Happy Monday! Today I'm so excited to be a part of the Literary Bound Tour for Only A Monster by Vanessa Len. This book is a YA fantasy/Contemporary Romance debut and is 416 pages -which made for a quick yet super enjoyable read- and it came out on February 22 which means it's already available, and I would highly recommend picking up a copy! it’s available through Indigo, Amazon, or Harpercollins.
I hope you enjoy my review, and if you need even more reasons to read it, check out the other hosts of the tour and their reviews https://literaryboundtours.com/2022/02/09/tour-schedule-only-a-monster-by-vanessa-len/
Synopsis: The sweeping romance of Passenger meets the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song in this stunning contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, where the line between monster and hero is razor-thin.
Joan has just learned the truth: her family are monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And the cute boy at work isn’t just a boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to destroy her family.
To save herself and her family, Joan will have to do what she fears most: embrace her own monstrousness. Because in this story…she is not the hero.
Dive deep into the world of Only a Monster: hidden worlds dwell in the shadows, beautiful monsters with untold powers walk among humans, and secrets are the most powerful weapon of all.
I loved this book more than I though I would, and I had already gone into it knowing I would enjoy it. The story had my attention and interest right from the beginning, making me want to know more about what a monster really is. I liked that I essentially got to learn about monsters at the same time as Joan did throughout the book since she’s new to that world. It meant you didn’t get all the details of the world at once which I think made the world easier to understand overall. Learning that Joan’s real self isn’t the hero was definitely hard for her to accept, but I honestly thought it made the story more interesting and feel less cliche. Right from the start Joan thought monsters were the bad guys and I like that learning about who they really are didn’t magically turn them into the heroes of the story, they stayed the way they were originally talked about just seen in a bit of a different light. The only unfortunate thing was having Joan’s first experience with another monster family be so bad. She learnt quite quickly that the Olivers do no like her or her family. This made Joan begrudgingly team up with Aaron Oliver quite interesting and they made for such a dynamic pairing. I loved the witty banter and moments of personalities clashing throughout their team up. Another thing I absolutely loved was the hidden world the monsters have. I thought the hidden world, essentially a grey area in the world, the monsters had was fascinating and a unique aspect in the book. The same went for having the romance stay off to the side for a lot of the book, which I really enjoyed. I was wondering if it was going to end up being a love triangle, it definitely felt like a possibility, but it did just stay with the one main love interest. And yes this was an enemies to lovers -my favourite- as well as being a slow burn… there is one other thing but I’ll leave that for anyone reading to find out. The romance was prominent at the beginning and towards the end but there were more or less just hints of it for the majority of the middle of the book. I like how it played into the story so nicely and didn’t take away from Joan learning about the monster world. Despite the ending being bittersweet for the romance I thought the ending was perfect for the story. The ending overall left some open endings for what I hope is more to come, but I think it wrapped up nicely and didn’t leave me with a million unanswered questions. I feel like I can already say this will be one of my top books of 2022. It was easily a 4.75/5 ⭐️ Read for me.
I want to say a huge thank you to Literary Bound Tours and HarperCollins for inviting me to be a host and and sending me an arc to read.
About Vanessa Len:
Vanessa Len writes YA fantasy about girl anti-heroes, monsters, and enemies who are maybe in love. She’s read every Diana Wynne Jones book more times than she can count. She’s a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, and she lives in Melbourne, Australia. Only a Monster is Vanessa’s first novel, and you can visit her online at http://www.vanessalen.com.