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?