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’90s nostalgia is in full swing and horror fans are loving it. Many people are revisiting movies they grew up with, while others are discovering those same titles for the first time. And it’s not only cinematic terror that has everyone talking.

Over the past couple of years, the interest in retro books has been on the rise. Combined with ’90s sentimentality, teen horror fiction from the decade has become a special niche for collectors, many of whom are part of Instagram’s enthusiastic community of “bookstagrammers.”

A large portion of the teen horror titles released during the ’90s are now available in e-book format, but the original editions with their colorful covers and witty taglines are the ones we look for while perusing the shelves of used bookstores.

Here at Daily Dead, during a series of seasonal posts, I’m going to be sharing books from my own collection, including where I bought them. This go-round, I’m focusing on summer-themed titles. So, here it is… ’90s Teen Horror Books: Summer Edition.

The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick (1991)

Don’t call for help. He may just kill you.

Featuring one of the most recognizable covers from Scholastic’s Point Horror label, The Lifeguard remains one of Cusick’s most popular releases. The story focuses on Kelsey, whose summer vacation turns into a nightmare when she starts to believe one of the beach’s lifeguards might have a dangerous and deadly agenda.

Bought at 2nd & Charles.

Beach Party by R.L. Stine (1990)

Some come to party. Some come to die. 

During the ’90s, R.L. Stine was one of the most prolific authors of teen horror. It is important to note that Beach Party is not part of Stine’s popular Fear Street series; instead, the book is a standalone title of dangerous obsession. During the ’90s, it seemed like every author was writing similar stories, but Stine’s can’t be beat.

Bought at Goodwill.

Beach House by R.L. Stine (1992)

…Don’t go near the water…

Beach Party wasn’t Stine’s only coastal nightmare. Following that book, Stine wrote another beachy read: Beach House. While Beach Party focuses on the obsession sub-genre, this one takes advantage of another ’90s thriller trope: slashers. Beach House takes the ever-popular slasher movie trope and moves it to the coast.

Bought at Goodwill.

Hang Loose by Linda Cargill (1996)

On her seventeenth birthday Mattie Sullivan gets roped into danger.

One of the common elements of ’90s teen horror books is that of pranks, and Cargill utilizes the idea to its fullest. With a classic whodunit structure, Hang Loose is different from other titles on this list. Instead of taking place while the main character is out of town, the book is set on the island where she lives, adding another layer of danger.

Bought at 2nd & Charles.

Camp Fear by Carol Ellis (1993)

Where your worst fears hide.

Similar to R.L. Stine, Carol Ellis wrote several titles for Point Horror. In Camp Fear, Ellis intelligently takes the often-used theme of pranks and amps it up to another level. Here, someone is playing on the characters’ greatest fears. Are the incidents harmless pranks or something much worse?

Bought at 2nd & Charles.

One Evil Summer by R.L. Stine (1994)

Chrissy is perfect—perfectly evil 

Cargill successfully upped the ante by setting Hang Loose on the island where the main character lives, but R.L. Stine’s One Evil Summer brings danger even closer. In the story, the main character, Amanda, makes a horrific discovery—the girl who is babysitting her young brother and sister might be a killer.

Bought at 2nd & Charles.

The Claw by Carmen Adams (1995)

The mark of death?

Summer is not always sun, sand, and water. Some people have to work. So is the case for the teens in Carmen Adams’ The Claw. After starting a summer job at an area zoo, weird, scary things begin happening. With its unique setting, The Claw has shades of a killer animal story while maintaining a fun mystery all the way until the end.

Bought at 2nd & Charles.

There you have it—seven ’90s teen horror titles for the summer. What are some of your personal favorites? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to share photos from your own collection via Instagram and Twitter, using #DailyDeadTeenRetro.

[Photo Credit: All photos by Bryce Gibson.]

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