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3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  1,093 Ratings  ·  350 Reviews
Imagine your father is a monster. Would that mean there are monsters inside you, too? Nineteen-year-old Ry Burke, his mother, and little sister scrape by for a living on their dying family farm. Ry wishes for anything to distract him from the grim memories of his father's physical and emotional abuse. Then a meteorite falls from the sky, bringing with it not only a fragmen ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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It puzzles me -- and sometimes frustrates me to no end -- how or why some books get categorized/released as Young Adult. These days it seems the label has become so loosey-goosey all that's required is that there be a teen protagonist. Content, language, themes -- all of the meatier, important elements of any book are blithely ignored in the rush to market and movie deals.

There are definitely books that walk the hinterland -- the very, very outer reaches of YA and upon reading them you realize
Personal prolegomena:
This book fell into my mitts courtesy of another round of library roulette. About a quarter of the way in, things reached such a level of WTF that I broke one of my (made up) roulette rules, and just had to look it up to get a bead on this Scowler business.

Given the bit that I had just finished, I was surprised (at the very least) to find that it's actually classified as "young adult" and/or juvenile fiction. I'm relatively new to this "horror" business, but, still, re
Wendy Darling
Horrifically gory and intense, in a way you don't see that much in YA. Billy Dent has nothing on Marvin Burke.
Mar 12, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want true YA horror, look no further.

Ry's father Marvin was an abusive, horrific man. His father put his mother through hell, and it was Ry who helped save his mother back when he was way too young, too impressionable, and too vulnerable to have that sort of responsibility heft upon him. But Marvin was locked up years ago for it.

Things change now that the meteorite is predicted to hit. The first clue is the appearance of a stranger on the family farm, claiming an explosion at the high s
Oh man. OK. SO this book. If I were rating this purely on my own personal book preferences and tastes, I think I would have immediately given it five stars. Unfortunately, because I am a librarian who works with kids, I cannot rate books without thinking about them in terms of the intended audience. So. I downgraded it (almost painfully, mind you) to four.

What I loved:

This book is true horror. Not horror in the sense that EEK! something might jump out at you, but horror in a deep, visceral, cer
The only book I LISTENED to that terrified me----was the radio drama Brave New World. My parents were on a road trip to MS and they played this dramatized version during our nighttime travels. I had nightmares for weeks. This book here had me equally as terrified while I road tripped to Wisconsin. What was so amazing, is I wasn't even EXPECTING it. Here I thought was going to get a kiddie "creepy" version of Stephen King----and nope. FULL. BLOWN. OUT. OF. MY. COMFORT. ZONE.

Let's talk about my s
Mar 28, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, read-in-2014
Gritty, unflinching, and inventive. There are some fantasy-like elements, but the entire story is infused with a very real sort of horror. I haven't seen this often in YA, so the brutality caught me off guard, but I couldn't look away from it.

Very well done. This one puts Krause on my read-everything-from-this-author list.
Aug 27, 2013 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, ya, horror
One of the darkest and creepiest YA books I have ever read. Being a huge fan of Koontz and loving a good chill, this book had me wrapped up on a warm summer day. Taking place on an Iowa farm, Ry Burke, his mom and his sister are saying their final good-byes to their beloved home and moving somewhere where Mrs. Burke expects to find hope. The once prospering farm is now dead, Mr. Burke is behind bars and Jo Beth wants to give her family a new start. That is until a knock on the door brings a stra ...more
May 09, 2013 Susan rated it did not like it
Shelves: read_and_review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam McGraw

Daniel Kraus wrote the book Scowler with all intentions of scaring the reader. The book is supposed to shock and terrify people as they read about delusionary Ry and his murderous, vengeful father Marvin. The author uses demonic ideas of torture and abuse to give readers a chill or a thrill, depending on how they view the book. There is no educational value to this novel, for it is meant to be read for fun only. The story follows Ry and his family as they try to survive another encounter with th

Apr 24, 2013 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scowler without a doubt was the scariest and darkest book I have ever read in the young adult genre. It makes I Hunt Killers look like Sesame Street. It's Stephen King meets Silence of the Lambs and it held me captive from page one. Disturbing imagery, and heart-racing scenes had me completely spellbound as I searched for closure from this nightmare. This was a thrilling ride and I enjoyed every dark, gritty, heart pounding moment.

The tale begins when we meet Ry Burke, his little sister Ella and
For the discerning YA/adult reader who found The Marbury Lens and Passenger too fuzzy and straightforward...

It will be a long time before I forget this novel. Take my advice and don't read the last 80 pages right before bed. Review to come.

Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
One of the scariest Young Adult books I have ever read. Disturbing.

Ry's father is currently in prison and Ry and his family are still trying to cope with the abuse he caused them all. They live in a secluded farmhouse, the land being the prize of their fathers heart. But after years of having to run the farm on her own, Ry's mother has finally decided it's time for them to move now that it's been desolated and dried out. One day when meteorites begin to fall from the sky, one lands on their land
Feb 13, 2013 carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2013
4.5 stars

You know that commercial during the Super Bowl about the farmers that everyone loved? I didn't. In fact, I couldn't watch the whole thing. I had to walk away but I kept thinking about it, despite my efforts to stop.

It reminded me of this book. This book, set on a rundown farm in middle of nowhere Iowa. This book, turning my stomach with some of the descriptions of absolute mutilation. This book, which takes the childhood dependency on make-believe friends and turns it into something so
Slow-paced, horror, suspense novel. Slow-paced and suspenseful? Yes. Scowler is also both a psychological horror novel and a blood-and-guts horror novel. There were several moments that were gut-punchy heartbreaking because Ry is so broken and other moments that were oh-my-god-is-this-really-happening-I-might-have-just-puked-in-my-mouth-a-little disgusting. Daniel Kraus really gets to the meat (pun intended) of true horror - that what's most terrifying in the world may be inside of us. There wer ...more
Irene Karayiannis
Oct 18, 2015 Irene Karayiannis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now, before picking up this audio book, I heard quite a lot of things. Mostly about how the language of the text and voice of the narrator make for one hell of a nightmarish story that will leave you awake in the middle of the night for days. As a horror buff, I don't know about that but, I do have to say that this was one heck of a great and truly scary story. Ry's father is a monster, true to the word. Abusive, both physically and emotionally, to Ry and his family, this poor 11 year old child ...more
Donna Siebold
Mar 29, 2014 Donna Siebold rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-hub-2014
This novel was an extremely hard read. I consider myself to have a fairly high tolerance for graphic violence, but I was overwhelmed by this book and not in a good way. I argued with myself for quite a while about the rating. It is undoubtedly a gripping story, but the raw violence was just too much for me. It was so distracting that I found much of the story difficult to follow. I cannot imagine a situation where I would recommend this title.
Dec 30, 2015 Dee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i really liked rotters by this author, but scowler just didn't do it for me - thankfully the narration by Kirby Heyborne was great (and damn he makes some freaky sounds during the narration)
Sep 27, 2014 Poliana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disturbing. Soul destroying. Definitely not for kids. It gave me nightmares.
What a horrifically eerie and scary story with equally intense scenes of family violence and animated toys including Jesus Christ and the titled character, Scowler. Ry is nineteen and dealing with a dying family farm, an abusive father, a younger sister, and a weak mother. As an impending meteor is going to strike their country farm, everything comes to a head with mysterious characters and even more horrific happenings. Absolutely intense and not for the faint of heart. Definitely an upper-YA s ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Nineteen-year-old Ry Burke and his family are barely scraping by on their dying family farm. Ry is consumed by memories of his physically and emotionally abusive father, Marvin, who is now serving hard time in prison after a horrific event that occurred 10 years ago which left Ry scarred for life. One day the unthinkable happens, there's a prison break and Marvin gets out. There is no doubt that Marvin is coming back to the farm to get his revenge. Ry will need to delve into his past to recall t ...more
Terra Whiteman
Nov 13, 2014 Terra Whiteman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
The beginning of this book showed a lot of promise, but toward the end everything fell apart. Marvin and Ry's final showdown reminded me of a deranged pokemon battle. To be honest I don't really know what even happened after the meteorite hit. A lot of hallucinations and unrealistic events. How the hell do you carry a scalding meteorite into the house, have it burn away half your skin, and yet you're still standing there completely fine?

The Unnamed Three went from being creepy to stupid. I think
Oct 12, 2014 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
Reviewed first Brunner's Bookshelf

This fall I haven't had this big list of horror books to-read for the Halloween season. The RIP challenge finally started up for this year and I really didn't have much read to go.Thank you to my library and the Overdrive app on my iPhone to supply me with a steady stream of audio books. I decided to pull up the Horror genre and see what was available. Right away this cover caught my eye. Reading over the summary I started to think this was really interesting an
Maria Kramer
Teenaged Ry and his little sister live with their mother on a slowly dying farm. Their father is in prison for horrible acts of domestic violence, specifically an incident that left Ry with a scar on his forehead and the belief in three invisible friends - the Unnamed Three - who saved his life. When a meteor shower enables Ry's father to break out of prison, the Unnamed Three come back as well. Will they be able to save Ry and his family this time?

This book suffered from pacing issues. The midd
Shannon Grieshaber
If you've ever had a conversation with me or if you follow me on Goodreads, you know that I'm obsessed with audiobooks. So, it was a no-brainer that I would choose to read Scowler, the winner of the 2013 Odyssey Award for excellence in audio in children's and YA lit. It is read by Kirby Haybourne, the narrator of another Odyssey Award winning book written by Daniel Kraus (Rotters) . Haybourne is definitely an excellent narrator, but through most of the book, I was not blown away by the narration ...more
Mar 16, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After some deliberation, I have decided that a 4.5 star rating is most appropriate--I didn't think Scowler was perfect, but it was pretty damn close.

This is the second book that I've read by Daniel Kraus (I read and enjoyed Rotters last year), and I feel like he and I were raised on the same diet of horror movies. There's something about the way he writes that makes me think we would have a lot to talk about were we to ever meet.

So, Scowler. The book takes its title from one of the main characte
This Odyssey Award winner was horrifying. I mean it. Truly horrifying. Don't go out and read this book because you see the 5-star rating. I'm warning you. Don't. Because you'll yell at me. But I had to give it 5 stars because the writing is exquisitely creepy - SLOW, drawn-out, SCARY, unpredictable scenes. My stomach was in knots listening to it on the way to school and back, and I couldn't stop even though there were times I asked myself, WHY AM I LISTENING TO THIS?! Kirby Heybourne and Daniel ...more
May 13, 2013 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This book almost made me throw up. Seriously. There were some sick and stomach twisting scenes in this book. Truly horrific. On the one hand, this book was highly original and I really haven't read anything like it-- admittedly I don't read much horror. Also, I did get kinda a Donnie Darko vibe. Maybe it's the scary bunny? The plot was original, the characters were original, the weird-ass escapades and sadism was original. It was also highly unpredictable. I had no idea who was going to live, to ...more
Ellis Weiner
I finished this last night. At first I thought the writing pretentious. Then, for most of the book, I thought it was pretty great. But by the end I was not only disappointed but vaguely pissed off, because the climax and resolution were unclear and very unsatisfying.

Someone here comments about the unrealistic way injury (and its lack of consequences) are depicted. I agree. By the climactic sequence, you expect a certain state of affairs based on what's been described, but suddenly it's not THAT
Apr 16, 2013 Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, my...Daniel Kraus is an amazing author, but this was one of the hardest books I've ever read. One of the most gruesome and grisly, too. I'm not really sure this is appropriate for young adults/teens, who appear to be the target audience. The sensibility seems much more adult than that. The story follows young Ry Burke, who lives with his mother and young sister on a dying farm in Iowa, in 1981. Nine years previously, Ry was grievously injured by his father, Marvin, an abusive and possibly me ...more
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DANIEL KRAUS has landed on Entertainment Weekly's Top 10 Books of 2015 (The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch), won two Odyssey Awards (for both Rotters and Scowler), and has been a Library Guild selection, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Parent’s Choice Gold Award winner, Bram Stoker finalist, and more.

He co-authored Trollhunters with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, and his work has been transl
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“The weathered dairy barn, the wilted chicken coop, the leaning corn crib, the corroded silos-- all were revealed as structures of utility and grace. Someone must have rigged Ry's perception so that he had spent his whole life seeing only the ultimate futility of these structures while concealing what made them worthy, the struggle itself, the striving for a better day.” 0 likes
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