Party Games: A Fear Street Novel - R.L. Stine

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

My obsession with R.L. Stine began at a very young age when my parents came home with a huge box of Goosebumps books that they bought for me and my brothers at either a yard sale or a used book sale. Of course my brothers weren’t interested in anything that didn’t make anything explode, so they quickly became my personal scary book collection and I quickly fell in love.

As I got older, I discovered the Fear Street novels and fell even more in love. R.L. Stine is so talented at using the simplest of plots to scare the pants off of kids. What he can do in 200 pages or less is something that a lot of authors can’t do in 400. It is so awesome to see he’s bringing Fear Street to the 21st century! As you read my review further, you’ll realize I didn’t enjoy the first official Fear Street story in almost 20 years, but my disappointment for Party Games won’t stop me from reading on. In fact, I have the sudden urge to re-read the entire 50+ collection of Fear Street novels!
In which I fantasize about murdering a main character

Because I imagined strangling Rachel often in this book. I hated her character so much that she totally ruined the experience or me. It got to the point that I was hoping she wouldn’t make it through the end of Party Games. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let me explain why I often pictured myself murdering this fictional teenager.

> She was warned by multiple people to not go to Brenden’s party in the spooky, isolated “summer house” on Fear Island. Each time someone went out of their way to warn her, she put it off as jealousy or supernatural nonsense. But the fact of the matter is, everybody who grew up in Shadyside knows the creepy history of the original Fear family that settled into the town. There have been even been corpses found in the Fear forest and Rachel is not even a bit fearful of a sudden invite to party from a boy who never showed the slightest interest in her.
> She grated on my nerves fast with her whining and her “oh my god I am so ugly” self-absorbed personality that only the prettiest, Mary-Sue characters seem to have. *sigh*
> When things start to go downhill (before the party even begins) she ignores the most obvious omens that things are not okay and hops into the frying pan like the dumbest, suicidal frog. Characters like Rachel make me thank god for natural selection.
> She’s passive aggressive.

Do you see why I did not enjoy her? I’m sure you would be annoyed, too.

Seriously, if Rachel was in a horror movie, she would be the brainless model that runs toward the creepy forest and trips over a tree branch. Kind of made it difficult to cheer her on when spent the book wondering why the hell she was still breathing!

I didn’t mind the narration, but it was flawed.

Party Games was the first audiobook I’ve read that was narrated by Brittany Pressley. She has a good voice for young adult performances. I didn’t mind her male or female voices, but she needs to work on differentiating between the characters. I had to work over time to pick up on who was saying what because most of the female voices sounded similar and the same goes with the male voices.

She does a great job of portraying emotion, though. I’ve been having issues with narrators with flat voices lately, but Pressley did not have that issue, thankfully. It was suspenseful and I wouldn’t mind listening to more performances by her and see if she improves.

The plot was character driven as usual.

Though I had some real issues with some of the bizarre plot twists that I could have done without, I don’t mind a character driven plot, especially when reading horror. While Party Games was far from a favorite, I’m still excited to read more of the new Fear Street books. I hope the characters are more bearable, though. I’m not sure I can handle another Rachel. I don’t have many brain cells left to use from banging my head against the wall in frustration.