Night of the Living Queers
13 Tales of Terror & Delight
by Vanessa Montalban; Kalynn Bayron; Rebecca Kim Wells; Kosoko Jackson; SMP Alex Brown; Trang Thanh Tran; Maya Gittelman; Em X. Liu; Shelly Page; Tara Sim; Ayida Shonibar; Ryan Douglass
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Pub Date 29 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 12 Sep 2023
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books
Night of the Living Queers is a YA horror anthology that explores a night when anything is possible, exclusively featuring queer authors of color putting fresh spins on classic horror tropes and tales.
No matter its name or occasion, Halloween is more than a Hallmark holiday, it’s a symbol of transformation. NIGHT OF THE LIVING QUEERS is a YA horror anthology that explores how Halloween can be more than just candies and frights, but a night where anything is possible. Each short story is told through the lens of a different BIPOC teen and the Halloween night that changes their lives forever. Creative, creepy, and queer, this collection brings fresh terror, heart, and humor to young adult literature.
Contributors include editors Alex Brown and Shelly Page, Kalynn Bayron, Ryan Douglass, Sara Farizan, Maya Gittelman, Kosoko Jackson, Em Liu, Vanessa Montalban, Ayida Shonibar, Tara Sim, Trang Thanh Tran, and Rebecca Kim Wells.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 95 members
Thanks Wednesday Books and Netgalley for this eARC, these opinions are my own. I was hooked while I was reading this, so much so that I couldn’t put these stories down even while I was at work! I love queer centric stories and it was great getting to read all these stories in different horror genres! I loved how the spooky wove in with the queerness, and that all wove in with the Blue Moon! And I can’t say no to an anthology that includes stories from Kalynn Bayron, Kosoko Jackson, and Ryan Douglass! There’s a little bit of everything here so if you’re a spooky lover all the basis are covered! Kosoko Jackson’s story Rocky Road and Carmel Drizzle asks some tough questions surrounding what you would do when justice fails! I absolutely loved it and was so happy with the direction of the story! Tara Sim’s Hey There, Demons gave me all the cute spooky feelings, involving a boy, a demon, and a poltergeist! These are just a few examples of the stories in this anthology! It’s exciting and will draw the reader in and you’ll not want the stories to end! Shelly Page and Alex Brown did an excellent job editing these stories together! Can’t wait till this comes out to read it again!
When I saw this book full of horror stories centered around queer characters I was over the moon and knew I had to read it. It was everything I could have wanted. Now the stories weren’t genuinely terrifying, but it was a young adult book and while they were spooky they were also fun and entertaining. I think my favorite stories were Leyla Mendoza and the Last House on the Lane and Hey There, Demons. But I enjoyed all of the stories. I hope this is the start of a trend of more representation, particularly in this genre as I don’t think I’ve seen much if any before.
I really enjoyed this anthology, it was a wonderful collection of Queer stories. Each story was just as strong as the last and I enjoyed the different tropes and characters. Each author had a great writing style and glad I read this. My favorite story was Leyla Mendoza and the Last House on the Lane, it was a great concept and I glad I read this collection as a whole.
What an excellent and spooky collection from some of YA lit's current hot writers! I love a good horror story, so these definitely scratched that itch. Almost all of these stories were fresh takes on "the monster hiding in the shadows" trope but with an LGBTQ+ spin, as well. It was nice to have characters of color and from the LGBTQ+ community star in their stories. Each had elements of inclusion, but with many bone-chilling endings. The stories are centered around Halloween Night and the blue moon, which holds major significance to many different cultures. Some of my favorites were "The Visitor" by Kalynn Bayron which ramps up the fear until the crescendo last line; "The Three Phases of Ghost Hunting" by Alex Brown had me chuckling out loud at parts with its campiness of the horrors of a suburban mall haunted by a malevolent entity, "Terrifying Bob"; and "Anna" by Shelly Page combines the tropes of a babysitter watching kids, the spooky attic, and contacting "spirits" through a Ouija Board. Readers who enjoy reading about things that go bump in the night will truly love this collection!
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the arc! This has to be one of my favourite short story collections to come out of YA!! Every story was so atmospheric and spooky. I loved all of them, but Alex Brown, Trang Thanh Tran, and Vanessa Montalban's stories specificially stuck out to me. Can't wait to recommend to customers!!
"Night of the Living Queers," according to the publisher's description, is a Young Adult horror anthology that explores a night when anything is possible. It features queer authors of color who have put new spins on classic horror tropes. The book promises to explore how Halloween can be more than candies and frights.
First up, Vanessa Montalban offers "Welcome to the Hotel Paranoia" which takes place, of course, in a hotel -- two friends meet up, their painful history, The terrors unfold soon with a twist ending that sets the tone for the entire anthology.
For fans who love Stranger Things or the recent spate of teen horror on Netflix, Are You Afraid of the Dark the series, and the amazing First Bite (which I am still so pissed off about that cancellation), they will love the same energy here. It's definitely a great recommendation for readers wanting to know where to go after Goosebumps. It's fun, there are definitely funny moments, there's scary things, of course because it is a horror anthology after all, but it's immersive, and like unwrapping different candies on Halloween night that are excellent. Highly recommended, and it definitely will make sense for Halloween displays.
Some of my other favourite stories were "Guested" by Rebecca Kim Wells, "Rocky Road with Caramel Drizzle" by Kosoko Jackson which takes the real-life element of racial terrors and uses it to increase the tension in uncomfortable ways for the protagonist. It's about revenge, demons, and so much more. I also loved "In You to Burn" by Em X. Liu. "Knickknack" by Ryan Douglass is also fantastic.
As well, I appreciated the content warnings that appeared at the start of each story because that's when I want to know. I want to know *before* I get into something rather than afterwards.
Overall, this anthology is also a fantastic introduction to authors doing speculative fiction in YA, queer authors of colour, whose books that teens and other readers should discover and seek out after reading this wonderful introduction to only a glimpse of the brilliance of their storytelling.
Why wait for Halloween to read some spooky stories? ‘Night of the Living Queers: 13 Tales of Terror Delight’ is a YA anthology featuring a rare blue moon Halloween night. All things paranormal haunt the variety of queer characters as they try to overcome, endure, or utilize the situation they are in.
By the end of each story, I wanted more! The way queerness was introduced and how well thought-out the plots were despite the short length, left an impression on me. I mean how many other stories have you read where a demon has to choose their pronouns? The endings of every story leaves you wanting a sequel or the story equivalent of an end credit scene.
There is a wide variety of LGBTQ+ and cultural representation that needs to be present in more literature. The inclusion of queer elements are introduced subtly (depending on the story of course) and naturally. Maybe it’s because this anthology is composed by queer authors of colour, but I’ve rarely seen such thorough and imaginative queer moments in horror literature. So reserve this anthology for your Fall reading shelf and be prepared for some spooky tales that will follow you in your dreams.
A fantastic collection of dark, compelling and twisted stories. There is a delight in the examination of monsters, real and imagined. These talented writers entice the reader into a world where queerness is at the forefront, scratching against a background of extraordinary experiences. A highly recommended collection.
I usually don't love anthologies, but I'm always holding out hope for one that will be consistently brilliant, and finally, after many misses, I've found a hit. This collection is *phenomenal,* in almost every entry, and I was shocked at how intense and not 'happily ever after' the majority were. I can't wait to re-read this closer to Halloween.
This is what every young queer needs in their life. This book is pure gold and i loved every story! The stories all have unique perspectives and vivid imagery and characters that allow you to get lost in the words over and over until the next story begins. Loved it!
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