I was hoping to make my first book talk video about Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon. But I still wanted to share some notes on this anthology in case you’re like me and bought it on a whim but have been waiting for the perfect time or motivation to finally pick it up.
I decided to read it over the weekend before Halloween, because I hadn’t done much yet to get in the festive spirit. I don’t read a lot of horror on a regular basis, nor do I really enjoy horror films (because so few satisfy my questions at the end). So this turned out to be a excellent random read to pull me out of the slump I fell into after Crooked Kingdom.
Below you can see a list of the authors and their story titles along with my personal rating per story, purely based on my enjoyment. I obviously cannot talk about all these stories (maybe next Halloween if I reread), but I do want to offer a few spoiler-free teasers about my two absolute favorites which were “Emmeline” and “Stitches,” both of which I’d love to see turned into full books. Even these two don’t seem all that interesting to you, rest assured that all of these stories were vastly different from one another that I have no doubt there’s probably something interesting in it for you.
“Emmeline” by Cat Winters is set in WWII France with a girl who is discovered upstairs in her family home by an American soldier. After a little romance, she tries to convince him to stay with her. The setting is fantastic and this story is so atmospheric.
“Stitches” by A.G. Howard is kind of reminiscent for me of a Tim Burton movie. It is about a girl who must amputate her father’s limbs and other appendages and replace them with another’s to make him into a better man. Sounds like a nightmare right? But she does it with his consent and this just a piece of a larger story that we get at the end.
The best thing about reading this anthology was becoming exposed to authors I had not read before. After many of the these stories, not content to let go just yet, I found myself searching Goodreads for the authors and seeing what else they wrote. I hope to find some of these authors’ books in the library as soon as I have more time to read next year.
Nova Ren Suma’s “The Birds of Azalea Street” 3 stars
Carrie Ryan’s “In the Forest Dark and Deep” 4 stars
Cat Winters’ “Emmeline” 5 stars
Leigh Bardugo’s “Verse Chorus Verse” 3.5 stars
Megan Shepherd’s “Hide and Seek” 3 stars
Danielle Paige’s “The Dark, Scary Parts and All” 2.5 stars
April Genevieve Tucholke’s “The Flicker, the Fingers, the Beat, the Sigh” 3.5 stars
Jonathan Maberry’s “Fat Girl with a Knife” 3 stars
Jay Kristoff’s “Sleepless” 4 stars
Stefan Bachman’s “M” 4 stars
Marie Lu’s “The Girl Without a Face” 3 stars
McCormick Templeman’s “A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow” 3.5 stars
A.G. Howard’s “Stitches” 5 stars
Kendare Blake’s “On the I-5” 3 stars