I don’t know if I’ve officially or formally announced it on my blog before, but I’ve decided to reread (and read what I haven’t of) R.L. Stine’s work. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, but also something I kept putting off because, you know, so many books to read, so little time to read them. Plus, I was afraid to ruin my childhood ideals of his books.
It was the recent Goosebumps movie that gave me the push I so desperately needed. I adored the movie, and if you haven’t already seen it, get your hands on it as soon as it comes out. I don’t buy many movies, but I’m pretty sure this will be one I do.
In this story, Christina and Terry are on their way home from Florida. They have a long drive that neither girl is particularly happy to be on. To spice things up, Christina decides the two should pick up a hitchhiker, James, on the side of the road. Filled with twists and turns, you’ll never guess what is coming. This book is a thrilling adventure and wild roller coaster that will flip everything as soon as you thought you had the characters pegged and the story figured out.
*click image to be redirected to book’s Goodreads page*
Well, I think I know why I have such a hinderance toward and fear of hitchhiking/hitchhikers. I vaguely remember reading this book as a kid (young adult?)…sometime. I saw the cover at Goodwill, and nostalgia instantly overwhelmed me. So, I guess this was the second push I needed to start my reread of R.L. Stine. All the pieces fell into place nicely, and I’m so glad they did.
So, let’s dive right in, shall we? (That may have been a pun attempt based on the ending of this story.)
The plot of this story was interesting and kept me reading. I didn’t want to put this short book down because I just had to find out what was going to happen. I quickly rediscovered why I loved Stine’s writing so much as a kid: it’s easy to read, and it makes you want to keep reading.
I loved all the ideas that were presented, even if some of them were quite fantastical. There’s a scene with piranhas (yea, have fun trying to figure out how that comes into play if you haven’t read the book yet) that was utterly ridiculous, and I loved every moment of it. I read a review where the reader said they had downgraded the star rating because this scene was totally unbelievable. I wanted to ask them what part of the story particularly was?
Now that I’m older I totally understand what Stine meant when he recently said he meant for his books to be humorous as well as scary. Everything I needed in a good story (especially in horror) was in this one – plot, interesting characters with development, good writing, thrills, chills, plot twists, tension –and then there was humor added into the mix. Some of these happenings are meant to be ridiculous. They’re supposed to be funny and strange. This isn’t supposed to be 100% realistic. He did this on purpose.
(To the reviewer I mentioned above: Loosen up and enjoy the story.)
As I just mentioned, the characters in this story are wonderful. Each has their own personality and is distinctly identifiable from the others. Most of them are the characters you love to hate. They’re delightfully horrible. However, I’ll give you fair warning – Be careful who you sympathize with. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
This short story is packed with tension, thrills, and twists that are bound to keep you reading. I honestly think this book can be enjoyed by all from ages 13 and beyond.
Quick Disclosure: There is quite a bit of gore involved in this, so be mindful of that if gore really isn’t your thing.
Other than that, I highly recommend this book. It’s a lovely read for horror/thriller fans as well as scary story junkies (like myself!). If you’ve been hesitating to reread R.L. Stine (worried about ruining your childhood memory like me) or to pick him up for the first time, don’t be. This was marvelous, and I can’t wait to read more!
Find your copy on Amazon here for $5.00 or less.
(Thrift stores are also a great place to find old R.L. Stine books. The one I own, pictured above, is a first edition that I got for 89¢!)
Up Tomorrow: Review of Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me