Review: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys Anthology

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on 8 April, 2016 | 0 Comments



Review: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys AnthologySlasher Girls and Monster Boys by A.G. Howard, April Genevieve Tucholke, Carrie Ryan, Cat Winters, Danielle Page, Jay Kristoff, Jonathan Maberry, Kendare Blake, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, McCormick Templeman, Megan Shepherd, Nova Ren Suma, Stefan Bachmann
Genre: Horror, Young Adult
Published by Dial (8.18.2015)
Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: I own it


4 Stars

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror 

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. 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 bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

My Review

This was my first experience reading an anthology all the way through. I’ve only ever picked up one other anthology before, and I think I flipped through and read the one story I wanted to read, ha. But it was pretty good! There were a few stories I loved and a few stories I didn’t like at all, so it evened out. I had trouble connecting to most of the stories due to the short length of them. That’s really my main complaint about this anthology. Other than that, I enjoyed it! I found myself looking forward to the next story each time I finished one. I liked that I never really knew what to expect. Most of them were pretty twisted, which I definitely love!

Favorite stories: Sleepless by Jay Kristoff, Stitches by A.G. Howard

The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma

1 half heartbeats

This story wasn’t really my thing. I found the ending to be pretty freaking weird, which I usually like, but this one just didn’t do it for me. My main complaint is that the story was really boring until the end. Which is pretty bad, considering it’s only like 27 pages long. I wasn’t invested in any way, and I couldn’t connect to the story at all. I didn’t really care for Suma’s writing style to be honest.

Overall Assessment

Premise: 3/5
Writing Style: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 1/5
Feels: 0/5

In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan

3 half heartbeats

Not all monsters are filled with darkness.

This one was like a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland! I loved how gruesome it was. That was definitely the selling point of this novella. My main complaint, though, is that I didn’t care. Cassidy didn’t have much of a personality. The characters were just there. The fact that it’s creepy and totally twisted was what held my interest. I liked that it’s told in a series of flashbacks, so you don’t get the whole story at once. The little snippets create curiosity. The tea party was macabre and a little bit disturbing, which I definitely liked!

Overall Assessment

Premise: 4.5/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 1/5

Emmeline by Cat Winters

3 heartbeats

Hmm, this one was…interesting? I don’t really know what else to say about it. Again, I couldn’t connect to the characters, or the story. Emmeline didn’t have any emotional reactions. It was just telling. Which made it feel really detached. Maybe it’s because it’s a novella? I don’t read many, so I’m wondering if the fact that I can’t connect to these stories is just because they’re so short. I liked the idea behind this one, though.

Overall Assessment

Premise: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 3.5/5
Feels: 1/5

Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo

2 heartbeats

Um. What did I just read? I don’t even know. The ending was so strange that I don’t even know what the hell happened. View Spoiler » Wtf…

The pacing of this one was pretty slow, despite the fact that it’s only about 34 pages long. Most of the story is about the celebrity life of paparazzi that Jaycee and Kara live. Booorrrriiiiing. That’s not my thing – to read about the life of celebrities – so automatically this one was a turn off for me. The little snippets of weirdness kept me interested, but I don’t even know what was going on with that ending.

Overall Assessment

Premise: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Characters: /5
Pace: 2/5
Feels: 1/5

Hide-and-Seek by Megan Shepherd

4 half heartbeats

This one was awesome! I figured I would enjoy it because it was Megan Shepherd. It was inspired by The Crow and Final Destination (both movies I love), and it read exactly like a cross between the two. I loved the legend of Crow Cullom (a story within a story!). I loved Crow Cullom, too. I pictured Brandon Lee of course!

I love that it was about cheating death. There was a very strong Final Destination element in the fact that death was coming for Annie from every angle. Falling tree branches, sharp objects, the neighborhood dog – I liked the sense of danger. The ring was awesome too!

The ending was very satisfying. I like how Shepherd wrapped things up. Very clever! I would have loved to see this one expanded into a regular length story.

Overall Assessment

Premise: 5/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 4.5/5
Feels: 3/5

The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige

4 heartbeats

I’ve never read anything by Danielle Paige before, but I think after this one I would! It was pretty good. I enjoyed Paige’s writing style, it was engaging. Even though it was routine high school happenings in the beginning, it held my interest. I liked Marnie a lot! I know what it’s like to be bullied in high school, to be the “loser” that people make fun of.

It was a little instalove-y because Damien is just suddenly interested in Marnie – View Spoiler » -but with the short length, it was understandable.

View Spoiler »

The snippets of supernatural happenings mixed in with the every day stuff kept this story going. It felt a lot like Mara Dyer – Damien reminded me a lot of Noah (in the beginning at least), so I would definitely recommend this novella for fans of that series!

Overall Assessment

Premise: 4/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 3.5/5

The Flicker, the Fingers, the Beat, the Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke

2 half heartbeats

Hmm, not really sure how I feel about this one. It was messed up, sure, but there were things that bothered me. It was freaking weird that Theo was messing around with Canary while he had a girlfriend. And that his girlfriend knew about it, and didn’t leave him. Also, that he apparently had feelings for Canary, but let his girlfriend do something terrible to her. Why didn’t he leave Scout? He didn’t seem to feel anything for her. He seemed to only be with her because she was beautiful.

The ending felt very rushed. I would have liked to see more of the comeuppance that the characters received, but instead there was too much focus on what the characters were doing on their trip and the conversation they were having. The ending was the saving point of this book, because that’s when things finally happened.

Overall Assessment

Premise: 3/5
Writing Style: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 3/5
Feels: 1/5

Fat Girl With a Knife by Jonathan Maberry

1 heartbeat

I wasn’t even sure I wanted to read a story titled “fat girl with a knife.” I hated Rot & Ruin so much that I DNFed it, so I was skeptical about going into this one. And I didn’t care much for it at all. Just like with Rot & Ruin, I didn’t like Maberry’s writing style. It seriously grated on my nerves and I didn’t care for the tone of it. I almost skipped it altogether, but since it’s short anyway I stuck it through.

It was inspired by Zombieland, but it wasn’t funny like that movie. It was just annoying. The story wasn’t anything special, either – just the start of your run-of-the-mill zombie story.

Overall Assessment

Premise: 2.5/5
Writing Style: 1/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 3/5
Feels: 0/5

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff

5 heartbeats

I freaking love Jay Kristoff, he’s brilliant!! Stormdancer is my favorite series, so I was really excited to read this one. I was not disappointed!

It’s hard to talk about this story without giving anything away. But it was awesome! In the beginning it just seems like an online romance between a normal guy and girl. But there’s so much more than meets the eye.

View Spoiler » Jay is amazing at shock and awe, and he nailed it in this short story!

Overall Assessment

Premise: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 4/5

M by Stefan Bachmann

2 heartbeats

I don’t even know what to say or how to review this one. It didn’t do anything for me. It seemed to drag on and then BAM! just like that, it was over. The ending was…weird. Unsatisfying somehow. View Spoiler »

Overall Assessment

Premise: 2/5
Writing Style: 2.5/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 3/5
Feels: 0/5

The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu

4 heartbeats

Nice little revenge ghost story!! The girl was totally creepy, too. It’s based on What Lies Beneath (which I saw, but can’t remember), but it has a bit of a Shutter feel to it as well. It moves very fast due to the length, but the pacing was just right for the story. Creepy things happen, there’s some flashbacks, and then finally you get the real story. View Spoiler »

This definitely had a very cinematic feel to it!

Overall Assessment

Premise: 4.5/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 2/5

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman

4 half heartbeats

Man, that should have been a full novel! Such a fabulous premise! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. I loved the idea behind it; the shaman, the shadows, and the very ritualistic feel it had. I liked the ending, too! Very well done. View Spoiler »

I was really impressed with Templeman’s writing style and the world she created. Although, I would like to know who the Ones Who Stand Still are. I would love to have a background story!

Overall Assessment

Premise: 5/5
Writing Style: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 4/5

Stitches by A.G. Howard

5 heartbeats

How deliciously macabre this story was! I had been looking forward to this one, because I looooved Splintered. And I knew that Anita could pull of a dark story beautifully, because she absolutely rocks at telling twisted tales. And my, how twisted this was. It was pretty gruesome and disturbing. I loved it!! I love twisted stories like that. Despite being so short, it captured my attention and pulled me in. It had me engrossed, wide-eyed, devouring the pages to see what would happen next. I loved the idea of it, and the disturbing revelations that this story brought. Right on, Anita, right on!!!

View Spoiler »

Overall Assessment

Premise: 5/5
Writing Style: 4.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 4.5/5

On the I-5 by Kendare Blake

3 heartbeats

Well that was….different? Not necessarily in a bad way. I did like the prose a lot, and the way Blake captured the southern drawl so well through EmmaRae. I like that it was twisted, but it was pretty weird. I mostly enjoyed it, but it didn’t wow me. Definitely an interesting concept, though!

Overall Assessment

Premise: 4/5
Writing Style: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 1/5

Jessi (Geo)

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