Goosebumps #10: The Ghost Next Door by R.L. Stine
Goosebumps / 30th April 2018

Title: Goosebumps – The Ghost Next Door Author: R.L. Stine Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus Tagline: There’s a strange new kid on the block… Summary: “How Come I’ve Never Seen You Before?” Hannah’s neighborhood has gotten a little-weird. Ever since that new boy moved in next door. But when did he move in? Wasn’t the house empty when Hannah went to sleep the night before? Why does it still look so deserted? Shes not getting any answers from her new neighbor. He just keeps disappearing in the oddest ways. And he’s so pale… Is Hannah being haunted by… …the ghost next door??? [Wing: Adorable summary.] Initial Thoughts Now we’ve reached one of the true classics of the original series, the tenth of the first twenty books back when Stine was still establishing the trends and style of the franchise. For those who’ve read the early books, you know already a number of them had an atmosphere that hasn’t been properly revisited in any of the later works. They seemed to carry with them a sense of real despair and fear before Stine began to realize the books might’ve been too scary for kids. [Wing: Which is a shame. Kids are better…

Fear Street #31: Switched by R. L. Stine
Fear Street / 24th April 2018

Title: Fear Street #31: Switched Author: R.L. Stine Cover Artist: Bill Schmidt Tagline: A mind is a terrible thing to lose. Summary: She traded places with a killer… There’s a little cabin in the Fear Street woods where a girl can really lose her mind. In fact, she can change it into someone else’s. That’s what happened to Nicole and Lucy. Now Lucy is in Nicole’s body and Nicole is in Lucy’s. What a trip! But for Nicole, what a trap! Because Lucy is using Nicole’s body to get away with murder! [Wing: Why oh why oh why do people ever think switching bodies intentionally (or letting someone else take over their body) is a good idea in these books? Why? I’m looking at you, The Accident.] Initial Thoughts I’m really not sure what I can say about this book right now without spoiling things or making blatant hints about how it will end. I can’t compare it to the other entries, other than I can safely say the main character might qualify as one of the few genuinely depressed protagonists in these books. In the meantime, enjoy this awesome commission. (Nicole Darwin and Lucy Kramer by Jerry Gaylord –…

Sweet Valley Twins #46: Mademoiselle Jessica by Francine Pascal
Sweet Valley / 23rd April 2018

Title: Mademoiselle Jessica Summary: A model family… Jessica Wakefield is sick and tired of spoiled Lila Fowler’s constant boasting. So when she reads about the Model Family competition being sponsored by Teenager Magazine, she’s tempted to enter just to put Lila in her place. The first prize is a fabulous, all-expenses-paid trip to Paris. To compete, all Jessica has to do is write an essay describing her perfect family. But the family Jessica ends up writing about is nothing like her real family. Still, it’s just a joke, until her twin, Elizabeth, posts the essay by mistake. Now it’s good-bye France and hello trouble—unless Jessica can convince the Wakefields to pretend to be something they’re not! Tagline: How far will Jessica go to win a trip to Paris? [Wing: Considering she buries people in the Mercandy backyard on a whim, I’m sure there’s no limit to how far she’ll go.] Initial Thoughts Two things: One, why are you posting your sister’s essay? WHY? WHY ARE YOU MEDDLING AGAIN? I DON’T FOR A SECOND BELIEVE IT WAS AN ACCIDENT. Two, I cannot spell “mademoiselle” right on the first try to save my life. Fingers crossed that I won’t have to write…

Thrashin’ (1986)
1986 Film Fest , Movies / 22nd April 2018

Title: Thrashin’ Summary: Two skateboarding gangs “battle” each other for supremacy and it’s complicated by romance. That’s basically it. Someone on the internet actually likened this to “West Side Story on skateboards”. I don’t think so. Tagline: Hot! Reckless! Totally Insane! (I find it hilarious anyone would find this film ‘hot’.) Note: I watched this for the first time probably somewhere around 2009? So I have a general memory of it. Initial Thoughts: Skateboarding was still a huge thing when I was a child, mostly because it was starting to be taken seriously and tricks/stunts were getting a lot more complicated. So Hollywood attempted to cash in on it by making a movie about it. A lot of the “extreme” (read: for the time) sports/activities in the 1980s had films made about them: BMX bikes, there’s probably a dirt bike movie I don’t know about, break dancing, flash dancing, dirty dancing… Wait, Dirty Dancing is set in the 60s, right? (No, I have never actually seen it.) (YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.) Originally Johnny Depp was set to play Cory, since he was conveniently dating Sherilyn Fenn at the time, but because he was Johnny Depp and on 21 Jump Street…

Shivers #24: The Ghosts of Devil’s Marsh by M. D. Spenser
Shivers / 16th April 2018

Title: Shivers #24 – The Ghosts of Devil’s Marsh Author: M.D. Spenser Cover Artist: Eddie Roseboom Summary: BIG GHOULS DON’T CRY… Samantha should keep smiling. Otherwise, tears of fear might ruin her summer and probably her life. But the summer was already bad news. There she was on the coast with her cousins. Boy cousins, always around, acting like—well, boys. But cousins can be cool! Especially when you might need them to save your life. Is that cozy coastal town they’re on really haunted? Could be! That might explain all those strange things Samantha sees and hears. It gets stranger and stranger when Samantha discovers the shocking truth behind the terror. Will all the cousins stay safe and sound or is it the beginning of the end for everyone? LISTEN FOR THE VOICE OF DOOM!!! Initial Thoughts You guys will remember the previous “Shivers” recap as one of the darkest books I’ve reviewed so far for this website. While this book isn’t necessarily as dark as “Weirdo Waldo’s Wax Museum,” I chose it because its primary theme is regret. And with the theme I’ve worked on for April 2017, an attempt to do some self-analyzing about my best friend’s death, …