Book List: The Monster Within

Last week we celebrated the genius of Bram Stoker. This week is all about Robert Louis Stevenson, whose birth date (13 November) was celebrated this week. Happy birthday, Robbie!

While Stevenson may be best remembered for his piratical legacy, I’ve always been a huge fan of his exploration of morality and identity in the science-fiction thriller The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Split personalities, scientific experiments, and untrustworthy individuals abound in this Jekyll/Hyde inspired book list:

 

FrankensteinMary Shelley

That other famous story of scientific experiment reaching beyond the boundaries of social acceptability. Dr Frankenstein creates a creature, and the lines between man and monster are blurred.

 

Shift – Em Bailey

Olive is not the girl she used to be. And she thinks Miranda is not the human she pretends to be. A great read, full of shifting identities. (It didn’t win this year’s Gold Inky award for nothing.) Read our full (spoiler-free!) review here.

 

Liar - Justine Larbalestier

A murder, a mystery, and one hell of an unreliable narrator.

‘I’m undecided, stuck somewhere in between, same way I am with everything: half black, half white; half girl, half boy; coasting on half a scholarship.

I’m half of everything.’

 

The Dark Half – Stephen King

It’s never a creepy book list without Stephen King, is it? Writer Thad Beaumont has decided to kill-off his pseudonym, George Stark. George has other ideas.

A true Hyde-ian thriller.

 

Tenderness – Robert Cormier

Eric is a murderer, Lori is a manipulator. Cormier chronicles destructive ambitions and dubious moralities in this dual-perspective novel.

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The Adoration of Jenna FoxMary E Pearson

Jenna Fox had a horrible accident. When she awakens a year later, from a coma, she struggles to remember her past. After everything that’s happened, is she still the same person?

More science, less horror, but still plenty of mystery, and moral and ethical dilemmas.

 

Doppelganger by David Stahler Jnr unfortunately doesn’t seem to be readily available in Australia. In this book doppelgangers kill humans and assume their forms and lives, but when a young doppelganger becomes Chris Parker ‘he quickly learns that there’s more than one way to be human, and many ways to be a monster.’ Sounds like it would be perfect for this list, and the first few chapters are compelling. Has anyone read it?

Are there any other YA titles you would add to a Jekyll/Hyde list?

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