Contemporaries dealing with tough issues? Check. Light hearted rom-coms that make you feel all bubbly inside? Check. Aliens? Alternate societies? Magic? Adventure? Check, check, check, check.
But something I've noticed recently is the lack of good, classic YA horror. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some great ones out there, just not nearly as many as you'd think. Especially since there are so many stories containing ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and demons out there.
But the truth is, a VERY large chunk of those stories are not horror, not even a little bit. Most times, they fall into paranormal- a category that a lot of people meld with horror in their minds, even though they are very different.
I think a big difference between paranormal and horror is that paranormal, more often than not, will have a heavier focus on the ghost. It has a name, a background, it has a story to share. It claims the title of one of the more fleshed out (ha!) characters in the book.
Now in horror, you could have that exact same ghost. But in a horror, that ghost isn't a character. It's a force, a reckoning, something that leads the MC to make some truly terrifying discoveries- about the world, about the beliefs of others, and ultimately, about themselves and their own beliefs. Combined with a morbid atmospheric tone and a few dead side characters, and you've got yourself something real special.
As a good writer friend said to me, "YA horror is very much about instability. The whole infrastructure of a teenager's life falling apart." And I really couldn't agree more.
|Zelda- she's got your back, yo. Or, at least, she wants to break it.|
Yeah, I don't know either. All I know is that I desperately want to read them and write them and see them get the recognition they deserve, front and center. Bring on the scary!
Are there any other horror writers out there? What are your favorite YA horror books?