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Review: Delicate Monsters

Delicate Monsters - Stephanie Kuehn

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I'm not quite sure how to review this one. Darker themed contemporaries are not really my thing but this one sounded interesting, particularly with the hint of a possible paranormal mystery angle.

 

On the one hand the actual writing and narrative was simply amazing. Beautifully written, visually stunning and thought provoking. Also extremely disturbing. Very blunt as well in themes and personalities of the characters.

 

The characters were mostly appalling people. I think it was almost set up so as a reader you're actually not meant to like the characters but be fascinated by them anyway. Which I kind of was. But at the same time the behaviour of Emmerson and Sadie Su was disgusting and despicable. The only somewhat likeable characters I found were Miles, a sickly boy who thinks he has disturbing visions of people's deaths.

 

It's set up so you almost don't know whether Miles's visions are real or something in his head. Emmerson is Mile's older brother, most of the time was just annoying and bland but the more the novel progresses, the worse his behaviour gets and some of his actions are positively stomach churning.

 

Sadie Su is a flat out bitch with a huge chip on her shoulder and an attitude problem the size of the Grand Canyon. She takes great pleasure in her attitude problems and the fact that she just doesn't seem to care much about anyone or anything. Again, its kind of fascinating but disturbing at the same time. And can get very grating. Though it is interesting in how all three characters intertwine.

 

The whole overall theme is very dark and gritty. The mystery element is quite intriguing and while I might not have liked the novel much, it was compelling that I pretty much read the whole thing in an afternoon. Couldn't put it down. But I can't really bring myself to rate it any higher.

 

Thank you you to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for approving my request to view the title.