I came across Scowler while at the library. I did not check it out at that point, because while it piqued my interest, I am always somewhat hesitant to pick up teen novels. Many teen novels that I have read have diverse plots, and are well written. However, I would quickly discover that a major part of the books’ focus are on the main characters’ love lives— a love triangle usually ensues. I like romance in small doses. When I realized this book was a Horror/Suspense novel, I quickly ran to check it out from the library.
Ry Burke is 19 years old young man itching to be free from his mother, but who feels totally responsible for her and his sister. He vacillates between wanting to leave and go to college, and then wanting to stay on their farm in Iowa because it’s all he knows. Ry finds himself in a situation where he has to defend himself, and his family. Therefore, he calls upon old protectors to help him out once again: the kind Mr. Furrington, the wise Jesus, and the bloodthirsty Scowler.
The story opens with the anticipation of a coming meteor shower in the 1980s. It is made clear that this event will be central to the plot and characters involved. We then jump to 10 years prior, when events start unfolding in the Burke household that shine a light on the current situation.
Kraus presents a very frank (and sometimes horrifying) look at the impact violence, abuse, and mental health issues have on people (children, in particular). Therefore, readers should be aware that there are scenes that have uncensored cursing, nudity, and intimate situations in them. I would definitely recommend this book to adults and teens alike.