Book Review

Only A Monster – Vanessa Len

I love discovering new authors, especially in the YA fantasy arena, and so I was thrilled to stumble across this little beauty. Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy, which I received via NetGalley.


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.


Well, it’s safe to say that Vanessa Len has found a firm fan in me. I absolutely loved Only A Monster! Turning the standard hero versus monster premise on its head, in Only A Monster, Vanessa Len somehow manages to make you root for the monster and hope the hero fails in his quest, while still making you fall in love with him.

Vanessa Len’s world-building from the method of time travel used by the monsters, to the different clans they come from, so wonderfully intricate and imaginative. Add in a trip to London in the 90s, which brought back some happy memories from my teen years, and not one but two swoon-worthy boys and this book has everything this book blogger could wish for.

Only A Monster has left my heart divided. I feel like I need a sequel because I loved the world and characters so much, but at the same time the end is so perfect that I am scared anything further could spoil it. I would love to know your thoughts on this once you have read the book for yourself. Whatever happens, I know I will be reading whatever it is that Vanessa Len writes next.

Only A Monster is published on 17th February, and you can pre-order your copy here.

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