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review 2020-06-29 19:24
Cheerleader The Second Evil
The Second Evil - R.L. Stine

Ahh, I do love returning to Fear Street. A place that I still say is the inspiration for the Hellmouth on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "The Second Evil" I found to be too short and also it doesn't give you a chance to mourn any characters that we lose. Of course the ending leaves open another book (which I am so reading).


"The Second Evil" follows some months after the events in the first book. Corky is left mourning her sister Bobbi who was murdered. She's left the cheerleading squad and is now dating Chip. Yeah that Chip. Chip who has gone from dating another member of the squad (Kimberly) and then Bobbi and now Corki. I was not a fan of Chip. When Corky starts seeing things and one of the squad keeps intoning the evil has returned, she starts to worry that what they all did a few months ago didn't vanquish the evil for good. And she's right to worry.


Corky is definitely a MC you can root for. I do miss Bobbi, but Corky has more of an investigative spirit I thought. She starts trying to run down leads with Chip and then some of the girls on the squad. I have to say though there's not much development of anyone else really in this one besides us getting more information on Sara Fear. I definitely loved the more information on the Fear family and wanted to know even more about them. When I was a pre-teen and later teen reading these books I would get so freaked out about the whole idea behind Fear Street. A few blocks down from my home was a cemetery that sat besides the railroad tracks. We would go down there during the summer and picnic and play touch football or tag, but we were always taught to be respectful of the graves and people visiting. In the daylight there was never anything that was too scary about the place, but as soon as dusk came around 7, 8, or 9 (depending on the time of year) the place felt lonesome and you felt like someone was out there wanting to touch you. Stine at times makes me recall how I felt the first time as a pre-teen reading this (I was 12 when this book was published) and that alone was enough for me to give this 4 stars.


The writing was solid, but there's not a lot of scares (at least for me) in this one. We do get some gruesome scenes here and there, but Stine quickly moves along as if he is afraid of freaking out his readers. The flow is a bit stop and start in a few places too, but since this is a fairly short book (180 pages) it doesn't hamper things.


The setting of Shadyside and Fear Street still resonate with me and I so wish that Netflix or someone else would consider picking up this series. You can easily update these books and I think would be a fun horror series to sink your teeth into.


cheerleaders gifs Page 2 | WiffleGif

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review 2020-06-05 21:00
Revenge of the Shadow People, Ghosts of Fear Street #9 by R.L. Stine
Revenge of the Shadow People - R.L. Stine,Jahnna N. Malcolm

Vinny Salvo loves hearing his friend Benny's terrifying stories about monsters on Fear Street, but friend Sharon is more skeptical. Then shadows begin moving on their own and one horned shadow monster is coming for him!


Stine's books (and his ghost-writers) are always a  roll of the dice. Sometimes you get something that's fun, middle-grade spooky, and with a bit of something to remember after its over. 'Revenge of the Shadow People'...not so much. We have a concept of shadow people - which is scary - but we have nothing other than Vinnie's gullibility and his jealousy of his toddler brother to work with character-wise. I think we're supposed to think Sharon's a jerk because she claims she deserves the award for their photography project more than Vinnie because she took and DEVELOPED all of the photos. Vinnie did glue them on to the poster board, though. And Benny? If he's not a shout-out to another book in the series I see no point to his character.


This was only twenty minutes of my time so I shouldn't be so picky, but there are books in this series that were a heck of a lot better.


Ghosts of Fear Street:


Next: 'The Bugman Lives'


Previous: 'The Ooze'

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review 2020-04-17 19:52
Witch of the Wild Beasts
Witch of the Wild Beasts - Catherine Stine
Eighteen year old Evalina Stowe watched in horror as her customer, Dr. Dowdrick strangles Evalina's brother for dropping his suit at the tailor shop they work for in nineteenth century Philedelphia.  Evalina stabs Dr. Dowdrick with scissors as a swarm of angry wasps descends upon him.  After her brother's death, Evalina is on the run.  She finds work scaring birds from a field, but finds it is easier to befriend the birds.  When her boss confronts her, one of Evalina's birds chokes him and Evalina is imprisoned at Eastern State Penitentiary for murder.  While imprisoned, Evalina practices controlling her emotions to call upon the animals that visit her cell.  Soon she is able to give directions to mice, birds and bugs.  Evalina also discovers that Dr. Dowdrick is still alive and is running cruel experiments on prisoners, including Evalina's cell neighbor.  With the help of her animals friends and other inmates including a  Welshman named Birdie, Evalina hatches a plan to use her gifts as well as Dr. Dowdrick's greed for his own demise while gaining her freedom back.  
I was really pulled in by the premise of Witch of the Wild Beasts, a 19th century witch in America who is in Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary.  Evalina's character is strong, smart and resourceful.  While her powers were integral to the story, they weren't a magic cure all to her problems, Evalina still had to think on her own and use her own willpower.  I was very interested in the setting of Eastern State Penitentiary and the medical advancements of the time, especially with women's health. The author uses rich historical detail and elements of the time period to create the setting of Eastern State Penitentiary. The descriptions of the prison's special architecture allowed me to easily envision the space that Evalina was in.  I was amazed that Charles Dickens actually did visit the Penitentiary as well as medical advancements in sanitation, midwifery, and plastic surgery that were developed in this time period.  The writing and plot moves very quickly, which didn't lead to a lot of character development other than Evalina herself, but did keep the pace moving very swiftly and kept my interest high. With this, the romance wasn't as developed, however this was not the focus of the story.  Overall, Witch of the Wild Beasts is a historical fantasy with a strong female lead and touches of magic and romance. 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2019-11-18 20:21
I Live in Your Basement
I Live in Your Basement! - R.L. Stine

This story is more disorienting than anything. At times it's unsettling. Never really creepy or scary from what I remember. Another I read for summer reading bingo. 

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review 2019-10-31 20:06
The Barking Ghost - R.L. Stine
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This book started off with a really promising idea. There was enough weird stuff going on that I was pretty interested in how things would turn out. The book does get pretty repetitive with many supposedly suspenseful moments turning out to be nothing at all (how many times are you going to get scared by bunnies and leaves, Cooper?).

I felt the story was a bit slow. Based on the title, I was pretty sure there were some ghost dogs in it, but it took forever for the main character to figure it out. Maybe not the best title if it gives away such a major plot point? Just saying.

The big twist reveal was... creative. Honestly, it was just too weird and cheesy to be satisfying. What started out so promising turned into a big joke that was more silly than scary.

I never read Goosebumps as a kid, because, like Cooper, I was a pretty fearful child. This one, however, was not very scary at all. It was a bit creepy, but the whole thing just turned out to be weird and not very satisfying. When I got to the end, I was underwhelmed and couldn't get over what a strange ending it was. Not the best Goosebumps book I've read.
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