Monday, March 31, 2008

R.L. Stine-- The Beginning

The good news is that reading Stine was nowhere near as painful as I thought it would be. Anyone that prolific and popular, as well as in the horror genre, must be awful, right? I'd read The Burning and The Babysitter a few years ago, and they were okay, but since I am approaching the "S" authors, I thought I would get a jump on some Stine.

Verdict: Like many authors, some good, some bad. Certainly, kids read these. I started with Fear Street titles, and immediately gave up on any order. It doesn't seem to matter.

The Sleepwalker-- My favorite. Girl goes to work for older woman who hates the girl's mother, girl starts to sleep walk and suspects the woman is using the occult to make her do this. Don't want to reveal the surprise ending, but it worked.

The Secret Bedroom-- A ghost story with a little gore at the end. Girl moves into older home with boarded up attic room, opens room and is possessed by evil ghost who kills a girl before really terrorizing the first girl.

The Stepsister-- Girl must put up with stepsister who alternates between being nice and possibly stabbing the girl's dog to death. Again, a twist at the end made this work for me.

Broken Date-- Have four copies of this tale about a girl whose boyfriend breaks a date-- because he is robbing a jewelry store and killing the clerk. What went wrong, and how can she save herself?

The Snowman-- White haired boy befriends girl but then causes fear and complications in her life. This one didn't work as well for me.

The Beach House-- Sorry to ruin the ending, but really, killer finds time portal in old house and goes back to 1956 to kill people? This went back and forth between the past and the present, many people died, and I just didn't like it as well.

Since most of my collection is falling apart, I will try to reorder titles that I thought were pretty good. Unfortunately, many of the Fear Street titles are unavailable, and Stine's new work is more in the Goosebumps vein, which appeals more to 3rd and 4th graders.

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