Saturday, October 24, 2020

ARC Review: Monsters Among Us by Monica Rodden

Monsters Among Us

Monica Rodden
Publication: >Crown Books for Young Readers (January 5, 2021)

Description: Fans of Sadie and You will be riveted by this compulsively readable new thriller about a survivor of dating violence who uses her newfound awareness of everyday evil to hunt for a killer.

When Catherine Ellers returns home after her first semester at college, she is seeking refuge from a night she can barely piece together, dreads remembering, and refuses to talk about. She tries to get back to normal, but just days later the murder of someone close to her tears away any illusion of safety.

Catherine feels driven to face both violent events head on in hopes of finding the perpetrators and bringing them to justice with the help of her childhood friend, Henry. Then a stranger from college arrives with her lost coat, missing driver's license--and details to help fill in the gaps in her memory that could be the key to solving both mysteries. But who is Andrew Worthington and why is he offering to help her? And what other dangerous obsessions is her sleepy town hiding?

Surrounded by secrets and lies, Catherine must unravel the truth--before this wolf in sheep's clothing strikes again.

My Thoughts: I almost quit reading this book very shortly after I began it. I was afraid that I would be spending a book caught in the traumatized memory of the main character. And she was traumatized! Catherine Ellers was raped after drinking too much and attending a party. She doesn't remember much about the experience. She sees the bruises and knows she washed away blood. She can't remember and both does and doesn't want to remember. Since it is just before Christmas Break, she comes home where her parents don't know how to help her.

Catherine reconnects with her childhood friend Henry Brisbois and his dog Molly. They had lost contact with each other at the end of Elementary School for reasons that make Catherine feel guilty. But now his presence is something of a comfort to her because he doesn't look at her strangely and know about what happened at college.

When twelve-year-old Amy Porter is found strangled to death. Catherine is pulled out of her introspection and needs to find out who killed her. Catherine had been Amy's babysitter/nanny for three summers and feels very connected to her. Catherine recruits Henry to help her with her investigation.

Then a boy named Andrew Worthington comes to town with Catherine's coat and drivers license and debit card and knowing more about what happened the night Catherine was raped than Catherine does. His need to assuage his own guilt makes him add himself to the investigative team. 

The three teens find out all sorts of buried secrets as they investigate including secrets about what happened to Catherine. The story was filled with tension that kept building and building. I enjoyed the story and thought it was a well-plotted mystery with a surprising twist.

Favorite Quote:
What can I do? her mother had asked.

She wanted someone to go into her brain. Cut out the memories--these little fragments that sliced her open.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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