Amanda and Josh are moving to a new house in a town called Dark Falls, whether they want to or not. Upon their fist visit to the house already there i...moreAmanda and Josh are moving to a new house in a town called Dark Falls, whether they want to or not. Upon their fist visit to the house already there is an ominous feel. What is even more ominous is how they inherited their new home from a long lost relative that no one can remember. But that doesn't matter. Moving to this house means a new start. But during their fist visit Amanda sees a little boy, that no one else can.... After moving in, strange things start to happen - Amanda hears weird noises and sees the same boy and a girl in the house. Her parents will hear nothing of it. In an attempt to accept their new home Amanda becomes used to the noise and strange things, really ignoring them. However, Amanda finds that herself and her family is in grave danger....
As usual R.L. Stine has created a classic. His first installment in his Goosebumps series has really set a president for his following books. It still blows my mind that as an adult there are still new Goosebumps books coming out, and I grew up on these. One of my favourite things about this series is that while it might not necessary scare you (like some of the current YA novels) you do get the right amount of creeps. R.L. Stine by no means over does it.
He also really knows how to set up his scenes. Dark Falls is just that... Dark. It is always cloudy and overcast, to the point of weird. The children in the neighborhood are just plain strange, at first making Amanda feel threatened and then more welcoming while keeping her at arms length. He also leaves little hints throughout the book, giving you a chance to solve the puzzle for yourself. One neighborhood girl silently tells Amanda on more than one occasion that she used to live in her house... Amanda is not quiet sure if she hears this correctly but you know as the reader something weird is going on...
While character development does not seem to be a real focus for this series, R.L. Stine focuses on the plot and the over 'creep' factor, making this overall series a unique and timeless one. (less)
Even before Sarah arrives at Camp Cold Lake she has a bad attitude about Camp, an attitude that doesn't get better once she arrives. Right away she do...moreEven before Sarah arrives at Camp Cold Lake she has a bad attitude about Camp, an attitude that doesn't get better once she arrives. Right away she doesn't make the best of impressions with her bunk-mates after demanding to switch bunks and spilling a girl's asthma medicine (of which she wanted to keep secret from everyone). Later that night her bunk-bates don't let up on her, playing pranks on her in front of the whole camp, more than one. After trying to get the girls back with her own prank, Sarah makes her 'situation' at camp even worse. When it is time to go swimming, no one will be Sarah's buddy, a rule that MUST be abided by. No one wants to be her friend. How is Sarah going to fix this?
Sarah devices a plan to accidentally drown. Her goal: to get everyone to feel sorry for her and make them her friends. Her plan works all to well, discovering a Ghost that haunts Camp Cold Lake, a Ghost that wants to be Sarah's buddy and friend.... FOREVER.
While this is not one of my favorite Goosebumps books it does shed some light on real camp 'issues'. One of those being cattiness and downright meanness amongst the campers, mainly through pranks and words. But Goosebumps isn't about reality... its about the fun of being scared by the Paranormal. The cover alone tells you that you should be scared to learn the Curse of Camp Cold Lake. While I was not surprised about the Curse I was once again surprised by the ending. Maybe R.L. Stine does this on purpose but either way its great when he does - just when you think you know what is going to happen, and even feel a little let down, you are given a curve. One of the many aspects that makes R.L. Stine's books classics. (less)
From the moment Billy steps off the bus things are odd. Not only does the bus driver literally leave all the campers stranded they are also surrounded...moreFrom the moment Billy steps off the bus things are odd. Not only does the bus driver literally leave all the campers stranded they are also surrounded by weird wolf-looking creatures before their Camp Director, Uncle Al, saves them - Uncle Al is also anything but normal. Billy can't help but know something is different, if not wrong, with Camp Nightmoon. At first Billy brushes off small incidences that seem odd to him, but as fellow campers and friends start to disappear and strange noises come from the Forbidden Bunk at night, Billy can't ignore the truth anymore. Something is up at Camp Nightmoon. What is going on?? Why are the councilors not doing anything? Billy's first time at camp will be an unforgettable one for sure.
Having grown up on a lot of R.L. Stine's works, especially Goosebumps, re-reading this was a blast! It's odd to think that this book was first published in 1991, more than 20 years ago. I forgot how much fun these books are. R.L. Stine has one again done a fantastic job at knowing how to write for age-appropriate audience. The language of the book also plays perfectly to the Middle Grade reading audience. The plot line was simple with a few surprising twists, that even as an adult I didn't remember, thus making me surprised. One of the biggest surprises was the ending. I don't care who you are, you won't see this end at all.
Even though I am now an adult, these books are still fantastic quick reads. Goosebumps is definitely one of those series that will remain a classic. (less)