Everyone knows that Mayhem Manor is cursed. After production on the horror film was stopped due to a series of mysterious deaths, it became a Hollywood legend--which makes it perfect for Claire and her family. If they can successfully finish the film, it should be enough to save their ailing movie studio.
Sure, the old haunted house is creepy, and strange stuff has been happening, but this is Claire's chance. Her chance to become the movie star she's always dreamed and her chance to finally convince her friend Jake that she is girlfriend material. Of course, the fact that Jake thinks he's in love with her best friend, Delia, who is crushing hard on Jake's friend Shawn, who insists on following Claire around, could be a problem, but Claire is sure she can figure it out. After all, the course of true love never did run smooth.
This is my first R.L. Stine. When you think of children's horror, Stine is the first one to come to mind. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's not just for children, though.
There are some gruesome and bloody scenes, but not to the point that it really grosses you out. It really doesn't get much worse than 'spurting blood.' There's just enough detail to let you know that something horrible has happened and you can imagine it in your mind, but not so much that you simply have to stop reading. What really surprised me was that it had the 'jump' factor! I love a good horror, but when it can actually scare me, I find it a complete success. While I was reading, my cat, Hitler, moved and created a slight shadow and I thought for sure my heart was never going to beat again! It's rare that a book can actually frighten me!
For current fans of Stine, I'm sure this is already on your 'to read' list. If, like me, you hadn't read Stine but enjoy a good horror, I would definitely start with this one. There's just enough teenage drama and humor to keep readers interested and balance the scare.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Shawn