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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Party Games: A Fear Street Novel

Because Fear Street was a staple of my childhood. Because R. L. Stine changed the game for a lot of us as youth. Because without that man my love of murder and mayhem (and true crime) may not have existed. These are the reasons why I waited in line for so long to meet the man himself and to score an advanced autographed copy of Party Games at BEA last May. Worth. It.

Rachel is just an average girl living in Shadyside, working to help her parents out after her father loses his job. When the handsome Brendan Fear, of the infamous Fear family, invites her to his birthday party on the remote Fear Island, she gets weak in the knees and of course accepts readily. The party starts off great, if you consider the boat pilot hitting his head and drowning "great." The party only goes downhill from there when people start dying in the spooky mansion--meaning they all have a chance of being next.

This book was everything you love about Fear Street. It was delicious and savory, half hilarious reading it from an adult perspective and half indulgent reading it from an adult perspective. I realized while reading it that my mother must have either been off her rocker for letting me read these as a kid (I am talking, like, eight years old!) or else she just really had no clue what they were about. There are actual murders here, guys. The Fear Street series is like that, though. I am thankful my mom was so open to her bookworm daughter's eclectic (and slightly morbid) tastes. (Thanks, Mom. You are the best.)

(Remember the cheerleader series? That was the best.)

As per Stine, there is a bit of a twist about two-thirds of the way through, and the story turns sharply in another direction. It was pretty entertaining for a rainy day in, and I have to say I will not be attending any birthday parties in remote mansions any time soon. I did, however, have a blast dipping back into this series that I loved as a child. I adore how Stine updated his work seamlessly, almost as if no time has passed. He integrates current technology and teen-worldliness that feels natural and not at all as if he is trying to make it current. He also has a knack for current pop culture that is very impressive. The murders are all themed as "party games" from your childhood. Seriously delightful.

It's what makes the man a YA list genius.

Can we go ahead and get another installment, please, R. L.? xx, Nicole

Hard copy for purchase below. Or else.

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