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My Name Is Monster Reader Reviews

My Name Is Monster

Vanessa Breaks

On entering a post-apocalyptic world, which readers often do, I was quickly drawn into this quiet and beautifully written story. 'My Name is Monster' by Katie Hale is a very different take on the genre.

I was attracted towards this story by the intriguing synopsis and interesting book cover.

On entering a post-apocalyptic world, which readers often do, I was quickly drawn into a quiet and beautifully written story. A very different take on the genre.
A woman named ‘Monster’ (an endearing parental nickname from her childhood), emerges after an unexplained war and sickness believing she is the only human left alive. She alone fills the first half of the story, which starkly and atmospherically, explores her journey back to her home town. Although the background of the situation is left intentionally vague, we learn enough through her flashbacks to become engrossed in the short chapters.

Monster ekes out an existence on an old farm. During her regular forays into town to scavenge supplies, she suddenly meets and ‘adopts’ young girl. The dynamic between the two characters changes the focus. Despite a described awkwardness, ‘Monster’ becomes ‘Mother’ and teacher to the child she names ‘Monster’.

In the second part, the perspective of this dark novel alters from the ‘Mother’ to the girl. Here we explore the strange, yet touching relationship between the only two characters. These two narrators have very different viewpoints, which adds greatly to the urge to know more.

Overall, My Name is Monster is a compelling exploration of survival and relationships in the most difficult of situations. An adeptly written, quick read, but one which lingers with you long after the pages are shut.

Charlotte Walker

A poignant, literary post-apocalyptic story that I would recommend.

My Name is Monster is an incredibly interesting book. Told from two different perspectives - monster/mother and her adopted daughter monster - this is a tale of survival and humanity. 

As I was reading it reminded me quite a lot of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I think My Name is Monster was better than The Road though, because of the character development and the opportunity to gain more insight into the younger character's thoughts and feelings. 

This book tackles a wide range of themes focusing around what it means to be alive and human. Monster/Mother, in the beginning, is a loner, shunning affection and friendship of any kind, but ironically, when she is the only person left live in the world (or so she believes) she heads straight for human comfort - home. Adding to that the immediate embrace of Monster when she stumbles across her is a comment on love and human connection. Throughout the book Monster/Mother states (to paraphrase) you can survive x amount of days without food and water, but after x amount of days, the loneliness will kill you.

The younger Monster has a whole new range of challenges to face that we get to witness from the inside. The second half of the book is more akin to a coming of age story - tackling growing up as well as showing "the resilience of youth" (I'm risking sounding a bit cliched) and unfailing hope for the future. 

A poignant, literary post-apocalyptic story that I would recommend.   

Susan Wallace

Beautifully bleak, beautifully written post-apocalyptic story of a young woman left alone as the only survivor of a mysterious Sickness that wipes out humanity. A great read.

This is a beautifully bleak story about a young woman, Monster, who believes that she is the only person left alive in the world after a mysterious Sickness. She was given the name Monster by her parents as a nickname when she was young and some of the backstory glimpses are fascinating. She becomes a loner and this helps her to survive after everyone else has died. She returns to her parents’ home after the Sickness but then makes a home just outside a deserted city, where she goes to find food and supplies. On one of her trips into the city she finds a small girl who appears to be almost feral. She adopts the girl and takes her home.
The story describes their life together from both of their points of view, which is captivating and insightful. There isn’t much plot, nothing much happens, but the writing is so good that you just have to keep reading. The author’s descriptive writing is brilliant and evocative. I would definitely recommend this book.

S. Harper

Immersive, intense and utterly compelling.

Revolving around only 2 characters and with a simply genius switch in perspective halfway through the story, My Name is Monster is the tale of two women and their survival after the Last Fall. The War and the Sickness have devastated humankind. Monster believes she is the only survivor until she discovers a feral child, a child she will raise as her own. She will teach her all she knows and they will survive together. But the child is not a blank canvas, she is an individual with instincts, desires and memories of her own. As she grows she absorbs the world around her and learns things that Mother doesn’t teach her. This is their story.

My Name is Monster is one of those books that completely immerses you in its world. The writing is so, so vivid. You live and breathe through the characters, you experience everything as they experience it. Monster and Mother are both complex and unexpected. Their experiences and decisions linger long after you put the book down and haunt you through your days. My Name is Monster is intense and utterly compelling.

Chloe Newcombe

A must read which is touching and heart-warming book which will keep you gripped from the beginning. When Monster finds a ferral girl & takes her under her wing, Monsters life is turned around.

This book is touching & gripping. It switches between the life of Monster & a ferral girl who Monster decides care for. My favorite part of the book would have to be when Monster finds that the girl (who Monster also names Monster!) has gone from her bed. The reason this is my favorite part is because it shows how Monster begins to care so much for her, however, luckily she does eventually return. The relief that Monster feels when she gets home is truely heart-warming.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781786896353
Publication date: 6th June 2019
Author: Katie Hale
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, Family Drama, Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Feminism & feminist theory,