The Sleepwalker by R.L. Stine

The Sleepwalker (Fear Street, #6)The Sleepwalker by R.L. Stine

My rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Here’s the thing: Fear Street books are terrible. I want to love them, but they’re just terrible for so many different reasons.

Reason A) Nearly every book stars the same “Girl Next Door” character. These girls never have distinct personalities, just hats. Mayra’s hat was a belief in magic.

Reason B) Nearly every boyfriend or ex-boyfriend is an abusive bastard.

Reason C) Every girl with an abusive boyfriend enjoys being abused and explicitly states that the abuse makes her feel special. Every. Single. One.

Reason D) Half of the girls with abusive ex-boyfriends are back together with the bastard by the end of the book.

Reason E) There is no consistency to the world. Random and frequent supernatural elements appear with no reasoning, explanation, or justification to speak of despite being firmly denied by most characters. As a result, these elements come across as chaotic and entirely nonsensical.

Reason F) Most of them have absolutely nothing to do with Fear Street or the Fear family. A select few didn’t even have anything to do with Shadyside.

Reason G) Hypnosis is TRUE FACTS and works in whatever way the plot needs it to.

Reason H) Everyone is ridiculously dismissive and nonchalant about the state of Shadyside. Anywhere from one to ten characters die per book, yet Fear Street’s sinister reputation remains a thing of legend. And even without the supernatural elements, Shadyside is brimming with lunatics at the rate of one or two per book.

I could go on, but frankly, I’ve already tired myself out on this nonsense. As far as Fear Street goes, The Sleepwalker is more of the same. Secretly Abused Girlfriend has recently dumped Abusive Ex-Boyfriend and is now going out with Abusive Boyfriend. Girlfriend takes a new job, mysterious things happen, Mysterious Man starts following her. Best Friend is attacked because someone (Ex-boyfriend?) mistook her for Girlfriend. Girlfriend is scared. Boyfriend is comforting. Blah, blah, blah. Girlfriend realizes Boyfriend is an axe-crazy murderer. Boyfriend tries to kill Girlfriend. Girlfriend escapes. Boyfriend tries to kill Girlfriend. Mystery Man stops Boyfriend, explains his identity. Police arrive. Everyone’s safe. Girlfriend and Ex-Boyfriend reconcile. The End.

Congratulations, you have just read the basic outline of nearly every non- or semi-supernatural Fear Street plot. (The supernatural plots and Fear family plots have different outlines that they like to repeat.)

*sigh* I really, really wish I could enjoy these. When I read them as a nine year old, they were the shit. As a nineteen year old, on the other hand… they’re just rather shitty.

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