Thursday, 26 January 2017

Book Review: Monsters by Emerald Fennell.

Book: Monsters

Author: Emerald Fennell

Pages: 352

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Read On: Kindle

How Long it Took Me To Read: 3 hours

Plot Summary: A blackly comic tale about two children you would never want to meet. 

Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not - a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand...  

A book about two twelve-year-olds that is definitely not for kids.

General Thoughts: Last year I happened to chance upon Emerald Fennell's books. I read Shiverton Hall and it's sequel The Creeper and l LOVED IT! They were wonderfully quirky and spooky and simply delightful. This book series even made it to my Top 10 Reads of 2016.
I looked into what else the writer had written and found Monsters. After months of waiting for the paperback to become slightly affordable, I settled and got myself the Kindle edition and breezed through it.

Things I Loved: 

1. The writing was fantastic, just as I had expected I immensely enjoyed the writing and the story telling in this book.

2. Our unnamed protagonist is a seriously a fun person  to get to know. She is very peculiar and certainly a little asocial and a total oddball. But she is a character who you'll remember long after you've read the last page. She is one of a kind. She loves murder, has a creepy AF imaginary friend, hates everyone around her and has some strange thoughts for sure but..BUT I still found myself growing fond of her. I liked her and was rooting for her.

3. The setting of this book comes alive. The summer, the heat, the tourists and the long and unending days of summer vacation were all captured perfectly.

4. The hotel, in which most of the story takes is an interesting place in itself full of memorable characters like Jean- the mean old regular guest at the hotel and her long suffering companion Dorothea and Winnie the mean and bitter maid.

5. Miles...oh Miles. He will make you uneasy and he is meant to. He is manipulative, sociopathic and controlling. A real shit if there ever was. I wanted to scream into the book and beg for our protagonist to get away from him!

6. This seaside town itself is full of so many weird people. The sweet-shop owner perpetually mourning his dead wife, the town drunk who loves giving speeches and the Mayor who always seems a little rude. All of these characters are well crafted.

7. There is a underlining sense of unease laced throughout this book. There is something terrible going on in this town but also in the lives of these children. There are hints of abuse and inappropriateness that these kids are facing. This kept me on the edge of my seat.

8. The murders in the town and mystery surrounding it makes for very interesting reading and keeps you guessing.

Things I Didn't Like:

1. The unnamed narrator thing got a bit..I don't know a little odd. I would have liked to have had a name for our girl.

2. Also the year and era in which this takes place is never clearly stated. I am guessing it's in the 1960s and 70s. But I don't know for could well be the 80s too.

3. The book ends in a slightly unsatisfactory way...we do find out who the town murderer is, which I was glad for. But then...nothing really happens. A bit meh.

4. I think there might be another book and this might be a series...which I will definitely read on. But if this is a standalone book then the ending is a little off.

Rating: 3.5/5

Overall I did enjoy this book and I do recommend it. I think this book works for both young adult readers and grown-ups as well. 

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