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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  545 ratings  ·  149 reviews
At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits. As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Bea ...more
320 pages
Published October 2015 by Mira Ink (first published September 24th 2015)
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Deborah Ideiosepius Definitely thriller. Very little horror at all. A smidgen of mystery, but not really.

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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  545 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley.)

“Just stop with the Beast stuff. It’s getting really boring, okay?”

This was a YA horror/thriller story about a group of girls at a boarding school, and a monster!

Poor Nash had a lot to deal with in this book, with her brother missing, her classmates picking on her, the fight to be head-girl, and then a monster turning up, she really had way too much going on!

Cora Tea Party Princess
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
5 Words: boarding-school, monsters, family, friends, Christmas.

I absolutely loved this. I loved the tension and the fear and the humour. I loved the twists in the story. I also loved how parts were slightly predictable, but that those parts were so few and far between that I was always on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next.

When I was a teen, I loved reading about Big Cats. Specifically those that had been set free in the UK by their owners and were now stalking sheep and cattl
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, young-adult
I love a thriller that keeps me guessing and Monster did exactly that.
Yes, I did guess the eventual outcome pretty early but despite that, there wasn't a moment where I didn't have a question about something or another and that's so much fun to read. I thought the characters in this were great and the setting was perfect for the story. It has some really chilling moments and definitely kept me turning the pages! There were a few points which I wasn't a fan of, a sixteen/seventeen year old sleep
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
Rating: 4.5/5

This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.

Nash wants nothing more than to be appointed Head Girl at Bathory. However, when her brother goes missing Nash's parents go looking him, causing Nash to stay at the boarding school over Christmas holiday along with several other of the school's misfits. The myth of the violent Bathory Beast is in everyone's thoughts as a man in the village is brutally murdered and their matron disappears during the raging blizzard. Tension
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy, arc
Monster is a gripping mystery driven YA thriller that builds in ferocity with the turn of each page. The book starts off with a slower pace as C.J. Skuse sets the scene with a contemporary Hogwarts- esque type boarding school, an isolated snowy landscape and legend of a killer beast prowling in the school’s grounds.

There is so much intrigue and mystery surrounding the Beast of Bathory that as a reader I was never sure what to believe. I mainly read this at night before bed which was a poor life
Anna || BooksandBookends
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free by the book's publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love books which keep me guessing until the very end and this was one of those rare few! Filled with twist and turns it kept me intrigued throughout. A real thrill with an exciting story, possible monster and artfully created characters. Definitely recommended!
Liz Barnsley
Monster was a highly entertaining if slightly odd read in a lot of ways - the author I would think read a lot of boarding school stories (as did I) growing up and perhaps decided it was time to add some additional blood and guts and terror to the process...and it worked as well. Who would have thought it?

Monster is a genuinely engaging hybrid of jolly hocky sticks and ginger beer type shenanigans a la Enid Blyton and stalker/monster horror movie a la John Carpenter - a really quite heady mix as
Nov 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a fun YA thriller but it was also pretty average and forgettable.

I love C.J Skuse but her unique writing and humor from the sweet pea series does not come across in this book.

The plot was fun and story was engaging but there was quite a few parts which were a little silly and far fetched.

There were also a comment of sentences in this book that really haven't aged that well.

I did like Nash, the main character but I didn't really like many of the other characters. I struggled to feel a
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mallory Towers meets Hogwarts with a little more blood and terror thrown in.

I'm not a massive fan of YA, but to be honest, I did quite enjoy this book.
It's quite a slow burner, but the last quarter was gripping and really made me want to get to the end. I was kept guessing throughout, and I could not have predicted
I can't decide to give this 2 stars or 3.

EDIT: Review Taken from The Pewter Wolf & Bookish Brits

Nash thinks fighting to become Head Girl at boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle of her life. But that was before her brother vanishes. That's before she's left trapped in the school with some other students - a mix of misfits. That's before the snow storms hit, leaving them trapped. That was before the only adult looking after them vanishes without a trace. That's before fear of The B
Serendipity Reviews
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on
I'm taking a extremely wild guess here and presuming that the author got the story idea from the Beast of Bodmin legend, the story of the phantom wild cat, that is supposed to live in Cornwall. I loved the whole concept of this book and it made me curious to find out more about the Bodmin beast.
The story is set in a boarding school, which I was worried might feel old fashioned. However, the author really pushed the boarding school setting int
Set in a prestige all girl boarding school over the Christmas holidays, Monster has the perfect ingredients for a horror story. The school is remote, most of the staff and students are gone for the Christmas holidays. Thanks to rebellious Maggie’s pranks Matron has locked away their mobile phones. Add the long standing legend of The Beast of Bathory and it the thrills are ready to start.

Monster takes its time to lay the groundwork; much of the first half of the book is about getting to know the
I am a sucker for boarding school stories and always have been so when I found out this book was coming out from one of my favouite UKYA authors I was very excited indeed

It is so so so good. The thriller storyline is brilliant and kept me guessing throughout. I loved the laugh out loud dialogue which was funny, witty and clever. The entires story was fast paced and exciting from the first to last page meaning I was incredibly reluctant to put it down at all as I needed to find out what was going
Jul 26, 2015 marked it as dnf
I just couldn't get in to this story, I made it to 16% before deciding to stop reading. I loved the idea of it, i just didn't love the execution.

The writing and the way that the characters spoke reminded me of reading Mallory Towers when I was much, much younger. The dialogue was often too formal and the description and words used in the main character's internal monologue made her seem much older than she was meant to be.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-teenage-books
I devoured this book. Scary, twisty and beastly, it will quickly have you gripped. The creepy boarding school setting is wonderful - and right up my street, of course!

I would definitely recommend Monster as a Halloween read. If you enjoyed Point Horror when you were younger, you will most likely be a fan of this.

Spoiler comment:(view spoiler)
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Monster is a thriller set in a boarding school during the Christmas holidays. For many years the local area has been plagued by a 'beast' who has murdered and slaughtered many farm animals. As time goes by at the school more unusual things start to happen. People go missing, strange occurrences happen in the grounds and weird sounds are heard outside. In the end the 'beast' gets into the school bringing the story to its final section.

Monster is not a badly written book and there were aspects tha
Deborah Ideiosepius
This is a pleasant enough, girl YA read. Sixteen year old Nash is in some private girls school in England (Bathory), she is totally focused on becoming Head Girl for reasons that are entirely mysterious to me throughout. Sounds like a horrid thing to do to yourself, but, it seems, she is kind of achievement focused and she thinks this would be an achievement... maybe?

Anyway, since Nash has spent her whole time at school completely focused on this task (serving as unpaid serf in the process) she
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
it reminds me of white christmas on a lot of fronts, which is why i picked it up. but it's still different and surprising. i liked it a lot! ...more
Amber (Cosying Up With Books)
MONSTER sounded right up my alley hence the reason I requested it on NetGalley. Now don't get me wrong, I liked the story and ended up not being able to put it down but I think this book would have done much better if it were being released in October, closer to Halloween when reading creepy horrors and scaring ourselves silly is, as a bookworm, a huge desire.

This book had a lot going for it; the mythical Beast of Bathory legend, a small group of girls with completely parallel personalities all
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
How do you write a review for one of the best books you have ever read?
I can't put into words how much I enjoyed this story.

In this book we meet Tash, she is currently at a boarding school which has a story about the Beast of Bathory who only comes out round winter and kills. Tash is looking forward to going home for Christmas until her brother goes missing and her parents have to fly out to where he went missing to help with the search and she has to stay at the school for the holiday with som
WOW!!! What a great read! I’m not sure quite what I was expecting but this book exceeded everything I’d thought! Initially the premise that it is about a sixteen year old who wants to be Head Girl at the isolated boarding school she attends makes it sound rather a dreary read - and it is anything but dreary! Nash’s much loved older brother, Seb, has disappeared whilst abroad and she’s devastated, so much so that she loses her focus - and her temper. Not only that but it means she’s going to have ...more
Karen Mace
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperbacks
Received a copy of this via Books for a fair and honest review

If Mallory Towers and Harry Potter ever had a dark and twisted book baby then this would be it!!

16 year old Natasha is on a mission to become Head Girl at the Bathory boarding school she attends, and as the perfect student this seems to be within her grasp. That is until her big brother goes missing while abroad and her parents fly to join the search for him leaving Nash at the school for the christmas holidays with M
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I love a good boarding school setting and the addition of a Beast of Dartmoor style myth made Monster sound right up my street. Out of all of Britain’s myths, the one I’m mostly likely to believe is that there’s big cats living wild on some of our moors. I found it an easy and perfectly enjoyable read but it just didn’t excel at anything.

It was a little lacking in tension and wasn’t particularly scary. It takes a long time to get going, setting up the reason for Nash being left at school over Ch
Rosemary Standeven
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I really was not too sure about this book at first. I found it difficult to empathise with any of the characters, and found the first half quite hard work – even though I usually love the boarding school genre and love murder/mysteries with a bit of suspected supernatural thrown in. Then just after the half way point, the pace suddenly changed dramatically. I couldn’t put the book down and got very little sleep
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sixteen year old Nash is dealing with some terribly worry as her brother is missing abroad and she is struggling to keep it together so that she will be successful in her attempts to be made head girl. A rash act puts paid to her hopes and when she finds herself left in her boarding school at Christmas with several other girls and the matron events take a very nasty turn. A creepy legend appears to be more real than she had thought but at least her budding romance with a local boy is a bright sp ...more
Kate Ormand
Six girls stranded at their remote boarding school over Christmas while the Beast of Bathory stalks the grounds, looking for its next victim. Rumours surround the Beast, and a string of killings and disappearances convince some of the girls that it exists. But others put it down to old legends with no truth behind them and seek a more logical approach. When a snowstorm hits the country and parents can’t make it to the school to collect the girls, things go from scary to scarier and maybe the Bea ...more
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

The characters in this were okay, but I didn't love any of them.

This wasn't a bad read, but the pacing was so slow that the story really dragged for me. By the time I got halfway through the book, it felt like I had read five hundred pages.
I kept hoping it would stop dragging, but it never really did unfortunately.

Overall, Okay storyline, but the pacing ruined it for me.
GRIPPING. Exactly the sort of book I needed to read right now. After trying and failing to finish so much recent YA that seems to have forgotten an important function of a book is to tell a great story (as opposed to showing off how clever it is with some clever format that isn't particularly clever), Monster is a breath of fresh air. In a rather gory form, but a breath of fresh air nevertheless ...more
Alexandra Pattinson
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-thrillers
Oh my god, this was good!! Fast paced, kept me on my toes, didn't have a clue of the ending... Awesome! ...more
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
C. J. Skuse is such an underrated author. She is brilliant at creating creepy and eerie stories, obvious in her attempt at a YA horror/thriller. I've read the ''Sweetpea'' duology by this author and I adored it so I was intrigued to see what she could do with young adult.

''Monster'' follows sixteen year old Natasha (Nash) In her isolated boarding school. She thinks that her biggest fight at that age would be a battle to be head girl but she's dreadfully wrong. Her brother has gone missing and ev
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C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House), MONSTER and THE DEVIANTS (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels lectures in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. C.J. is currently working on a ...more

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