REVIEW: Bad Dreams by R.L. Stine

Originally published 2016-03-30: Not much is worse than rivalry between sisters… except maybe a haunted bed that speaks to you through your dreams


So far this month, I’ve read and reviewed three R. L. Stine books in honor of my daughter’s tenth birthday. Like me, my daughter loves scary stories, but I want to stop her from reading books that are too scary too soon like I did. I started on books above my maturity level at a young age due to my reading ability, and I want to save her from the same fate.

That’s why, while I’ve been reading R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, I’ve also been reading some books from his Fear Street series to gauge the difference.

What I have found in reading The Secret, and today’s book, Bad Dreams (Fear Street #22), is that she is definitely not ready for the Fear Street books. Both of these are recommended for kids in upper grades, closer to high school than middle. Other books in the series are rated for middle grades, and as I find those, I will read and review them, as well.

cover of YA horror Fear Street Bad Dreams by R.L. Stine

Book Description

It’s just a bad dream – but it seems so real.

Every night Maggie Travers has the same horrible dream. Every night she is forced to watch the same murder. And every night the girl in her dream cries out for help. Maggie is afraid to go to sleep again. But when the terrifying dream starts to come true and the gruesome accidents begin, staying awake is the real nightmare!

This book was right up my alley at about my daughter’s age. It was perilous and fast-paced. It had elements of teenage angst, sibling rivalry, and the paranormal that were hallmarks of the books I loved so much all those years ago (and still love today!).

My Rating

There was a lot going on in this book. Maggie, her mother, and her sister have just moved to Fear Street after the death of her father.

She has only recently started going out with her macho, playboy boyfriend, and her sister is furious. He is another in a long line of what Maggie’s sister, Andrea, considers Maggie has stolen from her over the years.

Add in a swim meet that pits sisters and friends against each other, and a haunted bed, and Maggie Travers is having the worst few months of her life.

I didn’t see the ending coming in this book; it was a page-turner that kept me guessing up until the last pages. For that reason, I give Bad Dreams (Fear Street #22by R.L. Stine four of five stars. I recommend it for teens and adults who like a little bit of scary in their stories – but not too much.

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