Review; The Reading Buddy by Bryce Gibson
Description from Goodreads
ACCEPT THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS...OR ELSE!
A SET OF keys jangled in my hand. The keys were my lifeline. One of them would be what saved the day. I held onto them as tightly as I could. I was being followed. The man running behind me was my stepdad, Morris Heyward. He was holding an axe.
AFTER THE DEATHS of his best friend and stepdad, seventeen-year-old Blake Thomas can't escape the memories of that night...the screams...the blood...the axe. Now, Blake suffers from social anxiety and making friends at his new home seems impossible. With his therapist's suggestion, Blake joins a social media site called The Reading Buddy. It is supposed to be a way for him to slowly step back into social relationships, and it doesn't take long for him to become online friends with someone known as Charley17. Recovery seems to be within reach, but once the school year starts, three local teens quickly pull Blake into their own circle, and soon it appears that Charley17 doesn't want to share his new friend with anybody else.
The Reading Buddy is a Southern-set throwback to the teen horror and thriller novels from the 1990s and will keep you guessing until the very end!
My Thoughts on the Novel
The characters in The Reading Buddy are well developed and the story itself reminded me a bit of the Fear Street novels by R. L. Stine, which I read quite a few of WAY BACK. So if you loved those books by R. L. Stine, it's a fair chance you'll like this one. Something else that I liked about the book was the portrayal of social anxiety.