Friday 20 November 2015

Monster by CJ Skuse

That last week at school before the Christmas holidays, death was in everything.

Published by Mira Ink in September 2015

Pages - 318

At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits. As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory – a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school – run wild. Yet when the girls’ Matron goes missing it’s clear that something altogether darker is to blame – and that they’ll have to stick together if they hope to survive.
I'm taking a  extremely wild guess here and presuming that the author got the story idea  from the Beast of Bodmin legend, the story of the phantom wild cat, that is supposed to live in Cornwall. I loved the whole concept of this book and it made me curious to find out more about the Bodmin beast. 
The story is set in a boarding school, which I was worried might feel old fashioned. However, the author really pushed the boarding school setting into the 21st century.
C.J. Skuse is the Queen of Dialogue. I really do love her writing style. The conversations held in the book had me constantly swaying from giggles to shivers.  
Maggie was by far my most favourite character in the book. In fact, she may be my most favourite character all year! She is hilarious, dramatic, troublesome and full of satirical comebacks. 
The story really heats up in the second half of the book and it starts to become very uncomfortable reading at bed time. I didn't have a clue where the story was leading and I was completely surprised by some of the incidents that happened. I honestly did not see the ending coming, so kudos to the author for excellent plotting and pacing. 
CJ Skuse is a fantastic UKYA author, who really knows her teens! If you haven't got it yet, make sure you have it ready for next Halloween. 

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