Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
Author(s): Stefan Bachmann, Kendare Blake, Jay Kristoff, Jonathan Maberry, Carrie Ryan, Nova Ren Suma, April Genevieve Tucholke, Leigh Bardugo, A.G. Howard, Marie Lu, Danielle Paige, Megan Shepherd, McCormick Templeman, Cat Winters
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys is a compilation of 14 stories by some of the most well-known young adult authors in the business. This particular collection is full of creepy, scary, bone-chilling, spine-tingling stories, some of which might keep you up late into the night, scared to check under your bed or inside your closet. Each one is inspired by either TV, movies or books, some horror and some not, and gives it a twist. You’re intended to read each story and attempt to guess what they’re reminiscent of, and then you can find out at the end.
1.) The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma
The very first story in this collection was a really good way to set the tone for the entries to follow. It was appropriately creepy and told in just the right way; a story about a perverted old neighbor who takes pictures of young girls and shoots birds in his backyard.
2.) In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan
This story was by far the scariest. It’s quite obvious from the very first pages that the other drew her inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, but it took a very, very dark turn. It was disturbing and twisted and terrifying, and I will be thinking about this short story for a long, long time.
3.) Emmeline by Cat Winters
While some of these stories are intended to scary and induce nightmares, this particular story was sad: a lonely ghost girl who seduces men and likes the cinema. This one wasn’t a favorite of mine, but at least it didn’t make me want to cry like the previous one. Short, sweet, and to the point.
4.) Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo
I was excited to read this one because it was written by the lovely Leigh Bardugo, a favorite YA author of mine. This one was creepy but much more subtle. It was written well, but it was a little underwhelming to me.
5.) Hide-and-Seek by Megan Shepherd
This was a very enjoyable read for me. It was a unique and interesting concept and I feel like it could have possibly served well as a full-length story as well. The main character is murdered by her step-father in the beginning of the story, but she’s given a chance to live if she can win a game of hide-and-seek with death. The ending was very satisfying and justice was served in the end, a very uncommon trait for most horror stories.
6.) The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige
Unfortunately, this was one of my least favorites in this collection. It was kind of creepy, but it felt mostly silly. I wasn’t impressed by this story about the son of Hades.
7.) The Flicker, the Finger, the Beat, the Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke
Another one of my least favorites. It seemed sort of pointless and anti-climactic. It wasn’t scary, there were no explanations, and the characters were all very annoying and problematic. Bleh.
8.) Fat Girl With a Knife by Jonathan Maberry
This was definitely my favorite story in this book; I absolutely loved it. It was the only one of the stories that included humor, and it had zombies, which I also love. Quite honestly, I’m thinking about trying to contact Maberry and asking him to write an entire book- heck, an entire series about Dahlia and her zombie-killing awesomeness. So very enjoyable.
9.) Sleepless by Jay Kristoff
I’ve never read anything by Kristoff before, even though I’ve been seeing him all over Instagram. This wasn’t my favorite story, but it has made me want to read more of his work for sure. It was one of the more unpredictable works in this compilation and I was surprised by the outcome. It’s obvious the direction the story was going in based on the first few pages: boy meets girl online, they talk and develop a crush on each other, and one of them is probably a predator. Somehow, I got it all wrong though, and I really liked how it ended.
10.) M by Stefan Backmann
I was a little disappointed by this one. It wasn’t a bad story and it had a really interesting, lovely setting, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea, I suppose.
11.) The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu
Another beloved author contribution, Marie Lu. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read from her so far, so I was expecting to love this. Unfortunately, it was also meh. I guess I’m not impressed with paranormal-type stories about vengeful spirits. It’s such a common trope in ghost stories and I didn’t think this one was good enough to stand out.
12.) A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman
This one could have been really good. It had a unique setting, but it was almost like it was a completely different world. While it was different, it’s hard to create a whole new world and catch your reader’s attention when your story is barely 20 pages long. It’s hard to understand what’s happening when the author has so little time to explain it. If this had been longer and had more content, it would have shown promise.
13.) Stitches by A.G. Howard
Stitches was a weird story. I’m still not completely sure what happened. I want to say I liked it, but I don’t even know that. I don’t have much else to say.
14.) On the I-5 by Kendare Blake
This one was interesting, and I thought it was a good story to end on. It was beautiful in an odd, creepy kind of way.
All in all, this collection of stories had a pretty even mix of good and bad for me. Half of them I liked, half of them I didn’t.
Many of them reminded me of the stories my grandpa used to tell me. For some reason, I was able to handle scary stories better as a young child than I can now, and he used to set me up on his lap and tell some of the best ones. It’s one of my favorite memories of him and reading this brought those memories to mind. Reading this took me back to that time, and I appreciate that.