Day #211: Childhood Revisions #4

Synopsis:

[From Goodreads:] Lucy likes to tell monster stories. She’s told so many that her friends and her family are sick of it.

Then one day, Lucy discovers a real, live monster: the librarian in charge of the summer reading program.

Too bad Lucy’s told so many monster tall tales.
Too bad no one believes a word she says.
Too bad the monster knows who she is…
…and is coming after her next.

My take:

Alex said it best, in this case:

Every single time I re-read a goosebumps book I adored as a kid I am killed with an odd mixture of nostalgia and disappointment.

Now, I don’t think that’s actually true of all the Goosebumps books (or at least I sure hope it’s not, or this series is going to become horrible for everyone involved), but this book in particular is super lame.

Suuuuuuper lame.

Lucy is, by far, the most unlikable protagonist I’ve come across in recent memory. She spends all of her time obsessing about monsters and obnoxiously trying to scare her little brother. And, the second that she comes up against any kind of resistance from her family or friends, she gets all indignant, and argumentative, and uggghhh...

I kept hoping that she’d be eaten by the librarian.

But, no, the librarian – who, by the way, is the most consistently nice character in the book, despite the fact that he’s a monster that eats live animals – gives her way too many opportunities to get away. This is despite the fact that she repeatedly uses the same method to spy on him, giving the book a Groundhog Day-esque feeling; except that, in this case, it’s less ‘haha funny’ and more ‘wow, this is really repetitive and boring, was R.L. Stine just up against a deadline and not feeling it, or what?’

No one believes Lucy when she says the librarian is a monster, though. Because of course they don’t – why would they?! She spends all of her time making up stories about monsters, yet gets angry at everyone when they don’t believe her increasingly frantic accusations. I probably would’ve sent her off to see a psychiatrist well before this point, if I were her parent. Because she clearly has some issues, monster-for-a-librarian or no.

Anyway, Lucy is finally able to convince her parents that the librarian is really a monster after her friend Aaron sees him finally attacking Lucy. She escapes by knocking over the card cabinet in the library and causing the librarian to go into a fit of rage-induced sorting (because that’s clearly the more important thing to deal with at this juncture), and her parents listen to Aaron’s story.

They decide to invite the librarian over for dinner, where it’s revealed that – *gasp* plot twist – Lucy’s family are also monsters.

I say “Lucy’s family” rather than “Lucy and her family,” because, well…by this point I feel like the latter would be kind of redundant, no?

Throwing himself into the nature vs. nurture debate, Stine then has Lucy’s parents reveal themselves to also be huge jerks by eating the librarian, which was clearly the only way they could make sure that their own identities were kept secret. Yup. Totally.

As much as I thought Goosebumps was going to offer up some fun material to work with, I think I might return to my Fear Street books for future installments. This is my second Goosebumps post, and the second time I’ve come to a ‘huh, that was dickish’ conclusion. At least Fear Street provided me with the opportunity to crack jokes about stupid teenagers and secret drag queens.

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2 thoughts on “Day #211: Childhood Revisions #4

  1. OMG I used to love reading all of these and the Fear Street books… and remember the TV show?? Classic. I won a book report on Say Cheese and Die in fourth grade lol

    i want to re-read a few of these just to see if I come to the same conclusions you have… and then if I do, there’s always Fear Street like you said… 🙂

    Like

    • I’ma let you finish, but Animorphs was the best/worst tv show made from books I read as a kid. ;P

      I feel like maybe I’ve just made some dud choices so far, because I really remember enjoying the Goosebumps books. I don’t think my taste was that undeveloped as a kid!

      Like

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