Publication Date: September 24th 2015
Publisher: Mira Ink
Source: Review copy
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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.
A huge thank you to Mira Ink for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for a full and honest review.
Monster is an intriguing novel which takes place in an all girls boarding school called Bathory . Bathory is a very typical idea of a boarding school, strict rules and uniform, but what I enjoyed most about the school setting was seeing how the girls in the story either accepted or rejected the idea of the strict school.
The novel starts out a little slow as the reader is introduced to the characters, the school, the setting and the mystery surrounding Nash's brothers disappearance. Although there is a slow start, after the first 80 pages, I found the pace picked up and I became invested in the story. The thrilling mystery of the beast and the girls time isolated in the school at Christmas due to a snow storm were well written and full of suspense. CJ's suspenseful writing skills are evident in the build up and constant on edge feeling the reader has surrounding the beast and the disappearances of Nash's brother while reading.
The characters in the novel are vivid, unique and fun. Maggie, Nash's best friend, was a favourite. Outspoken, loud and proud Maggie was a cheeky character I loved to read about and I really enjoyed her friendship with Nash. The other girls, head girl Diana, bully Clarice, young Tabitha and beast mystery obsessed Reagan, were all characters I loved in their own ways. I felt each character developed well over the course of the novel. The romance in the novel was also extremely well written, I have to admit that I fell a little for Charlie!
CJ Skuse's writing style was funny, imaginative, suspenseful and captivating. The twist at the end of the novel was something I did not see coming ! A really good suspense novel, with good setting and a great host of characters. Highly recommend for fans of suspense, horror and boarding school novels.