Monday, 8 August 2016

Monsters by Emerald Fennell

Ever since I first picked this one up I have been anticipating reading this, and so have been putting off reading it, as I always seem to do, for fear of my expectations being too high and it not being what I expected it to be.  The synopsis made it seem so creepy and different that I was instantly drawn in and was really excited to read this one that I finally decided to do so last week.  Unfortunately though this one really wasn't for me, and just didn't end up being the story I expected it to be.

This story follows our main character and her friend as they become unnaturally interested and begin investigating the murders happening around their town.  My main problem with this was that it wasn't the horror story I was expecting going into it.  Not only does the back make it sound like a creepy story about two children interested in murder, but the cover also sets this one up as a twisted tale that wasn't what I ended up getting.  For me, this one never really felt like a horror novel, and only ever even really felt slightly creepy at a few points, which was disappointing considering that was one of the key reasons I was excited to read this.

Another key aspect that disappointed me was the plot in general, as personally I never seemed to understand where the story was going or why certain things were added in at all.  Whilst the build up towards the ending worked well, so many other points in the story seemed to not entirely fit into the story, or not fit in to that particularly moment at all.  Due to this, the pacing always seemed to feel a little jumpy with the story dropping one thing suddenly to move straight onto something without explaining anything first.

Moving on back to the idea of this being a horror novel, one of the other things that let me down was how the main character was portrayed throughout this.  From the offset it was clear that she was meant to be quite strange and twisted, and yet somehow whilst this did come across, it did feel as though her personality still feel a bit flat.  I also was never 100% sure whether or not we were also meant to feel sorry for her as she always seemed to be picked on by the others and abused, but yet I just couldn't seem to emphasis with her simply because of the way she was presented as extremely immature to me.

However, on a more positive note, one of the characters that I felt was portrayed well was another key character, Miles.  While our main character didn't come across creepy for me, Miles really did become more and more twisted as the story went along, which really made everything a little more interesting for me.  I also loved how as time went on his true nature slowly got revealed to us, and how by the end he actually did come across as a very messed-up and darker character than he ever started out as.

Unfortunately, another thing that seemed to fall a little flat for me was the humour.  It was another aspect that was felt like it was meant to be dark and twisted but instead just came across slightly odd and more of a strange kind of humour rather than creepy.  Personally it just didn't come across well, and tried too hard to add another twisted aspect to both the story and the characters but in the end just didn't really do either in my opinion.

One aspect of this book that I did enjoy was the large cast of characters that this book had.  From the offset we were introduced to so many different people with so many different roles in the story that whilst it did make things confusing at times, it did also allow the book to have a large variety of characters within it.  This then also made it an awful lot harder to guess at who the murderer actually could be, and also gave the story a little more mystery to it as everyone had their own secrets that added to the eerie feel of the town.

As for the ending, one thing that I did like about it was the unexpectedness of it.  Obviously one of the key plot points of this story is the murders, and so I really liked how surprising the truth of the murders and all the other mysteries throughout this were, as I never saw any of it coming.  However, that said, one of the key reasons for this was because there felt as though there were almost no major hints pointing towards the answer, which was a tad irritating as, whilst I did like the ending, it did then seem a little unconnected and not as though the story was building up to it throughout.

Finally, to end on a more positive note, one aspect which I did love was the setting.  I adored the gorgeous seaside setting from the offset, but fell even more in love with it as we got to explore all the different unique places in the town as the characters did so themselves, and got to see so many new settings as the book progressed.

So, in the end unfortunately this one wasn't the book for me, and really didn't live up to my expectations.  Whilst I did like the setting, overall the story just wasn't the creepy horror and twisted tale I was looking for.

Character: Miles
Scene: Investigating the pillbox on the cli

Relate a:
Other Book: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley Doyle


Have you read this one?  What did you think?


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