Having just finished Mindy McGinnis’ The Female of the Species, I reflected on my love for dark stories. Not horror stories per se with witches, vampires, or zombies, but dark in mood with tragic happenings to characters and their responses to the situations. So, let me highlight six of my favorite.
- The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis– This one features Alex who knows the “language of violence”. She seeks retribution for the murderer of her sister, men who are sexually preying on her classmates, and ultimately displays little reaction or emotion to avenging these wrongs.
- Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick– The master at dark and twisty tales demonstrates his master storytelling with an intelligent tale of human sacrifices all revolving around an island and through time.
- Broken Dolls by Tyrolin Puxty– She packs a punch in a short amount of time balancing good and evil with ethics and exploration of what “could be” using literal dolls to… wait, I can’t tell you because that would be a spoiler. A must read for those with imaginations.
- Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Stephanie Hemphill– This look at the tragic life of Mary Shelley is the combination of beautiful verse and the sadness of losing multiple children combined with her tumultuous relationship with Percy that bred her writing of Frankenstein.
- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge– I can’t get the image of Nyx being locked in the room only to discover what was in it. The cruel Ignifix, Beast to her Beauty in this retelling is full of creepy subplots to keep interest.
- Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann– A collection of fifty poems that poetically “attack the beauty myth” are for mature audiences looking for a fresh but raw perspective of fairy tales.