Is there a genre between middle-grade and YA?
Back in the 1990s, R.L.Stine presented Fear Street, a teen horror series revolving around the terrifying Fear family and the doomed townspeople who got involved with them.
Party Games revives this cult series twenty years later, with Rachel, a high school student, who gets invited to Brendan's Fear party on a remote island. Even Though, her ex-boyfriend Mac and best friend Amy (who only appears in one scene) warn her not to go, Rachel doesn't listen. But once she gets there, something doesn't feel quite right. Why is Brendan suddenly so interested in playing games instead of getting drunk? And why are all their friends dying one by one?
Ten by Gretchen McNeil, and Diane Hoh's The Invitation will come to mind when reading this YA book. But although Stine did attempt to make the story gory with killing acts such as ''The Twister Game'' and '' The Jenga Game,'' Party Games didn't have the spark of its competitors. Rachel was too guy-crazed for a main character, constantly ranting about Mac wanting her back, even providing her best friend with a list of all the guys she's dated. If only Rachel didn't spend her time following Brendan from one end of the house to the other, searching for flashlights. If only she would take the lead and act as a main character.
In this modern day, teenagers are used to a lot more action and Mary Sue characters are far gone. Hopefully, the next book in the series will keep that in mind.