R. L. Stine
This just might be my favorite Goosebumps book. It is well-written, it is suspenseful, and it is interesting. Maybe it’s because I read a really terrible entry in the series right before reading this book, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Cuckoo Clock of Doom.
The cover and title made me think and hope that this book would play with time travel, and it did, -ish. The main character, Michael, messes with the bird in a cuckoo clock his father brings home, and finds himself going backwards in time years at a time. He must find a way to stop time from moving back anymore before his existence is erased.
The Barking Ghost is an entry in the series I had seen at book fairs and stores when I was a kid and always wanted to read, but never had the opportunity to buy (until now!). The cover is actually one of my favorites in the series, and a ghost dog seems like it would make for an interesting plot device. Spoiler: it didn’t.
Funny enough, this is one of R. L. Stine’s least favorite Goosebumps books. (Has he READ Chicken Chicken?) I wonder if that had any weight on the price of this book at Amazon. Both of the books he listed as least favorites (the other one being Go Eat Worms!) were only $1.99. I’m glad I didn’t spend more than that on this.
After reading some of the Fear Street books, I’ve been reminiscing a lot about R. L. Stine’s other popular series, Goosebumps. I was obsessed with the series when I was younger and read a large chunk of the series. I decided to read one of my favorite installments to rediscover what I loved. Surprisingly, this book held up really well! Why not go through this series as well?
Night of the Living Dummy was great because it dealt atmospheric and subtle scares. The dummy didn’t come alive until after more than halfway through the book, and I thought that was an interesting and creative decision. The story relied on the natural creepiness of ventriloquist dummies in the same way that the original Child’s Play made the viewer question if Chucky was really alive.
Well, it had to happen at some point. Here’s a Fear Street book I didn’t really enjoy much. What’s weird is this is a fan favorite. It wasn’t awful, really, but compared to the other two Fear Street books I’ve read so far, this one was lacking. I’d love to hear what anyone particularly enjoyed about this book if a fan happens to read this review.
It is more of a murder mystery than a horror novel, though it does have some scary moments that kept me turning the page, or rather clicking my Kindle screen during the late hours of the night. And the word “mystery” is generous in my description of the novel because there’s very little mystery. It’s pretty obvious who did what, and the “why?” was uninspired. That’s my biggest reason for not enjoying this installment as much as the last two I read, but what I enjoyed about the book is what Stine does best: the story kept me turning pages. Although what happened was somewhat obvious and a let-down, Stine had me wanting to know what was going to happen next.
After enjoying The New Girl, I wanted to read another Fear Street book. I looked at several, but eventually grabbed this book for $2.99 on Amazon and finished it in two days. While the price is what drew me to The Secret Bedroom over other available Fear Street novels, its plot kept me hooked; it was hard to put this book down! I might have finished it in a day if this wasn’t Finals week.
I can safely say that I am addicted to Fear Street now. While I have a soft spot for Goosebumps, these books are much higher quality than Goosebumps, and although I know I’ve read some of these in the past, I don’t have vivid memories of which ones, exactly. Maybe I’ll recognize them when I get to them; after enjoying these two books so much, I plan to read the entire series.