Last summer, I was at Barnes & Noble perusing the YA section (always head there first!) when I happened to overhear a man asking an employee to help him find a YA horror novel for his teenage daughter's birthday present. After an unsuccessful search, she recommended a H.P. Lovecraft novel. He thanked her, and she left. I personally haven't read anything by H.P. Lovecraft, which I plan to since I believe he had a profound effect on today's horror, but my husband has warned me it isn't easy reading.
The father looked as though he was unsure about buying the book, and I started talking to him, wanting to help him find something she might like better. I know if I were sixteen, I probably wouldn't be too enthusiastic about H.P. Lovecraft. I told him it isn't easy reading, then cursed myself because I just made it sound like I thought his daughter was an idiot. I quickly said I meant that it reads a lot differently than horror novels we're used to today. I explained it's much more subtle and that even my husband said at times he struggled with the writing holding his attention.
He said he knew I didn't mean anything by what I had said at first (whew!), and we started looking in YA again. I suggested many different books that were as close to horror as I could find, one of those being ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. To my horror (haha, pun intended), there was almost nothing at the store that could be considered horror to me. Maybe I'm wrong, but I struggled to find something awesome even though I had suggested a lot of books. Every book I recommended, he shot down, saying his daughter wouldn't like it. Not even ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD!!! O.O
I wasn't offended, just frustrated because I wanted to help sooo much and put my knowledge of YA to good use! So...what got me thinking about all of this? A blitz I'm posting tomorrow for THE APPEAL OF EVIL by Pembroke Sinclair - the author has written honest-to-goodness YA horror novels that are going on my TBR. I didn't really end up helping him unfortunately. I can't remember if he ended up picking out something or not. Maybe he got her a gift card? Always a good idea if you aren't sure what to pick up a bookworm.
There aren't enough YA horror novels out there in my opinion. While zombies definitely belong in the horror genre, I'd also love to see horror novels without zombies. I want the kind of horror like Stephen King, Peter Straub, in YA form. It'd be so cool to read about haunted houses, ghosts, and other freaky stuff that will scare the pants off of me! LOL
I miss Christopher Pike books SO much. I'm not sure he's written anything recently, but I've collected most of the books of his I grew up reading. My favorites are Witch, Whisper of Death, Monster, and Road to Nowhere. WITCH makes me cry every time - there's a particular scene that is so sweet and so sad, no matter how many times I've read this book, the tears are brought out immediately. The same for my sister, and sometimes I'm convinced the girl has a heart of stone, lol.
What do you guys think? Is there a lack of YA horror? Do you have any titles to recommend that I may be missing?