Thanks to NetGalley I was able to read the digital version of The Lost Girl before it went to print.
Let me start off by saying that I’ve never read a Fear Street Novel, but I have read many of his Goosebumps novels. While I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t my favorite of Stine’s.
I don’t love the flow of the book. To start with, one MUST read the prologue to understand the twist at the end. I know I’m guilty of sometimes not reading it, but it’s imperative for this book. It’s also broken up into eight chapters! The book is then sectioned off into four parts. Three are in present time and one is in the past (the same time period as the prologue). I don’t understand why part two of the book isn’t just added to the prologue. It’s on’y two chapters and it would make more sense and flow better if they were grouped together. A few portions of the book were also drab compared to others. I feel as if they were just there for filler. They didn’t really add any substance to the story.
While most know that Stine is known for scary stories, I didn’t think this story was scary at all. There was a twist in the story towards the end, but it wasn’t frightening and I don’t think Stine built it up enough. The story went from white to black within one paragraph. Then the twist was explained over multiple chapters. I think presenting it in that way lessened the suspense for the reader. Usually little clues are hidden throughout the story or it’s a big bombshell. Maybe it’s just me, but the twist wasn’t a shock to me. I knew the who, I was just confused on the how it happened. However, I did not think one character would be making a reappearance in the book, but they did. So, I guess in that respect it was a bit of a surprise.
This is just my opinion, but I don’t think this book should be read by kids under 15. One scene in the prologue was very graphic and disturbing. I feel like there should have been some type of warning, because saying the novel is horror or scary is an understatement. I also think that the detail given about another murder in the story was excessive. I understand he wants the reader to picture what he’s written, but no one should have to visualize that when they’re reading a YA horror story. I don’t classify horror as graphic, so I’m a bit shocked both murders were written with so much detail.
When The Lost Girl hits bookshelves, who knows if things will be taken out or added. I will say that I love R.L. Stine and I think he’s a great juvenile horror writer and that if you’re a fan of his I think you will enjoy the book. However, if you’re looking for a scary story, I don’t think this is it.