The Fear Street Cheerleaders return as the evil they undid is not quite undone. I wonder how quickly in succession these books were written. If Stine’s method is believed, he probably typed up all three in a day and called it finished.
It’s not quite as good as the first one. That cheerleader definitely looks possessed, and it’s not a bad image, but I miss the blood red pompom. (Pulled from goodreads)
Cheers — from the grave!
Just terrible. This book is the middle child, and it’s suffering all over the place.
It’s been a few months, since the horror that killed Corky and menaced her friends disappeared into the grave of Sarah Fear. The cheerleaders you actually care about: Ronnie, Debra, and Kimmy are driving along Fear Street for reasons. They pass the cemetery and see Corky there, talking to her sister’s grave. It’s been a real hard time for her, losing her sister, though it doesn’t seem to be that way for her family. We see her brother later and he is unaffected for losing his older sister, and her parents are mentioned exactly once, but Corky visits the grave every single day because she flipping lives next door to it.
Corky is talking to her dead sister when she sees the ground start to shake and the corpse of her sister rise from its grave. Surprise! It’s a hallucination! Turns out having your sister scalded to death does not make you the most well adjusted person. The other girls find her and walk her home, which is again next door. Kimmy and Ronnie try to help Corky, but Debra’s going through her Wicca phase and believes in crystals and spirits and keeps telling Corky the thing that killed her sister is still here and that she should be super scared of it. Meanwhile, Corky keeps seeing a strange boy out of the corner of her eye, but no one else seems to. She goes to make hot chocolate for everyone and finds herself possessed, and the spirit pours scalding water over her hand.
Corky’s put up for a few days while her hand recovers, and we see her interact with Chip. You remember Chip. He dated Kimmy and then dumped her only to immediately ask out Bobbi, and when that didn’t go so great, he jumped onto her mourning sister. He’s the exact kind of boy you should not date but it’s fine he’ll be dead by the end of this book. Chip takes her out on a date, and they end up at the cemetery again. There they meet Sarah Beth Plummer, a strange graduate student who’s been doing gravestone rubbings for a project. She talks to them about Sarah Fear and all the strange things that happened to her, including her love affair with a servant, and their mysterious death on Fear Lake, where all the occupants of her boat were seemingly boiled to death on a cloudless, calm day. Sarah Beth is super shady and totally untrustworthy as far as Corky is concerned.
Kimmy tries to convince Corky to rejoin the cheer squad. It’d be good for her, after all, to get back into a routine, have a social life again. Kimmy, you may remember, was a mega bitch in the last book, who flipped out when she didn’t make cheer captain and played the mean girl, but she’s chilled out a lot. She talks to Corky and tells her they’re all in this together, and she has to get her head in the game. Corky agrees to go back, but as soon as she starts cheering she’s overcome by the sound of a screaming girl. She can’t shake it, and she leaves.
Corky does not have any easy go of it the next few days. After school, she’s hanging out in the creepiest science lab in the world. It’s described like this:
Shelves beside the skeleton held large specimen jars filled with insects, plant specimens, and all kinds of animal parts.
I went to a high school and was even part of some science clubs, and I’m pretty sure that was not how it looked. But her science teacher is super chill and peaces out while she takes a makeup exam. As soon as he leaves, the lights go out, and she’s attacked by everything in the lab like this was Indigo Prophecy. She has to dodge jars and equipment, and the skeleton tries to choke her out. She manages to escape, only to find Chip dead with his hand severed in woodshop. This is the second death Bobbi has had to face in so many months, and not once do her parents seem to suggest pulling her out of school, moving, or even seeing a therapist. She does mention seeing a therapist (the same therapist Mayra sees in the Sleepwalker, I think) before all this started, but I’d suggest keep going. It’s only going to help.
Corky still tries to keep her routine, and she performs with the cheerleaders at the final game. She gets up on top of the pyramid, and when she jumps back, Kimmy is frozen and watches her fall to the ground. Corky breaks an arm and is sent to the hospital. All in all, a terrible week for Corky.
In between all of this, Corky and Debra have been investigating. They learned the man who was stalking Corky was Jon Daly, Jennifer’s brother, who believes Corky killed his sister. They tracked down Sarah Beth, who revealed that she was Sarah Fear, not the Sarah Fear, but a descendant of the line who was interested in her family history. They learn a little more about Sarah Fear but absolutely nothing new in a monologue that takes up half the book and is mostly her spouting off the notes Stine made in a journal when coming up with this story.
So you, dear reader, are wondering who is the evil possessing? Is it Jon Daly, who went missing after trying to summon a spirit out of Sarah Fear’s grave? Is it Sarah Beth aka Sarah Fear, overtaken by her namesake? Is it Debra, who’s been kind of a creep this whole time?
When Corky gets home, she decides to take a bath because it’s been a flipping long week, and when she looks up Kimmy is there. Kimmy is possessed by the evil! Kimmy tries to drown Corky, but Corky fights back. They struggle, and then Corky pushes Kimmy’s head under water until she’s not breathing, at which point she spits out a “foul-smelling, green liquid snake” that gets sucked down the drain.
Kimmy does not remember a gosh darn thing since the night at Sarah Fear’s grave so many months ago. She’s baffled and sick, and Corky is just relieved. Finally this is over. But Corky goes to get the mail a few days later and finds a note addressed to her, a note that claims the evil cannot be drowned in a chapter literally titled “The End?”. DUN DUN DUN
Even from a distance, even through the hazy glass, Corky could see the gleam in Sarah Beth’s dark eyes, the unmistakable gleam of… evil.
Fear Street Trends
Nintendo has been introduced to the Fear Street universe. The visiting cheer squad also does “rap cheers” and “club-type dancing,” so the 90s are in full swing I guess. No one’s extremely fashionable except for Ronnie’s fur coat, which is mentioned about one hundred times in the first three chapters.
Not as exciting as the first, with fewer twists I feel, and a lot more unanswered questions. I imagine Stine did write these all in in one go, and it feels like a middle child. It’s a setup for the last one, where we find the truth. Sarah Beth disappears, Jon Daly dies after serving his purpose of being menacing, and we’re left with a “the end question mark.” I’ll give it three screaming cheerleaders out of five.