Horror fans: ENTER HERE

Come one, come all, to my personal list of favorite R.L. Stine books! What?! You’ve never read any of his books?! Boy, are you missing out. R.L. Stine is the epitome of horror.

Don’t think any of his books would interest you? Here are my top 14 favorite R.L. Stine books. With 98 days left until Halloween, why wait to start the spooky?

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The Beast From the East
Twelve-year-old Ginger and her two younger twin brothers Pat and Nat and their parents go on a camping trip one weekend. While exploring, the Ginger and her brothers find themselves face to face with giant beasts who want to play a dangerous game. The rules are simple, you win, you get to leave, but the losers get eaten. Will Ginger, Pat, and Nat survive the deadliest game they will ever play?
Stine, R.L. (1996) The Beast From the East. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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The Cuckoo Clock of Doom
Michael lives his daily life constantly being tormented by his annoying little sister who, according to their parents, can do no wrong. Tara the Terrible, as Michael calls her, is constantly getting him in trouble and making his life miserable. At least until their dad brings home the giant, old, grandfather clock that neither he or his little sister are allowed to touch. Under any circumstance. Michael ends up messing with the clock and finds himself different. In the past different. He finds out the hard way that somebody put a dangerous spell on the clock, and Tara is the least of Michael’s troubles now.
Stine, R.L. (1995) The Cuckoo Clock of Doom. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Don’t Stay Up Late
Lisa’s life was forever changed when her and her family were in a fatal car accident. Lisa was the only survivor and was plagued by severe brain trauma which led to hallucinations and night terrors. Lisa’s therapist gave her the idea to try and take her mind off of the accident by babysitting. Harry, the boy she is babysitting, comes with very strict instructions: do not let him stay up late. After the first few nights, strange and horrifying things begin happening to Lisa. Are they results of the brain trauma, or is something more sinister happening?
Stine, R.L. (2015) Don’t Stay Up Late. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Ghost Next Door
Hannah has always been the social type. She is always hanging out with her siblings, or with her friends at school. But when the new boy moves in next door, she finds very interesting things about him. He claims to go to the same school as her, but she does not recognize him at all, he keeps disappearing, and Hannah is pretty sure that his house was completely empty when she went to sleep last night. Could Hannah be befriending a ghost next door?
Stine, R.L. (1993) The Ghost Next Door. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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It Came From Beneath the Sink
Daniel and his sister Kat just moved into a great new house. The place is enormous, the yard is huge, they have amazing balconies on their bedrooms, and the house comes with it’s own free pet. This pet, however, is not something either of the kids were hoping for. It’s green, it’s pulsing, it feeds off of pain, it’s beneath their kitchen sink. Do Kat and Daniel have what it takes to stop these accidents from happening? Or will the thing from beneath the sink consume all hope in their little town?
Stine, R.L. (1995) It Came From Beneath the Sink. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Monster Blood
Evan is an adventurous kid who is always up for a challenge, but staying with his great-aunt Kathryn is more of a challenge than he’s used to. She is deaf and never learned to read or use sign language, so Evan is basically on his own while he’s with her. He stumbles upon an old store one day while adventuring in town where he purchases a bucket of monster blood. All is fun and games until Evan’s dog, Trigger, eats some of this monster blood and grows four times his regular size, Evan knows something is very wrong.
Stine, R.L. (1992) Monster Blood. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Night of the Living Dummy
When twins Lindy and Kris Powell discover a ventriloquist dummy in a dumpster behind their neighbor’s house, they name him Slappy. But when Lindy had more success with Slappy than Kris, Kris became rather jealous. Kris gets a dummy of her own, but Slappy doesn’t like that at all. Soon, the two dummies begin fighting and pitting the two sisters against each other. Is this just another case of sibling rivalry, or is Slappy to blame?
Stine, R.L. (1993) Night of the Living Dummy. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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One Day at Horrorland
An amusement park with no lines, no crowds, and free admission sounds too good to be true! This is a daily occurrence at Horrorland. The Morris family, after getting extremely lost on their way to Zoo Gardens, stumbles upon Horrorland. Determined to keep this family trip a success, they decide to give Horrorland a try. What’s the worst that could happen? Soon they are thrust into a world with horrifying rides and attractions that seem a little too real. They’re just rides, right?
Stine, R.L. (1994) One Day at Horrorland. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Party Games
Rachel Martin has a serious crush on Brendan Fear. Everyone has warned her about the Fear family and their dreaded estate on Fear Island, but when Rachel is invited to Brendan’s birthday party on said island, she cannot say no. Brendan has a lot of fun planned for his party and a lot of party games, but when the games turn deadly and begin killing off the party goers one by one, this party becomes much less fun. Trapped on the island, Rachel now has only one goal at this party: survival.
Stine, R.L. (2014) Party Games. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Say Cheese and Die
Greg is a lover of old items. So, when he finds an old camera that still works, he is elated. The pictures he takes, however, are not as joyous. He takes a picture of his father’s brand new car and when the photo develops, the car is totalled. A few days later, his father crashes the car. He very quickly realizes that this camera is evil. Coincidence? Or something more sinister?
Stine, R.L. (1992) Say Cheese and Die. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight
When Jodi and her brother Mark make their way to their yearly month-long visit to their grandparent’s house, they are a bit troubled. Their grandparents seem more run down than usual, the cornfield has hardly any corn compared to last year, and most disturbingly, the one ratty looking scarecrow has been replaced with twelve newly made scarecrows. After finding out that the scarecrows were made based off of instructions from a creepy book, Jodi and Mark don’t trust any of them. But now they feel like they are being watched.
Stine, R.L. (1994) The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Stay Out of the Basement
Dr. Brewer is the definition of a “crazy scientist,” but when Margaret and Casey Brewer find exactly what he is creating down there, they more than believe it. What starts off as harmless experimentation turns into nightmare fuel. What’s even more horrifying is the experiments do not always stay in the basement. Dr. Brewer begins to take on the characteristics of his experiments and that’s when the girls get very concerned. Can they stop their crazy scientist father before it’s too late for him or them?
Stine, R.L. (1992) Stay Out of the Basement. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Welcome to Dead House
The Benson family has been left an amazing home by their recently deceased uncle that they don’t remember much about. When they move in, they realize that the house is spacious, grand, and probably haunted. At least, that’s what Amanda and Josh Benson think. Their parents tell them that it’s just their imaginations and they will get used to the spooky old house they just moved into, but the siblings are not convinced. Not only is this house a dead house, but the street has no seemingly alive people, and neither does this entire down.
Stine, R.L. (1992) Welcome to Dead House. New York, NY: Scholastic.

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Werewolf Skin
Photography freak. Photography aunt and uncle. Sounds like a perfect getaway, right? Alex just has two rules when he stays with his aunt and uncle: do not go into or near the creepy neighbor’s house and stay out of the forest at night. Seems simple enough until Alex meets a girl named Hannah who isn’t afraid of the forest or of the creepy neighbor’s house. They come across enormous paw prints outside of the house and in the woods, but are told the creepy neighbors just have big dogs. Is that the real story, or is there more going on in Wolf Creek?
Stine, R.L. (1997) Werewolf Skin. New York, NY: Scholastic.

I can guarantee that you’ll find something that you love on this list, especially if you’re as big of a horror fan as I am! The count down to spooky season has begun, so get ready for more horror related posts.

And as always, I love you, you should love you, and I’ll talk to you next time!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman 9.5/10

Hi book dragons!

Sorry for the day late post, I have a ton of stuff going on at the moment, but I am thrilled to be able to share this novel with you all.  If you are struggling to find that next great summer read, seriously look no further.  This was one of the best books I have read in a very long time and I highly recommend it.

 I could not say any more wonderful things about this novel if I wanted to or if I tried to. I was completely enthralled in the story of the main characters as well as the side characters. I obviously did not like all of the characters, but all of them were dynamic. The character development in the two main characters was incredible. With Citra, the change was much more subtle. Her story wasn’t as extreme as Rowan’s in my opinion. Rowan’s change was horrifying, yet enthralling. He didn’t change completely, but it was just enough that not only scared me as the reader, but also scared him. I also loved the concept. I never really though about reapers in that way and it really gave me a new appreciation for being able to die and feel pain. I wouldn’t want to live in a world of immortals and a world without pain. Everything in this world has consequences and I appreciate the fact that nothing can just go around and do whatever they want without paying for it in one way or another. This book opened my eyes to the world that I would not want to be part of.

 I greatly enjoyed Neal Shusterman’s writing style this time. I was a little off put by it last time, but I think that had greatly to do with the plot of the last novel by him. I had no issues keeping story lines straight and I had no issues keeping character’s straight. I normally have issues with multiple characters and getting them mixed up or forgetting completely who they are, but the plot did not jump around without explaining the cause of the jump first and that helped immensely with keeping everything in chronological order. The plot twists throughout the entire book kept me on my toes. I had no idea what was going to happen next and I loved it. I also loved how the boy and the girl did not end up together at the end of the book. That was something I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised that that was not the case here.  

And as always, I love you, you should love you, and I’ll talk to you next time.

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez 8/10

Hi book dragons!

So thanks to finals week, I was only able to read one book this week.  I am, however, most of the way through the first book this week already haha

TLDR: I had a lot of very strong emotions while reading this book.  It was very well written, but the story itself made me sick.  I cannot handle racism very well so reading about it makes me angry.  I do highly reccomend it though!

 I have very strong feelings about this book. It took me a little while to really become invested in the characters, but I ended up really liking Wash, Naomi, Beto, and Cari. I obviously had very strong feelings of resentment towards Henry and also toward Estella for letting Henry treat her poorly in front of Naomi and for ultimately causing her death. I understand that during this time period, it was normal for a woman to do everything for her husband, but I have never agreed with it and it makes me sick to read about it. I enjoyed this book, but by the end, I was very upset and physically pained. Reading about and witnessing racism and sexism makes me ill because of how much I despise it and how much I wish I could stop it. That obviously means that it was very well written and I know it was meant to create resentment and to teach a story. It was still difficult to read, though. 

 I think this book would be a great teaching tool for high school history classes. It’s always one thing to read about a time period in a textbook, but they are always very dry and boring. This brings history to life and it shows first hand the type of abuse that some people lived through as well as the backgrounds of the people who did the abusing. I think this would be better in an actual classroom setting as opposed to a public library setting. I do not think it would be appropriate for middle school students to read. It has some very adult concepts such as rape and the very graphic dismembered children and that might be a little much for a younger audience to handle. I do think it will invoke strong feelings in high schoolers as it did with me. 

And as always, I love you, you should love you, and I’ll talk to you next time!

Back to back Young Adult novel reviews!

Hi book dragons!

I’m getting a head start on my summer reading list for my young adult literature class and I’m going to average two books a week.  So far, I’ve gotten through two great reads!  I have to write reviews on them anyway so I figure, why not also post them here so you guys can get ideas of the books I’m being forced to read! 

SPOILERS: I had to get specific in these reviews so there MAY be spoilers in them. No super heavy spoilers, though. 

The first book was called Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and I gave this book a 9/10.  I absolutely loved this novel. I felt an immediate connection to the main character, Ally, and her struggles during school with bullying and feeling inferior to her classmates. When I was in school, I struggled with my weight and I was also very smart and wore glasses. As one can imagine, I was bullied a lot throughout middle school and the beginning of high school before I lost the weight. I wish I would have had friends like Keisha and Albert, nor did I have teachers that cared as much about struggling students as Mr. Daniels. The fact that she had friends who were more 3D than most main character’s best friends in young adult novels made the novel that much better. I even felt a connection to Shay, the class bully. Not every novel will go into detail about the bully and go into backstory. Granted, I do wish they would have gotten a little more into her background, I do like how they explained why Shay was so mean.  I think this novel would be better received in a public library program instead of a school library setting. The reason I think this is because I spent most of my time in my school library and that only made the bullying worse. It’s difficult to make students really appreciate the lesson in a novel when it’s a lesson about school life when it’s not being received in a school setting. Using this novel in a public library setting such as a book club would be such a positive experience for children in middle school to fully understand the fact that everyone has their own personal struggles that could very well affect them in all aspects of their lives, including school. It’s very easy to fall into a mob mentality in schools and do what everyone else is doing, but this novel can open the doors to discussions about doing what is right and what is easy. I do think that it should also be required reading for adults looking to be teachers to students with learning impairments because Mr. Daniels is a fantastic role model for people trying to teach students with things such as dyslexia. 

The second book was Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman and I gave this one an 8/10.   I have always been a fan of psychological thrillers and I would definitely classify this novel as such. I was very confused as to what was happening for the first hundred or so pages. I thought that it would be back and forth between Caden’s real life and his imaginary life that he imagined to help him deal with some sort of traumatic experience. After finding out that his imaginary life on the ship and his real life were both the same experiences, but viewed differently, I got a new level of understanding of Caden. I was amazed at the parallels and had read it twice just to catch even more similarities. I highly enjoyed this novel and am excited to read his other novel, Scythe, also on the reading list.   The setting and writing style was a little off putting at first with the extremely short chapters and the blending of imaginary and real life near the end of the novel. After I realized that they were the same world viewed differently, I learned to love the back and forth. It made the reader really focus on what was happening and keep track of which characters corresponded to each other in each world. The characters were a little more difficult for me to relate to and like. I liked Caden and his little sister, but his two friends in school I had no feelings toward and most of the people on the ship as well as in the hospital I also had no feelings toward

Awake by Natasha Preston 7/10

Hi book dragons!

So, the last book I read by this author I didn’t end up liking very much.  This one I did like a lot more than the last one, but that’s not saying much.  This story was much different than the last and again, like the last book, I loved the idea of the story, and the first 2/3 of the book was awesome, but the ending happened way too quickly.  This book, however, had much more after the climax of the story instead of just ending like the last book did, but the climax took less than a chapter to get through.  This isn’t always a bad thing, but the build up was incredible for such a short explanation.  

It is a young adult book, so be ready for sappy lovey teenage romance.  I did like the two main characters ,though, so that helped me get past the romance garbage.  I also wasn’t a fan of the fact that some scenes took way too long to explain and dragged on and others, like the climax, took little to no time to explain.  

All in all, I enjoyed it.  Would I read it again? Probably not.  I do have one more book by her that I plan on reading and reviewing, so that’ll be coming eventually.  One of my summer classes has me reading about 3 young adult books a week, so I’ll definitely post those on here along with the reviews (probably in the form of the assignments I have to review the novels).

Thanks for reading and as always, I love you, you should love you, and I’ll talk to you next time.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman 9/10

Hi bookworms!

I’m very happy to be sharing this book with all of you.  I unfortunately don’t know how to properly explain the plot in a way that I don’t give away any spoilers, but also make you want to read it.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes psychological thrillers.

This is the first book in a long time to actually make me physically nervous and afraid for the characters, not just the main character.  The art of making your reader fearful of the unknown was becoming a lost talent, but Malerman did it beautifully.

The plot was immediately immersive and the story was very suspenseful.  This was a book that I didn’t want to put down, but because I mainly read before I go to bed, it took me a few days to read it.  It honestly made me so afraid at some points that I had to stop reading it because it was dark in my house and I was alone.

I love the way it ended, I just wish it had gone a chapter further.  Hopefully this means we might get a sequel or a retelling through another character’s eyes.

Overall, it was wonderfully done and I highly recommend it.

The Cellar by Natasha Preston 5.5/10

Hi bookworms!

I just finished up The Cellar and I loved the story.  I did not love the execution of the story, unfortunately.  I understand this type of story is difficult to successfully write because it’s all very monotonous, but there are a few authors out there who can accomplish this wonderfully.  Unfortunately, I don’t think this author was able to pull it off.  I found myself skipping paragraphs and going back to see if I had missed anything and realizing that I never did miss anything.  I think that this was a good read for young adults, which is the targeted audience, and the message behind the story was great, I just wish it was excecuted a little bit better. 

I also hated the ending.  It ended far too soon and I wish she built up to the climax more.  The actual climax of the story lasted about a page and a half and then it just ended.  Bad endings ruin stories for me, so since the storytelling was lackluster, it made the poor ending even worse.

These are just my personal opinions.  Some of you might absolutely love this novel and think that I’m crazy, and that’s definitely okay!  I loved the story and I loved the idea.  I would most definitely read this same story told in Clover’s point of view to see more of his background and more of his side of the story. 

That’s all for me today!  Remember, I love you, you should love you, and I’ll talk to you next time 🙂