If you read my blog regularly you’ll know I’m a sucker for a pretty cover and I absolutely love dystopian books, so when I received this from Canongate I got snug on the sofa and dived in.
‘My Name Is Monster’ by Katie Hale
2.5 out of 5 stars
‘After the Sickness has killed off her parents, and the bombs have fallen on the last safe cities, Monster emerges from the Arctic vault which has kept her alive. When she washes up on the coast of Scotland, everyone she knows is dead, and she believes she is alone in an empty world. Monster begins the long walk south, scavenging and learning the contours of this familiar land made new. Slowly, piece by piece, she begins to rebuild a life. Until, one day, she finds a girl: another survivor, feral, and ready to be taught all that Monster knows. But the lessons the girl learns are not always those Monster means to teach . . .’
I was so excited to start this book. The promise of a post apocalyptic story was just what I needed at the time, but boy did it let me down. My Name Is Monster is split into two halves. The first is narrated by Monster as she struggles to find food to survive. She stumbles upon a child and names her Monster, in the hope that this will aid her with the skills she needs to survive. Retiring from that role she names herself Mother. The second half is from Monster Jr.’s perspective as she comes to terms with her new life with Mother on the farm. Whilst experiencing flashbacks of her life before Mother she questions whether she wants to live on the farm or move on.
I really enjoyed the first two thirds of this book, the writing style was enjoyable, and although post apocalyptic stories are often one and the same, this one felt different. The dynamic between Mother and Monster Jr. Was well written and I wanted to read more as this developed.
Although I initially enjoyed the book, the rest left so much to be desired and I was left with more questions than answers once it ended. Without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it, I wanted to know more about the start of the sickness – a backstory would have made it much better. I also wanted to know who Monster Jr was before meeting Mother! She had so many snippets of flashbacks but we were never privy to what actually happened. And that ending ???? ‘My Name Is Monster’ was a double edged sword; partly enjoyable, but mostly frustrating.