Book Thoughts: Goosebumps #16: One Day at HorrorLand

Goosebumps was a series of classic horror books for kids written by R. L. Stine. They were extremely popular when I was growing up. Even these days, the volume sales of the series as a whole is second only to the more recent Harry Potter series. Before I gave these old books away, I decided to reread the books I had and write my thoughts on them. An interesting thing about Goosebumps was that both my sister and I liked it. My sister and I never got along, so it was rare sight for something to interest both of us. In fact, my sister originally got the first Goosebumps book. I only got into it after borrowing the books from her.

When I was little, I remembered I did a book report on this book. I wasn’t that great at reading then. I was even worse at writing. My mom ended up reading the book to help me summarize it. While reading, I remembered snippets of the story here and there. I still thought the story was great. Of the Goosebumps books I have reread so far, this one I think had the best story so far. It didn’t follow any of the conventions the author commonly used in other Goosebumps books.

The family was on vacation trying to find an amusement park. Eventually, they got lost and wound up at HorrorLand. This amusement park was all about scaring the visitors. At first, the family thought the park was just very good at making everything look real, but, of course, it turned out to be truly real by the end. Then it became a fight for their lives.

It is good anytime I can’t predict the ending in a horror book. I really had no idea where the book was going to go from scene to scene. I enjoyed reading about all the scary rides. I’ve been on some scary rides but never like these ones. These were real scares. Sometimes I felt my heart rate increase as I read about the scary situations the characters were in.

I liked that in this story the whole family was involved from the beginning. In most of the Goosebumps stories only the main character or a few of the kids know what’s going on. The parents are oblivious and won’t believe anything the kids say. Sometimes later the parents do become involved, but most times the kids solve the problem on their own. One Day at HorrorLand was different. The parents were part of the scares from the beginning. This made the story more appealing to me as an adult. In the other stories the parents came up with explanations too easily for every strange happening. It was unbelievable. The parents acted more normal in this story though.

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