Review: Goosebumps by R. L. Stine

Review: Goosebumps by R. L. Stine

These get an extra star for ✨️nostalgia✨️

I dug these bad boys up at my parents’ house over the summer when they were going through some of my brother’s and my childhood stuff, and I figured I’d save them to read during the spookiest time of year 😱

R.L. Stine knows how to tell a creepy tale! And, I can say reading these as an adult for the first time, he knows how to write kids well.

Haunted houses, undead neighbors, living ventriloquist dummies…all the creepy, unsettling stuff that goes down in these books are really just metaphors for the turmoil the kids in the books are experiencing—like the anxiety of moving to a new neighborhood, a new house, or the stress of competing with a sibling.

In Welcome to Dead House, a family moves into a new (old, and suspiciously inexpensive) home, and the children start to notice that the neighbors aren’t exactly what they seem 👻

And the creepy af dummy book (the cover used to give me nightmares as a kid!) is about a rivalry between twin sisters that manifests in their toy dummies. The girls use the dummies to play tricks on each other, only to discover the little wooden men have come to life 🤡😨

Goosebumps is like Are You Afraid of the Dark? in book form. They hold up! Recommend for a fun, quick read 📚

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Review: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Review: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

This book should be called A Farewell to Commas, because holy run-on sentences‼️

(Just working on my literature-based standup. But really, sometimes it’s too much; there’s one sentence in this book that uses “and” 22 TIMES 😵‍💫)

I got this book at the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West last year and am only just getting around to reading it—which kind of worked out great, because I read War and Peace last year, and this was like War and Peace Lite.

All the war, one-fifth the page count.

A bleak tale about war and loss, this novel is based on Hemingway’s real-life experience as an ambulance driver and medic in the Italian army during WWI.

It’s also based on his real-life experience falling in love with an English nurse during the war. And, as I learned on my tour of the Hemingway home, IRL his nurse left him for another man, so he got revenge the best way writers know how: he killed her off in his book.

(Sorry, are spoilers a thing for 93-year-old novels? 😬)

A Farewell to Arms is an unflinching depiction of the horrors of war that likely was much needed in 1929 when people couldn’t see the harsh realities of it daily on TV. And Hemingway’s writing is almost timeless, because his language is too clear, straightforward, and simple to be dated.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5/5

If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.

—Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms