Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Suddenly Supernatural by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Well, reluctant ten year old refused to read this, but I thought it was great fun. The best part was the characters-- Kat, Jac and Kat's mother were all people I would like to meet. The evil school mates were over the top in the way that most 8th graders really are, but even they had a human side. Especially appreciated-- Kat's mother is a medium, and a bit of a "hippie", but instead of just assuming that all parents are hippies, Kimmel describes the mother most delightfully.

Since Kat has to deal with "dead people" showing up at her house, she hasn't made a lot of friends until cello-toting Jac shows up. Right about this time, though, Kat starts seeing dead people, too, including a flute player who shows up in her school library. There is a mystery that must be solved, and some personal problems to be worked out, but it was a great book. I am still hoping to get Ms. Reluctant to read it. The words are nicely spaced on the page, and the book is blissfully easy to read.

Unlike R.L. Stine's...
Beware: R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories. Stine is a much better writer than I am, but he is not a better writer than Ray Bradbury, and Stine's work suffers being placed next to Bradbury's. The stories by other authors are very good.

The Dare. Was three chapters in before I realized I'd read this already.

The Dead Girlfriend. A decent whodunit with lots of false clues, as well as lots of violence. Who really is responsible for the death of Jonathan's old girlfriend? And will his new girlfriend suffer the same fate?

The Face. Repressed memories of trauma are a big theme in Stine's work, and this time a girl keeps drawing a boy's face and doesn't know why. How did this boy die, and what part did she play in it? There are some twists. Remember, check ski slopes for razor wire before heading down.

Goodnight Kiss. Summer time, seaside Vampire romance. Lots of people meet bad ends. Why is it easier when people meet bad ends? They usually do something to contribute to it. I'm still disturbed every time a pet wanders onto the pages of a Stine book. They usually meet gruesome and worrisome ends. In this one, though, it's vampires romping about, flying as bats and biting people's velvety necks.

Halloween Party. If you are invited to a party at a haunted house, don't go wandering around on your own. Again, people fake their own deaths for laughs and then end up dead, a character is exacting revenge for 30-year-old wrongs, and in the end, the evil person gets it. This is like a slasher film put on paper. On the upside, no pets are harmed.

Hit and Run. Okay, really, do people running morgues really let their friends borrow corpses for practical jokes? I don't think so. If I have learned nothing else from Stine, it's that I shouldn't take a dead body and stage an accident to get back at my friends, then stalk them and try to murder them all. Seemed silly to me, but I can see why students might find it intriguing.

Dangerous Girls and A Taste of Night. I had great hopes for these, since they were published in hard back, but they were more bat flying, wooden stake to the heart vampire books. Somewhat intriguing that one twin wanted to be a vampire and the other didn't, that the mother was bitten and then killed herself after turning her best friend into one of the undead, and that the father was now a vampire hunter, but I have little patience for vampire books that don't have some element of originality to the vampire myth, and these didn't. Plus, I felt really bad for the little brother, who was exhibiting a lot of signs of deep disturbance due to all of the deaths around him, but it wasn't a big part of the plot to get him help.

It has actually been very helpful to read these, if only so that when a student checks one out, I have some idea of what is being ingested. I did have to take a break and am working on the Andy McNab series, since the 4th one, Meltdown, has just come out.

No comments:

Post a Comment