Novel Review: Night Games by R.L. Stine

“What the Hell was that!?” I said, as I read the final line of Night Games.

First published in 1996, Night Games is another one of those R.L. Stine books in which a group of otherwise law-abiding, wholesome American teenagers decide to live every teenager’s fantasy and have some fun by harassing one of their teachers.  (No, Lisa Marie, I loved all of my teachers!  Yeah, I hear you but I don’t believe you.)  Mr. Crowell seems like a nice enough guy but he’s constantly giving Lenny a hard time so all of Lenny’s friends decide that it’s time to play some “night games” with Mr. Crowell.  At first, this is limited to breaking into Mr. Crowell’s house at night and moving stuff around and stealing an item or two.  But then Mr, Crowell dies and our narrator, Diane, has to figure out if he was murdered by her ex-boyfriend or her current boyfriend.  At no point does it ever seem to occur to Diane that, in an ideal world, she wouldn’t have a history of dating boys who are capable of murder.

Anyway, the only special thing about this book is the final twist and I’m going to reveal it because, otherwise, this is going to be a short review.  So, consider this to be your SPOILER ALERT.  (I have to admit that every time I type the words “spoiler alert,” I lose a little respect for myself and even more respect for the people who demand that such warnings be used even for a book that is 26 years old.)  Anyway, it turns out that Lenny, despite his temper, is not the murderer.  Instead, the murderer is Spencer and Spencer …. well, Spencer’s a ghost.  He’s come back from the dead just to make Diane’s life difficult.  He starts to strangle Diane but Diane hugs him and apologizes to him for not being a better friend.  Spencer is conquered by love and his spirit is set free.  Yay!  All of Diane’s friends are happy but what they don’t realize is that Diane is now a ghost and now she’s plotting to get  revenge on all of them!

That’s actually not a bad ending.  Diane’s friends were really annoying so they deserve what’s coming to them.  Still, it’s interesting that Diane automatically became an evil ghost as opposed to a mournful ghost or a philosophical ghost or a confused ghost.  She died and she immediately embraced the dark side.  Agck!

Now, that’s scary!

One response to “Novel Review: Night Games 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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