Tuesday 5 April 2011

Monster High: The Ghoul Next Door

Monster High: The Ghoul Next Door  by Lisi Harrison (Poppy/Little, Brown/Hachette)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 978-1-907410-64-2
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie

This is the second book in the highly inventive and amusing series, Monster High. The series is based on a concept by Mattel who supports the series with merchandise. Universal Pictures have signed to produce a feature film. More information can be discovered at www.monsterhigh.com  

Lisi Harrison weaves her exciting storyline and its theme of acceptance for everyone with her usual flair and imagination.  Using jealousy, envy and suspicion as her tools of conflict, she also includes ingredients all girls love – fashion, cosmetics, boys, lavish backdrops and the lure of being on-camera. Humour is very much evident (along with the latest teenage speak).

To date, the plan to get the normies to accept the monster RADs (Regular Attribute Dodgers) has failed. Brett Redding is in shock at the hospital after accidentally biting the head off Frankie Stein while kissing, thus revealing her monster status and sending panic among the normie students at Merston’s High Monster Dance. Now the police are out in force hunting Frankie and watching out for any other monsters that may be living in Salem, Oregon.

Cleo De Nile, an Egyptian mummy with queenly airs was not impressed when Deuce, the boy she covets, asked pretty Melody Carver, a normie, to the dance. She likes to be centre of attention, and her popularity has diminished since the arrival of Frankie and Melody at Merston. She approves of Frankie’s plan to try and gain the normies’ acceptance of monsters, but as the story unfolds, her jealousy of Melody creates serious problems.

Melody fears not only for Frankie, but for her boyfriend, Jackson Jekyll, who changes into D.J. Hyde when he overheats. Bekka Madden, her ex-best friend, is totally jealous of Frankie and the kiss she shared with Brett, Bekka’s boyfriend, and is threatening to expose a video of Jackson in mid-change. In desperation, Melody confides in her beautiful sister, Candace. To her surprise, Candace is sympathetic and decides the normies cause to support the RADs is to be called NUDI –Normies Uncool with Discriminating Idiots.

Seemingly impossible hurdles are overcome with great panache, together with scenarios of deep suspicion between the RADs and the NUDIs. But a surprising truce takes place between Cleo and Melody.

The story ends with the RADs once more fleeing for cover, and a conundrum for Melody which ensures readers will wait impatiently for Book Three in the Monster High series, due out in 2012.  

1 comment:

  1. there's a third one out September 20th!


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