Published by Penguin on September 6, 2016
Source: Personal Library
For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best thriller and horror writers in YA
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
A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each author draws from a mix of literature, film, television, and music to create something new and fresh and unsettling. Clever readers will love teasing out the references and can satisfy their curiosity at the end of each tale, 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 blood horror, to the supernatural, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.
I have to say, I’m not a big fan of anthologies for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that a lot of anthologies I see are collections of stories that are in genres I’m not the biggest fan of – romance being a huge one, especially at Christmas time. So when I originally purchased Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, I didn’t think I’d particularly like it. And to be fair, I think I read two stories, put it down, and never picked it up again. In fact, my copy is in the garage, in a box.
But then I decided to do the All Hallows’ Read Challenge and I had to read an anthology and read a book that has been on my TBR for a while. So I picked this one. I didn’t have the get-up-and-go to try and find my copy, so I checked it out of the library. I’m glad I picked it. I really am.
I’d never noticed before that each story is inspired by books and movies. There are stories inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Stephen King’s Carrie, and movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Birds, and more.
While I enjoyed all of the stories, I think my favorite was In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan. This one was inspired by the 1951 Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I also quite enjoyed the rest of the stories, but for some reason this one sticks out. Perhaps because I love Alice in Wonderland – to the point I own both the animated film and both Tim Burton adaptations, plus I have a digital copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because I lost my physical one and haven’t replaced it yet.
All of these writers have an easy-to-read writing style… or perhaps I’ve read far too many Clive Barker, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, and other horror novelists so I don’t find it hard to read their writing style for horror. I will say that Jay Kristoff really likes that whole e-mail/chat style because that’s featured in his story, Sleepless. But otherwise, the writing styles are easy to read.
If you use Bookly PRO I suggest reading this and listening to “Distant Thunders” or if you use Spotify, finding a playlist of thunderstorms. It lends the perfect spooky atmosphere for reading this anthology.
I gave the anthology four stars because I do think that some of the stories started out a bit too slowly and that some of the stories could have been a bit better. But I will say, this book was pretty amazing and I wouldn’t be opposed to a “sequel” anthology from these authors.