Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monster Blood Halloween Special 2013


This is The Real World According To Sam and you've just clicked right into my Halloween Special!! I've never done this before but I thought it would be rather neat. Readers who've been following for a while may have noticed the series of Goosebumps reviews I've been doing. This is another, but its an extended SPECIAL HALLOWEEN edition.

Here are links to the first two books:
#1 Welcome to Dead House
#2 Stay Out of the Basement

Today's post will contain books #3, #18, and #29....This Halloween is all about MONSTER BLOOD!

Why Did I Read These Books?
I had just started the Goosebumps reviews and had checked out book #3: Monster Blood. I read it and I was suspicious about the copy I read. Turns out it was an adaptation of the TV series adapted from the original books. So the book I read, wasn't the right one. I found a collection of the books at the library also. It contained Monster Blood, Monster Blood II, and Monster Blood III. It'd be pointless to read one and then return the book so I decided to read all three, make it one big review, and post it up as a way to celebrate Halloween.
Also...I recently read through a book of Halloween jokes that my little sister picked up, so between reviews I might toss in one or two, just to keep the Halloween fun going!

Monster Blood
Author: R. L. Stine
Genre: Children's Horror
Year of Publication: 1992
Rating: 4/5

Monster Blood is the third book in the Goosebumps series. It begins with a boy, his crazy aunt, his dog, a girl, and a strange can of goo. Evan's parents have left him and Trigger (the dog) with Aunt Kathryn. She's creepy, she's deaf, and she has a cat. His parents are trying to find a new house in Atlanta. He goes out for a walk with Trigger and meets a girl from the neighborhood named Andy. Andy is really Andrea, but she hates her name so she goes by just Andy. She wears very bright colors and she and Evan both like stupid names. They quickly become friends and start exploring. This exploration leads to a toy where Andy and Evan purchase a can labeled monster blood....and all the problems begin. Trouble abounds because Monster Blood isn't your normal substance!! Its gooey and....alive?

This book is full of suspenseful chapters and cliffhanger chapter endings, which kept me reading on all the way until the end. Its a quick and easy read, not too scary, but not too wimpy either. Perfect for young readers interested in horror, and good for older readers who just want a quick adventure.

A joke fitting a Sam's world is deserved.
If your name is Sam, where will you be buried when you die? 
In a Sam-etery!!!!

Monster Blood II
Author: R. L. Stine
Year of Publication: 1994
Genre: Children's Horror
Rating: 4/5

Monster Blood II, Goosebumps book #18,  picks up just after Monster Blood leaves off. Evan has moved to Atlanta and is starting at a new school. Andy returns!!! She is living with a relative and will be attending the same school as Evan. Evan has been having problems at school though. He daydreams often after telling everyone about his experience with Monster Blood, all the other students think he is a nut. A bully continuously picks on Evan and gets him into trouble with their teacher. As punishment, Evan is forced to care for the teacher's prized possesion....Cuddles the hamster. Problems only get worse from there when Andy shows up with a can of monster blood.  revenge may be sweet, or it may be killer.

Another fine book to add to the Goosebumps series, Monster Blood II was also a quick read. I really enjoy these books, because they're not ridiculously scary and they're just really fun. Its nice to revisit the minds of children and the world of imagination. Sometimes, in our busy "grown up" lives, we forget those things that were most fun as a child and our imaginations can grow lazy. Its also a great introduction to the horror genre. A way to pick out the core elements and the pieces that make up a horror book. I couldn't wait to start book 3 after reading this one.
What fairy tale do little vampires like to hear?
Drac and the Bonestalk
{In all actuality, I think that punchline would make a really good tale! I would love to read children's fairytales with a little more creeping out (I've already read the Brother's Grimm). I can't help but want to describe what a Bonestalk would look like and how the story would be changed to fit Drac. Who would he go up against? Would it still be a giant? Or perhaps a cyclops....anybody else think this is a decent idea worth writing?}

Monster Blood III
Author: R. L. Stine
Genre: Children's Horror
Year of Publication: 1995 
Rating: 4/5

Monster Blood III is the 29th book in the Goosebumps series. Evan and Andy are back!! They thought they were done with Monster Blood, but guess what? Its also making a comeback. Another can gets into Andy's grasp. The story revolves around Evan having to watch his cousin Kermit, a young kid who thinks of himself as a genius. He loves to mix chemicals and make concoctions in the basement. He also enjoys making messes and causing trouble, then blame it all on Evan. Unfortunately, Evan's aunt always believes little Kermit. Until Andy decides that its time for revenge once again and the monster blood comes out of hiding. But what happens when this plan for revenge backfires like the last time, but worse? Evan could be having problems for the rest of his life.

This could be the best Monster Blood book yet. The main characters are back with similar problems, but there is more conflict that gets solved. Its closer to home. I liked seeing how the transormation of the relationship between Evan and Kermit developed throughout the book. Family isn't the easiest group of people to get along with. Still fun, still full of excitement and wonder...and a creepy substance that just never quits wreaking havoc on people!!!!

JOKE ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!
This one is especially for all us baseball fans anticipation of the World Series:
What flies around all summer sucking the blood out of baseballs?
The baseball bat!!!

So now we've reviewed each Monster Blood book in the collection that I read, pictured in this section. This was a great collection! I liked having the beginning trilogy handy and it was super awesome of R. L. Stine to keep the same characters together so we could get more character development for each of them. We get to see how they grow as characters and how their relationships with one another grow and change in turn. Very good stuff. I was happy with this series. I would give this overall collection a 4 altogether!!!

The jokes featured throughout the review come from the book: The Ghost is Clear!! Riddles about ghosts, vampires, witches, and other creatures  by Rick Walton. Short, funny, and wholesome Halloween fun!
Thanks for reading this special here at The Real World According To Sam. I hope to see you soon in the weeks to come!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Goosebumps #2: Stay Out of the Basement

Muahahahahahahahaha!....Continue reading at your own risk, foolish mortals.

Ok, I'm just kidding. The review isn't going to kill or curse you. That is ridiculous on so many levels. But regardless of what I say here in the introduction, that doesn't change the book I'm reviewing today. Nope, I refuse to switch books. The library finally got the copy of the second Goosebumps book I requested. As soon as I picked it up...I didn't start reading it. I waited a good 3 or so hours before I started so I wouldn't just blast through it. Not that it made much difference. I still finished it by the end of the night and still had time to start another book. But before I can finish THAT book, I have to review this one. So let's get cracking. My review for the first Goosebumps book can be found by following this link : GSBMPS #1: Welcome To Dead House

Also, I would like to apologize for weeks of inactivity. For those who don't know, (and for those who do, here's a reminder), I am a college student. Classes and studying take up a lot of time. I get to read a lot still, but my reviews don't get tossed up as quickly. Rest assured, there's a lot of neat stuff heading your way!! Once Latin and English and Government and Geology and Creative Writing ease up their hold on me. Thanks for sticking around my dear readers.  I would also like to apologize for my images. The camera I'm using isn't the best...Shamu destroyed the really good one I was using this past summer. So yes, the pics are a little fuzzy, but I'm doing my best to make them as clear as possible. This will be remedied in time.

Goosebumps #2: Stay Out of the Basement
Author: R. L. Stine
Rating: 3/5

Casey and Margaret have been missing their dad lately. He isn't gone or anything...he's just not been acting the same. Ever since he was fired, he's been in the basement. Being a scientist, its most likely that he's just working very hard on his experiments. It's not like a botanist could get into THAT much trouble right?

....Yeah, sure. Keep telling yourself that kids.

Casey and Margaret have certainly noticed the difference. For one, their dad never wears a baseball cap. He used to have time for Frisbee in the yard, and of course he used to use those nicknames that Margaret hates. Suddenly he doesn't do any of those things. Hes been more reclusive and secretive. Margaret and Casey decide to find out. But when they go down to get dad from the basement, he gets super angry and yells at them. After one little excursion into the basement, Dr. Brewer decides to put a lock on the basement door. What in the world is he hiding down there?

Stay Out of the BasementThis book was certainly very strange. It makes me glad that neither of my parents are scientists (and especially not the mad kind) and that we don't have a basement at our house. Things escalate pretty quickly. So many peculiar things begin to happen. The spookiest things are the plants. What in the world are they and where did they come from? How do they breathe out loud, and reach out to grab you, and moan? The personification is so killer. These plants are very human seeming!!!

I had already ruined this one for myself before I even started to read it. I watched the episodes of Goosebumps on Netflix with my little sister and this one happened to be one of them. So before I read it, I knew pretty much what was going to happen. There were very slight differences between the two, but overall, nothing too major. (So if you have Netflix, I recommend watching it, since its a pretty cool show). Read the book first though! I think it would be better that way. Leaves more to the imagination for a while.

Overall, Stay Out of the Basement was a fun and quick read. It was definitely creepy and very descriptive, which I enjoyed. At the same time, it wasn't OVERLY descriptive (which is something I get super annoyed by). Totally worth the 2-3 non-consistent hours it took me to read.

I'm enjoying the Goosebumps series.  This series is pretty neat and isn't something I've really read before. I've never delved into the horror genre too much, but these have been a blast and I can't wait to read some more. R. L. Stine is quite the writer and very creative. I don't know where he comes up with these ideas, but I like them and they're enjoyable. Quick Side Note: The first two I've read have both been the re-releases with bonus pages of content (interviews, extra info and fast facts). They are the hardcovers, with new cover art and I like them. They're very nice copies in my opinion.

This is Samantha, from The Real World According To Sam, with a friendly reminder to......STAY OUT OF THE BASEMENT!!!!!  

Be on the lookout for my Halloween Special coming to The Real World According To Sam very soon!!!