Mini book review: Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

Published February 22nd 2022 by HarperTeen


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.

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Only a Monster had a potential to become the next Vicious but somewhere in the middle it stuck in the no emotional involvement zone.

It does not mean that the story is not appealing. On the contrary, I find the whole concept of time-travling monsters very intriguing. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that it needed more passion, more character-driven action, more something to make me really care.

I moved with the plot. I was curious. I was intrigued. I liked the characters. Baby Aaron especially *heart sign* But all those things felt like I was looking from the side. Curious but not worried. Involved but not fully immersed into the story.

And I agree with other opinions that the whole star-crossed lovers concept was a little bit rushed. We did not get a proper reason why we should move along with it. Where did it come from? I can’t deny I felt sympathetic toward Nick; I can’t be harsh when it comes to dark brooding tortured heroes but Aaron filled the space of my attention more thoroughly than Nick, so I couldn’t get involved with the whole lurve theme to the fullest.

I can’t also deny that I am hopeful and curious about the sequel. This story has so much potential to become more and to make us suffer. Yes, damn it, we, readers, should suffer, it means that we care, otherwise what’s the point?!

Anyways, a promising debut with an intriguing concept and a whole lot of potential for the future.

6 thoughts on “Mini book review: Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

  1. Great review! That this had the potential to be the next Vicious and didn’t quite hit it makes me a little sad, as does the underdeveloped romance? But I’m still pretty curious about this one! It just sounds too good to not give a try despite seeing quite a few mixed reviews 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I would recommend to go for it and read the book! It has a potential and for a debut it’s a really good book. Yes, a lot of people have questions regarding the romance, but keeping in mind book two i think we will get a more clear picture.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHH I LOVE YOUR REVIEW SO MUCH!! i’m so so sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much, but i also JUST LOVE the way you conveyed it all in your review ahh. i’m so scared for this, because ALL THE MIXED REVIEWS, but definitely hoping that the sequel will be much better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you) I didn’t really have much to say in my review because i have mixed feelings about the story but the book is really promising and i have hopes for the sequel. I would recommend giving it a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! I think Aaron was the main reason why I loved this book, he was the most intriguing character. I also think the story has so much potential to become something bigger, or at least what I wanted Vicious to be.

    I also came to realise that I may have something for any character called Aaron (see Shatter Me series).

    Liked by 1 person

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