This 1997 YA novel from R.L. Stine tells the story Tania, Eva, and all of their friends at Shadyside High!
Tania, as we learn in the book’s opening pages, is having the best year of her life! She’s got a hunky stepbrother. She’s got a football player boyfriend. Her movie career is about to be launched because she’s been cast in a high school student film. (Yeah, that didn’t make sense to me either but just go with it.) And, at the big pep rally that starts the book, it’s announced that she’s going to be the homecoming queen! Meanwhile, Eva apparently has psychic abilities that allow her to know if something bad is going to happen. That may sound impressive but the book doesn’t really do much with it.
Of course, life is never as perfect as it seems. Tania may be the most popular girl in school but that doesn’t mean that everyone likes her. In fact, Leslie, one of the defeated homecoming queen finalists, even attempts to push Tania down some stairs! OH MY GOD! Leslie says it was an accident but was it? Later on, when Tania mysteriously disappears, Eva and her friends wonder …. who killed the homecoming queen!? (Of course, that’s assuming Tania is dead. She’s actually just missing so it could be that Eva is getting ahead of herself.) Leslie seems like the obvious suspect but …. OH MY GOD AGAIN, is that Cherise Colby making out with Tania’s boyfriend!? And seriously, why would anyone trust their boyfriend with someone named Cherise Colby?
I love the old R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike books and I’m planning on reading and reviewing a lot of them for October. The main reason I read this particular book was because of the title. I mean, Who Killed The Homecoming Queen is the type of title that you would come up with if you were challenged to come up with the perfect R.L. Stine title. That said, the book itself is pretty anti-climatic. There’s only one death in the book and — surprise! (and spoiler alert, I suppose) — it’s not the homecoming queen! So, as perfect as the title is, it’s kind of a lie. Stine used the title but he didn’t actually use it as the plot of the book, which is strange.
To be honest, though, this book feels like R.L. Stine on autopilot. This is one of the last of the original Fear Street books (though Fear Street itself is not really mentioned in the book) so one gets the feeling that Stine was a bit bored when he wrote it. I was a bit bored when I read it, though I did have to laugh at the obnoxious student filmmakers who insisted on making Eva’s life awkward. Never have a group of supporting characters felt more true to life.
Anyway, fear not! This particular R.L. Stine book may be disappointing but he wrote a lot of books and I’m planning on reading and reviewing a few of the better ones this October!
I mean, who can resist a trip to Fear Street, right?