Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [YA]

Memory Monday — R.L. Stine

What better bookish memory to talk about on Halloween than R.L. Stine?! Seriously. When I was a kid he was the big deal. In 5th and 6th grade, all the kids I knew were reading R.L. Stine. We were too 'old and mature' to read the silly old Goosebumps books, but those Fear Street stories were deliciously creepy and freaky, especially because really, for the most part, it was stuff that could actually happen. No creepy nasties under the bed. Oh no. We are talking psycho crazy best friends, stalkers, wannabees and more. Some of them did dabble a bit into the paranormal, but it was all much more subtle in the Fear Street series than in Goosebumps.

I remember reading his Seniors series. One of the girls in the Fear Street senior class has a vision, of all the seniors lying in coffins by graduation day. Some people believe her, because apparently (if I'm remembering right) her family has a history of eerily accurate visions, but a lot of people scoff. And then, one by one, the seniors do start dying. The beginning of each book includes a 'yearbook page' with all the senior pictures. And with each new book, more and more of their pictures are altered as the students die.

There were 12 books, and I read 10 of them. This is the only series to date that I remember knowingly reading out of order. The books were in such high demand by all the morbid 5th and 6th graders out there, just itching to get their hands on the books that if you waited to read them in order, you'd never get a chance to read them at all. But I did resist the last book in the series, wanting the conclusion to be the actual conclusion. But book 10 never came and never came, and then I moved and no one in Idaho seemed to be as consumed with the thrill of R.L. Stine the way the kids in Western Washington were and the library didn't carry the series and I couldn't find the books and so I just... never finished reading them. I still don't know if the whole senior class ended up dead. I have no idea how it ended. And ya. It bugs.

Any of you read R.L. Stine? What about the Seniors series? For how popular I remember them being as a kid, I have met very, very few people since then that have heard of them, let alone read them. Makes me wonder if I exaggerate their popularity in my mind, but somehow doubt I could be misrecollecting the annoyance when non of the books were on the shelves, or the only one you could find was the one you'd read three books ago or who incredibly exciting it was to find a new one sitting there, just waiting to be snatched, read and inhaled by you!! Don't ask my why, when I had my library card memorized by age 9 because I put so many book on hold, I didn't think to put these books on hold, because I couldn't tell you. But I can tell you that the searching, the looking and the finding was so exciting, almost as much fun as reading the books themselves. This is definitely a series I'm going to have to revisit. Maybe I'll actually read them in order this time. At the very least, now that I can't remember any of their names or stories, at least I'll know if someone manages to escape the vision.