Daniella's Reviews > The Haunted Mask (Classic Goosebumps, #4)

The Haunted Mask (Classic Goosebumps, #4) by R.L. Stine
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's review
Jul 19, 10

bookshelves: horror, childrens-books, series, 2010
Recommended for: kids who like scary stories
Read on July 16, 2010, read count: 1

This reminds me of that episode of Buffy where a curse--or a spell, or something, whatever it was--turns everyone into whatever they're dressed as for Halloween. Except not as funny. Or as scary. And without the benefit of Giles getting all unexpectedly hot at the end and laying the smackdown. Mmm, Tony Head...

...what was I saying? Oh, right. This is still pretty good, for what it is. It's unsettling, the idea of putting something on for a while, only to realize too late that, not only can you not take it off, but it's actually become a part of you. There's a metaphor there that I think is likely to be lost on the target audience, but I enjoyed as an adult reader. What I really liked, though, was that, unlike on Buffy, where the trick-or-treaters of Sunnydale are changed because of the whims of The Bad Guy, Carly Beth is really the victim of her own inner demons. If she hadn't been so intent on being something she wasn't, scary and mean, and getting revenge on Chuck and Steve, she never would have put on that mask. And in the end, what saves her isn't just a symbol of love, but proof that she was loved for the way she was before.

Yes, I analyze kids' books. Sue me.
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