Book Review: The Confession by R.L. Stine


What would you do if your friend confessed to committing a murder?

That’s the dilemma that is at the heart of R.L. Stine’s 1996 YA horror novel, The Confession.

No one at Shadyside High likes Al.  He used to be kind of nice but, as of late, he’s been dressing in all black, drinking beer, and picking fights.  Plus, he’s got a really bad habit of blackmailing his friends.  Al is the type who will sell you the answers to a test and then threaten to tell everyone that you were cheating unless you keep him supplied with cash.  (Fortunately, my sister was a year ahead of me so I could just go through her old tests if I needed the answers in advance.)  Al is a real jerk and no one is that upset when he turns up dead and with a rollerblade stuffed in his mouth!

Who killed Al!?  Well, nerdy Sandy tells his friends that he did it.  At first, everyone’s okay with the idea of covering for Sandy because it’s not like Al was a nice guy and Sandy did promise not to kill anyone else.  But then Julie (who also discovered Al’s body) starts to have nightmares about Sandy and she finds it difficult to keep covering for him every time that she speaks to the police.  Julie also notices that Sandy has been acting a little bit differently since confessing to the murder.  Sandy seems to be a little bit more aggressive now, almost as if he might want to try to kill someone again….

AGCK!

Listen, if I was in Julie’s shoes …. well, I don’t know what I’d do.  On the one hand, I have always been against murder and violence in general.  On the other hand, Al was a real jerk and it was kind of obvious that he would have eventually ended up killing someone if someone hadn’t gotten to him first.  I would not want to be the person who sent a friend to death row.  So, in this case, R.L. Stine came up with a plot that actually made me think.  At the same time, he also added a last-minute twist that let almost all of the characters off the hook.  I guess that’s to be expected.  I mean, we’re talking R.L. Stine here, not Dostoevsky,  Still, I was a bit disappointed with the final few pages of the book.  Things worked out …. BUT AT WHAT COST?

Again, there was no cost.  This is R.L. Stine.  All the trauma in the world is worth it as long as you’re dating a cute guy and speaking in quips by the end of the book.  That, after all, is the appeal of Fear Street.

One response to “Book Review: The Confession by R.L. Stine

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/24/22 — 10/30/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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