Slasher Girls & Monster Boys compiled by April Genevieve Tucholke is an engrossing spooky read. If you are craving something that will have your skin crawling before Halloween, then this is the perfect read. The book is a compilation of short stories from some amazing YA authors, such as Marie Lu, Danielle Paige, Carry Ryan, Jonathan Maberry, Leigh Bardugo just to name a few. Each author used a previously published story, movie, or song for inspiration and then re-imagines the tale. At the end they tell you what the inspiration was. Some tales were filled with bloody and disturbing details, but others were more psychological horror that really let your imagination go crazy. After I finished a story, I was excited to go on and see what new sinister creature was lurking around the next page.
The writing throughout is fantastic. Each author created complex characters in a short amount of time as well as really capturing the dark atmosphere. There were definitely times where my hair stood on edge. I really love how creepy this book is and that it is geared for YA readers. It just goes to show that some of the most haunting tales can exist without all of the graphic details.
My favorite short stories were In the “Forest Dark and Deep” by Carrie Ryan and “Hide-and-Seek” by Megan Shepard.
Danielle Paige’s book Dorothy Must Dieis a dark and twisted adaptation of the Wizard of Oz story. Amy hasn’t had the easiest life in Kansas. She lives with her indifferent addict of a mother in the trailer park and is often bullied at school. However she is making plans to leave her small town for bigger and better thins, she just didn’t realize it would come so soon rather than later. Sucked up into a huge tornado Amy finds herself dumped into the land of OZ – yep it really does exist. This is the not the fun, bright and whimsical Oz that Dorothy found herself in. This is the magic being brutally mined from the ground, flying monkey’s being tortured, munchkins forced into indenture servitude Oz and Amy learns that Dorothy must die.
I really liked this story. I am going to begin by saying, I am not a Wizard of Oz fan – at all. However I was so intrigued by the name and premise that I had to read this book. Paige’s interpretations of all our beloved favorites like the cowardly lion, scarecrow and tinman were terrifying and imaginative. I could feel the tinman’s sharp knives and I could feel the lions teeth. I found myself mesmerized by Paige’s descriptions. There were moments of intense creepiness, but they were so well done that I had to keep reading. I also liked Amy. She is witty, sarcastic and has a little spunk about her. A reluctant hero she might be, but once she decides to commit to the cause she does it with her whole being – regardless of the cost to herself. If you are looking for a new read that is dark and edgy that also has great characters this is the book to read.