November is a packed month for new releases. It's when publishers unveil some of their biggest books for the impending gift-giving season. So competition for the Best Young Adult Book of the Month was stiff--and outside of our top pick, Dark inside, we also loved Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler's The Future of Us, Heather Davis's Wherever You Go, and Ralph Fletcher's Also Known as Rowan Pohi.
So why was Dark Inside given top honors? Well, on goodreads.com I saw one reviewer call it "compulsively readable," which is sure part of it. But we chose Jeyn Roberts's debut because a number of people called it terrifying--a word not often tossed around outside of discussing Stephen King. Terrfying, you think? Yes, really--like hair raisingly-scary in the best way possible. After all, what could be more frightening than thinking the world is right and then all of a sudden it's not? What's worse than living through fires and earthquakes, watching friends and family die or become infected and murderously evil? Not much, I say.
After our weary-eyed all night read-a-thons were over, we had some questions for author Jeyn Roberts. (Trust us, you will too). She graciously agreed to answer what we wanted to know.
Q: Much of today’s dystopian literature takes place long after civilization has ended, but in Dark Inside, your characters deal with the event as it happens—and its immediate aftermath. What drew you to writing about this specific time versus further down the road?
Roberts: I’ve always found how events begin to be just as exciting as what comes afterwards. I’ve always been a fan of end-of-the-world movies and novels—but the events that lead up to the destruction are often more terrifying than what comes afterwards. I really wanted to do something that focuses on both aspects.
Q: What was it like writing from multiple POVs, and is there one character in particular that you relate to?
Roberts: I really enjoy writing from multiple POVs. When I started this story, it seemed too large to focus on just one character. I wanted to spread it out and show different POVs from different locations. There are a lot of writers I enjoy who have done this.
I can honestly say that I was able to relate to every single character in one way or another. If I compared myself to one, it would probably be Aries. I’d like to believe I’d be the type of person who becomes a reluctant leader and worries about everyone else instead of myself.