Sunday, October 22, 2017

Focusing On Fear Street: Bad Dreams

Book# 22 in the series
Published March 1994
Cover Art by Bill Schmidt

This cover is probably one that male Fear Street readers had to keep hidden from Mom under the mattress. Besides the showing of some skin it's still pretty modest but two girls in nighties in bed looking like victims of one of those Slumber Party Massacre films might have Mother wondering about her little boy. It's also actually a very girlie color scheme with reds, pinks and whites kind of almost a Neapolitan ice cream of terror but very detailed with girls and the four poster bed.

Is it just me or do the girls look like Shannon Elizabeth and Alyson Hannigan from American Pie 2? (but not in this pic obviously!)

I'm kind of glad you can't see what has the girls are afraid of because less is always more but it also is a lot more pulpy than some of the other covers I found from around the world. I always go to Germany first and I am never disappointed with what I find:

A bloody knife stabbed into a feathered simple yet so terrifying! The only color you have is the blood everything else is just pure white. That is also one very deadly but sleek looking knife! Next up, Brazil always has some very interesting covers in a style that shows faces but very obscured and just gorgeous:

Dark, foreboding atmosphere with more subdued shades of pink but a girl asleep in a canopy bed with another girl watching in the shadows. Is she a friend or is she something sinister about to hurt the obviously, sleeping girl having a bad dream? Also another cover you might want to keep out of mother's eye line...a little more cleavage outlined. I kind of like the cover for the French edition that I found or one of them anyway. I found one that has a young girl in bed with a shadow looming over her but the girl in question looks really...young. I have some reservations about that seeing how Fear Street is more oriented to the older teenage crowd so I won't post it (if you want to see it just leave a comment below and I will if anyone is interested.) Here is the one I do like:

 A little bit of the American cover, a girl asleep in a very luxurious canopy bed and a dagger looming in front of a creepy home you could surely find on Fear Street! Gorgeous, creepy and almost with a noir style to it...c'est magnifique!

Taglines: On the front we have "Don't go to sleep!" and on the back we have "It's just a bad dream-but it seems so real.". Not the most attention grabbing or wittiest way to grab the readers attention but the blurb on the back is good and not full of any blatant spoiler. I think the covers are good enough to get your attention on their own.

Totally unrelated plot but a movie worth checking out

So before I get into the first line of the story and begin my review I have to warn you that there will be spoilers for a previous Fear Street book I talked about The Prom Queen. There are recurring characters from that book that appear in this one and not as little one shot cameos so if you haven't read the previous book and don't want it spoiled, this may not be worth reading. If you have already read both books I'm sure it will be no problem for you. I'll try my best not to spoil it but once I start writing my thoughts are going to pour out so just letting you know before hand. That being said I am also skipping the prologue and its first line and going straight to the first chapter. Why? It's my opinion that if you read the prologue you may get the story spoiled only slightly. Not a bad prologue so I'm not saying don't read it but I only talk about the prologue if I don't think it will spoil the book for you.

The First Line: "Maggie Travers' bad dreams didn't start until the night she slept in the canopy bed for the first time."

Seventeen- year old Maggie Travers, her sixteen year old sister Andrea, their mother and Golden Retriever Gus move into a new house on Fear Street from the rich North Hills neighborhood in Shadyside after their father dies from a heart attack. The two sisters don't really get along like most sisters with Andrea I guess being jealous that her sister is prettier and gets the attention of boys while Maggie thinks Andrea is a brat who always whines and it's shown that she is known to treat others snobbily because of  where they live or rather...where they use to live.

The girls are also both on the swim team and Maggie is of course one of the stars while Andrea struggles. Once inside to unpack in their pre chosen rooms, Maggie finds a gorgeous, four-poster pink canopy bed in hers and Andrea gets totes jealous trying to make their mother give it to her but of course you know finders keepers. Besides the stress of sibling rivalry, there is also a big swim meet coming up and Maggie is determined to win and show up her best friend but rival by ego, Dawn.

As stated soon Maggie begins to have dreams about a blonde girl crying out for help in the same bed which soon become darker with an unseen attacker. Maggie learns from the old couple next door that the girl was named Miranda and she was murdered in the canopy bed! This makes Maggie a little paranoid and rightfully squicked out but she begins to think that maybe Miranda is sending the dreams beyond the grave to find her killer.

Soon, Maggie imagines seeing Miranda's ghost in the house at night hiding in the shadows, a malevolent presence stalking her and then going after her friends on the swim team! Is all of this in Maggie's head like her boyfriend Justin possibly thinks or is possible that little sister has finally gotten fed up with Maggie always getting everything she wants?

The story is pretty good and I like Maggie as the protagonist. She isn't annoying and relatable and even her sister Andrea has good points. They fight but both of the Travers sisters share in the loss of their father and do care about each other so Andrea isn't that bad of a character. We don't spend a lot of time with their mother but she seems caring and rightfully at her rope when her girls fight so I like her pretty much as a side character.

WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS! - Maggie's boyfriend is Justin Stiles from The Prom Queen and he seems to have changed slightly. Known for being a male whore when it comes to girls he appears to really care about Maggie and doesn't have a roaming eye for anyone else but when things get creepier he seems to become distant. I suppose this happens when your current girlfriend is friends with one of your ex-girlfriends and the one before that was a psycho killer who went after all your little flings.

The one character I still don't like and doesn't seem to have made any kind of progress is Dawn Rodgers, another Prom Queen alumna who is Maggie's friend and Justin's ex. She is still very competitive and doesn't seem to be as boy crazy but she is annoying and gets on Maggie's case if she does better than her than be supportive. She tells Maggie that Justin has a roaming eye but maybe she is just jealous that Justin isn't her boy toy anymore and is more faithful to Maggie than he was to any of the girls before her.

When Dawn becomes a victim of one of the accidents caused in the book to blame Maggie, she does blame her and avoids Maggie the rest of the time but caught giving her sour looks. By the book's conclusion, we never learn if Dawn forgives Maggie or if Justin stops being weird around her but at least I care if he and Mags get back together. I couldn't care less if Dawn continues to be a bitch and they stop being BFFs I'd rather have Maggie get closer to her sister Andrea.

Cameo Time!: Deena Martinson and Jade Smith from The Wrong Number appear in Maggie's geology field trip group exploring a cave and Claudia Walker from Sunburn is also on the swim team. I have to give these Shadyside teens a hand they are resilient when it comes to situations of almost being murdered to tackle dark places and water.

Body Count: Poor Miranda :( There is almost an instance when you think good old Gus is going to be hit by a truck but he lives! Maggie states she couldn't handle if they lost another family member (Gus is her dog but kind of became her father's sad).


So it is mentioned that Justin and Maggie go out on a date and it is some screwball comedy film to try and get Mags out of her funk and it doesn't work. Now there were a lot of good comedies out about this time but I think they went to see Naked Gun 33 1/2 The Final Insult it's about as screwball as you can get.

If not that then it definitely had to be Major League 2 another sort of spoof film and well Justin likes baseball...

This also was a great time for music and I would like to share some of my favorites. One to honor the late Mr. Travers, a personal favorite and one to honor the late and great Tom Petty.

NEXT TIME, NEXT BLOG: You know it's never a good thing when your friend asks you to go out on a Double Date...

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