Stine, R.L. The Lost Girl
September 29th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
In this new, jacketed hardcover, R.L. Stine starts by telling us some of the history of Fear Street. In 1950, Beth Palmieri's family is celebrating. Her father, who started out as a stable hand at Dooley's, is starting his own stable. Beth has had run ins with Aaron, the son, and isn't fond of the family, but is still shocked at the revenge that Mr. Dooley takes on her father, and her mother is distraught when not only her husband is brutally murdered, but Beth goes missing and is presumed dead.
In the present day, Michael and his girl friend Pepper meet Lizzy Palmer, a strange new girl who always seems to be lost. Michael is oddly attracted to her. When Michael and a group of friends borrow snow mobiles from his father snowmobile showroom, Michael hits a boy when he is unable to move. The friends panic and leave the scene, especially when Lizzy claims it is a boy from her school, Angel, who is a psychopath. Michael goes back, and the boy is gone. Unsure of whether or not he actually killed the boy, Michael is plagued by visions. He sees Angel rising from a grave on a history class trip to a cemetery, and gets threatening phone calls, presumably from Angel. One by one, the teens who were snowmobiling are injured, or in one case, killed. Michael and Pepper go to the police and tell them the whole story, but the police can't really do anything because Lizzy doesn't seem to exist. How has she come to Fear Street, and why is she targeting Michael? The answer is as shocking as it is surprising.
Strengths: I found the 1950 portions of this to be really delightful. They turned gruesome all too quickly, but if Stine ever wanted to write a historical novel set in the 1950s, I would read it. The intertwining of the two time periods is clever, and I didn't see all of the twists coming. This will be a big hit with my students.
Weaknesses: A bit too much human-on-human violence for my taste, but it's not too over the top for middle school.
What I really think: So glad to have any new book by Stine. Tried and true horror!