Friday, November 8, 2013

A Midsummer Night's Scream By: R.L. Stine

Title: A Midsummer Night's Scream
Author: R.L. Stine
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller
Recommended for Fans Of: Mary Downing Hahn, Stephen King

Synopsis: Sixty years ago, while filming the legendary horror film-turned real life nightmare, three young actors lost their lives in terrifying accidents while the camera was rolling. Now, sixty years later, Claire's dad is in the midst of reproducing the movie that was forever deemed "cursed". Claire and her friends think this is the big break they've been waiting for, and once filming starts at the old Mayhem Manor, they cannot wait to truly shine. What Claire doesn't expect is the chain of eerie events that start happening, and the strange little man that keeps appearing on set. Pretty soon, eerie turns to deadly as it quickly becomes evident that someone-or something- is out to get the new cast and end them, just like the young actors that perished 60 years ago.

Review: Aw man, I really wanted to like this book. I still held on to that hope even as I was reading halfway in, but by that point, it's really clear that there was really no redeeming.

Let me start off by saying that R.L. Stine is a fantastic CHILDREN'S books author, and forever will be. He is a master at telling tales to scary the beejesus out of little children. But maybe he should stick to writing for the younger crowd (just a thought?...) This new YA stand-alone didn't really work for me.

For one, the dialogue was very chopping and awkward at best. These sixteen-year-olds sounded like they were hippies from the sixties, and not like modern day teenagers. Reading the conversations between these kids made me cringe at how fake and just how strange they all sounded.

Secondly, the teenage characters were all.. off. Maybe R.L.Stine was trying to write each character with a definite personality and shape, but each one of them came off as one-sided and borderline insane. For example, Claire came off as an obsessive, oblivious and incredibly vain person. Her best friend Delia, was just SO ANNOYING and the best way to describe her is as a "dumb Barbie." While the author may have done this intentionally, my problem was that these were the only sides we saw of the characters. They really had no redeeming qualities since their personalities were already so set in stone.

My third point is the actual scenes themselves. I was expecting a horror novel, Stephen King for young adults type of book. Sadly, I was very disappointed. Not only were the scenes cheesy and all the horror movie cliches you hear about, but there was no originality. The "horrors" Claire and the other actors endured were mirrors of the incidents sixty years ago. I would have loved to seen more happen to Claire and her friends, to prove that the force behind the old curse was now back and even more threatening.

Lastly, the plot was a big issue for me. I don't like to be confused when I am reading (who does?!) and I absolutely DETEST plot holes. Unfortunately, A Midsummer Night's Scream was FULL of them. I'll give you all an example. The previous movie was said to be done when the cameras were rolling, but yet... Are human beings really so stupid as to not WANDER AROUND A DEADLY HOUSE?? And in the present-day remake, oh wow, Claire and her friends were just so STUPID. They made so many mistakes and were just so oblivious to everything, it was like they were braindead.

Conclusion: I really don't mean to bash this book, but if it comes off like that, it is only because I was expecting so much more from R.L. Stine. When I took the time to read this, I closed the book at the end feeling very annoyed and vaguely angry, both at the character and the author. This is not a book I would recommend reading, but if R.L. Stine is to write another YA standalone, I would still dutifully pick it up. (*he has however, informed me that he will probably not be writing another YA book.*)

*This is a case where you SHOULD NOT judge the book by it's cover. The cover gave me chills and made my expectations sky-high, but ha, if you read the review, then well, you really shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.*

What are you all reading right now?


  1. This is a bummer!! I remember reading RL Stine so much as a kid. It might just be an age thing too :)

  2. Man, when I was a youngster, R.L. Stine was the author of nightmares! I loved it. I was looking forward to this one when I first heard of it, but then reviews started coming in and my excitement wavered. I think I will keep those good, childhood creepers memories instead!

  3. R.L. Stine was one of the main authors who got me hooked on reading when I was a kid. I've been thinking about picking up some of his books again. An old favorite is always worth a second look.