Book Review: Goosebumps: Let’s Get Invisible by R. L. Stine

Let’s Get Invisible by R. L. Stine is the six in the original Goosebumps series, I’m rereading them in order, and giving them to my nephews, but the’ve been so much fun, so I’ve reviewed six so far. This on is all about invisibility, the ultimate way to play hide and seek. Stine always adds something real and relevant to his horrors and this time it is addiction and peer pressure. The group of friends keeps challenging each other to go invisible longer, you’ll hear a lot of really this is the last time, only to do it more and longer. The twist was really good and clever, one of the better twist so far. This one is mild on the scares but you will get the feeling to shout maybe you guys should not do this again. This novel is more focus then others we are shown the device that makes you invisible pretty early for a goose bumps book. I did feel that the gimmick of invisibility started to run out. This story was made into an episode for the Fox TV show, in the 2nd season episode 6 and is currently on Netflix.

The Plot: It’s Max’s birthday party, he had all these outdoor activity’s but it’s raining. 15 kids show up all together but start leaving at 5 (lame). Max is left with his annoying little brother Lefty, Erin the girl he likes and her best friend April the kind of shy timid one. The group are looking for something to do, they watch Terminator but then get bored, Erin who has a thing for attics realizes Max has one and they set up an adventure to the attic. The dog Whitey joins them, they rifle through old magazines when the dog starts pawing at something in the back and find out it’s a small door to a secret room. The rood contains a large old timey mirror that is wood paneled with a light attached above it. Max looks into the mirror marveled at the lack of dust and how clear it is pulls the cord on the light above as all his friend and brother freak out, because he has vanished, Max thinking this is a joke pulled the cord again as he reappears. with his friends asking how he did that. Before he can explore more his friends mom comes. Two days later Max can’t stop thinking about the mirror and little does he know his little brother is thinking the same thing. Max explores late at night and his brother follows wanting to play the ultimate game of hide and seek, they each stand in front to the mirror and pull the cord and play, for a bit when Max starts to fill weird and light all a sudden, he’s had enough and pulls the cord, but he and his brother don’t reappear right away something has gone wrong. They do appear but the more they do it the longer it takes and Max starts noticing something is not right about the return.

What I Liked: A way more focused story than other goosebumps series stories. The fear of not returning is done well. The twist is good, even though the final twist doesn’t make too much sense. The addiction angle was really great, it made me think about how friends in the past have peer pressured me into doing something that maybe weren’t that safe, just like in the story. the invisible prank on the neighbor was a classic make them see something then get someone else and nothing, but it works here.

What I Disliked: There was no history of the mirror, the novel goes out of it’s way to say it used to be the grandparents home before and even has them come over, Lefty tries to mess with them and is foiled by Max, but nothing ever happens. Also the grandparents come over for a meal and it ‘s just chicken noodle soup, really set up your serving game. the invisible angle gets tired with i’m going to quit then does it again. The final twist did not make sense, I liked that is was telegraphed fro the beginning, but with what happens in the climax it didn’t make much sense.

Recommendations: This one is a good one for the younger kids, it teaches them about peer pressure and is not scary, it has a couple prank scares but nothing really scary. I would compare this to Monster Blood where it is not scary and more humorous, I liked this one a lot better than that one. I rated Let’s Get Invisible 4 out of 5 stars. The ranking of the six I’ve read so far, from best to worse is Stay out of the Basement,The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House and Monster Blood. I will continue to ready the series in order and give it to my nephews when finished, next up is Night of the Living Dummy.

Book Review: Goosebumps: The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb by R. L. Stine

The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb by R. L. Stine is book 5 in the original Goosebumps series. This book played on one of my main fears being trapped in a dark confined spaces. This novel starts a little slow, but the second half is really good and focused. This book has amped up the danger than previous Goosebumps books, with possible dangers being kidnapped, boiled alive, stung by a deadly scorpion’s sting, and of course being mummified. This book is backed up by the real life scenario of traveling abroad in a different country not understanding all the language and customs, and staying with a relative and your cousin you don’t know that well. This is the first time in the Goosebumps series where the setting takes in a another country other than America, this time in Egypt. This book describes in detail the mummification process, I was a little shocked how far it went especially explaining what they did with the brain and how they got it out. This story is one of those rare stories that was not adapted in to the Goosebumps TV show, they went with the Return of the Mummy instead.

Plot: Gabe goes a family business trip/vacation to Egypt. His Uncle Ben is a Egyptologist that is working on excavating mummified remains from Khala’s pyramid. Gabe’s parents have business Alexandria, but Gabe wanting to see the inside of the pyramid begs his parents to stay with his Uncle Ben and his annoying daughter Sari who is the same age as Gabe. They agree and soon Gabe finds himself climbing down inside of the dark pyramid. Uncle Ben explains that there are 1000 different tunnels some not yet explored, so please stick with him. Uncle Ben gets busy with work as Sari wants to explore, she teases Gabe until he relents and joins her. Sari has a prank in mind that involves her hiding in a mummy’s tomb, The prank seems innocent enough but someone or something does not appreciate the disturbance.

What I Liked: The real knowledge and information about mummification is sprinkled through out. The twist endings to Goosebumps are kind of hit and miss but I really loved this one. The jump scares are used really well. The descriptions of the closed in space work really well, and reminded me of my childhood fears. The pranks are funny and add little scares. I like the character of Uncle Ben, my favorite adult character of the series so far. The second half of this novel is great on flow and suspense.

What I Disliked: Slow start to this novel really killed the momentum. The mummy’s hand should have been sold to Gabe in Egypt at the beginning, really kills the believability, yes I do know this is a Goosebumps book but that is too big a leap on plausibility for the outcome to happen at the end of the book. Sari was pretty annoying and really never grew on me.

Recommendations: This is a pretty solid Goosebumps book, so far it’s now my second favorite behind Stay out of the Basement. If your kids are fascinated by mummies then this is the book for them, it blends little touches of horror with real facts. Small warning on a scene where Gabe tries to gross out Sari he does explain the whole mummification process which might be too gross for smaller kids. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. The order from best to worst Goosebumps books so far is Stay out of the Basement, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Welcome to Dead House and Monster Blood. I will continue to ready the series in order and give it to my nephews when finished.

Wrap Up: August 2019 Book Reviews

Another month come and gone, this was a good month for challenging reads in Stephen King’s IT I challenged myself to read a 1376 page book and Black Leopard, Red Wolf was just Challenging in meaning and verse.  I read five books this month one 5 star and four 4 stars.  This month was very special for me by reaching over 500 followers this month, thank you, thank you.

Five Star Reviews:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein: This book was wonderful from start to finish, it you saw the trailer for the movie it looks like a romantic comedy, there’s maybe 10% of that in the book, but the rest is about life, love, tragedy, and family all told through the eyes of Enzo the dog.

Four Star Reviews:

IT by Stephen King: This book is a behemoth at 1376 pages.  It did take me 15 days to read this epic story of childhood fears and coming of age. I read this in anticipation for It: Chapter Two coming out on September 6 2019. It was really rewarding, all the emotions this book takes you through.

The Passengers by John Marrs: I read The Passengers thanks to Netgalley and Berkley publishing letting me read the ARC before the American release on August 27th.  This is a book in the near future where fully functioning autonomous vehicles rule the road,  But when a hacktivist controls 8 cars telling them they’re going to die as their fate is judged on the car company’s board. A really great Science Fiction novel that feels like an episode of Black Mirror.

Say Cheese and Die by R. L. Stine: This is my retro review as I read book three in the Goosebumps book series, this story ranks 2nd place so far in the series.  Where a camera is either making bad things happen or predicting it when it takes a photo.

Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James: A fantasy that uses African folk lore as the background. This was a challenging book with a really great story.  We follow Tracker as he joins a fellowship to bring a missing child back, but this is no ordinary child as is the creature who takes him. A brutal story with lots of twist and turns, this is the first book in a proposed three book trilogy.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Say Cheese And Die by R.L. Stine

Say Cheese and Die by R.L. Stine is the 4th book in the original goosebumps series. It’s a story about the worst invention ever, a camera that seems to predict or make bad things happen, you be the judge. This one oozes 90’s more than Welcome to the Dead House, Stay out of the Basement, and Monster Blood, the first 3 Goosebumps books in the series. Oh the boredom before cell phones, it talks about how bored the four best friends are with nothing to do. It talks VHS videos, home phones, and cool new station wagon (I think station wagons are still pretty cool). This book doesn’t bring as much real life scenario as others it does kind of deal with homelessness, and everybody has a story, but it’s pretty vague. The story flows pretty well the ending is a little out there not too big of a twist. This like Monster Blood is the second book where Stine opens it up too a sequel at the finally.

The Plot: Greg, Shari, Bird, and Michael are four best friends that are super bored, they keep trying to come up with ideas, but nothing takes they decide to go explore an abandoned mansion. The mansion is not as abandoned as first thought, as a man they nicknamed Spidey has been living there. Greg ends up finding a secret compartment with an old camera there that is a self processing camera that allows the photo to develop in minutes after you take the photo. Greg being a photo junkie takes the camera out and takes a photo of Michael against the staircase banister. Moments after taking the photo the banister breaks and Michael falls with it. when greg looks at the photo it shows Michael falling, but he knows he took it before hand, Spidey comes back and they quickly leave Greg in his fear takes the camera with him as his friends flee. Greg takes more photos of his dad’s new car, but the photo shows it wrecked. Grep is sure the camera is haunted and always shows bad things, but when Shari insist he takes a photo of her, the photo looks regular except Shari is not in it, what can that mean. Greg and his friend must find the secrets of the camera before it is too late.

What I Liked: The story is really fun and is for the most part driven, the story really makes the reader cringe with every photo not knowing the exact details of the consequences, except knowing there will be some. The friendship of the group feels really real if it wasn’t for the 90’s troupes you would think it was modern day. The camera is just a great device, and used well through out the story. The original cover is amazing and one of my favorites of all the goosebumps series. I like how it leads you to a possible sequel at the end.

What I Disliked: The twist was lackluster a little bit when we find out more about the origin of the camera, there’s a lot lacking in that story if it was always intended for evil, or if it was cursed after the fact.

Recommendations: I totally recommend this one, it’s interesting and the story is great, if the twist was nailed this one would have taken number one spot away from Stay out of the Basement. If you are a fan of the TV series on Fox this was the episode that featured a young Ryan Gosling as Greg. If you want a good one for your kids that’s not as scary as the other’s with a good story then this is the one to get. the price is just 3.99 on Amazon kindle and you can’t beat that. I rated Say Cheese and Die 4 out of 5 stars. My rating so far from best to worst of the Goosebumps series is Stay out of the Basement, Say Cheese and Die, Welcome to Dead House, and Monster Blood.

A Promo for Say Cheese and Die featuring Ryan Gosling, all episodes are on Netflix for those who don’t know.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Monster Blood by R. L. Stine

Monster Blood by R. L. Stine is the 3rd book from the classic Goosebumps series. So far in reviewing them I’ve stuck with the order of the classic series from the 90’s, so if you enjoy this review check out my reviews for Stay Out of the Basement and Welcome to the Dead House. Monster Blood was my least favorite of the Goosebumps so far, which I find a little funny since there is three more sequels to monster blood in the series. Monster blood is a story of possessed “flubber” not the cool “flubber from The Absent Minded Professor but the “flubber” from the movie Flubber starring Robin Williams, where the “flubber” becomes sentient beings and starts dancing. Monster Blood does not have any dancing Monster Blood but it does have some of the same traits (this book came out before the Flubber movie as well) it is bouncy, it is sticky, it does stuff to beings that eat it and it becomes sentient sort of. The real life scenario is staying with a relative you’ve had little to no contact until a family emergency is all to real. The real horror of this book is an aunt Katheryn who is deaf and can’t read lips or sign, and has a basically no filter and seems a little psychopathic. . I started reading Goosebumps for my nephews, who I’m giving all the books to and reading to, but the response from my followers has been overwhelming, so think you guys for that, it has been a delight sharing the reviews and the response with you.

The Plot: Evan ad the dog Trigger is being sent to his great aunt Katheryn for an undetermined amount of time as his parents look for a place to live in Florida after a recent sudden job transfer of his father. Evan has never met great aunt Katheryn but knows she is deaf and never learned to read lips or sign language. He’s met by a surprised Katheryn holding a bloody knife, that was only cutting meat for dinner. Katheryn talks with out filter and makes a rule that the house pet Trigger the dog must live outside while because of Katheryn’s pet cat Sarabeth who Katheryn talks to like a person than a cat. Evan ends up meeting a local girl Andrea who goes by Andy, they have an instant connection with all things stupid. Andy shows him the town and a vintage toy store that has old toys some covered in thick amount of dust, but Evan ends up finding Monster Blood, with a cool name like that it has to be cool, right? The Monster blood is neon green and glows in the dark as well as being sticky wit also bouncy, they play with it the whole day but the fun stops when trigger ends up eating a good portion and starts growing unexpectedly and the monster blood that remains starts expanding and seeming to never stop growing it’s self despite Evan and Andy’s attempts to stop it. Can they stop the monster blood from growing before it consume them?

What I Liked: Aunt Katheryn is a great character and really fun, I like the reason she has for never learning sign language or reading lips. I like what Andy and Evan’s friendship becomes. I will say I could not stand the character of Andy at first, she’s super annoying but grew on me at the end. The bullies two twin boy’s were written well and I could relate to having bullies like that growing up that just want to mess with people for no reason.

What I Disliked: The final twist comes out of no where, there was plausibility but barely, I needed more hints to what the ending amounted to. The story seems to have no direction until the rushed ending. I have a real problem on how long it took Evan to take his dog to the vet, the monster blood grows in the dark have your dog see a vet immediately.

Recommendations: This least favorite so far of the books I’ve read, so I would recommend Stay out of the Basement and Welcome to Dead House over this one. I if you thought the Flubber with Robin William is better than the original Absent Minded Professor then you might like this story. I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars. I will continue to read more more Goosebumps books by Scholastic Inc.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Stay Out of the Basement by R. L. Stine

Stay Out of the Basement by R. L. Stine is the second novel in the original Goosebumps line, and a far better story than the Welcome to the Dead House, the first original Goosebumps. As kids we’ve all been told to stay out of something, mostly for our own safety. I this story it’s for safety and secrets. This novel goes into the real world problems of dad losing his job and then setting out to prove his employers wrong. He becomes distant and stressed and in an R. L. Stine twist otherworldly. As an adult reading this for my nephews I can really appreciate the real life scenarios he subtly put into his stories.

The Plot: Margret and Casey two siblings, are dealing with a new life situation, their dad losing his job at a science laboratory. Their dad has became distant, stressed, and made a makeshift lab in the homes basement.There not supposed to disturb their dad when he’s working and all but banned from the basement. When Margret’s friend Diane who’s a little bit rebellious, dares them to go to the basement while their dad has to bring their mother to the airport to deal with a sick aunt. They reluctantly go and the basement is like nothing they’ve seen before, it’s hot, humid, and muggy with plants covering every inch but the stairs. The plants are like nothing you’ve ever seen before, they seem to reach out for the kids and moan, before they can investigate further their dad come home. Margret and Diane scramble up the stairs but Casey is stuck with a plant wrapping around him not in a threatening but still traps him. Diane leaves out the back as Margret quickly rescues her brother, but get busted on the stairs my their dad who’s very upset, his hat flies off and reveals instead of hair he’s growing leaves. He says it’s a side effect to something they won’t understand and puts an additional lock on the basement door telling them to stay out, but like typical kids they do not. What will happen when they do not stay out of the basement?

What I Liked: The twist are really good, there’s some really clever misdirects, that make sense when all is revealed but really clever writing. I had even seen the episode about three years ago as I introduced the show to cousins and could not remember all the twist and turns. This story is supper creepy plants moaning and forming mouths. The real life scenario of a father losing a job and going a little nuts to prove ex-employers wrong is too real. The story brought me back to the childhood fears of going own into a dark staircase to the basement. Every scene and chapter has a purpose. I have a fear of food and the scene in this story really got to me.

What I Disliked: Money was never discussed with losing a job, I thought it could have been a little more relatable to real life scenario. I did think it’s funny as the story escalates and gets crazier the dad is still neighborly and helps the neighbors with things, so I thought he could’ve got out of the house for something other than that, like buying mulch of other plant food.

Recommendations: I love Goosebumps and this is one of the better stories in the series as far as twist go. This story is made ever so scary adding the real life scenario. I rated this 5 out of 5 stars, I was on the fence debating between 4 and 5 but the twist is really good and well thought out, this one could almost fit in the Twilight Zone with not too many changes. I plan to keep reading Goosebumps and reviewing them their so fun and a good break for the headier stuff I read sometimes.

Book Review: Welcome to Dead House by R. L. Stine

Welcome to Dead House by R. L. Stine is the very first Goosebumps book. It’s a lot scarier and more graphic than I remember, but still appropriate for it’s younger audience. I used to read these books as kids and also read them to my younger sister for bed, now that my sister has two of my nephews and I got these books for them but thought it would be fun to reminisce and read/review it for my website. This novel did not disappoint and still puts me in the mind of my childhood self and what fears me.

The Plot: Amanda and Josh have just moved into a new house in the town of Dark Falls, as a great Uncle has bequeathed it upon his death (the dad can not remember uncle). Amanda and Josh get bad vibes from the place that seems always shaded in shadows. Petey their dog starts acting strange and hostilely bark at the realtor and every kid they meet. Amanda swears she sees kids in the house and whispering, but believes it’s her own imagination. She meets all the kids in the neighborhood and is treated like the outsider she is, the only thing that most kids say is, “I lived in your house once.”

What I Liked: This story is dark and has a pretty good little twist. The tone is set up from the beginning and it’s creepy and spooky. The descriptions are just enough to create a mind picture of your imagination. The gore was a little bit unexpected, two character’s eyes pop out of their head. I thought the dialogue worked really well, and it furthered the mystery. I loved the character of Ray, and the twist that character has.

What I Disliked: This novel is told in a first person view of Amanda and it could have easily have been written in third, we get no insight being in her head. Her character felt really vague on female characteristics, it felt very genderless, I guess it was to appeal to both guys and girls at that age.

Recommendations: I whole heartedly recommend this book and series, it’s horror lite and a good introduction in to real horror genre in the future. This novel is the kid friendly version of the Twilight Zone. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. I ended up seeing nine of these books super cheap and bought them for the nephews to read, will review them as I go.