Hello everyone!! Today’s book review is on ONLY A MONSTER by Vanessa Len.
I was really excited for this book because the pitch WAS AMAZING. Monsters in England?? Time travel?? Enemies to lovers?? Soulmates?? Monster court heists?? Yes!! So I was really happy when I was granted an ARC for this amazing book </3
Firstly, Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Only a Monster by Vanessa Len
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Author: Vanessa Len
Trigger Warnings: for entire list click here
With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.
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.
“Olivers see. Hunts hide. Nowaks live. Patels bind. Portellis open. Hathaways leash. Nightingales Take. Mtawalis keep. Argents sway. Alis seal. Griffiths reveal. But only the Lius remember.”
Only a Monster is set in England with aspects such as time travel, monsters, heists and more! I loved everything about this book- I can’t even explain how much I enjoyed reading it!!
The writing and plot were PHENOMENAL. The writing was descriptive and rich, the plot was well paced. I love how the author expressed Joan’s biracial identity and drew parallels between her being half Chinese and half British, and her being half human and half monster. Only a Monster expressed a new take on “heroes” and “monsters” and I am here for it! The world building was great and I really enjoyed how different families had different powers, it was super cool!
The characters in this book were one of the best I have ever read about. Joan was a great character, she was kind and was willing to do absolutely anything for her loved ones. Aaron was also an amazing character, he was a bit stuck up and entitled, but I really enjoyed his character arc. Nick, well I did enjoy Nick’s character but I was not expecting the outcome that came at the end! I also loved how Joan and Aaron had to work together to survive despite their families having a hatred for each other. In terms of the romance- let’s just say I was not expecting what happened, and while it did leave me a bit confused I do expect more clarity in book two.
The various themes explored such as family and identity were extremely interesting to read about, and they were very important too. In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to read the next one to see how Joan’s journey continues. Vanessa Len has truly written magic! </3
TL;DR: A magnificent contemporary fantasy debut that explores identity, monsters, heists, family, time travel, and will have any reader screaming for book two!
Do you like books with elements like monsters & heists? Do you have any recommendations? Drop them in the comments below!!
I hope you enjoyed the review!!
Sending incoherent screams about how I need the next book right now,