Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Review by Lauren

Source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family's California vineyard estate. Here, she's meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she's meant to do a lot of things. But it's hard. She's bored. And when Sadie's bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.

Emerson Tate's a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That's why Emerson's not happy Sadie's back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won't ever let him.

Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That's what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past. 

But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it's all of theirs.

Review: First off, I should mention that this is a mature read with a lot of darker moments and crude language. This doesn't bother me, but if it might upset you, I wanted you to be forewarned.

I have only read Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn, but through that book, I know that she likes to write about the dark side of life and show characters that are fighting their own demons. This doesn't mean that everyone is completely evil, per se, but it does make her characters really fascinating. The main characters in Delicate Monsters are Sadie who doesn't feel much empathy toward people, Emerson who used to be friends with Sadie when he was younger and angrier, and Miles, Emerson's younger brother who is always sick and can see the future, though he keeps this secret.

The three main characters in this book are all fairly different, but also quite similar in ways. Miles is probably the most different because he does want life to be good and he's not enticed to hurt people like Sadie and Emerson. When Sadie comes back to town after years of boarding school and therapy, Emerson is desperate for her to leave him alone. He doesn't want people to know about his past and the things he has done. Sadie is the only one that really knows him, and she's starting to see that Emerson hasn't really changed as much as he wants to believe.

I think out of everyone, Emerson was my least favorite. He does feel bad for things he has done, but he's also very willing to push things in the past and pretend he's fine. Sadie, on the other hand, is not the best person in the world but she does start to feel something akin to empathy for Miles. Furthermore, she knows she's a bad person and is okay with that. It's not admirable, but it's more honest, and I liked that. I also felt really bad for Miles as he's obviously stuck in a nightmare, through his visions and his everyday life of bullying and being alone.

While I enjoyed Delicate Monsters overall, it was a bit confusing near the end. I think I got the overall idea though. It also ends in a way where you feel like nobody really gets closure or redemption or whatever they really need in their life. I don't mind the ending for the most part, but it's something to keep in mind when reading.


Erika Sorocco said...

This definitely sounds intriguing; though the crude language puts me off a bit. :/


Brandi Kosiner said...

Aw sad to hear that the ending was confusing, but I do like the sound of the characters

Melliane said...

Even if the end was confusing, it's great that you understood the whole. It sounds interesting and different to read.

Kindlemom said...

I'm okay with a darker read, especially if I'm prepared for it and I really like how unique this sounds. Wonderful review! Thanks for putting this one on my radar.

Books And Authors Spot said...

I love a dark book but hate confusing endings.. TBH I have been seeing this book a lot but never paid attention until now! :) Guess I should search this book!

Books And Authors Spot said...

I love a dark book but hate confusing endings.. TBH I have been seeing this book a lot but never paid attention until now! :) Guess I should search this book!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I think the ending would totally frustrate me. I am not a fan of open endings especially if there is no redemption or resolution.

Diva Booknerd said...

I'm really fussy and I know that ending will end up leaving me incredibly frustrated. I need closure, or it ends up feeling as though I've wasted my time. The overall premise reminds me a little of the old 90's movie Cruel Intentions. Just curious if this is more contemporary or magical realism, seeing Miles can see the future. Wonderful review Lauren and sorry you couldn't have enjoyed this more <3

Cleo Bannister said...

I have to admit I get frustrated if a book confuses me - glad you enjoyed this one for the most part though.

Lindy Gomez said...

These characters sound pretty twisted, except for Miles. I think it would be interesting to read about him and what he see's in the future. I'm glad you enjoyed this one overall, despite some issues. Great Review Lauren!

Lindy@ A Bookish Escapr

Jennifer Humphries said...

Not a big lover of a lot of cursing. I just think there are better words to say, but I can look past it for a good story and this sounds interesting!

Giselle Flores said...

I've seen this book around and I've actually been wanting to read this. It just sounds incredible, however it sounds like I'll be getting frustrated while reading this book. Great review!

Bec @ Readers in Wonderland said...

I tend to find darker books more interesting and thought provoking, so I think this is a book I may want to check out one day. Thanks for introducing me to it :D

kimbacaffeinate said...

Oh this sounds interesting and I know for sure that my daughter (21) would really enjoy it. Wonderful review.