Monday, October 5, 2015

Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
Author: Stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke
Narrator(s): Robbie Daymond, Emma Bering, Nora Hunter, Jorjeana Marie, Julia Whelan & MacLeod Andrews
Series: n/a, horror anthology
Length: 13 hrs 12 mins
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Source: borrowed audio from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror.

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. 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 supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters

I find it really interesting to listen to anthologies these days. I still want a physical copy of this book for my shelves so I can leaf through it and re-read my favorite stories when I'm in the mood for a little horror or need to share a good scary story. But there's just something about hearing these creepy tales from some of my favorite authors…and having some of my favorite narrators give voice to the things that go bump in the night...

The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma - 3.5 stars
I think using this story to kick off the anthology was a brilliant idea. Nova's writing style is always eerily beautiful. It's not gory but still just creepy enough in the most human way. I don't know if it would have had the same impact if I'd read it after some of the others in this collection.

In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan - 5 stars
This story was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and it was epically epic in its creepiness. It seems like one thing and then morphs into something else, and I kind of loved it. The use of flashbacks only served to make the story seem even more otherworldly. Dat white rabbit, tho!

Emmeline by Cat Winters - 3.5 stars
I liked the writing style in this one, but I just found it too predictable. I just didn't connect with it, though the French accent the narrator used was lovely. I'm also not all that familiar with the stories that served as the inspiration for this piece, so that could have been responsible for some of the disconnect.

Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo - 2.5 stars
I thought for sure this would be one of my favorites of the collection because of who the author is, but I was underwhelmed. It was eerie to an extent, but it never gave me chills or anything like so many of the other stories did, and I know that Bardugo can write such darkness into her story if she deigns to. Maybe it was because she was tackling a contemporary setting instead of her usual fantasy? Whatever the case, this story left me feeling very meh.

Hide and Seek by Megan Shepherd - 4 stars
I have a thing for Death personified. Or harbingers of Death. Really, anything where Death or the Afterlife is involved. And games of chance. This story was kind of fun, all things considered, but it was also dark, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige - 4 stars
I didn't know what to expect from this story because I read the prequel novella to Dorothy Must Die and I enjoyed it so little that I didn't continue the series. But I actually found that I enjoyed this addition to the anthology, despite the fact that I figured out the twist pretty early on. But I do tend to connect to characters who embrace both the light and dark within. ;0)

The Flicker, the Fingers, the Beat, the Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke - 4.5 stars
Tucholke really knows how to build up to the creepy after just a hint of it in the very beginning of the story, especially with all the talk of "best scary movies", etc., between the characters throughout. That only adds to the atmosphere and sense of foreboding. And the not knowing...eeek!

Fat Girl With a Knife by Jonathan Maberry - 3 stars
Typical zombie story. I haven't read anything by this author previously, but I'm interested...mostly because of the character development. Dahlia was fierce but compassionate in spite of all of the bullying she'd succumbed to, and she makes a frighteningly good zombie killer.

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff - 5 stars
Dude. It's scary to get inside the head of a killer. Even scarier that Kristoff does it so well. Though, he did have a hand in creating the homicidal AI in Illuminae, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. I liked the inspiration for this one, as well, though I was also reminded of that Supernatural episode Houses of the Holy with the supposed avenging angel.

M by Stefan Bachmann - 3.5 stars
M is for murder. Mwahaha. I didn't get any creepy vibes from this story...just an urgent need to help Mischa discover the murderer's identity before it was too late. The story felt very much on the surface, like I could have read an entire book based on this premise and still never connected with it more than I did in this short story. It was rather bland to me.

The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu - 3 stars
I love stories that totally lead me astray in the beginning, only to throw the shocking truth at me later. I also like stories where characters get their comeuppance. Marie Lu has proven to me time and again that she can write characters who are unaware of what they are, who struggle with right and wrong. But I most enjoy the characters who leave me on the fence, deserving of my contempt but also strangely deserving of my appreciation.

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman - 3.5 stars
Short, sweet and to the point. There are those who think that one sacrifice is worthier than another, and this story serves to highlight that fact. Magic, sacrifice, hunters...I can't pinpoint what exactly helped me to connect to this story more than others in the collection. I just know that I did.

Stitches by A.G. Howard - 4.5 stars
Most Frankenstein retellings I've encountered -- and I haven't read all that many -- focus on the brothers' relationship to validate the need to revive a person using some crazy science and medicine. This Frankenstein story, however, stems from a family's need to survive a tremendous loss that leaves them broken beyond repair and another family's need for redemption. Equal parts tragic and eerie, this story reminded me of why I like Howard's writing so much. She touches on many of the same themes as the original tale, from inconsolable grief to what makes a person human.

On the I-5 by Kendare Blake - 2.5 stars
I just did not connect with the voice in this story. Not as the main character described the monsters and not when it became apparent that she was a monster herself. I expected the anthology to end with a bang of a story, but it sort of just fizzled. Maybe I'm biased, though, because hitch-hiking seriously weirds me out. :P

I am sososo glad I listened this anthology. I may never look at some of the narrators the same again, but that just means they did their job thoroughly. ;0) I mean, obviously it appealed to every little evil bone in my body, but it's just such a good collection of stories. There's really, truly, honestly something for everyone in this anthology. And now I reeeeeally can't wait for April's new book in 2016 -- Wink Poppy Midnight -- because she makes reading creepy, abhorrent things such a delightful experience.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

April Genevieve Tucholke is a full-time writer who digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband—a librarian, former rare-book dealer, and journalist—live in Oregon. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.

Find April:

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter | Instagram

1 comment:

  1. looks like there are a lot of great little stories in this book. I really need to read this one this october but not sure i can fit it in. Its the perfect october read. I am very excited for her new book too.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...