Oh, man. That is some strong writing there. If you like YA and myths, I 100% recommend The Scorpio Races. It was wonderfully done.
But sometimes, there are books that destroy your mind. They make you quake in fear or give you weird, vivid dreams that haunt you for days, if not years. These are the five that bug me most:
1) The Monster At The End of This Book - Jon Stone and Michael Smollin. As a child, when my mom brought this book to my bedside the first time, I had fits. Mom tells me I was terrified of the Halloween aisle at Wal-mart, so it only seems appropriate that I feared all monsters. I cried, I begged, pleaded for her to put TMATEOFTB down. Would she? No!!!! Way to torture your kid, Mom. Thanks for that. Not to spoil it or anything, but the monster at the end was of course, Grover. She laughed at me, told me that I worried for nothing, but it was a pretty big deal to a pre-school aged child. Especially one with a horrible fear of monsters. I still think about that to this day.
2) His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman. I realize I was a bit older when I read this (at least in my mid-twenties), but it bothered me. For days during and after reading it, I had really vivid dreams about animals talking to me. They weren't doing anything to hurt me, but they were so realistic that I didn't sleep well. I wanted to go through the whole series and work out the symbolism of the book after I read it, but the dreams got so crazy I had to put it down. I haven't picked it up again to this day.
3) Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Alvin Schwartz. Click on that link and look at the cover. That in itself is bothersome enough. Monsters aside, I enjoy ghost stories. I've read my fair share of Koontz and King. But the more Scary Stories I read, the worse my nightmares got. There was one story about a scarecrow that peeled the skin off its victims and . . . *shudder* that's far enough.
4) The Ghost Next Door - R. L. Stine. I like ghost stories. I said that above. I do, really, although I'm picky about the horror movies I watch. It isn't that this book is scary so much as what if we're really ghosts and don't realize it?! Yeah, that bothers me.
5) The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon - Stephen King. I know there must be a better example of a book that this, because I actually loved this book. But like Trish in the story, I often feel like I'm being followed by something. I catch a glimpse of it from the corner of my eye, hear a strange noise, get a chill. (Psst, that's called paranoia.) I had an incident on a trail one day where I got lost and was worn out, smelled something dead and thought, great, I'm going to die out here. I eventually found my way back though. Obviously. Unless . . . I'm the ghost next door.
Hello? Can you hear me? Am I