Review: The Dead Boyfriend

R.L. Stine - The Dead Boyfriend
Published: September 27, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books for St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Horror, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 276
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

R.L. Stine's Fear Street series is back, and in The Dead Boyfriend, he tells the frightening tale of teenage love - and how it can go terribly, murderously wrong.

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Blade, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Blade may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn't care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Blade. When Caitlin approaches Blade with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Blade is dead - and she has killed him.

But if Blade is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party?

Terrifying from the first page to the last, The Dead Boyfriend is a heart-racing young adult novel from the master of teen screams himself.

RL Stine can do no wrong. It’s bookish logic, friends.

I haven’t read RL Stine in years (I was crazy about the Goosebumps series in middle school. That creepster trilogy was my equivalent of bookish Cracker Jacks), but I feel like he’s a writer who people never tire of, like Meg Cabot or Sophie Kinsella. Anytime I’m welcomed back into one of their books, I feel like a kid again.

Caitlyn lives a mostly average life in her town of Shadyside. But when she and her friends happen upon the local burger joint one night, they spy an attractive boy and Caitlyn is hooked. I mean, hooked. Their romance skyrockets to the stars. They do everything together, like they’ve been dating for years. They crash parties and grocery-shop as a couple, and it’s all very romantical.

#UNTIL. đź’€

When Caitlyn catches Blade with another girl, she immediately confronts him. And to make it worse, he doesn’t deny the allegations, he calls her crazy and she snaps. As any woman would in that horrific scenario, she well, kills him. Or so she believes.

After repeated run-ins with a conspicuous figure by the name of Deena Fear, a typical Goth with the affinity for murder, Caitlyn grows paranoid because of Deena’s all-around weirdness and is convinced Blade will come after her in retaliation. Although, Blade is given a public funeral, multiple occurrences lead to police to re-question Caitlyn and her parents grow suspicious. (No lie, but I was stumped by that plot twist. Literally, this book had me shook for a few minutes.)

The only thing that really bothered me about this book was Caitlyn’s toneless “voice.” That’s the problem with diary formats, really. In the first chapter, she introduces herself and her appearance, what she likes and doesn’t, etc. I prefer personality behind those words, but I’m not trying to outright pick on it. And the fact her sister didn't appear just once. I always find it weird when family members are mentioned, but they can't even make one basic cameo.

I adored the ending, weirdly enough. I’m just surprised (realistically, I always look into the realistic aspect of things) (which is me, simply), Caitlyn/Cathy-Ann's book hit it off with people immediately. Whatever, it happens. Like I said, RL Stine can never fail us.


  1. LOVE THIS REVIEW!! R.L. Stine really can do no wrong! Also, Deena Fear!! Love when Fear decedents show up in FS books!! I thought that there was definitely some "voice" issues too and I thought the progression from "we're in love" to "I want to kill you" was a tad fast. But it's Fear Street!! What else would I expect?

    1. Yay!! Seriously, I think instalove can always be accepted, but only in the case of an RL Stine novel. I haven't read too many of his other Fear Street novels, but I have SUCH a fan of the Goosebumps series tbh.


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