Top critical review
Just An Average Goosebumps Yarn
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2010
"Goosebumps HorrorLand" is the latest part of the Goosebumps franchise from author R.L. Stine. These books follow the traditional Goosebumps plot, but with an added twist of a special section of the book that takes place in HorrorLand.
MY FRIENDS CALL ME MONSTER is the 7th book in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series. The story revolves around Michael Monroe. Michael is bigger than most kids his age. It's partially because of his size that his friends have nicknamed him Monster. The other reason is that Michael has a nasty temper. Michael isn't getting along very well with his new teacher, Mrs. Hardesty. She always seems to be giving him a hard time and punishes him when she lets others off the hook. After having to spend a Saturday with two other friends picking through garbage Michael decides to get even. Mrs. Hardesty is extremely superstitious and he convinces his friends to sneak into her house with him and release a black cat. While there, they discover something very strange which eventually leads Michael trying to save the world by himself.
The HorrorLand part of the book after the main story has Michael and the other Very Special Guests of the park trying to find a mirror as well as information about Panic Park.
The last part of the book includes a chapter from BE CAREFUL FOR WHAT YOU WISH FOR, part of the map for HorrorLand, two pictures of attractions in Panic Park, and the application form for monsters to work at HorrorLand.
I've read several books in the Goosebumps franchise and MY FRIENDS CALL ME MONSTER seems like a rehash of some previous Goosebumps titles, e.g. THE GIRL WHO CRIED MONSTER. The writing in Goosebumps has never been extraordinary and MY FRIENDS CALL ME MONSTER is no different. However, the third-through sixth grade students who these books are aimed at aren't looking for great writing, just a decent scary or at least suspenseful story.
After reading the book, I am curious to read the other titles in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series just to read the complete HorrorLand arc. This isn't a terrible Goosebumps style book, but it's not a great example of one either.