They suck, they bite, they eat, they kill [electronic resource] : the psychological meaning of supernatural monsters in young adult fiction / Joni Richards Bodart.
Booklist Reviews 2012 March #1
Depending on your viewpoint, the recent explosion of paranormal entities in YA fiction has either been a bane or boon. Regardless, librarians ask the same question posited by Bodart in this book's introduction: "Why does a literary form that revels in rot and ruin appeal to teen readers?" And what are the cultural coals fueling this most recent fire? Bodart divides her investigation into four categories: vampires, shape-shifters, zombies, and "The Unexpectedly Deadly" monsters of angels, unicorns, and demons. Her opening remarks, reminiscent of Stephen King's Danse Macabre (1981), are enlightening, swift studies in each subgenre's history, growth, tropes, and major works. Chapters focusing on individual authors follow, from Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Blood series to Charlie Higson's The Enemy. Criticism is mostly absent. Rather, the chapters serve both as a tour through each invented universe and as a study of the author's relationship to the books, drawn mostly through existing interviews. The fact that few of these series are actually scary is often sidestepped, but this entry in the Scarecrow Studies in Young Adult Literature series is nonetheless an ideal window through which librarians and readers can view the current landscape—and choose what to read next. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.