Review of “The Ghost Next Door” by R. L. Stine

Title: The Ghost Next Door
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #10
Genre: Horror
Pages: 124
Published: 1993, Scholastic
My Grade: 2 out of 5 ghosts

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Hannah Fairchild is startled to wake up from a horrific nightmare to find that the empty house next door has suddenly been sold, as if overnight, and the son of the family somehow has the ability to survive a series of near-fatal accidents. The more she investigates, Hannah discovers to her shock that the new neighbours might be ghosts.

MY REVIEW

After reading the title of this book and the first couple of pages, I knew what the twist at the end would be. Super obvious! How the ending exactly would play out was still a mystery and I have to admit, that even if I was dissapointed that it wasn’t a typical Goosebump ending, it was kind of refresshing o having a happy ending as well. The twist didn’t come at the very last pages, but about 20 pages earlier.

Since it was so obvious and I basically just waited for it to be revealed, it will only get a 2, even if it was an enjoyable story.

 

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Review of “Welcome to Camp Nightmare” by R. L. Stine

Title: Welcome to Camp Nightmare
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #9
Genre: Horror
Pages: 136
Published: 1993, Scholastic
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 rifles

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Welcome to Camp Nightmare It’s the little camp of horrors! Next summer you’ll stay home … if you survive! Billy thinks that life at camp is a bit creepy, but when other campers start to disappear and his parents do not answer his letters, Camp Nightmoon becomes Camp Nightmare.

MY REVIEW

Like with the previous Goosebumps, The Girl Who Cried Monster, this book had a very twisted ending too. But perhapsa not as good one.

In every other way it was a new type of story. It was “scary” from the very first start, the mysterious things that happened didn’t have a logical explanation in the next chapter. Refreshing with a new type of story. And a little spaced out, haha!

It gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Review of “Out of the Ashes” by Pittacus Lore

Title: Out of the Ashes
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: The Legacy Chronicles #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 115
Published: 2017, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 puppeteer

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In the aftermath of a thwarted alien invasion, teenagers across the globe have begun to develop incredible powers known as Legacies.

Most are sent to the Human Garde Academy, where they can learn to harness their powers for the good of humanity. But there are still countless others who slip through the cracks, who prefer do things their own way, or who are being kept from attending the Academy by people with very different plans for these gifted teens.

That is where Six and Sam come in. They’ve just joined a convert group tasked with investigating suspicious incidents around the world which might be Legacy-related. Their first mission has them looking into the connection between a string of disappearances—but as they dig deeper into the mystery, they stumble upon an unexpected and dangerous Human Garde underworld.

 

MY REVIEW

 

It’s amazing how Pittacus Lore can spit out book after book and fill out his science fiction world with so many details. Since the first book, I am Number Four, I have loved this world and that it is always expanding with new main stories but also small side stories like this, Out of the Ashes.

It revolves around Six and Sam trying to fit in this new world of humans with Legacies. Six is against forcing kids to go to the Human Garde Academy but get another opportunity to help the kids.

I really liked that it mostly took place in New Orleans. It was easy to visualize the places since I was there a few years ago.

Lots of action like usually. Nothing that deviates from the previous books and short novellas. It get a 4.

Review of “Once Upon a Time in the North” by Philip Pullman

Title: Once Upon a Time in the North
Author: Philip Pullman
Series: His Dark Materials #0.5
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 104
Published: 2008, Alfred A. Knopf
My Grade: 4 out of 5 arctic rabbits

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In this prequel episode from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby — Texan aeronaut and future friend to Lyra Belacqua — is 24 years old. The story reveals the origins of Scoresby’s friendship with Iorek Byrnison as well as Scoresby’s aeronautical career.

After winning his hot-air balloon in a poker game, Scoresby finds himself floating north. On the Arctic island of Novy Odense, Scoresby and his dæmon Hester become involved in a deadly plot involving an oil magnate, a corrupt mayoral candidate, and a hired killer who is Lee’s longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country. Forming an alliance with one of the island’s reviled armored bears, Scoresby fights to break up the conspiracy.

MY REVIEW

When I read His Dark Materials, Once Upon a Time in the North had just gotten out and I hadn’t gotten my hands on it. Then I continued to not have it and therefore not read it. Until now. And I feel more than ever that I really have to reread the original series. I can’t even remember who Lee Scoresby is and what his role is. The bear, Iorek, I do remember bits and pieces of, but no big details.

It was a short story, very enjoyable. But it might have been more enjoyable if I didn’t read it “before” the original series. Hard to remember after 10 years. But it gets a 4. Maybe I will give it a higher grade after I finish rereading His Dark Materials.

 

Review of “The Girl Who Cried Monster” by R. L. Stine

Title: The Girl Who Cried Monster
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #8
Genre: Horror
Pages: 144
Published: 1993, Scholastic
My Grade: 4 out of 5 monsters

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Lucy likes to tell monster stories. She’s told so many that her friends and her family are sick of it.

Then one day, Lucy discovers a real, live monster: the librarian in charge of the summer reading program.

Too bad Lucy’s told so many monster tall tales.
Too bad no one believes a word she says.
Too bad the monster knows who she is…
…and is coming after her next.

MY REVIEW

This was a refreshing Goosebump story. Well, up until the last chapter it was similar to the previous ones, “scary” cliffhangers after every chapter that then turned out to be nothing. What was different was the ending and that was what gave the whole story a 4 instead of a 3. It is very similar to “The Fever Code” by James Dashner (a prelogue to the Maze Runner trilogy) in the sense that it made me see the story completely differently. That was a whole series, this was just a 100-page book. But still. It is a fun an interesting feeling!

The Girl Who Cried Monster is slightly better than the ones I have previously read and gets a 4.

Review of “Night of the Living Dummy” by R. L. Stine

Title: Night of the Living Dummy
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #7
Genre: Horror
Pages: 134
Published: 1993, Scholastic
My Grade: 3 out of 5 ventriloquists

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

When twins Lindy and Kris find a ventriloquist’s dummy in a Dumpster, Lindy decides to “rescue” it, and she names it Slappy. But Kris is green with envy. It’s not fair. Why does Lindy get to have all the fun and all the attention? Kris decides to get a dummy of her own. She’ll show Lindy. Then weird things begin to happen. Nasty things. Evil things. It can’t be the dummy causing all the trouble, Can it?

MY REVIEW

When reading a hard cover book that I don’t have as an epub book, Goosebumps are the perfect side read when commuting. An easy read and the characters felt realistic and not “too much” as some of the previous main characters did.

And what was best about it was that I couldn’t forsee the ending at all. Maybe that was the same with the other ones? Can’t really remember. But it was unexpected and I didn’t know how it would end until the very last page which supposedly left me with goosebumps. Fun reads! 3 out of 5.

Review of “La Belle Sauvage” by Philip Pullman

Title: La Belle Sauvage
Author: Philip Pullman
Series: The Book of Dust #1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 464
Published: 2017, Alfred A. Knopf
My Grade: 4 out of 5 souls

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Malcolm Polstead is the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. And so perhaps it was inevitable that he would become a spy…
Malcolm’s father runs an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his dæmon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal, but during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm catches wind of something new: intrigue.
He finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust–and the spy it was intended for finds him.
When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, Malcolm sees suspicious characters everywhere; Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a dæmon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl–just a baby–named Lyra.
Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make chocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm.

 

MY REVIEW

I guess that most people have read His Dark Materials, or have had a parent read it to them when they were kids? Or at least heard of it? The Golden Compass? I read the series in 2008 (as a 17 year old) for the first time and I absolutely loved them! The Book of Dust have been planned for a long time and I have patiently waited, until I honestly forgot about it.

I’ve been meaning to reread the original series but frankly been afraid that if I reread them, my idea of them being incredibly amazing would shatter. But after finishing La Belle Sauvage, I feel ready to reread them, and I feel confident that I won’t be disappointed and have an even clearer view of why they are amazing. Because ten years later, I can’t remember a single detail about them, just that they were good.

But anyway, La Belle Sauvage lived up to my expectations. It followed the same style as His Dark Materials and it was easy to see Pullmans version of England while reading.

The story is perhaps a little bit slow until the end when a lot of spaced out stuff happens. But even if not many things happen, it was hard to put it down. He has a very smooth way of writing if that explains anything? I find his writing very appealing and easy to read. And yes, smooth.

I give La Belle Sauvage a four and I hope that I will enjoy His Dark Materials once again!