Hello, Spongey here.
Before Goosebumps, RL Stine hit it big with Fear Street. This was a teen horror series about the titular street, in the town of Shadyside.
Here, have a wikiepdia infodump
The Fear Street books take place in Shadyside, a fictional city located somewhere on the East Coast, and feature average teenagers, and encounter malignant, sometimes paranormal, adversaries. While some of the Fear Street novels have paranormal elements, such as ghosts, others are simply murder mysteries.. the deaths presented in Fear Street, particularly the sagas, are far more gruesome, with more blood and gore.
The Wrong Number, for example, has a CHAINSAW DEATH
The title of the series comes from the name of a fictional street in Shadyside, which was named after the Fear family. And that story is long and told in the Fear Street saga books
What’s important is these books are even more hit and miss than Goosebumps. Some have smart character, some have dumb ones that need the axe. This series is more “so bad it’s good than it too”, which is odd since Gb has a giant hamster. But somehow, it is. I overall enjoy it, but it does give us some true crap
Hell, there’s even a blog for it, that angrily reviews the books! I mean, what’s next? Me getting a guest post on there?
So today I present my first of hopefully, a few, Fear Street Reviews
This, is The Cheater
First, the tagline on the cover. “Now she has to pay’. This is good one, since it’s not the tagline they ALWAYS Use
““____ can be murder”
Seriously, every book has a line similar to that!
Okay, now for the book itself.
We start with our main girl, Carter. Yes Fear Street was a bit of a twat factory compared to Goosebumps. We find out she has to take a big school exam thing that can mean moving on or having to fail
Her father is a court judge. At least he’s not a scientist. “He had very high expectations, and he expected Carter to live up to them”
I think I know what we’re in for..
A Few weeks ago, she got the results on her big test scores and Judge John (yes that is his name…John…/Carter…hmm..) was not pleased.
“She’d always been able to please her father”
Anyway, john is normally proud of her, but this time she has not done well. She has to take it again, but as she tells her boyfriend Dan, she just can’t get a high score. Studying and actually trying is overrated.
As she talks, we find out Dad is dealing with a big case.some dude named Henry Austin is a gang leader, who killed people. Publicity is insane, and dad does not like that.
Why do I mention this? …yes, it’s a plot point…100 pages later.
So the case, and the grades thing…not the best combo. Hey, an attempt at character building! Will they make it work? Take a guess.
And a boy named Adam overhears this. He lives on Fear Street so you can tell he’s a nice guy. He says he could help her cheat, by taking it for her. She looks at this creepy looking dude who lives on an evil Street and says yes. Smart girl.
Adam confirms the school never asks for ID, and he can just write Carter’s name and thus pretend to be her. Great school, right?
His payment? A date.
“Carter was pretty, and she know how to handle guys”
So yeah, she looks at this creepy looking guy, who lives on Fear Street, and says yes to a date. Surely, nothing bad will come of this.’
Oh, and even better? Adam has a girlfriend,.
Again, creepy guy. Lives on Fear Street. Asks for a date. Has a girlfriend
GROW A BRAIN BITCH!
I most also mention Carter is of course, very rich and goes to a country club a lot, which sadly is never interrupted by the guys from Caddyshack.
So Adam does take the test and thinks he did well. And now for that date..
“We’re going into my world tonight, and it’s no country club”
Again, what a charming man to say yes to a date to. so they go to a place called The Underground, which is the typical teen hangout. It’s full of potential robbers, rapist, and what have you, like all teen hangouts. They dance and actually have fun.
They have fun and leave. But Adam forcefully kisses her first. Of course, she’s fine with kiss rape and goes home. She tells him she will be playing tennis at the country club the next day and says he’ll be there.
“what had she gotten herself into?”
This what happens when you’re an idiot.
When she gets home, she finds someone in the bushes stalking her…Shelia, Adam’s girlfriend. She suspects something serious going the two.
Oh, and she smokes. A teen In a stine book doing what a teen does? GASP!
So yeah creepy guy with girlfriend who-
She heads to the club the next day, and sees adam, who has held his promise. They walk in and find Carter’s friend Jill, who is confused by Adam being there. Before they can talk, the typical snooty guy, named Richard shows up to take up their tennis.
Adam and Carter kick his ass. Later on, She talks to Adam and he says they will go out again. Carter objects but-
“if I were you, I’d want to keep me happy..”
….creepy. at least now Carter think he’ll do bad things to her. Doesn’t excuse how dumb she is though.
When she gets home, she finds Dad who has her test scores. She got a really high score, which makes him happy. He says he’s proud.
‘”proud? That’s good, right?”
Fuck you idiot
As a gift, he gives her some expensive earrings. This fills her with serious guilt. Okay, I like this. Bits like this actually hold weight and I like the attempts at character.
Sadly, those moments are few and we mostly get idiocy. Yay
So on Friday, her and Adam go out
“they saw a horror movie, a silly one that was more funny than scary, since the effect were so fake”
…I have no idea what to say about that, and why I find It funny.
So he takes her to his house,. Again, nothing bad can come of this.
So they talk and Adam wants to set a double date that has Jill and his friend ray. Jill has a boyfriend, though. But since he may give her secret ,she does this.
He kisses her..then pushes her against the wall…and pins her, and is now in control…
When I say a work has rape, I am normally kidding. But this….it’s rape! I mean, no matter what way you spin it, he is forcefully wanting something semi sexual without her consent!
And this turns out to be a BLAM too! WHAT THE HELL?!
So after that….she tells him she doesn’t want to do this crap. But he says he will leave her alone after the double date.
She calls jill and one long conversation later, she eventually agrees. Adam then goes in his drawer and…brings a gun
It’s never explained why he does this or anything, but maybe it’s to show that he may kill her if she doesn’t do what he says. The gun itself becomes a literal checkov’s gun, but still.
So the next day, she plays tennis with Dan and Jill. After, she heads to get her bag, and when she puts her hand it…she finds an animal heart,.
…that’s kind of cool, but it only shows how much useless animal violence that is featurde in this series. What animal is it? They don’t say
She thinks Adam did this to scare her, and she sees a note that says “Be careful-or you’ll break daddy’s heart”
Oh, he’s almost creepy in a good way. Almost.
Jill comes and it never says what she does with the heart or if hides it, but Carter does say the blood in her hands was from cutting her hand with a razor. Yeah that will produce as much blood as an animal heart.
So she and Adam go to bar, which they say is decorated for St patrick’s day. I know this Is the only mention of it but…
This is now a Fear Street St Patrick’s day special. Wow.
So the double date begins, and Adam’s other friends show up and start being assholes. So they start to do some dancing after, but things get…bad
Ray, the friend, gets rough and holds her tight, and is an overall asshole. Adam does no9thing. Carter tries to stop this, but Ray takes over. The other dudes also cause a big thing.
And this entire bit seems so rapey I have no words. It’s not quite as bad that other scene…but yeah, it’s not creepy in a good way.
They are able to escape them, and jill asks what the hell is going on. Carter semi lies and says she lost a bet with adam and this is all a result of it, she only leaves off the cheating part.
Wait…you know what could solve this problem?
CALL THE POLICE!
You have some proof. You could just say, “hey this guy is creepy as fuck” and just leave off all the cheating stuff. Problem solved!
But no, she’s still an idiot.
So now she’s knows he’s bad news, but she doesn’t have a way out that the book knows of. After Jill leaves, Carter gets a call from Shelia. Oh yeah, she’s in the plot.
She just threatens her again and the plot forgets her again. Yay. The next day, she tells Adam she has had enough of his bullshit, and…he says there will; be no more dates.
Books over, bye!
Ugh, I wish.
But now he wants a thousand dollars. You may wonder what his actual motivation is. Why he’s such a jerk and so creepy.
So she sells those earrings, and gets a thousand dollars for Adam. She lies about why the earrings are gone, and now she feels even more guilty. This would have a lot more weight if this bitch wasn’t a total idiot.
She gives him the money. Now she thinks she’s in the clear. She heads to Dan’s house. He says he’s rented Batman Returns and Wayne’s world.
“Batman,. Not in a comedy mood”
…so in a dark situation, you choose the dark, depressing movie, over the light comedy
Makes sense to me!
Okay, I was nitpicking, I apologize.
“I just feel like watching batman, got a problem with that?”
No one has a problem with batman…except Rock and roll singers/
She drives home, but another car pops up and tries to bump her off the road. She is able to stop her car before anything bad after that, she heads home, and thinks Adam did that. When she gets home. She finds Adam in her driveway. He denies doing that. And says he’s here for more money.
If she doesn’t cough up more money, he’ will tell dad about the cheating. This guy is quite persistent. After getting a thousand dollars, he wants more. It’s as this is an excuse to drag the book further!
The next day, Dan shows up at her house.Dan says jill told him about what happened, like a great friend.
“You got Adam to take your test and he’s blackmailing, right?”
…that was fast. I know it doesn’t take Sherlock holmes to figure this out but…come on! How did he connect this to cheating so fast? EXPLAIN!
They talk about this./
“You just made a mistake, that’s all”
The mistake of trusting a creepy guy. Nothing big!
So after a rare semi decent scene, they think they need to stop him. Dan really wants revenge on Adam.
Dan Vs: Adam
Carter looks at a gun Dad has, she thinks of murder, but Dan talks her out of it.
She thinks things over, and thinks about what has happened, and here she says that was a cow heart back there. How did she figure this out when it wasn’t obvious before? No idea.
Some police show up at her door.
“Someone shot Adam Messner. He’s dead”
Yay! That means the books over!
…nope, that’s what a good book would do!
I don’t know how they asked Carter first, since there was no previous stuff saying she may be connected to it, but the Shadyside police force is about as effective as Chief Wiggum.
After they leave, Carter assure Dan she didn’t kill him. She did naht. Ohai dan
After that, she gets an odd call saying “ I know what you did”. She doesn’t know if it’s shelia, since the voice was deep.
At school the next day, everyone is talking about Adam. Dan is starting to avoid her, which means he really suspects her.
Later, the parents leave for some thingy, and not too much later, a dude breaks in.
“Careful, or you’ll break daddy’s heart”
It can’t be adam, unless it’s a zombie…but that’s too epic for Stine. The odd man confirms he was the one in the car. He chokes her, but the police show up. That was oddly fast.
The police take off his mask, and we see who this guy really is-
Some guy. He confirms he did the cow heart thing too. So who is he really? Dad shows up to tell us
“He works for Henry Austin. He wanted to scare me into letting him go”
So this whole time Adam really was a red herring, and it was a stupid thing that had no bearing on the plot before, and won’t after
So now the book’s over, right? Nope!
Shelia show up via phone again. She thinks Carter killed adam, and claims to have proof.
She tells Carter to show up at her house, with some money. Yes, this is in exchange for that proof. She gets some money, and heads to Shelia’s house.
She shows Carter a locket that was found near Adam. She opens it. “For carter”. Yep, her locket. We then cut to Carter talking to Dan, saying she will finally tell Dad what is going on. They head to her house to do this.
“I’d do anything for you carter, you know it”
I won’t comment yet.
She tells dad all about this, and lies and says she killed him. But dan intervenes
“I killed him!”
DUN DUN D-
That is so fucking obvious.
You see, he went to Adam’s place to tell him to fuck off. Adam said no, and got out his gun from earlier. One fight later, Dan ends up killing adam by accident. Dan was going to tell Carter, but the police stuff happened, so he decided to keep it secret. This is why he was avoiding her.
So now the truth is out. What does carter say to dad?
“see daddy, I knew he’d confess”
She tells us that she recognized the locket as one she asked for the day before, so it of course was one bought by Dan. She told dad right away, and set this up to make Dan confess.
Wow…she did something semi cool. I’d be impressed if this book didn’t have all those dumb parts.
Dad say that in the upcoming trial on him, he’ll make sure to say it was all in self defense, since it was.
After all is wrapped up, Carter and Dad talk. He says this is mostly his fault, for putting all this pressure on her. He learns not to do that, and Carter learns to just tell people when she has a problem. And with that semi okay moment, the book ends.
This book sucks. It has some okay moments, and a decent idea, but it just flat out blows. The character are idiots, the plot falls on itself, and it’s just dumb. This is the worst FS book I have read so far. Ir may not be as awful as other Stine books, but it’s just really bad. It’s just dumb and full of plot holes. How does that blog sit through this crap?
I’ll stick with Goosebumps, thank you very much! If you excuse me, I’m gonna go read Calling all Creeps again.