Friday, 9 March 2012

Gothic YA – A Starter Reading List – The Book Smugglers

New from Blackwell’s! Are you pining for more Young Adult books? Do you adore Gothic novels? You can now have both for the price of one!

Seriously now – being the Gothic lovers that we are, we’re immensely happy to contribute to the upcoming Gothic Evening at Blackwell’s.

The traditional idea of the Gothic novel conjures up images of foreboding manors, ghostly encounters, desolate landscapes, with a dash of dark romance. But Gothic lit - that is, fiction that blends elements of horror and romanticism (the artistic movement that glorified in strong emotion) - need not be so traditional. Today, YA authors are excelling at reinterpreting some of the elements of Gothic literature for new audiences. 

Here's a list of some recent Gothic YA novels that we’ve recently read, loved and highly recommend:

1. Dreaming of Amelia (or The Ghosts of Ashbury High) by Jaclyn Moriarty
A bunch of students at an Australian school are given an assignment for their English class – and the topic is Gothic Fiction. Their task is to write a personal memoir incorporating classic Gothic elements and the result is a brilliant epistolary novel about very contemporary issues that reads just like a traditional Gothic novel (or at least like what these student think a traditional Gothic novel should be). This book is terminally clever. You know, Gothically speaking.

2. Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell 
Iris is a 14 year old whose summer holiday in a small town in Louisiana turns spooky as she is haunted by the ghost of a boy who disappeared years ago. This is a prime example of a Southern Gothic novel and it is one that fully explores the subgenre’s main characteristics: it relies on the supernatural side of the story to move the plot along while simultaneously providing relevant, contemporary social commentary.

3. The Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey
This series follows the exploits of Dr. Pellinore Warthrope and his ward-cum-apprentice Will Henry as they confront the very real existence of monsters and the darkness within. The Monstrumologist books are a more traditional example of masterfully written and truly terrifying Gothic fiction, in the vein of Shelley and Stoker.

4. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement Moore
We both like to think of Texas Gothic as a modern Scooby Doo type of Gothic YA mystery. Starring a family of witches against a southwestern backdrop, Texas Gothic is pure FUN. 

5. The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley 
We needed to include at least one Victorian haunted manor story on here, right? And The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestly is a perfect example, featuring the spectral ghost of a murder most foul and the one young man who can set things right.

Ana Grilo and Thea James are two completely obsessed, sad, sick addicts when it comes to books. Faced with threats and cynicism from our significant others and because of the massive amounts of time and money we spend on books, we resorted to getting them delivered to our offices and then smuggling them into our homes (in huge handbags) to avoid detection. 
With The Book Smugglers we found a perfect outlet for our obsession! Reviews, recommendations, and other ponderings are our specialty. You can also follow us on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your post and looked for Texas Gothic today.