

Don't Stay Up Late (Fear Street Relaunch #2)

21853677Goodreads summary: "Ever since a car accident killed her father and put Lisa and her mother into the hospital, Lisa can't think straight. She's plagued by nightmares and hallucinations that force her to relive the accident over and over again in vivid detail. When Lisa finds out that a neighbor is looking for a babysitter for her young son, she takes the job immediately, eager to keep busy and shake these disturbing images from her head.  But what promised to be an easy gig turns terrifying when Lisa begins to question exactly who — or what — she is babysitting." 

This was actually the first Fear Street Relaunch book that I read and my expectations were not very high. When I was younger I read some of the Goosebumps books but I never really got into the Fear Street books. There were just so many...
Going into this book I was pretty interested about reading a book that kind of played on the whole 'things that go bump in the night' ideas. Plus it had been awhile since I had read a mystery or 'horror' book of any kind. The story itself was about as interesting as I thought it would be; nothing mind-blowing but a pretty fun read. Again, it would a good easy book to get you out of a reading slump. I enjoyed where the story went and Lisa was an interesting enough character to follow. Even though this was a recently written and published book, it still reads like the original books, and even though its classified under YA it feels like a middle school horror book; not very frightening when your'e 19. However, my only main problem with the book as a whole was that I felt as thought there was a lack in interesting characters. You get to really know Lisa, but only touch on her friends and family a little bit. Also, the book lacks a little substance for older readers, but I can definitely see how a younger audience may devour these stories. 

Overall I would definitely recommend the books so far to younger audiences, especially those who love horror, and reluctant readers. For me the first two books were fast fun reads and I would be interested to read the third (The Lost Girl) and fourth (Can You Keep A Secret?) as well. I don't know how many books Stine plans on adding to the relaunch, but as of right now I am interested in what more he has to add to the series. 

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