Book Review: A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting by Joe Ballarini

32319716Title: A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting
Author: Joe Ballarini
Kelly Ferguson is desperate to spend her summer at the swanky Camp Miskatonic.  There’s only one problem.  Kelly can’t ask her parents for the required $4000 to spend her summer in luxury.  Kelly sets out on a mission to earn the money herself and what’s the best option for earning big bucks fast?  Babysitting, of course.  Kelly is sure babysitting is going to be an easy peasy gig but during her first night on the job Kelly’s goes missing.  He was taken by a league of monsters that haunt the closets and under the bed of children.  To save her charge and her summer plans Kelly must join up with the sacred order of the babysitters to save him and maybe the world.

As a former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fan girl I was excited to read “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting”.  The book’s description reads like a cross between The Babysitter’s Club and Buffy and, I will admit, it was good and at times entertaining, but it didn’t quite live up to it’s promise. The cast of characters are iffy with some of them such as Awesome Babysitter Warrior Liz being a great girl-power character and other, like our heroine Kelly, being so under developed that that reader never really begins root for them.  The plot is similar with its unevenness.  There are several actions scenes that are described in a great technicolor way that came to life but other parts feel very slow and leave something lacking. All of that may be forgiven if the narrative voice sounded genuine however our middle school narrator sounded more scripted than real.

Bottom-line: “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting” is a clever idea with some great moments and characters but the book as a whole just didn’t quite make it to great.

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