Monday, October 5, 2015

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke Review

Title: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys
Editor: April Genevieve Tucholke
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Anthology/Short Story Collection
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

Am I the only one who's incredibly excited for Halloween? No? Yeah, I figured as much. During the month of October, probably more than any other month of the year, I crave scary books, in order to get into the creepy mood. And I'm sure I'm not the only one, either. I love Halloween reads. It just prepares me for one of my favorite holidays. And if any of you are looking for a great Halloween read, pick this book up. Run to your local library or bookstore and purchase this book. This has got to be one of my favorite short story collections, ever. Hands down. Bar none. There wasn't one I didn't enjoy! I promise you, you won't regret it, because this was my face after reading this amazing collection of gory, creepy, spooky tales:

Because I like to be incredibly thorough, I really like giving the whole book a rating, and then each story individually, so I'll stop talking and get to the review already. (Lol.) Also, the theme is stories inspired by various horror movies, and novels. Okay, for real this time, here we go:

The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma: 5 out of 5 stars. Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror film, The Birds, and Rear Window. I loved this story, told with Suma's signature, sleepy, dark flair, flirting with the line between real and imagined events. A group of friends sees that a girl has moved in with their creepy, lecherous neighbor, and end up drawn into a grisly murder--wonderful!

In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan: 5 out of 5 stars. This story was inspired by one of my very favorites--Alice in Wonderland, of course! This story has got to be one of the most gory of the collection. A forest, ruled by the elusive and frightening March Hare, is frequented often by a young woman named Cassie. I liked this story, not just because it went back and forth, because it had the same dark playfulness of the original.

Emmeline by Cat Winters: 4 out of 5 stars. Inspired by an old vampire horror movie. This one was a little hard to follow, but it was highly enjoyable nonetheless. A young woman named Emmeline lures a young soldier up to her ruined bedroom, where he nearly meets his death. I loved the dark, Gothic feel of it, as well as the tones alluding to what--and who--the monster really was. Really enjoyable and dark!

Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo: 3.5 out of 5 Stars. Inspired by Frances Farmer by Nirvana. A mother and daughter, Kara and Jaycee, reunite after Jaycee's court-mandated stint in rehab. It was really creepy, genuinely so, and I liked the way that they incorporated Hollywood into the horror. The ending was amazing, but I wish Bardugo had been more clear in what exactly the monster was. (Perhaps that only added to the terror?)

Hide and Seek by Megan Shepherd: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Inspired by The Crow and Final Destination. Expanding on a character in local folklore, this tale tells of Crow Collum, and the girl who beats him at a game of hide and seek. I really liked this one, its gore factor, the way the author incorporated lore I was unfamiliar with, and of course, its unlikely heroine. Wonderfully told!

The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige: 4 out of 5 stars. Inspired by The Omen and Frankenstein. This story was highly enjoyable. Marnie, the resident misfit, begins experiencing strange things happening at her school.. She's suddenly able to control things with her mind, and when she meets the hottie of her dreams, she discovers that it might not be so bad to be a monster.. Seriously spooky! Loved it, despite it being a little confusing.

The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke: 5 out of 5 stars. Inspired by I Know What You Did Last Summer and Carrie. This is quite possibly my favorite story of the whole collection. I really loved this story. It was creepy and oddly tender, full of guilt and what it means to really be yourself. Theo and his friends, all drunk, end up hitting a classmate one rainy fall night, and as a result, all end up with their dreams shattered, and Theo himself goes mad. So amazing!

Fat Girl with a Knife by Jonathan Maberry: 4 out of 5 stars. Inspired by Zombieland and Night of the Living Dead. This story was frightening, but it was also quite humorous, in a black kind of way, if you're into that kind of thing. What would I expect from the King of Zombie fiction himself? Dahlia is a girl that gets bullied and picked on, who doesn't take crap from anyone. She's having a pretty crappy day already, when, you guessed it! Zombies begin to eat her classmates! Delightfully funny and really relatable.

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff: 5 out of 5 stars. Inspired by the film Psycho and Mudvayne's 'Nothing to Gein'. 5 out of 5 stars. I'll be honest: This book scared the pants off of me. Straight off. A boy named Justin longs to meet his true love, a girl he met online, and ends up with his dream coming true. But, be careful what you wish for.. (Even though I kind of saw what it was inspired by, it was still terrifying. Jay Kristoff, why haven't you written any horror novels?!)

M by Stefan Bachmann: 3 out of 5 stars. Inspired by the film M and the TV series Upstairs Downstairs. This story was confusing. The blind main character, Misha, for whom the story is named, struggles to solve a murder in her mistress's crowded house. I really liked the Gothic and historical themes of this story, but it was slightly hard to follow. Nonetheless, the ending made up for it.

The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu: Inspired by the films What Lies Beneath and Los Ojos de Julia: 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked this story because it contained supernatural elements, mixed with good old psychological thrills and terrors. It was a really skillful blend of both, resulting in an unearthly and terrifying tale. Richard has his whole life ahead of him, when he finds his closet to be haunted, and goes mad. Loved the way the terror just escalated as the story went on.

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman: Inspired by the film Kuroneko. 5 out of 5 stars. Told with the rhythm of a folk or fairy tale, this story was supernaturally scary. Nara, a young woman, and Mowich, a young hunter, meet through less than savory circumstances, and he and his friends end up paying with their lives. Loved the lore in this story, as well as the characters and pacing.

Stitches by A.G. Howard: Inspired by Frankenstein. 5 out of 5 stars. Yet another contender for my favorite story of the volume, this story was incredibly creepy. Born to a drunk father, Sage Adams is not a typical young woman. And when her father comes to her with a gigantic check in exchange for various parts of his body for an experiment, she steps up to the plate to make him whole again, and she just might find love along the way.. Gory and creepy, but tender--I loved the ending!

On the 1-5 by Kendare Blake: 4 out of 5 stars. Inspired by the films The Hitcher and Death Proof. I was very excited for this story--Blake is one of my favorite horror novelists. But I felt a little let down. It was gory, and scary, as per Blake's M.O., but the monster aspect was confusing and kind of hard to follow. The bottom line: A dark, creepy, and gory set of tales perfect for preparing for Halloween, I loved this collection--amazing! Next on deck: The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn!

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