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Review: Can You Keep A Secret? by R.L. Stine

Can You Keep A SecretR.L. Stine has built his legacy on scaring children and teenagers. Now he’s back with another spine-tingling tale of horror in this new Fear Street book about temptation, betrayal, and fear.

Eddie and Emmy are high school sweethearts from the wrong side of the tracks. Looking for an escape from their dreary lives, they embark on an overnight camping trip in the Fear Street Woods with four friends. As Eddie is carving a heart into a tree, he and Emmy discover a bag hidden in the trunk. A bag filled with hundred-dollar bills. Thousands of them. Should they take it? Should they leave the money there? The six teens agree to leave the bag where it is until it’s safe to use it. But when tragedy strikes Emmy’s family, the temptation to skim some money off of the top becomes impossible to fight. There’s only one problem. When Emmy returns to the woods, the bag of money is gone, and with it, the trust of six friends with a big secret.

Packed with tension and sure to illicit shivers in its readers, this new Fear Street book is another terrifying tale from a master of horror.

 

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I was kind of excited when I discovered R.L. Stine was relaunching his Fear Street series after so many years. The thing is, the story telling has greatly improved and I think a large factor in that is that he isn’t strictly trying to keep it in Shadyside. However, if you read the description above you would think he is. Let me first say the description above is wrong.Emma and Eddie just started going out a month earlier and are not “sweethearts”, the group did not find a bag of money, they did not leave it where they found it and Emmy never tried to skim some money off the top. In fact, this entire description is wrong and must be for an earlier version of the book. I noticed the description on Goodreads was even more incorrect as it said the girl’s name was Emma.

Anyways, now that that’s cleared up.

The book actually had two major plot lines being addressed. The first is the briefcase full of hundreds they found in the trunk of a tree and the other has to do with Emmy’s odd dreams of being a wolf and all of these wolf attacks/sightings around town. Sadly, both wound up being quite predictable and I guessed the ending for each. One of which happened to follow too closely to a similar plot point in Party Games. The other just happened to be good intuition on my part.

The book was really hard to get into. I’m not sure exactly what was the cause, but the pacing in the beginning felt really slow. I think part of the issue comes from the two different story lines. They didn’t really work well together and I kind of wish they would have been in two separate books. But on the other hand, I kind of see how they were both needed to make one complete book. However, once you get about 20% of the way in, the pacing seems to pick up and it begins to feel like a typical Fear Street novel. Which is great, because this was overall a decent read. But I hate to say it’s not my favorite of the series and not my favorite out of the relaunches.

I will have to say something from the book did leave me questioning some things. Since I’ve been rereading the series and just recently finished the Fear Street Nights trilogy, I noticed this book claimed there were still houses on Fear Street. According to that trilogy which came out a decade ago, the houses were torn down to built Nights bar and Fear Street Acres. As the group heads into the Fear Street Woods, they mention the houses, but in Midnight Games these woods would be directly across from Nights and the shopping center. So is this a mistake or are we supposed to pretend this trilogy never existed? Oh well.

Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Rating

Gold StarGold Star

 

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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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