Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TRW: Frankenstein in 2012: Bio-Engineering

So, if Mary Shelly were writing Frankenstein today, what path would she wander down?  I think that, instead of zombies or vampires, she’s wander down the road of BIOENGINEERING.  According to the history, Mary Shelly was having a storytelling contest with her future husband Percy, Lord Byron of She Walks in Beauty fame, and John William Polidori, who wrote one of the first vampire stories in English. She evidently won, because she came up with a mad scientist who scavenged body parts and created a monster from death, then became horrified at what he had created.


In today’s horror realm, zombies and vampires are creatures of the undead, and would well fit within the realm of Shelly’s Frankenstein, but Shelly was a pioneer- during her time, everyone was afraid of the new science of embalming the dead, and she played on those fears in her story, and the fear of the unknown and the possibilities of science.  This is why I think that bio-engineering would be more Mary Shelly’s thing if she were alive today.  Manipulating the essence of DNA and genes, creating new and different beings and life where there were none, discovering new abilities and their horrendous possibilities…  Definitely a 2012 version of Frankenstein…


So what bio-engineering YA books would be in your top ten list?  Here are my favorites in random order; share yours in the comments below…



Double Helix by Nancy Werlin.  When Eli is offered a job as a lab assistant at Wyatt Transgenics, it sounds too good to be true.  But as he gets deeper into the lab, he learns things that puts not only his life, but the secrets of his family and others, into danger.


The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld.  On their 16th birthday, teens get surgery to become pretty…  but do you want to be pretty and fogged forever?  And what will become of friendships?


The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.  Matteo wasn’t born, he was harvested, a clone for a patron who wants to use him for spare parts when needed.  When he decides to take his future into his own hands, will it be more than he bargained for?


The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson.  Jenna wakes from a year long coma, only to not remember the life before the accident.  But will trying to remember answer her questions or create new issues?


Feed by M.T. Anderson.  Enter a world where everything is dominated by the Feed- directly implanted into your mind so that everything is accessible in an instant.  When an attack in a club goes wrong, what happens when the Feed goes bad?

   
The Skinned Trilogy/ The Cold Awakening Trilogy by Robing Wasserman.  (Why they changed the names and covers I don’t know, but if you’re looking for these in the bookstores try the first titles and images; if you’re looking for them at the library, try the second set of images first).  Downloading was supposed to change the world, but when Lia’s goes wrong, she must do everything in her power to save what, and who, she can.