{Book Reviews} A Blast From the Past and Something Spooky & Hilarious

Like I said yesterday, this week has actually been pretty crazy for books! I promise, this is the last of the major review posts and soon, after sharing my short story reviews, I’ll be back to ONE review per post! These are the last of the horror stories I’ve read and listened to this week — it’s been a bit of a whirlwind!

revenge of the living dummyFirst up, I decided to find a shorter audiobook to listen to yesterday morning, so I found a blast from the past, some good ol’ R. L. Stine, on Hoopla to download. It was only a few hours long, which was perfect AND it had a creepy doll. Is there anything creepier than a doll? I think not.

This book was a little bit confusing to me since it was broken up into two parts. The first part is about the doll and the second part is about Horrorland. I think I liked the part with the doll a lot more than the second part. The second part just seemed so disjointed from the rest of the book, BUT maybe that’s just how the stories are laid out. I’m not 12 years old anymore — I’m not sure how these are supposed to work.

At any rate, it was a fun listen and it made me want to maybe check out some more of the books in the future. I think my favourite thing about this audiobook was that there were sound effects! Can ALL horror stories on audiobook come with sound effects, please? I felt like that added a whole new element of scariness to the story and it made the whole thing really fun to listen to.

Sad that this book didn’t totally live up to my expectations (again, book for 12 year olds), but I was happy to have given it a chance. From what I can see, the second part, the Horrorland part, continues on in the next books in the series, so I guess that’s a good enough reason to continue on!

a grimm conclusionNext up, I read the final book in Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm series, Theย Grimm Conclusion. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that these books are not only clever, but absolutely hilarious and a great addition to any child’s library.

That being said, these books are extremely dark and gory, which is something I love about them. Being a person who studied children’s lit in university, it’s fun to visit these tales the way they’re meant to be told. No Disney here, that’s for sure. Of course, not only are they told in an extremely dark way, but there’s so much humour sprinkled throughout the story! It’s a great balance of horror and humour, and Gidwitz really is a natural born storyteller.

This book was a lot of fun, especially one part — and don’t read on if you don’t want to be spoiled! — where the main characters, Jorinda and Joringel, meet the author. SO much fun. And really not something I expected in the story, but it really gives the reader a good idea as to what Gidwitz does in real life and what led him to actually write stories like this.

End spoiler.

The other nice thing about this book was that it teaches the readers that it’s okay to make up stories and change stories and be creative. Yeah, we go through a lot of blood and gore (let’s just say I’ll never look at a box of apples the same way), but the whole execution of these stories is done so brilliantly that I feel like these will be treasures in childrens’ libraries for some time to come. If I were a kid’s author, I’d wonder why I didn’t think to write something like this.

Utterly charming, completely horrific, and laugh out loud funny, these are definitely keepers — and one of the top series in my collection. So happy to have stumbled upon this series AND I hope Adam Gidwitz releases more fun stories in the future.

Have you read either of these books? Have you seen the Supernatural Bloody Mary episode?ย 

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5 thoughts on “{Book Reviews} A Blast From the Past and Something Spooky & Hilarious

  1. I’ve never read the Grimm books but I really love the idea of getting the really dark side of the classic kids tales you know. I have read some retellings and such though – even some that are more recent in YA anthologies. Some awesome spooky reads for Halloween! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I was a big fan of Goosebumps and Fear Street growing up. I look back and it doesn’t quite have the same magic, but that is ok because it had it when it counted. These books made my childhood interesting and entertained me for endless hours.

  3. Pingback: October | Reading In Winter

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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