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Friday, April 19, 2013

Girls & Monsters- Anne Michaud

The following is a review based on an ARC I won in a goodread give away contest. It in no way affects my enjoyment, or review of the novel.

Girls and Monsters, I was super excited when I read the premise and saw the title. What a great idea, powerful girls, fighting monsters in what the back assured me was a dark but uplifting collection and for who ever has been brave enough to confront their childhood fears and lived to tell about it, I mean YAY! However the synopsis LIED to me because aside from maybe two of the stories this collection was dark as promised and depressing as hell.

I want to start with something positive however before I get into each story. The writing was good, the cover not so much, but the writing was interesting, well worded and edited and kept me engaged. It was the plots and the characters that I had major issues with. I think this author has promise and would be interested in reading more by her.

Death Song is about a small town where en evil Limnade lives and kills people, but she protects the town from the recession. The MC is a poor outcast girl whose father is a drunk. She is in love with Jo, the mayor’s son.

Opinion: The love story is all one sided so that’s kind of depressing and at the end even though people won’t die anymore everyone blames her for killing the creature and their town now being affected by reality. It ended on a sad depressed note and all I could feel was bad for the MC. Also at the beginning the author describes a Limnade as a Greek mermaid….this isn’t really accurate Limnades are Naids a type of water Nymph…. Mermaid and Naids are very different.

Black Dog a self mutilating girl goes to Europe by herself and is haunted by a mysterious black dog apparition as the voice in her head tells her to keep cutting herself…And her parents have no clue she hurts herself…

Opinion: Worst story in the book. Scarlet (the voice in her head calls her Scars) is obviously schizophrenic which she even mentions since her aunt is and that sort of thing does run in families. This is not a monster or a child hood fear; it’s something she honestly needed help for. Also I am a cutter and I have friends who cut. Your parents unless they are idiots will notice if you have deep gashes all over your legs and arms and refuse to wear t-shirts and shorts or bathing suits….Unless you cut some place super sneaky like high up your thigh, stomach or chest, you will get caught. And hopefully, get help. The explanation for the black dog was lame and I didn’t quite know where the author was going with it. Also the girl dies commits suicide at the end to save her “boyfriend” from the dog and the voice in her head, so tell me how this is uplifting.

A Blue Story A supposed Bluebeard retelling about a girl who lives in a town where the pets are disappearing and she eventually finds out it is her next door neighbor and he has kidnapped all the pets. I won’t tell you what he has done with them….but it’s not pleasant.

Opinion: Eh…. Mediocre…. I didn’t hate it and I didn’t like it that much. This is sad because aside from the 12 Dancing Princesses, I love a Bluebeard retelling the best! The MC was flushed out enough that I could totally understand and get her. There wasn’t a real love story which was nice. The villain however was too much of a mustache twirling “muuuaahhhha I shall spend ten minutes I could use killing you and hiding the body, explaining about my dastardly deeds!” Ended on a not so uplifting note, actually a creep in not a good way note.

Dust Bunnies MC goes with her sister to Berlin to clean their dead Grandma’s apartment and the MC is afraid because when she was small she found out a giant spider lived under the bed.

Opinion: Okay this is the reason for the higher rating on this book. Best story in the novel and one I actually quite enjoyed. There is a nice little twist at the end and it was truly a bit spooky. Mainly because spiders freak me out. This could be a Goosebumps book or a three part mini series on Disney.

We Left at Night Zombie story. Basic, stereotyped, a bit boring. Zombies everywhere, family runs from zombies.

Opinion: Rushed ending, and I think zombies are outdated and over played. I wanted it to end so I could write the review, the MC’s voice sounded like most of the other MC’s in this collection. I don’t know how this qualifies as a childhood fear being over come.

Maybe it’s just me and short story collections are not my thing. Or it’s just in short story collections you will like some and hate some, who knows, collections like these, especially all from the same author, are kind of hit or miss. I would like to see what this author could do with a whole novel. I am supportive of anyone at least TRYING to write a strong female lead.

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