It's officially February and the Valentine's season! This time of year is filled to the brim with red and pink decorations, candy hearts, boxes of chocolate, flowers, fancy dinners . . . and murder!
Okay, so maybe not everyone's Valentine's Day includes murder, but when it comes to R.L. Stine and Fear Street, you are guaranteed a death or two. Such is the case in his 1993 (republished in 2011) novel: Broken Hearts.
This story of holiday horror revolves around two main characters, Josie and Melissa. After a horrible horse riding accident (caused by the two teenager's carelessness) these two girl's lives change forever. When a close friend is left with serious injuries from the incident, they both try their best to move on with their lives.
However, it seems that someone doesn't want them to move on. Someone wants them to remember . . . and pay for their mistakes.
It all begins when Josie starts receiving threatening Valentine's in the mail. Poems that foretell of death and murder are the last thing either of these girl's expected during this season of love. However, a killer is out to get them before they can hold their final celebrations.
Broken Hearts is probably one of my favorite Fear Street novels I've read to date. The tone seemed somewhat more serious than other entries in the series thus lent itself to a more "80s slasher movie" style story line.
While Stine doesn't shy away from a few false scares and fake outs, the majority of the horror is true and really happening. This is one reason I love this book. The thrills are more tense and frightening since you know for a fact that something truly sinister is going on. Someone is really killing people and seems to have their sights set on Josie and Melissa.
Additionally, I have a great love for any kind of holiday horror fiction--and Valentine's Day is no exception. While Stine could have worked in a little more "holiday cheer" along with the horrors, he has just enough love letters, decorations, and even Valentine's parties to give it the right flavor.
Best of all, I really enjoyed the story's climax when the killer is revealed. I thought I had it all figured out but was blown away when I realized I'd been wrong. It made for a satisfying conclusion to a well written and evenly paced horror thriller.
If you're looking for something to read this Valentine's Day, go ahead and order a copy of this book. You won't regret it.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 PENTAGRAMS
Occult Concept is a horror podcast and blog focusing on discussions of horror and exploitation film from the 70's and 80's--as well as current media which is inspired by these movies.