Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review: Scowler by Daniel Kraus

Author: Daniel Kraus
Publisher: Delacourte Books for Young Readers (Random House)
Date of publication: March 2013

Imagine your father is a monster. Would that mean there are monsters inside you, too?

Nineteen-year-old Ry Burke, his mother, and little sister scrape by for a living on their dying family farm. Ry wishes for anything to distract him from the grim memories of his father's physical and emotional abuse. Then a meteorite falls from the sky, bringing with it not only a fragment from another world but also the arrival of a ruthless man intent on destroying the entire family. Soon Ry is forced to defend himself by resurrecting a trio of imaginary childhood protectors: kindly Mr. Furrington, wise Jesus, and the bloodthirsty Scowler.

I was looking forward to reading Scowler, but I thought I was going to read something completely different than what I ended up with.   I'm not even sure that I liked this book. Along with being overly written and descriptive, it was extremely disturbing and honestly just plain gross. I'm not really squeamish and horror doesn't normally bother me.  This book did.  

Ry Burke is just plain crazy.  He is definitely a result of his childhood and the events he witnessed.  After reading about what happened to his mother, I almost turned the book off. Talk about gross!  In the end, I wasn't really convinced that, without extensive therapy, Ry would be able to lead a normal life.  

  I really have to question the labeling of this book as appropriate for 14 and up.  There is extreme graphic violence as well as what I would consider adult content. Personally, I would never give this book to a 14 YO.  16 might be pushing the lower limit.  Instead, I think it should have been given the "New Adult" label.   I'm not sure I would really recommend this book.  I remember making a comment to Autumn about needing therapy after finishing the book.  While I was joking, I did need to read something very sweet and normal after to take away the icky feeling I had at the end of the book.

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