Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys – April Genevieve Tucholke


Slasher Girls & Monster Boys – April Genevieve Tucholke (Editor)


A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each story draws from a mix of literature, film, television, or even music to offer something new and fresh and unsettling. Even better? After you’ve teased out each tale’s references, satisfy your curiosity at the end, where the inspiration is revealed. 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 the supernatural, to unnerving, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.


Review: In this anthology, popular young adult authors retell classic horror stories. It’s like a return to my childhood! I grew up on a steady diet of horror anthologies. Some of them were entertaining. Most were cheesy. I was curious to see how I’d feel about this one.

For the most part, I liked it. It’s an anthology, so not every story is spectacular, but some of them are. Quite a few of the stories include twists that I didn’t see coming.

These are my three favorites:

Carrie Ryan’s “In the Forest Dark and Deep” is an Alice in Wonderland retelling. The Hare is sinister, but he may not be the real monster in this tale. The story is just plain creepy.

“Not all monsters are filled with darkness.” – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys


My favorite story is “Sleepless” by Jay Kristoff. A teenage Internet romance goes very, very wrong. It’s easy to recognize which horror story this one is retelling, but there are so many twists that it kept catching me off-guard. A bizarre and well-written story.

"Sometimes I wonder if the right girl is out there. Sometimes I wonder if Momma isn't right about all of them." – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys


“Stitches” by A.G. Howard has the strongest voice and the best imagery in the anthology. A rural teen supports her family by amputating parts of her father’s body and selling them to a mysterious man. You probably shouldn’t read this one if you’re bothered by blood and guts, but I absolutely love its uniqueness.  

"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." – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys


One of the reasons I don’t like retellings is because they’re predictable. That was definitely the case with some of the stories in this anthology. Once I figured out which classic tale was being retold, I could sometimes predict what would happen next. Then I’d start losing interest in the story.

I didn’t find any of these stories particularly scary. Some of them are weird or creepy, but I never felt scared. If you’re looking for terrifying horror, you should probably look elsewhere. (And then tell me where you’re looking because I have trouble finding truly scary horror books.)

This is one of the most entertaining YA anthologies I’ve ever read, but it didn’t completely live up to my expectations of horror stories. 






13 comments:

  1. I agree it was entertaining! I vaguely remember liking Sleepless but I can't remember all of the details. I wanted to like Leigh Bardugo's story a lot more, but it was just so....weird?

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    1. Yeah, there were a few stories that were just weird and not much else. Some of the stories were great, though.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I'm thinking this one might be a fun read for me, since I probably wouldn't catch on to what story is being retold. :D And I do like weird!

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  3. It can be hard to get short story collections right, and usually, if it is YA, I don't enjoy it. Which is weird because mostly I read YA. But I much prefer adult short stories I think. Anyway, I am glad you could enjoy some aspects of these, and some of the particular stories. It's a shame about the horror element being a bit disappointing though.

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    1. I’m the same way! I don’t know why, but I usually like adult short stories more than YA ones.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I completely agree. This was a really well-written anthology, but the majority of the stories seemed more like thrillers than outright horror stories. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

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    1. Yeah, I was hoping the stories would be scarier. It’s so hard to find good scary stories.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Gah, I didn't realise the book was all retellings. I don't enjoy retellings so I can probably delete this from my kindle. Thanks for the info!

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    1. Yep, they’re all retellings. I don’t like retellings either, but some of these stories were pretty good.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. I don't read a lot of horror but I always eye this one. I am down with creepy and weird so tat would work for me. I think I need to pick it up next time I see it on sale. Great review!

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  7. I have seen this book around some but haven't really looked at which authors had stories in it. I am definitely more interested in it now after reading your review.

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