BOOK REVIEW: The Wrong Number by R.L. Stine

True story: Fear Street was my jam when I was in elementary school; but I eventually moved on to fantasy a la Harry Potter, leaving R.L. Stine behind - until Netflix announced the Fear Street trilogy and I got sucked right back in. So what caused me to select The Wrong Number for my re-entry into the spooky world of Stine? The opening scene of Fear Street Part One: 1994 obvi, when Maya Hawke as Heather rings up this very title at B. Dalton minutes prior to falling victim to the ghost face killer. But I digress...while a movie led me to this title, the words on the page are what truly kept me there.

When Deena Martinson's father gets promoted to VP of a local phone company, it doesn't just mean more money in the bank for her family - it also means that she's privy to the latest and greatest gadgets in telecommunications. Namely, her own private phone line in her bedroom. While the implied independence of the phone quickly captivates her gorgeous BFF Jade Smith; Deena has more pressing matters on her mind...like the fact that her brother {ahem...half-brother} Chuck will soon be moving in. Known for his penchant for breaking the rules {and the law}, Deena is anything but thrilled that he'll be walking the halls of Shadyside High in just a few short days, so Jade persuades her to make a little mischief of her own.

With phone book in hand, Deena and Jade start making harmless prank calls to the Shadyside student body - flirting and teasing some of the guys in their grade. But once Chuck arrives...things go a little too far. Chuck, who catches Jade's eye in mere moments, doesn't want to flirt, tease, or taunt the recipients of his phone calls; rather, he prefers threatening his victims. And then he does the unthinkable...he dials a number belonging to a resident on Fear Street, and accidentally overhears a murder being committed. Curious to know whether the tables have been turned, and they're now the ones being pranked, Chuck, Deena, and Jade decide to investigate - a decision that places the three teens in a type of danger they could have never imagined.

One thing I learned about Stine many, many years ago is that his books are notoriously a hit or miss. Sometimes you love them, sometimes they fall flat - and, on some occasions, you think you love one only to find it lose its charm in the final pages. The Wrong Number is one for the love pile. Reminiscent of Lois Duncan's I Know What You Did Last Summer; The Wrong Number leans more mystery/thriller/suspense than scary, which was perfectly fine with me since I love a good investigation. I stayed awake long past my bedtime to finish this one, and it was most definitely worth it. One of Stine's best Fear Street books to date. Highly recommend if you're just entering the world of Stine or simply reacquainting yourself with his works.

Star Rating: ****



ellie said...

Oh, he always had such great beginnings! I liked the Fear Street suspense. So nostalgic now..I so enjoyed your review.

Caitlin'nMegan said...

Awesome! So glad you reminded us of his Fear Street series. Just recently, I have gone back to "Ocean City" K.A. Applegate series..oh..that's what summers are made of! Thanks for this blast from the past!

Ivy's Closet said...

I will confess I liked this series a lot more than his adult novels. I like his suspense. Thanks so much!

Malindha Erba said...

I saw the Netflix's serie, and I don't thing I wont read nothing about it xD

Ananka said...

Sounds a good read. I like the cover!

The Tote Trove said...

Such a nostalgic, entertaining, and well-written post! I was a '90s kid too and still remember the Fear Street spinning rack in our school library. I never read any, though -- the covers freaked me out! I was, however, a big B. Dalton (and Waldenbooks) customer. Going to the mall and loading up on paperbacks (and scrunchies :) -- sigh, those were the days!

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