Episode 10 now up!

The last of the episodes we recorded before Anna went off to Europe is finally up!

Fear Street: The Stepsister involves Emily grappling with the fact that her stepsister Jessi is moving in to her room. They got along at the wedding, but things are just falling apart. Going from a single room to a shared room is inherently pretty difficult. But moving in to a room with someone who you believe might be out to get you might just be worse. Add to that a misogynistic stepdad and a quiet and slightly odd stepbrother and it’s an interesting situation you have going on. Good thing Emily has the support of a older sister Nancy who seems to always be there when she needs a shoulder.

Divorced kids were THE topic in MG and YA books in the 90’s. This is the first Fear Street book that deals with two families coming together.  We’re not entirely sure RL Stine did the situation justice, but family dynamics are not his forte.

Anna also gives a brief rundown of Pilot X and Spaceman of Bohemia.

Without further ado, here’s Episode 10 – Fear Street 9: The Stepsister. Give it a listen!

Episode 09 is FINALLY up!

Anna had a fun time in Europe but now she’s back and spent the weekend editing. Thanks to our listeners for being so patient and understanding. We apologize for not getting this out sooner.

Fear Street: Halloween Party is about Justine throwing a party in a mansion on Fear Street for Halloween. But it’s really a story about friendship, revenge, and rising above pettiness. It’s shorter than the other Fear Street books we’ve read by a few pages, but it’s the most action packed. Everything about the story clicked – from the characters to the setting. Haunted introduced the supernatural elements to the series, but Halloween Party is the first to really introduce genuine fear.

Anna also gives a midread review of Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar.

Thanks for being patient. Here it is, Episode 09 – Fear Street 8: Halloween Party on Spreaker!

Episode 8 is now up!

Going into the recording session, Surge hadn’t quite figured out how he felt about Fear Street: Haunted. In fact, immediately after finishing the book, he ran downstairs and said something along the lines of “let’s record, I need to figure this out”. Anna was in the middle of the season 3 finale of Black Mirror but hey, you record when you have to.

What can be said about the book without spoiling too much? Well, we can say that our predictions were off. We can also say that numerology still seems to play a large role in the Fear Street books, if you know Mandarin and German. RL Stine, we’re on to you.

What can we say with tons of spoilers?  HOLY SHIT THERE’S A REAL GHOST ON FEAR STREET! This is what we’ve been waiting for!! Yeah.

What the main point of Haunted was though? Income and class disparity in Shadyside. We saw that a bit in Fear Street: The Sleepalker, with Mayra having to earn money to help the family out. But it’s clear as day here. Melissa comes from a very well to do family: both her parents are lawyers, she lives in a Victorian mansion, she gets a car for her birthday, and her family has a live in maid. Part of this book also takes place in the “poor” part of town, or the Old Village. RL Stine goes out of his way to describe the shabbiness of this part of town. The yards are more overgrown and smaller. The houses are falling apart. We enter Paul’s house and the contrast could not be more stark. Whereas Melissa has everything she could ever want in her room, Paul has a utilitarian room. A bed, a light, a counter built in to the wall, and a trashcan. Paul has grown up in an environment where he doesn’t always get what he wants, and he can see that there are people on the other side of town who don’t struggle the same way. And this rage boils within him and causes him to do some pretty awful things. But the thing is, the “rich” in the book doesn’t necessarily come off much better. Melissa’s friend makes fun of a less well to do girl in the mall who “dares” to be poor. However, because her dad grew up in poverty, he instilled values in Melissa to make sure it never went to her head. So Melissa stands up to her friend and lectures her about what she is saying. The thing is, the friend  didn’t really care despite Melissa’s best efforts.

RL Stine could be writing horror shlock to sell more books, but he chose to write about something more. This isn’t a book about being haunted by something. It’s a book about how much the environment we grow up in shapes and affects us. And even more importantly, how much we let it shape us.  Income inequality is an important topic, and for it to be a issue in a Fear Street book was a big deal.

Before our discussion on Fear Street:Haunted, Anna reviews We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. A new YA book that was recommended by booktuber ProblemsOfABookNerd.

Without further ado, check out Episode 08 – Fear Street 7: Haunted on Spreaker.

Episode 7 now out!

In the latest installment of the Fear Street series, The Sleepwalker, we see Mayra sleepwalking down to Fear Lake. It’s actually kind of terrifying if you think about it. Even the most relaxed person likes to have a semblance of control over their life. To have a sleepwalking problem is basically having no conscious control over what you are doing. Mayra almost drowns in Fear Lake in her sleep. Terrifying.

Surge and Anna do make light of it at times, but seriously, if you have this problem, go get a sleep study done. We also come off pretty judgey about how her mom handles it. Which, hey, we’re not parents. Maybe it’s not fair for us to do that. Props to her mom for trying her best.

On a lighter note, we did struggle in figuring out how to pronounce Mayra. We couldn’t decide if it was like “Myra” or maybe “May-ra”, so we just went all out and found a different perhaps unique way. It actually sounds pretty cool, but you need to listen to find out how.

Anna also reviewed The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker at the start. It’s a stellar book about friendship and unbreakable bonds that people should definitely check out. For a longer review you have to listen to the episode!

On that note, listen to Episode 07 – Fear Street 6: The Sleepwalker on Spreaker.

Sixth Episode out!

We released episode 6 of our podcast!

We talk about Fear Street The Wrong Number, which ostensibly is a story about how prank calling people is not only rude but can end in disaster. Also surprised it was never a plot on any of the crime procedural shows. Then again, it might have been and we just never watched enough of them.

Did any of you guys ever prank call people? Neither one of us really did anything like that in the 90’s. The worst was probably Anna calling her parents from a friends house and pretending to be someone else for a few seconds. But since she had to ask permission to be at the person’s house, it never made sense to make it a thing. Neither one of us really saw the point of it, or we just had other things to do with our lives.

Deena uses prank calls as a sort of crutch because she’s so shy and can’t muster up the courage to talk to her crush. By the time we were teenagers, we had AIM so we never had to really speak to our crushes. We just IMed, which gave us a chance to sit back and think about what we wanted to say.

Come to think of it, maybe the advent of the internet age killed prank calls. Instead of prank calling people, now people just troll each other. It’s sort of similar in many ways, no? Any thoughts?

Anyways, on top of discussing The Wrong Number, we also get into a brief discussion on graphic novels vs manga.

Listen to “Episode 06 – Fear Street 5: The Wrong Number” on Spreaker.

Episode 3 Youtube up!

We know it’s taken forever, but the Youtube version of Episode 3: Fear Street 2 The Surprise Party  is finally up! Our Youtube version has visuals that go along with everything we’re talking about, so if you want to see what we’re seeing in our head as we speak, check it out!

Episode 3 was a tough episode to edit. We started with an hour and a half worth of content, but sadly had to cut it down to only 40 minutes.  There are definitely some general Fear Street topics we see that need to be discussed, so we’re going to have some randocasts about that. It might sound a bit choppy because of that, we hope the visuals help you understand our thought processes.

Third episode out!

Our third episode is finally out! We spend a bit of time talking about Fear Street The Surprise Party by RL Stine. What really struck us was how great a heroine Meg was, she stuck to her guns and saved the day. Really a 180 from Cory. Speaking of Cory, despite Surge’s predictions, Cory, Lisa, Dave, and Arnie all appeared in this book. Not Anna, she’s still dead. Podcasting Anna got to gloat about how right she was that Cory and Lisa were doomed from the start. But that’s ok, Surge was able to enjoy the murder mystery of this book.

Anna also gives a review of Flying Lessons and Other Stories, a collection of short stories edited by Ellen Oh. There was one story in the book that Anna didn’t think belonged as part of the anthology. We get into it in the episode.

Listen to “Episode 03 – Fear Street 2: The Surprise Party” on Spreaker.

 

 

Check out Episode 2 on Youtube!

The video for episode 2 is now up on Youtube. You might have heard us talk about The New Girl via audio, but do you want to hear us talk about it with visuals? No need to wait here it is, our second episode on Youtube.  Sometimes it’s nice to see what people are talking about when they’re talking about it. After all, it lets you get to know us a little more. We’re really proud of what we’ve done so far, and we hope you’ll give us a lsiten and watch.

Thanks!

PS: Cory and Lisa guys, Cory and Lisa.

Second episode up

Our second episode of RetRead Podcast is now up! We got together to discuss RL Stine’s The New Girl, the first book in the Fear Street series. To be honest, we didn’t know if there’d be much to talk about. As it turns out, we ended up discussing (or arguing) for almost an hour and a half. A good half hour of it was actually just the two of us debating the (im)possibilities of the Cory/Lisa relationship. Surge is a huge fan of the “girl next door” trope, while Anna is more of a realist. It got pretty heated. We did end up cutting a bit of it since you guys probably aren’t too interested in 2 people yelling at each other for 30 minutes. We are actually still arguing about it 4 days later. Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

Before we got into The New Girl, Anna reviewed Point of No Return by Martha Gellhorn and Night Shift by Stephen King.

Thanks for reading, give us a listen.

Listen to “Episode 02 – Fear Street 1: The New Girl” on Spreaker.