Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Date Published: April 12 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Buy: Amazon // Book Depository
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R.L. Stine has built his legacy on scaring children and teenagers. Now he’s back with another spine-tingling tale of horror in this new Fear Street book about temptation, betrayal, and fear.
Eddie and Emma are high school sweethearts from the wrong side of the tracks. Looking for an escape their dreary lives, they embark on an overnight camping trip in the Fear Street Woods with four friends. As Eddie is carving a heart into a tree, he and Emma discover a bag hidden in the trunk. A bag filled with hundred-dollar bills. Thousands of them. Should they take it? Should they leave the money there? The six teens agree to leave the bag where it is until it’s safe to use it. But when tragedy strikes Emma’s family, the temptation to skim some money off of the top becomes impossible to fight. There’s only one problem. When Emma returns to the woods, the bag of money is gone, and with it, the trust of six friends with a big secret.
Packed with tension and sure to illicit shivers in its readers, this new Fear Street book is another terrifying tale from a master of horror.
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
In case you weren’t aware R.L. Stine is probably my all time favourite author. His stories shaped my childhood. He is the reason why I got into reading and why I love the horror genre as much I do. I absolutely adored the Fear Street series (along with like every other series Stine’s written) when I was a kid and when I found out it was being relaunched my excitement levels were through the roof. I read the first book in the series Party Games a while back and loved the concept. I was so, so, so excited to receive an ARC of this book. I automatically stopped everything I was doing and bumped it right to the top of my TBR pile and let me tell you, it was definitely worth putting all my other books on hold for. No one does horror/thriller quite like R.L. Stine does. Is it a bit cheesy and predictable at times? Yes. Do I care? HELL NO. Should you care? Absolutely not. Stine’s books are some of the funnest most entertaining books I’ve ever read and Can You Keep A Secret definitely falls into that category. I think it’s the best book of the Relaunch series so far. I could not put it down. I had to force myself to stop reading and actually sleep. It was so fast paced and with Stine’s style of every page being a cliffhanger you can’t help but keep turning them because you need to know what happens next.
If you watch Teen Wolf, do you remember that episode were all the kids found that bag of money that belonged to Peter Hale and didn’t know what to do with it? Well, that’s basically the premise of Can You Keep A Secret. If you haven’t then think Werewolves feat. a bunch of kids finding an unexplained rather large sum of money in the woods. Tension and murder (obviously), follows as they realise that maybe they shouldn’t have taken it. Leaving the money alone seems like the obvious choice, but it really makes you think: ‘What would I do?’. Especially when you factor in possible financial trouble that some of the characters were facing. Personally, I think I’d leave it alone but I would be very tempted to take it.
The book focuses around a character named Emmy who has been having recurring nightmares about running in the woods and wolves. Her family thinks it’s repressed stress from a “dog” bite she got whilst vacationing at her Aunt’s in Prague when she was a child. Emmy and her boyfriend decide to go camping in Fear Street Woods with a bunch of friends and this is when they stumble across the briefcase of money. There’s lots of tension among the group whilst they debate what to do with it. Emmy’s a bit flip-floppy in her decisions which could be annoying, but honestly I didn’t even care. They decide to bury the money at the pet cemetery were Eddie works (yeah, a pet cemetery) until they can figure out what to do. Emmy has to not only deal with the stress of all the issues the money is bringing, which includes someone’s untimely end, but also with trying to figure out what the hell is happening to her. She’s been getting urges to howl at the moon and still keeps dreaming about wolves. Emmy has a strained relationship with her younger sister, Sophie, and it was probably one of my favourite parts of the book. You’d think the werewolves story that’s simultaneously happening at the same time would clash with the money mystery, but honestly it doesn’t. The ending ties together nicely.
Can You Keep A Secret? is fast paced, action packed and very intense. I was impressed and at the same disturbed by the gore (because warning: it involves animals and my policy is: ‘WHO CARES ABOUT THE PEOPLE JUST DON’T KILL THE DOG‘). You’ll think that you know all the answers to the questions, Stine is insinuating through the book, but then the ending happens and you’ll realise that you’re wrong. This was honestly the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a really long time. Definitely pick it up!