BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blog Tour: Giveaway & Review of Girls & Monsters by Anne Michaud

Publisher: DarkFuse
Format Read: eARC
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Buying Links:  Not available for pre-order; publisher's site; goodreads

Blurb from goodreads:
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.

Bea's Thoughts:

 I still love this cover so much. Back in February, I did a cover reveal and excerpt for "Girls & Monsters" and today I have a review. 

The stories have some commonalities: teenage girl leads, animals or pets (except for "Death Song"), dysfunctional families or families in crisis, and leaving home. Some of the stories end on a hopeful note while others, not so much. There were run-on sentences and misplaced punctuation, which always irritates me. Michaud's descriptive ability waxed and waned; at times it was choppy and at times, just a few words could call up an image. The story quality is mixed but overall it's an enjoyable read.

My favorite of the collection was "A Blue Story". It's an original update on the Captain Bluebeard story with a twist. Katherine loves animals, plans on being a veterinarian, and is happy to get a job at a pet supply store for the summer. Neighborhood animals are going missing at an alarmingly high rate and when Katherine's dog goes missing, she'll do anything to get her back. The story is spooky and nicely evocative.

"We Left At Night" was my least favorite of the collection. There's a plague, humans are mutating into zombie-type beings, but it hasn't affected all of the US. Martial law has been declared and Brooke and her family are trying to get away. I never connected with Brooke or feel the urgency of the situation. A little more background, a stronger look at the outside world would have given more depth. I also couldn't relate to Brooke or her family.

"Death Song" had potential, it had a few good twists and turns, but it was rough. The world building was minimal, descriptions were choppy, and, stupid as this sounds, I kept expecting Jo, a boy, to be a girl, because of the spelling. I also had trouble taking Limnade seriously because the name sounds like a drink. :D I did like that Michaud used a lesser known being from Greek mythology, despite its name. The basic idea was good but could have been better developed and both Jo and Liz could have been fleshed out more. Despite that, I enjoyed it.

 If you're scared of spiders (I'm looking at you Kate!), don't read "Dust Bunnies". Feuding sisters, bereavement, a science experiment that took a turn, first love and a genuine monster under the bed all are mixed together to create a sometimes sad, sometimes hopeful, quirky story. It was confusing at times as to why Chris's older sister didn't trust her but Michaud beautifully shows us the fractures in their relationship. The monster under the bed starts out terrifying then changes during the story. I didn't completely buy into the change but the ending is cute.

"Black Dog" was disturbing to read. Scarlet is troubled and self-destructive; Michaud conveys her pain, her erratic thinking and the voices in her head clearly and sympathetically. I thought I knew where she was going with the black dog in the story but I was only partially right. The story has several twists and at one point, it seems as if Scarlet might find her way out of the darkness. This was the most emotional, and disturbing, story.


There's a tour wide giveaway for a softcover copy of the book and The Monster Collection Skellies, 5 pieces handcrafted by the author: GIRLS & MONSTERS Giveaway. The winner will be announced during a LIVE CHAT on release day, April 30th at 9PM EST


  1. Sounds like a great collection of stories! Adding to GR now :) Thanks so much!

    1. D'oh! I should have put a GR link. I'll go do that.

  2. That is an awesome cover. Never paid attention to it until now, and the blue beard one sounds great.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. Isn't that a great cover? I really like it.

  3. Are there grasshoppersthose give me the creeps. Spiders sometimes too. This sounds like a great book to profile in October.

    1. No grasshoppers :D I dislike grasshoppers also, ick. It would be a good October book, nicely creepy.

  4. Thanks for the awesome giveaway. I would love to read these stories. Sounds very good.

  5. Hmm, interesting. Looks like a mean book from the cover. :) Thank you.

  6. This cover is fantastic,Makes me wanna just go out and buy it.It's so eye catching!

    New follower here. I stumbled across your blog through a Book blogs thread.Seeing as how your blog is still active,I decided to sign up(Many people up there don't seem active don't know why)

    I look forward to your future posts and hope i can get some great suggestions from your list of reviews.Hope i can see you back at either one of my blogs.


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