Review: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys

19364719Title: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys

Author: Various, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke

Publishing Information:  August 18th 2015 by Dial Books

Genre: Horror, short stories, paranormal, fantasy, myster

Series Information: Standaone anthology

Format: Hardcover, 385 pages

Source: Received from the publisher via Edelweiss

Recommended For: Fans of literally any of the authors in the anthology or those of you looking for some creepy reads that will leave you wanting more.

I am not usually one who enjoys short stories, but this seemed right up my alley so I decided to give it a go. I am so happy that I did because it opened my eyes to some new authors and I thoroughly enjoyed most of the anthology. I am going to share a quick glance review with some blurbs about each of the stories:

  • The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma was creepy in a real sort of way…3.5
  • In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan was excellent. A retelling of sorts of Alice in Wonderland, it gave me chills and somehow made me sad. 5 stars
  • Cat Winters delivers another fantastic historical ghostly tale in Emmeline. 5 stars
  • Bardugo’s story somehow makes celebrity rehab surprisingly creepy. 4 stars
  • I liked the lore of the story by Megan Shepherd, the harbinger of Death is always a go in my book! 3.5 stars
  • I still don’t love Danielle Paige’s writing…but she wrote about basically my favorite thing ever so I dig it. 4 stars
  • April’s story was probably my least favorite. Very “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and very dull. 2 stars
  • The Maberry story was dull, and was too prequel like for my tastes. Zombies. Meh. 2 stars
  • OMG the Jay Kristoff story was awesome. 5 stars
  • Stefan Bachman’s was interesting enough…3 stars
  • The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu actually creeped me out a bit which is a feat in itself! Vengeful ghost for the win! 5 stars
  • A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman was quite good, and almost fable-like. 4 stars
  • Stitches by A.G. Howard is not for the squeamish, but it was fantastic. 5 stars
  • I like the vengeance in Kendare’s story. 4 stars

Shelf Talker: As you can see, I really enjoyed most of these short stories, which was a fantastic surprise for me! If you enjoy even a few of these authors, pick up this anthology and give it a go, it was the perfect creepy read that got me excited for more from these authors.

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Review: No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige and Men Who Wish to Drown by Elizabeth Fama

Title: No Place Like Oz

Author: Danielle Paige

Publishing Information: November 12th 2013 by HarperCollins

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

Series Information: Dorothy Must Die 0.5

Format: eBook 196 pages

Source: Bought for my personal library

Recommended For: Readers who are not complete Oz enthusiasts like myself.

I picked up No Place Like Oz because I am a HUGE Wizard of Oz fan. I actually collect different editions of the novels as well as anything else Oz related. Perhaps that is why I had such a hard time with this novel, I wanted to get a glimpse of the world to see what Danielle Paige was working with and I don’t know how to feel about it. On one hand there were some aspects that were reminiscent of Baum’s Oz, and those parts I really loved, the imagery could have been taken directly out of the original novels. Unfortunately, there were so many aspects of the novel that had me rolling my eyes. I didn’t like Dorothy, and not in the “she’s the villain and we aren’t supposed to like her” way, but I found her incredibly annoying. Though the idea behind this series is a really great concept, I was not enthralled while reading. Instead I found that I just wanted it to be over, and it didn’t make me excited to read the upcoming novel at all. How disappointing. Continue reading

Review: On The Day I Died by Candace Fleming

Title: One the Day I Died

Author: Candace Fleming

Publishing Information: July 10th 2012 by Schwartz & Wade

Genre: Middle Grade, Short Stories, Parnormal, Ghost Stories

Series information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 208 pages

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher

Recommended For: Any lover of not so scary ghost stories

The phenomenally versatile, award-winning author, Candace Fleming, gives teen and older tween readers ten ghost stories sure to send chills up their spines. Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860’s to the present, and ends with the narrator’s death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic posession, all against the backdrop of Chicago’s rich history—the Great Depression, the World’s Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters.
I am not a huge fan of short stories but I am definitely a huge fan of GHOST STORIES! I was so excited to receive this advance copy from Netgalley because it looked and sounded extremely creepy and I was not disappointed!

The story opens with a boy named Mike who is racing to get home by curfew. As he is coming to the bridge he sees a mysterious looking girl standing in the middle of the road (sound familiar, anyone?) he becomes intrigued and decides to give her a ride home. Suddenly, she disappears, leaving nothing behind but her shoes. Being that she has just told him exactly where she lives he decides to drive her shoes home to make sure she got in okay. An old woman opens the girl’s front door and explains to Mike that her daughter has been dead for almost fifty years and every year on the anniversary of her death she obtains a ride from someone driving over the bridge and requests that her shoes be placed on her grave in White Cemetary, a cemetery dedicated solely to teens who have died before their time. Mike ventures to the cemetery and finds the girl, along with many others who wish to tell their tale. Each story is intriguing and many are oozing with supernatural elements that really raise the hair on the back of your neck.

At the end of the book, the author provides some background evidence for each story and the real life inspirations for the characters and their untimely deaths. Though this book was showcased as a middle grade novel and I can’t say that I was ever actually scared while reading it, I was definitely freaked out in the best possible way. The author caters to different needs for the reader. For example, some readers will appreciate the “back from the dead” stereotype where I ADORED Scott’s story. His story was set in a mental hospital and I am slightly obsessed with anything supernatural relating to mental asylums. For some reason it just creeps me out in this magnificent way that has me craving more. Another fun story was based on the legendary “Monkey’s Paw.” There are few people who haven’t heard one version of this fable (or who haven’t seen The Simpsons Halloween Special) and Candace Fleming provided a really interesting new twist. When explaining where she obtained her inspiration she stated that she always wondered what happened to the monkey’s paw at the end of the story and she always imagined it ended up in a garage sale somewhere, which is exactly where her story picks up.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book, the stories were just the right amount of creepy to keep me wanting more and I think that any lover of ghost stories will appreciate the different worlds that Candace Fleming creates.