Book reviews Fantasy Romance

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

Only A Monster Cover

About the Book – Only a Monster

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.

Goodreads page

“If you need to run, always imply that you’ll return.” 

Quote from Only a Monster

Our Review of Only a Monster

I loved the book. Only a Monster had the whole Romeo and Juliet vibe and, add to it a pinch of monster salt and, Voila what’s not to like 😛 I had this book on Kindle and audiobook. So, in my opinion, the audiobook may not be a good option as I felt the narrator just took out the allure of the suspense and the tense background of the whole story. While reading the book, I could feel the terror and the dangerous situation. The same thing on the audiobook felt like the characters were taking a stroll in the park. Even the most threatening situations were happening in a muffled voice.

Only a monster, to me, delivered everything it promised; An engaging and exciting plot. The book uses time travel as one of the key elements. Although, I would admit that the details and nuances of this particular supernatural element are a bit played down. As in much is not discussed and I am perfectly fine with it because I wasn’t interested in it in any way. I was more into the forbidden love aspect and it was served on a slow-cooked fire. And I will take that happily over a lacklustre rushed up hormone-induced romance.

The book, despite having too much to deal with, has kept itself less complicated. Some of the aspects towards the end felt a bit rushed up but since the later half kicks up the romance aspects to a level higher, I simply loved it. If you are looking for a swoon-worthy, kiss and tell love story, this is not that. This is more subtle and said in a few words kind of romance. It is like an ensemble piece. There is a mystery, romance, time travel, adventure and fantasy. All of these components are served in tiny pieces and it is up to you to take what you want from it.


In conclusion, I would say that the book was fantastic, with the Romeo & Juliet romance mixed with so many different elements, the book kept itself pacy, interesting and absolutely high on its elements. I loved how it kept reinventing itself with new twists and letting it all fall into paces without complicating everything.

Squirrel Rating

Squirrel Rating- 5 Star

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