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For fans of American Horror Story, Shirley Jackson, and Creepshow. You know them. Those girls that aren't quite like everyone else. Those girls who stand out in the crowd. Those girls that dare to be different. Those girls are dangerous. In Strange Girls, twenty-one authors dare to tackle what makes the girls in this collection different. Vampires, selkies, murderous mermaid For fans of American Horror Story, Shirley Jackson, and Creepshow. You know them. Those girls that aren't quite like everyone else. Those girls who stand out in the crowd. Those girls that dare to be different. Those girls are dangerous. In Strange Girls, twenty-one authors dare to tackle what makes the girls in this collection different. Vampires, selkies, murderous mermaids, succubus, and possessed dolls take center stage in these short stories that are sure to invoke feelings of quiet terror and uneasiness in the reader. Following the successful debut of Women in Horror anthology with My American Nightmare, Strange Girls is the sophomore effort to showcase these talented women in a genre that is often dominated by the male gaze. Dare to take a walk on the dark side. Stories in the Anthology: 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt Sideshow by Jude Reid The Doll's House by Alyson Faye Blood by Red Claire Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns Friends with Benefits by E.F. Schraeder Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli Jenny's Bobo by Hillary Lyon Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey My Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor Patterns of Faerytales by Azzurra Nox Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivard Cracked by Regan Moore Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar Revival by Madison Estes A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Vanian Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe


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For fans of American Horror Story, Shirley Jackson, and Creepshow. You know them. Those girls that aren't quite like everyone else. Those girls who stand out in the crowd. Those girls that dare to be different. Those girls are dangerous. In Strange Girls, twenty-one authors dare to tackle what makes the girls in this collection different. Vampires, selkies, murderous mermaid For fans of American Horror Story, Shirley Jackson, and Creepshow. You know them. Those girls that aren't quite like everyone else. Those girls who stand out in the crowd. Those girls that dare to be different. Those girls are dangerous. In Strange Girls, twenty-one authors dare to tackle what makes the girls in this collection different. Vampires, selkies, murderous mermaids, succubus, and possessed dolls take center stage in these short stories that are sure to invoke feelings of quiet terror and uneasiness in the reader. Following the successful debut of Women in Horror anthology with My American Nightmare, Strange Girls is the sophomore effort to showcase these talented women in a genre that is often dominated by the male gaze. Dare to take a walk on the dark side. Stories in the Anthology: 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt Sideshow by Jude Reid The Doll's House by Alyson Faye Blood by Red Claire Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns Friends with Benefits by E.F. Schraeder Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli Jenny's Bobo by Hillary Lyon Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey My Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor Patterns of Faerytales by Azzurra Nox Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivard Cracked by Regan Moore Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar Revival by Madison Estes A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Vanian Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe

30 review for Strange Girls: Women in Horror Anthology

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    I love anthologies of women writers and I love horror, so of course I’m going to pick up a book that combines both. I decided to rate each individual story and average them together for my final rating of 3.09. Overall, these stories were quite entertaining. Although I enjoyed some stories more than others, it was a solid collection and I would recommend it to people that enjoy horror. “24 Hour Diner” by Charlotte Platt, 2/5 - a guy meets a girl in a diner, they exchange some awkward dialogue. On I love anthologies of women writers and I love horror, so of course I’m going to pick up a book that combines both. I decided to rate each individual story and average them together for my final rating of 3.09. Overall, these stories were quite entertaining. Although I enjoyed some stories more than others, it was a solid collection and I would recommend it to people that enjoy horror. “24 Hour Diner” by Charlotte Platt, 2/5 - a guy meets a girl in a diner, they exchange some awkward dialogue. One of them turns out to be a vampire. “Sideshow” by Jude Reid, 5/5 - TW: rape. A snake-charmer helps a woman seek vengeance. This one is definitely worth reading. “The Doll's House” by Alyson Faye, 3/5 - Murderous dolls make for a fun, creepy tale. “Blood” by Claire Hamilton Russell, 2/5 - a strange tale of lineage, but a stretch to consider this anything other than fantasy. “Self-Portrait with Pears” by Rachel Bolton, 4/5 - Adam’s entitlement is chilling in this story about a stalker. “Personal Demons” by Angelique Fawns, 3/5 - TW: transphobia. A teenager becomes best friends with a succubus. “Friends with Benefits” by E.F. Schraeder, 1/5 - I didn’t enjoy this one. “Night Terrors” by Angela Sylvaine, 3/5 - A girl recovering from a surgery finds out who she really is. “The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding” by Sam Lauren, 1/5 - a short, religious tale that I didn’t connect with. “Leda and the Fly” by Marnie Azzarelli, 4/5 - in an uncanny moment, a girl eats a fly and is changed. “Jenny's Bobo” by Hillary Lyon, 3/5 - a story about a strange pet. I felt like this one abruptly ended right as it was getting interesting, so I couldn’t rate it higher. “Extinguishing Fireflies” by Rebecca Rowland, 2/5 - a kitten is much more dangerous than anyone ever expected. “The Eyes of the Dead” by Danielle R. Bailey, 3/5 - TW: rape. This story poses the question, ‘What if the soul doesn’t leave the body when we die?’ “My Mirror Wife” by Ash Tudor, 2/5 - An interesting concept, but I failed to connect with the characters. “Patterns of Faerytales” by Azzurra Nox, 5/5 - a selkie finds out the truth about her past. “Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings” by Emma Johnson-Rivard, 3/5 - Find yourself a kitchen knife. “Cracked” by Regan Moore, 5/5 - a woman steals a supernatural doll and faces the repercussions. “Angel of Death” by Phoebe Jane Johnson, 1/5 - a very short story that has odd political undertones that I didn’t quite agree with. “Her Garden Grows” by Maxine Kollar, 3/5 - Keeping with the theme of the anthology, I would definitely say that Rosamund is a strange woman. “Revival” by Madison Estes, 5/5 - a medical student believes he feels a pulse in the cadaver he must dissect. “A Song Only She Can Hear” by Wondra Vanian, 5/5 - a mermaid meets another one of her kind. This story was my favorite out of the entire anthology. “Tribal Influence” by Erica Ruhe, 3/5 - this one was quite enjoyable, although it wasn’t as strong of a story as I was expecting to finish out the anthology. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an unbiased review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, publisher, and netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Do you like Vampires, creepy dolls, things that go bump in the night and more? Then this short story collection is for you. Its a short story collection about strange girls in horrifying situations. Want to read more? Check this book out for yourself and find out. I thought this horror short story anthology for Women in Horror month was good. Out of all of the stories featured i I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, publisher, and netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Do you like Vampires, creepy dolls, things that go bump in the night and more? Then this short story collection is for you. Its a short story collection about strange girls in horrifying situations. Want to read more? Check this book out for yourself and find out. I thought this horror short story anthology for Women in Horror month was good. Out of all of the stories featured in this collection, only a few scared and creeped me out (which were the doll stories, the sideshow story, and the mermaid/selkie ones). The other stories made my skin crawl and were disturbing as well as turned me the wrong way. Not all of these stories are for everyone though as it features stories with violence, gore, rape, and more. I reccomend you read this collection at your own risk but if you love horror short stories, give the collection a chance. Maybe you'll find some of the tales to your liking. This Women in Horror Month horror short story anthology officially hits wherever books and ebooks are sold on February 18, 2020.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    This was a great collection. A few of the stories were misses for me but there was some genuinely great ones too. 1st story - I saw both of these twists coming but despite that, it was still really enjoyable. I would have liked to read this as a full length book. If this was the first chapter and the rest of the book focused on the vampire, I would absolutely read that. Story 2 Sideshow - Jude Reid - This story was brilliant, I loved it. The writing was great and I was fully immersed. Again, like This was a great collection. A few of the stories were misses for me but there was some genuinely great ones too. 1st story - I saw both of these twists coming but despite that, it was still really enjoyable. I would have liked to read this as a full length book. If this was the first chapter and the rest of the book focused on the vampire, I would absolutely read that. Story 2 Sideshow - Jude Reid - This story was brilliant, I loved it. The writing was great and I was fully immersed. Again, like the first story, I would happily read a book in this world. I liked that the story wasn’t from the snake girl’s perspective, it was a nice twist. Story 3 - The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye - This one was super creepy! I had chills reading it (admittedly I scare very easily). Unlike the first two, I was happy with the length of this one, it seemed like a complete story, rather than the first chapter of one. Story 4 - Blood by Claire Hamilton Russell - This was very short but very creepy. I want more! It does seem like more of a prologue than a short story though. Story 5 - Self - Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton - This didn’t turn out like I expected. I was thinking it would be like the first story and the guy would get what was coming to him. I’m disappointed he didn’t. I’m not sure this story really fits the theme, it wasn’t creepy or scary. Adam was just a stalker asshole that was pissed he couldn’t get his own way. Probably my least favourite of the bunch so far. Story 6 - Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns - So this is the first story I didn’t enjoy. The writing was poor and the dialogue was awkward and juvenile, it was very cringey. It was also very heavy handed with the ‘message’ and the story itself was dull. A good idea but executed poorly. Story 7 - Friends with benefits by E.F. Schraeder - This was bad. There’s typos and like the story above, the writing isn’t great. It’s like it wasn’t edited at all, it’s very difficult to read. Also, the text speak was really cringey. People in the real world don’t talk like that. It’s like it’s an older person’s interpretation of how they think teenagers communicate. The first few stories in this book were genuinely great but it’s really gone downhill, I’m very disappointed. Story 8 - Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine - This was fun! Finally, after three duds in a row, this story was really enjoyable. Cool concept, well written and very believable. I love stories about AI, it’s one of my favourite tropes so I’m glad this collection cluded an AI story. Story 9 - The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren - Super short but very well written. I liked this one, it was creepy! Story 10 - Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli - I was very pleasantly surprised by this one! I was bored through most of it, I was waiting for it to end, and then the ending came and it was brilliant. Not what I expected at all. Story 11 - Jenny’s Bobo by Hillary Lyon - This was great! This story definitely felt like an opening chapter. I want to know more about Bobo (who I’m assuming is a demon), I want to meet him. This was very cool. Story 12 - Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland - Really enjoyed this one! Short but creepy and I didn’t guess the twist until the very end. Story 13 - The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey - This one was just okay. The writing was clunky and I didn’t connect with the main character at all. Story 14 - My Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor - This one was excellent and genuinely gave me the chills. Story 15 - Patterns of Faerytales by Azzurra Nox - This was just okay. The concept was awesome but the reveal was already announced at the beginning of the story so there was no payoff. Story 16 - Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivard - Excellent! This one actually gave me chills! What a fantastically creepy story! Story 17 - Cracked by Regan Moore - That was terrifying! My heart was racing the entire time and now I'm thoroughly freaked out. Wow. Story 18 - Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson - Short but I loved it. Story 19 - Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar - I loved this one! So creepy and very well written. Story 20 - Revival by Madison Estes - I'm a bit confused by this one, I'm not actually sure what happened in the end. But it was an interesting short read and I enjoyed it. Story 21 - A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Banian - That turned dark quickly. Very short but I enjoyed it. Story 22 - Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe - This was excellent! I really enjoyed this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hunter

    A digitized ARC of this collection was provided by the author/publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the work in any way. 24 Hour Diner - Seductive and steamy, though it suffers from confusing storytelling at points. Sideshow - Dark, horrifying, and unrestrained in its subject matter. One of my favorites. The Doll's House - Okay, but falls short of its potential through inadequate information and a handful of grammatical/syntax errors. Blood A digitized ARC of this collection was provided by the author/publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the work in any way. 24 Hour Diner - Seductive and steamy, though it suffers from confusing storytelling at points. Sideshow - Dark, horrifying, and unrestrained in its subject matter. One of my favorites. The Doll's House - Okay, but falls short of its potential through inadequate information and a handful of grammatical/syntax errors. Blood - Too short and undeveloped to really evoke anything within me, unfortunately. Self-Portrait with Pears - Also just an "okay" - had difficulty understanding the direction. Personal Demons - The current politics and LGBT rep were nice touches, though there were some grammar/syntax mistakes as well. Friends with Benefits - Quite chilling, truth be told. Night Terrors - The sci-fi twist is a huge yes, and I really like Ana. Another one of my favorites. The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding - Short and personal, with very dark implications. Leda and the Fly - Topical and blunt. Another favorite. Jenny's Bobo - I started off not finding much intrigue in it, but that last paragraph made up for it. Extinguishing Fireflies - Felines and murder complemented by a fitting prose style. Yet another favorite. The Eyes of the Dead - Not for the faint of heart (please heed the trigger warning at the beginning), that's for sure. Unfortunately, the messy writing detracted from the overall experience, but the tale was still horrifying. My Mirror Wife - Confusing to follow due to multiple POVs, but quite intriguing nonetheless. Patterns of Faerytales - I didn't see the twist coming! One of my other favorites. Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings - Exactly what it says on the tin, though it didn't really work for me. Cracked - Another horror story about dolls. I didn't find much new in it, but it was scary in its own way! Angel of Death - Fantasy-horror with religious influences. With its vivid imagery and topical relentlessness, it's probably my favorite from the overall collection. Her Garden Grows - It didn't make sense to me at all. Revival - Intriguing and relevant, if not a bit hard to follow. A Song Only She Can Hear - Mystically frightening. Another favorite. Tribal Influence - The final story in the collection is timely and political, and I can call it a favorite as well. Overall: this collection consisted mostly of definite hits and definite misses, but there's likely something in it for a lot of different types of horror fans.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    **Thank you to NetGalley and Twisted Wing Productions for a free e-copy of Strange Girls in exchange for an honest review.** I really, really wanted to like this anthology. Unfortunately, it just fell short for me. A majority of the stories were mediocre at best and not even very scary or creepy. There were also quite a few typos and grammatical errors throughout. Such a bummer!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I made some reading goals for 2020, besides setting my Goodreads goal at 100 books this year, I also want to read more horror and anthologies. When Strange Girls : Women in Horror Anthology curated by Azzurra Nox, popped up on social media, I was super excited. Not only is the book horror and an anthology, but every one of the stories is written by women, which is a wonderful bonus! All the stories were good, but some were great. The ones that really stood out to me were; Leda and the Fly by Mar I made some reading goals for 2020, besides setting my Goodreads goal at 100 books this year, I also want to read more horror and anthologies. When Strange Girls : Women in Horror Anthology curated by Azzurra Nox, popped up on social media, I was super excited. Not only is the book horror and an anthology, but every one of the stories is written by women, which is a wonderful bonus! All the stories were good, but some were great. The ones that really stood out to me were; Leda and the Fly by Marine Azzarelli, The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey, The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye, and The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren. Some of them had themes that are repeated quite often, and while they were still enjoyable, I was looking for something with more of a twist. One of the stories that I felt has been done a lot, made fun of itself a bit though by mentioning Annabelle, so that endeared me a bit more to the story. And even though the few that I thought were not as original, they obviously have an audience since they are told again and again. There were some that were cute but still disturbing. And my definition of cute may be way different than yours… but I thought Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns was adorable. I also enjoyed having a mermaid and selkie story in the mix since I’m partial to water monsters. A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Vanian had a different look at mermaids, making me think of sirens. And Sideshow by Jude Reid, although not an aquatic monster, still had the vibe that goes along with man eating beings. I really appreciated the author’s information and links to their other works at the end of each story. I will be using that information to read more stories and novels from the writers that I really enjoyed. And I’m sure I’ll find even more authors to read when I check out the various resources. If you’re a fan of horror or looking to broaden your reading horizons, you should give Strange Girls a read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Greyson | Use Your Words

    When I requested this book I was super excited. I love anthologies and an anthology about strange girls in the horror genre sounded interesting. Unfortunately this book was a disappointment. I got about 30% of the way through before I knew for certain I didn't want to waste my time any longer. A few of the stories just didn't make sense, even when they were nothing but an info dump and some of the dialogue was really clunky. Add on top of that a story where the author seems to misgender their own When I requested this book I was super excited. I love anthologies and an anthology about strange girls in the horror genre sounded interesting. Unfortunately this book was a disappointment. I got about 30% of the way through before I knew for certain I didn't want to waste my time any longer. A few of the stories just didn't make sense, even when they were nothing but an info dump and some of the dialogue was really clunky. Add on top of that a story where the author seems to misgender their own character and two stories told from a male POV who were either a serial killer or a creepy stalker and I lost any and all interest. The 'strange girl' from one of those stories wasn't even strange. She just had a unique nickname and dyed her hair different colours. I read 7 stories and of those, there was only one that I kind of liked. In all possibility there were stories further in the book that I would have actually enjoyed but I wasn't willing to waste my time on those I thoroughly disliked to find them, it just wasn't worth it for me. — Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. ___ │Blog│Instagram│Twitter│Tumblr│

  8. 5 out of 5

    Corissa Buehner

    "Strange Girls," edited by Azzurra Nox is an interesting and unique horror anthology. I was given the opportunity to receive an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The tales of this anthology center around so-called strange girls and is a collection written entirely by women. This alone made me interested in the collection as women are often needlessly left out of the horror genre, both as authors and as main characters. It is largely a male-driven genre. Going into "Strange Girls," edited by Azzurra Nox is an interesting and unique horror anthology. I was given the opportunity to receive an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The tales of this anthology center around so-called strange girls and is a collection written entirely by women. This alone made me interested in the collection as women are often needlessly left out of the horror genre, both as authors and as main characters. It is largely a male-driven genre. Going into "Strange Girls," I didn’t know what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised. While some stories were misses for me and I DNF’d (did not finish) one and wish I had done so with one other, I enjoyed the collection overall. My favorites were “The Doll’s House,” “Cracked,” and “Tribal Influence.” Two of these stories deal with dolls which I always find creepy. The last was about a little girl named Joaquina who has special powers and is fantastic. If you read anything from the anthology, I recommend these three, but there are also other strong contenders in the collection. The three aforementioned stories were five-star reads for me. One story in the collection comes with a trigger warning, though a few others could as well. The trigger warning story was my least favorite and was the one I wished I had DNF’d as it dealt in detail with sexual assault and necrophilia, both of which I find disturbing and not entertaining. But, the writing of the story was good in that it painted a vivid, if not disgusting, picture and was told from a unique point of view. If you love horror and are not squeamish, these sometimes violent and always creepy stories in the Strange Girls anthology will be right up your alley. Because of the misses in the collection, I cannot give the overall experience five stars, but it is a solid four-star book for me. I recommend this with caution as the anthology does deal with some hard-hitting topics, and as I said trigger warnings could have accompanied more than one of these tales.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan ♡

    24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt, 3 stars: Fairly strong idea; I enjoyed the twist and gotta love a strong independent woman. But the dialogue was very forced. Sideshow by Jude Reid, 4 stars: A dark and unsettling story about revenge. Good commentary on rape culture inside relationships. The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye, 5 stars: This was really eerie and probably my favourite story. It was very enjoyable and well written. I would happily read a full-length novel like this. Blood by Claire Hamilton 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt, 3 stars: Fairly strong idea; I enjoyed the twist and gotta love a strong independent woman. But the dialogue was very forced. Sideshow by Jude Reid, 4 stars: A dark and unsettling story about revenge. Good commentary on rape culture inside relationships. The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye, 5 stars: This was really eerie and probably my favourite story. It was very enjoyable and well written. I would happily read a full-length novel like this. Blood by Claire Hamilton Russell, 2 stars: This was a bit too out-there for my liking and it felt like it went on for ages, and not in a good way. Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton, 3 stars: Bit creepy, kinda unnerving. Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns, 3 stars: This made me feel really weird which I guess is the point, but the writing was meh. Friends with Benefits by EF Schraeder, 2 stars: Would have given this 1 star but I felt bad because there wasn’t anything bad about it. Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine, 1 star: I just didn’t really gel with this one at all so 1 star it is The Girl Wh Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren, 1 star: A bit too religious for my liking; I didn’t connect with any of the story. Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli, 5 stars: Probably my second favourite after The Dollhouse. Very weird. Jenny’s Bobo by Hillary Lyon, 3 stars: This one seemed kinda unfinished almost... I wanted more but it didn’t give me enough. Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland, 3 stars: Unnerving story about a kitten and I liked it but didn’t think it was anything amazing. The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R Bailey, 2 stars: This was kinda rough to read and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. My Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor, 3 stars: This was kinda just fine for me, I enjoyed the idea but I’m not sure the execution was all there. Patterns of Faerytales by Azzurra Nox, 4 stars: I’m glad I enjoyed the story written by the person who collected this anthology. Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivard, 4 stars: This was weird and creepy and I liked it quite a lot. Cracked by Regan Moore, 5 stars: Maybe I just like stories surrounding creepy supernatural dolls? Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson, 2 stars: Left a bad taste in my mouth and not in the way that horror should Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar, 2 stars: I didn’t particularly gain anything from this story but it wasn’t bad per se. Revival by Madison Estes, 5 stars: Ooh this was weird and wonderful – very entertaining. A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Vanian, 4 stars: This was a really strong story, I enjoyed it a lot. Loved the characters and atmosphere. Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe, 1 star: Such a disappointing end to the anthology – I would have loved for one of my favourites to finish it so it ended on a high note. Average Rating: 2.86 stars Thanks to Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review

  10. 5 out of 5

    Roxie Voorhees

    February is Women of Horror Month! "I myself am strange and unusual." Overall some great stories in here, some enjoyable ones that needed more, and only a few that wasted my time. 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt ⭐⭐⭐ -vampire Sideshow by Jude Reid⭐⭐⭐⭐ -Remember boys, if a girl doesn't say YES she is saying no, even when she says nothing at all. The Doll's House by Alyson Faye⭐⭐⭐ -crazy Franny running the house Blood by Claire Hamilton Russell⭐⭐ -I feel this story is unfinished, might be better as a nove February is Women of Horror Month! "I myself am strange and unusual." Overall some great stories in here, some enjoyable ones that needed more, and only a few that wasted my time. 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt ⭐⭐⭐ -vampire Sideshow by Jude Reid⭐⭐⭐⭐ -Remember boys, if a girl doesn't say YES she is saying no, even when she says nothing at all. The Doll's House by Alyson Faye⭐⭐⭐ -crazy Franny running the house Blood by Claire Hamilton Russell⭐⭐ -I feel this story is unfinished, might be better as a novella. Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton⭐⭐⭐ -Adam trying way too hard. You. are. not. Joe. Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns⭐ -Succubus, fucking awful Friends with Benefits by E.F. Schraeder⭐⭐ -Witches Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine⭐ -Ugh... The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren⭐⭐⭐⭐ -Menstration Frustration Leda and the Fly by Marrie Azzarelli⭐⭐⭐ -should have started with the fly Jenny's Bobo by Hillary Lyon⭐⭐⭐ -I want a Bobo Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland⭐⭐⭐⭐ -MEOW! The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ -**trigger warning** This story will haunt me for life My Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor⭐⭐⭐ -toxic relationship Patterns of Faerytales by Azzurra Nox⭐⭐⭐⭐ -Selkies Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivardy⭐⭐⭐ -Poor Mr. Cassidy Cracked by Regan Moore⭐⭐⭐ -creepy doll creeped me out Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ -Sci-Fi horror Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar⭐⭐⭐⭐ -There is something special about this garden soil. Revival by Madison Estes⭐⭐⭐ -The horror of grief A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra⭐⭐ Vanian -As the Mer-world Turns Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe⭐⭐⭐⭐ -Can't touch this. Thank you to Twisted Wing Productions and NetGalley for a gifted e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Rhodes

    I do have a story in this anthology; but I will not be commenting on that one obviously. This was a varied and mixed anthology, with stories ranging from horror, to YA fantasy, with magic and what I think of as more 'extreme' content, all included. There were some stories which did not click or sit with me as well as others, but that is often the case in anthologies I've found. Three I particularly enjoyed, all were strong and well written were Charlotte Platt's opener, 24 Hour Diner and the cre I do have a story in this anthology; but I will not be commenting on that one obviously. This was a varied and mixed anthology, with stories ranging from horror, to YA fantasy, with magic and what I think of as more 'extreme' content, all included. There were some stories which did not click or sit with me as well as others, but that is often the case in anthologies I've found. Three I particularly enjoyed, all were strong and well written were Charlotte Platt's opener, 24 Hour Diner and the creepy, with a sting in its tail, Sideshow by Jude Reid and Rebecca Rowland's Extinguishing Fireflies, which appealed to the cat lover in me. A couple of the stories did feel truncated, as though they should be longer with a more satisfying conclusion. But there is much enjoy here as well.

  12. 4 out of 5

    D.K. Hundt

    STRANGE GIRLS - WOMEN IN HORROR ANTHOLOGY Edited by Azzurra Nox A few of my favorites: ‘24 Hour Diner’ by Charlotte Platt ‘Sideshow’ by Jude Reid ‘The Doll’s House’ by Alyson Faye - Loved It! ‘Personal Demons’ by Angelique Fawns ‘Night Terrors’ by Angela Sylvaine - Loved It! ‘Jenny’s BoBo’ by Hillary Lyon - Loved It! ‘Extinguishing Fireflies’ by Rebecca Rowland - Loved It! ‘My Mirror Wife’ by Ash Tudor ‘Cracked’ by Regan Moore ‘Angel Of Death’ by Phoebe Jane Johnson ‘A Song Only She Can Hear’ by Wondra Vani STRANGE GIRLS - WOMEN IN HORROR ANTHOLOGY Edited by Azzurra Nox A few of my favorites: ‘24 Hour Diner’ by Charlotte Platt ‘Sideshow’ by Jude Reid ‘The Doll’s House’ by Alyson Faye - Loved It! ‘Personal Demons’ by Angelique Fawns ‘Night Terrors’ by Angela Sylvaine - Loved It! ‘Jenny’s BoBo’ by Hillary Lyon - Loved It! ‘Extinguishing Fireflies’ by Rebecca Rowland - Loved It! ‘My Mirror Wife’ by Ash Tudor ‘Cracked’ by Regan Moore ‘Angel Of Death’ by Phoebe Jane Johnson ‘A Song Only She Can Hear’ by Wondra Vanian ‘Tribal Influence’ by Erica Ruhe Thank you, NetGalley and Twisted Wing Productions Publishing, for loaning me an eBook of STRANGE GIRLS - WOMEN IN HORROR ANTHOLOGY in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    amanda

    t’s unfortunate that this is a book that has more misses than hits. This collection of stories seems undone as though held up by a single strand and slowly it’s unraveling. A few of these stories are well done and creepy but a majority are meh and left me confused if anything. I ultimately had to DNF at the 42% mark.. This would be a great book for young adults just getting into horror perhaps. Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my ARC. All opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    I loved this big chunky book full of horror! These are A list stories and I have discovered new authors to look up and add to my never ending tbr list. February is Women in Horror Month where we celebrate all the amazing female authors and their scary stories. Having read tons and tons and tons of horror, not a whole lot can scare me and I felt uncomfortable and nervous in quite a few of these. Thank you Netgalley for being awesome and letting me grab this ARC

  15. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    3 1/2 stars I received a copy of Strange Girls through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Strange Girls is the newest anthology out on the racks, and it has a specific and unique focus. This whole collection is a variation on the standard horror themes – with girls and women being the focus and authors behind it all. Naturally, when I saw this compilation I knew I had to give it a read. I've been getting really into horror lately, but have been wanting to see different takes on 3 1/2 stars I received a copy of Strange Girls through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Strange Girls is the newest anthology out on the racks, and it has a specific and unique focus. This whole collection is a variation on the standard horror themes – with girls and women being the focus and authors behind it all. Naturally, when I saw this compilation I knew I had to give it a read. I've been getting really into horror lately, but have been wanting to see different takes on the matter. This anthology seemed to do exactly that, while providing insight and perspective that I would very much appreciate. I loved that this anthology aimed to empower women and girls in the world of horror, that's not something you see every day. As with any anthology, there are certain short stories that I felt really spoke to me. In this instance, my favorites were Night Terrors, Patterns of Fairytales, Cracked, Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings, and A Song Only She Can Hear. My rating is based on the average of all the ratings I gave each short story in this anthology. So to get a better idea for each one, take a peek down below. I've included a quick description, warning label, and rating for each one. As well as a quick rundown of my opinion for them all. “And in a world where everyday women’s choices are dwindling or are at stake, this anthology serves to celebrate these girls’ choices.” 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: You know how the story goes. Girl meets guy, guy meets girl. Horror and violence ensue. Wait, what? This is a classic twist on the whole night time diner scene, where there's more than one predator on the hunt. 24 Hour Diner is probably one of those short stories that vampire buffs, in particular, appreciated. I personally enjoyed the twist, though I'll confess that it also made me chuckle a bit – thanks to my preference towards playing vampire based Tabletop RPGs on the weekend. Sideshow by Jude Reid Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Sexual assault A snake-charmer isn't an uncommon sight for a traveling circus, but this charmer is quite a bit different from what you might expect. On the bright side, her hunger is liberating for some. Sideshow was an entertaining read, though the implied assault is a bit rough to see/hear. I enjoyed the different take and all of the inferences on how sometimes women just really need to stick together. Even when they're not the same species. The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Abuse The Doll's House is a fun twist on the whole murdering dolls concept that horror fans have surely seen before. Though this time around there are a few alterations to the story, giving it an even more disturbing edge. I enjoyed this read. It was fun, with just the right amount of dark and disturbing elements to balance it all out. Blood by Claire Hamilton Russell Rating: ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Bleeding Blood is a story that hints at more than it actually tells. It's playing with the concept of lineage – and all of the dark implications that sometimes go with it. This was an okay read, though perhaps not the most exciting. It's heavily leaning towards fantasy (which I'm obviously okay with) but probably would have done a lot better had there been more time to provide details and explanations. Self-Portrait With Pears by Rachel Bolton Rating: ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Stalking Self-Portrait With Pears is a dark and chilling tale, as one boy becomes obsessed with a fellow classmate. Remember how I mentioned that this whole collection was meant to be a symbol of empowerment? I don't feel like this story fits in with the rest. It was interesting and creepy, and thus fit those definitions. But it didn't fit the whole girl rising up against all odds – or by having something strange or weird protect or change her. Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Transphobia Personal Demons uses allegories to start a conversation. One high school student has been outted by their teacher, only to then make a friend with the most unlikely of creatures – a succubus. This was a decent read, all things considered. I did feel like the main character took the whole concept a bit too easily, but it did allow for a different sort of story. One that forced her to make some tough decisions down the line. Friends With Benefits by E.F. Schraeder Rating: ⋆ ⋆ Friends With Benefits is not at all the story you're going to expect when seeing that title. This is the story of one girl and the strange and alarming alterations that have forcibly begun on her body, once her mother suddenly passed away. I have questions about this one. I feel like we needed a few answers between points a and b, and the absence of those answers made it overall a bit more difficult to follow. Also, the title is fairly misleading. Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Surgery Night Terrors is a dark and chilling tale. A girl wakes up after her surgery. That's nothing new. But what follows makes it all the stranger, for her nightmares and night terrors reveal the truth. The truth of what has been done to her, and the truth of what she is. This was a fascinating story. I would have happily read a novella or novel on this story, had I been given half a chance. I loved the concept and the way it was carried out. The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren Rating: ⋆ Warnings: Blood, stigma The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding twists the religious beliefs surrounding women and periods and spins it to a whole new level. I didn't enjoy this one. I wanted to, but I just couldn't. At first, it seemed like the author was going to try and make a point, but by the end, it ended up reading as more of a support for those beliefs – then an attack on them. I don't think that was actually the intent, but I could be wrong. Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Depression Leda and the Fly is a fascinating story. A tale of depression, and what can happen to a person based on what they ingest. This one was fascinating. I love everything that was left unsaid, as well as the way the story itself unfolded. It was extremely intriguing and left me wanting more. Jenny’s Bobo by Hillary Lyon Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Jenny's Bobo is a tale of a girl and her...peculiar pet. She may not come off as the most responsible teenager around, but at least she's got a solid understanding with her friend/pet, Bobo. I want to rate this one higher, I really do. But it almost felt like it cut off at the halfway mark. I desperately want to know more about Bobo and all of the things that his strange owner had planned. Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Graphic details Extinguishing Fireflies is the tale of one cute yet very deadly kitten. The tale unfolds in the most alarming of ways. This was an interesting read. The author did a great job of leading the reader in such a way where you can almost guess the revelation right before it occurs. The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey Rating: ⋆ Warnings: Rape, necrophilia, graphic details, gore This short story poses the question: what would it be like, if the soul didn't actually leave the body, but instead could continue to witness everything? If I could leave a negative star rating on a story, I would. This short story was horrid. It was graphic and indulgent. For context, none of the other short stories in this collection have a trigger warning. But this one does. I wish I had taken that trigger warning more seriously and skipped it entirely. As it was I couldn't finish it. It was truly horrific. It also wasn't empowerment in any way, shape or form. It was a girl getting assaulted brutally. The Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warning: Poisoning The Mirror Wife is a twist on the whole 'husband gets sick of his wife and decides to have her killed' trope. Nothing is predictable in this tale, which is full of twists and turns. I loved the twist on this tale, it was fascinating and intriguing. It fit the concept of strange and empowering, which is perfect. Patterns of Fairytales by Azzurra Nox Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Patterns of Fairytales is a story focused on the concepts of buried truths – and the legend of selkies. I absolutely loved this story! I cannot say enough nice things about it. I will say that I would have killed to see a full novel on this series of events. Because it was brilliant. Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivardy Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Forced marriage Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings is a twist on the telling of terrible tales for a region. You know what I mean. Each location has their own horror story. This is one to add to your repertoire. This was a fantastic read! At first, I wasn't sure what to expect, but by the end, I didn't want to see it finish, because I was so enthralled by the story itself and the storytelling style. Cracked by Regan Moore Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Another haunted doll tale. But this one is not like the other. Nor is it like any others out there. A haunted doll follows a thief of a woman, fully intent on handing out repercussions for her actions. Can I have more of this? Please? I loved it! A whole short story collection of this karmic and creepy doll would be really interesting if you ask me. Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Death penalty Angel of Death is a short story about one woman (not a woman, really) who takes vengeance and the law into her own hands. It's slightly political, as she aims to go after those who think themselves above the law. This was an interesting read. I would have loved to see more of the before and after for this tale. But as far as short stories go, it was perfectly timed and placed. Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Her Garden Grows follows Rosamund and her most peculiar pet. This story will not go at all how you expect. But it does fit the theme of this anthology perfectly, for more than one reason. This was a really interesting read. And I promise, her cat is fine. It was a unique perspective (the cat – or cat-like creature, I'm still not sure) that I personally really enjoyed. But that's probably not much of a shocker, huh? Revival by Madison Estes Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Cadavers A twisted take on the practice of medical cadavers – and how one student reacts to seeing the latest one up for dissection. As it turns out, this man with a lost loved one in his past...has some things to work out. This was another interesting read, one that was almost fun to try and guess which way it was going to go. It was also beautifully written, so I want to give some credit for that. A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Vanian Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Graphic violence A Song Only She Can Hear is the promised mermaid story in this collection! It was absolutely worth the wait. A mermaid has spent her whole life on land. So imagine her joy when she finally met another mermaid. Or rather, a merman. This is seriously my favorite from the whole collection. It's amazing, and I'm not just saying that because of mermaids. It was beautifully written, dark, disturbing, and absolutely a highlight of this anthology. Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Warnings: Internment camp, illegal human experimentation The final short story in this collection, it's a dark tale of powers and interment. The combination is an interesting one, but very well written. I'm not sure I would have picked this story to wrap up the anthology, but it was also not a bad call either. I really enjoyed it, and once again find myself wishing that it had been a full novella or novel. For more reviews check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sage Knightly

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think I gave most of them around 3 stars, so that's what I am rating it entirely. 24 Hour Diner = 3.5 stars This one involves a 24 hour diner, a barista hitting on a customer, a vampire (I think?), and a serial killer. In the first portion of the short story it mentions that all the people in the diner are killers, and I assumed that was a joke of sorts since they are always up so late. But nope. It was not a joke. I enjoyed it, seeing the male MC do his process was intriguing. But overall, I di I think I gave most of them around 3 stars, so that's what I am rating it entirely. 24 Hour Diner = 3.5 stars This one involves a 24 hour diner, a barista hitting on a customer, a vampire (I think?), and a serial killer. In the first portion of the short story it mentions that all the people in the diner are killers, and I assumed that was a joke of sorts since they are always up so late. But nope. It was not a joke. I enjoyed it, seeing the male MC do his process was intriguing. But overall, I didn’t feel much for the characters or setting. Sideshow = 2 stars A teenage couple go to a fair or something with rides and such. The female MC recalls how her partner -in a way since she didn’t say no, as she knew he wouldn’t get off- forced himself on her and continues to do so. She pretends to be happy and follows him to a tent show of three beautiful women dancing. In the end, he gets what he deserved. This felt unrealistic to me because the end scene just did not bring out any emotion like it should have. It fell flat, as the whole narration felt disconnected. The Doll’s House = 2 stars This one is still very confusing for me. So there is this doll house, and apparently the dolls in it are alive. I constantly wondered why the dolls could be heard by a deaf child and how she could speak back to them, as well as the author hinted that it may actually be all in her head and the child is the one doing the bad things?? But then the dolls are back in action, having their own thoughts away from the child?? I had more questions than answers, honestly. It was confusing, and nothing really happened. Blood = 2 stars I was confused for most of this, until I got to the end and realized everything else was basically just a memory from years ago, that only served to explain one small detail. I really liked the hint at the end about the wings. It detailed the grandmother’s influence on the child during the one time she caught her grandma doing something strange, and then went to the present time for a small detail. But I feel like the beginning didn’t flow properly nor lead well to the last (and possibly only important) scene in the short story. Self-Portrait with Pears = 3 stars This was told in the view of a college male who decides he likes a girl because of her blue hair. He pursues her, basically stalks her, spams her with messages, and is overall a very disturbing being. I enjoyed being in his head and seeing how he thought he was doing the right thing, and how he tried to work out what he did wrong. Personal Demons = 3.5 stars Sam is non-binary and also bullied for it. A new student saves them (basically) and they become best friends. Turns out Sam’s new BFF is not human, but Sam doesn’t care. Not until something happens and they have a choice to make… I really liked the rep and friendship in this one. It caught my attention and kept it. The only reason I am not giving it more stars is because of the end. Sam’s decision just did not seem like the kind their character would make. Sam was in love, didn’t care about the secret of this person, and yet hurt them for a stranger they didn’t know? It felt like a different character made the choice. Friends with Benefits = 0.5 stars This made absolutely no sense to me at all. First of all, the title seems like a poor choice as it focuses more on the family drama than this ‘friends with benefits’ deal. Second of all, the MC is terrified of her weird injury that appeared out of nowhere and gets worse by the day, only to do a complete 180 and basically say ‘jokes on you, I knew all along!’? And to make matters worse, she turns on her dad? He goes to help her, and then out of nowhere her and her friend attack him? I don’t even know if they killed him or not because it was so confusing. Night Terrors = 4 stars I loved this one. Genetic humans tested in carefully made conditions to see how well they can pass as human. It was great, honestly. Our MC has night terrors after her accident and investigates, only to find out that she is not human, they are not night terrors (they are real), and her memories get wiped every time she figures it out. I was hooked until the very end. The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding = 1 star I don’t really understand this one. It was less than two (ebook) pages and had very little information in it. I am still not sure what to make of it. Leda and the Fly = 2.5 stars This was a strange one for sure. Depression left Leda bedridden and uncaring, ready to die. But then she kills a fly, is energetic again, and we learn she has murderous thoughts daily. It was a bit dull for me personally, but it also wasn’t bad. Jenny’s Bobo = 4 stars I enjoyed this one a lot. So, Jenny has a pet (well, not according to her dad) that causes trouble (not that her parents know) and basically punishes her enemies at night so long as she lets him out. It is a good partnership and their connection was pretty cute. Extinguishing Fireflies = 3.5 stars It took me a bit to realize, but the end really cleared things up and I love it! I was a bit confused as to why one character was killed off when it seemed as if they were somewhat important to the killer/killer’s family. But otherwise it was enjoyable. The Eyes of The Dead = 1 star This one had a trigger warning. And wow do I ever wish I skipped this one! I was thoroughly disturbed and I don’t even want to think about what I read. Rape, murder, a soul trapped in a body so they can feel everything that is done to them after death. Yeah, I wanted to puke. That’s not to say it is badly written, just very, very disturbing for me personally. And I thought I would be fine because I read a lot of dark stuff. But I am not fine. My Mirror Wife = 2 stars This one confused me too. I get it, she bespells all men and they do as she wishes. But she seems to want to prove herself to her husband even though he is under her spell? Sure, he sent a hitman out on her, but after she got home he was back under her spell and no longer wanted to be rid of her. So what was the point of all this?? Patterns of Faerytales = 3 stars I felt disconnected to this one. There was no emotion in the writing. I liked the aspect of hiding someone’s true nature from them, and then -when they inevitable find out- joining them in such conditions. But I feel it would have had more of an affect if there was more emotion to it. Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings = 3 stars This is basically a ghost story one would share at night around a fire. A tale based on a true occurrence from many years ago, with the threat of you being next. It would definitely be spooky in the setting! Cracked = 4 stars A thief steals a doll from an old woman (though she didn’t know the purse held the doll at the time), and thus starts the haunting. Yes, the doll haunts the thief and brings her to the brink of terror before devouring her. Very delightful short story! Angel of Death = 4 stars I love the idea behind this one, that a being from another planet can infiltrate ours and attempt to punish the bad. And when all fails, destroys the planet. Intriguing and well written! Her Garden Grows = 3.5 stars The beginning is misleading, which is wonderful because as soon as the twist comes, it makes you think about everything you just read to see where the change first started. Yes, the cat is the narrator and I love it! Revival = 2 stars Against his better judgment, our MC takes a dead body home and starts to think of her as his sister. He takes care of her. Sometimes she is animated and speaks to him, other times she is a corpse. Strange and not much actually happened A Song Only She Can Hear = 3 stars The beginning was great, introducing us to a mermaid or siren girl who has finally met another of her kind. But of course, she is not normal and ends up eating him… She never again returns to the water. I didn’t feel anything? I had no sadness for his death, and no sympathy for her guilt and terror. Tribal Influence = 4 stars I think maybe this one was my favourite. A young girl is taken by the military because of her powers, and a man is tasked with questioning her and getting to know her powers. Well, things take a turn for the worst. Many die and this time, I felt something! I felt sadness for the little girl who was trapped and just wanted her family. I felt sympathy for the man who just wanted to help her but died. And I felt anger towards those who hurt her. Very well written! Overall, this collection of short stories were interesting, though not amazing for me personally.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Audra (ouija.reads)

    I couldn’t pass up this women-in-horror anthology! What especially intrigued me was that I had never read any of these authors before, and I am always on the lookout for new authors to watch. That said, I didn’t enjoy this collection. I gave each story a try, but I ended up skimming at least half of them. There wasn’t much in them for me to sink my teeth into and get invested. There were also issues with the editing that I felt were unnecessary and should have been resolved, from grammar and styli I couldn’t pass up this women-in-horror anthology! What especially intrigued me was that I had never read any of these authors before, and I am always on the lookout for new authors to watch. That said, I didn’t enjoy this collection. I gave each story a try, but I ended up skimming at least half of them. There wasn’t much in them for me to sink my teeth into and get invested. There were also issues with the editing that I felt were unnecessary and should have been resolved, from grammar and styling errors to factual errors, such as describing a wife murdering her husband as “matricide.” I love that Nox is putting forward collections that feature women’s horror writing and I hope that she continues to do so. It is amazing to see all the love for the genre.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I love horror anthologies and this was one of the better ones. There was only one story I hated. That being said, one of the best is "Sideshow". It really held my attention. I love that these were written by all women. Usually I just go for the male writers like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. This really is a must read for women who like horror. I love horror anthologies and this was one of the better ones. There was only one story I hated. That being said, one of the best is "Sideshow". It really held my attention. I love that these were written by all women. Usually I just go for the male writers like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. This really is a must read for women who like horror.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    Trigger/Content warnings: death/murder, sexual assault, toxic relationships, stalking, outing of sexuality, bullying, violence, necrophilia, rape Representation: non-binary, queer MC & POC side character (Personal Demons), queer MC and off-screen character (The Eyes of the Dead) 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt ★★ Generic paranormal story - not really horror, in my opinion. Sideshow by Jude Reid ★★★1/2 Lovely atmosphere and well-defined characters. I enjoyed how this story developed. But it Trigger/Content warnings: death/murder, sexual assault, toxic relationships, stalking, outing of sexuality, bullying, violence, necrophilia, rape Representation: non-binary, queer MC & POC side character (Personal Demons), queer MC and off-screen character (The Eyes of the Dead) 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt ★★ Generic paranormal story - not really horror, in my opinion. Sideshow by Jude Reid ★★★1/2 Lovely atmosphere and well-defined characters. I enjoyed how this story developed. But it didn't blow me away at all. The Doll's House by Alyson Faye ★★★1/2 Finally something a little creepy. I love how this developed and the ambiguity that was throughout the story until the very end. Blood by Red Claire ★ I'm confused by the story. Also, by the fact that this was fantasy. Not horror. Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton ★★1/2 Part of me actually did enjoy this story, but again, NOT HORROR. This was absolutely more of a suspense short story. Good, but also just way too much of the creepy stalker dude which amounted to nothing other than me being really mad and annoyed. Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns ★ No no no no no no. Not only was the non-binary MC misgendered BY THE AUTHOR in the first few lines (okay, this may be changed in the final copy - please note I am reading a proof) but "...being a lesbian doesn't suit me" is possibly one of the worst lines I have ever come across. The writing made me cringe, the story-telling was jaunty and it seemed incredibly cliche to use the name Lilith. Friends with Benefits by E.F. Schraeder ★★1/2 I didn't fully understand what was happening. But I liked it? But then it felt incomplete and rushed. Oh and some of the most DISGUSTING mental health language in this story. *sigh* I just want a well-written full length novel of this... Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine ★★1/2 This was well-written and I didn't hate it. But absolutely not horror (definitely sci-fi) and not original at all. The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren ★ This would have been good if the entire thing hadn't been some weird, messed up analogy about female menstruation. Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli ★★★★1/2 Finally something good! If you loved The Yellow Wallpaper then this will be right up your alley. Jenny's Bobo by Hillary Lyon ★★ This was promising. Until it ended suddenly, turning this into a short story with zero point. Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland ★★★★ I enjoyed this! Super creepy vibes, gorgeously developed twist. The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey DNF I can't believe this was written. I can't believe this was chosen for an anthology. Don't subject yourself to this story. It's disgusting. It's graphic shock value just for the sake of it. It is the worst torture/rape/necrophilia scene I've ever come across. Also shitty dialogue about substance abuse/homelessness. My Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor ★★★★ Really well scripted victim-to-villain story. I loved the way this finished as well. Deliciously dark and messed-up. Patterns of Faerytales by Azzurra Nox ★★★★ I enjoyed this one. Absolutely more fantasy with horror elements, than strictly horror. But it was well told. Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivard ★★ Meh. Cracked by Regan Moore ★★★ Not bad, but honestly it didn't thrill me either. The premise could make a great horror story, but I didn't feel a whole heap of suspense. Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson ★★ This was just odd. Like I was reading two stories at once? The two parts just didn't gel together. Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar DNF Revival by Madison Estes ★★★★1/2 This was good! The dark creepy, second-guessing sort of horror that I want from short stories. A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Vanian ★★★1/2 I really enjoyed this one but it wasn't as atmospheric as I wanted. The story was great, but it didn't feel spooky? Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe ★★★1/2 This was a nicely fleshed out story. I enjoyed it, but I wasn't blown away. So all up, some okay stories, a couple of stories that were fantastic and even more that strongly recommend you skip over. My average star rating for the anthology is 2.5. Pick it up if the descriptions of the stories intrigue you. But I don't think this is a collection that I will be revisiting. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marleen

    24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt - 2 stars Pretty basic story, didn’t bring anything new or interesting or particularly scary to the table. Sideshow by Jude Reid - 5 stars Original, loved the ‘message’ and how it played out The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye - 3 stars Yep, pretty creepy. Way too easy/cheesy of an ending though. Blood by Claire Hamilton Russell - 2 stars Yes, female-centered and positive, but too short to make anything of it. Not quite spoopy either Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolto 24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt - 2 stars Pretty basic story, didn’t bring anything new or interesting or particularly scary to the table. Sideshow by Jude Reid - 5 stars Original, loved the ‘message’ and how it played out The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye - 3 stars Yep, pretty creepy. Way too easy/cheesy of an ending though. Blood by Claire Hamilton Russell - 2 stars Yes, female-centered and positive, but too short to make anything of it. Not quite spoopy either Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton - 2,5 stars Stalker story a la ‘you’. Not particularly scary, but it showcased the thought process of the MC (and some men and what they think they’re entitled to) really well. Don’t know about the ending though Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns - 2 stars About a non-binary character, but the first time a pronoun appears, the author uses ‘she’ before announcing the character wants to be referred to as ‘they’. This one felt a bit iffy. Even though I’m not at all well-versed in what life is like for a non-binary person, I’m not entirely confident to say that this is good representation... It’s about the power of choice, and our MC actually mentioned that this is their choice. However, I’m not sure if they referred to the fact that their preferred pronouns are a choice, or if the author meant that being non-binary is a choice. And while it could be called a choice whether or not you decide to live your life as your authentic self, I don’t believe feeling some type of way and being the way you are can, in fact, be called a choice. Friends with Benefits by E. F. Schraeder - 3 stars Wut? Did her mom take her over or sumthin’? Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine - 4 stars Creepy! First thought that this was about waking up during a procedure on the operating table, which is one of my big fears. It wasn’t but it was still creepy. A fun little horror story! The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren - 1 stars This might be going way over my head. I don’t know if this is supposed to be a powerful story, but to me it’s the opposite. Apparently you have to stay away from girls with periods... Yeah. I don’t know. Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli - 5 stars Loved the writing! Jenny’s Bobo by Hillary Lyon - 2 stars That was it? Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland - 3,5 stars Great writing and definitely a good story. A little less satisfied by the ending. The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey - 5 stars Chills! My Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor - 4 stars Oooookaaayy. I couldn’t fully grasp everything, right away, but it was definitely creepy! Just wish the ending didn’t drag out this much. I wish the author would have left it at the moment I found out what was happening. Patterns of Faerytales by Azzurra Nox - 1 star Pretty meh. Not my kind of writing. Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivardy - 2 stars Liked the writing. But I feel a lot of these stories either lack a message, or lack the horror aspect. This one was the latter. Cracked by Regan Moore - 2 stars Cliché, predictable Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson - 2 stars Am I just not in the loop of what ‘horror’ is, or do I not like horror? But honestly, this was more fantasy than horror. Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar - 3 stars I’m not sure what happened, but if what I think happened, this is pretty sick. Revival by Madison Estes - 4 stars The dead coming alive. That’s what I’m here for. A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Vanian - 3,5 stars Pretty freaky, liked the plot (the ending was a little abrupt though), but liked the writing style a little less. Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe - 2,5 stars More sci-fi than anything. Don’t think it’s that original (the girl with all the gifts/the darkest minds) All-in-all, a very mixed bag. I failed to see the point in some and failed to see the horror in others. I also detected some typos in multiple stories, (don’t know if that was just my ARC or not) which got me out of my reading a little. A 2,9 star-rating on average.

  21. 5 out of 5

    WS_BOOKCLUB

    https://wittyandsarcasticbookclub.hom... Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available on February 18th. There’s a reason I’m posting this review so far ahead of the book’s release date: it is really, really bad. I hate posting a negative review right before a release date, so I’m posting this earlier. My final feeling on this anthology is: YUCK. I went into this book with excitement, looking forward to horror stories where women a https://wittyandsarcasticbookclub.hom... Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available on February 18th. There’s a reason I’m posting this review so far ahead of the book’s release date: it is really, really bad. I hate posting a negative review right before a release date, so I’m posting this earlier. My final feeling on this anthology is: YUCK. I went into this book with excitement, looking forward to horror stories where women are the major focus. That’s a cool idea, and I stand by that. However, what was included in this book is not something I would ever knowingly choose to read. One story had an incredibly nasty person who had a penchant for necrophilia. Another repeated the phrase “You didn’t say no” multiple times. What you infer from that is unfortunately correct. I don’t read these things in books. It bothers me enough that I mention it in my blog review policy. I will give a shout out to yet another story involving these problems: this one at least included a trigger warning at the beginning. I chose to skip that story. Okay, you might be thinking, that’s just a few examples though, and you’re right. Other stories felt unfinished (and not in a good way). That doesn’t mean that these authors are bad: in fact, I’m sure some of them are very talented. It might have very well been a choice to leave these particular stories with an unfinished feeling, but it didn’t work for me. I can’t choose a favorite story among the ones in this anthology because so many of them left a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and not the fun sense of eeriness that I was hoping for. My takeaway from this anthology was disappointment. Hopefully, the next book I read will be more enjoyable.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Strange Girls: Women in Horror Anthology, edited by Azzurra Nox is a collection of tales by female writers with, in theory, women as the main characters of the story. The genres spanned recognised horror tropes but also veered into fantasy and YA which might not suit all tastes. From the title, I was hoping for dark tales with strong, central female characters. Unfortunately, a number of them had the male as the lead character with the female very much as the supporting role, even if they did tu Strange Girls: Women in Horror Anthology, edited by Azzurra Nox is a collection of tales by female writers with, in theory, women as the main characters of the story. The genres spanned recognised horror tropes but also veered into fantasy and YA which might not suit all tastes. From the title, I was hoping for dark tales with strong, central female characters. Unfortunately, a number of them had the male as the lead character with the female very much as the supporting role, even if they did turn the tables in the end (or were ‘strange’ in some way). An example is Charlotte Platt’s 24 Hour Diner, which I did enjoy, being a recognisable horror, but the main character was male, even though the female vampire won out in the end. Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton did a good job portraying a needy, creepy stalker type but again the woman, his target, was very much a supporting role. A few stories also read very much as YA in tone – although I don’t mind that either as I read a lot of YA, especially for my day job – I just hadn’t expected it from the title of the collection. I will add that I skim read The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey, which carried a trigger warning of rape and violence as I am not comfortable with stories with sexual violence – including necrophilia, as here - as its main theme, especially where, as in this case, the woman was the victim and remained so. Whilst I have given this anthology a 3-star rating overall. There are some stories which I rate higher: 24 Hour Diner as mentioned above (despite viewpoint) The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye – a creepy, gothic chiller from an author who is becoming a recognisable and reliable writer in this field Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli with its claustrophobic feel, its focus on depression and possession. Cracked by Regan Moore couldn’t really go wrong with its demonic doll.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tamera

    I really wanted to love this book. As a horror-loving feminist, it seemed right up my alley. While some of the stories were gripping and fun to read, others felt completely incomplete (as if they just leave off) and the majority are in need of some serious editing. From basic grammar and punctuation - to the not so basic. I found myself highlighting things I wanted to fix way too often, editor's brain kicked into overdrive. For example, I was really enjoying Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns, whi I really wanted to love this book. As a horror-loving feminist, it seemed right up my alley. While some of the stories were gripping and fun to read, others felt completely incomplete (as if they just leave off) and the majority are in need of some serious editing. From basic grammar and punctuation - to the not so basic. I found myself highlighting things I wanted to fix way too often, editor's brain kicked into overdrive. For example, I was really enjoying Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns, which is written from the perspective of a non-binary person and is centered around them not identifying fully with either gender. They want to have a they/them pronoun used, the secondary character is a POC, I'm digging it and all for this kind of inclusiveness- and them BAM. The author uses the 'her' pronoun incorrectly for the viewpoint. I tried so hard to carry on but then two pages later, it happened again. That was the point when I stopped reading and marked it as DNF. Incorrect pronouns are a hard no for me. That's just one example. Some of the other editing flaws were extremely cringe-worthy but that was the one that broke me. And as an added note, if you do decide to read this, be aware that some of the stories are very trigger-y in a "she looked like she wanted it" non-consent, rapey kind of way... as well as a necrophilia kind of way. You expect horror in a horror anthology, but you also don't want to be unexpectedly triggered. There really should be a warning in the chapter list, some sort of index, or at least an editor's note at the beginning. Great concept for a book, truly, but start back at the beginning with a heavy-handed red pen and some serious thought. Rated 2 stars because I did enjoy a few of the stories.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    24 Hour Diner - 2 stars, awkward writing but fun premise Sideshow - 4 Stars, a solid story that really fit the collection The Doll's House - 4 Stars, another good one. Blood - 2 Stars. A very short fantasy story that just sort of ... stops. Self-Portrait with Pears - 3 Stars. Well-written but I didn't really get how this fit the collection's theme. Personal Demons - 1 Star. Liked the non-binary character, but wow that writing was bad. Friends with Benefits - 2 Stars. Very cheesy, not well-written. N 24 Hour Diner - 2 stars, awkward writing but fun premise Sideshow - 4 Stars, a solid story that really fit the collection The Doll's House - 4 Stars, another good one. Blood - 2 Stars. A very short fantasy story that just sort of ... stops. Self-Portrait with Pears - 3 Stars. Well-written but I didn't really get how this fit the collection's theme. Personal Demons - 1 Star. Liked the non-binary character, but wow that writing was bad. Friends with Benefits - 2 Stars. Very cheesy, not well-written. Night Terrors - 3 Stars. A fun twisty story. The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding - 3 Stars, wish it was longer. Leda and the Fly - 4 Stars, this was a fun weird little story. Jenny's Bobo - 3 Stars, really liked this but I wanted more! Extinguishing Fireflies - 4 Stars, silly but in a fun way. The Eyes of the Dead - 4 Stars, this one was really messed up. My Mirror Wife - 3 Stars, a little cheesy but okay writing Patterns of Faerytales - 3 Stars, love a selkie story, but this wasn't written particularly well. Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings - 5 stars, simple but effective. Cracked - 3 Stars. It was fine. Angel of Death - 5 Stars, really enjoyed this. I could read a whole novel about this. Her Garden Grows - 4 Stars. This was a weird one that I didn't quite get but still enjoyed. Revival - 3 Stars. Solid writing, but not a premise that really appealed to me. A Song Only She Can Hear - 4 Stars. A really good mermaid story. Tribal Influence - 4 Stars, fun story, felt like the opening of a video game. So a pretty mixed bag overall. I received this arc from Netgalley.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Boswell

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to provide a review of this ARC. Not gonna lie, when this first started out, I was feeling very uneasy about whether or not this was an anthology I would enjoy. After encountering a few duds early on, I finally began to enjoy myself. This anthology consists of 22 short stories, and I notated 12 as ones I particularly liked. In no particular order, these are the ones I found enjoyable: Self-portrait with Pears Night Terrors Leda and the Fly Jenn Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to provide a review of this ARC. Not gonna lie, when this first started out, I was feeling very uneasy about whether or not this was an anthology I would enjoy. After encountering a few duds early on, I finally began to enjoy myself. This anthology consists of 22 short stories, and I notated 12 as ones I particularly liked. In no particular order, these are the ones I found enjoyable: Self-portrait with Pears Night Terrors Leda and the Fly Jenny's Bobo Extinguishing Fireflies The Eyes of the Dead My Mirror Wife Patterns of Faerytales Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings Cracked Angel of Death Tribal Influence I know the importance of reading female authors in the horror genre, so am very grateful to have had the opportunity to read this. Also...that cover is swoon-worthy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jo McPherson

    The cover drew me to the book, I love horror stories and this anthology is a good read, with women as the main characters. Lots of short stories that keep your interest (although a couple did leave me hanging and wanting a bit more). On the whole the book was fun, easy to read and well worth a look.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michaela (Journey into Books)

    This is a horror Anthology written by women and focuses on female characters. This collection is ful of creepy and unusual stories that really showcase the talent of women in the horror genre. Like most anthologies some of these stories fell a little flat for me however, others I loved such as "The Doll's House", "The Eyes of the Dead" and "Cracked". Overall, I gave this 3 out of 5 stars. This is a horror Anthology written by women and focuses on female characters. This collection is ful of creepy and unusual stories that really showcase the talent of women in the horror genre. Like most anthologies some of these stories fell a little flat for me however, others I loved such as "The Doll's House", "The Eyes of the Dead" and "Cracked". Overall, I gave this 3 out of 5 stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angela Maher

    This is an interesting collection, with a nice variety of subject matter. A couple of the stories don't feel like they quite fit the theme, but all do have a girl who is 'strange'. As with all anthologies, some stories are better than others, but there's something in here for every fan of weird fiction. This is an interesting collection, with a nice variety of subject matter. A couple of the stories don't feel like they quite fit the theme, but all do have a girl who is 'strange'. As with all anthologies, some stories are better than others, but there's something in here for every fan of weird fiction.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    I'm rather surprised at the wide range of emotions on this collection, but I've found that books that cause such division are usually a matter of personal preference--either you like the genre and style of the writer(s) or you don't. I personally liked most of these writers' styles. A few stand outs are editor Nox's own tale, Danielle Bailey's "Eyes," and Rebecca Rowland's "Fireflies." The first is a well-crafted twist on a classic supernatural myth, the second is a torture porn nightmare-horror I'm rather surprised at the wide range of emotions on this collection, but I've found that books that cause such division are usually a matter of personal preference--either you like the genre and style of the writer(s) or you don't. I personally liked most of these writers' styles. A few stand outs are editor Nox's own tale, Danielle Bailey's "Eyes," and Rebecca Rowland's "Fireflies." The first is a well-crafted twist on a classic supernatural myth, the second is a torture porn nightmare-horror powerhouse, and the third is a late summer of childhood story reflected in a flattering funhouse girl-power mirror. I get why people are upset about "Eyes," but there IS a trigger warning: read it and proceed at your own risk, people (and psst: rape and torture of women still happens!). The notes about pronoun issues and the occasional typo are valid, but I disagree with the critics who feel there are too many male characters in a women-in-horror-anthology. The theme is strange girls, not "world void of phallus." The writers are all women, as far as I can tell, and that, in itself, makes this collection worth reading and supporting. It's tough to be a woman writing in this genre, an area of fiction dominated for a long time by unapologetic misogyny and female characters cast only as helpless damsels or bait. The writers in this collection show that not only have women writers earned their seats at the terror table, they have brought along with them some of the tastiest meals to share.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kissane

    It took me a while to really enjoy this book as the range of writing was so vast. There were some flash fiction stories of 1 or 2 pages as well as some longer tales that I could really get my teeth into (pun intended!) Reading a book written exclusively by women was, understandably, rather empowering and this is something I would definitely like to see more of, so hats off to Azzurra Nox for putting this together. In terms of the content itself, it was very hit or miss, with some stories being ou It took me a while to really enjoy this book as the range of writing was so vast. There were some flash fiction stories of 1 or 2 pages as well as some longer tales that I could really get my teeth into (pun intended!) Reading a book written exclusively by women was, understandably, rather empowering and this is something I would definitely like to see more of, so hats off to Azzurra Nox for putting this together. In terms of the content itself, it was very hit or miss, with some stories being outstanding (notable: Night terrors, Campfire Tales - The Bloody Rings, Angel of Death, Revival, A Song Only She Can Hear and Tribal Influence) while others fell flat. Unfortunately, the first half of the anthology was filled with the more difficult to get through stories, leaving the best until last. This meant that it took ages to get into it, and I flew through the second half. The stories offered a good representation of today's society and the issues humanity faces, whilst also touching on some classic fantasy elements such as faeries, mermaids and vampires. Something I have learned from this personally, is that I'm not a huge fan of the short story. I need more substance, more backstory and character development, and more time to fall in love with a good tale. That said, some of the stories within this book have the potential for excellent novels and this is something I hope the authors will pursue.

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