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ONLY A MONSTER by Vanessa Len

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero.

Title : Only A Monster
Author : Vanessa Len
Series : Monsters #1
Format : Physical
Page Count : 368
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Hodderscape
Release Date : February 17, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

Families, rivarlty and time
Complex plot
So clever and twisty

I’m really impressed with this story that kept me gripped in a work week. I was eager to pick this up every evening. While it is a complex plot that builds and builds, it’s not too heavy, if that makes sense.

Joan and the Hunt family were not the bunch of regular humans they seemed at first glance. The reader was quickly introduced to the concept of ‘monsters’ and it took a good portion of the book to find out why they earned that name. They weren’t necessarily the kind of monstrostity I’d initally thought. Everything about how this concept, the world, the time and time jumps were constructed, was incredibly clever. I just went with the flow and found myself pretty enamoured with the creation.

Some of the characters were vile, especially in the earlier part of the story but there were many characters I came to love. June, the protagonist, was out of the loop in her new found power but she was quick to catch on. There was something unique about her amongst her kind because she looked at everything with fresh eyes and she wasn’t overly bound by the rules or impossibilites; this idea fed into the plot well. I really came to like Aaron and Tom but I went back and forth over Nick; his story had so much to unpick.

This story felt very much like a YA fantasy thriller, lots of tension, peril, plot-puzzling and the hint of a triangle. I am so glad there’s more to come from this world and characters, I’m ready to see things turned on their heads again.

Thank you to Hodder Books for the early review copy.

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