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08 April 2022

Book Beginnings: Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

 For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence.

I am currently reading Only a Monster by Vanessa Len.

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len book cover

When Joan was six, she decided she was going to be Superman when she grew up.

I got Only a Monster by Vanessa Len in my January 2022 Fairyloot box.

This is a first line that put a smile on my face. When I was little, I was never sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, but Superman was probably something that crossed my mind - who wouldn't want to be a hero?

The cover is gorgeous, I have to say I much prefer the UK cover to the US one, so I'm glad that's what Fairyloot went with. My edition also has purple sprayed edges with black pattern, and the most gorgeous endpapers. I think I've spent as long looking at them as I have reading the actual book.

I can't wait to see where this story goes, and from just the first paragraph I know that it's written in a style that I'll love.

Joan looked at the screen properly. No signal. Was something blocking it? She squeezed the edges hard enough to hurt.

This is from page 56 in my finished hardback copy.

Oh boy, is this bit tense. We're right in the action, right at the biggest turning point in the story so far. It is exhilarating and heart-breaking and so tense.

I am actually about 100 pages further into the book myself, and I am well and truly invested. I love the writing the style, I love the world from Joan's eyes, I love the story. I am absolutely rooting for Joan.

Something about this almost reminds me of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab, and I can't figure out exactly what it is. I think it might be the timeless quality of the writing, which makes sense in a story all about time.

I am absolutely loving this book, and I'm excited to see where it goes.

About the Book

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.

Then a Good Samaritan attempt gone wrong sends Joan spinning through time, and her life quickly begins to unravel. 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.

Dive deep into the world of Only a Monster, where the line between monster and hero is razor thin: hidden worlds dwell in the shadows, beautiful monsters with untold powers walk among humans, and secrets are the most powerful weapon of all.

Add Have You Seen Me? by Alexandrea Weis to Goodreads button

What are you reading this week?


  1. This one looks really good! Happy reading!

  2. Something different for sure! I also like the cover and I am glad to hear you are enjoying it so much.

    Have a good weekend!

    Elza Reads

  3. I like the sounds of this one and that cover is epic!!!! Happy weekend!

  4. Sounds like a book young readers would enjoy too!


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