Goosebumps Most Wanted #1: Planet of the Lawn Gnomes by R.L. Stine
Do you ever have days when it seems like no one believes you? For Jay, it seems like that’s his life. Of course, he is a notorious troublemaker and the only reason he and his family had to move to a new town after a mishap. Now lawn gnomes are coming to life and strange birds haul animals and gnomes off into the skies.
Revisiting some of Goosebumps‘s most infamous characters allows for a sense of nostalgia that I find refreshing. The characters in this book are interesting, and the book is just plain fun to read. There is a short sequence of chapters that veers off on an unnecessary tangent, but all is forgiven thanks to the fun plot and gripping surprise ending. Stine is notorious for such endings, but this one made up for a plot that, while fun, was a bit too predictable for older readers, at times.
The pacing feels about right. Jay is a well-drawn, flawed character who really seems to either be out for what he perceives as justice or just can’t stop himself from doing something bad (It’s fun!).
The ending took me back to the Goosebumps books of old. It’s been far too long since I read an ending with a jarring twist like the one featured here. Of course, that does make me wish he would write a sequel, but with the next Goosebumps: Most Wanted title set to feature our old friend, Slappy (the living dummy), I’ll take it.
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