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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Half Price Horror: Halloween Night

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From the back of the book:
"This party is a killer.
Brenda hates her cousin Halley.  And Brenda isn't the only one.  Because Halley keeps stealing other people's boyfriends.  So Brenda and her friends decide to plan the perfect murder.  Something to go along with Brenda's perfect Halloween party.  Not that they're really going to kill anybody.  It's just a joke.  Right?  Ha.Ha."

Boy am I a sucker for Halloween themed books. The thing is most of them are terrible.  I promise to you all now that when I get the time I will publish my ultimate Halloween tale and I promise it will be worth your while.  Well to jump right into things, Mr. Stine really dropped the ball this time.  There were so many different ways he could have taken this book, what with the Halloween theme and all, but he chose to only include our favorite night of the year for about 6 pages.  Why Mr. Stine, why?  Basically the book starts off with us being introduced to Brenda and her cousin Halley's relationship, a rocky one to be blunt about it.  See Halley keeps trying to steal Brenda's boyfriend, and Brenda isn't very happy about it.  Halley takes this a step further and starts hitting on one of Brenda's best friends boyfriends as well.  Eventually we are introduced to Brenda's brother as well, who may or may not be the perpetrator behind the events that are to follow.  After Brenda teases one night that her and her friends Dina and Traci should write their school paper on a murder mystery wherein one of them murders Halley, somebody starts playing very sick pranks on Brenda.  I won't spoil the pranks because they are actually the best and goriest parts of the book, but let's just say I wouldn't read this book if I was a PETA member.  Eventually Halley does enough emotional damage to Brenda, which causes Brenda to suggest to her friends that they should ditch the school paper and murder Halley for real!  One of the things that I found terribly unlikeable about the book was how easily Brenda's friends go along with this.  I know we wouldn't have much of a book if they didn't, but come on!  If someone suggested murdering anyone in the way that Brenda suggests it, I would be on a phone call with said psycho's pshichiatrist and/or the police office immediately.  So basically the whole book revolves around Brenda and her two friends planning this crazy complicated switcheroo murder at Brenda's Halloween party.  The big twists and answers I was waiting for finally come in the last 10 or so pages, when we finally get to the actual Halloween party.  Do the friends go ahead with their plan to kill Halley?  Yes, but with a very crazy twist at the end.  I have to say I was actually somewhat surprised by the ending but not every part of it.  You'll know what I mean if you hunt this one down to read. (Some of it was so obvious it actually caught me off guard, ever had that happen?)  You will also find out who the person committing all the pranks on Brenda was.  Was it her snotty little brother, Halley the bitchy cousin, one of Brenda's friends just playing some Halloween pranks, or maybe even one of the cheating boyfriends just rubbing it in.  I'll give "Halloween Night" 2 Jolly Jack-O-Lanterns out of 5.  It's not worth the cover price, but if you are a Halloween freak like me then you might want to pick it up on the cheap just to get your 10 page Halloween fix.
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"Halloween Night"
Author: R.L. Stine
Publisher: Scholastic (1993)
Cover Price: $3.50
Half Price Books Price: $1.00 (clearance shelf)

for anybody looking for the lowdown on my Jolly Jack-O-Lantern rating scale please visit this link!  But keep in mind this was written for movies but can be interchangeable for books as well.  Also the only thing that is going to receive the "Seal of Suck" are things below a 1 JJOL rating.
Oh and by the way all of the covers you see on my Half Price Horror reviews are actual scans of the copies that I own including my first review "The Nightmare Man"

2 comments:

Ali said...

My daughter loved R.L. Stine when she was growing up. Read the books and watched the tv series on YTV in Canada.

Mercy a.k.a Rogue said...

RL Stein books were my very first look into the world of enjoyable reading as a kid.
From there I progressed to writers like Stephen King and Jack Kilborn.
RL Stein sure beat the school curriculum assigned reading!