90’s kids are getting treated in the best way this year. With the release of the Netflix Fear Street trilogy (which has taken the streaming world by storm), we’ve been swept away by a wave of young adult R.L. Stine nostalgia that I for one am thrilled about. In keeping with the teen scream trend, I’ve scoured shelves and boxes, bookcases and carts to compile a list of books to pick up if Fear Street has awakened that long dormant spark in your heart. If you’re looking for a new-or old-read, this is a good place to start. They’re not even Fear Street books… well, not all of them anyway.
*Disclosure: We only recommend books which we love and would read ourselves. This post contains affiliate links, as we are part of the Amazon Services LCC Associate Program, which may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
10. Survive the Night by Riley Sager
Riley Sager’s latest release might fall into the slightly older end of the young adult spectrum, but think of it as Fear Street for the college crowd. Charlie is just looking for a ride home. Two months ago she suffered a devastating loss, and its left her needing a way out of college, town, and her current life. When Josh comes along offering to drop her on his own way, it seems like a good fit. Charlie has her misgivings, but she tells herself she’s just being paranoid. But trapped together in a car, driving down an empty highway, she starts to notice things about him… things that make her think she might be sitting next to a killer.
9. Slumber Party by Christopher Pike
Ah, Christopher Pike. Any fan of Fear Street will be well versed with this king of teen thrillers, circa the 1980s.Years after a horrible accident, six teens reunite for a ski weekend. Naturally, things begin to go wrong awfully quickly. All the teen shenanigans you could want, brought to you by a titan of the genre.
8. There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
A slasher after my own heart. Makani Young relocates to Nebraska from Hawaii after a traumatic event leaves her a pariah in her own community. But the past never stays buried for long, and as the students at her new school fall victim to a mysterious killer, Makani wonders if her past has followed her. There are some legitimately “slasheresque” deaths in this one, making it a fun choice for anyone searching for a little more gore with their literature.
7. Twins by Caroline B. Cooney
Classic teen thriller vibes from one of the masters. Mary Lee and Madrigal are identical twins. Madrigal is beautiful, confident and popular, and shy Mary Lee wishes that she could be more like her twin. When a tragic accident occurs, she gets her wish. However, Mary Lee soon finds that her sister had secrets, dangerous secrets. And these secrets are catching up to Mary Lee quickly…
6. The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
Peak teen mystery with twists for days. Five years ago, five cheerleaders died in the town of Sunnybrooke. Two passed away in a mysterious car accident. Not long afterwards, two others were brutally murdered. After Monica’s sister committed suicide, the town decided to disband the squad, and there have been no cheerleaders in Sunnybrooke since. Now, Monica is starting to discover more information. Information that leads her to believe that there may have been more to the deaths than she originally thought. She’s about to unearth more than she bargained for…
5. Fear Street: The Wrong Number by R.L. Stine
Having been the first Fear Street books seen in the films, it’s only fitting that this fan favourite make the cut. Prank calling takes a deadly turn in The Wrong Number. Friends Deena and Jade have been making innocent prank calls. Soon Deena’s brother Chuck decides to join in, but he makes a grave error: he dials a number on Fear Street. Now there’s no turning back…
4. The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky
I cannot begin to express how much I would have wanted to be a part of a legitimate horror club as a kid. After starting at Manchester Prep, Rachel Chavez catches the attention of the Mary Shelley Club, an exclusive group of students constantly trying to come up with the scariest pranks imaginable. However, that kind of spooky bliss can only last so long, and soon the club finds out that they themselves are being targeted. And this person isn’t just looking to play a prank. Touted as a combination of Scream and Karen McManus, this novel strikes the perfect chord in the hearts of a Fear Street fan.
3. The Train by Diane Hoh
Fans of the genre will recognize Diane Hoh from her stellar work in the Nightmare Hall Series. This particular Point Horror thriller finds four friends on a cross-country train trip with their classmates-both alive and dead it seems. When they discover that a casket carrying the body of a classmate who recently died in a car accident is onboard, they begin admitting all of the awful things that they did to “Frog” before he died. Afterwards, each of them is attacked, but by who? The only person who might want revenge is dead…isn’t he?
2. Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia
The town of Addamsville, Indiana have long treated Zora Novak and her family like trash. The townsfolk are convinced that the Novak family is nothing but trouble, and when the school janitor’s home burns down with him inside, they’re quick to point the finger at Zora herself. She has no choice but to take matters into her own hands and uncover the real killer. With the help of her quirky cousin Artemis, Zora will need to outsmart a killer and dodge the angry townspeople, a ghost hunting show on scene, and mounting rumors that only add fuel to the fire. A story full of ghosts, both real and imaginary.
1. Fear Street: The Cheerleaders Saga by R.L. Stine
Is this actually a series instead of a standalone? Yes. Am I sneakily including them anyway? You betcha. It’s Fear Street after all; the story is never really over. More Shadyside is always better as far as I’m concerned. Also, this saga gives us allllll of the curses, possessions, curses, and Sarah Fear tidbits that we could ask for. Bobby and Corky Corcoran have recently moved to town, and are looking to join the cheerleading squad. However, in true R.L. Stine fashion things won’t be so easy for the sisters, or for any of the other members of the Shadyside cheerleading squad.
Honorable Mentions: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus, White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig, People Like Us by Dana Mele
So many great Fear Street style books, so little time. These are only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t forget to check out the whole Fear Street series the next time you’re looking for more Shadyside fun.
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