Books · Reviews

Halloween Review – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys (Spoiler-Free)

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Hey everyone! You’re just in time for another Halloween Review before Halloween ๐Ÿ˜€

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.

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*the following are not by order of appearance*

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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.


candy corns 2.png

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.


candy corns 2-5

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.


2 candy corns 3

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 clichรฉd. 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.


2 candy corns 3-5

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.


2 candy corns 4

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!


candy corns rating 4-5

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.


candy corns rating 5

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 clichรฉd. 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!

2 candy corns 3-5

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~ Check out my previous Halloween Reviews ~

Thank you so much for reading and until next time!

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I hope you enjoyed my fifth Halloween Review! Have you read Slasher Girls & Monster Boys? Please let me know your thoughts below ๏ฝก^โ€ฟ^ ๏ฝก

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57 thoughts on “Halloween Review – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys (Spoiler-Free)

  1. Hmmm…when I saw the title for this one, it really interested me. But after reading this, and seeing most of the stories are a bit inconsistent, I’m going to pass on it, at least for now. With my to read list being as big as it currently is, I have a couple of books that are waiting for me that are much better than this one ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  2. Oh I’m sorry this one was a little disappointing for you Sophie. With anthologies I find most of them can be hit and miss, I guess you’ve just gotta hope more of the stories are hits than misses. ๐Ÿ™‚ I read Slasher Girls and Monster Boys a few years ago now so I can’t remember all the stories but I do remember really enjoying the one Carrie Ryan wrote (possibly because I am a massive fan of Alice in Wonderland) and that the last three, by Bardugo, Kristoff and Howard, were the best to end the book on.
    Great reviews, and I hope the next book you pick up is a better read for you than this one was. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s all right… I was a bit too enthusiastic about it, so it was bound to be disappointing ^^
      Carrie Ryan’s was very good, too, but I absolutely agree, those last three totally stole the show for me! They were absolutely awesome. Too bad some of the others didn’t even come close :/
      Thank you so much, Beth! โค I hope so too ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha yup, better than nothing ๐Ÿ˜› I’ll keep an eye out for these authors, nevertheless. You never know, they might have something that interests me more or they might improve in the future and come up with a really awesome novel. (Wishful thinking, but one can dream right? xD)

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  3. I find that’s the issue with anthologies with stories from multiple authors; you get some great stories thrown in with some not-so-great ones. It can sometimes put you off continuing with the rest of the book! I’m glad that not all of them were bad, though ๐Ÿ™‚ I might have to check this out!

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    1. Indeed. However, I was hoping the overall quality of each story would match which wasn’t the case. Of course, we all have different tastes so it makes sense to include different sorts of stories, something for everyone. Yet at the same time it’s a bit disgruntling to read this in almost one sitting as it offers such mixed experience.
      It didn’t put me off from reading the rest because I now knew I could either get a positive or negative surprise with the following stories, so it was still engaging ๐Ÿ™‚
      I hope you do enjoy it, if you do, Jazz! I think generally, from what I’ve seen, people tend to agree the last titles (Verse Chorus Verse, Sleepless and Stitches) are the best ones, and also In the Forest Dark and Deep. Opinions diverge with the rest hahaha

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  4. Thank you for reviewing this Sophie! I’ve really wanted to read it as I’m a fan of April Genevieve Tucholke. Now that I know there are some gems in there, I will definitely pick this up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. MEH! ๐Ÿ˜

    I AM DISAPPOINTED. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

    The cover seemed REALLLYYYYY interesting and since I like anthologies, I WAS VERY EXCITED TOO when I opened your email and RUSHED TO READ THE WHOLE OF IT. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But DAMN this does NOT sound like something to pick uo when you already got your hands full. ๐Ÿ˜…
    I am sooo sorrry you had a so-so reading experience there, Sophie. I UNDERSTAND! THERE ARE FEE THINGS WORSE THAN A BOOK THAT DOES NOT HOLD YOU CAPTIVE. ๐Ÿ˜ž

    Nevertheless, I LOOOVED your review. โค It’s DETAILED (but in JUST the right amounts) AND it made me repel this book like CRAZY so I guess there is one less burden on my TBR, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    โคโคโคโคโคโค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too!! The cover is absolutely chilling, but very misleading I think… Only, like, three or four of these short stories were totally creepy. The rest was just okay.
      Hahaha thank you so much, Rain! I’m glad you enjoyed the review ๐Ÿ™‚ I tried to express my thoughts without spoiling anyone, which is super hard! Still, I think I was successful.
      One less burden indeed! But I’m sure you’ll find a replacement soon enough ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Thanks so much, hon โค โค โค

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  6. I haven’t heard of this “anthology of scary short stories” before.. I don’t think I ever read one.. I’m glad to learn something new from your page ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad some stories were better reads for you than others ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Well, glad to hear it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s as good time as any to start reading anthologies hahaha They are quite fun and interesting, even if they may not offer the absolute best experience because of how diverse and inconsistent they are.
      Still, there might be some that will blow you away!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh wow this review is so so great!! I am actually a bit sad that October is over because that means no more Halloween Reviews and yours were amazinggg ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . I never knew this was an anthology I just tought it was a straight up book ๐Ÿ˜‚?? I’ve been living a lie?? Goodreads is deceiving.
    Also WAIT LEIGH BARDUGO IS IN THIS?? QUEEN LEIGH?? how did i not knooowwww.
    Meh books are the worst really. I really appreciate that you wrote in-depth reviews for all the stories. You worded your thoughts so well as always โค!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so much, Iona! You’re lovely โค โค
      Hmm yeah that makes me a bit sad too, to be honest… Not just the fact that I won't be writing any more Halloween reviews but the fact that Halloween is gone T_T
      Hahaha I'm sure you're not alone! However, GR does mention in the summary that it's a collection of short stories, at least now. Maybe they changed it?
      YES QUEEN BARDUGO IS IN THA HOUSEEE!! I loved her contribution, I just felt it needed a lil' bit more to make it a 5-star read.
      Thank you! โค โค Argh, you're making me blush now ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I thought it would be more accurate to review each story individually, especially since they're so different. That way, people will know what to expect from them, not just from the book itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have this book on my bookshelf and I really should give it a try one of these days. I am glad that there were a few enjoyable stories in it. That always seems to be the case with anthologies. Not all of the stories are winners, but there will be a few that make it worth your time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I don’t read that many anthologies (I think this one might actually have been my first, at least, with different authors) so I guess I was expecting something a bit different.
      Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and I hope you do too once you pick it up ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you for reading! โค

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  9. Seems like each short story only got better as you progressed through it hahah I’ve heard about this anthology before and thought the idea was great. It intrigued me most because of the couple of famous authors being part of the anthology (looks at Marie Lu and Leigh Bardugo). Is there a reason why some of these stories don’t have any candy corns by the way? Hahahah Anyways, great reviews, Sophie!

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    1. Hahaha, these are actually not in the order they appeared in the book. I just clumped them together by rating so there wouldn’t be too many candy corn ratings filling up the page and being annoying ๐Ÿ˜‚
      If they had been, then I think I would have been happier because my experience would have gradually gotten better. Instead, it was a bit up-and-down…
      That’s why some stories don’t have ratings beneath them, they all share the same rating. I did some adjustments so I hope it’s a bit clearer now! Thanks for pointing it out, Lashaan ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes, an outside perspective is needed!
      And yeah, that’s what immediately drew me to it: Bardugo, especially, was in this! So it had to be good! And indeed, I felt the ones written by the most hyped up authors (generally speaking) were the best ones.
      Thank you so much! ^_^

      Like

  10. I read this book last year and I liked a lot the idea, and I remember that I liked some of the stories in it, but I can’t remember what I liked and what not. My memory isn’t always the best! Anyway, I totally agree with your final thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the idea behind it, I think, was super cool! Its execution, well, not so much. It wasn’t a terrible book, at all, it just wasn’t as awesome as I was hoping.
      Hahaha mine is not the best, either! In a way, writing reviews helps a lot with that ๐Ÿ™‚ What do you think?
      Great to hear it, Susy! ^^

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  11. Gosh this sounds like such a mixed bag! I really am not a fan of too much exposition in scary stories, so I get why you weren’t keen on the first one. Lu’s, Blake’s, Bardugo’s and Kristoffs all sound amazing (which shouldn’t be surprising since I like all of those authors ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) It’s just a shame that the collection wasn’t super consistent. It’s a shame this didn’t live upto your expectations, but great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was!!
      That one just felt way too forced, you know? Like you HAD to sympathize with this girl and her situation, but at the same time, it didn’t really provide me with any reasons why I should? It just kept on going on about her weight and what she went through because of it (oh, and also how she didn’t let anyone put her down – which is awesome! But it didn’t really do anything for me, personally, probably because of the way it was written). Not to mention the actual plot might take up 20% of this book. No kidding.
      I wasn’t all that surprised either, because they are so effin famous hahaha But I tried to stay unbiased, nonetheless, and I think the fact they were so well-known didn’t really affect my judgement. Their talent is just undeniable.
      Yeah, as a whole it was fine, just not amazing… I would have kept just a few of them and tossed the rest.
      Thank you so much!! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, absolutely! They were quite fun to read ^^
      Oh thank you so much, Dani, you’re so sweet โค โค This was one of my first and I agree, perfect for that kind of thing ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you for your comment and I'm so sorry for only replying now but I went on hiatus for the whole of November!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow there were definitely some big name authors contributing to this anthology (a lot of YA ones it looks like?) โ€“ interestingly the stories by authors whose names I recognised were almost exclusively the ones you gave 4.5 and 5 stars to… which I guess suggests they are popular for a reason, if their writing stood out in this collection too! Either that or we share a similar taste in authors/styles… or it’s just coincidence ๐Ÿ™‚ A shame that on the whole it wasn’t an excellent anthology โ€“ though some of those ones at the end sounded chilling and well worth a read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, only YA stories in this anthology ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yeah, I wasn’t surprised I liked them so much seeing as everyone raves about them but from the beginning I tried to keep my expectations as reasonable as possible so as to not let that influence my judgement. I think it worked!
      Oh it’d be awesome if we had the same taste! Maybe we do ^^ I’m actually not familiar with any of the authors here with the exception of Leigh Bardugo so this was my first time reading them! I have to say I liked them quite a lot and will be trying some more of their work soon.
      I think as a whole it lacked balance but if you cherry-pick a few you’ll end up with quite the awesome batch! I hope you enjoy this one if you do read it, Nicola โค

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hm, the title of the anthology interested me, but after reading your mini-reviews for each of them, I think I might pass on this one. Sounds a bit too…inconsistent? Or imbalanced? Some are good, some bad. But it sounds like too many of them are underwhelming. I’d like to avoid underwhelming things as much as possible LOL. Great reviews, Sophie! Sorry some of the stories weren’t all that up to par! But glad there were some that you enjoyed more than the others! Hope your next read is much much better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, definitely. I would still give a few of these a try and totally ignore the others hahaha They’re really, really good! I think you’d like them, Azia ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much, hon! โค And that's all right, it was bound to happen, I guess. But so far so good, and onto some Christmas stories ๐Ÿ˜€
      Best of luck with your reading, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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