Premise: Extremely forgettable protagonist Evan is forced to stay with his great aunt Kathryn while his parents search for a new house. Upon moving in, Evan meets a much less forgettable girl named Andy, who introduces him to a vintage toy store in town. There, they procure a can of Monster Blood, a gooey, sticky green substance that inexplicably begins to grow, such that it can fill entire tubs and aluminum trash cans. And how is this happening? Why, because the cat living in Kathryn’s house is actually a witch, of course! But don’t worry. Once the Monster Blood consumes the cat/witch person (it can do that, too), the spells are broken, and everything is OK again.
Creepiness factor: Quite low. The twist was glaringly obvious, what with the cat’s human-like traits and inherent air of evilness. Didn’t see the “Kathryn is deaf because of the cat/witch person” bit coming, but even so, a glob of green goop that makes dogs grow and sucks up neighborhood bullies just doesn’t seem that plausible or threatening.
Signature Stine moment: An extremely detailed description of Andy’s appearance: “Andy braked her bike and dropped both feet to the ground. She was wearing bright pink shorts and a yellow sleeveless undershirt top. Her face was red, her forehead beaded with perspiration from pedaling so hard.” This is a definite Stine trope: giving the reader an exact picture of what a character is wearing. Usually he’d say how long her shirt was, but I’ll excuse it.
Accuracy of title: Very accurate. Very catchy. And much cleverer than the book’s sequel’s name (apparently this one earns a sequel), Monster Blood II.
Overall rating: 5.5/10. Not terrible, not great, pretty par for the course when it comes to middling Goosebumps titles. I probably should’ve just reread Stay Out of the Basement. But worry not! Say Cheese and Die! is next, and I’m looking forward to that one (though not nearly as much as Night of the Living Dummy).