Murderous neighbors, creepy bathtubs, and lots of blood. Everywhere.
Tucholke’s horror anthology is full of thrills and chills—some better than others. A teen girl, murdered by her stepfather, plays with death in an action-packed race against time in Megan Shepherd’s stellar “Hide-and-Seek.” Humor and rage take over when a no-nonsense plus-sized bully takes matters into her own hands after zombies invade her school in Jonathan Maberry’s “Fat Girl with a Knife.” Readers will most likely be haunted by the creepy, haunting March Hare in Carrie Ryan’s blood-soaked “In the Forest Dark and Deep.” Even the son of Mephistopheles himself makes an eerie appearance in the guise of a hot hipster boy. Each installment references its inspiration at the end; these include classic tales, films, and songs—even some Nirvana lyrics. The anthology includes many standouts, but a fair handful come off as half-baked, confusing, or both. Readers should take warning not to get too close to any of the characters here, as many of their life hours are shorter than their respective stories’ page counts.
Gross, creepy fun. (Horror short stories. 13-17)