Hello, Spongey here
Welcome back to Goosebump-athon!
The Ghost Next Door
Cover: This is a very good cover. I like how the ghost’s side is dark, while the girl’s side is light. Kind of symbolic. Basic, but good
Front Tagline: “There’s a strange new kid on the block”
Back Tagline: “How Come I’ve Never Seen You Before?” yes, it’s written in quotes on the book too.
Hannah is having a boring summer. But instead of joining a summer reading program and stuff, she just sits around and does nothing. She also writes to her friend, who is at summer camp, hopefully not dealing with government testing labs. However, the friend never writes back. Maybe Uncle Al is hiding her letter?
Okay, enough in jokes.
One day, she runs into a boy named Danny. He lives next door. She doesn’t remember Danny moving in and he claims he goes to her school and though they are supposedly in the same grade they don’t know any of the same people.
They meet a few other times, and each time, danny suddenly vanishes without a trace. She gets the suspucions that he might be…a ghost.
On top of that, the local mailman is an asshole. He’s mean to every kid, and sometimes threatens them with guns. Yes, a gun in a goosebumps book. But we’ll get to him later.
Danny starts hanging out with two kids named Alan and Fred. They encourage danny to help them steal ice cream, and smash mailboxes. Yea, they’re bad. Hannah gets worried, and even tells danny he’s doing wrong, but he wants to fit in, and he has odd thoughts about Hannah. I would say “not like that” but…I think it is like that.
Later on, Hannah heads to Danny’s house, and knocks, but Mom doesn’t answer at all. She now knows that danny and his mom are ghosts. Danny shows up and she tells him her suspicions. And Danny yells at her, and tells her that mom can’t hear…cuz she is deaf, and he is offended that she accuse of him being a ghost.
More mailbox vandalizing happens, more ghostly things occur, and a shadow figure seems to be popping up near Hannah a lot. So Hannah has a lot of problems, and so does Hannah. He keeps being accused of being a ghost, his mom Is dead, and two bad kids dare him a lot.
Danny tries to apologize to Hannah, but then he falls off a ladder, and seems to land fine. Hannah finally snaps and goes “GHOST”!. This is immediately followed by Danny putting his entire hand through Hannah’s chest and running off in hysterics.
THROUGH HER CHEST?!
WHAT THE FUCK, STINE?!
…anyway…HANNAH’S A GHOST, DUN DUN DUN!
Approximately two minutes after she figures this out, a realtor shows up at her house and explains Hannah’s entire family died five years ago when their house caught fire. It turns out the fire was started when Hannah didn’t extinguish the campfire in the backyard.
…she caused the death of her entire family. DAMN. Great scott, that’s heavy.
Hannah races to where Danny is, and it turns out he and the bad kids are breaking into the asshole mailman’s house. While inside, they accidently end up setting fire to it. Alan and Fred run out and leave danny to burn.
So Hannah has to face her fear of causing her family a fire-y death, and save her kind of love interests from a fire. Damn, this book is deep.
Then the shadowy figure who has been scaring Hannah suddenly appears. Hannah pulls down the shadowy figure’s hood to reveal Danny’s face. The Shadow-Danny tells Hannah that Danny must die in the fire so that he can live and the real Danny can take his place in Shadow World.
…well I didn’t exactly expect a shadow world. Seriously, give Hannah a freaking BREAK! Anyway, she escapes the shadow-danny and quickly saves Danny, by concentrating her energy enough to be tangible.
Shadow-danny goes bye, and Danny is brought to the hospital. His mom comforts him, and he tells….well he SIGNS her about Hannah. She does not belive him, and says Hannah Fairchild is dead. Danny thinks about how she saved him. Hannah’s Family shows up and says she must go on to the afterlife, even though she really wants to say bye.
She fades away, leaving Danny to wonder if he will see her again.
That’s it. Danny sits depressed, and it ends. Geez, this book is a real downer. Good ending though, from a story stand point
No Twist ENDING, so there.
Two parter! In fact, this was in the 4th, and final season. Anyway, there’s no major story changes until part 2, after Hannah is shown to be a ghost. Thankfully, danny doesn’t grope her this time. Anyway, the shadow figure reveals itself early, and teaches Hannah how to be a ghost. He tells her the whole killing danny thing later. Also, she has to use her piano playing skills to alert the asshole postman and make him notice danny, and save him, which redeems to asshole and uses a Chekov’s skill.
AND …danny gets to officially say bye to Hannah before she passes on. At least it’s not depressing. A very good episode, though the book is far better,
Notable Lines: none, sorry.
Useless Fact: again, none. I could point out that this book is better than “Are you afraid of the dark”’s smi;ar (but still good!) attempt at the story. That was good…but it ended up start M Night Shamanlamandingdong’s carrer, thus making The Last Airbender exist. So…this is better.
This one very almost unexpectedly good. I mean, it’s goosebumps for god’s sake! And here we have death, shadow people, and a girl killing her family! Pretty dark, eh? But it’s a very good story, and has actual characters to sympathize with! The shadow danny stuff maybe needed some re-writing, but it still worked. It’s dark, well told, and just plain good. So as you see, I liked it a lot