Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 4112
Don' Stay Up Late...especially if you're reading this book!
(Updated: April 04, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Lisa is a rebellious teenager who acts out and disobeys her parents… until her bad behavior leads to a car crash that kills her father. Lisa and her mother are injured, but Lisa's injuries seem to be more psychological. She hallucinates quite a bit-- seeing her dead father, her missing dog, and other odd things. She sees a therapist, who suggests that Lisa would benefit from constructive work. The therapist knows a woman who is looking for a sitter for her son, so Lisa ends up babysitting Brenda's son, Harry, at their house on Fear Street. Harry is a delightful child, but Brenda cautions Lisa that he should not be allowed to stay up late. Lisa hallucinates while watching Harry, thinking that she is seeing a creature in the house, and later teenagers from the town turn up dead. Lisa's boyfriend Nate tries to help Lisa manage her hallucinations and deal with her grief, but it turns out that he has known Brenda and Harry for longer than he will admit. In the end, there are deep secrets behind Brenda's family life that are not unusual for the residents of Fear Street.

While Lisa slowly figures out her own mental state, she is also able to throw some light on the other characters around her, who are definitely not what they seem. The fact that her friends have hidden their pasts from her makes the situation more sinister and serious. Stine slowly reveals the secrets not only about the people in Lisa's life, but about Fear Street itself.

Readers who devoured the Goosebumps books when younger will be attracted to these new titles by Stine, but the Fear Street books are a good choice for any teen who likes paranormal books, ghost stories, or even reluctant readers who would rather be watching a horror movie or CSI-type television show. As a librarian, I am beyond thrilled to see these books published in hard cover format, since I still have prebound copies of the original, early 1990’s Fear Street books in my library, and they are crumbling like a vampire caught out in the morning sun!

Stine is the master of the unbelievable scary situation. Or is what he describes really unbelievable? For readers new to the Fear Street sagas, Stine gives a bit of background information on why there seem to be so many odd occurrences on that street, but the new books (this one and Party Games) can be understood on their own. In Don’t Stay Up Late, Lisa is caught up in a variety of horrible things going on around her, but she is powerless to do anything about them until she can figure out why she has so many hallucinations. We know that the two things are connected, but she doesn’t, giving an eerie, thrilling quality to every murder and monster sighting. If the monsters aren’t real, are the murders? But if the murders are real… are the monsters?
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