Here I am again with another so bad it’s good adult read from R.L. Stine. I’ve actually read quite a few of his YA books but so far, besides this one that I’m about to review, I’ve only reviewed two, Bitten: Dangerous Girls and The Taste of Night. This book is The Sitter. If you have ever been a fan of R.L. Stine you will know that he has written stories based around baby sitters A LOT. This storyline is pretty similar to others he’s written but since it’s targeted at adults there’s some random cursing, partying and mild sex scenes. I’ll let you read the synopsis and then get into my thoughts. There will be mild spoilers.
Ellie Saks is dying to escape the city. She’s sick of dead-end jobs, her mother’s disapproval, her loser ex-boyfriend, Clay, who won’t take a hint, and the memories of a terrible incident that occurred years ago. When her best friend suggests a summer in the Hamptons, full of glitzy parties, cool cocktails, and hot dates, Ellie’s on the first Jitney out. To fund all this glamour, Ellie takes a job as a nanny.
From the outside, the family’s beachfront home is perfect. But then Ellie meets four-year-old Brandon, who hasn’t spoken for months. The boy’s icy stare and demonic laughter make clear to Ellie that he is troubled, haunted by something too horrible for words.
She begins to receive threatening messages and disturbing gifts. But it’s not until she barely escapes a harrowing experience that she realizes her life may depend on figuring out who’s behind it: Clay? Brandon? And why? And every once in a while, in a crowd, she sees a face she hasn’t seen in seven years—the face of a boy who died long ago. It would seem that Ellie’s summer of fun has turned into a summer of horror—one she’ll never forget . . . if she survives it at all.
I put this book down after the first chapter with no intention of finishing it. It was so stupidly cringy. A big problem I have with R.L. Stine’s adult fiction is that it’s written on a Goosebumps reading level. The descriptions used, the way the end of each chapter leaves you in “suspense” and just the general feel is pure Goosebumps. However, I was bored and R.L. Stine is one of those authors I generally give a pass because of nostalgia so I decided to finish reading it.
It actually did get better after the first few chapters. You know that Ellie has some major issues but it’s not revealed why until later in the book. As a teenager her boyfriend was killed in a car wreck when she grabbed the steering wheel and of course, this really messed with her mind. I liked all of that. What I didn’t like is the “twist” at the end. As with most of Stine’s books, it’s like he has these great ideas and then they just kind of fizzle out. The way the book ended is so stereotypical for his books. He also tried to cram too many storylines into one book and it just made all of them bad. There was a supernatural aspect, some mystery and typical horror tropes. I just would have liked to see something different and I really feel this lacks in creativity.
So, do I recommend you read this? Yes and no. If you’re like me and grew up reading Stine’s books and you’re just wanting a mild horror story then I don’t think you would hate this. It did have it’s entertaining moments and at some points I really was in suspense. However, if you’re wanting an actual adult horror story then stay far, far away from this book. I probably will continue to read his books. Again, they have a nostalgic feel for me and they’re just quick, fun reads. I’d love to know if you’ve read any of Stine’s adult books or were a fan of him growing up! Thanks for reading and have a great day!