Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun (Monster High #2) by Gitty Daneshvari
"Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun" picks up after the "Scaris: City of Frights" movie. As a result, some character development has happened off-page. During their stay in Scaris, Rochelle became friends with Clawdeen, Frankie, and Draculaura. This volume also introduces Skelita Calaveras and Jinafire Long, who joined the cast (and the toy line) in the "Scaris" movie.
The Ghouls start the new term and are horrified to discover that no one seems to care that their minds had been taken over by Miss Flapper. As the term progresses, disturbing things start happening. First it is the white cats. Monsters have the same superstition about white cats as the normies have about black ones (says the normie book reviewer who owns three nearly entirely black cats). Then the Dolls of Doom start appearing. Notes are tied to the cats and the dolls as well as being written on the walls of the school, all warning that "they" are coming. And all throughout, there are the spider webs -- curtains and drapes, of spider webs. Rochelle even awakens in a cocoon of spider webs at one point.
The Ghouls get inducted into the Frightengales, which is a social and service organization for the ghouls of Monster High. Most of the female characters of the web and doll series are members of the Frightengales. Each Frightengale has to do a service project. Rochelle tries to teach hygiene and social skills to the trolls, Robecca gives Skultimate Roller Maze lessons, and Venus and Lagoona team up to build a compost pile in an empty field behind the school. Cleo and Toralei end up being paired off to plan the Hex Factor talent show.
Meanwhile, Miss Flapper continues to act in a way that the Ghouls find suspicious. She has moved into the dorms, in a room just next door to the Ghouls. On one occasion, the Ghouls hear footsteps walk across the ceiling above their room and then hear part of a conversation between Miss Flapper and someone unidentifiable. Miss Flapper also cozies up to Skelita and Jinafire, who just happen to be the only current students who were not at Monster High during the events of "Ghoulfriends Forever" and thus are the only ones unaware of the Whisper when Miss Flapper took over the minds of the students.
We also find out more about Robecca's history. Her father was seeking a way to extend human life by adding robotic parts to them. He disappeared in the catacombs beneath Monster High and hasn't been heard from since.
I am still enjoying this series, though this book is a pretty typical middle-of-a-trilogy installment. It does not so much contain an independent story as it serves to link the first and third books. We have references to the events of the first book, including the phone call from Bitaly, and, while some of the questions in "Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun" are answered, nothing is truly resolved. Instead, the book ends on yet another cliffhanger.
As something of a language geek and a student of Mandarin, I enjoyed the bits of "Fanghaiese" (which is Mandarin, just as "Scarisian" is French and "Bitalian" is Italian) thrown into the book during Jinafire's dialogue. Of course, there is a true Shanghainese language, which is a dialect of Wu Chinese. Wu has many fewer native speakers, and far fewer overall speakers, than Mandarin, so even if Daneshvari knew about Shanghainese, I think that Mandarin was probably a better choice.