Cover Image: Monstrous


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Member Reviews

WOW! This book right there was everything I needed and more!! Ms. Lewis knows how to put a twist on paranormal with a touch of horror but still make it a face pace novel. She's gained a fan out of me for sure!
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Monstrous by Jessica Lewis is an amazing story with just the right amount of creepy horror and mystery. I really liked the main character and her persevering and clever personality. She was always looking forward to what she could do next and it was awesome to see how her story developed. The monster was really cool and I enjoyed the lore and worldbuilding of the spooky small town and it's villainous secrets.
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I love stories where the horrible town folk get what's been coming to them for the various horrid things they have done.  The snake was really cool and Latavia is strong AF. I might have just let the snake eat me lol. I think I was expecting it to be a little darker and murdery but that didn't take away from my enjoyment all. Jessica Lewis is currently 2/2 when it comes to books for me. I loved Bad Witch Burning too! I can't wait to see what else she writes.
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I enjoyed this. A fast-paced fun horror. A great read for spooky season. Not sure it's all that memorable though hence the dropped star.
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Overall, I enjoyed this. I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more if my reading mood hadn't changed in the middle of it and if there wasn't a lull in the pacing of the book.  It started out strong, and I immediately wished that it maintained it throughout the entire book. But there was a lull about 50% into it and didn't pick back up until the 70% mark.

I liked Latavia for the most part. I got annoyed with her wishy washiness and going back and forth about whether she was going to follow through with her deal. And the whole "does she like me like me?" pining that she did. Also the reveal of what she argued about with her mom was a bit convenient. But- this is YA and Latavia is a teen so all of this is normal. But it just highlighted one of my pet peeves with YA and why I think I should move on from it. 

I like the bond that she developed with the snake (it's not a spoiler-look at the cover!) He was funny, and I am glad that we got his backstory, and that even though he was not doing the conventional thing, he wasn't the most dangerous creature there. I know that  Jade and Allison were on her side, but it was a nice balance of whether or not she could completely trust them. However, I would have liked to see Latavia embrace the side that's changing a bit more. She straddles the line between monstrous and victim a little too nicely.  I like that the ending wasn't a neat ending and while it did work out- it didn't work out the way one would expect. There was too much damage done. And Latavia was right that Allison wasn't completely free. 

I did like Lewis'n writing-other than the normal YA annoyingness. I think I would like to see what she would do in the adult genre. If I don't pick up her debut novel,  Bad Witch Burning,  it will be because I've completely moved on from YA not because it's not worth checking out.
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- thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc to review!

- a story of fighting against an evil monster, making deals to survive, and maybe even becoming a monster yourself. Lewis writes a story of a headstrong protagonist, one that is hellbent on survival, and one who is willing to sacrifice it all in order to live, even if that makes her a monster herself. these kinds of monster stories always hook me in, and though there were points where the story felt weak, i still enjoyed this monstrous adventure.
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A sapphic girl is offered as a sacrifice to a monster against her will and then joins forces with it to get revenge...

Monstrous wasn't quite what I was expecting but while parts of it were a bit clunky, overall I enjoyed it and liked what it was doing. The early chapters are fantastic- mysterious and disturbing as we're introduced to this insular small town with major cult vibes. Latavia was only supposed to be there for the summer before college, staying with her aunt and cousin after her mom kicked her out, but things go very wrong very fast...

The introduction of the snake was really not what I was expecting, but he ended up growing on me as an interesting and complicated character. I like how much lore there is to the world-building and how this lets a Black girl be angry and get revenge, while also being a story that deals with trauma, mental health, and healing.

Mixed feelings on the romance given the circumstances, especially because it isn't always great for the pacing though I do like books like this with quieter moments before things get dark again. There is an extended villain monologue that is over-explaining everything and feels kind of out of character, plus some of the implementation of world-building elements is inconsistent. So not a perfect book, but still one I enjoyed and one I think other people could really be into as well. I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley, all opinions are my own.

Content warnings include physical injury that's ongoing, gore, death, murder, panic attacks, talk of self-harm, bloodletting.
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As a horror fan, this beautiful cover and enticing title immediately caught my eye. Then I realized I’d also read this author’s debut title and immediately requested Monstrous on NetGalley.

Latavia is stuck in the weird, small town of Sanctum with her aunt and cousin for six weeks, but after that she’s golden. A track scholarship to the University of Georgia is waiting, and she’ll be moving into the dorm when the six weeks is over. Her plans go awry when she’s kidnapped, tied up, and presented as a human sacrifice to an ancient monster.

I’m not revealing any spoilers when I say the ancient monster is a snake – something I might have expected if I’d paid closer attention to the cover. I hate snakes with a passion – can’t even watch them on TV or in movies. During the snake’s scenes I pretended it was a cute, fluffy bunny or some equally adorable creature. But moving on, I love a good revenge story, and that’s what this is. Latavia is a strong, wonderfully written character, and I was with her one hundred percent as she made plans with the monster to take down her/their enemies.

If you enjoy a novel filled with secrets and big reveals, this novel checks those boxes. A couple I saw coming or had suspicions about, but others not so much. I’m always a fan of pets (dogs in this case) being part of the story, so Peaches and Charlie made the inclusion of a snake easier to handle.

Pacing is a little uneven, but this novel immediately pulls you in, and you’ll wonder along with Latavia who she can trust. The ending makes me wonder if a sequel might be in the works.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Nah I wanted to see Don suffer at the end! Honestly figured he wasn’t dead but still! Jade like girl what do you mean lol like everyone hon suffer sorry and Allison poor manipulated Allison sigh! Anyways this was a good novel! Perfect for October not scary but the myth is explored we’re definitely interesting to say the least! I wanted to dive in more on the snakes past and world! Perhaps a sequel or prequel! 3.75✨
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This was one of my most anticipated books of Fall 2023. And it did not disappoint. Not only is it creepy/scary because of that huge ass monster, there’s also a lesson buried in there too. Those are my favorite types of books. A hidden lesson and some things to talk about. Definitely a good book to use for a book club or even my library’s event, Tournament of Books.

Ok so first things first. The monster itself wasn’t creepy, but I’m not scared of what it is. (Now if she writes a book about that crow one that was mentioned in the book? THEN I’ll be scared.) Now if you’re scared of these animals, please be aware that this thing is mentioned A LOT so please be careful with yourself. But I didn’t really find this thing actually scary, but it is considered horror because it’s ancient evil, monster typed horror. And I LOVED it.

This was my first book by Lewis, but I can tell you now I put her witchy book on hold already because if this was that good?! Then yeah I need it. I was hooked. I wanted to read this in one sitting, but with a toddler and me reading a trillion books at one time, it just didn’t happen. But please know, that I wanted it to. The characters were amazing, the premise had me biting all my nails off and everything. I was so on edge every time she had to make a decision on what she wanted to do to the people. One thing that stood out to me about this book is how Lewis not only gives you an actual monster, but she also explores what it’s like to be monstrous. Like is she just as terrible as them for wanting revenge? Does this not count? And as the reader, how did you feel by rooting for her to exact revenge? I like that it makes you think deep about the kind of person she is and you are.

And there is so much drama in this lol I was not expecting it to be that way, but the way these characters were? Lordt they had a lot going on. And they were all crazy! I know what she was doing, using them to get the info she needed, but mayne come on! I agreed with the monster. You are NOT supposed to get on their good side and forget what you were supposed to be doing. But then again, that’s where they monster bit comes from. And that small bit about who the love interest was?! I legit said out loud, “GIRL, WHAT?!” It was a lot. And I was said that Latavia didn’t even get to have that. Because Lord knows if anyone broke my leg and left me to get eaten, I’m coming for EVERYONE. And like the way they were acting, like they didn’t understand why she was doing this. And begging her to forget what was done to her because that was her relative? Ain’t no damn way. I would have still done it because she WAS my relative. You’re supposed to keep me safe, and you did THIS? Naw.

The romance is full of wtfs tho lol I was hesitant to like them, and then I just out right disliked her, and then I DID like her, and then I HATED her again when all the secrets were out. I went through a lot of different emotions when reading this ok lol I don’t think I’ve ever been so indecisive. I wish I had recorded my reactions tho because I know I was going through it.

I don’t know if there’s a sequel, but I would like to read one. If nothing else I’d like to see the other monsters. Like the crow thing that was mentioned. Scared as I am of birds, I’d read that lol Also, them people in Hollywood says they can’t find any BIPOC stories to bring to life as movies, well this one is perfect. Make it come out in the fall and it will be a hit I’m telling you!
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A girl who was meant to be a sacrifice to an old monster in the woods flips things upside down and joins the monster in getting revenge. Okay, I'm here for it.

I thought this was great, Latavia was strong and a fighter, not about to let the people of this town take her down. As the story goes on and we learn about the town's history, you start to question who the real villains are and how far can you take revenge before becoming a villain yourself.

This was fast paced and exciting, with some good surprises and an open ending. I could have left out the romance, but it wasn't the main part of the plot so I'm not too concerned.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the copy.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I need to preface this review by saying that for a large chunk of my reading of this book (and in fact, right now, as I'm writing this review), I was/am a little zooted on cold medicine thanks to the case of covid I caught, so if I'm making no sense, we'll just go ahead and blame it on that, ok?

This book was such an interesting ride - I did see several of the "twists" coming, but that didn't necessarily detract from my enjoyment in reading. I do love reading about girls and women who own their power and become what society might deem monstrous, and this book delivers a solid example of that. The author did a really nice job of making all sides seem simultaneously reasonable and monstrous, making it difficult to arbitrarily judge who was right or wrong on all issues. A nice, well-balanced read with a fun ending (that, spoiler alert: might annoy some people).
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Monstrous is an intriguing concept of who is offered as sacrifice to a giant snake. She is kidnapped and assaulted.  Latavia strikes a deal with the snake to stave off being eaten. She will help him get his revenge on the person who wronged him so many years ago. 

The book was interesting in the beginning but kind of veered off to repetitive plot points. I wish there was more. More anything. At times I felt underwhelmed by the storyline. The ending lacked a climatic battle. 

I did enjoy how the author tackled PTSD and other serious issues. I really enjoyed the author’s debut, Bad Witch Burning. This entry just didn’t grab my affections the same way. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC.
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Monstrous was a wonderfully twisted horror novel that kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending really left me dissatisfied however, so that was a bummer. A fun book for spooky season though!
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This book gave every IOTA it was supposed to give. I could (and might) spend years breaking down all of the things it did amazingly especially with the double edged sword of the complex reasons people do horrible things against the fact that victims have every right to be mad they were hurt and that bystanders didn't save them.
Or how people's perspective on how to handle something can change when they've been through it but because they've been through it they're dismissed or devalued. 
The only thing I didn't like was early on there were a few moments of Allison showing some insecurity about her weight and Avie's response to was pretty harsh even thinking something along the lines of "nobody cares about your size.". And IRL, that's just not true, fat phobia is alive and well. But also in the book we learn that she was abused and her size was a part of it. There is a general "I was so rough on her" statement, but with the way it was written I would've either preferred an explicit "Damn, I was gaslighting her about this" or Avie could have simply had a more empathy about the topic to begin with if she had to have strong feelings about it at all. 
Luckily that's only an issue that briefly comes up twice early on. Otherwise. 
Phenomenal book. I can't recommend it enough!!!
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This story follows Latavia Johnson. She is going to Sanctum, Alabama to spend 6 weeks with her aunt before leaving for college. Upon her arrival she could tell something was off about the little town and her Aunt’s rules only make the town sound weird. After being offered as a sacrifice to the towns monster Latavia strikes a deal the will keep her alive and help the monster get revenge on the town. 

This was my first read from this author and from this I know I’ll be picking up Bad Witch Burning to read asap. It was great storytelling with well thought out characters. Loved the authors writing style although it started off confusing to me that why I gave it 4.25/5 stars

Thank you Random House Children's, Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm still currently reading Monstrous by Jessica Lewis. Somehow contradictory, I am both bored and intrigued with this book. It doesn't start how I expect. The monster isn't the secret of the book, which is what I was expecting. Avie is staying with her aunt in a small, very odd town, with many mysterious deaths. Right away, Avie knows something is up. But rather than her spending the entire book trying to solve the mystery, the mystery is solved probably around 15% of the way through. You find out what's wrong with the town, and it then turns into Avie having to work WITH the mystery. I'm sure I'm not explaining it well, but it's intriguing and I'm very curious to see where this is going. On the other hand, I'm bored. None of the characters are likeable, the romance almost feels instant with no tension or build up. I'll definitely be finishing this book and I have pretty decent hopes that it'll be at least a 4 star read. It fits a good fall/spooky themed read!
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I really enjoyed this book. I felt the relationship between the characters was very well developed and fit very nicely into the story. The story read very well and would be a great addition for the fall and spooky season for readers.  This story follows Latavia, a 18 year old girl who is sent to live with her Aunt and Cousin in a mysterious Alabama town that is hiding an over 200 year old secret. Don’t go into the Red wood forest . This is all Latavia knows upon her arrival, but she will soon learn what lies within the forest and this will change the course of her life.  We see what happens when greed, survival ,and revenge all collide .This is a wonderful YA read for when you want something to read by a fire or even with the lights out (of course with a reading light ). My only gripe would be that I wanted to know about the monster who lives in the forest.
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This book was absolutely amazing! I couldn't ut it down. It was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it hit every mark!I loved the story, the world building and meeting the different characters. I felt completely immersed in the story and couldn't stop reading it.
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After Bad Witch Burning, I was willing to give anything Jessica Lewis writes a try, and Monstrous raises that already high bar. Latavia, kicked out of her mother's house for being gay, is spending the last few weeks before college with her aunt and cousin in the small town of Sanctum. Sanctum is odd, with far too many closed casket funerals for a town of 300 and strict rules about going near the woods, but Latavia is willing to overlook it all, until the sheriff arrives and she is beaten, tied to an alter in the woods, and offered to a giant snake. Now all bets are off as Latavia makes a deal with the snake to bring down the town and everyone willing to condone murder for their own comfort. Passionate and fast-paced, Monstrous exposes the hollowness of some of our moral dilemmas, particularly around the violence we accept and the violence we condemn, as well as why we expect victims to play by the rules of their oppressors. A must read for teens and adults who care about justice.
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