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: Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

book review happiness falls angie kim
Happiness Falls by Angie Kim is a story about a bi-racial Korean-American family whose patriarch goes missing.  Told from twenty year old Mia's perspective, she's not initially concerned when her younger brother Eugene comes home without their father.  As minutes and hours tick away, the entire family finally realizes is something most be horribly wrong for the father and husband not to be home yet.

This novel was selected by my book club for our June 2024 discussion.  I hadn't heard of this book or author before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoy a good mystery and the synopsis intrigued me. "Meh" is my overall thought of Happiness Falls because I didn't particularly like the main character, Mia.  She seemed awfully self absorbed and unobservant, especially when it came to her younger brother, Eugene.  

Eugene is non-speaking and was diagnosed by doctors to being autistic and having a rare disease called Angelman Disease.  There is a huge twist with Eugene, and it shows that no one was actually that observant when it came to the youngest member of the family.  It actually irritated me how everyone treated Eugene like he was stupid and didn't understand anything.  With that being said, the author did a great job of teaching me some things that I didn't know about when it comes to programs for people with special needs.

The story seemed to be more focused on Eugene's story rather than the father missing.  The two are interconnected, but it just seemed like the story went in a different direction than what I anticipated. That's perfectly fine but not exactly what I was expecting or wanting in a book at that time.  On top of that, the story seemed semi-autobiographical.  I also wasn't liking that it was set during the shutdown of the world due to the coronavirus. It's just a little too soon for me.

I just didn't connect with any of the characters or the plot with maybe the exception of Eugene because everyone seemed to underestimate him.  Someone else might absolutely love Happiness Falls by Angie Kim, but unfortunately, I wasn't one of those people.  I didn't dislike the book, but I didn't love it either.  Three out of five stars.

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