I can't explain it...books like that scare the pants off me, and I like it.
My husband has learned to deal with the strange dreams and the inevitable elbows, knees and mindless chatter that follows any particularly scary book. It's just another one of the quirks that makes me so
I made a list the other day of all of the books I've read in the last year or so that fit into this very specific niche genre...
I am clearly obsessed.
But recently, my obsession has made me question the world at large.
There is a new phenomenon emerging from modern writers - one where teen characters are placed in worlds on the brink of destruction; worlds where the teenage protagonists are placed in situations where, against the odds (often at the mercy of malevolent, authoritarian governments) they must fight to save their lives, and the lives of the people they love. In the last few books I've read, this has been through blood sport - usually resulting in more than one gory, graphic death. These books are violent, gruesome and utterly frightening - even more so when you remember, most characters are under 16 and the intended audiences are teenagers (and let's face it, pre-teens - that damn Twilight Saga was clearly not meant for an 11 year olds eyes...and a little too much like crack to boot.)
All that being said, the books I have read from this emerging genre are amazing. They have complex plots, characters and language. They make the reader question things in the book's world, but also their own, and I can honestly say for the most part, you have no idea what is going to happen next because just when you think you've read the most horrific thing you have ever read in your entire life, you read the next chapter and the author has found a new way to mind fuck you. It's all a little insane.
While reading these books, I keep thinking to myself: I'm not sure which is scarier - that a 12 year old is going to read this book or that some adult created this elaborate, crazy-ass world and thought, "Geeze! I know who should read this! A 12 year old!"
Which leads me to the question of why?
Why are books about the end of society as we know it becoming so popular? Why can teens relate to a girl who takes her sister's place in a state mandated game where 26 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 fight to the death à la Thunder Dome? (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins) Or a 16 year old boy who is part of some elaborate state funded program to weed out the smartest of the smart in a maze filled with crazy robo-octopus-cat things that kill everything in their path and are kept out of the middle of the maze (where the 60
Seriously - what the fuck is this world coming to?!
As a teacher, I am genuinely worried for the future of the human race.
As a reader, all I can say is...
It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine.