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.