Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fear Street Relaunch - Don't Stay Up Late and The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine

Oh, Fear Street. I remember coming across these at my elementary school book fair in third grade. Haunted was my first of the series and, I think, my first official horror purchase! In my first few reading years, I devoured as many of these as I could, switching off between R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike and any other interesting horror covers I could find in our bookstore's one bay of young adult selections. It's a memory I share with a LOT of other readers my age, I know.

It's fun to see that Fear Street is getting a comeback. Stine and St. Martins have relaunched the series with three titles so far - Party Games, Don't Stay Up Late, and the very recently released The Lost Girl  - bringing the horrors of Fear Street alive for a new set of readers. And offering a bit of nostalgia for those of us who grew up with it in the first place. 

I had the pleasure of settling in with two of them this week - Don't Stay Up Late and The Lost Girl and wanted to do a little post in these days leading up to Halloween. 

In Don't Stay Up Late, Lisa and her mother barely survive a tragic accident that claims Lisa's father. After such a trauma, it's no wonder Lisa would be shaken up. So when Lisa starts having frightening nightmares, it's immediately chalked up as a side effect from the accident. 

Lisa's doctor suggests she find something to occupy her time and her mind as she heals, referring Lisa to a woman she knows is in need of a babysitter. And though the woman's house is on Fear Street, Lisa doesn't believe the rumors. But when her nightmares start to come alive, she has to wonder - are the stories about Fear Street true or is she losing her mind?

So Lisa is seeing monsters and no one believes her. As the reader, we're not even sure if WE can believe her either. After all, the monster only shows up when she's basically alone and no one else has ever seen it. Seems pretty coincidental, right? 

And if we know anything from reading Fear Street, anything is possible. Lisa may very well be as crazy as she thinks she is. 

I won't tell, though. 

Rating: 3/5

In The Lost Girl, Michael is drawn to new girl Lizzy for reasons even he can't explain. Sure, she's hot. But so is his girlfriend, Pepper. But Lizzy seems to show up, all the time and it's started to get on Pepper's nerves. 

Then Lizzy invites herself along on an afternoon of snowboarding and things take a dark turn. What happened that afternoon was only an accident, but now it seems someone wants Michael and his friends to pay. With their lives!

The Lost Girl is actually split between 1950, where we begin in the tale, and today. In 1950 we meet Beth, a girl whose father has just opened a brand new stable in Shadyside. Beth has a secret, an ability she hasn't shared with anyone else. But Beth's story doesn't end well at all. 

We cut to present day where Michael witnesses Lizzy (he doesn't know her name yet) shoplifting. And then he runs into her again at school. Of course we - and Pepper - can clearly see how Lizzy is manipulating Michael, basically stalking him. But it isn't until the end that we really find out why. 

Rating: 3/5

I had a lot of fun diving into these this week. Again, a lot of that is nostalgia. The new books fit the same format as the old ones, leading readers astray with false leads and twists galore. I probably enjoyed Don't Stay Up Late a bit more than The Lost Girl if only because The Lost Girl seemed cut short; I felt like there should have been more to the story.

I love the fact that they've brought the books back but I'm not sure they'd hold the same charm for me if I didn't have such fond memories of reading the series all those years ago. Either way, I'm glad they're getting a comeback. Fear Street is one weird place and I'm sure there are a ton more stories Stine can tell about it!

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