Book 6: Let’s Get Invisible
Somewhere in between me deciding I wanted to do these retrospective pieces and me actually buying the Goosebumps books to read I attended a party. The host of the party had the complete series of Goosebumps as well and we began discussing different stories.
Eventually it turned to other children’s horror stories like Are You Afraid of the Dark and the Tales from the Crypt Animated Series. It was during this discussion a debate began on if ‘that story where the reflections in the mirror switch positions with the real person’ was Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark. After consulting the collection at the house we had an answer.
I remember reading this book. Or at least I remember the ending. In retrospect the ending doesn’t make much sense though.
You see the story follows Max. He has a brother they call Lefty (because he’s left handed) and three friends (Zack, Erin and April). One day they discover a mirror and light in his attic. When they pull the chain on the light whoever’s underneath it turns invisible. This becomes their favorite activity (even though in 134 they pull 1 maybe 2 pranks total).
After 100+ pages something finally happens. Erin and Zack stay invisible for 10+ minutes and come back seeming different to Max. When Max goes invisible he encounters his reflection who attempts to switch places with him. Max escapes but when Zack and Erin learn he hasn’t switched places they attempt to force him back under the light. At the last second Lefty shows up and throws a ball at mirror shattering it and returning everything back to normal. Except at the end of the book while playing catch Max notices Lefty is throwing with his right hand.
THE BAD: Everything. The story is slow. I don’t understand the appeal of turning invisible after school if you just mess with the few people who know you’re invisible and my biggest complaint the ending. I can’t understand why Lefty (a) throws the ball at the mirror if he’s actually Lefty’s reflection and (b) why when Zack and Erin return to normal he doesn’t. I mean I get that it ends on a nice twist (though kinda predictable) but that’s no excuse.
THE GOOD: I can’t think of anything, but I must have loved this book as a kid as it’s one of the only Goosebumps from my original collection I still had. However I don’t know what appealed to me now reading it at 26.
THE TV SHOW EPISODE: This adaptation was kinda weird. Beyond the fact that it had to rush much of the story in this adaptation it really kinda changed all of the characters personalities. All the characters are overly mellow dramatic (even by child actor standards) not to mention pretty annoying. But as I hated this book there wasn’t much I was expecting to like in the adaptation either.
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