This is the series I have the most memory of. My idea was to read them all in order, but Fear Street #2 is super difficult to find, as are the other originals up until #5. So here we are, the Fear Street Cheerleaders, published in 1992, I think, honestly I’m having trouble with the dates and when things were reprinted, and you know, for apparently being one of the best selling YA series of all time, you think there’d be a little more information on all of these. But let’s join Bobbi and Corky, the two most late 80s/early 90s names we could come up with, as they move to Fear Street.
Only one cover this time (borrowed from the GoodReads page), and I gotta say I really like it. The skull and blood in the pompom is good, and the girl looks possessed. It’s a nice, sinister cover.
When the cheers turn to screams…
Pretty basic. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. It does feel like they couldn’t come up with something better.
Bobbi and Corky have just moved into a house in Fear Street, and they’re looking to join the Shadyside cheerleading squad. They were all state at their last school and are looking forward to jumping in. They make it easily into the new squad, but unfortunately it ruffles some feathers. They kick out another member of the team to make room, and Kimmy, BFF of team captain Jennifer, is upset that they’ve been added even though the team had already been set. But the girls are on the team, and they all travel together to Shadyside’s first away game. But tragedy strikes, and the bus crashes. Jennifer is thrown and lands on Sarah Fear’s grave, where she seems to die and come back to life.
Weeks later, Jennifer’s in a wheelchair, Bobbi is promoted to team captain, and Kimmy is pissed off. Not helped by Kimmy’s ex-boyfriend showing interest in Bobbi, or Jennifer and Bobbi being BFFs now. The girls are getting catty, with the team splitting between people who trust Bobbi and those who don’t. It’s not helped by a weird paralysis that seems to be taking over people, causing them to get hurt or hurt others. Bobbi is frozen when Kimmy performs a dangerous stunt, and Kimmy ends up breaking her arm. Bobbi thinks she’s going insane when she sees Jennifer walking, sees lockers opening and closing on their own, and then she’s scalded to death in a shower.
This book has like three fake protagonists. Jennifer is our first perspective, Kimmy gets a chapter to herself, and then Bobbi dies in a shower halfway through. Corky is our Final Girl, even though she’s done absolutely nothing through the whole book. I kind of forgot she was there, and then she’s rocketed into protag position. She finds a pendant that belongs to Kimmy at the scene of the crime and realizes Bobbi’s death isn’t natural. She goes to confront Kimmy, who tells her that she gave the pendant to Jennifer. Corky flips out and runs to Jennifer who is driving a car. Jennifer goes to Sarah Fear’s grave and does an interpretive dance. Corky goes to fight her, and Jennifer reveals that she’s actually Sarah Fear herself. The night Jennifer landed on the grave, she died, and Sarah took over. Sarah’s plan is to hurt Jennifer’s enemies, which doesn’t really make any sense because Bobbi didn’t do anything to her, and Kimmy didn’t do anything to her, and Kimmy’s boyfriend definitely didn’t do anything to her, but whatever, ghosts be tripping. She also has a plan to put Bobbi in her grave, but it’s unclear why? Like she brings her skeleton to life and it does a little dance and I think Bobbi would have literally replaced her body or something but listen the book is almost over we don’t have time for this.
And again I think making the main character a gymnast was just a good way for Stine to get her to do some sweet flips. She gets out, grabs Jennifer, and then tosses her in her own grave. The body shrivels up and dies, and Sarah Fear is trapped. The police show up, but they’re just like “Fear Street, am I right?” and let them go.
The book ends on Corky finding Jennifer’s pendant in her room and screaming. Smash cut. Credits. Literally every chapter in this book ends with someone screaming, justified or no. Stine does suspense like this because he knows his main audience are like 9 year olds and they only get to read one more chapter before they go to bed.
“Because… because it would make me feel really bad,” Bobbi said with emotion.
Fear Street Trends
R.L. Stine knows what the cool kids are into. Like in New Girl, everyone is wearing GAP t-shirts and high tops. Popular girls look like popular movie actresses (Jennifer looks like Julia Roberts). I’m doubly amused that Kimmy is described as having crimped hair. I was born in the 90s, and I def had a hair crimper. That’s the realest thing I ever read.
Also from New Girl, Lisa Blume gets a shoutout. She tells them every house on Fear Street is haunted, though to be fair in her own adventure turned out not to have a ghost in it at all, just girls in need of some therapy.
This is much improved from the first one. Better prose, only slightly better dialogue, more interesting characters. Updating these books is a crime. They should be time capsules, and I’m doubly pleased that this is so. I’m giving it four screaming cheerleaders out of five.