R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series is back, and in The Dead Boyfriend, he tells the frightening tale of teenage loveand how it can go terribly, murderously wrong.
Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Colin, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Colin 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 Colin.
When Caitlin approaches Colin with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Colin is deadand she has killed him. But if Colin 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.
About the Author
Hometown:New York, New York
Date of Birth:October 8, 1943
Place of Birth:Columbus, Ohio
Education:B.A., Ohio State University, 1965
Read an Excerpt
The Dead Boyfriend
A Fear Street Novel
By R. L. Stine
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Parachute Publishing, LCC
All rights reserved.
Here I am, my dear diary, about to confide in you again. About to spill my guts, as I always do, only to you. This is the only place I can open my heart and talk about what I really feel. How many ballpoint pens have helped me share my story with you? How many late nights have I nodded off, my head drooping over your opened pages, my hand still clenching the pen, as if I could write my thoughts in my sleep?
Of course, my parents don't understand why I spend so much time bent over my desk, scratching away line after line, baring my soul when I could be doing a million things for fun. But you do, my friend. Sigh —
Okay. Shall we start today with some details? Since this is a new diary, I'm going to begin at the beginning. I'm Caitlyn Donnelly. I'm seventeen, a senior at Shadyside High. I'm not terrible looking. I'd say I'm a seven.
I have nice wavy blondish hair that falls nicely down my shoulders. I'm average height and weight. I have an okay smile although my two front teeth stick out a little. My friend Julie says my eyes are my best feature because they're so round and dark and serious.
I've lived in the same house on Bank Street, two blocks from the Shadyside Mall, my whole life. It's just my parents and me. Jennifer, my older sister, moved to LA to be a screenwriter.
Jen is the talented one in the family, but so far, she spends most of her time waiting tables at a taco joint in Westwood. I think I spend more time writing than she does, but I know she'll get a break one of these days. She's very sophisticated and clever, and everything comes so easy to her.
Jen and I were never that close, I guess because she's almost six years older than me. But she was someone I could talk to when I had things on my mind. Like, always. And I miss her a lot.
We FaceTime every few weeks, but it isn't the same. It's always kind of awkward, I think because Jen feels she's been out in LA for nearly a year and hasn't come close to getting anyone interested in her writing. And she's the kind of person who hates to fail.
I don't care if anyone ever sees my writing, Diary. Truth is, I don't want anyone to ever see it. I think I'd totally freak if someone read my true thoughts and learned what a weirdo I am. That's why I keep the book locked and wear the key on a chain around my neck.
Private. Keep Out. This Means You.
Actually, I don't think I'm a weirdo. I just don't fit in with my family. They're all so driven and ambitious and serious about life, and I mainly want to have fun. Sigh again.
Life is so short. I've learned that the hard way. You know all about it, Diary. You're the only one.
No one else knows the true story. No one would believe it.
Since Blade died, my life is only sadness. And fear.
I don't think I'll ever get back to the cheerful, funny, fun-loving person I was. My parents and my friends are desperate to pull me from my black mood.
But how can they? It will never happen.
Blade and I were perfect together. Perfect ... from that first night we met.
That night ... It wasn't a perfect night, Diary. I ran into Deena Fear that night.
I'd lived in Shadyside my whole life and never spoken to anyone from the Fear family. And now my hand is suddenly sweaty and it's hard to grip the pen, remembering ... thinking about Deena Fear and all the darkness she brought with her.
And poor Blade. My beautiful Blade. Did I have any way of knowing he would be with me for such a short time? Any way of knowing he would die such a horrifying death?
I have to stop. My tears are smearing the page. And I'm gripping the pen so — tightly now. I want to use it to stab ... stab ... stab....CHAPTER 2
It seems like a long time ago, but it was only a few weeks, Diary. Julie and Miranda and I were squeezed into a booth at the back of Lefty's. That's the cheeseburger place across from the high school. The food at Lefty's isn't bad, but we mainly go to see who else is there. It's a hangout. That's what they'd call it in all those cornball teen movies.
It was a little after nine on a Friday night. Just about every booth was filled with kids from our high school. A few grumpy-looking adults were huddled by the front counter waiting for a table. They probably didn't appreciate the loud voices and constant laughter.
I think adults generally hate teenagers. Because they're jealous. They'd rather be teenagers than what they are.
A loud crash made us all jump. A waitress had dropped a tray of glasses. The restaurant went silent for a few seconds. Then everyone burst into applause.
I turned back to Julie and Miranda. "What was I talking about?"
"You were talking about yourself, of course," Miranda said. She's the sly one with the dry sense of humor.
"Well, it is my favorite subject," I replied.
"You were telling us about the little boy who dropped his popcorn," Julie said.
"Oh. Right. Well, I'm not allowed to replace it. Ricky, the manager, says no free popcorn for anyone. But I waited till Ricky stepped away from the popcorn counter, and I gave the kid another bag."
"Big whoop," Miranda said. "That's your best story for tonight?"
I grabbed her wrist. "You didn't let me finish," I said. "Then the kid dropped the second bag, too."
Julie laughed. "That's so sad."
Miranda rolled her eyes. "Caitlyn, you have an exciting life. My heart is totally pounding. Tell that story again."
"Okay, okay," I said. "So, working the popcorn counter at the Cineplex isn't a thrill a minute. What did you do today that was so exciting?"
Miranda sighed. "Believe it or not, this cheeseburger is the highlight of my day." She raised it to her mouth and took a small bite. The tomato slid from the bun and plopped onto her plate.
"You have to learn how to work a cheeseburger," Julie said. It wasn't that funny, but all three of us laughed.
Julie and I have been friends since ninth grade, although we're both very different. She's always sarcastic and rolling her eyes and making funny remarks. I'd say her sense of humor is kind of nasty, actually.
I'm not a rah-rah cheerleader, but I try to see the bright side of things. I get into things. I'm enthusiastic. I can't help it. I don't hold myself back. I even try to enjoy things other people might find boring, like my after-school shifts at the popcorn counter.
I'm impulsive. And emotional. I cry at movies and TV shows all the time. It doesn't embarrass me.
I don't think I've ever seen Miranda cry. Or get very excited about anything, either. She's always standing off to the side, making jokes. She's not shy. She's just all locked-up inside herself, I think.
Miranda could be really attractive if she lost a little weight and did something with her stringy brown hair. Also, her glasses have to go. The red plastic frames make them look like swim goggles.
Julie and I keep telling her she'll look so much better with contacts. But she says she doesn't want to stick sharp little things in her eyes. Stubborn.
I'm not judging her in any way, Diary. I'm just trying to describe her. She's a good friend. She'll never see what I write here. No one will. But I want to be as accurate and honest as I can.
Julie doesn't eat meat, so she had a grilled cheese sandwich, and we shared a plate of fries. She and I look like we could be sisters. Her hair is pretty much the same blonde as mine, and we both have serious, dark eyes. She likes to wear bright red lipstick, which makes her face more dramatic than mine.
We're the same age, but I think she looks older. Maybe because she's about two inches taller than I am. And, I admit it, she dresses better. Her aunt is always sending her these awesome designer tops and skirts from New York.
Julie is very practical and even-tempered. Her last name is Nello, and I call her Mellow Nello. She's always warning me not to jump into things and to be careful about different guys and to take it easy and not be so emotional.
I always accuse her of being too timid and not taking chances, of always being predictable. Of course, she thinks being predictable is a good quality. We may look alike, but our personalities are way different.
Miranda leaned close and gave my hair a long sniff.
I squinted at her. "Are you getting weird?"
"No. Your hair smells like popcorn," she said. "It's a great smell. Someone should make a popcorn perfume."
"A million-dollar idea," Julie said. "I'd buy it. And how about bacon perfume? We could make a fortune."
"I thought you were a vegetarian," I said.
She frowned at me. "I don't eat bacon. That doesn't mean I can't wear it."
I sighed. "When I get home, I shampoo my hair twice. But I can't get rid of the popcorn smell."
Julie shook more salt onto the plate of fries. "Do you ever eat any of the popcorn while you're waiting for the next customer?"
I grinned. "Ricky would like to keep count of each kernel, but he can't. I help myself to a handful or two when he isn't looking."
Miranda rolled her eyes again. "Are we going to talk about popcorn all night? Doesn't anyone have any good gossip?"
I gave her a gentle push. "Get up. I have to go to the bathroom."
She edged out of the booth and climbed to her feet. I slid out behind her. "Don't say anything interesting till I get back."
"Not a problem," Miranda said.
Lefty's has a single bathroom across from the kitchen door. I had to wait in line behind two other girls I knew from school. They were talking about a metal band concert they'd seen at the Arena in Martinsville. They thought it was awesome. They sat in the third row, and the ushers passed out ear plugs to keep everyone from going deaf.
Then the girls started talking about what the warm spring weather was doing to their hair. "Extra conditioner," was one solution. "I use half a bottle of the stuff every morning." Interesting idea.
When I came out of the bathroom, I walked right into a girl with long straight black hair, dark eyes, and black lipstick against pale skin. She was carrying a white take-out bag of cheeseburgers.
The bag slipped from her hand when I bumped her. We both bent over to pick it up, and we cracked heads.
"Sorry," she said quickly, in a tiny voice. "Sorry." Even though it was my fault.
I handed her the bag.
I knew who she was.
I didn't know that my life was about to change forever.CHAPTER 3
Deena Fear wore huge round black-framed eyeglasses. Her dark eyes appeared to bulge behind them, making her look like an owl. She wore a long-sleeved black crew-neck sweater, despite the warm night, over a short straight black skirt and black tights. I noticed her earrings — small silver skulls. She had a silver skull in her nose, too.
"I'm sorry," I said awkwardly. "I wasn't watching where I was going. I —"
"That's okay, Caitlyn." I felt a quick jolt of surprise. I didn't think Deena knew my name. Her eyes went down to my wrist. "I like your bracelet." She gazed at the silver bracelet my parents had brought me from their vacation in the Bahamas.
To my surprise, she reached out and wrapped her hand around my wrist and the bracelet. Her hand was warm and dry. Her fingernails were divided down the middle, each one half-black, half-white. She held my wrist for a long moment. "Does it have powers?"
She spoke in such a soft voice, I wasn't sure I'd heard correctly. "Powers? The bracelet?"
She nodded. Her straight black hair fell over her forehead. She let go of my wrist to brush it back.
"I ... don't think so," I said. I laughed. Was she making a joke?
She shifted the cheeseburger bag to her other hand. "I've seen you at the mall, Caitlyn," she said.
I nodded. "Yeah. I work at the Cineplex some afternoons." I turned and glimpsed Julie and Miranda watching from the back of the restaurant. "I'd better get back to my friends. See you around, Deena."
Her owl eyes locked on mine. I wanted to turn away, but they seemed to hold me there. "Sometimes I see things," she said. "Sometimes I know things about people."
I didn't know how to reply to that. A waitress carrying a tray of cheeseburgers over her head wanted to squeeze past us. I used it as an excuse to get away. I gave Deena a little wave and walked away. For some reason, my wrist felt all tingly where she had handled my bracelet.
Miranda climbed up so I could slide into the booth. I sat down in time to see Deena Fear walk out of the restaurant, her long hair sweeping behind her back.
"Since when do you know her?" Julie asked.
"I don't," I said. "I almost knocked her over. So we started talking."
"She takes Goth to a new level," Miranda said.
"She gives me the deep creeps," Julie said.
"She isn't so bad," I said.
Miranda shook her head. "Just because she's in the Fear family, does she have to wear all black clothes and have black lips and black nails and creep around like some kind of witch? Why doesn't she rebel? Wear hot colors? Be a cheerleader? Run for Prom Queen?" Julie laughed.
"She seems really shy," I said. "She's so awkward. Think she has any friends? Ever see her hanging out with anyone at school?"
"I don't remember even seeing her in school," Julie said.
"She doesn't try to have friends," Miranda insisted. "We were at the same birthday party once. I tried talking to her. But she's obsessed with ghosts and the paranormal and the walking dead. She kept talking about these movies I never heard of. At least, I think they were movies."
"Maybe she doesn't have a choice," I said, not exactly sure why I was defending Deena Fear. I guess I always like to side with the underdog. Or maybe I just like to argue with Miranda. "Coming from that family —"
"She's like a total Fear Family cliché," Julie chimed in.
My bracelet still tingled, as if it had been electrified somehow. I ate a few fries. They were cold now. I turned to Miranda. "Are you having a graduation party?"
She didn't hear me. She was staring at a table near the front of the restaurant.
"Miranda has to have the party," Julie said. "I can't have it. My house is too small."
"We could have it in your backyard," I said. "My parents aren't even going to be in town. They'll be in South Africa for two weeks on a business trip. Do you believe they're missing graduation?"
"Then we should have the party at your house," Julie said. "No parents. A total blowout."
Miranda still had her gaze on the table at the front. She bumped my shoulder. "Who's that guy gawking at you over there? Do you know him?"
I followed her gaze. A blue-uniformed waitress began to clear a table, blocking my view. "What guy?"
"See him?" Miranda turned my head. "The guy in the red hoodie? He's been staring at you like he's hypnotized."
"Hypnotized by your beauty," Julie said. I couldn't tell if she was making a joke.
I finally spotted the guy, by himself at a small, square table, sitting sideways in his chair, ignoring his food. And yes, his eyes were on me. He was kind of cute looking. A dark shirt under the open, red hoodie. A wave of black hair falling over his forehead. "I don't recognize him," I said.
"He thinks he knows you," Miranda said.
I squinted harder. "No. I've never seen him. I don't think he goes to Shadyside."
"He hasn't blinked," Julie said. "Maybe he wants to have a staring contest with you."
"I'll find out," I said. "I'm not shy." I gave Miranda's chubby arm a shove. She obediently climbed to her feet so I could slide out.
Julie raised her hand to her mouth. She does that a lot. She's so easily shocked. "Are you really going over to him?"
"What's the big deal?" I muttered. I squeezed past two girls who were just sitting down at the table across from us, and I strolled over to Mr. Red Hoodie.
He had amazing gray-green eyes, and they grew wider as I stepped up to him. I placed my hands on my waist. "Hey," I said. "How's it going?"
He shrugged. "Not bad." He had a nice smile and a tiny crease of a dimple in one cheek.
"Were you looking at me?" I demanded.
He snickered. "Do you always think people are looking at you?" "Answer the question," I said. "Were you?"
He shrugged again. "Maybe." I liked the way those incredible gray-green eyes crinkled up when he smiled.
I smiled back. "Why were you looking at me?"
"Because you have a piece of lettuce stuck on your chin." He reached up, tugged it off, and showed it to me.
Well, yes, Diary, I was expecting something a little more romantic. Of course, I was embarrassed. But I didn't want to turn and hurry away. Something about him — not just his cuteness — drew me to him.
I crossed my arms over my chest. "What's your name?"
Excerpted from The Dead Boyfriend by R. L. Stine. Copyright © 2016 Parachute Publishing, LCC. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
R.L. Stine had one heck of a fear street comeback! R.L. Stine will never cease to amaze me. I have been reading his books since I was 12, and I am happy to say I still love his books. This book was very dark, and had plenty of unexpected moments. Never was I expecting a twist this crazy at the ending of the book. But I can tell you I finished the book with a smile of amazement. This book had all the creepy aspects one could want in a fear street novel. I can't say much more without spoiling the story, but if you choose to read this book know that you will be baffled, and amazed. Also make sure you free up some time in your schedule, because this book is going to have you on the edge of your seat. Plenty of "WHAT?" and "NO WAY!" moments that will have you really wondering just how more amazing and realistic ones imagination can be. This book does have some extremely creepy scenes, but is not too gruesome to teenagers I would recommend this book for ages 15-16 and up. I received this ARC book for free from the publisher via netgalley which had no influence on this review. I was under no obligation to provide a review.
The Dead Boyfriend, is creepy and horrifying. Fear Street hasn't changed. Caitlyn, telling her story through her Diary. About the horrifying situation, she somehow got herself in. Deena Fear has set her sights on her and her "boyfriend" Blade. Mr. Stine has not lost his touch. The creepiness factor has gone up, since I originally started reading Fear Street as a kid. I did enjoy this story. But the turn it made, was weird. I was almost confused about what was really going on. So with that I gave it 3.5 (4) Stars.