Hello, Spongey here.
Hall of Horrors time again! There’s not much to say this time and I want to get into the review. The noteable thing is the subject of the book.
This is the first Zombie Goosebumps book in forever. Depending on your definatiom of Zombies. That was actually the big selling point when this came out. There was Welcome to Dead House but that’s about it aside from small ones.
R.L. Stine has said the main reason is that he just couldn’t come up with that many stories involving Zombies compared to other creatures. That’s fine but that doesn’t explain why we’ve only had one Vampire book.
Seriously, we’ve had more Zombies after this but no more Vampire books. Maybe he didn’t want it to some like he was cashing in on Twilight but it’s been long over so you can do it, come on.
Otherwise, not much to say. Will this be a fun zombie romp or not? Let’s take a look.
This is Why I Quit Zombie School
The book opens with Matt on his way to a new school, in his town. So many changes make his head spin. He likes dark stuff a lot which his family sometimes makes fun of. Mom is the only nice one it seems.
He’s going to a boarding school called Romero Academy. Subtle. They get there and Matt says that it looks like the school is covered in a big shadow. Again, Stine is the master of subtilty.
They meet the Principal, Mr. Craven (Okay, the references are amusing but what kid is doing to get them?) and he has a kid named Franny take him on a tour.
“What’s it like?’
Why not just put a flashing arrow saying THIS IS A ZOMBIE SCHOOL.
They meet these kids whose eyes are totally white which Matt finds odd.
“They’re totally white”
Yeah, are you racist or something?
One of the kids falls down some stairs and they put him on a stretcher but otherwise act like nothing is wrong. We get it, they are zombies, can we move on?
He tells his parents and sister this but they just come up with dumb excuses to not notice anything odd. They leave and Matt hangs out in his room.
He meets up with Franny who tells him about the Reviver room which you go to if you are damaged. Wayne went there but did not “come around”.
…You know, for kids!
They move on because hearing about kids dying in school is so common, and Matt fails to really fit in that well in school. We see more odd things happen just in case you didn’t get that they were possibly zombies.
Eventually, Franny just up and asks when Matt died. No, it doesn’t turn he’s Bruce Willis the whole time…because that was a ghost and I got my references confused. But jokes aside, that would be an amazing twist.
He tells her has not died and it turns out she’s living as well. She confirms this is a zombie school and of course I do question why a place like this exists and how no one really knows about it.
Matt says they just enrolled quickly and had no time to really look into it. And that why research is good. She tells him he needs to lay low and that’s it for that scene I guess. Did we need to wait until 50 pages in to confirm what we already know anyway
Matt calls his parents and of course they don’t believe him and are horribly condescending about it. Crappy Goosebumps parents, so surprising. After that, Angelo pops and says he knows a guy who went to his old school and knows Matt was a star soccer player.
….If he knows a guy who went to his school, shouldn’t he know Matt is alive since that likely wasn’t a Zombie school?!”
“Was I going to be the next great Zombie Soccer Star?”
We get a quick Soccer scene where Matt tries to pretend he’s a Zombie and also a guy’s leg comes off. Lovely. That Saturday is Visiting Day so Mom and Dad show which is a good chance to prove to them he’s right about le Zombies.
He shows them around the school and shows them the dining area where the Zombie Kids stuff their faces to eat and the parents just find it normal. The sort of have a point, but in execution, it’s just forced.
They note that everyone moves super slowly but Dad just says they are “moving at a relaxed pace”. Idiot. They go outside where the Zombie Kids like to the jump off the balcony for reasons and one does so but the parents just happen to be looking away and they are deaf.
In a last ditch attempt, he takes them to Franny but she just lies because forced. The day wraps up normally after that. I’ve seen forced ways for the parents to not stuff the creepy stuff but wooooow.
Matt talks to Franny who confirms she lied to his parents on purpose because some happened to be listening. Because hiding in a less crowded spot just wasn’t an option. Also, they shook hands with Craven yet he couldn’t tell the parents were not Zombies.
The school has a party that night so PARTY TIME. At the party, filler happens as they have to make sure no one suspects anything. One Zombie girl asks to dance but it doesn’t take long for her to figure out that he’s warm. ‘
It’s convenient that no one ever touched him in any way until now.
They decided to do a test to see if he’s alive, which is really just an excuse to murder him given they are using the balcony. By the way, they say this is a special school and I don’t think Stine knows what that usually means.
Matt saves himself by pulling out a rubber hand and throwing it off, making it seem like his hand came off. And that’s all they need to prove he’s a zombie. These kids aren’t that bright, are they?
He’s not out of the woods yet as they must take him to the reviver room which as we know can kill people. At least that scene had a point now. Ernie takes him there but before he can throw the switch, some kids pop up and take him back to the dance meaning Matt is free from death this time.
Hooray for convenient timing
He’s Scott free so he goes to bed. The next day dung track (something famously creatures love for some reason), the make up he was using comes off exposing more of his Alive-ness. We get a chase which ends at a Graveyard.
Matt of course finds the kids graves…including one for Franny. Dun dun dun. Yeah, I saw that coming, I just forgot to throw that theory out there. I’ve seen worse twists though.
Franny conveniently shows up and says they made her spy on him cuz they gotta do that but she actually liked him which is why she helped in some parts. That’s actually kind of nice, better than just having her be all evil suddenly.
But if she likes him a bit more than just friends….yeah, that would be awkward.
She also says that they will do one more test which involves running him over with an SUV. Christ, isn’t running away from you like that proof enough?
As a list ditch attempt to fool, he gets out all his make up (which I find off he had to begin with) even though it came off in front of them earlier so they won’t be fooled. The next day it works….to well as they think he needs the Reviver room. Whoops.
“I quit Zombie school”
Oh, so that’s why it’s called that.
The machine is low on juice thanks to the plot convince fairy. Matt pretends like that weak power revived him which works because I don’t even care anymore. Then we cut to a week later as Matt reveals he begged his parents to take him out of school.
Yep, no actual climax, Matt just magically ends the conflict and somehow makes his parents take him. He says he begged them which I would have liked to see. I mean, after that day where they visisted, you think they wouldn’t budge.
What a load. We’re not even done yet. Matt gets into a new school but it too seems odd. The dean pops up.
“Welcome to Dracula Middle School”
…..How did he sign up for a scool with that name and not suspect anything? Zombies get a clever pun and Vampires don’t? All they get is a twist and not a full book? Is Stine Vampist?!
….Either way, The (Rushed) End.
Eh. This book had a fun idea and it can be enjoyable but it’s mostly just there. The main problem is that it’s so aimless. It really is just a series of scenes strung together without any cohesion.
They try with the Franny stuff but once again the ending makes it all pointless. There really isn’t that much to the plot outside of Zombie stuff. I’m fine with simple plots but as a result, it feels aimless with no direction or goal.
There’s no real climax, nothing is done with Franny and the twist is lame. To be fair, a lot of it can be enjoyable with all the Zombie stuff, and the concept of Franny is neat. It’s just that it doesn’t really go anywhere.
Some of the fluff can be excused since it is Goosebumps but I was still expecting a much tighter story than this. In short, this book can be fun but it drops interesting ideas to just…do stuff, topped off with a lame non ending.
It’s pretty…eh. But there are other GB Zombie Books after this so hopefully those hold up better.
Yeah, there wasn’t a lot to say with this book. It’s there. Next time, Stine finally gets around to doing Modern Technology Horror. Be very afraid.