Girls & Monsters by Anne Michaud
Publication Date: April 30th 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
This dark but uplifting collection of five Young Adult novellas includes:
Death Song: Liz is in love with Joe, but the monster of the lake has other plans for them.
Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.
A Blue Story: When Katherine's beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbor might be involved.
Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.
We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.
Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears...and lived to tell about it.
Death Song: This one was okay. It turned out different than I thought it would and I really didn’t see where the story was going either. I also kinda don't see the meaning behind it. These short stories are about girls conquering their fears and I really didn't see the main gals fears. Yes, an evil mermaid is scary and she did conquer it but who wouldn't be afraid of that kind of monster. What I didn't see was a fear within herself. The only fear I think was only to end up as friends with the love of her life *shrugs*.
Overall I did like the tale to a point. In the beginning it was good and the action was just starting to pick up then it changed in a blink of an eye. So it started to slow down a bit for me. The story felt off and then the action picked back up again. But still something felt off and I just couldn't fall completely into this tale. But beside the disconnect I had with the characters and a bit of the tale, I did enjoy the description. The description of when the beast was around, the small town they lived in, and the way certain characters acted when trouble was around.
Individual rating: 3/5 Hearts
Black Dog: Hmm, another one where I don't really see what she actually conquered. Like I know she had another voice in her head, telling her what to do and she finally stood up to that voice but the ending made me feel like the only way she could truly stand up to that second voice was for her to die. So if that's the case, I don't really like the ending. Are all of them supposed to not end well for the main girls?
I did too like this for the creepy detail. This young female cuts herself and because of this she lost the people she cared about. So she decides to go off and away to try to become a new person. However this voice in her won't let her go and if she gets too close to someone they might get hurt. Seeing behind the eyes of a cutter is crazy, brought chills to my arms on how she thought. I mean, she wanted to throw herself down the stairs just to get the thrill of the adrenaline. That's crazy and scares the freak out of me that people out there actually think this way. So because of all of that this short gets a 4/5 hearts
A Blue Story: I felt no connection. I really liked the story but I felt no connection. No connection between the characters, no real connection of the mystery, just no connection. Short stories and mysteries I don't think they go super well together. They can yes but I don't think there were enough pages to make this one a good one. I feel bleh at the end and again, what did she really conquer? I liked the detail when she found out who was taking the pet animals but other than that it was just okay. The story I think just moved too fast for me to really enjoy it, though I do like the darkness creepiness in this one too.
Individual rating: 3/5 hearts
Dust Bunnies: Oh boy, when a friend on Goodreads wrote a review for this book of anthologies I just had to see what she said about it. Then at the ending of her review she forewarned everyone that might be afraid of spiders to walk away from Dust Bunnies. Guess what guys? I am deathly afraid of them. Just thinking of them just makes my skin crawl and yeah, I have yet to conquer this fear like the young adult in this short. But did you think my fear made me turn away from this short? Nope. Instead I was ever the more intrigued now. I know I'm strange that way haha. But come on, these story are supposed to scare you. To make your skin crawl and to make you want to hide beneath the covers. So to get the best result of that then why not read what scares you most in the dark. Yeah, this was a favorite and started to turn my opinion around on this book.
Individual rating: 4 1/2 hearts
We Left At Night: I thought Dust Bunnies would have been my favorite but then I got to reading this one. This one was the absolute best. Not only did the zombies make me want to run and hid but when the government, our own people, turned against us that always makes my skin crawl. Like serious, that is like the freakiest thing ever and so much more scarier than a bunch of brain eating zombies. This small tale reminded me of the movie The Crazies (2010 version, sorry folks that like the original. I've only seen part of that one haha). You know how in that movie they go to that gas station and find all those shells from the billions of bullets that were fired at the people, well it was like that but throughout this shorty. This tale was great and was about a family trying to survive that zombie apocalypse. The ending was great and totally surprised me.
Individual rating: 5/5 hearts
Overall if you happen to fear evil mermaids, big black dogs, creepy taxidermy, giant human hugging spiders, or crazy zombies and government turning against us then pick up this book. I mean, who doesn’t like to get crept out once in a while. Anne, the author, wrote with great detail and it was all pretty much smooth, the one that was just too short didn't feel right to me a bit. However I believe 4 out of 5 shorts were great in length and I was really able to fall into the stories. A great book if you're looking for some dark horror. Though I'd not read it before bed, it may creep you out to the point that you can't go to sleep. This book will play on your fears and have your mind over imagining things in no time. So cannot wait for more from this Author!
Something catches in the back of my throat. I
hide my face in my hands to quiet the sobs. But then,
something ain’t right. Air moves around me and I
stop. I look between my fingers, but the blur of my
tears thickens everything: the bathtub, the towels,
and someone on the floor.
A woman’s in here with me, door still closed and
locked. An exhale, like after a deep swim, and a smell,
like the swamp close to my empty home. A chill runs
down my back, I wipe my eyes, rub and scratch them
to see more clearly. And I do.
Two gray hands scratch the floor tiles, nails green
with algae, putrid flesh sagging on her legs, arms
and torso, hair so long and wet and heavy, it drags
her down. Diluted, impossible to focus on, like little
waves rippling over her body from head to foot, seaweed
in the water. Scales and fins, mermaidlike, little
knives, those are. And they scrape the floor, like a
fork on a plate. It’s her—Limnade.
She opens her mouth of scissor-teeth and the rotten
smell of fish wraps around my throat like two
hands trying to choke me.
“You can’t be…” I don’t finish my breathless
thought and jump backward, knocking over the dish
of decorative soaps. Blurry waves, vision impaired,
out of focus, unreal. She crawls toward me, eyes unblinking,
lethal, hands inches from me: my legs refuse
to move, as my body feels like stone. Frozen,
hypnotized, a statue. Then I hear something coming
from within her…
A melody, reminding me of something lost, tickles
my ears. It drags on until the sweetness turns sickly,
vibrating into a full-on super-scream, hyenalike,
enough to pop my ears and make them bleed. Her
large mouth deforms her face into one gap of black,
the cry so high and strident, I scream from the pain.
Limnade stares at me, everything but her fades
away—Jo’s nice bathroom, Jo’s new life, Jo himself—
none of it matters anymore. Her fingers brush my
forehead, they’re cold and sticky like clams. And I let
the darkness take me away.
~About The Author~
She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.
She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.
She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.
She blogs http://annecmichaud.wordpress.com
She Facebooks: http://www.facebook.com/annecmichaud
She tweets @annecmichaud
Buy it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CCQ1Q6W
Girls & Monsters Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17335353-girls-monsters
1. In Twitter style (140 characters) mind telling us why you chose to write about girls and monsters?
Girls & Monsters is a collection of five dark novellas about strong girls kicking monsters' butts.
2. What inspired you to write these shorts?
Mostly my dreams – it sounds hippie-ish, but I have extremely vivid dreams with amazing story lines and great characters, lucky me. Death Song's first bathroom scene and We Left at Night's first act are beat by beat replicas of nightmares I had years ago. A blue Story was inspired by Perreault's Blue Beard, trips to the UK and an old friend of mine inspired Black Dog, and Dust Bunnies is my own homage to Christiane F, my childhood heroine.
3. Do you have a fear you need to conquer? Or did you already conquer it?
My biggest fear is failure, and I've lived through so many and survived. Wait, I did conquer it, after all!
4. Which short was your favorite to work on and why?
Black Dog, just because it's so dark and I got to write about schizophrenia, which fascinates and scares me equal measures. Losing one's mind is true horror for me, and this is how I explored Scarlett's descend into her mental illness: with the voice in her head, the scars on her body, and chaos engulfing her soul.
5. What made you want to write dark horrors?
It's not really something I want, it's something I was, am, and always will be. I've never been the kind of girl who waited after her prince charming, expecting to be saved and to live happily ever after – I've always known I preferred darkness and what lived in it. Give me feral vampires and vengeful ghosts, none of that sparkle and love crap.
6. What gave you the writing bug?
I was completing my Master's in screenwriting at the University of London, writing a screenplay (which is turning into a novel, keep your eyes opened for Rebel) when I realized I loved this precise moment when the voices in my head became alive on the page. I've never looked back, since.
7. If all your villains got in a ring and had to fight till the death, who do you think would win? The evil mermaid, the black dog, the creepy taxidermy, the giant spider, or the zombies?
If the fight's in water, I'll bet all my coins on Limnade, my killer mermaid. Otherwise, the zombies. Maybe if I trained my giant spider Bunny she'd damage all of them with her extra-long legs and sharp bite? See, I'll obsess about that question for the next few months, thank you very much!
8. What is your favorite horror book?
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters – read it, just... read it. It's not only the unexplained paranormal activity every character endures, it's mostly the narrator's voice, who we cannot trust. Seriously, it's a must for anyone who wants to stop sleeping... until you finish the book, 'cause it's so good you won't be able to put it down. It's just the best ghost story out there, methinks.
9. What's next in store for your fans?
I'm finishing Girls & Aliens, which is a dark sci-fi collection of 5 novellas for YA; then ,I'm starting Girls & Ghosts, next. I'll be polishing Killer Girl, my YA/NA thriller in the fall and we'll be in 2014 by the time I start working on Rebel again, for the 354th draft.
10. Name ten random facts you want your readers to know about you.
I'm a giantess of 6 feet.
I'm afraid of heights, which makes no sense since I'm so tall.
I faint at the sight of blood, so bloody/gory scenes are out.
I used to make films, my three short movies can be found on the internets.
I collect creepy, old pictures with creepy, old people.
I still listen to goth, industrial and alternative just like when I was fifteen.
I don't eat meat, but I can't give up butter, ice cream or cheese.
I don't want to grow up, so don't talk to me about marriage and kids.
I don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, but I have great faith in Jack Skellington.
Anne I’m so sorry for question 7 but a girl just had to ask haha. If in the future you do come up with a better answer then come talk to me cause I got my own opinions for that question myself haha. You’re funny and your personality just shines through, I think you’re a very cool person and I can see myself getting along with. I also absolutely agree with you on some of your answers like for question 4 haha.
Anyways, thanks so much for finding me and coming to me about this tour. I had a blast and cannot wait for Girls & Aliens (absolute favorite “myth” creature) and Girls & Ghost (another favorite for me). Thanks for stopping by with the interview too. I’m sure just everybody is going to love it! ^_^
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