Nineties horror returns!
The New York Times reports that prolific author R.L. Stine is set to revive his much-loved young adult horror series “Fear Street.” The “Fear Street” books–which debuted in the nineties–revolve around teenagers and the spooky happenings they experience in the fictional town of Shadyside. The last book in the series was published in 1995 and Stine will pick-up in October 2014 with Party Games. In honor of Halloween and these “screamtastic” developments, below are ten of the best nineties horror YA authors and a sampling of their finest works.
R.L. Stine, The New Girl (1989)
The book that started it all, this is the first “Fear Street” story. Cory is obsessed with the new girl in school, Anna. Anna is blonde and beautiful and . . . as pale as a ghost. When Anna suddenly disappears from Shadyside High, Cory must go to her house on Fear Street to find out why. If you enjoy The New Girl, know that there’s plenty more where that came from in this series.
Christopher Pike, Remember Me (1989, reissue 2007)
When Shari wakes up dead after a party, she knows she didn’t kill herself. Rather than moving on as other spirits do, she decides to hang out in the world of the living so that she can find out how she died. Shari teams up with another ghost, a boy she went to high school with, and together they hope to unravel the mystery of her death. Packed with action, romance, and bittersweet moments, this book will stay with you. Other favorite Pike books include Whisper of Death, The Last Vampire, Witch, See You Later, Spellbound, Gimme A Kiss, Monster, Scavenger Hunt, Fall Into Darkness, The Midnight Club . . . pretty much all of them.
Lois Duncan, Don’t Look Behind You (1990, reissue 2010)
April’s life is turned inside-out when she discovers her father’s been working undercover for the FBI. After the conviction of a notorious drug dealer, April and her family must leave everything they know and relocate under the Federal Witness Security Program. Boyfriends are left behind but far more than just teen romance is on the line. Other loved Duncan books include I Know What You Did Last Summer and Killing Mr. Griffin.
L.J. Smith, The Secret Circle (1992, reissue 2011)
The CW television show may now be defunct but the original book trilogy that was the basis for it still packs a punch. When quiet Cassie is forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, she longs for her old life. It’s not easy for her to fit in, especially with a group of terrifying teens ruling her new school. Until she finds out she’s one of them—another teen in a long, line of Salem witches. Smith’s other notable series include: The Night World series (Books 1 & 2 tend to be most popular), The Forbidden Game, and Dark Visions. Oh yes, and there’s one other series that might ring a bell: Vampire Diaries anyone?
Caroline B. Cooney
Caroline B. Cooney, The Cheerleader (1992)
Althea longs to be popular and she’ll do anything to get it. After she finds out there’s a vampire living in her house, she makes a deadly pact with him. He’ll get her a spot on the cheerleading squad. All she has to do is supply him with victims. This is the first book in a series, and Cooney’s other well-known books include the Janie Johnson series (The Face on the Milk Carton books) and the Losing Christina series (The Fog, The Snow, and The Fire).
Richie Tankersley Cusick
Richie Tankersley Cusick, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)
The novelization of the 1992 film by the same name, the book follows Buffy, a new student at Sunnydale High, who also happens to be the “Slayer”—one girl in all the world to find vampires and destroy them. Other popular books from Cusick include Fatal Secrets, Help Wanted, Vampire, April Fools, and, naturally, other Buffy books in the series.
Alvin Schwartz, Scary Stories to tell in the Dark (1989)
This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is a wonderful collection of some of the scariest urban legends and ghost stories around. Perfect stories to tell on a rainy night, at a slumber party, or around a campfire. The best part: if you survive this book there’s a sequel (More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark).
Diane Ho, The Silent Scream (Nightmare Hall #1) (1993)
The first in Hoh’s horror series “Nightmare Hall,” The Silent Scream follows college freshmen Jess who’s just discovered that a girl killed herself in Jess’s room. And after strange things start happening in her off-campus dorm, Nightingale Hall, Jess realizes the girl’s not entirely gone yet either.
A. Bates, Party Line (1989)
Mark has discovered the teen party line—a great new way to meet girls. Unfortunately for Mark, after he meets the girls on the phone, they start vanishing. What started out as a way to date becomes a dangerous and frightening mystery. Party Line was another of the popular “Point Horror” books launched by Scholastic Inc. and which included other titles by R.L. Stine, Diane Ho, Richie Tankersley Cusick, Christopher Pike, and Caroline B. Cooney.
V.C. Andrews, Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, Book 1) (1990)
If being a teenager locked in an attic (or incest) isn’t scary, then what is? In this strange and dark tale, four children are locked away from the world by a selfish mother who is trying to hide their existence.