It Happened on Fear Street (Fear Street: The Beginning – A Book Review)

Fear Street: The Beginning

Author: R. L. Stine

Published: 2020

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated F for funny and frantic but not fearful.

Welcome to Fear Street…

Where strange things happen, people go missing, and nightmares come true.

Here on Fear Street, scary stories, curses, and legends become real. A ghost girl captures the attention of Corey Brooks. The woods behind Fear Street call out to Meg Dalton years after her friend died there. Della is forced to confront her past and a dangerous incident. Up Fear Street, siblings, Mark and Cara come home to discover their parents are missing. The secrets they discover plunge them into a mysterious cult.

Welcome back to Shadyside! Unless you read this first before watching the Netflix trilogy. LOL. I did not, so this is a return for me. It was great to return to a town I was familiar with. It put the world-build in perspective pretty easily. In this volume: The New Girl, The Surprise Part, The Overnight, and Missing. Each one was filled with small thrills and entertaining twists. Still, a spooky town with a legendary street wasn’t enough to engage me in this book.

I struggled so hard with this one because so much of this came off like a bad 80s, C-rated movie. Cue my frowny face. The level of obsession mixed with stupidity was incredible. I’ve read the past novels of Fear Street and they could sit next to Lois Duncan in the classic storytelling style. Christopher Pike, too. The tales may have been cheesy but the characters never lacked in intelligence as they did in this book. I was shocked. It was always the scare factor that made the books spooky in a fun sense. From one character deciding to tell her dad off at three in the morning to go traipsing around the woods to another stalking a ghost in a hormonal rage, I was at a loss.


I’ve read books from the classic series, but this collection, though it may come from the source material, just didn’t feel the same. The soul that made these enjoyable was gone as if this was nothing but promotion material and a money grab. The same zeal that had been in Stine’s work just wasn’t here. Not for me.

If I had to pick a favorite story it would be Missing. Cults and secret societies are mysterious and fun in a dangerous, secretive way and that hooks me. You learn things about a person or persons that you never would’ve guessed. That always catches my interest and the fact that these teens were running right into danger was amusing, especially because they had no idea what they were doing and weren’t thinking things through. It was all act first, think later.


What a disappointment which is too bad. I figured this might get cheesy but this dismissed the cheese and went straight into ridiculous. Common sense flew out the window and that’s where this book lost me.


“Fear Street. Was it claiming another victim?” (p. 33)

More to come soon…                                                                                               


Song Today? Fear Nothing by Riverdale Cast.

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