Hey everyone! You’re just in time for another Halloween Review before Halloween 😀
This one is for Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, which is basically an anthology of scary short stories by some pretty well-known authors. It just felt perfect for this time of year so why not? I gave it a go.
*the following are not by order of appearance*
FAT GIRL WITH A KNIFE by Jonathan Maberry
I didn’t like this one. The whole exposition felt completely unnecessary. In no moment did I feel like learning about this girl and her family and her name and her body (especially her body) and her life was relevant to the plot. Then when the plot was revealed, it was so random and weird. The ending was especially weak.
THE FLICKER, THE FINGERS, THE BEAT, THE SIGH by April Genevieve Tucholke
I didn’t care for this one, either. None of the characters were likable, and even though that was the whole point, it kept me from really feeling involved in the story. The aftermath/epilogue was dumb and the only cool bit was when the story title came into play. Overall, stupid.
M by Stefan Bachmann
This one started really slow and not really that interesting, but it picked up towards the middle. It was spooky, certainly, especially as we’re experiencing it through the eyes of a blind protagonist. A unique perspective. But the mystery itself wasn’t all that engaging.
THE BIRDS OF AZALEA STREET by Nova Ren Suma
The creepy factor in this story is almost wholly psychological. Especially if you’re a girl. It explores our deepest fears of perverts and guys who would try to harm us, and crawls under our skin, tugging at the edges. It succeeded in making me extremely uncomfortable. It wasn’t super scary, but I liked the paranormal vibe.
THE DARK, SCARY PARTS AND ALL by Danielle Paige
This was an interesting take on one of my favorite romance tropes, which always succeeds to make me weak in the knees no matter how clichéd. I didn’t see the twist coming at all, which is surprising seeing how there’s one detail in particular that should have set my Spidey senses on fire. It’s just so cheesy yet I failed to notice it.
IN THE FOREST DARK AND DEEP by Carrie Ryan
This one was definitely creepier than the previous short story (The Birds of Azalea Street). Rawer. It was also a bit more confusing, not as obvious, especially because there were two timelines taking place. I wasn’t expecting the ending at all, either, and was left wondering. Fans of Alice in Wonderland might like this one. Or not. Exactly so.
EMMELINE by Cat Winters
This one was actually really creepy. I was not expecting that! It’s also one of those stories that pulls at my heartstrings, of forbidden love and loss and terrible loneliness. You can’t help but sympathize with the main character, no matter what.
HIDE AND SEEK by Megan Shepherd
I really liked the idea behind this story but thought it needed to become a full novel. It was way too rushed. Nevertheless, the ending surprised me for its cleverness and unexpected turn of events. I really liked that it had never-ending action until the very last sentence and kept me wondering all the time. But yeah, needed to be longer!
THE GIRL WITHOUT A FACE by Marie Lu
Well, this one was certainly a ride. I liked it a lot and felt the ending was very neatly tied up. It was just the right amount of chilling, and really proved a point. It’s one of those stories where you end up rooting for the paranormal to win over.
A GIRL WHO DREAMED OF SNOW by McCormick Templeman
I loved this story. It was full of magic and darkness and Pocahontas feels. It was not a pretty story, mind you, but it felt so meaningful. I enjoy all types of folklore, and this one was no exception. Beautiful and frightening and powerful.
ON THE I-5 by Kendare Blake
This one was also pretty freaky, I have to admit. I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand what was going on until the very end. And then it stopped there. Still, quite well-written and engaging. Plus, the main character is badass!
VERSE CHORUS VERSE by Leigh Bardugo
This short story of Bardugo’s was an absolute creepfest. I’m not used to contemporaries from her, but I wasn’t disappointed. The characters were incredibly fleshed out and I really liked how she mentioned bits from their pasts that, although not being part of the main plot itself, added to the poignant atmosphere.
SLEEPLESS by Jay Kristoff
Wow. This story. Right. Here. Is perfect. I have nothing else to say. You need to read it. Anything else will spoil the experience. My first Kristoff read and I can say that I am hooked. I never guessed it. Ever. Just read it.
STITCHES by A. G. Howard
This was seriously the most blood-curdling story I’ve ever read, and the best one in the whole anthology. It was seriously nauseating and chilled me to the bone. Loved the characters, loved the plot, everything. However, I think it ruined cookies for me. A small price to pay.
Overall, I think I would rate this collection three and a half candy corns. It’s not super consistent, as there are wonderful stories mixed in with some awful ones, and they pretty much all center on a similar subject/theme, thus are not very diverse. Also, because they are loosely based on certain movies/books, some people might find them predictable and even clichéd. I know I did.
I guess I had too high expectations for this one… And was a bit disappointed. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my reading experience for the most part and was glad I picked it up. I just wish it had been scarier!
Thank you so much for reading and until next time!