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Modern Monsters

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Vic Howard never wanted to go to the party. He’s the Invisible Guy at school, a special kind of hell for quiet, nice guys. But because his best friend is as popular as Vic is ignored, he went…

And wished he hadn’t.

Because something happened to a girl that night. Something terrible, unimaginable, and Callie Wheeler’s life will never be the same. Plus, now Callie has told the police that Vic is responsible. Suddenly, Invisible Vic is painfully visible, on trial both literally, with the police, and figuratively, with the angry kids at school. As the whispers and violence escalate, he becomes determined to clear his name, even if it means an uneasy alliance with Callie's best friend, the beautiful but aloof Autumn Dixon.

But as Autumn and Vic slowly peel back the layers of what happened at the party, they realize that while the truth can set Vic free, it can also shatter everything he thought he knew about his life…

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 2, 2015

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About the author

Kelley York

18 books584 followers
Kelley resides off the coast of Northern California with her wife, teenager, a German Shepherd, a handful of cats and rats. In addition to writing, she has her A.S. in Anthropology, and is a graphic designer with a specialty in book cover design. She spends her spare time playing video games and tabletop games like the nerd she is. Her specialty is LGBT+ fiction, usually with a dark twist.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 152 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,728 reviews1,279 followers
May 31, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.)

“I’m detective Sherrigan and this is Detective Carter, Waverly Police Department,” the man says. “We came to ask you about a party you were seen at Friday night.”

This was an interesting mystery story about a boy accused of rape.

Vic was quite a shy boy, and he seemed to always have other people’s best interests at heart. It seemed quiet unfathomable that he could have possibly raped a girl, and I felt really sorry for him when he was accused.

“Do you know a Callie Wheeler?”

The storyline in this was about finding out who raped Callie, and we were kept guessing right up until the end. I did find the pace a bit slow, and I did get a bit frustrated that the answers weren’t coming quicker, but I wasn’t able to guess who the culprit was.

“No, Victor, she’s not okay.” Carter dips her chin and peers over the top of her sunglasses. “She was raped.”

There was a little bit of romance in this, and I thought that Vic was really sweet to the girl that he liked.

“It’s a lingering kiss.”

The end to this was okay, and I was glad that we found out who the rapist was.

6.25 out of 10
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,333 followers
June 3, 2015
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

---- Gloria Steinem, an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist

Kelley York, pens her new young adult contemporary novel, Modern Monsters that revolves around a dangerous crime destroying the life of an innocent teenager, and also threatens to snatch away his quiet yet successful future, thus it forces him to embark upon on a road where he can clear his name, but little did he knew that this road to truth can be a real bumpy one.


Vic Howard never wanted to go to the party. He’s the Invisible Guy at school, a special kind of hell for quiet, nice guys. But because his best friend is as popular as Vic is ignored, he went…

And wished he hadn’t.

Because something happened to a girl that night. Something terrible, unimaginable, and Callie Wheeler’s life will never be the same. Plus, now Callie has told the police that Vic is responsible. Suddenly, Invisible Vic is painfully visible, on trial both literally, with the police, and figuratively, with the angry kids at school. As the whispers and violence escalate, he becomes determined to clear his name, even if it means an uneasy alliance with Callie's best friend, the beautiful but aloof Autumn Dixon.

But as Autumn and Vic slowly peel back the layers of what happened at the party, they realize that while the truth can set Vic free, it can also shatter everything he thought he knew about his life…

Vic is an unpopular nerd yet he had a heart of gold, but surprisingly, his best friend was the most popular kid in the school, hence almost every other weekend, Vic ended up at a corner in a very happening party. But one party changes his life drastically when he sees a drunk girl throwing up and likewise his kind-heart rules it over by helping her to a room where he tucks her in to the bed. And when Monday, everything changed, when he found out that particular drunk girl named, Callie is raped and the last person she remembers is Vic's face. Against all odds, when his own mother too turned her back on her own son, Vic stands strong with his best friend's support, and along with Callie's best friend, Autumn's help, he plans to clear his own name from this mess.

The writing is very flawless and the mood that she set in with the confusing and dark tome is something really alluring to read. From the very first chapter itself, Vic's demeanor drew me in, although he was a complete geek, still his kindness pulled me like a magnet. The author depicts a sensitive topic through this story which the author have compassionately unraveled. The mystery is so deep that it immediately made me hooked on to the story. Although at some point, the strings of the mystery loosened, and it became easy for me to predict the real culprit.

The evocative narrative style and the way the dialogues are kept closer to reality kept me engaged till the very end. The pace of the book is very fast and an eloquent prose proved that the author knew what she was doing with this story. The characters are all strongly developed and sound very real through their narration. Vic, Brett, Autumn as well as Callie are the strongest elements of this book and which makes the story even more gripping.

Vic is an unusual character compared to his age, since the author helps him to transform and grow into a mature person who could stand against all the negativity around him. Brett and Autumn proves that there are still those friends who could die for us. And Callie surprisingly doesn't make herself feel sorry for her situation, she voices her opinion against this crime, yet she too fights with Vic and others to help him clear his name. The friendships depicted in the book are quite unique, given the fact that Vic and Brett's friendship is only an one-sided affair, while on the other hand, Callie and Autumn can die for each other.

And the author have done a great job in etching out these characters with depths with all their flaws and shortcomings. There is also a lot of chemistry in the book and at times, the storyline diverts to that direction and that annoyed me a little bit since there is lot of other issues that runs parallely in the background and with the progress of the story, the author lost touch with those issues thus hanging us leaving with a big question mark. The climax of the book is very satisfying and is justifies according to the storyline.

Overall, this is an emotional story of not only Vic but also for Callie and Autumn, which is sure to touch quite a number of teenage hearts!

Verdict: YA readers will find it appealing since this book covers a lot of teenage issues like acceptance, bullying, teenage rape, parent problems, unusual friendships etc.

Courtesy: I received this book for a blog tour.
Profile Image for Katrina♡••.
405 reviews68 followers
July 17, 2016
The author did choose a pretty serious topic to deal with and is is definitely one of a kind. I think it was pretty well done by there are definitely some flaws. I am really glad it was short because if it was any longer, it would have become boring. One complaint though is that nothing really happened in the book. At the beginning Vic is accused of rape and then he is badly treated and gossiped about. A girl stands up and tries to help him find out who really did it and a romance starts to brew. However it was realistic and satisfying enough for my liking. Definitely recommend it.

Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,889 followers
May 25, 2015
Modern Monsters was a very pleasant surprise for me, a fairly short and exciting novel that can be read in one sitting. It’s very tightly written and compulsively readable and it gives us a convincing male voice, something we don’t get nearly often enough in YA fiction. Vic is not your average hero, YA or otherwise. He is a loner, a shy, antisocial boy with a stutter. He only has one friend, the very popular Brett, whose future is vastly different from Vic’s. Vic is used to being dragged around by his best friend and then abandoned in a corner when there are more shiny toys to play with. So when he follows Brett to yet another party and ends up sitting outside alone, he accepts it as just another fact of life.

Vic’s inherent kindness won’t allow him to turn his head from someone in pain, so when he sees a drunk girl throwing up in the bushes, he helps her to a room where she can sleep it off. He even worries about her over the weekend, and with good reason. Monday brings the news that the girl was raped, and the only person she actually remembers approaching her is Vic.

Vic is a character who jumps right off the page, with all his pain and insecurities. We watch him as he tries to defend himself, abandoned by everyone but Brett. Our heart breaks with him as his mother turns her back on him, easily convinced that he’s a rapist and not the boy she raised to respect everyone, especially women.

Even while we follow Vic, we see Callie in the background and we witness the strength of her spirit in face of such a mindless, brutal attack. I loved how she refused to be a rape victim, choosing instead to face her schoolmates and retake control of her life.

Although it seems strange, romance was the highlight of this book, but it never became more important than Vic’s journey to find his own strength. Callie’s accusations, his mother’s distrust, police investigation, Autumn’s romantic interest and his best friends support all served to make him realize his own worth and stand on his own two feet. Modern Monsters may be heartbreaking at times, but the feeling it leaves you with is overwhelmingly positive.

The message this novel unobtrusively tries to convey is a worthy one, and a decent reward for the few hours you’ll spend reading the book. Modern Monsters is clearly the work of an experienced author whose work I’ll keep an eye out for in the future.

Profile Image for Demi.
185 reviews89 followers
March 20, 2016
Rating: 3.5 - I was excepting more from this book, to be honest. I did enjoy the plot and characters (except for a few certain ones...), but it was overall really predictable in my opinion.
Profile Image for Pixie/PageTurners Blog(Amber) C..
536 reviews57 followers
August 14, 2015

If I had to use one word to describe Modern Monsters it would be gut-wrenching; it broke my heart over and over. What happens when you do the right thing and it backfires? That is the basis for Modern Monsters.

Our main character Vic is shy, a bit weird, reclusive, respectable young man from the "wrong side of town"; his best friend is Mr. Popular, star athlete - this relationship works for Vic. He can be his invisible self, but still spend time with his childhood friend without "fitting in". Vic does get talked into uncomfortable situations from time to time - which is what happen the night he helps Callie.

Vic was dragged to a party by his best friend - while Vic is being a "wallflower" he notices a girl from school puking in the bushes. Vic does what he thinks is the right thing to do, he takes her up stairs finds a room and puts her in a bed. Vic leaves her there - we know that he did nothing to hurt Callie. Unfortunately for Vic he is the last person Callie remembers being with her, the night she was raped.

Like I mentioned above, Vic is a bit weird and he really wants to make sure Callie is okay - he does some things to him that seem normal, but to everyone else it makes him look guilty. One of the hardest parts of the book to read is when his mom is told what happens and she too believes her son is the rapist. She completely turns her back on Vic, she wants nothing to do with him. As a parent this broke my heart into a million pieces.

Vic finds solace in an unlikely friendship; Callie's best friend Autumn, believes Vic when he says it wasn't him - so together they team up to find out what really happened that night. As issues from Vic's past start to unfold he will learn a lot about himself and what really happened that night.

I am speechless(wordless)...I cannot gather my thoughts enough to tell you how much I loved this book. Modern Monsters needs to be in every high school library, classroom. In my opinion it should be mandatory reading for English.
Profile Image for Ideally.Portia.
392 reviews39 followers
May 26, 2015
I received this ARC from Entangled Teen through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book faces a really tough, sensitive subject.

I really, really loved Vic's character. He really grew so much through the course of the story, while facing incredibly hard to deal with issues. You really feel so bad for him, and whats worse, is knowing that things like this can happen in real life, and have happened.

What I also loved about this book was the fierce loyalty that the friends had for one another. Whether between Callie and Autumn, Vic and Brett, or Vic and Autumn, it was refreshing to see that kind of commitment to one another and protectiveness that they all seemed to have for each other.

This book is also a large reminder that you may never really know what people are capable of, no matter how they appear. But it also reminds you that sometimes it is possible to love someone and still hate them, and that sometimes happiness can be found in dark times.

The reason I didn't give 5 stars is mostly because I immediately knew who to blame. I don't know why, or maybe its just to good guesser in me, but I knew. Immediately. But I cant pin point a specific thing that made me feel that way. But as with and book with an unknown bad guy, you try to figure out or build an opinion about who it is. So guessing it from the beginning took away some of the air of mystery and the shock factor for me. But for someone who doesn't try to figure it out, it would definitely be surprising and sad. So I advise going in without trying to figure it out.

Overall, this book was very well written and dealt with the issues in a great way, and from a great perspective.
Profile Image for mith.
751 reviews259 followers
June 6, 2015
I liked the book, and I loved the characters, but I thought it was a bit predictable. For the most part, the plot was pretty good, but again, kinda predictable. I think what bothered me the most was that, despite Vic wanting to find out who the real crook—rapist—was, he and Autumn spent more time just hanging out and getting closer than doing detective work. That wasn't necessarily bad, seeing as how she's integral to to the story and to the growth of Vic's character, but I thought it lessened the importance of finding Callie's rapist.
I wanted a bit more of the mom in the story. I understand her reaction to Vic's getting blamed—I'm blanking out on the word here, of course—and even though I don't agree or like it, I do see where she's coming from. Given what she's gone through and what I myself know about family is that... Not everyone is the picture perfect, dinner-at-the-table, happy-go-lucky lot. It's hard and it's complicated, and, for lack of better words, often fucked up. What Vic and his mother had to overcome was something huge, and while there was a respectable amount of acknowledgement on the subject, more light would've been appreciated, because it's something very important. But I'm glad, for the most part, of how they ended up.
I thought the writing was okay; I can't say I'm a big fan of it. It's one of those stories where you actually need to pay attention to each word because you might miss something otherwise. It's straight from this to that, in the span of a few words, not the step-by-step ordeal. Personally, I don't really like that style because it's just too quick. If you're the kind of reader that reads in a skimming kind of way, like me, you'd have to pay a lot more attention so you don't go "wait, what??" or reread the previous line/paragraph again.
I liked the romance. I wished it wasn't so important, but whatever. However, I can say that it wasn't the most important thing and that, for the most part, it's pretty gradual. Sort of.
As I've said before, I really liked the characters. I thought that Brett was a true friend, loyal to the core; I liked what he did on Vic's behalf because, on some regard, he truly cares for Vic. I'm a fan of good girl friendships, but good guy friendships are just as important.
Despite what I said about the romance, I loved Autumn. She, too, was a loyal friend—both to Callie and Vic. Naturally, Autumn couldn't stand the sight of him, but she gave Vic a chance, and what I really loved was that her honesty came into play in the book. She's someone who speaks her mind, and I respected that. She outright says she doesn't trust/like him, at first. She goes through the process of trusting, too, which was a neat, two-in-one deal. In addition, she was a supportive friend, and helped Vic kind of come out his zone. She showed that he doesn't need to be Brett's shadow, that it's okay to be himself, it's okay to think for himself, too. I think they're good for each other, with Autumn boosting his ego and Vic cancelling out her sassy attitude.
I thought Vic was an absolute sweetheart. I found his stutter adorable and his anxiety relatable. The way he dealt with the situation—especially given how his mother reacted—was amazing. And he honestly doesn't seem like the type of boy who would do such a thing. Given the reputation—or lack thereof—you wouldn't think he'd get bullied for the accusation (THAT was the word I'd forgotten! Oh well, too late to go back and change), because it would seem ridiculous. Or, maybe you would...
You know what, actually no. Cross that whole sentence out because that's the thing about rape. In a situation like Callie's—drunk, barely conscious—you have no idea what you're facing and that's the scary part. You'd never expect it to be the quiet guy or the one that's going somewhere, the golden kid. That's irritating as hell and I see how I'm a hypocrite for practically writing that thought out before. Yes, in this case, it isn't actually the quiet boy who did it, who's only the scapegoat, but regardless. I just hope I managed to get across what I meant to say... It's just so horrifying that people would push aside the thought that someone so obviously good can do an act so atrocious—despite it being common as fuck and OVERLOOKED DUE TO HOW OFTEN IT HAPPENS—just so they can sleep at night. They'd rather have the innocent person behind bars instead of the disgusting creature that did the act. It's a horrifying world we live in.
(Also, that previous paragraph may minor-bordering-major spoilers, even though I was generally speaking. Still, sorry!)
This book kind of shows you that. See, I wasn't thinking that up until writing this review thing. The meaning may have been buried—or I'm just not a critical reader and need to go on a rant before actually figuring that out (it's most likely the latter)—but it's there. And I'm glad for that because it needs to be brought into light.
Overall, I liked it. It did have some ups-and-downs and it may not be a book I recommend to everyone, but it was still pretty good.
If you're worried about it being too gritty, don't be, because it honestly wasn't. (I'd recommend All The Rage for that, and checking out Navessa's review (which I'll hopefully link once I'm on my computer) for it.) Modern Monsters is a lighter side to a dark topic.
So yeah. 3.5 stars overall.

I really want to start reading this because I just got it but I have a million other books and I can't get to it :((
Profile Image for Jen La Duca.
156 reviews47 followers
April 3, 2016
Modern Monsters is the story of Callie, a high school senior who was raped one night while at a lake house party for both college and high school kids. What makes this story so utterly different and unique compared to any other with this subject matter is that it’s not told from Callie’s POV as the victim. This story is told from Vic’s POV; a shy, introverted teenage boy who is wrongly accused of raping Callie. It was this change in POV that made me want to read Modern Monsters, I had a feeling that Vic’s story was going to not only be great but also important. The reality is that these things really happen and as tragic as raped is, what can be almost as tragic is a young man being wrongfully accused because let’s face it, once that word is associated with someone it’s not a stigma that will just go away with a not guilty verdict. We can be quick to pass judgements without having all the facts, especially teenagers and this is exactly what Vic experiences and goes through.

I went into this story prepared for the onslaught of what Vic might experience while dealing with the police and kids from school. What I was NOT prepared for was the reaction of Vic’s mother. As a mom fiercely protective over my children, I found it disturbing to read the interactions between Vic and his mom. I understood why she was traumatized by the situation and I couldn’t even begin to grasp the amount of strength it would take to get through a past such as her own but what she does to her son is so brutal and so, so wrong! Her mistreatment of him was going on long before he was even accused of anything. I swear, I just wanted to reach through my Kindle and strangle the woman, she disgusted me! The way she treated Vic was abusive and neglectful and the poor guy had no idea what he had done wrong. My heart broke for Vic as I imagined a young boy waking up one day to find his mother’s love replaced with hatred. His mom should have gotten her shit together and sought counseling when she started to feel the way she did.

I loved Vic and was fascinated by his character! He is such a sweet, gentle and kind soul; even after all the crap life throws at him he never loses sight of who he is. Autumn was a perfect match for him; I just loved the two of them together. I wasn’t expecting a romance in this type of story and at first was a tad disappointed when I saw it heading that way. Thankfully, their feelings for each developed slowly and realistically which in turn made the budding relationship completely believable and I ended up loving it.

The mystery of who actually raped Callie IMO wasn’t too hard to figure out but that didn’t bother me or detract from this story. This is about Vic’s journey to find the truth and clear his name and it was completely believable that he didn’t know the truth behind the rape until the very end. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read Modern Monsters, this is the first book I’ve read by Kelley York but it certainly won’t be my last! Because this story is told through Vic’s POV there isn’t anything graphic surrounding the rape, he wasn’t there. Due to this, I believe this book is suitable for YA’s age 16 & up, as long as the subject matter in general isn’t a trigger. My daughter is 16 and I’ve already told her I want her to read this book, there are several very powerful messages here that would be great for teens to read. Kudos to Kelley York for showing us a different side of tragedy we don’t normally think about!

Thank you to the publishers, Entangled Teen and to NetGalley for the complimentary, advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews583 followers
May 31, 2015
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

Actual rating - 3.5

I felt sorry for both Callie and Vic in this. What happened to Callie was awful, but what Vic had to go through wasn't very nice either.

I had a feeling that I knew who the rapist was early on, so it wasn't really a surprise when it was revealed. It didn't make the story any less enjoyable though.

Overall, Predictable, but a decent read.
Profile Image for Kim.
Author 15 books236 followers
May 29, 2015
One of the first things that struck me about Modern Montsers was the voice, that of a teenage male and something that there is not enough of in YA literature. And that voice was convincing and empathetic.

Vic is not the stereotypical YA hero and I LOVED that. His best friend is one of the more popular guys, but he is not. He has a stutter and, largely because of that, he is rather socially awkward. He isn't portrayed as the shy, socially awkward guy who is secretly a brilliant guy either. Instead, he barely scrapes by academically. But what he is is loyal and kind, unable to turn his back on anyone that needs help. Unfortunately, this can also get him in trouble... and it does.

His heart is in the right place and he has the best of intentions when he sees a classmate at a party, drunk and sick. He helps her and finds a place for her to sleep it off. Later, she is attacked and his face is all she remembers. One thing leads to another, and he is suspected of attacking her. His own mother believes the worst of him, leading to an interesting subplot. His best friend's family takes him in, the father defending him, when his own mother can barely look at him. Then he finds an ally in the most unlikely of places... Callie's best friend Autumn.

I love Autumn and her role in the story. She is intelligent and she thinks for herself. She is skeptical and thoughtful and loyal and she sees beyond the surface, really looking to discover who people are for themselves, not for what others make them out to be.

The interesting thing is that there are almost two main plots in the book. The mystery of what happened to Callie and the romance. Neither one overshadowed the other; both of them equally integral to the story and character progression. The romance was beautiful, often funny, and always sweet. And the mystery parts of it were twisting and turning. The story there was intriguing, and all too realistically probable.

There were moments when I just wanted to jump into my book and alternately hug on Vic and throttle his mom and others for how they treated this genuinely nice guy. The story line was gritty and real, and extremely well handled.

My Recommendation

In it's own way, this book was beautiful. Yes, there were story lines of betrayal and assault and neglect, but the emotions behnd it all were what made it beautiful. There were themes of emotional neglect, peer pressure and pressure from family, themes of bullying and acceptance, friendship and loss. And all of these things were woven together to create a wonderful story!
Profile Image for Nicole.
414 reviews5 followers
August 3, 2015
*Review also on AwesomeBookNuts.blogspot.com.*

I was really wary about this book. It's about rape. The book starts out at a party and shortly after that we learn that a girl was raped. So I was expecting some graphic details and disturbing imagery and lots of drinking and drugs and cursing. But there wasn't. Kelley York handled this subject so incredibly well. We hear this story from the perspective of the boy who is accused of raping the girl, but he's innocent. So we see what happens to him as a result of being wrongly accused and how this storyline plays out with police and reporters and kids at school and friends. It's heartbreaking. And enlightening. And beautiful. And, mostly, it's hopeful. Yes, horrible things happen. Yes, there are terrible people in the world. And there are good people who make awful mistakes. But we can gather ourselves up again and keep moving, keep going, find happiness. Especially for being such a serious subject, this book was actually really uplifting that way.

I loved Vic's voice. He was such a sweet, kind, just all-around good guy who gets put through so much crap for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I just wanted to reach into that book, wrap my arms around him and protect him. He felt like he needed protecting. Especially with the whole mother storyline which, btw, I totally guessed from the beginning and she just made me hate the world. Her and the father. Seriously, every scene she was in, I was kind of annoyed by the way she treated everything. Made me mad. And sad.

Then there was Autumn. I liked Autumn as a character, as a loyal friend, as the fiesty girl that she was. Which was why I didn't fully understand the connection she made with Vic. I just didn't see that happening naturally. It made the story, for sure, but I just didn't think it would have actually happened in a real-life situation. That's all.

The end of this book broke my heart. I saw it coming and it was still tragically sad. I really did just want to jump in there and protect Vic. That poor guy. But this book was lovely. Tragic and realistic and hopeful. I loved it. Thank you, Kelley York for handling such a delicate subject so carefully and tastefully. I will definitely read more books by this author.

Sexual Content: Mild (amazing, considering the entire premise of the book!)
Language: Moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: Mild
Violence: Moderate
Profile Image for Morris.
964 reviews164 followers
June 8, 2015
It has taken me some time to process “Modern Monsters” and decide how best to review it, as I have very conflicting feelings on the book. I wish there were a 3 1/2 star option, but had to settle on 3 since it is not a full 4, in my opinion.

Kelley York needs to be commended on tackling such difficult subject matter and managing to do so from a seldom examined side. Without lessening the traumatic impact of the rape on the victim, she examines the side of the person accused of the rape. How does it feel going through the system? What if you are innocent? Is there a specific profile that can make it easier to identify rapists? All of those questions are tackled, while also including a subplot that shows the consequences on the family, past and present, of a rape victim. It is a crime and violation that goes much further than devastating one life, and it was handled with unflinching reality.

The main character, Vic, is thoroughly developed and has multiple layers that are slowly revealed throughout the course of the book. The various relationships in his life were also solidly established with every secondary character being more than a one-dimensional “prop”. My only issue with the characters is that at times the dialogue was stilted and not very realistic. It was jarring and pulled me out of the story quite a few times.

As far as plot, it is a difficult one to read, as it should be. All of what I wrote above is true and makes it a worthwhile read. In fact, I’m impressed that it took such difficult subjects and made them resound on a reading level that any middle grader could understand. I just wish the conclusion were not quite so predictable. That took away from the suspense, which ultimately led to there being a bit less of an emotional impact than there otherwise would have been.

Overall, in spite of the couple of things I did not enjoy, I still recommend “Modern Monsters”, especially to those with 7th-9th graders in their lives. If you read it together it will make an excellent starting point for very important, but difficult, conversations.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Roxanne.
794 reviews53 followers
June 6, 2015
Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

Did I like this book?

There were quite a few aspects of this book that make it unique, things that I absolutely loved! For example, writing the book from a suspect's point of view? Genius! Having that suspect be a shy, mouse of a guy with hardly anybody to protect him or take his side? Brilliant! York did a tremendous job of getting me right inside Vic's head, making me sympathize with him, and further, fully investing me in the mystery of finding the true rapist.

There is one thing that, after finishing this book and mulling it over for a while, still does not sit well with me. Unfortunately, I can't say too much about it without major spoilers, so I'll just say this: after confirming the identity of the rapist, who I had suspected quite early on, I did not believe his motivations. There, 'nuff said. Ultimately, though, that one aspect of the book did factor highly in my overall rating.

Will you like this book?

Yes, I think most people looking for something a bit more serious and thought provoking from their YA contemporary reads will appreciate this book, simply because of the premise. I've read other books focusing on rape and its aftermath from a victim's point of view, but never through the eyes of a suspect. That aspect alone makes "Modern Monsters" worth the read. Add to that great writing and memorable characters and you've got the recipe for a new favourite addition to your YA library.

Will I read more books by this author?

This was my first read by Kelley York, and I was thoroughly impressed with her writing style. I'm sure to be keeping an eye out for more of her books in the future!

My rating: 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Heather.
306 reviews15 followers
March 17, 2016
I was given Modern Monsters from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warning: Rape and Suicide.

I want to start off by saying this book will definitely stick with me for a while. The character development is great. From Vic to Brett I just thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well written, at times it becomes pretty predictable and I figured it out before the end though I was hoping I was wrong! It's nice and refreshing to get a male protagonist in YA and I appreciated the fact that he had a slight disability he didn't use it as a crutch.

Vic is just a boy that disappears to the background but his best friend Brett is popular, so everyone is nice to Vic because they want to be on Brett's good side. You start to notice the distance that is put between Vic and Brett as he teams up with Callie's best friend Autumn and everything leading to the end was one of the most enjoyable parts of this book for me. Autumn is my favorite character. She's so kick ass and takes no shit. Her friendship with Vic is a little too common in the YA world, but it was still decent and I was happy with where it ended up predictable or not.

I definitely recommend it!!!!
Profile Image for Britt.
430 reviews40 followers
July 22, 2017
Words cannot describe how much I loved this book??? Like I wanna go on and on and on about how much I love it, but where the hell do I begin?
First off, I love Vic's character. I absolutely love him. I think he's extremely well written, quirky, and very realistic. If I made a list of Favorite Book Characters of All Time, he would definitely be on it. I also loved Callie's character, and how strong she was after all that had happened to her. She kind of reminded me of Callie from The Fosters—inspiration for the character, maybe? Or coincidence? At first, I was a little surprised by how strong she was after all that happened, but in the long run, I'm glad she was like that. If she had been self-pitying and blaming herself, as rape victims are often portrayed to be, I definitely wouldn't have liked her as much.
Oh, and this book was filled with ALL SORTS of plot twists?! Like. Holy shit. Plot twists on every freaking page. And I loved EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. From Victor and Autumn (definitely wasn't expecting that to happen, tbh), to Victor's dad, to Brett...I'm pretty sure I had to actually stop reading a few times because I was in such freaking shock. Holy hell.
I just. Gahhhh. I loved this book so much. To anyone reading this review: READ THE BOOK! READ IT NOW!
Profile Image for Joana.
604 reviews56 followers
January 9, 2016
*** SPOILERS ***

3.5 Stars!

I confess that I was expecting more of this book. Having read the majority of Kelley York's books I was expecting something more dark and that would made me cry like a baby. That didn't happened.

I enjoyed the book but it was totally predictable. I guessed the whole story right on the 2nd chapter or so.

One think that this book made really feel was really mad. I'm just so mad and disgusted.

I have no words to describe how much I hate and despise Brett. That son of a bitch and fucking coward.

What he did to Callie was fucking sick and wrong. Using the being drunk excuse made me even sicker. The fact that he and his father were whiling to incriminate innocent boys totally wrong but doing that to his best friend?? Unspeakable. Sick. Disgusting.

And then to make things better the fucking coward tried to kill himself!

Seriously, I'm so so mad.
Profile Image for Imogene Dacanay.
138 reviews65 followers
March 20, 2021
I don't know if the book is fast-paced or if I was just too absorbed by the story behind what happened to Callie.

There's no doubt that the author has a beautiful writing style, and the storyline is dark and conflicting (which by the way, one of my favorite book moods to read about) This could have been a great book, not just about the victim, but also about a suspect who was falsely accused of such a serious offense. I also hoped that the invalid reason "I was drunk" was tackled.

I love Vic's character, he seems so pure, sweet, and innocent! It's been a while since I last read a book with a lead character like him. He's just refreshing, magnetizing.

Overall, this book will surely be appreciated by people who have issues with being accepted, parent problems, friendships, new relationships, and of course, bullies.

Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,226 reviews391 followers
February 12, 2021
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! I got a copy from YA Books Central for review.

*Vic has an involuntary stutter

Writing a novel from the point of view of a boy accused of rape is risky business. That hardly needs saying, but it is because the victim is who we should care more about in a rape case, not the alleged rapist. Still, I’m all for my dark contemporaries that could be great or be a disaster. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I needed to see how an author could take the point of view no one should care about in such a case and make readers care about him anyway. Maybe my expectations were set a little too low, but York exceeded them by leaps and bounds to create a unique novel.

YA protagonists being extraordinary because they’re the only one that can solve the mystery or they’re a genius or any variety of reasons are par for the course. Vic is not that kind of YA protagonist. He has no hobbies, no specialties in school, no particular sleuthing abilities or otherwise notable talents, and is a bit of an everyguy who doesn’t fit in but manages to get by mostly bullying-free with the help of his popular best friend Brett. His one standout quality is his stutter.

But the part we’re all curious about: his position as the alleged rapist and narrator at the same time. The premise makes it clear he didn’t do it, so that’s out of the way, and in-book, Callie slowly recalls more about what happened the night someone raped her at a party and comes to realize Vic did nothing more than help her upstairs to a bedroom. It may come off as a cop-out to some, but Yor makes it work in her novel’s favor by making it a piece of Vic’s motivation to get out and do something for once. (The majority of the reason being, of course, that he wants to help this poor, haunted girl find some peace because it may not have happened had he stayed with her. Like many would, he regrets leaving her alone to try and find a friend of hers.)

Since the rape victim herself is a background character of sorts to the admittedly predictable mystery of “who raped Callie?” and the slow-burn romance between Vic and Autumn (Callie’s best friend), readers who want rape myths confronted and the experience of the victim to be front and center may not be good fits for this novel. Despite the narrator not being the victim, Vic’s inner monologue and his conversations with other characters deftly drop hard truths about how we should discuss/treat rape and rape survivors. Nothing is anvilicious, but none of those truths will be easily missed either.

The major flaw in Modern Monsters is that Vic is so unremarkable as a narrator that he isn’t able to be a fully developed character. Even the most unremarkable of people have their own quirks, talents, and hobbies. The quiet, blank-slate guy who works down the hall from you? Maybe he loves to do karaoke every week or binge-watches old sitcoms like I Love Lucy. The girl no one remembers from high school may be trying to work up the nerve to try out for a dance competition.

Readers who come into this looking for a hard-hitter like I did will likely find themselves in for an even tougher read than they think. All I can say is that the damage of rape is a few degrees closer to each of us than we’d like to think and Vic is no exception. Fans of dark contemporary novels will likely love York’s latest novel and want to check out her backlist. Between my experience with Modern Monsters and some good word one of my friends put in while I was reading, I know I plan to!
Profile Image for Sarika Patkotwar.
Author 4 books61 followers
June 8, 2015
*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of Modern Monsters by Kelley York from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. We thank them for the book!

Sheer excitement started running through me when I got to know that Kelley York was writing a new book. An auto-read author for me, Kelley York is one of my most favourite and preferred contemporary writers of our time. So when I got the opportunity to read and review an e-arc of Modern Monsters, I was elated. Obviously, I had expectations from the book, and even though they weren't necessarily met to the absolute last point, the book did exactly what is necessary for me to appreciate a book.

Vic Howard, the protagonist of Modern Monsters, from whose point of view the book goes, was very easy to relate to and I could connect with him so well. He was the awkward and reserved wallflower who had no problem being alone, and who has always been a shadow of his close friend, Brett. When accused of raping his school mate Callie at a famous lake house party, he suddenly becomes the centre of attention. While the whole mystery surrounding the rape was very intriguing and interesting, at some point, I knew who the culprit would be and I was right. This obviousness didn't disappoint me, because it only showed me how engaged and involved I was in the story that I instantly felt part of it. This is what I want a story to do to me in any case- make me feel belonged, and Modern Monsters did that.

While Vic was the epitome of a character created by Kelley York, the story wasn't. There was darkness, there was mystery and there was thrill, but not too intense. When Vic and Callie's closest friend Autumn join hands to solve the mystery behind the rape, the story seemed to focus more on boy meets girl and you know what happens, which was really lovely, but had me slightly disappointed and bored. Also, I found it odd how Autumn immediately trusts Vic, but then again, Vic is genuinely a great and strong guy, which is such a rarity that I adored him. So was Autumn. She was just like autumn: fresh and nice. A nice friendship then turned into a gorgeous slow burn romance, which is again dense in some Young Adult reads, so that was really satisfying and refreshing to read about.

At one point, I stopped comparing Modern Monsters to any previous Kelley York book, and that's when I really started appreciating it. It was something very different, fresh and new. As if it isn't already evident, this book has shown me, once again, how talented Kelley York is in telling stories that leave me feeling. What that is and how that happens, I don't know. What matters the most to me is the fact that I felt that I was part of the story, right there with Vic, Autumn, Callie and Brett. Considering it to be a different read, I thought that Modern Monsters was quite a great read that ended perfectly and brought a smile to my face once I shut it, another aspect that I love and respect about such dazzling, emotional and powerful stories.
Profile Image for Anjie.
694 reviews44 followers
May 30, 2015
This review was originally posted on my blog: Love thy Shelf. It was provided to me by the publishing company through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first book by Kelley York and I am so impressed. It was such a powerful read. I’ll warn you though, it’s not exactly the fluffy, romantic contemporary novel but it will impact you. I really liked that she picked this topic. Teenage rape cases have risen and unfortunately, (a) not a lot cases are reported or solved, (b) double standards and lack of victim support or victim blaming actually happens, and (c) it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. I especially liked it that she had written it in the point of view of a suspect. More often than not, we read books like this in the victim’s point of view, so it was definitely a different kind of twist.

The writing was superb and easy to follow. I always enjoy when books are written in first person point of view. In this case, it really helps you understand how much Callie’s accusation is affecting Vic. Initially, I didn’t know whether to believe that he was innocent or guilty. Maybe he was being an unreliable narrator and skipped over details but I threw away that theory a couple of pages after the incident. I liked the characters, especially Vic, Callie, and Autumn. The three of them showed an incredible strength and loyalty throughout the ordeal. Vic, the accused, is receiving all the hate and getting bullied. That was really hard to read because through his POV, you know that he’s innocent and doesn’t deserve this. Callie, the victim, is going through the worst, not remembering what happened and not knowing who to trust. Then, there’s Autumn. The victim’s best friend, who blames herself for not going to the party with Callie.

The plot was fantastic and I love how York outlined the events. It created a sort of mystery and it also made me feel like a detective of some sort. I even took notes and everything. I had theories and suspects of my own — I had the right suspect by the way. I was so excited to find out I was right ha! I don’t think it’s predictable, I just deduced a lot and like I said, I had a lot of theories. Moving from that tangent, the plot was magnificent and the suspect was a real twist. It just kept surprising me as I kept going through the book. With the POV, you’re kind of going through the journey with Vic where he finds out more about himself and the truth of that night.

Final Thoughts: You really need to pick this up, even if you are on the sensitive side. It doesn’t go into any rape-like details so you’re safe from that but it’s a book that I feel everyone should read. It goes beyond just a novel. It exposes a real problem that teenagers go through in our society. Not to say that we don’t see enough of it in real life, though, I wish that things like this never happen to begin with. But it gives us an insight to the impact it has to the victim, the accused, their families, and the community. I even cried in the end — something I was not expecting. The title is so befitting to the book, it’s incredible. It just angers me because this happens in real life and people turn into these kinds of despicable monsters.
Profile Image for Blessie (Mischievous Reads).
258 reviews97 followers
June 10, 2015
Review originally posted on my blog: Mischievous Reads

Modern Monsters isn't the usual type of novel I'm accustomed to. It's controversial, and somewhat sickening, but hey, it happens every day in real life. Thus, I was intrigued by the topic promoted by the synopsis and I would have to say, this book did leave me in a bit of a shock.

Vic Howard is the quiet guy at his high school, and also has a terrible speech problem. The only thing that prevents him from being bullied is because his best friend, Brett, is one of the popular kids, which makes him kind of untouchable. But when things take a different turn and Vic is accused of raping a fellow schoolmate at the party, nobody believes him. Vic is innocent, and while the real rapist is still on the loose, walking the halls in school.

It's very interesting to hear the story from the perspective of the accused. Usually, the story is told in the victim's perspective, and it either reaches a point wherein she is pitied, victimized, and shunned, while the perpetrator is protected for the sake of a clean reputation.

However, reading about Vic Howard in Modern Monsters ignited the feeling of frustration and anger, because, obviously, he was innocent, but nobody wants to believe him, due to the fact that he was the less important kid. It's heartbreaking for the people who take the blame for something they did not do, especially in a grave situation such as a hateful crime. Vic is a caring teenager, loyal and extremely shy, and a character I could somehow relate to. He was the fly on the wall kid, who blended in the background and didn't crave attention, and it was just terrible reading about him going through the stigma of being a "rapist" despite the false accusation. But in the end, Vic, of course, triumphs. He does undergo extreme character development as he goes through terrible circumstances.

Modern Monsters is a total page turner. Every twist and turn in this novel feeds your curiosity as to who the real criminal is. Let's not foget the satisfaction in finally getting to prove Vic's innocence. Not only that, this novel goes through a number of touchy subjects that almost everyone can relate to: bullying, parental issues, abuse, and so on. It's a somewhat emotional read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, every turn of a page.

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
Profile Image for Lindy.
797 reviews201 followers
June 6, 2015
My Thoughts:

Modern Monsters was a thought-provoking read. There are certain circumstances that are revealed during the story that had me questioning how I would feel and what I would do if I was placed in a similar situation. I cannot reveal these situations, because I do not want to spoil the story for anyone, but I must mention that I enjoy a book that makes me contemplate, question, and reflect.

Modern Monsters is told soley from Vic Howard, a senior in high school's, point of view. Vic attended a party with his best friend Brett. During the party, a classmate of his, Callie Wheeler, was extremely intoxicated and getting sick in the bushes. Vic ends up helping taking Callie to an upstairs bedroom and lays her down on her side, so that she can feel better. He then returns to the party. The next morning Vic is shocked and traumatized to learn that Callie was raped, and she is accusing him of being her rapist. Vic eventually gets to know Callie's best friend Autumn, and convinces her, along with Callie, of his innocence. From this point on, Vic and Autumn decide to investigate and figure out who Callie's perpetrator really was.

The pacing of the story was very slow. We get to know Vic really well, and I loved his character. He is a bit awkward, and shy. Vic is a loner and his only friend is Brett. I loved how genuine, sweet, and sympathetic Vic was. He is not your typical main character, and could have easily been the boy next door. The first two-thirds of the story focused on the harsh treatment of Vic by his mother (I couldn't stand her,) his peers, and the small community that he lived in. It also focused on the foundation of friendship that was built between Vic and Autumn. I loved Autumn's character as well. She was sassy, independent, and knew how to take charge. She was fiercely loyal and supportive, as well as caring and compassionate.

The plot didn't pick up until the last third of the story. This was the point in which Vic and Autumn's investigation really begins to reap results, and their friendship turns in to something more. Callie was more of a secondary character in this story, but I enjoyed seeing her strength, bravery, and resilience. She may have been victimized, but she held her head up high, and faced her demons!

My Rating:

Modern Monsters was more character driven than plot driven, which surprised me. I really enjoyed the main characters, but would have liked the plot to move forward faster. It was a bit stagnant, until the last third, when all of the plot twists, and action came in to play. I give Modern Monsters, by Kelly York, 3.5 Deceitful, Crime-Solving, Thought-Provoking Filled Stars!

*To Read More Book Reviews, Visit A Bookish Escape at http://www.abookishescape.com
Profile Image for Hannah Cassie.
398 reviews144 followers
February 21, 2016
MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!

A copy of the book was kindly provided to me by the publisher but it does not influence my review in any way!

THE WORLD: Well as it is a contemporary book it really is based in our world with no fancies.

CHARACTERS: Vic is the main character and a narrator of the story. He is rather simple, has problems with his speech and in all in all is a loner. However, his best friend Brett is a party soul and has been on Vic's side since they were little kids. Now, one day Vic gets accused of raping a girl and we get introduced to a few more characters: Autumn and Callie. Later is not much present and is just a normal ordinary girl who got too drunk at the party. Autumn on the other hand becomes Vic's friend. To be honest, Autumn reminded me really much of John Green characters and in particularly Alaska. And if you know my opinion of Looking for Alaska by John Green you can guess that no, I did not like Autumn one bit. It was one of the books which are plot rather than character driven and in a way that was good because somehow not much character developments happened really.

LOVE: Vic suddenly found himself loved by super hot popular kick ass Autumn. Did I use all the world that author uses to describe her? Yeah, pretty much.

PLUS: I actually liked the story even if I did not care much for the characters.

MINUS: My main problem was Vic's mother. I mean okay she has her excuses but really...they are no excuses at all. Just another lausy parent who hides behind endless 'but I...'. Disgusting.

OVERALL: It as an alright read I guess, frankly if somebody asked me about it in half a year I probably would not remember anything other than main story. So that is that. But it was interesting for sure, even tho the twists were obvious.

MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,307 reviews219 followers
July 28, 2015
Grade: B+

Vic lives in the shadow of his popular best friend and protector Brett. His mother barely acknowledges his existence and girls, well he's never actually talked to one. After helping Callie, a drunk a classmate, at a party, she accuses him of rape. Everyone assumes he's guilty, even his mother. Everyone except Brett and maybe Callie's best friend Autumn. Together they try of find the real rapist before Vic is thrown into jail for a crime he didn't commit.

MODERN MONSTERS is a topical story about a crime that happens too often, in schools, on campuses and even among celebrities. Maybe because I'm an adult I figured out the twists and turns before I hit 10%, but the predictably didn't detract from my enjoyment of the novel. Kelley York created a likable, believable protagonist in Vic, a good kid who makes some bad decisions. At times I had trouble understating his friendship with Brett, though I enjoyed the mutual respect they seemed to have for each other and was glad that Brett's family were surrogates for Vic's. Everyone should have a friend like Autumn.

MODERN MONSTERS is an important story about judgment, rape, family, trust and the bounds and limits of friendship.
Profile Image for Lire-une-passion.
1,654 reviews40 followers
October 17, 2016
"En résumé, c'est le second tome de l'auteure, et c'est une seconde fois une très bonne lecture ! J'ai accroché immédiatement à Vic, qui m'a énormément touchée pour sa façon de voir les choses, qui ne se laisse pas aller et qui tente malgré tout de prouver son innocence coûte que coûte. Quant à l'intrigue, le fait d'être dans la tête de celui qui est accusé ajoute un gros plus à l'histoire. En somme, c'est une lecture que je conseille vraiment, et où l'on voit sur qui on peut vraiment compter quand quelque chose d'aussi dur nous tombe sur le coin du nez."

Chronique complète: http://lireunepassion.blogspot.fr/201...
Profile Image for Jordan.
672 reviews42 followers
May 30, 2015

Modern Monsters is a thought-provoking glimpse into the life of the accused. Kelley York succinctly delves into the psyche of the accused and the reactions of those around him. Hurt, confusion, trauma, and fierce determination reign in this unexpected and extremely relevant story.

Profile Image for Crystal | decorating.reader.
392 reviews189 followers
May 25, 2015
DNF AT 35% I've been struggling since the beginning with this one. I'm finding to be pretty predictable and it isn't holding my attention at all. I skipped to the end and I was right on what happened. I think there will be some who enjoy it, but it just isn't working for me.
Profile Image for Siham.
329 reviews34 followers
November 10, 2016
un roman qui m'a beaucoup plu avec de beaux personnages, un héros qui m'a touchée et dont j'ai aimé voir évoluer, un romance mignonne et une intrigue qui m'a tenu en haleine.
d'ailleurs la fin m'a beaucoup surprise ! (mais je ne vois presque jamais rien venir en même temps ^^)
Profile Image for Lulai.
1,263 reviews156 followers
January 5, 2017
It was intense but so well done. I'm always affraid when a book talk about rape because it could been done in such a wrong way but here it was so well done. I like the character, I like how the author decide to use the point of view of a suspect. It was great
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