Monster by C J Skuse
Genre: Thriller, Horror, Contemporary
Published by: MIRA Ink
Format: ARC Paperback
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author
Monster was completely different to anything we’ve ever read. It’s part horror, and mostly thriller set in a contemporary boarding school backed onto a woods that really sets the scene for a perfectly enchanting murder. Who wouldn’t want to read that? There were so many twists and turns we couldn’t distinguish from the beginning who was good and who was bad. This book perfectly throws you off the scent with multiple mysteries and suspects that surround the local area. It’s the perfect book for lovers of We Were Liars and Sarah Alderson novels.
What made this book so fantastic was how the author created a completely banal setting, with average teenage girl problems that it was incredibly hard to believe the first 15% belonged with the rest. The set up probably could have been shortened, but on reflection the build up of events, and the false sense of security, made the ending even scarier!
Monster really achieved its purpose as a book within the thriller/horror genre, as when we’d finished, we were haunted by the events and talked about them at great length in order to calm our heart rates. The twists were so unexpected and the pace of the novel really picked up when the events of the blurb were complete.
The setting really lent itself to the menacing atmosphere, along with the legend of the Beast. You always wanted explanation. We were satisfied with the way things turned out, even though the supernatural elements faded at the BIG plot twist. However, the fact that this story ended with logical explanations made it even more thrilling.
The boarding school girls were all very different, and together they made an unsuspecting group of victims. Character development for each of the girls was present, but not the main focus of the story. Nash, our protagonist, was a born leader and the voice of reason amongst her panicked friends. Our favourite character was probably Maggie, as her light comic relief dialogue really enhanced our enjoyment of the story. The dialogue, and the relationships between the characters was also really realistic!
Overall, we give Monster 4 stars. It was an excellent story, with believable characters, and we hope this book gets all the hype it deserves when it’s released!