Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Happened to the Horror Genre in YA?


I was once a huge Stephen King fan. Pet Sematary was the SCARIEST book ever--seriously I thought I was going to die of fear. It also could have been my setting at the time--lonely farmhouse up north, rounding 1 a.m., some crazy pipe banging in the background. Very scary. I also loved Misery and It, and even The Talisman, which was a little weirder, was pretty good. I'm a bit more of a baby now (as I've learned by a recent viewing of Paranormal Activity--my body had trace memories of anxiety and panic for two weeks after). But I still love to read horror. But where is it in YA?

Seriously. The Urban Vampire Paranormal Action Romance genre, although dark and spooky, doesn't exactly give me goosebumps. The last thing I read that gave me chills was The Maze Runner by James Dashner, and really only for those amazing monsters and nail-biting tension in a few scenes. But I would still call The Maze Runner SciFi. I'm reading The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey right now and it's pretty freaky. There's a lot of gore and I hope to see more gothic horror tension, but it's good so far. It's been a breath of fresh gore-flecked air for me!
Another scary-seeming title I have my eye on is Possessed by Kate Cann. It looks promising horror-wise. I was just speaking about horror in YA with my lovely friend Katie from Read What You Know (drop everything and check out her blog--she puts a LOT of work into it!), and she mentioned that a Lois Duncan book called Locked In Time STILL freaks her out. Which is so awesome that a book can be so viscerally affecting years later.

So come back to YA, Horror genre. Do you have any Scary reading suggestions for me?

Mandy

14 comments:

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz freaked me out a lot. It's about these teens who decide to make a movie in an old insane asylum that's scheduled to be demolished.

It's not exactly horror, but it's more than a little freaky.

kiirstin said...

I have heard good things about Katie Alender's Bad Girls Don't Die, but I will admit to being easily creeped out. Stephen King is in a don't-go-there category for me, although I certainly admire his stuff from a distance.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Have you read any of The Last Apprentice books by Joseph Delaney? They aren't Stephen King scary, but they will freak you out in a way that is difficult to explain - very addicting! :-)

StephanieD said...

I loved The Monstrumologist! - the best horror novel I read in 2009!

choco (In Which a Girl Reads) said...

Hmm, I haven't read many YA Horror books, but I did read Sleepless by Thomas Fahy a bit back and it was pretty freaky--high school students murdering each other in their sleep 0.0

Cynthia said...

It is true that you have to look for horror in the teen section but it is being put out there.
Alex McAulay writes horror thriller type books for mtv books.
A recent horror book is
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender .
Also Wake by Lisa McMann could be considered horror. Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill has comedic horror.

Amy C said...

Hey I totally agree...there aren't a lot of horror YAs out there anymore. I did some research and came up with a few horror novels...not sure if they are good, but I'm planning on reading The Devouring by Simon Holt soon, and I hear it's kind of scary, as well as Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell, which I heard was good and scary. Hmm...

Others I've read were Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz and Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Allender, but I didn't find that too scary...you could try them out though!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I'm the biggest world class chicken. Horror scares the shapoopy out of me.
;)
But I understand your pain :)

Literature Crazy said...

Try GONE and HUNGER (the first 2 of 5, eventually, in a series) by Michael Grant. Some parts seriously freaked me out.

Donna Gambale said...

Ohhhh excellent point. I'm thinking Bad Girls Don't Die -- classic ghost story, creeped me out a bit, though the ending wasn't my favorite -- but worth a read!

Then you could also consider the upcoming The Body Finder -- serial killers return! Or Laurie Faria Stolarz's Deadly Little Secret and Deadly Little Lies (yayyyy stalkers)! (Though both do include romance.)

Mandy (Edge of Seventeen) said...

Wow! Thanks SO much to everyone for the great list above!

Some titles I am familiar with but none I have read so I'll see if my library has them. If not, we can always get them at the store.

Maybe I should compile them on goodreads.com and have an option for people to add more titles or check out the list in general.

Rhiannon Hart said...

Oh, TELLS me about it. All the bite has been taken out of vamps and zombies and they're all kissy kissy now. I mean, kissable zombies?? WTF! The Monstrumologist I found to be amazing. I haven't read any others recently that I can recommend, but looks like lots are listed here.

Katie said...

I've been wracking my brain and my bookshelves trying to figure out what happened to horror these past few days. I feel like the genre disappeared almost.

"Beating Heart" by A.M. Jenkins is one my teens seem to enjoy. Ghost story, as far as I can tell.

(And as for "Locked In Time" -- you should prepare yourself. I was a chicken as a teenager!)

Lenore said...

Locked in Time! I remember that one. Couldn't sleep for days...

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