The cover (pulled from the UC Forums) is certainly better than the second books, though Reva’s lost all of her glamor from the first cover. The bleeding mannequin amid the mass of mannequins is subtle, and I’d like it a little more obvious, but I see what they’re going for. The mannequins definitely add a creepiness the last cover was lacking.
‘Tis the season… to die.
Like the rest of the them, not great. I think they could’ve pulled from more Christmas classics, but of all of them, I’m least annoyed by this one.
We follow Reva as she returns home from her first semester at college, her roommate Grace in tow. She gets home to find her brother Michael obsessed with being “the Evil Avenger” and doing karate moves. Reva says her father’s concerned he’s obsessed with these violent fantasies since her kidnapping, and is constantly threatening to chop people’s heads off. Reva introduces Grace to her family and gets her set up in her room, until Grace runs in shouting that Rory is after her. Rory was Grace’s boyfriend before she went to college, who was completely jealous and beat her at one point, forcing her parents to call the police on him. Grace is so sure Rory has followed her to Reva’s place, and when the phone rings, she screams not to pick it up.
On the other end of the phone line is Pam, waiting for Reva to answer. She and her friend Willow have a business deal for Reva and her father, and Pam knows it’s going to be a pain. Reva’s dismissive of their handmade crafts, but she tells them to come over for ten minutes so she can look at them. But when Pam and Willow get there, Reva has conveniently stepped out, and they’re turned away at the door. Willow threatens to pay her back, and Pam, who had a boyfriend nearly jailed for his “pranks” against her and then was held hostage because of her, is understandably nervous.
Reva is nervous in the department store because of her kidnapping, and she gets scared by the mannequins easily. Suddenly they start going after her, and she’s running, only to be wakened by her little brother, who tells her Grace is scared and woke him up. He worries someone’s in the house, and Reva tells him to go to bed and he’ll check on her. She finds Grace in her room, on the phone with Rory, begging him to leave her alone. Reva takes her downstairs and shows her the security measures her dad put in place since her kidnapping. As they’re drinking tea, a knock comes to the door, and Grace flips out. Reva takes it in stride, and there’s a security guard on the other side, saying he was making sure everything was alright. A man came up to the house claiming to know Reva, and Grace gets scared again. It turns out it’s Daniel Powell, who Reva dated in college. He says he hopped in his car to come see her and just got in, in the middle of the night, without warning. She tells the security guard she has no idea who he is, which is a fair thing to say when a boy stalks you to your house. There’s one more knock at the door, and now it’s getting absurd. The security guard is back to apologize. Reva tells him off.
The next day Reva takes Grace to play tennis, but Grace is distracted, certain Rory was watching her the whole time. They come back to the house, and Grace sees a car she doesn’t recognize, causing her to flip out again. It’s only Pam and Willow, who are waiting for Reva. She’s fake nice to them, though she’s a lot nicer to Pam than she ever has been before, and then the girls pull out their handmade scarves, which are gorgeous. There’se a nice moment where Reva feels real jealousy that she couldn’t create this, and immediately puts down Pam for it. Reva loves them, grabs a bunch to show her dad, and then comes down to tell them they can put them in Dalby’s under the name Reva Wear. Reva told him it was her idea and her designs, claiming it’d be the only way he’d get excited about it. Pam and Willow are clearly angry about it, but Pam tells Willow to play along until they get a contract set up, since the second they anger Reva, the second they’re dropped. Reva also gets to put on a big fashion show for them.
Reva’s clearly fantasizing about being the hit of the fahsion world in her mall scarf fashion show, which really does illustrate how small pond she is. Her dad helps her set up the models for the show, but they’re under contract to use Traci Meecham, who Reva hates. She runs into Daniel while setting things up, who now works at Dalby’s, which is a weird turn of events, considering he came here to surprise Reva and is now forcibly intruding on her workplace. I think Daniel might be from Shadyside, the name is familiar, but it’s still a weird thing to do.
Reva finds Grace, who asks to be a model, but Reva puts her down and makes her an assistant. Grace is clearly dejected, but Reva’s pleased, hoping she’ll get mad enough to go home. She gathers up the models: Liza, who has dark hair, and Ellie, who has short red hair and is commented many times to look a lot like Reva, and Traci, who is blond. There’s a weird hair science going on in Reva’s head all the time. Traci and Liza also hate each other, so this is a great show for Traci. Reva sets them up, goes through the show with them, and is interrupted by a handsome boy named Grant, who is Liza’s boyfriend. They’re interrupted further when Grace comes running in, eye bruised, face bloodied, claiming Rory cornered her and punched her.
Reva tries to convince Grace to go to the police, but Grace is sure Rory is done “bothering her” as she puts it. Reva rightly says he’s a psycho, but when Grace doesn’t respond, she drops it and focuses on her fashion show. And Grant. We cut to her making out with him, much like she and Victor in the last book. She clearly makes a career out of this. Grant mentions Liza stole him away from Traci, and the two have hated each other since. He also clearly makes a career out of this. We cut again to the next morning, where she walks into work and sees a mannequin out of place. When she checks on it, she realizes it’s Traci, strangled and strung up.
The police are holding everyone to question, and Reva just wants to go home. She’s mildly suspicious of Liza when they’re asked if Traci had any enemies, but she decides against sharing. Reva is finally released, but as she gets home she realizes Pam and Willow are waiting for her, so she tries to sneak by them. Michael jumps up and stabs her with a retractable knife, which is pretty terrifying when you realize Reva’s almost died two Christmases in a row. Both of these kids need therapy.
Pam and Willow are still waiting downstairs when finally Reva comes around. Reva plays the victim, claiming it’s been too long a day to sign any contracts, and daddy might cancel the show anyway, except the second Mr. Dalby comes in, she begs him not to. Pam and Willow try to rush him with the contract, but he’s distracted by a business call and leaves. Willow’s incredibly steamed they’re getting no credit for their scarves and threatens to get revenge one more time.
Grace is on the phone with Rory, telling him to stop, and this is where I get suspicious that he’s not real or Grace is Rory or something because Stine would absolutely write the other half of that phone conversation otherwise, but here we only get her words. Reva comes in, and she hides the phone call from her, claiming it’s her mom. Reva tells her she’s off to a date, clearly disinterested in her drama.
Reva’s off with Grant, and he tells her he’s conflicted about Liza. She gets annoyed at his human emotions and tells him if he wants to break it off he can. Of course he doesn’t want to, and he promises to forget about Liza, though not dump her, which I guess is fine since Reva doesn’t really want that. He drops her off at home, and the phone rings as she comes in. Reva answers it, and the person on the other end tells her she deserved what Traci got. In my favorite scene in any Fear Street novel, Reva writes down the number on her caller ID, immediately calls the police, and tells them she got a threatening phone call from someone who may have murdered Traci. It takes about twenty minutes for the police to track and arrest the person who made the call, and when she gets to the station to identify him, it’s Daniel.
Daniel’s real scared to be accused of murder, and Reva keeps asking him why he did it. He said he didn’t, that he was just angry at Reva and called to scare her a little, as a joke. The detective says he’s been arrested for assault before, but he has a rock solid alibi, so they have to release him. The detective offers to charge him with the threatening phone call, but Reva says to drop it, and she goes to her car. Daniel’s outside, and he apologizes to her, though when she doesn’t take it, he flips out and tells her she’ll get what’s coming to her. She considers going back inside and saying he threatened her again, but she’s tired and she wants to go home. Suddenly Grace appears, who tells her Rory came to the house, and she was so scared she ran. She thinks she sees him now, and she and Reva panic, climbing into her car, and driving away. Reva realizes she made a mistake, and they should go back to the police, but Grace says no.
They get home again, and Reva’s dad pulls her aside. He says Pam and Willow came to him and admitted that the designs were theirs, and he signed their contract. He tells Reva off for taking the credit and avoiding doing a proper deal with them, and Reva gets all teary-eyed, telling him she meant to do it but was distracted by all the murder. The phone rings, and Reva goes to answer it, but instead of someone threatening her, it’s Grant, calling to say they should break things off. She manipulates him into changing his mind again, and he says they’re still on for their date the next day.
Reva comes into work to set up for the show. Pam and Willow are there, and she snaps at them for going behind her back. Reva goes in to finish setting up for the show and announces it start. She says the first model is Liza, and when no one comes out, she notices another out of place mannequin, and starts screaming as she realizes Liza has been killed and propped up like before. There’s panic as everyone else starts noticing the body, and honestly mannequins and dead bodies don’t look a whole lot alike except for some base characteristics, especially ones that’s strangled and slumped over. Reva runs and sees Pam and Willow without any emotion on their faces.
As the police clear everything up, Reva runs into Grant, and she tries to get him to comfort her, but he tells her he’s too guilty over Liza’s death, that he feels like he should’ve been with her. She calls him a wimp and storms out. She gets home and hears Grace on the line, begging Rory to stop calling her, but when Reva picks up the phone, the other voice on the end isn’t Rory at all. In a pretty genuinely creepy moment, Reva hears the automated information service come over with the time and temperature, repeated over and over as Grace sobs for Rory to stop. Reva now has a major clue that something is wrong, and she pulls up the number of Grace’s house, waiting for Grace to get off the phone to call her mother.
Grace’s mother answers, and Reva lets her know that Grace has been talking to Rory. Her mom flips out, tells her that her daughter is dangerous, that she should call the police, and that she’ll call her therapist. It’s not a very motherly suggestion, but it may be the correct one. She says Rory was her boyfriend two years ago, and he died in an accident that was Grace’s fault. It’s left her troubled and delusional, and when Reva hangs up the phone, Grace is behind her. Grace tells her Rory is here, and they have to hide. Reva tries to calm her down, and when it doesn’t work, she snaps and says Rory is dead. Grace tears the phone off the wall and chucks it, and then tells her Rory is going to kill her like he did Traci and Liza. Grace grabs a scarf and starts strangling Reva, but luckily Reva’s brother comes in and karate chops her away. Reva lunges at Grace, tossing her into the desk, where her head hits, and she falls to the floor. She sends Michael to go get the security guard.
Grace tells Reva she was trying to get back at her, to let her know she didn’t deserve everything she had, not when she was so cruel. She tried to take away her show, and then she’d take away her life. I do love, in this moment, Reva is like ‘what is she talking about I’m great’ and absolutely does not learn a lesson from it. The security guard arrives, and Grace is taken away, where she’ll hopefully be cared for. Reva’s dad arrives, and she begs him to let her continue the fashion show after two people have died. He agrees, and they get ready to put it on that night.
Pam and Willow come in to finish up for the show, and Pam goes to check in with Reva. She comes in as she sees a man choking Reva to death, letting her fall to the floor, where she dies. Pam starts shouting and screaming, and he lunges at her, but not before looking one last time at his victim and realizing it’s not Reva after all, but Ellie, whose hair is a perfect match for Reva’s. Reva comes in and realizes it’s Grant, and he shouts at her for making him sneak around behind Liza’s back, making selfish demands and refusing to let go. He planned to kill Reva and let them blame it on the same person who killed the others, and Reva informs him that person is already in custody. He tries to grab both of them, but Pam trips him up, and Reva puts her heels on him. Ellie wakes up, so she’s not really dead after all! Police come in, and it’s a happy ending for all the people who matter.
We get a final scene with Pam, Willow, and Reva at Christmas. They finish unwrapping their gifts, and Reva even feels happy for her cousin’s success. Pam gives her a scarf as a Christmas gift, and no one ever tries to kill Reva again.
Good! Her feelings are hurt, thought Reva.
Fear Street Trends
A few more this time around. Willow is a punk kid, described with a nose ring, short hair, and a lightning bolt tattoo (I think it’s possible in timeline to assume it’s a Harry Potter bolt). The handmade scarves seem like the exact thing middle aged women would love: gold and silver with hand stitched reindeer. Apparently Shadyside is large enough to have its own modeling agency, which doesn’t match with my perception of it, but what do I know. Grant is described as exceedingly handsome, with dark curly hair and gold-brown eyes. Reva clearly goes for the tall dark and handsome crowd. At the fashion show, Christmas music with a rock beat is described. I can only imagine what that sounds like.
My favorite thing to come out of the Reva Dalby trilogy is I searched Daniel Powell, since the name sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t remember which book I’d heard it in, and I found this on the Fanon Wiki, a fake entry for John Carpenter’s Silent Night 3. The fancast is top notch, with stars like Lea Michelle, Hilary Duff, and Stanley Tucci. This is a movie I’d absolutely watch.
Of all the Reva Dalby joints, this is the one I like the most, but coming after a series of her books, it’s a little fatiguing. The twist is definitely better than the plots of the other books, and I felt a little more connected to each of the plot lines than the last book. I still only want to give two strangled models out of five.