Tagline: “It keeps growing…and growing…and growing…”
Synopsis: One day after band practice (and nearly being mauled by a pack of dogs), Larry Boyd finds a bottle of INSTA-TAN in the trash outside his friend Lily Vonn’s house. Larry, Lily, and fellow Geeks (that’s the uniquely terrible name of their band) Manny, Jared, and Kristina decide to give the stuff a try, even though it’s long since expired. Unsurprisingly, no one develops a deep suntan in minutes as promised. Instead, Larry begins growing dark, bristly hair, first on his hands, then on his neck. All his friends make fun of him when he asks if they’re growing hair in odd places (wouldn’t you?), so Larry goes about his hairy way (ha!), teaching himself to shave and wearing gloves when he probably doesn’t need to. Then two of his closest friends disappear in quick succession, first Manny, then Lily. Down two Geeks and with the Battle of the Bands on the way, Larry, Jared, and Kristina decide to perform anyway. Larry thinks his hairy days are over when suddenly, mid-“I Want to Hold Your Hand,” his coat comes in all over. (They win the Battle with their “great special effects.”) Shortly thereafter, Larry finds out he lives in a town of no children, just dogs getting shots every once in a while to look and act like children. Larry returns to dog form, joins up with fellow dogs Manny and Lily (and the ones that once nearly mauled him, aw!), and makes sure to visit Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, who now have a baby that was once Jasper, Larry’s cat. The end!
Creepiness factor: This might be the least scary Goosebumps book, unless the idea of hair growth horrifies you (in which case it is probably a bad idea for you to read a blog post with “My Hairiest Adventure” in the title).
Signature Stine moment: This is a long one, but it’s great chunk of hypothetical questions that I refuse to pare down.
“Sprawled on my stomach on top of the bed, my knees throbbed as I thought. Why did my knees grow hair? I asked myself. I didn’t spread any INSTA-TAN on my knees. So why did the ugly black hair sprout there?
Had the INSTA-TAN worked itself into my system? Had the strange liquid seeped into my pores? Had it spread through my entire body?
Was I going to turn into some kind of big, hairy creature? Was I soon going to look like King Kong or something?
Questions–but no answers.”
Accuracy of title: Even if it wasn’t accurate (and it is, for this is one hairy adventure, perhaps the hairiest I’ve witnessed!), My Hairiest Adventure is just a great title. Full marks.
Moral of the story: Sometimes you don’t even have to do anything for something crazy to happen.
Overall rating: 7.5/10. I have a lot of affection for My Hairiest Adventure. So far, it’s the Goosebumps book I most clearly remembered from childhood, right down to which song Larry and the other Geeks are playing when his coat really starts coming in. It’s not the best Goosebumps book, but it’s fun and goofy and clever, and the lack of scares is pretty refreshing. Next up: A Night in Terror Tower, a book I don’t recollect in the slightest!