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Fatal Secrets

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After her sister drowns, Ryan McCauley is haunted by the dead girl’s past Two sisters walk through a snowy wood, collecting pinecones for Christmas decorations. Something has frightened Marisa, and she’s about to explain it to Ryan, her younger sister, when she steps onto a patch of thin ice. Marisa plummets into the frigid water below, and though Ryan tries to save her, th After her sister drowns, Ryan McCauley is haunted by the dead girl’s past Two sisters walk through a snowy wood, collecting pinecones for Christmas decorations. Something has frightened Marisa, and she’s about to explain it to Ryan, her younger sister, when she steps onto a patch of thin ice. Marisa plummets into the frigid water below, and though Ryan tries to save her, there’s nothing she can do. Even though the accident wasn’t her fault, Ryan is consumed by guilt. But guilt is not what she should be afraid of. Three weeks after Marisa’s death, Ryan sees her everywhere. At night she feels something following her, but when she turns around there’s nothing there. A creepy college friend of Marisa’s shows up at Ryan’s house, and her mother asks him to stay through Christmas. To free herself of guilt, Ryan must unlock Marisa’s terrible secret—before death takes her too.


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After her sister drowns, Ryan McCauley is haunted by the dead girl’s past Two sisters walk through a snowy wood, collecting pinecones for Christmas decorations. Something has frightened Marisa, and she’s about to explain it to Ryan, her younger sister, when she steps onto a patch of thin ice. Marisa plummets into the frigid water below, and though Ryan tries to save her, th After her sister drowns, Ryan McCauley is haunted by the dead girl’s past Two sisters walk through a snowy wood, collecting pinecones for Christmas decorations. Something has frightened Marisa, and she’s about to explain it to Ryan, her younger sister, when she steps onto a patch of thin ice. Marisa plummets into the frigid water below, and though Ryan tries to save her, there’s nothing she can do. Even though the accident wasn’t her fault, Ryan is consumed by guilt. But guilt is not what she should be afraid of. Three weeks after Marisa’s death, Ryan sees her everywhere. At night she feels something following her, but when she turns around there’s nothing there. A creepy college friend of Marisa’s shows up at Ryan’s house, and her mother asks him to stay through Christmas. To free herself of guilt, Ryan must unlock Marisa’s terrible secret—before death takes her too.

30 review for Fatal Secrets

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    I’ve found that Richie Tankersley Cusick has had a pretty successful hit rate for the Point Horror range, they’ve all been quite good. It’s slightly ironic that the only one of hers that I’d not previously read as a teen proved to be the best of a strong set of novels. After Marissa falls to her death, sister Ryan is fraught with guilt believing she could have done more to save her sibling. But what appears to be an innocent accident might actually have serious consequences, as some would be quite I’ve found that Richie Tankersley Cusick has had a pretty successful hit rate for the Point Horror range, they’ve all been quite good. It’s slightly ironic that the only one of hers that I’d not previously read as a teen proved to be the best of a strong set of novels. After Marissa falls to her death, sister Ryan is fraught with guilt believing she could have done more to save her sibling. But what appears to be an innocent accident might actually have serious consequences, as some would be quite happy for the secrets Marissa knows to stay buried. It was an exceptionally well written entry for the range, I practically liked the main protagonist Ryan and really sympathised as she struggled to accept her sisters death. I quite liked that this felt more like a thriller, their were a couple of creepy moments including some additional suspects to help move the story forward. I’d started to wonder if I was rating the ones that I remember higher because of nostalgia, but this one proves that their were great book in the series and why we are still reading them 20 years later.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sea Grace

    Fatal Secrets by Richie Tankersley Cusick to me is all about two things, which might seem ridiculous seeing as there's much more to the plot, believe me, but the reason I love it? Our main heroine, Ryan and the guy I like to consider her male lead from start to finish, Jinx. Okay, I'll be honest, I'm all about Jinx, Jinx and even more Jinx. There isn't a lot of romance in this book, it's just sort of scattered in there amongst the main plot line yet still, I love the minimal romance that it has. Fatal Secrets by Richie Tankersley Cusick to me is all about two things, which might seem ridiculous seeing as there's much more to the plot, believe me, but the reason I love it? Our main heroine, Ryan and the guy I like to consider her male lead from start to finish, Jinx. Okay, I'll be honest, I'm all about Jinx, Jinx and even more Jinx. There isn't a lot of romance in this book, it's just sort of scattered in there amongst the main plot line yet still, I love the minimal romance that it has. That's probably due to me seeing Jinx as her main interest, even at times when he isn't. I love their banter, and how often he teases her. It's childish yes, but cute as heck too. Jinx, originally named Jimmy, is by far the reason I love this book. He's witty, cheeky, most likely hot as hell and most importantly he's the sweetest guy going. As much as Jinx is my favourite, he isn't the main focus of the book. Unfortunately. Not that our main girl isn't great. Ryan, a kind hearted girl in grieving is our MC, the story takes us through her possible mental breakdown while she tries to figure out exactly what it was her sister was trying so desperately to confide in her just moments before she died. Trying to piece her life back together Ryan finds herself feeling paranoid of a stalker. As time goes by and more unexplainable incidents build up Ryan's paranoia and fear increase rapidly. With Jinx as her confident Ryan tries to figure out exactly what's happening to her life and Marissa's before her paranoia drives her over the edge. As a child this book was without a doubt one of my Point Horror favourites, as an adult it continues to be the same. It truly is a brilliant book and I can't help being disappointed Point Horror is no longer being published. The only way to get these books is second hand or a digital copy. The second hand copies are usually pretty cheap, but I paid £4.99 on eBooks for mine. I didn't want to wait to read it and it was well worth the money, considering usually you pay around £6.99 for a paperback depending on where you buy it. Every time I read it, I spend the majority of it with a massive smile on my face. Usually because of Jinx or the fact I know Jinx is going to show up soon, but still the story is intriguing and keeps you on your toes, never knowing quite who to trust. Ryan is a heroine, who I've always adored but like I said, nothing beats Jinx and I will read this book for many years to come, purely because of him.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Yeah I know. Sometimes you just read books one after another that tickle your funny bone cause they are really not good. I mean, I get what Cusick was trying here, but after I got to the end and all is revealed I was like, dang? Really? This is a more brutal horror book for Cusick I thought. Ryan (she's a teen girl) and her sister Marisa are walking in the woods collecting pine cones for Christmas decorations (as one does) and Marisa falls through some ice and drowns. Ryan tries to save her, but Yeah I know. Sometimes you just read books one after another that tickle your funny bone cause they are really not good. I mean, I get what Cusick was trying here, but after I got to the end and all is revealed I was like, dang? Really? This is a more brutal horror book for Cusick I thought. Ryan (she's a teen girl) and her sister Marisa are walking in the woods collecting pine cones for Christmas decorations (as one does) and Marisa falls through some ice and drowns. Ryan tries to save her, but is haunted by not being able to pull Marisa out. Just three weeks after her sister's death, Ryan starts to feel like Marisa is still there watching and blaming her for not saving her. I think this is the first Cusick book I can recall off the top of my head that someone we are introduced to in the first few pages dies. I wish I could feel sorry for Ryan. But she had some terrible logic when it came to figuring out what is going on. She also tells everyone her plans and just generally has everyone thinking she's losing her mind. Ryan is a teen girl that once again has two boys falling for her. Heck one of them even tells her that he only went out with her sister to get closer to her. Um thanks dude, you also kind of suck. Ryan's best friend Phoebe and Phoebe's brother Jinx (yeah I am not looking up if I spelled that right) are seriously her only two friends besides the owner of the toy store she works out. Due to Ryan's mother being a freaking moron, some random dude named Charles shows up saying he was dating Marisa and wants to be close to her family since she died. Since Ryan's mother went to the "I am a terrible mother and have no common sense" school she allows the dude to move in with them, and makes Ryan move out of her room into her dead sister's room so Charles can stay in her room. I am serious. Honestly this whole book reads like a bad farce. You keep having random people thrown at you and you wonder how everything ties together. It really doesn't when the final reveal comes. My face probably looked baffled through most of this book. Maybe this just means I should stop reading books from my youth, because most of these did not hold up well at all.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alex (The Bookubus)

    Fatal Secrets follows Ryan who is dealing with the death of her sister and is trying to get back to having a normal life by going to school and working a part-time job at a local toy shop. One day she starts to feel like she's being watched and followed...is her sister haunting her from beyond the grave or is there something else going on? This is quintessential Point Horror. We've got a well-written and relatable teenage protagonist, a tragic backstory, creepy goings-on and the mystery surround Fatal Secrets follows Ryan who is dealing with the death of her sister and is trying to get back to having a normal life by going to school and working a part-time job at a local toy shop. One day she starts to feel like she's being watched and followed...is her sister haunting her from beyond the grave or is there something else going on? This is quintessential Point Horror. We've got a well-written and relatable teenage protagonist, a tragic backstory, creepy goings-on and the mystery surrounding them, plus a few potential love interests of course. Bonus points for a character called Winchester Stone. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I could only remember some vague parts of this story and so rereading it I still found the ending to be a surprise and not what I was expecting. I also thought the romance in this one, since I'm not usually a huge fan of it, was done really well and I loved how that played out. There are some more adult themes in here that made for a very compelling story. If you're looking for where to start with Point Horror this would be a great one to pick up!

  5. 4 out of 5

    C.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was AMAZING. I spent a lot of time laughing in disbelief, but I loved every minute. Things I learned from this book: 1. If you're suspicious of someone most of the time, don't use a temporary truce to tell him all about the hidden film you're having developed that might have something to do with your sister's death. 2. The guy who insults you continually and creatively but is always there to help you is a better romantic bet than guys who look hot and act romantic but are more or less complete This was AMAZING. I spent a lot of time laughing in disbelief, but I loved every minute. Things I learned from this book: 1. If you're suspicious of someone most of the time, don't use a temporary truce to tell him all about the hidden film you're having developed that might have something to do with your sister's death. 2. The guy who insults you continually and creatively but is always there to help you is a better romantic bet than guys who look hot and act romantic but are more or less completely unreliable (plus you don't trust them). 3. If there are a whole bunch of people you don't trust, relax: you aren't crazy. They're ALL in on it! Plus a couple of people you did trust! Seriously, it wouldn't have surprised me in the least if her best friend had ALSO waltzed into the barn and announced she was part of the drug ring. How did this drug ring work, exactly? The drugs were sent to the small town and...who was the toymaker delivering them to? Is everyone in the entire town strung out all the time? I get the campus part of the ring; universities are teeming with people, many of whom might be on drugs (and many more of whom should be), but where are the toys-full-o-coke going??

  6. 5 out of 5

    Georgia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Second of my read through of the Point Horror books. I genuinely don't think I read this one when I was a kid. Which isn't surprising, it definitely wouldn't have spoken to me then. Dead sister (I have issues with dead family and I'm an only child) and the blurb is just a bit shit. I'm going to whisper this one... This is good. Like... Actually good. There were loads of ridiculous twists, although I guessed three of the culprits, the main one was a bit of a shock. Alright some of the action bits Second of my read through of the Point Horror books. I genuinely don't think I read this one when I was a kid. Which isn't surprising, it definitely wouldn't have spoken to me then. Dead sister (I have issues with dead family and I'm an only child) and the blurb is just a bit shit. I'm going to whisper this one... This is good. Like... Actually good. There were loads of ridiculous twists, although I guessed three of the culprits, the main one was a bit of a shock. Alright some of the action bits were ridiculous ('you didn't see Santa? He was chasing me!') and it didn't make sense (why put that much effort into finding out what Ryan knew? Why not just kill her?) but it as a total romp. I guffawed at bits because I was just enjoying it so much. I'm having a wider issue with Cusick though. So far I'm sensing a trend in her writing. Spooky goings on are actually down to very horrible people. But there's always unexplained stuff - why was Ryan seeing and hearing her sister? Why was that never explained?!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I liked this almost as much as Someone at the Door. Both have winter vibes and this one with a touch of Christmas. The best was the end. Very suspenseful. The character of Winchester Stone was a bit useless except for his awesome name. Though I figure she had to have a third love interest because two including one killer (sort of) isn’t enough. The reveal of the culprits made me sad. One was glaringly obvious as the “outsider” new to town (I thought he was the red herring throughout the book). T I liked this almost as much as Someone at the Door. Both have winter vibes and this one with a touch of Christmas. The best was the end. Very suspenseful. The character of Winchester Stone was a bit useless except for his awesome name. Though I figure she had to have a third love interest because two including one killer (sort of) isn’t enough. The reveal of the culprits made me sad. One was glaringly obvious as the “outsider” new to town (I thought he was the red herring throughout the book). The other was the one positive adult role model in the book but that was tarnished. I thought the reveal of the drugs was timely as there was a big war on drugs at the time. I think people like this one best because it has a bit more romance and banter than her other books.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    So there was a period of time from about 1989-1996 where I was deep into reading YA books. I was also starting to branch out into adult books but the majority of my reading was YA. YA in the 90s was different from today's YA. Back then only pre-teens and teens read YA. Now it is widely accepted for adults to read YA. But once you hit a certain age it was creepy to be seen in the YA section of the bookstore/library. I lived for authors like R.L. Stein, Christopher Pike, Diane Hoh, L.J. Smith, and So there was a period of time from about 1989-1996 where I was deep into reading YA books. I was also starting to branch out into adult books but the majority of my reading was YA. YA in the 90s was different from today's YA. Back then only pre-teens and teens read YA. Now it is widely accepted for adults to read YA. But once you hit a certain age it was creepy to be seen in the YA section of the bookstore/library. I lived for authors like R.L. Stein, Christopher Pike, Diane Hoh, L.J. Smith, and the Queen of my favorite horror with romance was Richie Tankersley Cusick.  Fatal Secrets is about Ryan and her recently deceased sister Marissa. Ryan is haunted by the day that her sister fell through the ice. In fact she begins to see and feel things that has her starting to think she is going crazy. Is Marissa back from the dead or is someone trying to find out the secret that Marissa told her moments before she died? Ok so this was one of my all time favorite books when I was a teen. I'm pretty sure I read it at least 20 times. This and her other book Teachers Pet were read so many times I had long lost the covers to the books. Yesterday my son went back to school and feeling the nostalgia of a time gone by I decided to pick up the book. It has probably been about 20 years since I last read this book. The book hasn't changed but apparently as an adult I have.  I still enjoyed parts of the book. The relationship between Jinx and Ryan still is as goofy smile inducing as it ever was. Quite honestly that was always my favorite parts of the book. I mean the interaction between the two of them. I always imagined Jinx to look like Christian Slater (still do apparently).  What did change for me now is the aggravation over the adults; specifically Ryan's mother. Now as a mother I can't imagine going through the loss of a child but her reaction and the way she ignored her other daughter bothered the heck out of me. I'd be holding my remaining "baby" all the tighter. I'd be more paranoid about her going out. Instead, Ryan's mother practically forgets she exists till (spoiler) she thinks Ryan tried to kill herself. The best thing is that I thought I remembered everything in the book. But NOOOPE. I forgot who one of the bad guys was. And quite frankly it surprised me and it was nice to get that little twist at the end.  When I was a teen this was a 10 out of 5 stars. But now as an adult it lands probably more at a 3 1/2 out of 5 but for nostalgia reasons alone I'm bumping it up to 4 out of 5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Bennett

    Reminds me of: 101 ways to meet Mr Right by Janet Quin Harkin. "It was probably just a practical joke" moment: I don't think anyone actually said this. "You probably just imagined it" moment: This happened constantly. No one had any faith in her sanity at all. (view spoiler)[ She totally shouldn't have destroyed the snowman though - that was evidence Ryan! Innocent victims?: Yeah, Marissa was pretty innocent, in a Lois Lane kinda way. And Ryan had no clue what was going on. How blindingly obvious?: Reminds me of: 101 ways to meet Mr Right by Janet Quin Harkin. "It was probably just a practical joke" moment: I don't think anyone actually said this. "You probably just imagined it" moment: This happened constantly. No one had any faith in her sanity at all. (view spoiler)[ She totally shouldn't have destroyed the snowman though - that was evidence Ryan! Innocent victims?: Yeah, Marissa was pretty innocent, in a Lois Lane kinda way. And Ryan had no clue what was going on. How blindingly obvious?: It was blindingly obvious that Jinx was gonna be the love interest so I figured the rest would have to be got rid of somehow. Because no Point Horror girl can have a choice. The plot has to get rid of any alternative love interests for her. I liked their relationship, it felt far more realistic than other mawkish point horror dirge. As it was though, the floor was cleared of pretty much any man other than Jinx. I'm surprised Michael Kilmer, the Sheriff and Winchester's dad weren't in on it. Charles. Well Charles was suspect from the first with the whole "you're the one who let her drown" business. (that was risky by the way - what if she'd told her Mum and he'd got thrown out on the first day? - better to have sucked up to everyone.) Then I started to think maybe he was just a red herring. But he was obviously the one who gave her the drugged cider. And he got all detective and I started to doubt him again because it was too early on for the red herring to be revealed. Winchester. I had a real soft spot for him. Come on, the guy has a log cabin, coffee and bacon! And he's named after a rifle from the 19th Century. Or maybe I'm just easily pleased. Oh and did you notice his truck with the door that won't open from the inside?! Totally the truck from Freeze Tag. I bet after he went to jail, Winchester's dad sold the truck to West Trevor to help pay for the kid's school lunches. Oh and the bit where he said he'd only dated her sister to get near her? Lame, lame, lame. Steve. Umm. Not totally believable that a university lecturer would double up as a drug dealer but I might be bitter because I didn't guess it. Looking back, I think there was a clue at the beginning about him having his own income. Mr Partini. I've been listening to an Agatha Christie book tape in the car. So even though Mr Partini was supposed to be Italian, in my head he sounds Belgian. As it was, he was supposed to be more of a Count Fosco figure. (side note: could it be that The Woman in White was the very first Point Horror novel?) I thought his part was ridiculous. Who would start a career as a toy maker and then decide that actually your values and career path lead elsewhere and diverge into organised crime? Plot holes / Unfinished plot lines: Let's all just admit that the only reason she was called Ryan was so Charles could pretend to be her at the drugstore picking up the photos. Did I miss the bit where they explain how they made the ghosts and animated toys appear? It was a crazy complex plan for criminals to have. But then they are the weirdest gang of criminal misfits. I almost want to write a movie about their side of the story. I can hear the trailer voice. The fake student. The ex boyfriend. The College Professor / Step father. The Toymaker. You've never seen organised crime like it... You can just imagine the conversation back at base. Charles "Well, the girl who knew about us is dead but she might have told her sister something." Steve "I'm sleeping with her mother. Maybe we should just waste the kid." Count Fosco "But the little Bambellina is so helpful in the shop while I deliver zee drugs - keep her, she is adorable" Winchester "Umm. Yeah, I think we should keep her" Charles "No one asked you, rifle boy. I have a better idea. I'll go move in with them -Steve, you provide me a fake background- then we'll all fake haunt her - Mr Partini can scare her with toys, I'll scare her with presents and a car, Steve can scare her with a snowman and Winchester can scare her with a real ghost." Winchester "Where am I supposed to find a real ghost?" Charles "That's your problem or your kid siblings get it. Stop interrupting. ... and everyone remember the ribbons, that's very important. Oh and I'll drug her with hot cider and dump her in the snow and pretend to run over Winchester's dog and Winchester can rescue her and the dog and then get all the truth out of her." Winchester "What about when she realises I don't have a dog?" Charles "She'll never question where the dog is or ask to see it or anything. Oh and I forgot that one of us has to keep dressing up in a ski mask and jacket. And one of us needs to chase her as Santa. Why is everyone staring at me? This is a foolproof plan. I can feel it." I really did enjoy it though. The first half of the novel was all X files episode and the second half was all Steven Seagal movie. My favourite line "Charles thrust his gun against Jinx's face and tightened on the trigger. "Merry Christmas, Ryan," he snarled." Inappropriate happy ending: Oh, my sister's still dead. And we still haven't found her body. Maybe we never will. But I've got a boyfriend and the boy she went out with was only interested in me anyway. So we're all good. (hide spoiler)]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becka

    Richie Tankersley Cusick makes this Point Horror stuff work better than anyone else, in my opinion - these books necessarily have to move so fast because of how short they are, and yet she still manages to make the relationships and the characters feel developed and well worn while weaving in enough genuinely arresting images that you never forget you're reading horror. This was a fave when I was a teenager and I'm pleased at how well it held up. Richie Tankersley Cusick makes this Point Horror stuff work better than anyone else, in my opinion - these books necessarily have to move so fast because of how short they are, and yet she still manages to make the relationships and the characters feel developed and well worn while weaving in enough genuinely arresting images that you never forget you're reading horror. This was a fave when I was a teenager and I'm pleased at how well it held up.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sook

    OMG! The ending! No spoiler don't worry... This is definitely one of the best title from Richie Tankersley Cusick! Started off good enough. A bit boring in the middle but everything did tie up together in the end. Kept me in suspense throughout. Great ending too OMG! The ending! No spoiler don't worry... This is definitely one of the best title from Richie Tankersley Cusick! Started off good enough. A bit boring in the middle but everything did tie up together in the end. Kept me in suspense throughout. Great ending too

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This is... actually good? I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror. https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream This is... actually good? I read this for our podcast Teenage Scream, which dissects the best (and worst) of 90s Teen Horror. https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Wow, this was one hell of a ride. I normally pick up these books for that B-movie level of teen horror, but this was actually pretty good. It didn’t have any of the cheese factor that most of these books from the 90’s suffered from. While the beginning was a little slow, it got better the more I read. There were a couple scenes that really creeped me out, my favorite being the part where (view spoiler)[Jinx mentioned the strange man that he saw sneaking out the back door (hide spoiler)] . I also Wow, this was one hell of a ride. I normally pick up these books for that B-movie level of teen horror, but this was actually pretty good. It didn’t have any of the cheese factor that most of these books from the 90’s suffered from. While the beginning was a little slow, it got better the more I read. There were a couple scenes that really creeped me out, my favorite being the part where (view spoiler)[Jinx mentioned the strange man that he saw sneaking out the back door (hide spoiler)] . I also loved the writing towards the latter part of the story. It truly seemed like Ryan was falling apart and going slightly crazy with all that was going on. I spent the entire time wondering whether someone was following Ryan or if she was just plain crazy. Either way, I felt terribly bad for everything she went through. I got so mad every time that weird crap would happen and the people around Ryan would just think that she was making it up. It was even worse when they’d use some horribly illogical reasoning that made no sense to explain away whatever she was scared about. The ending was one of those ‘wtf is going on’ type of moments where you’re hit with twist after twist. Some of it seemed unrealistic and like it came out of nowhere to me, but I have to applaud for the shock value of things. I’m not even sure how to talk about what happened without spoiling everything. I had a feeling about (view spoiler)[Charles being a likely suspect because he was creepy and maybe Winchester as well (hide spoiler)] , but when it came to (view spoiler)[Steve and Mr. Partini being in on things (hide spoiler)] , I couldn’t have been more taken aback.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    I'm going to be honest. I don't entirely remember this book, but I know I read it, and I know that I loved it. During the 6th grade, roundabouts 1994, I became deeply obsessed with Rickie Tankersley Cusick. I was also reading Christopher Pike and Caroline B. Cooney, which I now understand means I was into horror/suspense. As far as I can remember, Cusick was the best of these writers, definitely when it came to suspense. (Cooney also wrote realistic YA fiction, which I don't think this author di I'm going to be honest. I don't entirely remember this book, but I know I read it, and I know that I loved it. During the 6th grade, roundabouts 1994, I became deeply obsessed with Rickie Tankersley Cusick. I was also reading Christopher Pike and Caroline B. Cooney, which I now understand means I was into horror/suspense. As far as I can remember, Cusick was the best of these writers, definitely when it came to suspense. (Cooney also wrote realistic YA fiction, which I don't think this author did.) Unfortunately, it seems that she wrote fewer books than the others. Maybe it takes her longer because they're better! I remember I used to be afraid to check the Borders YA section for fear that the new Cusick book STILL wasn't out yet . . . and it never was. Her books were deeply suspenseful and she really hit home when it came to romantic tension, I remember being tantalized by the young men in her books, and if I recall correctly the female protagonist would always have three love interests, and one of them would turn out to be the killer. I need to find these and read them. Her books were way better than R.L. Stine, enough said.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paul Kim

    As expected from RTC, tons of suspense with memorable scares. The twist was really unexpected as I thought I got down the bad guy but I was only half right. Ryan was someone I feel sorry for due to predicamanet she's in that the book made me hope there will be happy ending. Jinx is perhaps my favorite character from his sharp tongue and some surprising characteristics. The big issue I have with the book is that sometimes it doesn't make sense how the villain(s) managed to set up their scares in te As expected from RTC, tons of suspense with memorable scares. The twist was really unexpected as I thought I got down the bad guy but I was only half right. Ryan was someone I feel sorry for due to predicamanet she's in that the book made me hope there will be happy ending. Jinx is perhaps my favorite character from his sharp tongue and some surprising characteristics. The big issue I have with the book is that sometimes it doesn't make sense how the villain(s) managed to set up their scares in terms of timing and place and it comes off as coincidental more than intentional. Overall, I enjoyed the book. It's decent horror with a twinge of gloomliness regarding loss but still the book is still great horror.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steen

    I actually liked this one until the ending. I just felt betrayed that at least two of those involved where actually involved. I felt like that was all because of shock value and their characters did like a 180. Quick read though. (view spoiler)[ Also i have a problem with the fact that her sister was murdered or I guess I should say the way she was? I mean how do they kill her by making her fall through ice but stay so invisible that the other sister does not see those responsible at all? Kind of I actually liked this one until the ending. I just felt betrayed that at least two of those involved where actually involved. I felt like that was all because of shock value and their characters did like a 180. Quick read though. (view spoiler)[ Also i have a problem with the fact that her sister was murdered or I guess I should say the way she was? I mean how do they kill her by making her fall through ice but stay so invisible that the other sister does not see those responsible at all? Kind of a strange way to murder someone. I know they were trying to make it look like an accident but still! And there was no guarantee that the eldest sister would actually die anyways. (hide spoiler)]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I don't think I ever read this one as a kid, but I legitimately enjoyed reading it now. Usually my nostalgia clouds my judgment with these re-reads, but nothing about this book was familiar and I still loved it. The ending was a total shocker, and I love that I was wrong the entire time about the killer. This was such a fun read! Cusick was the most talented of all the Point Horror writers, and I love that my library has some of these available as e-books now. I can't wait to read more of them. I don't think I ever read this one as a kid, but I legitimately enjoyed reading it now. Usually my nostalgia clouds my judgment with these re-reads, but nothing about this book was familiar and I still loved it. The ending was a total shocker, and I love that I was wrong the entire time about the killer. This was such a fun read! Cusick was the most talented of all the Point Horror writers, and I love that my library has some of these available as e-books now. I can't wait to read more of them.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I read this book along with the Teen Creeps podcast. a) Our main character, Ryan, is rather gullible. She takes what's said to her at face value the majority of the time. b) Phoebe, the "best friend" is the WORST from the get-go. Ryan's sister dies at the start of the book and three weeks later that she's like, "AHMGAHD RYAN, GET OVER IT. BOYS. BOYS ARE HERE." Phoebe is nowhere to be found while Ryan is being tormented because she's dating a new guy. I was shaking my head at how lame Phoebe was t I read this book along with the Teen Creeps podcast. a) Our main character, Ryan, is rather gullible. She takes what's said to her at face value the majority of the time. b) Phoebe, the "best friend" is the WORST from the get-go. Ryan's sister dies at the start of the book and three weeks later that she's like, "AHMGAHD RYAN, GET OVER IT. BOYS. BOYS ARE HERE." Phoebe is nowhere to be found while Ryan is being tormented because she's dating a new guy. I was shaking my head at how lame Phoebe was the entire. Time. c) Speaking of boys, We get tugged around all over the place with all the love interests Ryan may or may not have, all throughout the book. I've been away from YA for a LONG time, but I was nostalgic for the YA pulp horrors I read as a teen. I'd never read this book before and it was fun. There were some creepy parts for sure. I didn't see the twist coming, so that was cool. It's an enjoyable and easy-to-read YA horror.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Read With Tarina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. On the day of her sister’s death, Ryan had the feeling that Marissa was going to tell her a secret. But unfortunately, it was one Marissa had taken to the grave. Not long afterwards, a mysterious house guest appears (apparently Marissa’s gorgeous ex-boyfriend) & Ryan can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right about him. In addition to that, she also feels that someone is watching her every move. Ryan starts to feel paranoid. However, she must discover Marissa’s secret before she complete On the day of her sister’s death, Ryan had the feeling that Marissa was going to tell her a secret. But unfortunately, it was one Marissa had taken to the grave. Not long afterwards, a mysterious house guest appears (apparently Marissa’s gorgeous ex-boyfriend) & Ryan can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right about him. In addition to that, she also feels that someone is watching her every move. Ryan starts to feel paranoid. However, she must discover Marissa’s secret before she completely loses her mind…. Even though he is not the main character, I gotta say I love Jinx. I thought he was great. I loved the banter he had with Ryan & how he was always there for her. Towards the end, there was a hint of a love triangle & I was glad he ended up with Ryan. They just ooze cuteness together *-*

  20. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Hoyer

    I remember reading (and loving) this book in middle school. It was purely an exercise in nostalgia, reading it again. Sad to say, it really didn't hold up. I'd say the book was 35% girly high school chatter about boys, 30% false alarm scares, 25% "No, you have to believe me!!!!", and 10% actual plot. Looking back, I think what appealed to me most about the book was that it felt very grown up. I liked young adult horror books, but the scary things were silly, like haunted ventriloquist's dummies, I remember reading (and loving) this book in middle school. It was purely an exercise in nostalgia, reading it again. Sad to say, it really didn't hold up. I'd say the book was 35% girly high school chatter about boys, 30% false alarm scares, 25% "No, you have to believe me!!!!", and 10% actual plot. Looking back, I think what appealed to me most about the book was that it felt very grown up. I liked young adult horror books, but the scary things were silly, like haunted ventriloquist's dummies, giant bugs, or something called "monster blood". But in this book, the bad guys were *gasp* DRUG DEALERS! That felt VERY grown up to 11-year-old Caleb. All that being said, the book is a brisk and reasonably entertaining read, so it's not all bad.

  21. 5 out of 5

    brooke

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. listened to this on audiobook - pretty good though the narrator was a little dull at times. overall, a solid pick though. really intriguing plot line - kept me guessing who the bad guy was! ~~SPOILERS AHEAD~~ ok so i wasn't expecting literally EVERYONE to be a bad guy (well, except jinx). like when mr. partini (sp?) showed up at the end i literally yelled while i was driving down the road. i was so mad. though i am glad that winchester didn't turn out to be the absolute worst. alsO JINX IS EVERYT listened to this on audiobook - pretty good though the narrator was a little dull at times. overall, a solid pick though. really intriguing plot line - kept me guessing who the bad guy was! ~~SPOILERS AHEAD~~ ok so i wasn't expecting literally EVERYONE to be a bad guy (well, except jinx). like when mr. partini (sp?) showed up at the end i literally yelled while i was driving down the road. i was so mad. though i am glad that winchester didn't turn out to be the absolute worst. alsO JINX IS EVERYTHING AND DESERVES THE WORLD OK BYE.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Noelle

    I think Cusick may be a better writer than Stine or Hoh, but her characters are always bizarre. I feel like these characters have to make looney decisions just to push the plot along and it gives it an uncanny, other worldly feeling. Weird Italian boss and toy maker that calls our main character Bambilina. Mother allows stranger to stay at their house and makes her daughter give up her own bedroom and move into a vacant one. Pressure from her best friend to go to the school dance with that same I think Cusick may be a better writer than Stine or Hoh, but her characters are always bizarre. I feel like these characters have to make looney decisions just to push the plot along and it gives it an uncanny, other worldly feeling. Weird Italian boss and toy maker that calls our main character Bambilina. Mother allows stranger to stay at their house and makes her daughter give up her own bedroom and move into a vacant one. Pressure from her best friend to go to the school dance with that same random guy. Girl in late teens wearing ribbons in her hair. It wasn't bad, just bizarre.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erica Leigh

    Totally bonkers but I loved it (murder? Mystery? Murder mystery???). Starts of a little slow but once it picks up it gets much better. Not as predictable as I thought it’d be—a couple of twists that definitely shocked me. The reveal at the end isn’t anything you could predict. No hints at ALL. Nada. But it’s still a fun read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ayesha Shamim

    This was such an amazing novel! The story line was well thought out and the chemistry between Ryan and Jinx (my favourite character) was so cute!!! I've read this novel over and over again but, sadly, it does not have the appreciation it deserves. 10/10 recommend. This was such an amazing novel! The story line was well thought out and the chemistry between Ryan and Jinx (my favourite character) was so cute!!! I've read this novel over and over again but, sadly, it does not have the appreciation it deserves. 10/10 recommend.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sascha

    While I figured out the killed in the first chapter, there was a lot in this book I enjoyed! Definitely spookier and better written than a lot of YA horror.

  26. 5 out of 5

    C.J.

    3.5 stars

  27. 5 out of 5

    K.L.

    Almost like a Sweet Valley Super Chiller! Enjoyable

  28. 5 out of 5

    Liam Underwood

    I asked my partner, Cat, to choose which Point Horror book I should read next. She chose Fatal Secrets because the blurb on the back mentions a Ryan and a Marissa (both female) and we're currently watching The O.C. (2003-2007). No other reason. So far I've rather enjoyed Richie Tankersley Cusick's Point Horror offerings - Trick or Treat and Teacher's Pet being particular highlights. Yet the Prologue and first chapter to Fatal Secrets left me feeling sceptical. Thankfully I persevered. The I asked my partner, Cat, to choose which Point Horror book I should read next. She chose Fatal Secrets because the blurb on the back mentions a Ryan and a Marissa (both female) and we're currently watching The O.C. (2003-2007). No other reason. So far I've rather enjoyed Richie Tankersley Cusick's Point Horror offerings - Trick or Treat and Teacher's Pet being particular highlights. Yet the Prologue and first chapter to Fatal Secrets left me feeling sceptical. Thankfully I persevered. There were several occasions where I worried that Cusick was building up to something obvious, or throwing in an overly obvious red herring, and yet I found the conclusion delightfully surprising. There is also a rather sinister thread running through this book which is played pretty well. Our protagonist, Ryan, isn't always the smartest character, but she's placed in a situation where her actions are somewhat understandable. Best friend Phoebe takes a page from April Fools best friend character Hildy, although not quite as insufferable. And then there are the love interests, of which there are several. Fatal Secrets ended up delivering a pretty solid Point Horror experience. Whilst I would've liked to have seen Cusick push some of the themes a little further, I think she ultimately achieved something quite interesting here and managed to avoid some of the more consistent Point Horror trends. 3.5/5 Point Horror Ranked 1) The Girlfriend - 4/5 2) Trick or Treat - 3.5/5 3) Fatal Secrets - 3.5/5 4) Teacher's Pet - 3.5/5 5) The Baby-Sitter II - 3.5/5 6) The Cheerleader - 3.5/5 7) April Fools - 3.5/5 8) My Secret Admirer - 3.5/5 9) The Lifeguard - 3.5/5 10) Thirteen Tales of Horror - 3/5 11) The Accident - 3/5 12) Funhouse - 3/5 13) The Invitation - 2.5/5 14) The Snowman - 2.5/5 15) The Boyfriend - 2/5 16) Mother's Helper - 2/5 17) The Baby-Sitter - 1.5/5 18) The Return of the Vampire - 1/5 19) Beach Party - 1/5

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chelley Toy

    5 out of 5 Point Horror Book Stars! (I rate these books compared to other Point Horror Books Only) I read this as part of the #pointhorrorbookclub that I run monthly! You can read the post here http://www.talesofyesterday.co.uk/201... This is more of a discussion than a review with highlighted areas of the book and has a comedy feel to the discussion to. Please be aware that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers. Want to know more about #pointhorrorbookclub - check this out http://talesofye 5 out of 5 Point Horror Book Stars! (I rate these books compared to other Point Horror Books Only) I read this as part of the #pointhorrorbookclub that I run monthly! You can read the post here http://www.talesofyesterday.co.uk/201... This is more of a discussion than a review with highlighted areas of the book and has a comedy feel to the discussion to. Please be aware that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers. Want to know more about #pointhorrorbookclub - check this out http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/tales-p... I LOVED this Point Horror! Was a fave of mine in the 90's and still a fave on the re-read! For more reviews and book chat please visit www.talesofyesterday.co.uk Please be aware that the discussion will contain spoilers!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This book is about two sisters Ryan and Marissa. One has a secret and then she dies. The other is left to handle the aftermath. Will she ever figure out the secret? Or will she lose her mind in the process? Honestly I struggled with this book. Though that could be because the narrator was not that good. I found the character it's hard to like. Except for one in that didn't turn out that great. The ending however was worth sticking it out for. I personally didn't see it coming but I probably sh This book is about two sisters Ryan and Marissa. One has a secret and then she dies. The other is left to handle the aftermath. Will she ever figure out the secret? Or will she lose her mind in the process? Honestly I struggled with this book. Though that could be because the narrator was not that good. I found the character it's hard to like. Except for one in that didn't turn out that great. The ending however was worth sticking it out for. I personally didn't see it coming but I probably should have.

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