These may not be for everyone but if you’re looking for something dark and brutal plus filled with social commentary, perspectives on the human condition, and extraordinary prose, these might be good to try.
Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist is about a vampire, who looks like a little girl, meeting a young boy, bullied by his peers. She also drags around an older male pedophile to do her bidding. This one is brutal. If you’re looking for scary vampires, this might be for you. I also liked the clever social commentary.
The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld is set in a prison and follows some of the inmates and a woman who gets people off death row. There’s a lot of commentary about the prison system and different aspects are depicted without limitation. The ending blew me away.
White As Snow by Tanith Lee twists the tale of “Snow White” a lot. But ultimately the brutality and desensitization left me feeling like I learned a lot about human emotion and the value of love and friendship in a world that sometimes succeeds in breaking us down.