I've talked about This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel before. It's the first book in his trilogy (already optioned for a movie...) about the making of Dr. Frankenstein (not the monster, but the mad scientist who creates the monster).
I just finished this:
Such Wicked Intent
Number two, in the trilogy.
I'm not into gothic things. I'm not really into high concept YA literature either, if there is such a thing and one can be into it. But Kenneth Oppel is such a good writer.
I like his Airborne series better because I love the main character so very much. This series is just as well written, perhaps even better, but you are watching—well, without giving anything away, you are watching someone eventually become a mad scientist (I'm assuming this happens by the end of book three). It is painful, but oh so intriguing, because you like Victor Frankenstein. You want to throttle him, you can't believe he does the things he does, but you like him anyway. And you almost wish you could be his friend. The friend telling him to cut it out, but still, his friend.
Give this to your reluctant teen reader. Kenneth Oppel knows how to plot and how to make things real. His characters are brilliant, straight forward, vivid. Sitting-next-to-you-on-the-couch vivid, or in this case, in the graveyard.
It is dark, but there are rays of light. There is lots of room for discussion too, discussion about religion and what happens after you die. Read it together, perhaps.
Happy, or not so happy but intense, reading!
(I'm going to Lucy's class tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, get ready to be analyzed!)