Book Review: Fear Street Series- “Switched” by R.L. Stine


R.L. Stine

I grew up on “Fear Street” and for the month of October I will be reviewing one book from the series during each week of the month!! I am starting with the first book I ever received from the book series. This book was purchased by my father when I brought home a scholastic flier that I received in school. My grandmother, who raised me, sorta forced him into it since it was a scholastic book fair and they felt obligated to get me at least one book from the flier for some reason. I selected this book because it looked like something that I would enjoy. I didn’t know at the time, but it would start me down a long trip down this street that I have stayed on to this very day.

The main focus of this book is that Nicole and her best friend Lucy decide to change bodies because they are sick and tired of living in their own bodies. They want a major change and boy do they get that, especially Nicole when she discovers that Lucy had evil reasons for making the switch. Deadly reasons and now Nicole has to get her own body back or stand accused of MURDER!!

As I mentioned above about this book it was attached to a very fond childhood memory involving getting it from the scholastic book fair. It was the first “Fear Street” series book I got and it was one I was so glad to find a copy of again when I got older. I have purchased much of the series over time, but still have some to purchase to finish out the series. I decided in late September that I would showcase my love of Fear Street during the month of October because what better month to show it? Seriously, these books are children’s horror and isn’t that a part of what Halloween is all about? I just had to review some of these during this month! Also it showcases to my readers one of my favorite book series at the same time.

Did the nostalgia hold up? Do I still love “Fear Street? It is still too early to fully decide that since this was the first trip back down this road in a few years, but this book had its book points and its bad points. I will start off that it definitely filled a nostalgic part of my brain. It was hard to hate because I was going the entire time, “OMG this was the first book I remember reading of this series. I am so happy I am reading it again.” It lived up to that part of my brain, just so you know. That little kid part of my brain that still exists in all of us, if we look for it. That part was so pleased with this read.

The perks of the book was that it was rather fast-paced. The chapters were short and I remember those “shocking” endings of each chapter that always seemed to get resolved by the beginning of the next chapter that made me continue to want to read the book. That part of the book stood the test of time. I was going, “What is going to happen to poor Nicole next?” The bad part was that I was and still am obviously an adult now. I didn’t think through things in a logical sense back in my reading days back in the day. No, I didn’t remember the plot from when I read it back over twenty years ago, but I figured out what was going on pretty darn quickly in the book. This took away slightly from the reread. Not enough for me to not enjoy it. The story really does just keep you interested in what is going to happen to Nicole next. You are hoping and praying that she finds Lucy and gets her body back, but when you figure out what is really going on your perspective will drastically change about everything in it.

On twitter recently I mentioned that I would never discuss problematic content in a book. We are at a place where so many book bloggers have these discussions. So many of us discuss problematic content, like we will know what triggers someone else. We don’t always know this. This is being mentioned here because this book made me realize that there is a reason, sometimes, why we discuss problematic content. I realized that this is a book that wouldn’t have been published in a modern world. The content would have been seen as largely offensive to certain communities. I won’t give it all away since it is central to the book. I will say, however, that there is content that could upset certain communities within this book. We live in sensitive times and if you don’t have that nostalgic part of your brain for this series this wouldn’t be a book to pick up.

For me, as a “Fear Street” fan I greatly enjoyed this book. I loved the twists and turns. The wondering if I had figured out what was going on. It made me remember a fond part of my childhood. A part of my childhood I often overlook. I was happy to read this and happy to stroll down this road again.

I would not recommend this be your first trip down “Fear Street” if you are one of those that do not like “problematic content.” You will hate this book and you will complain. The series though has so many different stories you can read. There are so many different trips you could take, so don’t judge it based on this singular book. Just don’t read this particular one until you have established if you enjoy the series or not. If you don’t enjoy short and fast-paced books then this will not be a book that you will enjoy. Also if you don’t like the switch out where the author tries to entice you to continue at the end of a chapter then this book won’t be for you either. It will annoy you since this occurs literally at the end of every single chapter.

The people I recommend this to are people that have fond memories of the “Fear Street” series. You will find this stands the test of time. If you are a person that greatly enjoys a book that keeps you engaged the whole time and wants to suck you into the story then this book is for you. It will keep you on the edge of your seats and it won’t take you that long to read. Also those that enjoy a more “children’s” focus in their horror will greatly enjoy this. While there is a bit of “blood and guts” these are minimal and instead the story focuses on the way Nicole’s brain is working after discovering just why Lucy actually switched their bodies. This lack of blood and guts made me greatly enjoy this as a horror book for the month.

The “Fear Street” series was a rather lengthy series chocked full of different horrific stories about this one singular town and always involving some aspect of this street. If you want to take a stroll down “Fear Street” you have numerous journeys you could take, all with different destinations.

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