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Goosebumps: The Barking Ghost

The Barking GhostThe 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.

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Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy

Night of the Living DummyAfter 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.

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Fear Street: The Wrong Number

The Wrong NumberWell, 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.

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Fear Street: The Secret Bedroom

The Secret BedroomAfter 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.

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Fear Street: The New Girl

The New GirlI vaguely remember reading Fear Street when I was in Middle School. I was more into Goosebumps by R. L. Stine, and then later, Animorphs by K. A. Applegate. I stumbled across this Fear Street book on Amazon about a week ago, and despite my promise to not buy anymore books until I clear some of my queue, I snagged this and dove in head first. Now I need to read them all.

This book was awful… -ly amazing. It had some laugh out loud stuff going on, some cringe-worthy teen behavior, ninja gymnastic stunts, and a dead cat in a locker. When you read R. L. Stine, you just need to sit back and enjoy the ride. Don’t ask questions. Don’t look for literary elements. Don’t expect everything to make sense.

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