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.