Genre: Adult Horror Short Story Collection
Year Release: October 18th, 2022
Buy Link: Books2Read
Received an ARC from Robot Dinosaur Press
Content warnings: ableist language, animal death, bullying, child death, death, domestic violence, gore, harm to animals, imprisonment, intimate partner abuse, murder, parental death, parental neglect, physical abuse, religious abuse, sexual abuse, suicidal thoughts, suicide, violence
These short stories are for horror fans by a horror fan. From demonic possession to werewolves to slashers, each genre gets time to shine in this forthcoming collection from Robot Dinosaur Press.
Each one has a treat for all kinds of horror lover, and I’m looking forward to sharing a blog interview with the author on October 18th, 2022.
The love for horror shines off of each story. The language is accessible, evocative, with characters that really weasel their way into your heart. There are some archetypes explored, but each set of characters are truly unique to the story in which they appear. The range of character work and strict adherence to horror as a genre is impressive and masterful.
One of the things I greatly appreciated here is that each short story came with an accessible, shorter list of content warnings specific to the work. It’s not a practice that I’ve seen in other collections, and I’d love to see it in more places moving forward. The whole point of horror is to be able to engage with fears and the taboo in a controlled environment (such as a story), and it’s great that the accessibility shines at the forefront here.
Here are my favorite stories that I’m still thinking about:
- “Three May Keep A Secret”
- A girl goes to a party, gets wasted, tells a ghost story she’s really not supposed to tell
- Equal parts scary, tender, and emotionally gut-wrenching as sharing the trauma opens the door to further healing
- CW: Violence, child sexual abuse, child death, underage drinking
- “15 Eulogies Scribbled Inside a Hello Kitty Notebook”
- Unreliable narrator galore (and a-gore) and so much sapphic pining
- Where the title of the collection come from
- This kind of messing around with form as a vehicle for storytelling is my favorite
- CW: violence, suicidal thought/ideation, parental death, gore
- “If We Survive the Night”
- A group of the kinds of girls who don’t survive slashers have to survive a slasher
- Shows a thorough but critical love of horror movies, showcasing an expertise in tropes for incredible subversion
- CW: violence, murder, suicide, abusive language, psychological torture, gore
- “Every Day is the Full Moon”
- Among the heaviest stories in the collection, a girl’s friend gets possessed and she needs to figure it out
- While her father may or may not be a literal werewolf
- CW: violence, mention of eating disorders, emotional and psychological, abuse, abusive parent, domestic abuse/violence, blood/gore, possession
- “Such Lovely Teeth, Such Big Teeth”
- About a girl who goes feral during her monthly and kills awful men
- The ending is unexpected, and I loved it whole-heartedly
- Great play with folklore and tropes
- CW: violence, trauma, murder of children, child molestation, blood/gore, gaslighting