Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

Does anyone remember the episode of Friends where Joey and Rachel are telling each other about their favorite books? Joey says that his favorite book is The Shining and Rachel says that hers is Little Women, and they decide that they're going to trade. Joey warns her that The Shining can get pretty intense, so if she starts to get scared she should just do what he does; put the book in the freezer for a while.

I just read a book that was incredibly well-written.

Compelling characters, check.
Gripping plot, check.
Believable dialogue, check.

I really, really liked it-- couldn't put it down. But I have to say that 75% of the time I was reading it, I was horrified. Because it was that disturbing; not in a gory way, because that's not my thing, but disturbing in a way that twists things that you thought you understood and forces you to look at them differently. I seriously considered putting it in the freezer for a bit, but I kept reading because I was mesmerized. It stayed with me even when I was finished, haunting me. But in a good way... I think.

I love books like this-- books that you have to stretch a little to wrap your brain around. Books that make such a powerful impression on you that you find yourself recommending them to everyone you know. Of course, this can occasionally backfire. I told one of my work friends that she simply MUST read Hunger Games. I walked by her desk one day to find her with her nose buried in it, and she was CRYING. I felt like a terrible person. She said that she really liked the story but that parts of it were just too much. So I have to be sensitive to the fact that we all have different levels of what we can cope with.

So, I'm curious. What books do you love because they made a lasting (and sometimes disturbing) impression on you? Which books do you have to put in the freezer?

9 comments:

Kimberly said...

The first book that comes to mind for me is I Am NOT a Serial Killer by Dan Wells. Wow. Loved it, was horribly disturbed, and have no idea who I dare reccomend it to!

Sarah M Eden said...

I read this book once where this girl wakes up on Christmas morning and there's a strange guy passed out under her Christmas tree. Talk about disturbing. The book was in the freezer for weeks!

KarenG said...

You mentioned Hunger Games, and since I read it recently, I'd have to say it fits that category for me. Not the sequel, unfortunately, but that's another story. I told my friend about it, and she said it sounded too scary for her. She didn't want to read it. Compared to some of the stuff I read, Hunger Games is mild. The author could have upped the intensity by ten, made it an adult novel, and then I'd have REALLY loved it.

Rebecca Irvine said...

Sarah is so funny!

I try to stay away from disturbing books because there are too many disturbing things in real life to deal with. Every once in a while I stumble across one--there was one about the Warren Jeffs trial that was disturbing, which I read. Instead I search out uplifting books (trying to follow Article of Faith 13).

Surge said...

i LOVE friends. Seriously. Friends friends friends friends friends - I actually never thought about putting the book in the freezer - why did he say that again ? x.x

Steph said...

Maze Runner by James Dashner is a recent read for me that fits the "freezer" bill. I was so angry at the end, I probably could have used some freezer time. Also The 13th Tale. Beautifully written, seriously disturbing!

P.S. What was the book you read? Did I miss that somehow?

FionaChan said...

and I just bought Hunger Games. D:

Nishant said...

The book was in the freezer for weeks!
data entry work from home

Aubrey said...

Steph, just saw your comment. Don't know if you'll ever see this since it was so long ago, but the book I was talking about was The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams. She just won the Whitney Award for Best YA novel! Awesome book-- you should check it out...but I did find it disturbing.