I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke
Also by this author: Wink Poppy Midnight
Published by Penguin on August 18th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Short Stories, Paranormal
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For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best thriller and horror writers in YA
A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each author draws from a mix of literature, film, television, and music to create something new and fresh and unsettling. Clever readers will love teasing out the references and can satisfy their curiosity at the end of each tale, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From blood horror, to the supernatural, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.
Stefan BachmannLeigh BardugoKendare BlakeA. G. HowardJay KristoffMarie LuJonathan MaberryDanielle PaigeCarrie RyanMegan ShepherdNova Ren SumaMcCormick TemplemanApril Genevieve TucholkeCat Winters
From the Hardcover edition.
If you’re in the market for an anthology that is very even overall without stories that will have you wondering why on Earth they were included along with high caliber stories – you’ll love Slasher Girls & Monster Boys: Stories Selected by April Genevieve Tucholke. This is one of the best anthologies I have read in a long time — and honestly, each day I actually looked forward to reading my daily short story. If you’re looking to start a short story habit – this anthology will get you right on track.
The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma
It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Nova Ren Suma. Her short story The Birds of Azalea Street opens Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, and let’s just say the book is off to a superb start. This story is narrated by a girl named Tasha who lives next door to a man named Leonard who gives her and the other neighborhood girls the creeps. Yet, the girls are told by their parents that they are exaggerating. The girls though, know that there’s a reason they never hear or see birds on their street — because of Leonard and his cruel streak toward the birds. When he comes home with a mysterious woman, the stakes are about to get high. The Birds Of Azalea Street is excellent and works on the levels of great writing, strong characterization, and fodder for discussion about how girls are told to ignore that inner voice that tells them a man is being creepy. I loved it.
In The Forest Dark And Deep by Carrie Ryan
I want to start by letting you all know that there are NO zombies in In The Forest Dark And Deep by Carrie Ryan. I made that assumption when I started this short story and was pleasantly proved wrong. Instead, this is a dual timeline story about a girl named Cassidy at seven and at seventeen. Cassidy lives by the woods and she found this clearing and began to clean it up and have tea parties there. She ends up with an unexpected guest who adds a bit of gore to her life. Overall, this story wasn’t quite as good as The Birds of Azalea Street but I still enjoyed the plotting of the story and the what’s going to happen next anticipation that I felt.
Emmeline by Cat Winters
Set in France during World War One, Slasher Girls & Monster Boys‘s Emmeline by Cat Winters is delightfully atmospheric and creepy. There’s a girl named Emmeline who is hanging around upstairs hoping someone will come talk to her. Finally, an American soldier named Emerson ventures to her room. The two banter and well, things get weird. Basically if you’ve read Cat Winters before, you know her writing is absolutely excellent and this short story is no exception to the rule.
Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo
Clearly, Leigh Bardugo is going to be an asset to any collection of short stories and in Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, this holds true. Bardugo’s story Verse Chorus Verse is about this girl named Jaycee who is extremely famous – think Taylor Swift famous. One day, Jaycee, while drunk and high, hits another person with her car. She is sent to rehab and well, let’s just say this place has a nurse straight out of the cuckoo’s nest, if you know what I am saying. Bardugo’s story is about a stage mom who ignores her instincts to help her daughter and suspsects there just might be something different about her. This story is quite intense and creepy. I would not mind seeing a novel and also, how cool to see Bardugo do something aside from Russian based fantasy. This shores up my faith in her as a writer.
Hide-And-Seek by Megan Shepherd
Megan Shephard’s contribution to Slasher Girls & Monster Boys is Hide-And-Seek, a story about a girl named Annie who encounters death in the form of Crow Cullom and must now fight for her life in a game that she must survive for twenty four hours. With Death as her opponent though, all bets are off. In all, I loved this story. It gave me the heebie jeebies. Also? Characterization was exactly on point. This reminded me that I need to finish reading Shephard’s Madman series ASAP.
The Dark, Scary Parts And All by Danielle Paige
The Dark, Scary Parts And All by Danielle Paige is the sort of short story that I think you will enjoy if you are the sort of person who liked her Oz books. The main character, Marnie, reminds me a little of Amy Gumm (I think that was the main character’s name in Paige’s books). Anyways, so Marnie is this girl who is wicked smart and who is picked on by other students and in particular – their ringleader, Everly who calls her Monster Marnie. One day, the quintessential homecoming King guy, Damien, takes an interest in Marnie because she isn’t as basic as her classmates. Only, Marnie might not want Damien’s attention. In all, an okay story.
The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke
April Genevieve Tucholke’s The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh is the first time I’ve read anything by her. I have to say — I liked the experience. She has a way with words and atmosphere and characterization and melding the three together in fine fashion. Her contribution to Slasher Girls & Monsters Boys is about a group of bright, popular teenagers who go for a celebratory jaunt to Portland. Main character Theo is sober, however, his girlfriend, Scout is not — she’s a bit drunk and not driving so great, but Theo loves the way she drives, so doesn’t say no. Unfortunately, while driving, Scout hits a person by the side of the road – an unpopular girl named Canary thus leading to the downfall of the four teenagers. This story is creepy and just so well written. I was quite the fan.
Fat Girl With A Knife by Jonathan Maberry
Fat Girl With A Knife by Jonathan Maberry is about this girl named Dahlia Allgood who has a beautiful name, but not the looks to match her name. Dahlia, however, has a superb personality and is overall an awesome person. However, she has a penchant for revenge and believes strongly in carrying out the scales of justice. When the story opens, Dahlia has brought her knife to school to slash some tires out of revenge. She has no idea that the world is about to end that day — and that her knife will come in handy. In all, I am not sure how I feel about this story, the pacing was fast and Dahlia embraces her body at the end. However, I still am on the fence about it.
Sleepless by Jay Kristoff
Sleepless by Jay Kristoff starts off being about this boy Jason who lives with his annoying mother and spends much of his time on the internet – especially reddit. Anyways, Jason meets this girl and begins to live for chatting with her. On one rainy night, they decide to finally meet in person. Things take a super interesting and super creepy turn and let me just say I loved how this story ended up. It was AMAZING.
M by Stefan Bachmann
M by Stefan Bachmann is about a girl named Misha who is blind who witnesses a murder – meaning, she is in the room as the murder happens, however, she is unable to identify the assailant. She is an upper class orphan who has been bounced from house to house – yet she feels most comfortable this time around with a servant named Kerstin who will assist Misha in identifying the murderer. In all, a decent story and I liked how it was set in that Downton Abbey era.
The Girl Without A Face by Marie Lu
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys features a contribution from Marie Lu called The Girl Without A Face. It is about this privileged boy named Richard who moves with his parents across town for a reason of SCANDAL. Anyways, Richard moves into this bedroom where the closet just won’t open. And then, to another room in the house. Same thing happens. He ends up being unable to sleep because this girl haunts his dreams and his house — for a reason. This story was intriguing and well paced.
A Girl Who Dreamed Of Snow by McCormick Templeman
A Girl Who Dreamed Of Snow by McCormick Templeman is about this girl who sort of leaves her family when she has a vision for the wild, snowy tundra. She is then hunted by six boys who want to take her back to their home because there’s a disease where girls who don’t have access to grass die – so they can’t keep women alive. Anyways, the girl, she calls out to these ancient creatures. This story is a bit weird compared to the other stories, but definitely not a bad read. It feels a whole lot different than the other stories and that’s okay. Just be prepared when you read it.
Stitches by AG Howard
Yo, this story was gruesome and hard to read but also excellent. So, it’s about this girl named Sage who has a sister named Clover and a younger brother. They also have a dad who has been abusive and heavy into the drink since their mom died one dark and stormy night. One day, their father comes back with an offer – for each limb amputated, a reclusive doctor will give them $10,000 and of course, that limb will be replaced with another in the attempt to cut out the evil. There’s maybe a tiny bit of romance too. In all though, this story is wicked creepy and just so well written. Stitches by AG Howard was one of my favorites in Slasher Girls & Monster Boys even though I was totally cringing every other page.
On The I-5 by Kendare Blake
Kendare Blake’s On The I-5 closes out Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. It is about this fourteen year old girl who is old for her age – EmmaRae – who is eating in a diner and just sort of waiting for the day to pass. She hitches a ride with a monster who is all excited to kill her, but little does he know. There’s a bit more complexity to the story than I am letting on, however, I think you should know that Blake’s story does a really nice job rounding out the anthology is superbly creepy.
Other reviews of Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke:
Lost In Literature – “Just the right amount of creep without the necessary over-the-top horror.”
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