The New Girl (Fear Street #1) by R.L. Stine- 5 stars!
Today’s Tea Choice: Starbucks seasonal salted caramel mocha coffee
Trigger Warnings: death, violence, gore, dog attack, minor animal death scene
The new girl is as pale as a ghost, blond, and eerily beautiful -- and she seems to need him as much as he wants her. Cory Brooks hungers for Anna Corwin's kisses, drowns in her light blue eyes. He can't get her out of his mind. He has been losing sleep, ditching his friends...and everyone has noticed. Then as suddenly as she came to Shadyside High, Anna disappears. To find a cure for his obsession, Cory must go to Anna's house on Fear Street -- no matter what the consequences. Anna may be the love of his life ... but finding out her secret might mean his death.
It’s my favorite time of year: Halloween! And what better way to celebrate the season than with some classic horror? While R.L. Stine is known for the Goosebump series, readers may not know about his YA series, Fear Street.
What I loved:
Plot/Pacing: Right away, Stine starts off in media res, right in the middle of the action. Within the first page, Anna is introduced and this instantly creates a sense intrigue. I also appreciated that each chapter builds upon the mystery with terrifying events and good suspense! Not to ruin anything, but the ending was a big shock as well. Throughout the novel, Cory starts off having a crush on Anna, but when he realizes things aren’t adding up, it becomes an obsession, furthering the thriller/horror genre.
Setting: The setting in this story was also well described. The high school, with its loud noises and rowdy teens, adds a layer of authenticity to the novel. Some readers may be confused by the old tech references like a Walkman, but otherwise, you can immerse yourself in this world. The high school is in Shadyside, a quaint town filled with picturesque homes and manicured lawns. But an ugly stain lies in all this beauty: The Fear Street woods. When Cory discovers Anna lives there, the reader really gets suspicious and wants to find out the truth alongside the protagonist!
Characters: All the characters were well written, especially the protagonist Cory. Although some may find they can’t relate to him based on his athletic and outgoing nature, I still enjoyed reading about his journey and obsessive state.
What needed improvement:
Some younger readers may find it difficult to relate to this time period, especially with no cell phones or social media. There are references to answering machines, dialing the operator for info, and a Walkman.
I also found it a bit ridiculous when Cory finds out the truth about Anna but is in denial and just wants to kiss her. Lastly, some of the transitions were a bit jarring. A major event would happen and then the novel moved onto another chapter, sometimes creating reader whiplash.
Authors Can Learn:
How to build suspense throughout a novel
Include horror elements appropriate for a YA audience
The elements of a twist ending
Readers Will love This For:
A terrifying story of a crush gone wrong and the intro to a great series.
I still enjoyed this super creepy novel and hope to post more of the fear street series in the future!
I give this book 5 stars.