A macabre horror comedy for die-hard fans only.


From the Fear Street series , Vol. 5

A girl’s boyfriend doesn’t stay dead in this Fear Street novel.

Taking the loose form of Caitlyn’s diary, this story tells of how the white girl meets and falls in love with a white boy named Blade. Caitlyn, as she frequently reminds readers, is the kind of girl inclined to fully embrace her emotions, and she falls hard. During a fairly lengthy romantic buildup, mildly freaky things occur which all the other characters seem to shrug off. Then Blade gets caught two-timing Caitlyn, and she impulsively stabs him to death. She’s wracked by guilt and grief when, at his funeral, he sits up and temporarily reanimates. Then goth white Deena Fear, of the infamous Fear family, tries to recruit Caitlyn to work together to bring back Blade (whom they both have feelings for). It’s too much for Caitlyn, but Deena does it anyway, and soon undead Blade is stalking Caitlyn, and everyone around her thinks she’s going crazy. The plot is pretty flimsy and the characters stock, but the humor inherent in B-movie–style horror like this gives it a certain liveliness, regardless of how dead the characters are. The ending is a classic Goosebumps/Fear Street type twist.

A macabre horror comedy for die-hard fans only. (Horror. 10-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-125-0-05895-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin’s Griffin

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.


Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.


Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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