Thursday, October 22, 2015
Goosebumps Read-A-Long Review & Discussion: The Ghost Next Door
Welcome to my fourth discussion post for the Goosebumps Read-a-Long. If you are interested in my thoughts on Stay Out of the Basement, Monster Blood, and Let's Get Invisible, please give the links a click!
The Ghost Next Door by R.L. Stine
The Ghost Next Door is the tenth book in the Goosebumps series. This book is one of the more popular Goosebumps due to the TV episode that is based on this novel. I remember watching the TV episode at least five or six times growing up. It would either air on TV or I checked it out multiple times from the library. Regardless of this I couldn't remember anything about the plot, but my subconscious did and kept whispering, "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" My subconscious seemed to remember this quite well from my childhood because all my predictions were spot on.
So, I was able to figure out the "twist", but I didn't find that my sleuthing abilities rendered my reading of this Goosebumps novel. In fact, I think it was made me turn the pages quicker. I needed to know what would happen and if I was right. The Ghost Next Door is a very well-written novel in terms of suspense. Stine is either a hit or miss with suspense, but when he hits- he hits a homerun. I really enjoyed the edge of the seat feel I received while reading this. I'm not the target audience, but I believe I enjoyed just as much as an eight-year-old would have.
The basic premise of The Ghost Next Door is that Hannah is spending her summer all alone without her friends. She writes to her best friend who is away at camp, but never gets replies. Then one day a boy moves in next door into the house that has been vacated for quite some time. The creepy thing is- she didn't even notice. Something doesn't seem right about this new neighbor and Hannah has a suspicion- he might be a ghost! The plot is cheesy, but who cares. I enjoyed it and it's simplicity. That's what made it fun.
Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.25
I actually didn't hate any of the characters for once, but I also thought that the boys that Danny was friends with were jerks and I didn't agree with any of Danny's actions to be cool with his friends.
Character Scale: 3.25
I did have a problem with Stine's use of dreams and shadows in this book. Hannah has recurring dreams about a fire, but if she's a ghost she technically shouldn't be able to dream. I can overlook that, but I can't overlook the whole shadow creature who kept harassing Hannah. He turned out to be an evil version of Danny who wanted to take his place after he died. This honestly made zero sense to me and I didn't get it or think it was necessary at all. I don't have really any problems with this Goosebumps. It was a lot of fun and a definite thrill to read. Definitely recommended for the nostalgia seekers.
Villain Scale: 2.25
Plotastic Scale: 3.75
Cover Thoughts: The covers for The Ghost Next Door aren't the worst, but they aren't my favorite. Except for one. There is one that is totally cool.
My reasons for liking this cover is because you can't tell which exact person the shoes are for.
Pretends this doesn't exist.
I love the color scheme for this one, but it's easier to distinguish who the shoes belong to because of the variations.
I LOVE this cover. I think it's creepy and weird. The handle freaks me out a little bit and I love the translucent hand.
The Ghost Next Door is a two-part TV episode that can be watched for free on YouTube.
The scenes are very creepy, but not scary. It's a good contrast. Probably gave children nightmares. My problem is Hannah's parents and brothers never appear which throws of the big reveal. The shadow creature isn't kind of funny looking, but his voice is creepy. I'm not a big fan of the computer incorporation, but it doesn't really bother me. The shadow being a physical ghost who wants to teach Hannah ghostly ways is more believable than in the book. The way that Hannah saves Danny in the end was very different, but I found it to be beautiful. Overall, I think that this is one of the better Goosebumps episodes.
What are your thoughts on The Ghost Next Door? Was it a childhood favorite? Let's talk about the book, covers, and the TV episode down below in the comments!