Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Book Review: Monster by C.J. Skuse

The real monster is Slut Shaming.

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.
This is the second book by C.J. Skuse I have had the pleasure to read (and reviewed). I like this book a lot better than Dead Romantic. The ideas are more interesting and the characters were somewhat better. Still flawed though.

I love the fact the chapter headings were horror films. It could be argue that these were used for overshadowing, but some were just distracting and kinda forced. Though, normally I don't sit analysing chapter titles.

The characters are mostly a diverse bunch of girls. They are kinda stereotypes: the stuck-up bitch, the rebel, the kid, the creepy weirdo and the proper pure protagonist. They feel okay as characters when reading it, but there's not much to them or their relationships with each other. There is almost something there, but not fully. 

The slut shaming and emphasis on the main character being virgin is problematic, especially with the ending. These are realistic issues that go on within groups of teenage girls, but its not addressed at all that's it a issue. Also the "slut" is presented as being unlikable and is also a sadist. Even if Skuse was mirroring the horror trope of the protagonist being a virgin, its just something that should be abandoned (unless virgin is in a recipe).

The plot is okay. There is the idea of what a monster is something I thought was good. The ending could have been better set up and loses all realism after a point. The bordering school in the middle of nowhere is a good horror setting, however, I found the complications of that to be too tedious especially as they are in walking distance of other people.

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars for priest holes. I enjoy reading this book, it wasn't that scary and I never felt any tension for the characters. It was still a decent idea and good light read.

I got this book for review off NetGalley and is being published on

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