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You May Now Kill the Bride (Return to Fear Street)

Review

You May Now Kill the Bride (Return to Fear Street)

R.L. Stine --- AKA the Master of Frightened Children --- is back with the newest installment of his Fear Street series for teens. YOU MAY NOW KILL THE BRIDE is a bone-chilling tale of two family weddings in two time periods that will keep you turning pages well into the night. In 1923, Ruth-Ann harbors an intense jealousy for her sister Rebecca, who is adored by everyone, including Ruth-Ann’s own boyfriend. After discovering the secret gift for dark magic that runs through her family, Ruth-Ann is soon to discover that an ancient family curse still haunts the Fear family.

In present day, Harmony thinks she is using the Fear family magic to play a few harmless tricks at her sister’s wedding, but she, too, is quick to learn that the Fear family curse is much stronger than she thought. What follows is an exciting murder mystery that spans through time, filled with supernatural twists and turns. Harmony must learn to use the magic she has discovered to save her family and thwart the Fear family curse.

"If you’re looking for an entertaining late-night thunderstorm read, look no further than YOU MAY NOW KILL THE BRIDE."

Somehow, Stine managed to make both time periods a joy to read. Starting in 1923 with Ruth-Ann and Rebecca, it is clear that Stine did his research into the unique vocabulary and style of the time period. The characters and their motives felt authentic and interesting, and I did not want to leave them. But once the story moved into the present, I was immediately interested in Harmony’s story. Even though neither character is exactly likeable, both Ruth-Ann and Harmony were fascinating protagonists, making for some really interesting interactions and opportunities for character development.

Anyone who grew up in the 90s is familiar with R.L. Stine’s terrifying children’s books, but beware, because YOU MAY NOW KILL THE BRIDE is intended for older readers. This novel contains some adult themes, and features some truly bloody moments. It is sort of like a combination between Stine’s classic scary novels for young readers and an adult mystery novel. And like many of Stine’s past work, this novel is the definition of a page-turner. With nearly every chapter ending in some sort of cliffhanger --- sometimes quite literally --- you will not be able to put this one down until you learn what happens next. With so many books under his belt, it is no surprise that by now Stine is a master of keeping readers glued to his pages.

The end is wrapped up just a bit too neatly, though. Despite such a gripping story, the resolution left me feeling unsatisfied. Hopefully there is more to this series coming soon, because I am dying (pun intended) to know more about this mysterious Fear family curse. If you were a fan of Stine as a kid, YOU MAY NOW KILL THE BRIDE is definitely worth picking up. Even if you aren’t familiar, you don’t need to have read any of his other books to get right into this novel, so if you’re looking for an entertaining late-night thunderstorm read, look no further than YOU MAY NOW KILL THE BRIDE.

Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on August 14, 2018

You May Now Kill the Bride (Return to Fear Street)
by R. L. Stine