GOOSEBUMPS: CALLING ALL CREEPS (R.L. Stine)
The main character in Calling All Creeps is a dweeb named Ricky. Like most dweebs, he is bulldozed by bullies at school. For this scenario to work, the reader must give quarter to the goober in oppugning jeopardy. We should feel pity for this hapless son of a hussy. See, that's the first problem. I don't give a soggy, throat-drilling blumpkin (resist the urge to reference Urban Dictionary) about Ricky. In fact, I want the bullies to obliterate his little bitch ass. I know, I know...I should "be a star," but if I knew this kid in middle school, I would have eaten his lunch money and pissed on his homework. And I would have raped him in his own locker! Don't ruminate on the integrity of my strategy; I could have figured it out.
Tampon contessa. Fucking dick fart. Woah, I don't know where that lump of hatred came from. I have repressed issues, don't I? I would never, EVER condone bullying, but Ricky is such an urchin. His idea of a prank involves editing derogatory muckraking into the school newspaper. His idea of an insult? "So-and-so is a creep!" Did he honestly think that no one would catch it in time to send that shit off to the presses? Naturally, the intended target catches it and replaces her name with Ricky's (she also includes his phone number). His antagonizers call his place late at night claiming to be creeps. If it's a joke, they're committing to it in a major way. They even go as far as to defer to Ricky, their "commander."
So what's the deal? Well, they are creeps. Creeps can shapeshift into purple (it's closer to mauve, really) reptile beasts of prey. One of them eats a squirrel, but apart from that meteoric display of sadism, their wicked deeds amount to nothing more than strong-arm tactics. It's a tweener book, I get it, but Calling All Creeps needs a fat dose of ferocity. Is a drop of gore asking too much? Why should the reader be scared for Ricky, you know what I mean? Ricky isn't a squirrel! The rest of the characters are insignificant, and the parents...ugh, the parents are cocks. In their defense, their son is a sniveling pussy, a human birth canal. Piece of asshole.
Of course, Stine has his lead dope whine to every adult that creatures are planning to poison the cafeteria food. While Calling All Creeps defecated on my strawberries, I did like the ending. It was actually clever. I'm gobsmacked, too. A sequel would be interesting, but clearly, that's not going to happen. Yeah, fans barked for three goddamn Monster Blood sequels. I'm totally sure. Can you tell I'm a tad irritated that I haven't reviewed a decent Goosebumps folio yet? I know they exist. I'd cover Egg Monsters From Mars if I owned it. Jordy Verrill says, "Calling all creeps? I wonder if my daddy will ever call me. I'm a creep."