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Scary Out There

de Jonathan Maberry (Editor)

Outros autores: Linda D. Addison (Contribuinte), Ilsa J. Bick (Contribuinte), Kendare Blake (Contribuinte), Zac Brewer (Contribuinte), Rachel Caine (Contribuinte)16 mais, Christopher Golden (Contribuinte), Nancy Holder (Contribuinte), Ellen Hopkins (Contribuinte), Josh Malerman (Contribuinte), Cherie Priest (Contribuinte), Madeleine Roux (Contribuinte), Carrie Ryan (Contribuinte), Jade Shames (Contribuinte), Brendan Shusterman (Contribuinte), Neal Shusterman (Contribuinte), Marge Simon (Contribuinte), Lucy A. Snyder (Contribuinte), RL Stine (Contribuinte), Rachel Tafoya (Contribuinte), Steve Rasnic Tem (Contribuinte), Brenna Yovanoff (Contribuinte)

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"Multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jonathan Maberry compiles more than twenty stories and poems--written by members of the Horror Writers Association--in this terrifying collection about worst fears"--
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During one of our recent book club meetings, our fellow member Aimee mentioned to me a book of short stories she was reading for a book committee she was on. That book was “Scary Out There”, and as the resident (and kind of lone) horror buff she felt that this might be a good fit for me. I’ve read horror short story collections for teens before. One of the very best ones I’ve read is the FABULOUS book “Slasher Girls and Monster Boys”, and knowing that there are some great horror authors out there for young adults, I was pretty intrigued by “Scary Out There”. The problem with short stories collections is that sometimes you may have a set of stories that may have some stand outs, but are, as a whole, a dud. And unfortunately, “Scary Out There” pretty solidly fell into this unfortunate trap.

But I will talk about the stand out stories first. Because there were a few that I really liked.

“Danny” by Josh Malerman

Josh Malerman is the author of the incredibly creepy and completely ambiguous “Bird Box”, so when I saw that he had a tale of terror in here I had high hopes. The man did NOT disappoint. This story is about Kelly, a fifteen year old girl who wants to start babysitting, even though her parents aren’t sure she’s up to the task. After some convincing on their part, she answers an ad for The Donalds, who need a babysitter for their young son Danny. After her Dad drops her off for the job, the Donalds come clean. They don’t actually have a son, but really, really wish that they did, so could she just go through the motions of acting like she’s babysitting their nonexistent while they go out for the night? Kelly, wanting to seem responsible and not get an ‘I told you so’ from her folks, agrees. But is she actually alone in the house? HOW SCREWED UP, but also, how Josh Malerman. This story really hit all the right notes, as you spend the majority of this book wondering if the Donalds are totally insane (scary enough on it’s own), or if there is actually something else in this house with Kelly. I was completely unsettled and freaked out by this one, and Malerman did a great job of building suspense slowly, and being deliberate in turning the screws on the reader.

“Corazón Oscuro” by Rachel Caine

This one is definitely an old school, nightmare fuel ghost story, with horrifying imagery and revenge. When Zenobia and her doctor mother are driving in the desert at night, they come upon a car accident. While her Mom goes to help, Zenobia calls 911, but instead of connecting to help, she connects to something else. Shortly thereafter they realize that they are not alone in this desert scape, as illuminated eyes and strange noises can be seen in the darkness. Help in the form of a man in a pickup truck comes to them, and he tells them about the ghost of a girl covered in scorpions. Zenobia and her mother get caught up in the unfinished business of this girl. I loved this story. It had a taut and scary plot, really creepy moments, and hit all of my ‘NOOOOOPE’ bingo squares with the description of the girl ghost (strange movement, sounds, AND scorpions?! YIKES).

“Death and Twinkies” by Zac Brewer

This one stood out mainly because it’s more sad and melancholic than it is scary. Jeremy is a depressed teenager who is on a quest to kill himself to get away from his terrible life. But when he goes to jump off a bridge, a mysterious teenage boy is there. They start talking, and Jeremy realizes that he’s talking to Death. As they talk, Jeremy starts to wonder if he can go through with what Death should want him to do. I liked this one because, oddly, it was one of the more tender stories in this book. Definitely not scary or unsettling, but kind of sweet and hopeful. Plus, Death is a fun and snarky character, as any personification SHOULD be, in my opinion.

“Non-Player Character” by Neal and Brendan Shusterman

Neal Shusterman is just a powerhouse in the YA world, and this time his son came along for the ride! Darren is a teenager whose parents are obsessed with an online video game. Darren pretty much cares for himself they’re so far gone, and cares for them too. But then he sees a strange girl inside the game, a non-player character. Darren is compelled to pick up the controller and play too, if only to get closer to her. But as he does get close to her, his own dangerous obsession begins. This one was upsetting on a few levels. The first is that Darren’s parents are the absolute worst in how they neglect him. The second is all about the power of the game itself, and what it can make people do. The end was screwed up beyond belief, and I loved that about it.

But guys. These are just four stories out of twenty one. The rest didn’t really do it for me. They were either boring, pointless, or ended abruptly and felt haphazard. There were multiple times that I would feel like the story built up so much that it didn’t work where it ended, feeling incomplete and unfulfilling. Other times there would be such hamfisted ‘issues’ stories that could have used horror as a good metaphor, but ended up falling pretty damn flat. OR, they ended on a cliffhanger and that was it. Come on! I don’t want so many stories to end with a big ol’ question mark, or a ‘she ran away but doom was certain… but was it?’ kind of resolution.

So while four of these stories were pretty damn awesome and I shall sing their praises to hell and back…. the rest were rather disappointing. If you can find these mentioned stories on their own, definitely do. But if you want want a more well rounded book of horror short stories for teens, I would say definitely go with “Slasher Girls and Monster Boys”. “Scary Out There” just doesn’t have the balance. ( )
  thelibraryladies | Mar 29, 2017 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Maberry, JonathanEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Addison, Linda D.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bick, Ilsa J.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Blake, KendareContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Brewer, ZacContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Caine, RachelContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Golden, ChristopherContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Holder, NancyContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hopkins, EllenContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Malerman, JoshContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Priest, CherieContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Roux, MadeleineContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Ryan, CarrieContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Shames, JadeContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Shusterman, BrendanContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Shusterman, NealContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Simon, MargeContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Snyder, Lucy A.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Stine, RLContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Tafoya, RachelContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Tem, Steve RasnicContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Yovanoff, BrennaContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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"Multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jonathan Maberry compiles more than twenty stories and poems--written by members of the Horror Writers Association--in this terrifying collection about worst fears"--

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