Monsters - Emerald Fennell

Genre: Dark/Comedy
Synopsis:  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.


Review: This is the book which, finally, after several weeks of trudging through re-reads, poor reads, and did-not-finishes, got me back on track. It's been so long I'm not sure I still know how to write reviews, though. Right from the start this book dumps you into the bizzare and quirky mind of clearly-disturbed 12-year-old (who remains nameless). Possibly due to a lack of affection from her parents who suffer horrific deaths on almost the very first page, she seems to be a bit sociopathic and not a little obsessed with ritual murder and death. Luckily for her, the residents of a sleepy seaside town where she spends her summers have started washing up from the sea, and with her new idol Miles (and his apparent plaything, Mary) she begins uncovering the mysteries of a town is not all as sleepy as it seems.

I adored this book. I didn't come away from it thinking 'definitely 5 stars', though I can't now quite pinpoint what it was that made me knock off a star. Certainly a couple of events seemed a little too unlikely even for my already-suspended disbelief, but then the whole book is quite bizarre. I'm honestly not sure. I wasn't blown away by the ending.

For the most part, though, the quirkiness of the characters and plot are the unique driving force of the book's greatness. Extremely readable, despite subject matter that would be dark and depressing if it wasn't written with such twisted black humor. Certainly unlike anything else I can recall reading in the last couple of years, and I highly, highly recommend it. And I want more of it!

Rating: 4/5 

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