Hello readers! In today’s post, I plan on giving some recommendations for the Monsterathon prompts with the Monsterathon Tag. I have recently posted my September TBR so I thought it would be the perfect time to do this tag. I tried my best to give the most diverse set of authors and characters that I could. The Monsterathon and the tag were created by Booktuber Chaptercviii. As always, the proper links will be provided at the bottom of this post if you would like to join!
WHISPERING WOODS: a book you haven’t heard much about/underhyped
A book I read in August that I loved was And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich. It is a YA paranormal horror and I especially recommend the audiobook because of all the amazing sound effects. It was such a creepy book and the audiobook gave me goosebumps!
Synopsis: When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?
LAIR OF THE BABADOOK: a book with LGBTQIA+ Rep
For this one I chose Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan Mcguire. This is a YA portal fantasy series in which I have read the first four books in the series. In the first book, the main character is asexual. However, there are characters throughout this book and the whole series from every sexuality, characters who are transgender and genderqueer, characters of many different races, and body diversity including size and disabilities.
Synopsis: Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter. No matter the cost.
HYDRA’S HANGOUT: a book based on mythological creatures
I think the perfect answer for this one would be any book by Rick Riordan. I have read 7 of his books and they have a large range of mythical creatures in them. The first book I read by him was The Lightening Thief.
Synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
MAH SWAMP: a book with a good-looking cover
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. This book is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Grimm brothers, which I have read, but I don’t think you need to have read it to enjoy this book. This book had me on the edge of my seat and it took so many twists and turns. It is a nice mixture of a retelling, a fantasy, a mystery, paranormal, and a little bit of horror tied together with a family curse.
Synopsis: Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
UNDER THE BED: a book by a Black or Indigenous author of color that you’ve been sleeping on (your first read from a new to you Black or Indigenous author)
For this one, I will to squeeze in another book with some trans rep and that is Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. Pet is a utopian novel where monsters no longer exist, figurative and literal. I did find the ending to be predictable but I loved the symbolism through the entire story! That made it worth the read.
Synopsis: Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look? There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question — How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
SECRET CRYPT: a book with a mystery element
The next book is a mixed bag of genres and mystery is one of those, Diviners by Libba Bray. It took me a long time to take the plunge into this series. Diviners is a YA historical fiction, mixed with urban fantasy, paranormal, and a mystery. This is quite a large novel, but I think it is worth it for the cast of amazing characters!
Synopsis: SOMETHING DARK AND EVIL HAS AWAKENED… Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries her uncle will discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho is hiding a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened…
YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE: a book recommended to you by a friend
For this one, I am going with Platform Seven by Louise Doughty. This one is a paranormal mystery told by the ghost of a woman who has been murdered. If you are seeking a mystery novel with a more realistic ending, this is the one for you.
Synopsis: Platform Seven at 4am: Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. The man crossing the covered walkway on this freezing November morning is confident he’s alone. As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic – he’s as far away from the night staff as he can get. What the man doesn’t realize is that he has company. Lisa Evans knows what he has decided. She knows what he is about to do as she tries and fails to stop him walking to the platform edge. Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in eighteen months – surely they’re connected? No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. After all, she was the first of the two to die.
A MOMENT OF PEACE: a comfort read
I think I will go with Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. To me, this is a comfort read because it mostly takes place in a library and I love being in libraries. This one has magic, demons, bisexual rep, a mystery element, and a books that are alive.
Synopsis: All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power. Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them. As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
AREA 51: a book involving aliens or mutants
I usually do not read alien related books or sci-fi in general. However, I have read one this year that I really liked called The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow. One of the main characters is a demisexual and the other is an alien. There is also some nonbinary rep in there, too. I think if you love reading about book lovers, you will also love this book. It is kind of similar to Fahrenheit 451 but there are aliens.
Synopsis: Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population. Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her. Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does. Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
REARVIEW MIRROR: a book published 5+ years ago OR an indie book
For this prompt, I am going to recommend a classic by an LGBT author, Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde holds a special place in my heart and I recommend him to everyone.
Synopis: A story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.
THE UPSIDE DOWN: a retelling
This one is a book that many people have been buzzing about lately and that is Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Mellisa Bashardoust. I’m not going to say who because it may be a spoiler but there is a bisexual character. This book is also perfect because it isn’t very long and is fast-paced. I read it in one day, almost in one sitting and I definitely think it is worth the hype.
Synopsis (GR): There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story. As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison. Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.
THE BUNKER: a book with disability or Deaf representation
I honestly cannot think of another book with disability rep, that I did not already mention, that is also monster related. So, I am going with a middle grade contemporary book with deaf rep by a genderqueer author called You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! by Alex Gino. I try to shove books by this author into everyones hands because I love them so much. This book is about a girl named Jilly whose baby sister is born deaf. She also has a friend online who is deaf as well. There is also a lot of discussion in here about the MC’s biracial lesbian aunts. I love that the book shows the difference between ignorance and prejudice, and there is both in this book.
Synopsis: Jilly thinks she’s figured out how life works. But when her sister Emma is born Deaf, she realizes how much she still has to learn. A big fantasy reader, Jilly connects with another fan, Derek, who is a Deaf Black ASL user. She goes to Derek for advice but doesn’t always know the best way to ask for it and makes some mistakes along the way. Jilly has to step back to learn to be an ally, a sister, and a friend, understanding that life works in different ways for different people, and that being open to change can make you change in the best possible ways.
Please comment below and let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought of them. Thank you for reading!
Monsterathon Tag 2020 Original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT4G1f_6wsc&feature=youtu.be
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