Cartwheel Saves the Day: Review of R.L. Stine’s You May Now Kill the Bride

Fear Street is back, ya’ll!!  I was so excited when I read that R.L. Stine would be returning to the series that made him super famous in the 1990s. Before Goosebumps became the cash cow it has been for several decades now, Stine churned out Fear Street books once a month. This series was darker and more violent than Goosebumps, and aimed towards older readers. The series focuses around the town of Shadyside and its creepy, haunted street. The street itself is named after the Fear family, and Stine has written extensive family backstory into his books. In the first of the new series, Stine merges the violent history of the Fears with the new generation of Shadyside residents. Except, the book barely takes place actually in Shadyside. It’s okay, not a lot of the original books ever took place on Fear Street. Just roll with it.

The title of the newest entry to the series is You May Now Kill the Bride. This book focuses on (you guessed it) a wedding. There are actually two weddings in this book – one in the past and one in the present. Both weddings involve female members of the Fear family. And witches. And a curse. And a bunch of people falling to their deaths.

Amazing bizarro plot elements are to be expected in a Fear Street book and this one is no exception. There is casual uses of witchcraft, with no one really acting like that is crazy. The main character Harmony uses witchcraft and everyone that finds out just shrugs their shoulders and tells her not to. Almost as if they were telling her not to leave the door to the refrigerator open.

There’s also some cool use of time travel. And since the book takes place in a hotel in Colorado, there is a lot of elements of Stephen King’s The Shining. This is totally awesome and adds to the spookiness. Like a typical Fear Street book, there is also a lot of red herrings and some plot twists that seem to just appear out of thin air. But it is a good Fear Street book, because all these random reveals actually make sense in the end. There are many Fear Street books that do not make a lot of sense.

I don’t want to give too much of the plot away. Simply put, the story focuses on a wedding  at a resort, two sisters fighting, and jilted lovers all over the place. Add in some witches and a sheer cliff, a final cartwheel of death, and an impalement with a drill, and this is one wild summer read. You just have to trust me.

 

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