Give Yourself Goosebumps
Stine, R. L.
0590993976 / 9780590993975
This is an average entry in the series, with some open endings and pointless deaths. It is notable for having slightly more gruesome and violent deaths than usual for Give Yourself Goosebumps (including being strangled by a tentacle, and being beaten to death by other students). Some ideas are handled well, for instance getting demerits rather than being sent straight to detention.
This book is in the same general vein as You're Plant Food! and Shop Till You Drop... Dead! but isn't nearly as sophisticated. Basically, you choose four classes from a list of six and have to survive them all. It's not a bad read and the more violent deaths make it more interesting.
I would normally take issue with the fact that you can't win without cheating in some strings unless you're wearing certain clothes, but this is Give Yourself Goosebumps, so it's expected. What I do find unbelieveable about this, though, is that your character is actually excited about attending an elite, snobby boarding school. I know I certainly wouldn't like it too much to begin with, even if the teachers weren't trying to brainwash me.
This book is quite a mixed bag. First the positives, the book has a great spooky atmosphere where danger lurks around every corner. Having a more non-linear storyline, with picking four out of six classes and trying to survive them, adds some nice replayability. A lot of the bad endings are more gruesome than the other books in the series which makes Zombie School stand out more.
On to the negative aspects, there are way too many choices depending on factors outside of the reader’s control. Things such as what day of the week it is or whether or not you're wearing any metal. I know this happens in other Give Yourself Goosebumps books but it feels at its worst here. Some of the good endings felt way too open and not very satisfying. Overall an interesting but flawed entry in this series.
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