Book Review: Goosebumps – One Day At Horrorland by R. L. Stine

One Day at Horrorland by R. L. Stine is one of the scariest Goosebumps stories but ends with weak ending. One Day at Horrorland is the 16th book in the Goosebumps series original order. The scares check a lot of boxes, fear of the unknown, fear of abandonment, fear of the dark, fear of being trapped, fear of confined spaces, and fear of spiders, bats, and wolves. This one drives the nostalgia as major plot point is finding a phone, and having kids not be on the phone for a long car ride with nothing but scenery to look at. Stine has fun coming up with horror filled rides and amusements, I wish they would ridden more rides, they only ride 3, one of the rides they go on twice. I really enjoyed myself and felt my pulse go up as I read. 9o% of this book is great, but man is that last 10% weak, I was thinking this could be my top Goosebump book, to finally rival Stay Out of the Basement but the ending ruined it.

The Plot: the Morris Family is heading to a Zoo amusement park, that sounds like Busch Gardens. Only the family has left the map on the table and is lost in a desert, they turn around and finally start to see trees, and a billboard to Horrorland. Because of the kids begging the family desided to check it out. When they arrive the car blows up. The monsters who the family assume are in costumes ask about a phone or assistance. The Monsters they will help, but say you’re not going to ever want to leave. The family soon begins to figure out what Horrorland is all about, but will they live to tell it.

What I Liked: The scares are good, and some effected me especially the halls of mirrors scene. I loved the Luke and Lizzie dynamic as brother and sister. I liked the friend who was terrified acting like he wasn’t sacred so Luke thought he was cool. I loved Luke deny it was real until the end. The rides a and there horror punned names.

What I Disliked: The ending was so weak, it could have went so many ways, but the choice made was so horrible I knocked off a whole star. It is not as bad as The Girl Who Cried Monster twist which was out of nowhere, there is at least some set up to it.

Recommendations: If you are looking at the books just for the scares, then this book will deliver. If you’re looking for a good Goosebump twist this book will let you down hard. I rated One Day At Horrorland by R. L. Stine 4 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 16 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite:Stay Out of the Basement, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, 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, Be Careful What You Wish For… , The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood And You Can’t Scare Me!.

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.