Yesterday, The Toast dedicated its content to all things V.C. Andrews, the author who gave us such wildly inappropriate classics as Flowers In the Attic, a book in which a brother and sister sleep together, a mother feeds her children arsenic-laced donuts, and a grandmother pours hot tar all over her granddaughter’s hair while she sleeps (more on Flowers In the Attic and V.C. Andrews later). The thing about that book, and all V.C. Andrews books, is not just that it had incredibly creepy incestuous and homicidal content, but that it was marketed to young adult audiences. Which, if you were any kind of a bookish, nerdy kid who used to leave the library with as many books as you were allowed to check out at a time (10 at my branch), means you read it at about age 11 and it left a permanent mark on your mind, warping your view of the world and changing how you view powdered donuts for the rest of your life.
But are there any other books that are marketed to young reading audiences that will do strange things to developing minds? Of course there are! And I’ve gathered up a bunch of them here. I do want to preface this list by saying that just because I think these books are perhaps inappropriate for adolescents, it doesn’t mean that I think they should be banned or anything like that. After all, if I could handle them, any of today’s kids should be able to handle them just fine. And I am, when it comes right down to it, in favor of kids reading things that are confusing and disturbing because that’s how they learn about our confusing and disturbing world. Or at least, that’s how I learned. And I turned out juusssst fine. Just fine.