cover image The Boy Meets Girls Massacre (Annotated)

The Boy Meets Girls Massacre (Annotated)

Ainslie Hogarth. Llewellyn/Flux, $11.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-7387-4472-8

After a grisly death, all that’s left of 16-year-old Noelle Dixon, a possible murderer, is her bloodied diary. The story leading to her demise unfolds in her own words—annotated with comments from criminal investigators and Hollywood honchos hoping to turn the tale into a blockbuster—as she spends a summer jotting down the strange happenings at the purportedly haunted inn where she works. The setup lends itself well to Noelle’s manic fugue states and familial musings, but while some passages and anecdotes are chilling, readers are frequently jolted out of the story by the absurdity of Noelle pausing in the middle of traumatic, terrifying events to record them—especially when she’s in a closet reporting that the lights have gone out and she can’t see. There’s also a disconnect between the characters’ rough-sketched backstories and Hogarth’s attention to less important details like the description of a man eating a chicken or Noelle getting her ears cleaned out by her father. Even so, Hogarth (The Lonely) delivers in bringing what amounts to a summer slasher flick to the page. Ages 13–up. Agent: Ali McDonald, Rights Factory. (Sept.)