Young Adult Horror
It’s actually kind of funny to me that horror even has a YA subsection. I mean, in my head, you’re either so young the worst you should be reading is R.L. Stine or thereabouts or you’re old enough to read the big boys of horror like King, Koontz, Laymon, and Matheson. Now, I’ve come across some ‘clean’ horror that I’ve acknowledged as being suitable for teens, but the idea that there’s a young adult horror novels section is still just odd.
Anyways, I came upon it, and started sifting through my list wondering what books I would say are YA Horror Reads. These aren’t in order of how much I like them, or anything like that. More the order in which I discovered them in my shifting.
(Pictures link to Amazon, text links go to reviews.)
Beneath Claire’s House by Corey J. Popp
Shutter by Courtney Alameda
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
The funny thing is, out of those three, the only one I’d really consider true horror would be Beneath Claire’s House. The others are good, but even remotely scary. So, what exactly is a young adult horror book? Do they actually have much horror in them? I know the young adult section is aimed at ages 12-18, so I wouldn’t expect it to have the rough stuff, but still…
BestHorrorNovels.com has a list of Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, and one of the novels on it is Anna Dressed in Blood. Now, Anna, to me, kind of like the TV show Supernatural, and a fine example for this post. Just like the show, Anna Dressed in Blood deals in things that are considered typically horror, but are not horrific at all. It’s a good book, but it’s not even remotely a scary book.
So, what’s going on? Corey J. Popp proved it was possible to write a YA novel that was actually scary, but he seems to be one of the few. Is horror for this age group meant to be kid-gloved? Or is ‘horror’ just the genre in which people automatically assume if it’s got a ghost, or zombies, etc, it must be horror? Because, wow, so not the truth.
I’m not asking for the YA Horror books to have lots of guts/gore or head-twisting demonic possession. However, I do they think they should be scary. That, in itself, opens up another can of worms though. What exactly is scary? Have you guys that read Young Adult Horror been scared by those books? Maybe because I read so much horror I’m slightly immune to the scares…. so…
Talk to me!