Friday, October 30

{Discussion Review} Various Authors - Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

"Hollow bones. They make a blood-curdling crunch when you step on them. Drops the soul right out of you, unless you like that sort of thing."

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 and Cat Winters. 

Since this book contained different short stories by various authors, we will go through what worked for us and what didn't in each story and analyze it along with it's rating.

Ruzaika- Tasha's neighbor is a lonely man, well-liked by all the parents of the neighborhood, yet the kids always thought him creepy. One night he comes home with a strange woman- and what happens next is the story. Not a particularly scary story, but I loved the writing style. It gave off a horror movie feel and the author made it all seem even more creepier than it actually was. I personally found the ending quite abrupt and underwhelming, nevertheless, Nova Ren Suma established a great start to this anthology! My rating- 3.5/5

Veronika- I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this story. On one hand, as Ruzi mentioned, the writing was exceptional but it just didn't have the kind of creepy atmosphere I expected upon starting the short story collection. The whole situation of parents, of mothers not caring about their daughters feeling uncomfortable in a strange man's presence was very over the top for me. In relation with the ending I have to agree with Ruzi again. It was abrupt and didn't make sense - I do think that the police would have questioned the girls farther.  My rating- 3/5

"Perhaps he had killed her after all. Perhaps he hadn’t. There was only one thing Cassidy Evans knew for sure: It had been a marvelous tea party."

Veronika- This story was everything I wanted from this anthology - it was surprising, twisted and even a bit creepy at times. Surprisingly, unlike Ruzi, I thought that the first story was harder to get - in the sense of having many lose ends and parts that, for me, made no sense. In the Forest Dark and Deep was the perfect short story, in my opinion. My rating- 5/5 

Ruzaika- There were some really creepy and unnerving images that kept popping into my mind when reading this. The writing wasn't as great as the first author's, at times I felt like the story was disjointed and a little hard to get, but still a great inclusion for this collection with a disturbing twist at the ending.  My rating- 4/5 

Ruzaika- In the midst if World War 2, Emmeline is stuck in the ruins of what was once her room. She's very lonely, until an American soldier decides to snoop around a bit. Not a scary story, but gave off a creepy feeling all throughout it. The reveal wasn't much of a surprise, but the characters, the concept and the writing made this story a real gem of a ghost love story. Perfect! My rating- 5/5 

Veronika- This has to be one of my favorite stories from the anthology - and it made me super-excited for Cat Winters's novels. Considered to the first two stories there was not much action in it but, man, it had such a deliciously creepy atmosphere. This novella was, perhaps, the most emotional from the whole collection and I found myself loving Emmeline, despite her... flaws. My rating- 5/5

“Her chest was tight, the breath caught there, captive against her ribs. Something was in that room with her daughter."

Veronika- With this one I had the feeling that the author mixed contemporary and horror clichés together, and, surprisingly, this totally worked out. I think it had an overall dark atmosphere, the characters were quite decently made and the story was very intriguing. I also liked that what happened with the MC wasn't thoroughly explained - the author gave us enough information to figure it out without having been told. My rating- 5/5

Ruzaika- While the premise of the story is a bit clichéd, the surreal atmosphere and the creepy stuff that were going on made this a quick, intriguing read. The lack of explanation and the plot kind of made this otherwise great story quite underwhelming. My rating- 3/5

"She always thought dying would be a scream into a void, a thrashing, a searing. Not this slow and sleepy drip."

Ruzaika-  Annie has died, but is given a chance to live by Death's messenger- if only she could win a game of her choice against Death itself. The author has made hide and seek a truly exciting game, and while it wasn't scary, I was really curious as to whether Annie would end up truly dead or not. Not much character development to speak of, but given the word limit constraints, Megan Shepherd has come up with a racy, exciting story indeed. My rating- 4/5

Veronika- The story idea was very fascinating and unique but I had my fair share of problems with the execution. First of all, I also didn't quite understand the rules of this hide and seek game Annie played with Death. From all the obstacles Death put in Annie's way I had the feeling that he knew exactly where she was all this time, so then how come he didn't catch her? He also could have to killed her plenty of times, I think. And lastly, considering this was a game where every single second was important, it took away a lot from the story that we couldn't see what Annie was doing most of the time. All in all, a very unsatisfying novella. My rating- 3.5/5 

He put a hand on my back—was he going to kill me or kiss me?

Veronika- This story promised to be totally badass and dark but ended up being a typical drama filled high school story. There were zero surprising things in it and I felt no sympathy towards the characters. I'm not sure if the ending was supposed to be twisted or not but I sure as hell didn't think it was. Possibly my least favorite from the anthology. My rating- 1.5/5

Ruzaika- I found myself rolling my eyes all throughout this story. The writing wasn't bad, but the plot was so terribly tried and tested that I didn't care much for the characters- scratch that- I didn't care for the story at all. The ending was quite unsettling, but this story remains as the one I liked least in this collection. My rating- A generous 1.5/5 

"She was looking at me when the car hit her.."

Ruzaika- Theo, his girlfriend, his sister and her boyfriend are on the way home after a celebratory night of the optimistic start of the rest of their lives post graduation when a girl steps in front of the car's path.. A classic cliché, with a group of characters doing something really terrible and ending up getting what they deserve. But this was still a cliché well done. I loved the ending- knowing that they ultimately paid for what they did was very satisfying. My rating- 4/5

Veronika- Definitely one of the best stories from the collection. It was very short, and as Ruzi mentioned, had its fair share of clichés but overall it was a very satisfying story with a haunting end. My rating- 4.5/5

Veronika- I found the characters hard to relate to, the ending absolutely predictable, and the whole story kind of... pointless. It wasn't at all creepy either, and overall it wins the award of the worst story from Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, in my opinion. My rating- 1/5

Ruzaika- I found this to be a perfectly-paced story with a interesting, if unoriginal, plot. The ending kind of spoilt the story for me, though, and so this story goes to the list of stories that could have been better. My rating- 2.5/5

"I want to sleep, Wolfie.” She sighs the words, and I see the red veins scrawled across those big gray eyes. “Just a single night without one of them finding me. Pleading. Waking me in the dark.”

Ruzaika- Justin lives with his mother who is really over-protective and disdainful about girls. He is desperate to escape her constant demanding with his online girlfriend 2muchcoff33... This story had some unexpected twists and I loved it all! Creepy and disturbing, the author did a great job with the atmospheric writing.  My rating- 4.5/5

Veronika- Another best from the collection. At first I really wasn't sure where this was heading but it turned out to be twisted and dark and creepy in a way that real life can be sometimes. After reading this, I'm even more excited for Illuminae than I was before. My rating- 5/5 

"Eyes were tricks in bone boxes, but everyone believed them."

Veronika- M started off well enough - with the kids creepily chanting - but it quickly got boring. My first and foremost problem with it was that it was not at all a horror story, rather a mystery, and a damn boring one. The big revelation of who was the killer didn't surprise me at all because we knew absolutely nothing of that person, or any of the other characters for that matter. My rating- 2/5

Ruzaika- Definitely not horror, but still creepy in every sense of the word. I have to admit the ending was very mediocre, though. I didn't guess the murderer at all because there were a host of other characters we never got to know well, apart from the two main ones. Well-written, yet not a very impactful story. My rating- 3/5

""Go away, he whispered into the darkness. Tears ran down his cheeks. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry.”

Ruzaika- Richard is trying to start his life freshly with his family after an incident at his old school. But why won't the closet in his room open? And who is that girl who keeps following him? This was a scary, truly haunting story that ended up making me wary of closets in general. The author did a freaking great job with quite an unoriginal story- I loved it! My rating- 4.5/5

Veronika- I adored this story! Seriously, this was everything - terrible secrets, creepy happenings, wonderful writing and JUSTICE. I loved the ending, too, and can only say: everyone gets what he deserves. My rating: 5/5

"And for a moment, she had something like a premonition, a feeling that something terrible was watching her, something hungry and sick."

Veronika- At first I was sure I'll hate this story but then everything connected together and the ending was quite satisfying, as well. The characters were pretty great as well, especially for a short story. All considered I quite liked what I read but I was disappointed because it was really far from a horror story. My rating- 4/5

Ruzaika- Not a horror story, but still had it's fair share of creepy and bloodshed. The writing was good, and the world-building should be mentioned here too, but the story still failed to wow me. I felt quite confused at times because of the story line and I didn't really like it all that much. My rating- 2.5/5

"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."

Ruzaika- Sage and her siblings live with their father, deep in poverty after their mother goes disappearing. Their father comes back home after a day in prison with a contract from a reclusive doctor that promises them a hopeful future.. This was a really strange story that made me feel oh-so-queasy. A horrifying, though sad, story that had me flinching with every turning page. This story wasn't scary though, and certainly wouldn't suit all tastes. My rating- 3/5

Veronika- While I have to agree with Ruzi in that Stitches wasn't scary, I couldn't help but love the gory details and drastic descriptions of this story. The characters were quite good, as well - for a short story, that is - and there was not one but two surprising twists at the end. After this story I'm definitely considering giving a chance to Splintered because A. G. Howard rocks. My rating- 5/5

"She wasn't stupid. She was just sad. And young. So full of life, she thought she could afford to lose some."

Veronika- A very unique story with a complex main character but I still found it quite underwhelming - maybe because considered to some of the other stories the twist wasn't anything special. Also, a very unpopular opinion, but Blake's stories don't seem to impress me quite as much as they do most people. I don't know why, but her writing doesn't work for me. My rating- 3/5

Ruzaika-  A creepy and confusing story, the major problem I had with this story was its placement in this collection. Could have been a great story, but there wasn't a proper explanation as to what was going on and therefore I was quite disappointed with it. My rating- 2.5/5

Ruzaika-  Overall this was an enjoyable collection, each story with its own flavor. Looking back, I found that I liked this collection quite more than I'd hoped but the placement of the stories ended up making the book feel quite lackluster. My final rating- 3/5

Veronika- I'm overall really happy with Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. Most of the stories were really enjoyable, and I was finally able to read something by popular authors such as Jay Kristoff, A. G. Howard, Megan Shepherd, Leigh Bardugo and Cat Winters. After their truly fascinating stories I can't wait to dive into their novels. My final rating- 4/5


  1. I've seen this doing the booktube & blogging rounds and most people have been adoring it. I don't know if it's a collection of stories for me although some of them sound quite promising, for instance Leigh Bardugo's. But I can't justify reading all the book if only I'm interested in a few of them. I know it will not end up well LOL
    Great review girls!

    1. We enjoyed most of the stories- it was just a few that didn't strike a chord with us. But I totally understand why you wouldn't want to read this book- so I won't even persuade you :D
      Thank you, Noelia!! xx


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