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

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: The Night House by Jo Nesbo

book review the night house jo nesbo
The Night House by Jo Nesbo was published October 3, 2023 and is an adult horror novel published by Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor.  The novel is about a kid named Richard Elauved who has been sent to live with foster parents in Ballantyne after his biological parents were killed.  Richard is an outcast and bully at his new school and becomes a suspect when a classmate named Tom goes missing.  He tries to explain that Tom was sucked through a phone booth on the edge of the woods, but no one believes him.  When another classmate goes missing, Richard is in serious trouble with the law.

Not having read any books by Jo Nesbo, I was intrigued by the synopsis and cover art of The Night House.  I requested to receive an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of this book from NetGalley.  I was absolutely ecstatic that I was approved.  I received a digital copy for free in exchange for my honest review.  Please note that my review does contain spoilers.

Part one of The Night House seemed a little young as if it was targeting middle readers between the ages of eight and twelve.  When Tom is sucked through the telephone and another character was turned into an insect, it seemed like it was something that would appear in a Goosebumps book by R.L. Stine.  Then, the main character, Richard Elauved, was searching for a mysterious person that used to live in Ballantyne, which made me think of the book called The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  Part one concludes with Richard trying to kill a "soul" by setting it on fire, which is reminiscent of the Netflix show Stranger Things.

Part two opens up fifteen years later with Richard Elauved attending his high school reunion.  This section seemed much more mature than part one, and it very much felt like It by Stephen King.  There were plenty twists and turns through out this section that kept me guessing, and nothing was as it seemed.  When this section concluded, it had elements like Desperation by Stephen King.  At this point, I was very leery about the book because it felt like the author was sampling ideas from others.

Part three threw me for a loop.  Like the previous section of the book, it was more mature than part one.  It took me a moment to figure what was actually happening, and I was very disappointed because it was very much like the movie Shutter Island, which is based off the book of the same name by Dennis Lehane.  I never read the book but did see the movie because it starred Leonardo DiCaprio.

Overall, I was disappointed in The Night House by Jo Nesbo because it didn't seem very original, and I hated the way the story ended.  It did however keep me interested enough to read the entire novel to see what would happen.  Three out of five stars.

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