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Robert Lawrence Stine, R. L.

Stine was born on October 8, 1943, and grew up

poor in Columbus Ohio. He began writing short stories and joke books when he was
nine years old. He wrote his first book when he was a senior in high school, and he also
wrote for the high school newspaper. Stine attended Ohio State University and after he
graduated, he went to New York City, working a variety of writing jobs. Stine is the well-
known author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street Series. He was also head writer for
the Nickelodeon show called Eurekas Castle for three years. Under the pseudonym
Jovial Bob, Stine shows his comedic side writing 101 Silly Monster Jokes and Bozos
on Patrol. An avid reader still, Stine read a lot of science fiction as a child and was
greatly inspired by authors like Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. At the age of 28, his
first book was published, "How to Be Funny." Stine produced two books a month - one
each for the Goosebumps and the Fear Street Series. He says it takes him about eight
days to write a Goosebumps book and twelve days to write a Fear Street book. Children
love his books because his writing is simple and clear. He keeps his characters
believable and shows what happens, in his Goosebumps stories, through the eyes of
the main character. He has also written a scary novel for adults entitled Superstitious
but his main focus continues to be writing for children.
James, the main character and my favorite, was powerfully built for seventeen,
muscular, with big shoulders and a broad, football player neck. He had short blond hair,
buzzed closed on the sides, a handsome face, serious, seldom smiling, and olive-green
eyes that always seemed to be angry. James had moved with his aunt when he was
twelve, after both of his parents had smeared across the highway. James had hated
Key West from the start. Maybe it was because his parents had to die for him to get
there. Trouble always seemed to find him, he was always angry after the accident with
his parents. At first he had thought that all teenagers were supposed to be angry. But all
of the others seemed so laid-back compared to him, so uncaring, so happy. They were
only interested in their tans, in their boogie boards and snorkel equipments. In partying
and looking good. All of it just made James angry, all of it. He decided to Leave Key
West, he said Im never going back to Key West. He went for the road, walking along
the highway, James is heading North and was hoping for someone kind enough to stop
and give him a lift up to wherever they can take him. James kept his thumb raised to
signal the passing car that he was in need of a ride somewhere. James was on his
Hitchhiking mission. Few miles of walking that no one cared to give a ride, a pair of red
taillights glared at him. A car squealed to a stop, he jogged quickly toward the car. It
was an old man, James saw. How far are you going? the old man asked. I really dont
know, he replied. Just heading North. The old man was only going up to Fort
Lauderdale. While in the car James and the old man had some conversations and at
one point James thought to himself that it was the chance for him to take advantage of
an old man, take his car, his money and go as far as he could, but James wasnt that
kind of person quite yet. He was just thankful there was someone out there that took
him for a ride almost 200 miles in distance. With that being said James is back on his
two feet, hitchhiking, walking along the highway, raising his thumb up to the cars that
passes him by. Then suddenly, a car stopped and there were two girls in the car. The
first girl was Christina, who was thin, almost wiry, with blonde corkscrew curls piled on
her head. She had dramatic dark brown eyes, playful eyes on mischievous face. Her
mouth seemed to fall naturally into a teasing smile. She always appeared to be enjoying
some private joke. The other girl was Terri, she was as cautious as her friend was
impulsive and playful. She had sky-blue eyes and creamy white skin, which looked eve
paler against her straight black hair, which she wore swept back, falling down to her
shoulders. The two girls wear heading to Tampa, they decided to give James a ride.
The hitchhiker was picked up once again. This time they were heading to Tampa
and James decided that he can get off there and start from there going further North,
but while they driving to Tampa they talked to each other. He then, found out that these
two girls are originally from Cleveland and was only in Florida for their summer vacation.
It was a good sign for James, he thought Cleveland was perfect, it was as far as he
would want go for now and he was with two girls. What else could he asked for hed
thought. During the ride there was news in the radio about an Old Man being killed in
the highway by a Hitchhiker, James was bothered by the news, and he then turned off
the radio. The two girls were sort of shocked of James reaction. Why did he turn off the
radio? What could possibly know about the killing? Was it him? The hitchhiker? Well,
the end of the day, James uttered, he has a cousin who lives in Tampa that they could
possibly spend the night there, instead of paying for a motel to get good sleep. And
besides his cousin owed him money so they head that way. James cousins name was
Paul. He had no problem at all about James and the girls spending the night over. The
girls took the bedroom space and James made himself comfortable in the living room.
Before bed, the room was full of silence until Christina stops in to check on him, they
wind up making out, and he decides to stick with them to Cleveland. When he
announces his plans the next day, Paul tried to convince him to stay in town and get a
job on a construction crew. Paul also paid him back, but James notice that his wallet is
full. Paul won't tell him how he made the money, just which his boss gave him a bonus
for a special job. When they got ready to leave, Paul runs out of the house screaming at
them that someone stole his wallet. He accused James and lets it slip that he once stole
from a few local stores. After they fight, James punched him in the face and they took
off. If I had a chance to change something on this part of the story, I would delete the
part where James took two strangers to his cousins house, because of it Paul lost his
wallet and accused his cousin that caused a fight and messed up a family relationship.
Before the left Paul's, they saw a news report about an elderly man who was
found attacked and robbed on the side of the road. They heard another report on the
radio, and after the two girls kept staring at them, Terri demanded that to stop the car.
The girls got out; screaming at each other for a few minutes, and James drives off with
the car. It turns out that he was just joking about leaving them there, but everyone is still
in a really bad mood. After getting back in the car, Terri took over the drivers seat, but
she noticed a blue car following them closely. This barely stops Christina and James
from making out in the backseat. Christina thinks that it's probably Paul coming back for
his money, but everyone was freaked out anyway. Terri went crazy on the highway
trying to lose the guy, took a turn off the highway too fast, and hit a tree. They saw
someone behind them, think it's the guy who was following them, and flipped out again,
but it's actually just a tow truck driver. The car only has some minor damage, so they
drive it into town and find a hotel. James heard the girls fighting in their room. Terri
came to his room, acts really flirty, and suggests they take a walk. She gave him a hug
and flirts like crazy with him, but when he tried to kissing her, she pulled back and said
that she wouldn't do that to her friend. They heard noises in the woods, they though it
was animals, and walk back to the hotel. Christina showed up the next morning to tell
him that Terri disappeared. She left the room the night before and never came back.
James doesn't tell her that he saw Terri the night before, but he suggests that she took
off on her own. Christina said its possible because Terri didn't sleep in her bed or take
her bags. They discover that the car is gone, but Christina has the only keys. He finally
suggests they call the police, but she refuses to call anyone for help. They decided to
walk into town, have some breakfast, and hitchhike. Instead, James tells her about
seeing Terri, and she immediately accused him of killing her. Just as she calms down,
they heard a gunshot and see a bullet fly through the air. No worries though, because
it's just two random hunters firing way too close to the road. They walked on a little
further until a man picked them up. He had them put their stuff in the trunk, introduced
himself as Art, and made some small talk. After awhile, Christina realized that they're
heading south instead of north, and Art revealed that he was the man in the blue car.
Art took them into a cabin in the woods. James tried to attack him, but the guy kneed
him in the stomach and dropped him. Christina then offered him money, and it turned
out that she stole the cash from Paul. Art took the money, but he still won't let them go.
He then revealed that he's the son of the older guy from the news reports. James just
seems confused, but Christina started screaming. It turned out that Art was on his way
to visit his dad and saw the girls pushed his body out of the car before taking off with it.
He announced that he took care of Terri and how has to get rid of them too. Apparently,
he felt the need to kill James even though he didn't do anything because he pulls out a
gun. Christina told him that she dumped his dad's car and offers to take him to it, but Art
doesn't care. Art directs them out of the cabin and to a pond, which is randomly stocked
with piranhas that his friend raised. He tells them all about how Terri died a gruesome
death when the fish attacked. When neither wants to listen to him, he pushes Christina
into the water. Unfortunately, she hit the ground, and he fell into the water himself. This
should be the end, but she decided to make James jump in the pond rather than risk
him telling the police what she did. She pointed a gun at him, and Terri came out of
nowhere, covered in blood and pissed off. The two girls fought, Christina threw her over
the cliff in the water, and pointed the gun at James again. Just as she starts to fire, Terri
grabs her ankle and throws her into the water. He helped her up; they took Art's car,
and headed to the hospital. After talking to the police, James stopped to see Terri
before leaving town. It turned out that Terri wanted to tell the police what happened, and
all their fights were about whether to talk to the cops or not. James was traumatized of
what just happened, He Hitchhike back to Key West and gone back home.
The author was creative for bringing in different characters in this novel with their
own problem and different characteristics. James was the first one; he was having a
hard time living in Key West. Then he met these two girls who were on a run for killing
an old man, that James did not know nothing about until Art came in the story. Art was
after the two girls that killed his father, which happened to be with James when he
finally caught up with them. Terri disappeared before James even knew whats going on
with this Art guy. He and Christina were captured by Art and were taken into a cabin in
the wilderness, no one around for miles and miles. Art told both James and Christina
that he had taken care of Terri earlier that morning, and thats why she disappeared. Art
was on a mission for a revenge for what these girls did to his father, even James that
just happened to be there will be dead as well. Art then took James and Christina to a
cliff overseeing a pond that was full of piranhas. That was the death trap they both
thought. Art was did not waste time and told Christina she was the first one to jump. As
he pushes her at the edge of the cliff, she knelt down and Art went for a crazy swim in
the pond full of piranhas. This was not how the problem was resolved. After hearing
what Art have said about, he had taken care of Terri earlier that day. James and
Christina never thought of seeing her again, but thats how the author kept things very
interesting. Terri was last person on Earth James would think of helping him after Art
had jumped accidentally and Christina having a gun pointed at him, ordering him to
jump. Terri appeared and fought Christina till she fell all the way down to the pond and
also was eaten by the piranhas. I personally agree on how the author made a conflict
with a crazy ending to resolve it.
In our everyday life, we get acquainted with many other people. Most of them
have good intensions and some of them, well well never know. We just need to be
cautious of how we take offers and approach other peoples help. This novel made it
clear that we can get our life endangered by having a little too much trust on strangers.
The two girls took James with them in a roller coaster ride of his that he did not expect
at all. All he thought about was how lucky he was to be with two girls that are willing to
give him a car ride for as far as they could go, but he never knew what kind of trouble
they were in and he got caught in the middle of crazy situations and almost lost his life.
Therefore, be very careful of who shall we trust in our life, with our life. The author
achieved to send a good message to the reader, first was, never bring a stranger that
you know nothing about to your family/relatives house. James did bring the two girls.
His cousin lost his wallet full of money. We cannot trust someone we dont know to be
around our properties inside our house. The author was successful for delivering a good
story thriller with a relationship to what can happen in real life as well.

I recommend this book to anyone that loves mystery or scary stories. In the
beginning James always hear to himself James dont hurt me, please dont. I though
James killed someone in Key West thats why he was leaving town. As Christina and
Terri are driving down the street Christina says, " 'Hey, look at the hitchhiker, he's cute,
looks like a killer.' Terri said, 'Christina--I don't like this.' 'What could happen?' "Christina
responds. Another, reason why I recommend this book, because it tells that you should
never get in car with a stranger. At the beginning Terri tried to tell him it was a mistake.
"That's why I was so cruel to you when we first met, I was trying to warn that you got
yourself into trouble with us." In conclusion, if you like reading mystery books or a scary
story for a sleepover I recommend that you read this book. It is full of suspense!

Submitted by:
Romm Lu
Submitted to:
Prof. M.J Olequino