Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Review: Goosebumps #1 Welcome to Dead House

Greetings foolish mortal. Read this review at your own risk!

Goosebumps has been a very popular book series since the early 90s when R.L. Stine first started publishing them (about 92). They've been especially popular with the elementary school kids, who they're geared towards. When I was in school, they were always sold at the Scholastic Book Fairs the school held. But, alas, I never really read them. I read maybe 2, and those were the Give Yourself Goosebumps stories, pick-your-paths. I recently watched the episodes of Goosebumps that are on Netflix with my little sister and we decided it would be fun to read them. So here  I am, reading the Goosebumps books, after all these years. I want to read the whole series, which will definitely take some time, but I just gobbled down book 1, so hopefully the rest are just as enjoyable and delectable.

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Goosebumps: Welcome To Dead House
Author: R. L. Stine
Rating: 4/5


Josh and Amanda are 11 and 12 (respectively). They live in a regular house...until their father receives word that his uncle, who he never knew existed, left him a house in his will when he passed away. Now the family is moving to Dark Falls. Right when they get there they meet a nice real estate man, but why is Petey barking so much? Why is Petey acting up when he's usually a nice, quiet, friendly doggy? Maybe it's just a fluke.

The Original Series from
the Master of Fright
At least until Amanda starts noticing strange things, like a boy's face in one of the windows and a curtain that flutters when the window is closed. Whispers and giggles that she's sure must just be the wind. Then they meet the neighborhood children, who are incredibly friendly...but...kinda creepy. What is going on in this town?


I read and found out. R. L. Stine has been called the master of fright and it's no wonder why.  He has spun a tale that could send chills down any kids' spine. This book even creeped me out a bit at points. There are some pretty obvious horror elements going on here like a random crow, the cemetary, nightmares, and of course the strange way the kids act and how dead the town seems. I was gripped and trying to figure out what was happening with the few clues at the beginning.


What I really enjoyed about this book was how R. L. Stine doesn't start right off the bat with the scaring. He keeps it simple and realistic until he has you wrapped, then he drops the hammer. The good scary treats don't come until about halfway. There are little hints here and there, but everytime it feels like something scary is going to happen, its a false alarm. That's how he gets you. He plays the first half off with false alarms and then in the second he starts pouring in the scare syrup until you've gotten stuck in it and are nearly drowning.


And the part I think is best? The fact that his main characters are just normal kids. Every kid reading can relate. There are moments when parents just don't seem to listen, except these parents really should have and pry regret not taking the signs into consideration until its too late. This makes the book relatable and cool, since it can be creepy and strange without crossing lines because its a kid oriented book.

Overall, this was lots of fun and it only took me a couple hours to get through. I'm very excited to begin this series and I'll hopefully be getting ahold of the next books soon. Thanks for tuning in to this installment from The Real World According to Sam, where we bring the books straight to your computer screen and even put in our own two cents on them. 

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