Friday, October 23, 2015

Short Fiction Friday Wicked Reads for Halloween Edition: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke

If you're looking for a really great collection of creepy tales, Slasher Girls & Monster Boys is the perfect pick. Edited by April Genevieve Tucholke, the collection features a line up of spectacular YA authors, each of whom has used books, movies, tv, and other media as inspiration for their tales. It's a seriously fabulous concept, y'all!

For adult readers, you're likely to catch on to most of the references. Some are more obvious than others and some are actually fairly obscure-ish and harder to tease out, but they've apparently all prompted these authors to come up with some really terrifying stories. And if you don't figured out all of the inspiring threads by the end, the authors have included a note on those (you know, in case you want to extend your experience by seeking them out).

I'm actually hesitant to mention any of the actual inspiring works here just so you can be surprised when you read! Cat Winters and Leigh Bardugo in particular surprised me with their list of inspirations (I had to look up Bardugo's - I guess I might lose my 90s cred). I'm a bit in awe of how they - and all of the authors - put together their stories and I could not have been more pleased to see what inspired Marie Lu's tale in particular. (I'd be willing to bet - at least I hope - that both teen and adult readers will have at least a little bit of interest in seeking out the source materials.)

Basically, the collection is an absolute dream for pop culture obsessed horror fans! Any horror fans, for that matter. I am totally serious when I say that some of these stories were nightmare inducing. Carrie Ryan's in particular was creeptastically wonderful, but I don't know if I'm glad or a bit remorseful that I didn't read it in the middle of the night.

Here's a full table of contents for you:

"The Birds of Azalea Street" by Nova Ren Suma
"In the Forest Dark and Deep" by Carrie Ryan
"Emmeline" by Cat Winters
"Verse Chorus Verse" by Leigh Bardugo
"Hide-and-Seek" by Megan Shepherd
"The Dark, Scary Parts and All" by Danielle Paige
"The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh" by April Genevieve Tucholke
"Fat Girl With a Knife" by Jonathan Maberry
"Sleepless" by Jay Kristoff
"M" by Stefan Bachmann
"The Girl Without a Face" by Marie Lu
"The Girl Who Dreamed of Snow" by McCormick Templeman
"Stitches" by A. G. Howard
"On the I-5" by Kendare Blake 

I do read a lot of collections but it's been a while since I read one that proved to be so fabulous from start to beginning. I shouldn't be surprised considering the authors here! It's pretty typical in reading anthologies to find that at least one or two tales don't quite hit the mark for me. It's not a reflection on the collection or the authors, it's like (dare I say it?!) a box of chocolates. Let's face it, not everyone loves every piece but there's something for everyone. Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, though, was one of the exceptions. Each and every story was awesome!

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys is a dark collection. If you're not into really scary and gory this may not be the collection for you. If you're a fan of any of the contributors, though, I'd bet you're adequately prepared for what's inside and will love it!

Rating: 5/5

And now, just a little reminder of all the fun Wicked Reads stuff going on right now. Remember there's the #TwitterGhostStory event starting on Monday and the next Twitter Chat is today at 4pm (EST I believe). The authors participating are:

Peter Kujawinski author of Nightfall
Jake Halpern author of Nightfall
Kim Liggett author of Blood and Salt
April Genevieve Tucholke author of Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Danielle Vega author of The Merciless and Survive the Night
Peter Kujawinski author of Nightfall
Kim Liggett author of Blood and Salt
April Genevieve Tucholke author of Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
Carol Goodman author of Blythewood series
Sally Green author of the Half Bad series

(The links above will take you to each authors' twitter profiles.)

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