Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Boyfriend by R.L. Stine


R.L. Stine's books can be hit or miss because he churns them out like butter. You can tell when he's dialing it in and when he's making a more concerted effort. Writing spoiled, borderline-sociopathic girls getting their comeuppance seems to be his strong point. There's Reva from the Silent Night trilogy and this book, THE BOYFRIEND, with Joanna.

Joanna is a rich, snobby New Englander who is basically a living, breathing stereotype. She's dating a boy from the wrong side of the tracks because he looks like Matt Dillon (lol) but she's getting bored of him. Now she's got her eye on Shep, another rich New Englander who comes from the same sort of stock as her and also has a brand new Jaguar.

Instead of straight up breaking up with him, she treats Dex like garbage, which results in a prank... that goes horribly wrong. Fatally wrong, one might say. Dex dies and instead of calling the police, Joanna runs away-- and promptly gets into a car wreck. When she wakes up, she hears the horrible news and her first thought is literally something like, "Yay, now I don't have to break up with him! I'm single again!" What a card.

But then-- Dex comes back.

This is one of Stine's better books. I thought the suspense was great and the writing was a cut above some of his other books. There were so many twists at the end, it kind of made my head spin a little, but ultimately I think I liked it. Joanna was just SO awful... it was kind of a relief not to feel sorry for her and just kick back and go along for the ride. Point Horror books are always way more intense if you actually like the character, which is why the Losing Christina series by Caroline B. Cooney still sends me on a rollercoaster of emotions to this day.

If you like Point Horror books, you'll enjoy this one. It's the perfect read for fall.

3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars

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