Book 9: WELCOME TO CAMP NIGHTMARE
I don’t remember reading this book and I only vaguely remember the cover. Perhaps it’s for that reason that I was so into this particular book.
Much like yesterday’s book The Girl Who Cried Monster Stine didn’t waste any pages of this book with fake outs. Things start of weird and continue to be weird.
Billy’s parents have sent him to camp while they go on a scientific expedition. From the start things are weird. Their bus driver drops everyone off in the middle of nowhere and leaves. Suddenly people are attacked by snakes. There’s no telephones, there’s no nurse. Everything about this camp seems dangerous and weird (specifically the owner Uncle Al)
Uncle Al tells everyone to avoid the Forbidden Bunk. When two kids go to the Forbidden Bunk they’re never seen again. Billy decides to stay away from it. Suddenly Billy’s camp counselor Larry tells him they’re going to Canoeing. Larry falls into the river and Billy jumps in to save him.
The next day Uncle Al wakes Billy up and tells him he has to hunt down two campers who have tried to escape camp. Billy refuses and shoots at Uncle Al when he attacks him. Suddenly everyone appears around Billy (including his parents). His parents want to take Billy on the expedition with them but they were required to test his bravery, ability to follow rules and ability to know when someone is doing something evil. Having passed the test he’s allowed to join them on their trip to Earth.
THE BAD: The twist is ripped right from the pages of the worst Twilight Zone episodes. What always bugs me about this is that we’re ‘tricked’ into assuming everything was already on Earth but are in fact aliens. However theres’ not a single aspect to hint at this twist leading us to believe that this alien planet has all the same animals and environmental aspects as Earth. It always feels like a quick fake out.
THE GOOD: Despite the twist (which I kinda knew was going to happen but didn’t want to believe it) I kept reading captivated to knowing what was going on. The whole time though I kept saying “please don’t be a set up”.
THE TV SHOW EPISODE: The first thing that I thought while watching this was that I LOVED how the 90’s depicted ‘cool kids’. Billy’s bunk mates Jay and Colin in the book are depicted as nice enough guys but super cool and pranksters. Colin is depicted wearing a bandana and Jay after being told girls are off limits responds with “It’s good thing I forgot my Deodorant, Ha Ha”