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Chain Letter

(Chain Letter #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  6,500 ratings  ·  301 reviews
When Alison first read the chain letter signed "Your Caretaker," she thought it was some terrible sick joke. Someone, somewhere knew about that awful night when she and six other friends committed an unthinkable crime in the desolate California desert. And now that person was determined to make them pay for it.

One by one, the chain letter was coming to each of them ... dem
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 1st 1986 by Avon
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  6,500 ratings  ·  301 reviews

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Jan 28, 2009 rated it liked it
When I was in junior high, I remember constantly checking in at the local stationery store to see if they had the latest Christopher Pike book. His books were so full of suspense, darkness, and psychology, such a dramatic change from the Sweet Valley High and Babysitter Club books I was reading just a few years before. I remember Chain Letter being the most intriguing and sinister of the bunch, although, looking back, the books were pretty scary and disturbing. On second thought, Pike's "Slumber ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alison and her friends have got a secret, one terrible night whilst drunk they hit and killed a man. So when a chain letter signed "Your Caretaker” arrives the group have to take the threat seriously.

Each person is giving a dangerous task to complete as part of their punishment for that awful accident.
They keep getting more and more elaborate.

I really liked the revenge/guilt theme running through the book, admittedly the main idea of teens trying to cover up a killing isn’t entirely original but
Veronica Morfi
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Last Summer Alison and her friends got involve in an accident and a man got hurt. They decided to bury this deadly secret deep in their minds and never talk about it again, but someone else knows, he calls himself the Caretaker. He has started a chain letter and for each of them to stay safe they have to do whatever he wishes. With every request Alison will find out things about her friends she never knew, get closer to the boy of her dreams and be forced to face her worst nightmares.

I loved thi
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Chain Letter was the first book I ever read that really got me excited about reading. I was 13 at the time (some 20ish years ago). I have never forgotten the trip to the grocery store where I happened to see the title of this book and immediately decided I had to have it.

I have (over the years) read EVERY SINGLE Pike title and have over 30 of them still on my bookshelf today. I have read them over and over. Chain Letter will always be my favorite, as it was my first.

Christopher Pike's books nev
Jan 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It's drastically better than the last Christopher Pike that I recently reread (Whisper of Death), though this one still has some aspects that my grown-up self objects to.

The plot is "I Know What You Did Last Summer," with an added chain letter element that pushes the guilty teens to act out in self-destructive ways. The pranks are fun if not exactly consistent, and the climactic scene where Alison is chased through her home and empty housing development by the villain is exciting and tense.

I lik
First Second Books

I have never felt more alienated from my 12-year-old self than I did when re-reading this book.
Anik Sig
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
It was a bad book, and I have to say that compared to other horror reads out there, this one was rather tame (and a little boring) compared to them. Maybe the times have changed and the scare factor has increased over the years -- but who am I kidding? The King and Stine books were written around the same time as well and those were infinitely more terrifying. This rehash of "I Know What You Did Last Summer" has several weaknesses that those authors' books don't.

The biggest one would definitely
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
It’s so much harder to justify the things I love than the things I don’t. I pretty much always know why I don’t like something, but there’s a special magic that goes on in loving things that makes it difficult to quantify. I know, in general, what makes a book good for me: strong characters, clever plots, beautiful writing, representation, empathy, humor, world-building, etc. But a book doesn’t necessarily have to have all those things to strike a chord in me and, even weirder, sometimes books w ...more
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I don’t even know how relevant this even is anymore. Would todays kids know what chain letters are? Do they get passed around through text messages or social media now? Postage need not apply? As someone who’s received and sent actual mail chain letters before this one tickled me something fierce. I FELT it, you know?

Pike likes to up the ante in his books and he doesn’t hold back on my punches, that’s for sure. He gets right down to it in CHAIN LETTER and doesn’t leave anyone behind. Getting a r
Patti Cook
Dec 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
I can't tell if they tried to update this? There was a strange reference to Princess Kate and they all had cell phones? But somehow no google maps? That was some half-assed nonsense. This did not age well. ...more
Kirstin Culp
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book was okay! It was a good read and it kept me entertained but it wasn’t written the best way. Maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much was because of how it was written and how everything was explained.
Kris Lugosi
May 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
So my wonderful Cousin of awesomeness just gave me a huge tub of all her old YA Christopher Pike books and R.L. Stine Fear Street books. I was hooked on these as a kid and now get to revisit all my old favorites.

That being said, CHAIN LETTER, is not one of my favorites! The plot is damn near the same thing as I Know What You Did Last Summer. Granted, Pike's book came out in 1986, and the movie nine years later, but it was so close the credits should have read "based off the book CHAIN LETTER by
The story starts out strongly. A group of friends have covered up an accident--or a crime. An ominous person calling himself "The Caretaker" knows all about it. The Caretaker wants each of them to do extremely embarrassing things--or he will kill them one by one. Will the friends stick together or turn on each other? Worse, what if The Caretaker is one of them?

The best part of the novel was the setting of one of the character's homes, a deserted housing tract in the desert. Look at the cover an
Sarah Sammis
Nov 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: released
I missed Christopher Pike's books when I was a kid. I've only recently started reading them but I like his take on the horror genre. His books are complex enough to be interesting but short enough to only take about a day's worth of reading.

Chain Letters either through the mail (pre internet days) or via email always close with a threat of bad things happening if the chain is broken. Chain Letter follows a group of high school friends who witness those bad things first hand.

Alison and her frien
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Classic Pike.

Favorite Quotes:

"But that's insane!" Brenda protested. She was angry. Fran was shaking. Alison was confused. In a way, they all felt the same."

"Brenda told me she did. And Brenda never lies, usually."

"She says she's not scared, but I'm not sure I believe her. I didn't want us to have a hysterical female's opinion to deal with."

"If I live till I'm thirty, I'll never get over feeling as nauseated as I did then."

"Was I in your wonderful dream? She didn't get a chance to ask. Maybe she
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
I remember reading this book when I was in grade school and instantly being hooked. Years later I saw "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and thought "Hey, I read a book just like this years ago"! Christopher Pike books were a great introduction to the horror/mystery genre. I had to get each new book he wrote as they came out.

His writing was appropriate for grade school and junior high. I doubt I would love this book as much now as I did then, but I have no doubt that it was Christopher Pike who
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Gosh, this book brings back some memories of the 6th grade. We all passed around one beat up copy. I loved this book. I haven't read it in about 16 or 17 years, so I think I should check it out and see if it's still as good as I remember.
From what I remember this was a really thrilling book. I agree with some of the other reviewers who said it was Christopher Pike's best and scariest book. I don't think any of my scary teen books ever living up to this one.
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Definitely better than the Final Friends books. I like how the story is wrapped up here -- I hope the second installment isn't superfluous and actually brings something new to the table. ...more
Kaitlyn F.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
I did not get to finish this book but I will still write a review of what I read. The first part of the book is very slow and it doesn't give any suspense to the story. The author doesn't add any clues of what is going to happen next so I found myself getting distracted and lost when I was reading. I read many good reviews on this book so I picked it, but none of the reviews seem to come true from the chapters I read. ...more
Erin Talamantes
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reminds me of “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” in a good way. A really fun and easy read, the plot is pretty standard, but it has a nice twist that I enjoyed. I love books like this because it reminds me of my high school reading days.
Dewin Anguas Barnette
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
I used to read these books when I was 12 and found a couple when I was packing for a move. I decided to reread this one just for fun. Some of the dialogue is cheesy of course, given that it is over thirty years old, but I was surprised at how good it still was. I stayed up til 4am finishing it because I couldn’t put it down.
Apr 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This was basically 'I Know What You Did Last Summer ' but not as well written. Not sure which was published first, but they really are very similar.. I just like Joan Lowery Nixon better (or was it Lois Duncan? I always confuse the two) ...more
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
Last summer, seven teens from the same high school went to a concert and, for various reasons, ended up riding back together (oh man, that car must have been cramped). They were drunk, rowdy, and stupid and ended up running someone over in the middle of the desert. Although a few of them wanted to talk to the police, in the end they all agreed to just bury the guy and forget about him.

In the book's present, one member of the group, Fran, has just received a creepy chain letter from someone cal
03 BaileyB
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Chain Letters is a great book to read. After killing a man and burying him in the desert. Alison and her group of friends start to get letters from an anonumous local. realizing these letters are`nt just threats they will actually get hurt if they don`t do what they are told. the group does as much as they can to stay safe. after going through this chain. they find out that some one in the group has been sending these letters. After three friends have been missing and another friend murdered. He ...more
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Chain Letter is a teen fiction book by Christopher Pike and was originally published in 1986. It can more accurately be categorized as teen suspense, as there is drama and suspense as the story advances.

Christopher Pike is the author of the best selling Thirst series. Chain Letter reminded me slightly of the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. They both have the plotline focused on a group of high school students who receive threats and tasks from an anonymous, seemingly all-seeing, per
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A group of teenagers commit an unacceptable crime, and now they will pay for it! Chain letter, is a book about teenagers who do something terrible and swear not to tell, Until someone does find out and holds it against them. Allison is the first to receive the letter from her "Caretaker." She and every other group member must complete the task or face death. The tasks will go more and more horrifying as they put their names in the next column of the letter!
In the book, Chain Letter, the author
Tatum Johnson
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Yet again, Christopher Pike has created a suspenseful novel that keeps you questioning every characters move. Alison, Brenda, Fran, Tony, Neil, Joan, and Kipp were all just typical teenagers. However, one summer night driving home from a concert they committed an awful crime. They decided to put it behind them and move on with their lives. However, someone, somewhere had a very different idea, and was determined to make them pay for that horrific night.

When Alison got home from school, she rece
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
You know the author has you hooked when he presents the problem in a life threatening manner. That is exactly what Christopher Pike did. Christopher catches the reader right in the first couple of chapters. Fran, Alison, Tony, Neil, Kipp, and Brenda go to a concert. Once they leave, they pass into a dark road, no other car is even heard, and Tony (the driver), hears something be crushed. They stop the car and go back to find a dead body. The friends bury the body 50 steps from the car. Some fri ...more
Miles Oliver
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Clever and engaging. This novel is one I recall fondly from my youth, and I'm glad that I decided to bring it with me on vacation as some supplemental beach reading. I'm somewhat surprised the Christopher Pike's name isn't one that has become as recognizable as some of the less impressive and far more popular adult authors. His work is well written and fun to delve into, and many of the evils his characters face are filled with all sorts of unforeseen shades of gray rather than the clear-cut bla ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
chain letter was a good book. this book is a mystery. people have said if i liked chained "Chain Letter" to read Lois Duncan's "I Know What You Did Last Summer," involving a hit and run too. Chain Letter was a very good and exciting book.It is about a group of highschoolers that go to a concert. while at the concert they drank a lot. when they leave (drunk driving) they hit a man. He dies and they bury him in a field near the road. School starts and about half way through the year they get a let ...more
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Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of Kevin McFadden. He is a bestselling author of young adult and children's fiction who specializes in the thriller genre.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

McFadden was born in New York but grew up in California where he stills lives in today. A college drop-out, he did factory work, painted houses and programm

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Chain Letter (2 books)
  • The Ancient Evil (Chain Letter, #2)

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