Friday, 31 December 2010

Review: Goosebumps Horrorland: Slappy New Year!

Slappy New Year! (Goosebumps Horrorland)
Goosebumps Horrorland: Slappy New Year!
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-16199-2
Pages: 141
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

While at Horrorland, Ray Gordon stops by the gift shop The Chiller House. He buys a wooden dummy named Slappy! His brother, Brandon, hates Slappy.

Ray returns home and begins planning his New Years Party that will take place in his basement. His parents promised he could have one as long as he is good to his little brother. However, strange things start happening to his little brother. Is Ray responsible or is Slappy alive?

Yes, the little mischievous Slappy is back. It seems that he cannot be destroyed. Slappy is one of my favorite characters from the Goosebumps series, and I am glad to see him back. The problem with the book is that it has the same basic plotlines from the previous Slappy books. Slappy use to be scary, but now he is a silly character that plays pranks on the kids. It is not the best book in the series, but it is still enjoyable to read.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Thursday Ramblings

This will be my last rambling of the year.

I have been watching many DVDs lately. Ramona and Beezus was an enjoyable family film. Despite the name, it has little to do with the book and more to do with the sequels. Too bad, it did not do well at the box office. The Last Airbender was fun, but something was missing from it. The A-Team was another fun movie. Predators had a few action scenes, but there was no plot. The Lost Boys: The Thirst was better than the second was, but it was too short and fell way short of the original. However, it was better than Eclipse, which, besides from a non-blood, short vampire/werewolf fight, was boring. Inception was intriguing, but I have to admit that I fell asleep during it. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days may have some vampire gore, but it hardly resembles the first.

I received Witch & Wizard: The Gift by James Patterson in the mail last week. I have not read the first novel in the series yet, along with several other Patterson novels. I will have to catch up in 2011.

I collected several new books over the Holidays including the House of Night series, a couple R.L. Stine novels, The Baby-sitters Club prequel, the Hush, Hush books, the Vampire Academy series, and a few others. Therefore, I will be busy reading in 2011.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Review - Goosebumps Horrorland: The Wizard of Ooze

Goosebumps Horrorland: The Wizard of Ooze
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-16198-5
Pages: 142
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Marco visited the Chiller House when he was at Horrorland. His favorite comic book is the Ooze, and guess what he found at the Chiller House. The first edition copy of The Wizard of Ooze. Chiller gave Marco the comic book free along with a little green Horror.

Later when he returned home, Marco noticed that in the back of the book was a guide to test your superhero strength. Marco failed all the tests.

Marco’s brother, Zeke, steals the comic book and goes to the comic book convention. Nevertheless, guess who is there wanting the book - The Wizard of Ooze.

There have been several comic book plots in the Goosebumps series, and I do not care very much for them. The Wizard of Ooze is the best of them. There is not a kid in the world who does not want to be a superhero, and the main character Marco gets to be one. Overall, I enjoyed the book.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Review - Fear Street Super Chillers: Silent Night 2

Silent Night 2  takes place a year later after the events of the first novel, and Reva Dalby has not changed a bit. She is once again working at her father’s department store, and once again being rude the customers.

Late one night, Mr. Dalby receives a phone call that his daughter has been kidnapped, but there is one little problem for the kidnappers - Reva was at home. The kidnappers had kidnapped her cousin, Pam. The kidnappers let Pam go.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Review - Fear Street Super Chillers: Silent Night

Fear Street Super Chillers: Silent Night
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Pocket Books
ISBN: 0-671-73822-4
Pages: 216
Ages: Young Adult
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Reva Dalby is a pretty, spoiled, rich kid. She is spending her Christmas vacation working at her father’s department store. She is rude to the customers and the other works. She does not care about anyone but herself. In other words - she is a scrooge.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Snowman by R.L. Stine

Since her parent’s death, Heather has been living with overprotected Uncle James. She hates the man. She thinks he is only after her inheritance, which she will receive when she turns eighteen. Until then she is spending her time working at a diner and dating her kind-of- boyfriend, Ben. Everything changes when she meets the tall ice-blond, Snowman.

Heather instantly falls for Snowman’s charms. She soon gives him money to help with his family, but she does not know he does not have a family. He does not even go to her school. Then, her uncle goes missing. Could Snowman be involved? Is Snowman a cold-blooded killer?

The book cover is a little misleading. This book is not about an actually snowman, but a mysterious boy whose nickname is Snowman. There is not much of a plot to go by, but there are some twists and turns that make this book worth reading. I would like to mention this book is written for Young Adults and not for children.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Review - Goosebumps: The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena

The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena (Goosebumps Series)Goosebumps: The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
ISBN: 0-590-56875-2
Pages: 127
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Jordan Blake and his sister, Nicole, has lived in the hot weather of Pasadena. They want to have a real winter with real snow to play in. Then their dream comes true. Their father has been offered a job to fly to Alaska and photograph a mysterious snow creature, known as the Abominable Snowman.

Neither Jordan, his sister or his father believe that the creature is real, but it is a free trip. Almost as soon as they get to Alaska, something starts chasing them.

Despite the title, the book is mostly set in Alaska. The title and the book cover actually give away the twisted ending. Overall, this is an average Goosebumps book.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Review - Goosebumps: Beware, the Snowman

Beware, The Snowman (Goosebumps)Goosebumps: Beware, the Snowman
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 0-590-56888-4
Pages: 113
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Jaclyn and her aunt Greta just moved to a small village on the edge of the Arctic Circle from Chicago. Jaclyn is bored. There is nothing for her to do. There are no malls, movie theaters.

Then she notices something odd about the town. In front of every house is a creepy snowman with a bright red scarf. The snowman has a deep scar on its face and a wicked smile.

There is a rumor that two sorcerers created evil snowman years ago, and it still lives.

Beware, the Snowman is the 51st book in the original Goosebumps series, and has the typical plotline - a kid arrives into a spooky new town. To me, a snowman is not very scary, and neither is this book. Overall, it still is a fun read for kids.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Review - Graveyard School: The Abominable Snow Monster

Abominable Snow Monster (Graveyard School)
Graveyard School: The Abominable Snowmonster
BY: Tom B. Stone
PUBLISHED BY: A Skylark Book
ISBN: 0-553-54218-4
Pages: 99
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Due to the success of the R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series in the early 1990’s, other publishing houses tried to copy the format into their own series. The Graveyard School series came from that time.

The kids at Grove Hill call their school Graveyard School because there is a cemetery behind the playground. Several snowstorms have hit the small town. One playground afternoon, sixth-grader Kyle stumbled upon a strange glass eye near the cemetery. He had the idea of using it on his snowman. The other kids in his class were building snow statues, but Kyle was going to make a scary snowman.

Kyle’s snowman was tall - taller than the slides. He carved out a wicked grin for the face and used shark teeth. He found two strange branches and used them as arms. All of the kids were scared of it.

A strange thing happens. The student’s snow statues were destroyed, but one survived. Kyle’s snowman.

This is the first book in the series that I have ever read. It is a short book, but fun to read.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer from Crazy for Books has created this meme.

If you'd like to participate, here's Jennifer's instructions:

Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!

So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this on your blog, sign MckLinky and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!! So, if you consider yourself a book blogger, come join the fun!

Question of the week: What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?

My answer: If the plot doesn't interest me, I won't read it. Great characters in a well-plotted book is a wonderful treat.

Review - The Truth of the Matter by Andrew Kalvan

The Truth of the Matter (The Homelanders)The Truth of the Matter
BY: Andrew Klavan
PUBLISHED BY: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-59554-714-9
Pages: 343
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Charlie West wakes up in a terrorist torture chamber in book three of the Homelanders series. He has no memory of the previous year. He hopes to regain his memory by finding Agent Waterman, but Waterman only makes things worse.

Charlie finds out that he is wanted for murder and a team of ruthless terrorist is determined to stop him from finding out the truth.

I have not read the first two books in the series. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on. The book is aimed at a teen market, but the action sequences are written for adults. Many teen novels these days have a supernatural plot to them, I found The Truth of the Matter to be a bit of fresh air. There are plenty of mysterious twists and turns throughout the book to keep the reader’s interests. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book.

*I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for sending me this copy to review.

Review - A Rush of Wings

Rush of Wings, A: A NovelA Rush of Wings
BY: Kristen Heitzmann
PUBLISHED BY: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0845-4
Pages: 382
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

The book starts out with Noelle St. Claire escaping from her rich, shelter life in New York. She takes refuge on a Rocky Mountain horse ranch. The owners, Rick Spencer and his brother Morgan Spencer, are both of the brothers are instantly interested in the troubled Noelle.

Of course, just as Noelle is adjusting to her new life, her past catches up with her.

I had trouble getting interested in reading A Rush of Wings. I like reading some contemporary fiction, but others I just do not like. This book falls in the middle. I liked the main character Noelle, but I did not care for the other characters. I liked that the plot did not stick the typical romance theme. Overall, it was okay read.

*I would like to thank Bethany House for sending me a copy to review.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Review - Amy Inspired

Amy InspiredAmy Inspired
BY: Bethany Pierce
PUBLISHED BY: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0850-8
Pages: 318
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this contemporary fiction novel, Amy Gallagher has always wanted to be a writer. She is almost 30 years old and has just finished her first novel, but is still unpublished. In addition, she is unmarried, which bothers her mother.

Amy spends her days teaching and in her off time, she writes and dreams. She soon meets Eli and of course falls in love with him. Amy decides to take a close look at her life and her aspirations.

I found it easy to like the main character Amy. I am also 29 and I am an aspiring writer. I found Amy’s life to be comical and real. I recommend reading Amy Inspired.

*I would like to thank Bethany House for sending me a copy to review.