Emily May's Reviews > Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke
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really liked it
bookshelves: arc, young-adult, short-stories, 2015, horror

Honestly, this is one of the best YA anthologies I've ever read. Normally I can pick out one or two strong works amid a bunch of mediocre ones but, in this case, there was only one story I didn't enjoy. I think Suma's remained my favourite throughout but I also absolutely loved Marie Lu's creepy closet girl. So many great stories here, all inspired by various movies, books and music.

The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma
5 stars
This was a fantastic start to the collection. The author's eerie, poetic writing style is well-suited to short stories, particularly horror ones. Lots of strangely beautiful imagery, as well as birds, creepy men and a little taste of truth: "Teenage girls know more than we’re given credit for."

In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan
4 stars
A nod to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and even stranger and creepier than the original. This is about monsters, little girls with big imaginations and, of course, tea parties in the forest. "They wanted the safe answer. The one that reassured them that all monsters are filled with darkness."

Emmeline by Cat Winters
4 stars
Nobody does creepy historical fiction with a touch of romance quite like Cat Winters, even when she's writing short stories. This one isn't very scary but it is unsettling, evocative and sad too, set in France during the First World War. "Boys were curious creatures by nature."

Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo
4 stars
This isn't my favourite of Bardugo's short stories - that would be The Too-Clever Fox - but it is very good. It's about a teen starlet (and her mother) who gets sentenced to rehab and finds a lot more than she bargained for within the centre's walls. I'm not sure I "get" the ending, but it did creep me out a lot. “Her chest was tight, the breath caught there, captive against her ribs. Something was in that room with her daughter."

Hide and Seek by Megan Shepherd
4 stars
This was an excellent and fast-paced tale of cheating death. When Annie dies, Crow Cullom comes to take her soul, but Annie knows how the rules go. If she can win a game against death, her life will be hers again. In a 24-hour hide and seek marathon, Annie must avoid the traps death has set out - but is it really possible to hide from death? "When does the game begin?" she asked.

The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige
2 stars
In an anthology filled with many fascinating, complex and twisted female characters, this one instead offers a Mary Sue, bitchy high school mean girls, and a supernatural love interest. “But Damien Thorne was not supposed to be looking at me. He was supposed to be looking at someone with longer limbs, a face with more angles than circles, and a dress that was bought this decade."

The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke
3 stars
This story pulls inspiration from two well-known horror classics and it never quite touches upon the darkness and fear of either. In fact, it rather superficially recreates the plots of both in a mash-up that feels contrived rather than scary. "Headlights. Someone's coming. Someone's coming."

Fat Girl With a Knife by Jonathan Maberry
3 stars
Predictably, Maberry goes the zombie route for his horror short. It was entertaining and introduced us to Dahlia - a complex character and high school "fat girl" - but it wasn't that original and it didn't contain any of the creepy atmosphere that many of the other stories created. The two stories that are very high school clique-centric haven't impressed me as much. "That's when Dahlia knew that something was a lot more wrong than boyfriend problems."

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff
4 stars
This is a story of twists and turns that made me smile almost as much as it creeped me out. I think it would have been a little better if I hadn't seen the movie it's obviously based on, but I still very much enjoyed it. There was plenty I didn't see coming. "Sometimes I wonder if the right girl is out there. Sometimes I wonder if Momma isn't right about all of them."

M by Stefan Bachmann
3.5 stars
Children reciting creepy rhymes has to be one of the scariest things, right? Well, I think so. And this story is written from the perspective of a blind narrator, which makes it all the more eerie to imagine the sounds of the rhyme coming to you in the darkness. "L is for Louis, who douses the spark, M is for Misha, who sits in the dark..."

The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu
5 stars
Wow, that was amazing! The most traditionally scary story in the collection (I was genuinely looking over my shoulder) but also very psychological and very clever. Lu blurs the line between realistic and supernatural in a story that is gruesome, chilling and sad in ways you probably won't expect. Plus, closets and mirrors *shivers* "As he drifted off, he realized that the shuffling sound seemed to come from behind the closet door."

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman
3 stars
This story wasn't as compelling as some of the others and I found myself almost wanting to skim-read some parts(which is pretty unforgivable in a short story). Though the setting is perhaps the most different and exciting and the talk of "night creatures" watching from the trees was indeed unsettling, it was the characters that let it down for me. "And for a moment, she had something like a premonition, a feeling that something terrible was watching her, something hungry and sick."

Stitches by A.G. Howard
4 stars
Definitely not one for the sqeamish! Not only is this story graphic and gory, but some of the imagery used made me cringe. But if you can stomach it, it's an excellent story that continued to surprise me. And what an opening line! "The first time the wrens sang at night was three years ago, when I used a rusty saw to cut off Pa's left foot."

On the I-5 by Kendare Blake
3.5 stars
I really liked this but I think being the last story was a disservice to the tale - the others that came before it made the reveals less shocking. But it is suitably creepy and ends with a combination of horror and sadness. "She wasn't stupid. She was just sad. And young. So full of life, she thought she could afford to lose some."

All quotes were taken from an ARC and are subject to change by the final publication.

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Reading Progress

July 7, 2014 – Shelved
July 24, 2015 – Started Reading
July 27, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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Vanessa J. Great review, Emily. I can't wait to read this one. It seems creepy and diverse and entertaining... and right up my alley. :)


Kat ♛ Coffee & Books Inc. I've been eyeballing this collection for ages now. You're review has me even MORE excited for it! Thank you! :)


Emily May Vane wrote: "Great review, Emily. I can't wait to read this one. It seems creepy and diverse and entertaining... and right up my alley. :)"

Thank you! I'm confident that you'll find stories to love here even if they don't all work for you :)


Emily May KatReads wrote: "I've been eyeballing this collection for ages now. You're review has me even MORE excited for it! Thank you! :)"

Hehe, no problem! Hope you enjoy it too.


Rikke Great review!! Preordered it already, so now I look forward to reading it even more.. I really enjoy reading your reviews :)


Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell Whoa. This looks like a pretty good line-up.


Emily May Rikke wrote: "Great review!! Preordered it already, so now I look forward to reading it even more.. I really enjoy reading your reviews :)"

Thanks!! Hope you like it.


Emily May Nenia wrote: "Whoa. This looks like a pretty good line-up."

I was surprised by how good it was.


message 9: by Sierra (new)

Sierra You keep making me want to read so many books ;;;;


message 10: by Emma (new)

Emma Wow, great review! I'm creeped out and I haven't even read it.


message 11: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire Horner Now you have me wanting to read it.


message 12: by Errin (new) - added it

Errin It's funny you found Danielle Page's story the least effective since I'm pretty sure her main genre is horror thrillers. Great review!


Emily May Emma wrote: "Wow, great review! I'm creeped out and I haven't even read it."

ThankS! Hehe :)


Emily May Errin wrote: "It's funny you found Danielle Page's story the least effective since I'm pretty sure her main genre is horror thrillers. Great review!"

Thank you! I've read her other books and they're fairytale retellings, but either way, the story here was not what I would have expected from her - typical high school supernatural romance.


message 15: by Errin (new) - added it

Errin My bad! I just looked it up and confused her for the author who wrote The Merciless for some reason! XP


Emily May Errin wrote: "My bad! I just looked it up and confused her for the author who wrote The Merciless for some reason! XP"

Oh, I see! Yeah, both Danielles ^_^


Neil (or bleed) So excited for this! Great review, Emily!


Jade McCormack I am really interested just bc I love how you described it lol


Emily May Neil(ed) it! wrote: "So excited for this! Great review, Emily!"

Thank you!


Emily May Jade McCormack wrote: "I am really interested just bc I love how you described it lol"

Well, I hope I did it justice :)


message 21: by Aso (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aso For me, Marie Lus Girl without a face is the best story in this book
and in the second place is Stiches by A. G Howard.


Samantha I just picked this up from the library and have yet to start reading it, but this review makes me excited for it!


Christina I love how you broke it down! Great review


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