A plot with genuine surprises and my admiration for some totally legitimate psychiatric practices combats with my absolute disgust for the relationship dynamics present in 'High Tide' makes for a noice Super Chiller! I remember the Super Chiller's being, uh, bigger, but its literally 16 more pages. Was the Super part, the Maturity of the protagonists? Everyone's in college and living in apartments or rented cottages with roommates.
Adam can't stop thinking about how his girlfriend Mitzi drowned last summer, and about how it was all his fault. He's haunted by vivid nightmares of that fateful water scooter ride and awake he has hallucinations of missing limbs, phantom scooters, and dead girls. For some reason he and his doctor still feel he's adequate as a lifeguard at Logan Beach....
Another lifeguard and erstwhile buddy is Sean, who is violently jealous about his "girlfriend" Alyce, whose every word and gesture indicates she wants nothing to do with him. He entertains Adam with a story about how he once almost beat a guy to death for going out with his girl after a slow campaign of escalating threats. He tells Adam to not look at Alyce again. Fun guy.
Adam's current girlfriend is Leslie, who has some anger problems of her own, albeit a trifle more legitimate. She totally freaks out when Adam breaks a date with her, saying he isn't feeling well, being mentally ill and all, and she sees him holding hands with some floozy from the beach. She should really just calm down.
Rounding out the main cast is Adam's womanizer roommate Ian who consistently borrows all of Adam's clothes, his car, and doesn't buy groceries. But, he doesn't complain too much when Adam's screams wake him up in the night, so he's a keeper.
There are a couple of fellow Shadyside alums, Joy and Raina, who show up on the beach for a good time and then there's TV Psychiatrist Dr Thall who has been working with Adam for a year on those nightmares and may resort to some experimental treatments....
No one in this book deserves to be in the horrific, toxic relationship hell they are in. It was stunning. Sean's behavior is supposed to be disturbing, but where Stine ends up going with it....wow. The 1990s were not that long ago, but a whole lot more was tolerable. I enjoyed the insane plot twists, but its the couples that will keep me up at night. This should really get five batshit stars, but I just can't.
Fear Street Super Chiller
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