Book Review: Goosebumps – The Ghost Next Door

The Ghost Next Door by R. L. Stine is book ten of the original Goosebumps series. This one is rarely scary, I predicted the twist very early on, but I ended up liking the ending that saved this from being the worst Goosebumps. The scariest thing is to see the elevation of peer pressure and dares. There is a shadow creature that’s a little scary, is it real or imagined? there’s no lame jump scares that are usually littered through out Goosebumps books. This one is more tied to the Goosebumps movie than anything else, where they used the character of Hannah better than this book.

The Plot: It’s Summer and Hannah is bored, she spends all day watching her 2 twin brothers and writing letters to her friend at camp. her summer turns adventurous when she meets Danny the neighbor boy, the only thing is she’s pretty convinced he’s a ghost. Danny says he’s lived here for a while but Hannah rode her bike through the back yard the other day and there was no family. Now she has to prove it to him. Danny is if he’s a ghost or not is hanging out with a group of kids that haunt their local mail man. Hannah tries to stop them but, she seems to be haunted herself by a shadow creature.

What I Liked: The ending is the saving grace of this story, I liked it a lot, it’s and ending that I’ve seen before but I thought it was done very well. I liked the character of Hannah especially how she writes letter with her little treats of harm if they do not write back. I liked the reveal of what the shadow creature was. The biggest horror element was the peer pressure and man does it get to an intense level fast.

What I Disliked: Not really scary maybe slightly more than Monster Blood (Monster Blood is the worst) the twist is really easy to predict, I see most kids figuring it out as well.

Recommendations: If you’re on a quest like me to read them all then read it. if you are looking for fun and scary for the kids, I would skip this one. The only thing this story has going for it is how heavily this story is featured in the 2015 Goosebumps movie starring Jack Black and Dylan Minnette. I rated The Ghost Next Door by R. L. Stine 3 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 10 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite Stay Out of the Basement, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, The Girl who Cried Monster, The Ghost Next Door, and Monster Blood.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine

Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine is book 9 in the original Goosebumps series. Welcome to Camp Nightmare is scarier than most of the Goosebumps I have read before. The ending is a good twist that is set up from the start with little hints along the way, in my last review of The Girl Who Cried Monster Goosebumps 8 this was a big complaint. The Psychological horror of being stranded and having people go missing, that no one remembers being there in the first place works really well. The Welcome to Camp Nightmare 2 part episode from Goosebumps was a childhood favorite of mine, there’s minor differences a one plot point change that I liked better than the book. There’s a real lack of false scares in this one only one at the beginning, which is the smallest amont in a Goosebumps book so far. The book uses every camping horror trope but twist it and makes it fun. I’m reading these Goosebumps books in order and giving to my three nephews, and they will like this one a lot.

The Plot: Billy is going to his first Overnight camping trip for the summer at Camp Nightmoon. Billy makes fast friends on the bus with his bunk mates of Cabin 4 Jay, Colin, and Mike. The trip starts off bad as there are snakes found in Mike’s bunk and bite him right at the start. Mike’s hand starts swelling and is told there is no nurse. Larry the older cabin leader is relaxed and says cold water and a bandage are all it takes. Mike goes off to treat his wound and is not heard from again as all his stuck is removed. Mike is the first of many campers to disappear that no one but Billy seems to remember. Billy really freaks out when he finds out the phone is fake and the letters he’s been told to write are undelivered. Billy is in Camp Nightmare, not Nightmoon.

What I Liked: Billy makes a lot of smart choices. The reveal of the fake phone was pretty great. The first scare with the desert creatures could has been one of my favorite scares of the series so far. The Bus driver scaring them, the not saying another word worked really well as he starts dumping their stuff. I loved all the clues to the ending, pay attention to the way the land and sky are described. The final twist was pretty good. I liked Larry the do nothing relaxed camp counselor. The scares are pretty good for the most part.

What I Disliked: The forbidden bunk was never really used, that’s why I like the TV episode so much better, because you have this device the forbidden bunk already set up, why not learn the history of it. I thought the plot point towards the end where Billy was asked to shoot things was okay but not explained enough.

Recommendations: Welcome to Camp Nightmare worked really well, and gave off some good scares. It was one of the easiest stories to get into so far. It made me remember my sleep over camp days and a lot of the stuff that I was afraid of. I rated Welcome to Camp Nightmare 4 out of 5 stars, and it ranks third out of the Goosebumps books that I have already read. Here’s my full ranking of the 9 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite Stay Out of the Basement, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, The Girl who Cried Monster, and Monster Blood.

Book Review: Goosebumps: The Girl Who Cried Monster by R. L. Stine

The Girl Who Cried Monster by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book number 8 in the original series. The Girl Who Cried Monster is an updated take on the classic fable The Boy who Cried Wolf. The premiss is the same a girl is obsessed with monsters, always acting like they’re real, discovers a real monster, and no one will believe her. The tale runs pretty typical until the bonkers ending, which is so out there it ruins it a little. Stine probably had a lot of ideas where to go and chose this one, and it just wasn’t great, but as a kid I might have thought it was cool instead of random and ill conceived that I do as an adult. This one is the most time stamped, as they have to go to the mall to get their photos developed, and the library uses stamps and a card catalog.

The Plot: Lucy is 12 and obsessed with monsters, she tortures her little 6 year old brother Randy and her friend Aaron, with tales trying to get them to believe there is a monster anywhere and everywhere. Lucy is enrolled in a summer reading program at her local library that is close enough that she can skate to. The program requires her to read classic books and the librarian Mr. Mortman, a bald beady eyed man, has to quiz her over the material. Lucy bluffs her way through Huck Finn and is excited to check out Frankenstein, so excited that she forgets her skates, and has to go back to the already library, she worried about the door being locked but it’s not. As she retrieves her skates she see Mr. Mortman change into a insect-like Monster, with big bug eyes, antennas, and sharp teeth. Runs out of there with out being seen she can’t believe her eyes, and nobody else will believe her as well. She needs proof, but it might kill her to get it.

What I Liked: I loved the first monster that Lucy creates the Toetaker, actually sounds pretty terrifying, and I loved how she fakes her brother. I love that despite Mr. Mortman being a monster he is one heck of a librarian, one of the funniest moment when Lucy is trying to get away she knocks over the card catalog and Mr. Mortman has to clean up the card catalog. He also has the kids reading some great stuff. For a Goosebumps book the story is pretty focused on the plot. I loved that Randy after being pranked so much ends up getting excited by the fear. The Name Lucy Dark is awesome.

What I Disliked: The ending is so out of left field, it ruins a big chunk of the book, and it didn’t have to all Stine had to do was set it up, and he did not. This story feels like it was written without and ending then one tacked on at the end. Lucy should have brought a camera the first time after she saw Mr. Mortman change. Lucy being selfish and waits for Mr. Mortman to change before switching places, Lucy you’ve seen him change three times how about Aaron getting to see.

Recommendation: This one is not the worst out of the eight goosebumps that I have read but it is close. If you have to skip one it should be this one and Monster Blood so far. This one has one of the worst ending so far, and I was really enjoying the story until then. I do recommend reading the first chapter and the story of the Toetaker and the prank with it is really good. I get and read Goosebumps for my nephews that are four and six this one is more gross than scary which is one that might appeal to them more than me. I rated The Girl Who Cried Monster 3 out of 4 stars. My list so far from best to worst Stay out of the Basement, Night of the Living Dummy, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, The Girl who Cried Monster, and Monster Blood.

Book Review: Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy by R. L. Stine

The Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine is the 7th book in the original Goosebumps Series. I read this years ago and forgot a good deal, there are still a lot of surprises and twist. This book messer with your brain a little bit, by asking what is real because of some clever pranks it make the reader second guess if this is really happening or a nightmare. I will say personally wooden dummies freak me out, so my fear factor might be higher than others. I have pointed out before that Stine concentrates on real world issues to enhance the fear and keep the story a little grounded. In this book the theme is sharing the leads are two twin girls who are already forced to share a face, have to share a room, friends, and a lot of items in the room. When one of the Girls finds the dummy Slappy she is relieved to have something that is here’s that she doesn’t have to share. There’s a couple references to the household not having that much money, so sharing is the only option. This novel has the least 90’s references out of all the other 6 Goosebumps I have read so far. I’m reading Goosebumps to rehash my old memories of the series growing up, and also to give the books to my nephews to read.

The Plot: The Powell Sister’s Kris and Lindy are 12 year old identical twins, who share everything a face, friends, a room, and a lot of the same items in the house. This all changes when the girls get bored and explore the new house being built next door and Lindy finds a trunk. In the trunk is a wooden dummy in a black suit named Slappy. Kris wants Lindy to put it back where it was found, but Lindy wants to keep it and work on it. Kris at first really doesn’t care, then she see’s all the attention she’s getting, and wants some, so a week or a couple later and her dad buys her Mr. Wood from a pawn shop. Lindy gets good and performs for money at birthday parties. Kris is amazed at how good she is, and that she actually is funny. Kris struggles and swears there’s something wrong with Mr. Wood who is often not in the same place where she put him when she goes to sleep. One day she finds him in clothes she put out, and another when she finds Mr. Wood looking like he was strangling him. Kris Swears her doll is winking at her as well. Is he Alive, or is it all a cruel joke?

What I Liked: The story teases a bit here and there but when it comes to the big reveal the dummy does not hold back and you truly believe it wants to kill. I loved the sibling rivalry, you get to witness the jealousy grow overtime. The pranks in this one are really good, my favorite so far; It’s Goosebumps so you know there’s going to be some teases and jump scares a lot of these are false and easily revealed to be a sister or brother messing around, but in the Night of the Living Dummy we don’t get a fast reveal guessing what is real. There’s one part where and old neighbor couple comes over to watch the sweet innocent puppet show, but is roasted by one of the girls, the jokes are mean but still pretty funny. The final twist is a good one that leads to the sequels. The flow and pace of this story is very well paced, the story is one of the better focused ones. This one rams up the scary. I enjoyed how extreme it got, The dummy is out for blood, he will bite, slap, and claw his way towards that goal.

What I Disliked: The worst dog name ever, Barky. I did not like the spell aspect, I thought it was cheap and never really explained well.

Recommendations: Read this if you are scared of Puppets, I’m sure this will also work on stuffed animals. This is a good book for sisters. I do recommend this story out the 7 Goosebumps books I have read, I put this one at number 2, here’s my list so far from best to worst Stay out of the Basement, Night of the Living Dummy, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House and Monster Blood. I rated Night of the Living Dummy 4 out of 5 stars.

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.