I will caveat my review of Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by stating that I am not a fan of short story compilations. I usually wouldn’t willingly pick one up. However, with the percentage of YA authors that I absolutely adore featured in this book, I just had try it out. To my utter surprise and enjoyment, I absolutely loved it from beginning to end! April Genevieve Tucholke selected stories that were evenly paced and with differing levels of scary/paranormal characteristics to keep each story different enough to feel separate, but close enough to fulfill the “Slasher Girls & Monster Boys” theme. It was the perfect amount of scary to welcome this Halloween season. In addition, I listened to the audiobook, which had a cast of readers so varied and perfectly matched to their stories, that it actually heightened my experience of the compilation as a whole.
Instead of reviewing each story, individually, I’ve included my very short ruminations on each below. My favorites have been starred and also have a quote included along with my comments.
The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma: Birdwatchers
In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan: Alice in Psycholand
Emmeline by Cat Winters: Paranormal Extracuricular Activity
Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo: Scare Me, Baby, One More Time
*Hide-and-Seek by Megan Shepherd: The Seventh Seal-and-Seek “This was how death was going to play it, then. It was going to throw surprises at her. Show her a loaded gun and then try to kill her with a sharpened branch.”
The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige: Every Breath You Take…
*The Flicker, the Fingers, the Beat, the Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke: I Know Who You Did Last Summer “I’d been going to school with her since kindergarten, but she was still a mystery to me, as foreign and unfathomable as the sea creatures that lurked in the ocean deep.”
Fat Girl with a Knife by Jonathan Maberry: The Walking Dead—Dumplin’ Edition
Sleepless by Jay Kristoff: Dexter, Departed
M by Stefan Backmann: Scent of a Serial Killer
The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu: M. Night Shamylan presents–Revenge
*A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman: A Black Cat in a Bamboo Grove “All he saw was the gift of salvation born of a sacred dream of snow.”
Stitches by A.G. Howard: Warning: Do Not Eat While Reading
On the I-5 by Kendare Blake: Aileen Wuornos, Zombie Edition