Hello all. Welcome to my stop in the MONSTER blog tour!
I was kindly asked to participate in the tour, which I happily accepted (because hello? UKYA author!). I haven't yet read anything by C.J. Skuse before, despite hearing incredible things about her previous novels. But with Halloween just around the bend, I thought MONSTER would be the perfect read for my first C.J. Skuse novel!
So I decided to share my thoughts for my stop and post a review. (Spoiler: It was awesome.)
Note: I was sent an ARC from Mira INK for free, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect the content of my review in any form.
Published by: Mira INK in October 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits. As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory – a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school – run wild. Yet when the girls’ Matron goes missing it’s clear that something altogether darker is to blame – and that they’ll have to stick together if they hope to survive.
Okay. What did I just read? Please take note that I am currently writing this review at midnight whilst the madness is still fresh in my head, so please excuse any nonsensical comments I may make. The adrenaline is still going strong inside me, I could pretty much do with a reread. Right now.
That is something very rare, my friends.
So, I wasn't exactly sure what I was expecting to be honest with you. A horror/mystery/thriller set in an all-girl's boarding school? Sure, sounds good. Not sure what the twists will be, but hey, no big. Element of surprise and all. My jaw was pretty much on the floor by the end of it. I mean, wow. I can't even begin to describe what I'm feeling right now. Mind blown perhaps? A slight chill just ran down my spine just by thinking about this book, but I'd happily experience it all over again because it was that good.
So many fantastic characters, all so deftly crafted and unique! Maggie was definitely my favourite - her cynical personality and reckless behaviour were traits I loved. I don't think there was a single character I really disliked, because Skuse made it incredibly difficult to find faults in them. They were just so fleshed out, so real, it was brilliant. And Charlie. Oh, Charlie. I'm just blown away by C.J. Skuse's ability to create such memorable and believable characters, I truly envy that.
Writing wise - this was my first Skuse novel. And it definitely won't be the last. I assure you. Things started off really well, I was slowly getting into the groove of the writing style and the story. There was fluff, cutesy moments, build up about the monster. All of this really didn't help prepare me for that ending. I didn't even see it coming! It really threw me off balance, it had my heart racing, my theories crushed - I was blown away! I love it when horror/thrillers do this! When I'm kept on my toes, eagerly anticipating to see what is going to happen next, when it keeps me guessing. The twists! Absolutely phenomenal. I am simply speechless.
A book set to fill you with dread, with false hope and make you feel endless adrenaline rushes - this is one book no one wants to miss. I absolutely loved it. Guaranteed to steal your breath away. And perhaps leave your brain and heart a little broken.
Really couldn't give it anything less than gold after that epic ending!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House) and MONSTER (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children's fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. C.J. is currently working on her second novel THE DEVIANTS for Mira Ink.
C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend's Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn't get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.