Novel Review: The Thrill Club by R.L. Stine


Let’s hang out with The Thrill Club!

The who club?

The Thrill Club!  They’re the group of high school students who are at the center of R.L. Stine’s 1994 novel, The Thrill Club.  They get together at night and they read the scary stories that they’ve written.  Perhaps the most macabre of all the writers is Talia, who always comes up with stories about people getting cornered by scary ghosts and ripped up into little pieces.  The other members of The Thrill Club are a bit upset because Talia keeps using them as a characters in her gory horror stories.  (Of course, what they don’t know is that Talia’s boyfriend, Seth, has secretly been writing Talia’s stories for her.)  I’m not really sure why that would upset anyone, especially people who are supposed to be horror fans.  Part of the fun of reading a scary story or watching a horror movie is imagining what you would do in that situation and why it would inevitably lead to your horrible death.  Anyway, Shondel asks Talia not to use her name in any more scary stories.  A few days later, Shondel is dead …. murdered …. and somebody’s responsible!  (Yes, that is a line from Plan 9 From Outer Space.)

Who killed Shondel?  Everyone in the Thrill Club suspects that it was Talia and isn’t that the way it always goes?  You write a few stories about your friends being brutally murdered and then, once they are, who is automatically the number one suspect?  Of course, it also doesn’t help that, on the night of Shondel’s murder, Talia comes to the Thrill Club meeting wearing a blood-stained sweatshirt.  And then there’s the fact that someone claiming to be Talia called Shondel’s mother and confessed to the crime….

Oh my God!  Could Talia be guilty!?

The mystery is eventually solved, of course, and it’s all pretty dumb.  Anyone who remembers the episode of Saved By The Bell were Zach thought he had brainwashed the entire student body into wanting to take him to the school dance will automatically see The Thrill Club‘s twist coming from a mile away.  That said, I enjoyed the book because I used to write short stories featuring my high school friends as well.  Of course, in my case, everyone always ended up having fun at the mall or shoplifting makeup from Target.  I enjoyed high school.

I was thrilled to also enjoy The Thrill Club.

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