Review of “The Lost Girl” (Fear Street Relaunch #3) by R.L. Stine

Stine, R.L. The Lost Girl. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2015. 

Hardcover | $17.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1250051639 | 261 pages | YA Mystery/Horror

3 stars

In antcipation of Halloween (and with the next session of our class on YA materials being on Halloween), I decided to read one of the newer Fear Street books, especially since the older ones, along with Goosebumps, were one of my brief obsessions when I was growing up and I wanted to see if and how the series had changed. And formula-wise, it is pretty much the same, with not a lot to recommend to an older audience. But, given that some in the older audience may also be approaching it with  a sense of nostalgia, there may be some elements that might appeal to them as well.

One of the things I enjoyed was that the original ambiance of the series, with there being creepy things that can’t be explained that are rooted in the dark past of Fear Street was kept, while also trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in terms of what the teenagers were interested in and their priorities. I enjoyed that, even if it does require an extreme suspension of disbelief, this remained consistent, even decades later, despite the fact that Stine probably is one of the authors who probably also employs ghostwriters.

However, I did question some of the structural choices, as it didn’t really work for me. It might work for someone else in its intended audience, but for me, the extended “prologue” section made the plot twists seem a bit lame and anticlimactic. The only one that I thought was well-executed was the reason behind all the “accidents” that befall Michael’s circle of friends, as the reason why leads to a moral quandary that I did not expect from this otherwise lackluster plot.

As I said before, I would say this isn’t really a book that a lot of the older crowd will really enjoy if they’re looking for a story that makes sense. But I think, for something of a nostalgia trip into the world of Fear Street, this isn’t completely terrible.


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