About the Book
- R.L. Stine
- Cis Girl
- White (Non-Specified)
As October grows chilly and spooky around us, we continue our stroll down the shadowy turns of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street. Last week, we revisited The Stepsister, and today we’re invited to an All Night Party!
It’s Cindy’s birthday and her friends are throwing a party for the beautiful, popular flirt at a cabin on Fear Island: we have Gretchen, our narrator, the new girl in town. Gretchen’s old friend Hannah, Cindy’s closest frenemy. Hannah’s boyfriend Gil, who also happens to be Cindy’s ex-boyfriend. Gretchen’s new boyfriend Marco, an intense dude that she’s ready to dump. Patrick, the easygoing jokester, and Jackson, who won’t stop staring at Gretchen and making her nervous. Patrick’s dad’s a cop, and he warns Patrick that a murderer has escaped and is hiding in the Fear Street Woods. So of course everyone thinks it’s a really good idea to go ahead with this party anyway…until Cindy’s discovered murdered in the kitchen! Is it the Fear Island killer…or one of Cindy’s so-called friends??
The First Line:
“Tonight is going to be awesome!” Hannah Waters exclaimed.
Cheapest chapter cliffhanger:
R.L. Stine’s a master of cheap cliffhangers at the end of chapters. For instance:
Marco didn’t answer. He moved closer to Gretchen.
“I’ve used this knife before, and I’m going to use it again,” he whispered. “Tonight.”
“Marco – no!” Gretchen shrieked.
Marco swung his hand up high.
And plunged the knife into Gretchen’s chest.
That’s the end of Chapter 12. This is the beginning of Chapter 13:
With a groan, Gretchen shut her eyes and waited for the stab of pain.
Her hands shot up to her chest.
She felt nothing. Nothing at all.
A sharp, slicing sound made her open her eyes.
“Ohh!” she cried out, realizing that Marco hadn’t stabbed her.
He had stabbed the switchblade into the bark of a tree behind her.
Well, that’s a pretty big difference, wouldn’t you say, Gretch? It makes me want to yell: HE STABBED HER IN HER COCKADOODIE CHEST!
Okay, yes, I’m relating to Annie Wilkes in this scenario. Just don’t cheat us, R.L.!
Best Outfit Description:
Marco stared at her with a hurt expression. Then he folded his arms across his chest and sighed. She couldn’t help but notice the way his white T-shirt hugged his muscles or the way his blue jeans were molded to his legs. Marco had a great body.
Okay, he might be a switchblade-wielding drama queen, but I’m starting to warm up to ol’ Marco here.
Best Fear Street Description:
Suddenly feeling nervous, Gretchen glanced around. The street stood dark and deserted. She saw no lights on in any of the nearby houses. A gust of wind whipped strands of her dark brown hair across her face. The moonless night sky carried the promise of an approaching storm.
Everyone! Well, Cindy’s out because she’s dead, and Gretchen’s the super paranoid narrator, so she’s safe. Could it be this escaped murderer about which we’ve heard so little? For some time it looks like Patrick, as he’s got a footprint in Cindy’s blood, she’s grasping his baseball cap in her dead hand, and the knife used to kill her is hidden in his backpack along with a mysterious note from Cindy – or is someone just doing a very good job of framing him? He DID bring a gun to the party, but Cindy was killed with a knife. Is it Hannah, who is so jealous of Cindy that she said “I wish she were dead!”? Cindy flirted with Gil and stole Hannah’s scholarship, so Hannah certainly has motive – and Gil was dumped by Cindy, so he’s got reasons of his own. Is it either of the two guys currently creeping out the easily creeped out Gretchen? Marco’s got an earring, rides a motorcycle and doesn’t take well to being dumped, so I guess he’s a suspect (a HOT suspect). Jackson just spends the entire book staring at Gretchen, so he’s on the list, too.
Yep, it was Patrick. This is actually quite a clever twist, as Patrick seems so obvious that it can’t be him, right? UNLESS HE FRAMED HIMSELF to make you think it couldn’t be him, which he totally did! He made up the whole thing about the escaped murderer, although I’m not sure why since that doesn’t really fit in with his framing story. And his motivation is murky: apparently he used to be an arsonist, and he thought Cindy was always teasing him about it, but she actually didn’t even know he was a firebug and was just teasing him because she liked him? Well, he killed her anyway.
Surprisingly Badass Chick Moment:
Gretchen spends the entire book terrified of everyone – even before Cindy dies. Even before she hears about the escaped murderer! She’s just scared for no reason. But once Patrick is apprehended and he turns his gun on the police officer, Gretchen transforms on a dime into a hardass.
“No!” Gretchen screamed. “Patrick! No!”
Gretchen threw herself at Patrick.
She pushed him to the floor, pinning him underneath her.
Behind her, she heard her friends screaming.
The two police officers dove across the living room.
Gretchen clawed at the gun in Patrick’s hand.
He tried to twist away from her. Raised the gun toward her again.
Gretchen gripped his hand and smashed it against the floor.
Smashed it hard. Again. Again.
Finally, his grip loosened.
Nice going, girl! I mean, that is a crazy thing to do, but crazy kinda suits you, Gretch.
“Party’s over,” she whispered.
Now that Gretchen’s ascertained that Jackson isn’t a dangerous killer – he was just staring at her because he liked her! – she decides to be his girlfriend. NO. GO BACK TO MARCO. Hello, snug t-shirt and blue jeans? Long hair? Earring? Motorcycle? Crazy about you? That is some hot hot business, my friend. If he sometimes stabs a tree with his switchblade, what of it?
Thanks to your great suggestions last week, I’m going to be revisiting the Cheerleader trilogy and the Fear Street Saga over the next two weeks, and wrapping up with Halloween Party on Halloween – so see you then!
FTC Full Disclosure: I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). All Night Party is available now.