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Modern Monsters

Review

Modern Monsters

MODERN MONSTERS --- a hard-hitting young adult novel that revolves around an incident at a high school party --- is a story no one will ever forget. The main character, Vic, is the quiet guy in school. He has a stutter and isn't confident in himself, and he only knows everyone because of his popular best friend, Brett. Vic is a loner, so when the crime happens at the party, everyone thinks he did it. He has to prove his innocence while finding the real culprit.

This book definitely hits a sensitive subject. It has a unique take on it, though, because this time it's in the suspect's perspective rather than the victim. The reader personally sees what it is like to be scrutinized for your every move. Vic is under a lot of pressure even though he didn't commit the crime. It puts into perspective that there is never just one victim during situations like this one.

I like that for once, the main character is not a sarcastic, confident guy. Instead, he's an awkward introvert. It is more appealing and realistic. I also really like Autumn.

She really cares for her best friend (the victim of the crime), and she’s her own independent person. I appreciate her boldness --- she tries everything she can to find the culprit, no matter the consequences. I also think that Vic’s mom is very well-written --- it’s heartbreaking to see the way she acts towards her son. Although she's a hard character to like, I ended up sympathizing for her by the end of MODERN MONSTERS.

However, I don’t like some of the other characters as much. Brett doesn't really need or want Vic around sometimes, which makes it hard to care about him. Some of the side characters feel cliché to me, and I wish they had a little more depth to them

Fans of SPEAK and Ellen Hopkins' novels will LOVE this book.

The writing in MODERN MONSTERS is a little on the boring side for me --- it sounds like the direct thoughts of the main character. This is fine for some people, but I got a little tired of hearing Vic use the same phrases and terminology over and over. I also don’t think there are great descriptions in the book --- it feels staccato to me. 

I do really like the plot in MODERN MONSTERS, though. It’s a unique take on a cliché storyline, and there were a few twists that I didn't see coming. It feels a little slow at parts, but the story always picks up. The romance in the story feels very genuine --- I love it. I feel for the characters and feel like they really like each other. I also like how the romance wasn't the biggest focus of the story --- it was a mystery first and foremost.

I guessed who committed the crime right away, but I don’t think that other people will necessarily see it coming. There is a lot of stress on the mystery and I felt the pressure just from reading it. I like these types of mystery novels because there are a lot of suspects and a lot of uncertainty. There isn't a ton of evidence, either --- it's just one of those "he said, she said" situations. It makes the reader want to know the truth and what happened even more because there could be a thousand different scenarios for each individual suspect.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, and think that fans of SPEAK and Ellen Hopkins' novels will LOVE this book. I definitely don't think I'll forget this book for a long time, if ever. It has a lot of dark themes that are important for everyone to read about.

Reviewed by Christa O., Teen Board member on June 9, 2015

Modern Monsters
by Kelley York

  • Publication Date: June 2, 2015
  • Genres: Suspense, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled: Teen
  • ISBN-10: 1633750027
  • ISBN-13: 9781633750029