The Horror at Camp Jellyjam by R.L. Stine is Goosebumps at it’s weirdest and it’s great. The Horror at Camp Jellyjam is Goosebumps book 33 in the original series order. This book features a camp that just wants the kids to be the best, but when they show they’re the best the disappear. The book also has creepy cultlike camp counselors. The fear is the can’t escape mentality. I liked the brother and sister bonding, it is not filled with endless pranks it feels very real and like a family. The monster is the weirdest and very unique R.L. Stine writing and description. The opening is like One Day at Horror Land where by happenstance the siblings arrive at Camp Jellyjam. The pace is good there’s some slight repetition but better than most Goosebumps books. The climax is good and oh so weird. I’m mad at the new Goosebumps edition cover for revealing the monster and prefer the old editions no spoilers that look slightly off setting with Buddy the Camp Councilor’s intense smile.
Plot Synopsis: Wendy and Elliot are on a cross country trip with their parents and they are bored. Wendy convinces Elliot to hang out in the family’s trailer that the car is pulling along. They take a nap to wake up to the trailer unattached and them rolling down the forest. The trailer stops at the entrance to Camp Jellyjam where the motto is ONLY THE BEST. Buddy the Camp Councilor says he will call the police and since their here can have fun and games with the other kids. They reluctantly agree and find out there’s tournaments in all kinds of sports and games. Winner get a gold coins that say camp Jellyjam when you get six you get the walk the winners circle and have a party with the winners. Wendy meets a group of girls and competes in a swimming race, she lets another girl win because she wants it more and gets scolded by buddy for not doing her best. The Girl Wendy let get beat is overjoyed to win her 6th coin and join the winner circle. After they celebrate the girl doesn’t come back to the dorm and in the morning find her drawer empty. The other winners are gone too Wendy has a bad felling when she meets her brother he shows her his winning coins. What happens when you win? Is anyone reaching out to their parents? Why are the councilor’s all kind of the same? Why are there random earthquakes?
What I Liked: The weirdness is all through out and it is great. The Camp Councilor’s are weird the monster is really weird, I loved it! The descriptions are really good and was able to easily capture the pictures in my mind. The brother and sister relationship felt very real and their whole relationship was not based on pranks. To echo those thoughts this is a rare goosebumps book with no pranks. I liked the opening it was unexpected. I liked how focused and you could feel the tension and felt trapped like the characters.
What I Disliked: There’s a little repetition that was unnecessary but not too bad.
Recommendations: This is one of the better Goosebumps if you are a fan you must read it. I like the weirder stories and this one fits the bill. The writing and descriptions are really good and you kind of feel the danger. The book will remind you of the other Camp Goosebumps story Welcome to Camp Nightmare where something is going wrong and you can’t escape. I rated The Horror at Camp JellyJam by R. L. Stine 5 out of 5 stars. Before I wrote this review I was thinking 4 stars but the more I remembered there was so much this book did right and I enjoyed it right away so 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 33 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite: 1) A Night in Terror Tower, 2) Stay Out of the Basement, 3) Ghost Beach, 4) Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, 5) The Haunted Mask, 6) The Horror at Camp Jellyjam, 7) One Day At Horrorland, 8) Night of the Living Dummy, 9) Welcome to Camp Nightmare, 10) The Phantom of the Auditorium, 11) It Came From Beneath the Sink, 12) The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, 13) Say Cheese and Die, 14) Let’s Get Invisible, 15) The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, 16) Welcome to Dead House, 17) Monster Blood II, 18) The Girl who Cried Monster, 19)Deep Trouble, 20) The Ghost Next Door, 21)Night of the Living Dummy 2, 22) My Hairiest Adventure, 23) Be Careful What You Wish For… , 24) Return of the Mummy, 25) Why I’m Afraid of Bees, 26)Attack of the Mutant, 27) Go Eat Worms!, 28) The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, 29) Cuckoo Clock of Doom, 30) Monster Blood, 31) The Barking Ghost, 32) You Can’t Scare Me!, and 33) Monster Blood III.