Joseph Trainor’s ‘Watery Grave’ Brings Aquatic Horror to the Surface [Buried in a Book]

The 1980s was a pivotal time for horror fiction, especially for young adults. As Grady Hendrix wrote in Paperbacks From Hell, this was the decade where “horror hit its stride with a hungry teenage audience.” Dell Publishing’s own part in the prevailing trend included Twilight: Where Darkness Begins, a collection of self-contained books that helped […]

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Lois Duncan’s ‘Summer of Fear’: The Inspiration Behind Wes Craven’s 1978 Movie [Buried in a Book]

In the 1970s, Lois Duncan’s work began to reflect her interest in the supernatural. The uncanny was an infrequent element throughout her output before she stopped writing fiction entirely, although this fascination led to some of her most popular books. In her ‘76 novel Summer of Fear, Duncan looked no further than her own upbringing […]

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‘The Clown’ Is a Wicked Last Laugh for YA Horror Series ‘Taggard Point’ [Buried in a Book]

Hot on the heels of Fear Street were other series about teens uncovering the goings-on in their hometowns. Mark Rivers’ Taggard Point was one of the more fleeting attempts; it both began and ended in 1995. The series’ namesake does not sound too ominous when compared to a place called Shadyside, however there is plenty […]

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R. L. Stine’s ‘Fear Street’: ‘The Face’ That Launched a Thousand Screams [Buried in a Book]

Martha Powell has no idea what happened that previous November. The young Shadyside resident, a junior at the local high school, remembers everything else about her life — family, friends, and a deep love of art — yet this one event remains a mystery. The worst part is, no one in this Fear Street book […]

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‘The Cat-Dogs’: 1995 YA Horror Anthology Delivers Six Macabre Stories [Buried in a Book]

The snarling hybrid on the cover of The Cat-Dogs suggests this 1995 anthology has an animal theme. On the contrary, this collection has only a few actual beasties in it. Editor A. Finnis curates an eclectic and largely British assortment of horror, featuring everything from mythical predators to a haunted train station. No two stories are […]

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‘Mother’s Helper’: A Nanny’s Nightmare Comes True in A. Bates’ 1991 YA Thriller [Buried in a Book]

Babysitting is without a doubt the most hazardous after-school job in the world of young-adult horror. The caregivers in these books count themselves lucky if the biggest problem of the night is getting the kids to bed. Those less fortunate sitters have to deal with a variety of boogeymen. Although, not every waking second of […]

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Christopher Pike’s ‘Monster’ Unleashes Teenage Alien Vampires [Buried in a Book]

Much like Mary Blanc, Christopher Pike is on a mission. The author delivers the inciting incident of Monster with breakneck speed; he gets right to the killing. In only the first few paragraphs of the 1992 young-adult novel, Mary shoots two people dead at a party before her best friend Angela Warner stops her. Everything […]

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