In 2014, the YA thriller author R.L. Stine relaunched his popular Fear Street series with Party Games. Yesterday, the fifth book in the relaunch series, The Dead Boyfriend, was released, ready to terrorize a new generation of readers. Although I’m not the target audience anymore for R.L. Stine publications, I can’t help but read them every now and then just for the nostalgia.
The Dead Boyfriend is a first-person narrative told in diary format. Caitlyn is over the moon about her new boyfriend Blade, until he stands her up one night. A little overly emotional, Cynthia haunts places she suspects he might hang out and discovers him with another girl. When she confronts him about his betrayal, Caitlyn finds herself with a new title: murderer.
Caitlyn joins forces with Deena Fear, a mysterious girl with powers that Caitlyn cannot comprehend. Deena wants Blade for herself, and will stop at nothing to bring him back from the dead. Once he is reanimated, he follows Caitlyn wherever she goes. In over her head, Caitlyn turns to her friends and family for help…but will they believe her, or think she’s gone completely crazy?
The Dead Boyfriend totally missed the mark for me once R.L. Stine’s famous twist was revealed. To his credit, though, I did not expect the ending. I caught myself rolling my eyes, but then also spending far too much time trying to break down the final scene of the book, which made no sense given the rest of the story.
In the case of this particular book, I may have had a different opinion if I’d read it at a younger age. But even back then, there were still Fear Street books that were not to my liking as much as others. I’m still going to continue reading the Fear Street books when I need a break from heavier reads, but I kind of find myself wishing that Fear Street had grown up just a little bit with me.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Thomas Dunne. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.