Book Review: Goblin Monday (Goosebumps House of Shivers, #2) by R.L. Stine

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Goblin Monday (Goosebumps House of Shivers, #2)  by R.L. Stine opens with Mario Galagos vacationing with his friends and their parents in Vermont.  When Mario finds an ugly stone statue and brings it into the house, he unknowingly starts a war with goblins. Thank you, NetGalley, for the Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of this book.  I received it for free in exchange for my honest opinion. Growing up, I was a huge fan of R.L. Stine and his Fear Street series.  Having read the first book in this new series and enjoying it, I wanted to see if the second installment was as good as it's predecessor.  Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed and underwhelmed with Goblin Monday . Although the age range for this book is for children aged eight to twelve years old, I actually think it's more appropriate for kids aged six to eight years old.  As the story develops, I kept expecting something scary or suspenseful to happen, but neither of those things happen until the reader has read approxim

Book Review: Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay

Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay is about a 14 year old boy named Tommy Sanderson and his two friends, Josh and Luis, who venture into the Borderland State Park in Ames, Massachusetts late one night during a sleepover. Tommy disappears into the woods after telling his friends that he'll meet them back at Josh's house and is never seen again. Elizabeth Sanderson, Tommy's mother, is beside herself as the police search turns up no clues and strange things are happening around town.

This book was chosen for a book club I belong to, and after reading the synopsis, I was super excited to read Disappearance at Devil's Rock, and I immediately went to the library to check out the book. Although it started with great promise, the book turned out to be a great disappointment. It is touted as being in the horror genre, but it fits more in the mystery genre with a hint of supernatural with mention of one of the characters being psychic and mention of the devil throughout the novel.

One of the biggest disappointments of Disappearance at Devil's Rock is that the synopsis on the cover gives away the majority of the plot lines, so you already know all the details with the exception of the last 30 - 40 pages. Those last pages let the reader know what exactly happened the night Tommy disappeared, what happened to him, and gives the reader an epilogue. The entire time I was reading, I kept thinking something more was going to happen, and then it would just fizzle. Maybe the publishers were pressuring him to put out another book, but if this book is representative of his past works, then I'm not sure I want to read any of them.

Something that annoyed me, but probably shouldn't have, is that instead of just labeling each chapter as Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc., he had a blurb about what the chapter was about. It made it feel like his target audience was intended to be a middle grade or tween audience instead of an adult audience.

In addition, Tremblay didn't develop the characters enough as I never really felt like I got to know them. He did however do a good job at capturing how kids would act in certain situations . . . they just needed more development. So what kept me reading to the very end? I wanted to know what happened to Tommy and then was left with more questions.



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