Sometimes, a book shows up and you read it knowing full well it isn’t for you. This, friends, is one of those books.
I’m participating in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge again this year since I’m usually looking for an excuse to read something different and I have been trying to expand my tastes. One of the challenges, number one in fact, is to read a horror book. Fear was struck into my heart because I don’t even watch horror movies, let alone read horror books. Enter my friend Alison, who suggested this award winning YA horror novel to “ease” me in. If she wasn’t my friend, and there wasn’t a check mark waiting for me at the end, I would have put this book down within about 20 pages and never returned to it.
The Monstrumologist is the first in a series by Rick Yancey, published in 2009, and its genres are listed as YA Horror and Gothic Horror. I get it, and the horror portions were not too much for me, probably because of the YA categorization. The book hinges on the idea that it is the diary of one of the main characters found after his death, chronicling his apprenticeship with the titular monstrumologist as they investigate the case of an infestation of Anthropophagi (please don’t ask me to explain these weird monster creatures with no heads and mouths in their abdomens) in their area.
As I mentioned above, I did not enjoy this one. The writing was fine, if a bit longwinded. The characters are relatively well drawn, but I cared for not a one of them, even the child. Obviously this book works for some people as it won the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award of the American Library Association for young adult literature, but not me. I would suggest the Jackaby series instead, and think I probably could have used the second book to check off my horror task, even though it didn’t feel scary to me. I am leaving A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay on my to reads list, and we’ll see if I manage to get there.