Title- College Weekend
Author- R.L. Stine
Publisher- Simon & Schuster
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Interest Age: 12 and up
Reader’s Annotation: Tina just wants to have a fun weekend visiting her boyfriend, but when he doesn’t show up to pick her up, and instead sends his roommate, things begin to get weird.
Tina Rivers has been waiting for this weekend for a long time. She will finally get to visit her boyfriend who is away at college. Her mom makes her bring her cousin Holly. The girls arrive at the train station and wait for Josh (Tina’s boyfriend) to pick them up. It is dark and scary, and they are harassed by a man demanding money. That’s when a mystery hero steps up and chases the guy off. This hero explains that he is Josh’s roommate and that Josh went camping the day before and wouldn’t be back until later. Weird, Josh never told Tine about camping. Chris (Josh’s roommate) takes the girls to campus and gives them a tour. Then they are taken back to the boy’s dorm room, while waiting a girl named Carla knocks on the dooHe r and is shocked to see Tina. She explains that she believed she was someone else. The conversation turns to Chris, and we learn that his girlfriend Judy and how she died in a boating accident the summer before. Chris returns and invites the girls to a party, Tine is hesitant but decides to go but hangs up some clothes first. She notices that Josh’s hiking boots are still there. That makes her suspicious, but Chris brushes it off and explains that Josh bought new boots. The attend the party, and Holly runs off with Carla. Chris and Tina dance, and end up kissing. Holly goes missing, but it is explained away by Carla and Chris.
Josh and his friend Steve are still stuck, as Carla says, and she volunteers to go get them. Tina is still upset that Josh is not there and Holly is missing. Chris offers to take her to the carnival. They go and Chris gets weird with Tina on the Ferris wheel, claiming that she is playing games with him. Tina is upset but still agrees to take more photos with Chris. They go back to his studio and take pictures. While she is in the bathroom, she finds a picture of herself at night in the dorm room. She decides to leave but asks for a soda to distract Chris. She runs for it and confrontation ensues. Chris begins to call her Judy, and threatens her. He says he doesn’t want to have to kill her again. She ends up locked in a darkroom and she finds Josh’s body there. He has been burned with some kind of chemical. Chris fights his way back in the room, and more fighting occurs. He is about to stab her when Carla and her boyfriend Steve come in. They call the police. Carla and Steve describe the situation, and Carla had no idea that Chris has killed Josh.
This book is a guilty pleasure of mine. I remember reading it when I was a teen, and I really enjoyed just a cheesy horror story as a break from my textbook readings. This is why I’ve included it in my collection. R.L. Stine, although cheesy, creates an escape for readers. The characters are sometimes cliche and predictable but this is a great easy read for some reluctant readers.
Author Bio/ Information:
“Born in 1943, R.L. Stine started out writing jokes and funny stories. He moved to New York City in the mid-1960s, after graduating from The Ohio State University. In 1986, Stine published Blind Date, his first horror novel for young adults. He launched his popular Fear Street book series three years later. Beginning in 1992, Stine found international acclaim writing the Goosebumpsseries, which spurred the creation of additional series and nearly 200 books…
Stine launched his first horror book series for young adults, Fear Street, in 1989. Described as “where your worst nightmares lives,” the series explored the dark misadventures of students at Shadyside High School. Fear Streetgrew to include roughly 100 novels, eventually selling more than 80 million copies” (R.L. Stine Biography, n.d.).
Ties to Curiculum Units: N/A
Did Tina ignore too many red flags about Chris?
How does horror impact our lives?
I can see challenges coming about the violence in this book. I would explain the Mr. Stine’s books are known for capturing young adults attention, and getting reluctant readers to learn the love of reading! Here is an interview conducted where R.L. Stine speaks about the lasting impact he has seen with his readers from young to older.
R.L. Stine Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/rl-stine-20945371