Seventeen-year-old Clara is ready to fight back. Fight back against her abusive father, fight back against the only life she’s ever known, and most of all, fight back against scrabs, the earth-dwelling monsters that are currently ravaging the world. So when an opportunity arises for Clara to join an international monster-fighting squad, she jumps at the chance.
When Clara starts training with her teammates, however, she realizes what fighting monsters really means: sore muscles, exhaustion, and worst of all, death. Scrabs are unpredictable, violent, and terrifying. But as Clara gains confidence in her battle skills, she starts to realize scrabs might not be the biggest evil. The true monsters are the ones you least expect.
Tags: Domestic violence, monsters, aliens, teamwork, friendships, romance, potential romance, biracial characters, conspiracy, fighting
Publication Date: 7th July, 2020
( I received a free e-copy, with thanks to Edelweiss & Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinions on the book.)
This one took me by surprise. I was expecting a casual read about a monster-fighting, dystopian novel(which I’d almost never decline reading) but got so much more than that. What got me was the running theme of abuse of all kinds: verbal, physical and emotional.
Everyone forgave Dad. Those were the rules. I broke the rules last time. No forgiveness. He flew into a rage within two hours of returning home, because he said I was being rude to him.
I was a screaming ball of resentment.
I’ve been subjected to verbal and emotional abuse in my life and the experiences Clara, our main character, went through resonated with me to an alarming degree. I honestly don’t know how the author could’ve depicted it so realistically!
Would I be like Mom, who swore up and down that Dad hadn’t been aiming that chair for my head? I already wasn’t sure if I had really ducked, because she so adamantly claimed it didn’t happen. How long until my reality bent the same way Mom’s did?
Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed were the characters. There’s a whole cast of them from various backgrounds and classes, which made it exciting when they teamed up to fight the monsters. Although, because it’s such a large cast we don’t get enough time to know each of them a bit better(I wanted more Patrick! He’s such a loveable guy. Oh, and Cooper! Despite barely having any scenes he captured my attention with his deadpan humor). But you do know them enough to feel their loss when a character gets killed.
Tintera also touches on Clara’s conflicting feelings of identity, the irony of feeling like you don’t belong to your race/country just because you don’t speak their language or wasn’t brought up there. This. This chimed with my experiences 100%. I am so grateful to the author for showing this narrative.
Now, as for the romance, well(a little spoilery, so you can skip this paragraph if you don’t want any romance spoilers, however mild)let’s just say don’t root for the guy she romances in here. I’m pretty sure you’ll figure it out for yourself soon after we get to know him. I have to give it to Tintera here, she made you see his side, too, but ultimately, you still know which side is right. I’m probably making zero sense here xD Anyway, there’s this other character that, in my opinion, is hinted as a potential love interest. I really hope it comes true in the next book!
Also, can I just say how super COOL they are when Clara and Edan fight off the monsters?? They make a slick team and I hope to see more of that in the sequel!
If, like me, you are a sucker for teamwork, super-slow-burn-romance, a heroine who doesn’t know everything but still does the best to her knowledge, fighting aliens/monsters and corporate conspiracies, but don’t mind a slightly predictable plot, this one takes the cake. Dystopians and monster/alien stories have been done to death but All These Monsters does it nicely and has an element of depth to it. Also, this one has some nuggets of humor and modern terms in it, which just sealed the deal for me! Oh, and I almost forgot, one of the characters has motion sickness and I related to it SO MUCH. Thank you, Amy Tintera, for writing this book!!
Parental Guidance: 14+
Violence – Some gore. Physical, emotional and verbal abuse. Fighting.
Sex – Some lewd behaviour from strangers.
Religion – None
Profanity – Medium
Recommended for: Readers who enjoy books with monster/alien-fighting, some cool fighting scenes, teamwork and friendships. Those who’ve gone through abuse(as long as it doesn’t trigger you). For teenagers, so that they learn what kind of relationships are toxic, and are a bit more aware of the red flags.
Guys, just a heads up that I won’t have access to the internet for the next few days as I’m moving. Looks like it’d be perfect to get some reading done in that downtime 😄 I have some blog tours coming up, so I’m looking forward to sharing some of those with you all when I get back 😉 Until then, take care everyone!