[eARC Review] A Midsummer Night's Scream

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Title: A Midsummer Night's Scream
Author: R.L Stine
Genre: YA, Horror, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 250 pages
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: eARC provided by publisher for honest review

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Get ready for laughter to turn into screams in R.L. Stine's re-imagining of Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Everyone knows that Mayhem Manor is cursed. After production on the horror film was stopped due to a series of mysterious deaths, it became a Hollywood legend--which makes it perfect for Claire and her family. If they can successfully finish the film, it should be enough to save their ailing movie studio.

Sure, the old haunted house is creepy, and strange stuff has been happening, but this is Claire's chance. Her chance to become the movie star she's always dreamed and her chance to finally convince her friend Jake that she is girlfriend material. Of course, the fact that Jake thinks he's in love with her best friend, Delia, who is crushing hard on Jake's friend Shawn, who insists on following Claire around, could be a problem, but Claire is sure she can figure it out. After all, the course of true love never did run smooth.

But once shooting starts, "creepy and strange" morph into "bloody and deadly," as the lines between film and reality begin to blur...

I have been a fan of R.L Stine since I was a little kid when I read Goosebumps and watched the TV show, so naturally when I saw that he was writing another horror and that it was based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream I was extremely excited. But what I ended up with was a story that ultimately fell flat and did not keep me that interested.

The plot itself was an issue for me only because I felt like it was trying to be too many things at one time. When you start the book it reads like a contemporary horror story but then the Shakespeare inspiration was added in and everything fell apart for me. It was like that aspect was added after the full book was written and the execution felt a little forced.

Another aspect of the plot that hindered my enjoyment of the novel was actually the main plot line. In A Midsummer Nights Scream there are a group of young actors that are playing the roles on a remake of an old horror movie. But that movie was was shut down decades ago because of mysterious deaths of the cast members on set. In present day they start shooting the movie and the same thing begins to happen. Does that sound familiar? To me it sounded like the plot of the Scream movies was taken from the movie and placed in a book with different characters. And that turned me off right away only because I wanted to read an original story and not something I have seen before.

The love interest in this book was a bit laughable, only because I did not feel any connection to the main character or her friends. The fact that the MC's love interest was ultimately interested in her best friend, and she wanted him so bad that she tried a love potion? I felt like it made no sense in a modern story, even if it was the influence of Shakespeare. I would have loved to have seen a modern version of the play and not an aspect of the play plopped into a story and hope it works. I was really dissapointed with that aspect of the novel.

What I did like to see what R.L Stine at his best. When I read those death scenes I knew exactly who was writing and it brought me back to my childhood when I would cringe when the scenes were coming up. I loved that they were gruesome and they left nothing to the imagination. I was really happy to see that. But ultimately I wish the story line was more original in content and that the Shakespeare aspect was integrated more effortlessly. This book was just not for me.

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