The Secret Bedroom - R.L. Stine

(Fear Street, #13)

Lea Carson can't believe it when her family moves into the creepy, old house on Fear Street. Most creepy of all is the secret room up in the attic.

The room has been locked and boarded up for at least a hundred years. A murder was committed in that room, the story goes, and it has been closed up ever since.

Lea knows she should stay away. But she thinks she hears footsteps inside the secret room. And voices.

Someone - or something - is waiting for Lea in there.

Should she open the door? Can she resist?

I was sorry to see that R. L. Stines' Fear Street series came to an end many years back. While aimed toward younger audiences, although thankfully not as young as Goosebumps, the books held tantalizing little stories that showcased a deep imagination. The covers were a delight as well, and there was just something addictive about the whole series. Some, of course, were better than others. Of just the basic "Fear Street" series, there were 52 books in total.

Here the story is groan-inducing for the adult, but as a young teen it should prove delightful. A big twist with the supernatural and a plot turn that shows not all is as it seems to be, and even one death, the ending wraps everything up with a 'small twist surprise.' Pace wise it moves along well, from the trials of moving to the dealing of ghosts. It's a simple story overall, but the premise of a hidden room and what it contains, as well as the one revelation that actually did surprise me toward the middle-end (hint for those who've read it: where the really she saw really was) make up for the uncomplicated tale.

Character wise Lea is easy to emphasize with and understand, even if she's a little one-dimensional and over naive. I can see her falling for a trick once, maybe - just maybe twice, but then again? I couldn't get her attraction to the main love attraction, either, as no backbone is never a good thing. The villain was the better done character, with slightly dramatic dialogue but a plausible thought process and cleverly twisted psyche.

Stine writes with a light hand, not using advanced vocabulary and keeping it straight. I wouldn't recommend this one for adults unless you're wanting to revisit memory lane. If you're looking to read what your teens and youngsters do to supervise their books, as long as you know what to expect you should be able to fly through this one with true interest. It may bore youngsters those looking for a bigger adventure and more substance, but for the reader wanting a quick fix, this should do in a pinch.

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