Only A Monster Readalong: Day 1!

Beautiful photo by @sarahreadss

Hi Fairies!

Welcome to day 1 of our Only A Monster readalong. I hope you’re all as excited as I am! I can’t WAIT to see what you all think, I hope you love it!

Before we start, how are you all? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got some reading done. If you read anything good, make sure you let me know in the comments below!

Since today is day 1, we’ll be reading from the Prologue to the end of Chapter 5. Find a comfy spot, grab some blankets, a drink, maybe a snack (or three!) and let’s get started!

When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Only A Monster by Vanessa Len from the beginning to Chapter 5. Please only read on if you have finished this section!


We’re joining Joan as a child, telling her Gran she wants to be Superman when she grows up (same, Joan), Gran drops the bomb that Joan isn’t a hero, she’s a monster! Hello! I love that we’re diving straight in with the monsters.

Joan tells Gran monsters are the bad guys and it’s clear Joan doesn’t want to be a bad guy. Instead of explaining to Joan why monsters aren’t so bad (maybe she kind of thinks they are too?) Gran shows Joan a monster magic trick. Not sleight of hand, a real trick, she makes the coin disappear completely… and Joan manages to do the same! It’s real magic. But there’s a catch, Joan can’t tell anyone she’s a monster.

Well, I’m definitely eager to learn a bit more about what it means to be a monster!

Stepping into the present day, Joan is off on a date – WIT-WOO JOAN – with a boy she volunteers with at the museum, cuuuute!

Her family are keen to wind Joan up about her date and I’m loving the easy banter between them all!

Joan arrives at the cafe early and settles down to wait with a cup of tea, but Gran’s neighbour Mr. Solt stumbles in and everyone thinks he’s drunk – but Joan knows he has dementia. Joan, our wannabe Superman, obviously goes to help Mr. Solt.

But then he’s stumbling, and she’s stumbling with him and suddenly they’re both off balance and then… nothing… Joan wakes up on the road outside the cafe, but where it was a bright morning before, now it’s a dark night… What on Earth????

Joan is confused… I’m confused… At this point I’ll go ahead and say everyone’s confused. What just happened????? Did she pass out??? Surely if she passed out… someone would’ve helped her. She was there a long time!

This is freaky. Everything around her is completely normal, Mr. Solt is gone, it’s like Joan is the only one who experienced that?

Joan gets home and Gran is waiting for her, is this a monster thing I wonder? Ooooh, hot cocoa, sign me up! 

Whilst Joan is convinced Mr. Solt did something to her to make her miss the day, Gran seems to know exactly what’s up and tells Joan she touched him on his neck. She stole time from him, and time travelled hours ahead to the middle of the night unintentionally, because she is a monster. Damn!

Mr. Solt will die half a day earlier than intended, because Joan stole about half a day from him when she touched his neck.

Suddenly, Joan thinks about her family, how they dress a bit funky, out of time, and everything seems to click into place.

I feel for Joan. As she reads over all the texts from Nick, Nick who’ll undoubtedly think she stood him up, she keeps thinking about how she’s stolen time from an innocent man, how he’ll die earlier because of her.

Joan wakes up in a bit of a daze, thinking it was all a dream… until she sees her cousin Ruth downstairs who looks like she’s just come home from an 80s costume party. And – unsurprisingly – Ruth can’t deny that she and Joan, that the entire family are monsters. Joan – superhero Joan – is absolutely shaken by the fact that her entire family willingly takes time off human’s lives to be able to time travel and tells Ruth she doesn’t want to see any of them ever again.

I feel so sorry for Joan! A question for you all, fairies! IF you had the ability to steal time from people to time travel, would you?

She rushes to Holland House and finds Nick, poor Nick who she stood up. She offers to help him dust and eventually they stay after hours, having a makeshift picnic with a hazelnut Dairy Milk (wouldn’t be my first choice but go forth). Poor Nick tells Joan he was all dressed up in a nice jacket – she was dressed up too – and Joan tells him she really wanted to go on the date.

Then they have a little smooch! I love it.

OH, that is until Joan remembers she accidentally shaved half a day off Mr. Solt’s life by touching his neck and that realisation draws her away from the moment. Good thing too, because they’re being interrupted! Cars are approaching Holland House. I wonder if the Hunt’s are here to reassure Joan after she frantically left their home.

Wait, Joan recognises them… Flashback to Ruth explaining to Joan that the Olivers are another monster family, and not a nice one. They’re too late to run, there’s an Oliver in the house, in the library, WITH Nick and Joan!

Oh no! Nick and Joan saw them appear out of nowhere, so now the Olivers want to kill them… But Joan’s a monster? They can’t kill Joan right? But I don’t want them to kill Nick either! I’m so conflicted!

They can sense Joan is a monster… so they set their sights on Nick…and he’s down. Joan is on her own. Poor Joan, poor Nick!

All of the Olivers but one – Aaron – think Joan should be killed. I like you Aaron, you’re ok. 

Suddenly, Nick is back up, thrusting swords into Olivers, kicking about as if he’s a trained warrior, what the hell? You were just knocked out Nick, take it easy!

Joan’s hurt but she’s ok, Nick’s… Well, I’m not entirely sure what Nick is, he says he was trained from birth to kill monsters? Has he always known Joan’s a monster? Is she safe with him?

Joan tries to reason with Nick that they’re monsters, but not all are bad…

“We’re monsters, but we’re not like […] Not like ‘Grr!’”

Ok yeah, I’m gone! I can’t stop laughing. Not grr monsters!

Nick won’t be reasoned with, he’ll kill them all. But Joan? He clearly had real feelings for Joan because he’s letting her go. He says he’ll let her go, but threatens that if she ever steals time again he’ll kill her himself. Wowwwwwww this has escalated quick.

What about Gran? Ruth? Bertie? He’s going to kill them all!

“Monsters killed my whole family” I AM SO CONFLICTED. I like Joan, I like Ruth and Gran. Are they really evil? I don’t know who to trust, Nick or Joan, humans or monsters. Help!

Joan stumbles into Ruth, who got the text message Joan tried to send earlier, and brought the family for back up. I mean, it’s not Joan’s fault since she didn’t know at that point she was in the presence of a trained monster killer, but she must feel responsible. And Gran! Poor Gran’s hurt, really hurt. Gran tricks Ruth into leaving her and Joan alone to go open a window for them to escape, sarcasm included, and tells Joan that SHE is the only one who can stop the hero (Nick) and she’ll come into a mysterious power soon… I smell a chosen one trope and I’m here for it!

Then suddenly, Gran is gone, minutes later, so is Ruth. Joan’s alone. Her monster family dead. Or she’s alone UNTIL she saves Aaron Oliver! Aaron, who was the only one who tried to convince his family Joan didn’t need to be killed. Can we trust him? I don’t know.

But suddenly, Aaron is all Joan has. An Oliver and a Hunt cooperating, running from Nick, lovely Nick with his hazelnut Dairy Milk who’s suddenly a trained monster killer…

Wow! What a start.

Make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts and feelings, I can’t wait to see what you all think!

I’ll be back tomorrow for more readalong fun!



80 thoughts on “Only A Monster Readalong: Day 1!

  1. WOW this had me so hooked!!

    I’m thinking that the power Gran was talking about might have something to do with seeing the future? Joan had a random flash of the Olivers all lying dead, and she also had a feeling that something terrible was about to happen right before she took time from Mr Solt. Also Gran knew that she would be coming home late (and that her phone would be left on the pavement) so maybe it’s a power she’s inherited from Gran.

    I’m so upset that the family died so early on! I loved their dynamic- I was smiling the whole way through that first scene with the Hunts. Maybe she’ll have a chance to go back in time and see them again? I know that she’s very much opposed to stealing time from humans at the moments, but I have a feeling something will change that pretty soon!

    I honestly can’t wait to continue this book :)It’s going to be a struggle waiting until tomorrow!!

    1. That’s a good theory about Joan’s power! ?

  2. I loved these first chapters! When Joan woke up at a different time my first thought was omg she’s dead already! I’m hoping that Joan can find out more about her family though because I’m confused why everyone knew about them being a monster but not her!

    And Nick, I thought he was so innocent but damn was I wrong! He’s a monster killer! Although I loved the sweet and innocent image of him, he’s seems kind of bad ass! And maybe something could change in their relationship because he did let her go?!

    I’m interested to learn more about Aaron though. Could this be a love triangle??

    1. I hope it’s a love triangle! I love them! ?

  3. Whaaaaat, I was hoping for more Gran and Ruthie action but then they all died ? I’m rooting for Nick right now because Aaron just seems like a coward at this point, but we’ll see what happens. I wouldn’t want to steal time from someone else just to have the luxury of being able to travel myself, that’s just cruel! But what ever happened to travelling into the past and making some different decisions changing everything about the future anyway ? keen to keep reading and see if Aaron grows on me!

    1. I have to admit I love Aaron so far! ?

  4. Hi! I started reading this book yesterday. I really like it so far although it hasn’t really pulled me in completely yet. So I’m hoping that will come when I continue. I don’t think I would steal time from people to time travel. Time is too precious and I don’t see the point in travelling to parties from the ‘60s or something like that ?. I’m excited to continue and see everyone else’s thoughts!

  5. Wow, somewhat confusing beginning, so much has happened. She found out she can steal life years from people, she learns her family can do it as well and does it regularly, the boy she likes is almosy killed, she is left for dead, then the boy she likes murders a couple people and says that if she uses her power again he will kill her without hesitation, then her family is murdered and she has to work with the boy who left her for dead to have a chance to survive.

  6. I’m not yet sure of this theme of monsters, I think cause I delete monsters to under the bed children’s fairytale but I’m happy to read a new theme in the fantasy world, I love when the love interest is the enemy as I think everyone does, I love that Joan and her family are on the sides of a coin, my initial thoughts were that if Joan took time from that old man when she traveled I into the future then maybe travelling into the past gave life ? But with how nick hates monsters and the whole Oliver family dresses a bit old fashioned I’m guessing that isn’t the case. Excited to keep reading and happy to catch a read along on time haha

  7. I found the last FairyLoot book of the month, Year of the Reaper, slow-paced but this is definitely a fast paced book. Really intrigued by it so far.

  8. First page and like, straight in to say, this is the story of a monster.

    I think even though Joan doesn’t want to steal time, she will have to do it, to travel back in time to see her family again. What could be this power? Excited to know what will happen next.

    1. I’m very intrigued so far! ?

  9. Ngl I really liked how Joan’s grandma had no chill, she was like yes, you are a monster; no, I will not elaborate! And I had no idea that things would get so much more confusing after this. I was kind of bummed out that Joan missed that date… because meeting a cute boy in a museum and then going on a date?? That’s the goal! … unless he threatens to kill you later D:  I was NOT expecting that Joan’s family… just dies? I never would have guessed that happening. Nick and his people must be super powerful to take out that many monsters in such a short amount of time. And now Joan and Aaron are the only ones alive!! Rival family members going through some life altering trauma together? ?? I like the sound of that.

    Also I find it very interesting that they steal time by touching someone’s neck. That’s such a weird and inconvenient place?? How do you even do that casually?? I’d feel so awkward if I’ve ever did that and that’s the reason why I’d be very bad at being a monster. I’d try once, fail horribly and never attempt it ever again lmao

    The book feels fast paced and I’m really enjoying it!!! Can’t wait to learn more about the characters and the world!

    1. Talking about fast paced! I looked at the pages and was like “woah, I haven’t even reach 1/4 of a way through and a full family has died!”

    2. Right?! Imagine just walking up to a stranger and touching their neck! ?

  10. Oh wow, I don’t know what to say, this story has definitely gotten me hooked. I have so many questions!!!
    I can’t believe Joan’s whole family dies, I would have liked to see more of them and their interaction with Joan, I’m hoping we hear more about them going forward.
    Also, why do the Olivers hate the Hunts?
    I hope there isn’t a love triangle, Love triangles are my pet peeves.
    Looking forward to reading the rest of the book. I’m so excited for my first FairyLoot read-along

  11. What a way to start a book, I wonder if they will find another Hunt family member because Gran specified that each family of monsters is unique. If Aaron is all that Joan has to learn from I wonder if she will miss parts of her monster side. I also wonder how much the monsters are actually monsters in this story, from this point of view it seems that the Heros are doing most of the killing. That said I see how stealing time is monstrous but I wonder if there is more to it, could they give time?

    1. Ohhh, that would be really interesting, I’d love to know if they can give time. ?

  12. Omg this really hooked me in right away! Lot of info but loving Joan so far and could their be a love triangle between Aaron and Nick cause I’d be down for that lol

    1. Yesssss, we love a love triangle! ?

  13. So, my main theory so far is that her cousin didn’t die and actually can’t be trusted. I note the way her gran was like don’t tell anyone and didn’t want Ruthie to see the necklace. She almost literally distracted her with her dying breath…

    Two, why didn’t they just smash the window to get away? Or did I miss why they couldn’t?

    I would maybe steal time from people, but only if monsters do it for other reasons. I’m not sure I’m loving the name of just Monsters – like it doesn’t really define them. Also, wouldn’t Joan have asked what that meant… Like her whole life? Not just be like oh gran says I’m a monster, meh. I’m hoping that I can turn off my critiques a little and sink into the world more as I continue reading.

  14. I didn’t know what to expect going into this book but I’m super intrigued! Sometimes book make up words/terms but I love that this book uses “Monsters” – a word we already know and have associations with – to describe these people. Sometimes simplicity in a magical setting really helps and I think it works for Only A Monster.

    I also didn’t know this was going to involve time traveling beforehand so I’m already loving that aspect and can’t wait to see more (or maybe less, since it involves taking time from humans?!)

    1. Yesss, it’s such an interesting play on monsters! ?

  15. What a wonderful fast paced start to a book! So much has happened already and I’m hooked. The characters are all really engaging and I love the monsters / hero / time travel concept. I am enjoying Vanessa Len’s writing style. I think her flow is so easy to read and digest, making this such a good story to get swept away with ?

    1. I really like her writing style too! ?

  16. I’m so confused right now ?

    I’m loving Joan, and these monsters’ things and the world but can someone please explain something to this poor girl?! Why everyone keep her in the dark?! We are monsters. And the rest people??? And now you all died and she is alone and doesn’t know a thing about her and her family or what is going on!

    I have a lot of emotins ?

  17. Great start! Hooked from page one, action and stakes right away. It will be hard to not just keep reading. There’s already so much about the world that has been revealed, but a lot of the artwork also shows a mermaid!? *hmmmm* Can’t wait to read on and find out more.

    Thanks for the great book pick!

    1. So happy you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  18. So much happened in just a few chapters! I’m still trying to take it all in but a few thoughts are…

    Why if Joan has this power to take down the human hero is she only hearing about it when he’s there to kill them all? And what is this power which she inherited but can’t even do the family Hunt power very well.

    Intrigued by Nick’s back story and how he could turn on Joan so suddenly just for what she is, wondering if he always knew deep down but liked her because she hadn’t taken time yet?

    Aaron kind of annoys me so far, but maybe that will change as we see kore of him.

    Excited to read more tomorrow!

  19. Ok I LOVED this first readalong!! I admit I was a little lukewarm at the beginning (I don’t read much contemporary fantasy!) but as soon as Nick and Joan were alone in the museum and mysterious cars started to pull up… I was HOOKED. And it just got more intense from there!!

    (Side note, the museum seems absolutely lovely. Ngl, I was swooning over the descriptions of the library and the garden hedgemaze. I wish I could visit!!) (And… so sad, so much of it is destroyed now!!)

    I really enjoyed the twist of monsters being intrinsically connected to time travel, and Aaron’s family … he grew up in that house! Just when was he born, I wonder? And exactly how old were Joan’s family? Her mom? Does her dad know he married a monster??

    I can’t wait to keep reading – this has surprised and delighted me in the best way. Such intense stakes!! Thanks Fairyloot for picking another winner! ?

    1. So happy you’re enjoying it! ?

  20. This beginning was intense. I like Joan, even if she is sometimes a little too conflicted.
    I understand Nick from another site but I think the revenge isn’t the best idea.
    It has for me a lot of “This Savage Song’s vibes with dilemma “who is a real monster?”
    Writing style is repeatative sometimes but maybe it’s only my brain.

  21. This was definitely a dramatic start to a book! I was tugged along through Joan’s POV and really love the piecemeal lore we’re getting a look at, though I can see it quickly becoming frustrating if no one ever lets Joan in on all the secrets she was never told growing up that presumably everyone will expect her to know.

    That lingering threat from Nick… shivers!

  22. I’m really enjoying reading this book. It hooked me right from the start and I like how it gets straight into the story and how fast paced it is.

    I’m a bit confused about Nick, as he seemed so helpless at first that I wondered if he might have been pretending to be passed out in order to eavesdrop on the monsters’ conversation? And then, suddenly he just kills four people with such an ease, and explains that he’s been trained to kill monsters since he was a child? I don’t get why he got himself captured so easily at the beginning.

    On the other hand, I’m very intrigued by Aaron’s character. I think there’s more to him than meets the eyes. He seems like a coward at first, but I believe his character will turn out to be very different by the end of the story.

    Joan is a great heroine. I like her honesty and how close she is with her family. She is also very brave and quick on her feet.

    I’m looking forward to getting to know the characters more and understanding how their powers and the time travelling work.

  23. WAIT WHAT?!

    I wasn’t expecting everyone to die that quick! Poor Gran ?

    I’m super intrigued by the stealing time off someone’s life aspect. I haven’t read many books with that type of topic. And what is this other power Grans told Joan about? Is it more deadlier? And only she can stop the Hero?! Oooooo so exciting!

    I’m also feeling some enemies to lovers down the line maybe? – actually saying that, “enemies to lovers” (or would it be “friends to enemies to lovers”). BUT I am a sucker for romance and would LOVE some sparks to fly between Joan and Aaron. who knows, we might even get a love-triangle!

    And can I just say that I’m obsessed with the time travel and the book being set in London.

    I can’t wait to read the next lot of chapters! BRING ON TOMORROW!

    1. I love the setting too! So fun. ?

  24. I stared reading and i was like nice, this might be a love story after all, lets just said i was completely shocked and blindsided by nick omg ?. Didn’t expect that turn of events. Really exited for the rest

    1. Right?! Such a huge plot twist, right at the beginning! ?

  25. I’m not the biggest fan of urban fantasy so I’m still a little hesitant about this one. I like Joan and her family and Aaron seems interesting enough but I’m not 100% sold on the setting yet, as like I said I’ve never really enjoyed an urban fantasy. The “magic” and the characters are enough right now to keep me wanting to read to find out what happens next but the first chapter or two I was super confused

  26. Urban fantasy set in London and featuring time travel… my kind of book.

    I read the synopsis ages ago so wasn’t expecting Joan and Nick to be on opposite sides.

    Looking forward to seeing what happens next and seeing Joan and Aaron have to work together.

    1. Yesss, I love Urban Fantasy! ?

  27. Literally loving this so far!! It’s probably the most fast paced book I’ve read and I’m here for it-get me straight into the action please!
    I was so in love with the family banter which I normally find a bit tedious and forced in other books. So sad they’re gone so soon </3
    Hopefully if we’re looking at time travel we’ll get to have a bit more of those interactions? Crossing my fingers.
    And what a dark horse was nick! So conflicted about him, I think I’ll be genuinely stuck between him and Aaron if this is a love triangle situation
    Cannot wait to pick this up again tomorrow

    1. So glad you’re enjoying it! ?

  28. I wonder if we will see more of the family if time travel is involved. What a way to discover you aren’t human and the boy you like is the human hero. Sounds like there’s already stories about him!

    I had no idea what to expect from this book but loving it so far!

  29. This has me hooked! I want to stay up all night so I can finish reading it. I’m so in love with Joan. She’s so kind, even if she’s a “monster” (she doesn’t seem like too much of a true monster to me – just someone not human). I really liked Nick up until he was killing Joan’s family. His insistence that because his whole family was killed by monsters that everyone else must die – even if they weren’t the ones to kill his family is very upsetting. I guess I can understand his rationale, but if you have a crush on a girl and then she’s begging for her family’s life, wouldn’t you think he would respect that just a little bit?? I really like that Aaron’s introduction to us is by asking for Joan & Nick to be let go, especially because it seems like he’s usually someone that tries to keep quiet (based on his dad’s reaction). I don’t want a love triangle tbh. I’m content to say bye Nick.

  30. I’m astonished they killed off her whole monster family right away! I was really liking Nick, but how in the world are we going to recover from that??

    And what’s up with mermaids being associated with the monster hunters? How many monster families are there?

  31. I am definitely enjoying this one so far! So much violence and death and we’re only a few chapters in! Feeling very sorry for Joan – all so heartbreaking and confusing for her! Looking forward to see where this goes!

  32. You know I knew there was something fishy about Nick.. hooked for sure.. I’m a little peeved about Joan though.. fits the YA theme but she is a tad annoying swinging between upset at her family and what not.. no questioning just run away..

  33. It is amazing how in so few pages I am already so emotionally invested in these characters lives. I absolutely love gran, sassy grandmas are my favorite type of people. AND NOW SHE MIGHT DIE!!!!! GRAN NOOOOOOO
    I swear if Ruth is gone I will stop reading (not really 😉
    I don’t know how to to really feel about Nick. I feel like Nick is a drama queen, like what the heck dude, why do you have to go off and kill off every monster and their family. That’s not very cash money of you man. That is also not how you show the girl you just kissed that you like her. I know SHOCKING. Currently I am rooting for my man Aaron, does he seem to have daddy issues, yes, but I like that in my fictional men 🙂
    I am very intrigued to see how this love triangle thing is going to progress and the overall story. =D

  34. Wow that was wild and terrifying.

    I feel like I should be sad that Joan just lost her whole family but mostly right now I’m angry that none of them bothered to teach her anything about her heritage. Like wtf maybe you could argue that as half-human they didn’t know what she would inherit, but clearly as a young child at least Gran knew that Joan had powers and expected her to be able to keep secrets. Why would you not teach her the rest so she understood and didn’t make traumatic mistakes?

    I also thought they were going to go with “monster” the way Harry Potter went with “witch”, like historically a witch has been used to mean an evil woman but in HP-world it’s just a label that indicates magical ability, neither good nor bad. But I can’t really see how stealing life from people has many non-evil applications sooo….

  35. This had me like….????
    I LIKED Nick! Now….idk! And if he’s a “hero” its like, why would she have to stop him? And if she falls for stupid Aaron I’m going to FLIP! lol
    Did not expect that 180° flip of suspense when it started by her getting ready for a date.
    Like you I was just as confused when she jumped from day to night, and now I just have more questions! ??

  36. Life- stealing monsters? Predatory powerful families? Cruel, beautiful men. That was quite the opening! I’m hooked. I will have to work hard not to read ahead! Is it sick that I still think she and Nick could make it work? Like a Montague/Capulet situation? Yikes. BRB. I’m reading on!

  37. I am so intrigued by the idea of following monsters. I loved the prologue and how Gran was like no we are monsters why would you want to be a hero? And i think that is such an interesting concept. I know that I’ve always been into the morally grey characters and I’m really interested in following Joan and Aaron. Super bummed though that her family didn’t last long in the book.

  38. Loved this first section! It was super easy to get hooked and I already kept reading for tomorrow’s section (oops). I definitely like the whole morally grey who is good and who is bad in this story! I already love Joan. She seems like she is morally conflicted with how they have to steal time. I was surprised Nick was the monster hunter and he definitely is going to be after Joan later I bet.
    I love the concept of time travel here. It’s different and I can see why they’re called “monsters”
    I do think the writing is easy to read but a little juvenile.

  39. Wow. It started off like it was going to slowly ease you into this new world, the main character’s life learning about her abilities, etc. Instead, it suddenly thrusts you into chaos & emotional turmoil flipping what little you thought you new about this fantasy world on its head! If the rest of the book continues like this, I’ll be losing sleep – unable to put it down!

  40. First of all I would like to say THANK YOU for picking up this book. Because on the blurb alone, I never would have bought it for myself. I received the book last month, wasn’t that much interested in reading it. But then I opened the book, started to read, and suddenly it’s 1 am, on GR it says the sequel is for some time in 2023; And the mere thought of it is torture. I don’t know how I am going to wait until then. Every other book I tried to read pale in comparison. This is so weird, especially since in the past couple of month I was slowly moving on from YA to Adult books. Only a Monster is definitely YA. But Vanessa Len has such a refreshing take on more common YA tropes. It was a pleasure to read <3

  41. I like the idea of stealing time / years from others !! I probably wouldn’t, tho… I was a little conflicted about Aaron at first as he just stood there and would let his family kill Joan but I am really looking forward where the story takes him and Joan!

  42. Hello friends!
    Sorry… I’m a little behind on my reading, but I’m here! ?

    Day 1 chapters started a bit slow but finished wild!!!

    We start with a 6 year old Joan who wants to be Superman (so cute ?), but she’s told that she’s a monster, that she’s a bad person (in a child’s POV) and she had to grow up surrounded by different rules, what is good and what is bad isn’t the same between her father and gran….

    Now at 16, she has a time travel episode, right on the day she had a date (Sad ?), and finds out that what her gran told her 10 years ago is really true!
    I thought she knew what it was! The conversation with Gran that she was a monster but couldn’t tell anyone I guess is a confirmation… but it could be a story for a 6 year old and so not care…. Hence the (acceptable) reaction when she finds out that the family on her mother’s side are stealing hours of life from humans!!!

    To answer your question, I think being able to travel in time is a super interesting ability, but if I had to steal other people’s lives, I don’t know if I would be able to use it… unless it was in life or death situations and the only solution was to go back a little in time!

    So, the kissing scene was really cute and they had made up, and from that moment on there would be more cuddly scenes, but no… monsters start entering inside the museum… and everything changes!

    At first, I really thought Nick was going to die (I was sad, because he and Joan had made ”peace”), but then he turns out to be alive and manage to kill Lucien (and I:? ok, a forbidden romance, this is going to be interesting! ?), but then Nick says he’s going to kill all the monsters that have already stolen hours of life from humans, because monsters killed his family (I’m really confused ?, did he really like Joan or was it all a way to get closer to her family???)

    I feel sorry for Joan, you could see she really liked him and now she found out he’s an enemy.

    Joan’s grandmother is dying and tells her she was born into a prophecy (i guess) and she a goal: kill the hero = monster killer = Nick = summer crush. All ALONE! She’s all alone now… (she will need help, but grandma said not to tell anyone…)
    She manages to escape from the museum, but runs into the maze and now doesn’t know how to get out…. but of course Aaron shows up! and he’s the only one in the maze who knows the way out. Both now alone… all their monster families dead, enemy families, but they come together to escape the enemy! (I’m sensing another forbidden romance here!!! ? Will we see a forbidden love triangle?? ? )

  43. I think that new magic system in this book is super interesting! The beginning was huge info dump, and I feel like the world-building was very rushed; however, I will admit that it had me hooked from the start! One of my pet peeves in books is when a family, group of friends, etc. all keep something vital about a person secret from them (i.e. the whole family hiding the facts about monsters from Joan), so I did not really like that either. They all willingly told Joan she “was a monster,” but did not anything else about it? Even though it was supposedly a family thing? Also, she knew about a rival monster family being ruthless, but didn’t make the monster connection about her own family? I am really confused about what Joan knew/didn’t know.

    That being said I loved how fast Joan seemed to come to her senses after being attacked by the Olivers and then the monster hunters. She gained her confidence very quickly and realized she had to get over doubts in order to survive, but she did not lose her empathy and “goodness,” which was emphasized a few times. I also love a good triangle and enemies to lovers, especially from the perspective of the “enemy.” I also loved that I genuinely could not predict what was going to happen next. I think this was a great start to the book, and while I think the beginning was a tad rushed, I am very excited to see what happens next! Those first chapters were whew!

  44. I love that the first 5 chapters just jumped right into the action with surprising reveal after surprising reveal. It definitely kept my attention and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!

  45. Oh wow okay, i finished the first day readalong last night but was too tired to type but jesus, so much was happening, i absolutely didn’t expect everyone to die already?? Like woah, at the end of chapter five i was very shocked, but it was a cool twist and i’m intrigued to know if they can change some of that with the whole time travel thing again and also just /how/ monster Joan is gonna become and if she will actually use her powers and steal from humans. Absolutely dig the concept of that and having Nick being a monster hunter will really spice things up so let’s see <3

  46. Wow, this was a stronger start than I expected! 😮
    I wonder what Joan’s hidden power will be and why it is so dangerous that she has to hide it. I’m sad about Gran dying, she was such an interesting character, even in the few scenes she was in!
    I hope Aaron will talk more with Joan about using their powers, it is really unfortunate that she doesn’t know even the basics.
    It felt a bit weird that Joan’s family died this fast into the book!
    Can’t wait to continue!

  47. This book definitely had an interesting start! I am a bit confused at what makes them “monsters”; is it just time travel? Hoping that maybe we see something else that would explain that! I was stoked about the potential love interest(s) at the beginning! Maybe a love triangle? Fingers crossed!

  48. Wow this book had me hooked from the beginning. If i didn’t have actual adulting to do i could easily sit and read this in one sitting.

    Im super intrigued at what is going to happen next.

  49. This book just started and I already know it will be so good and a favorite! Can’t wait to see what happens in the book

  50. This book has so many twists to it! It’s just starting and already I cannot wait to see what happens. For Joan’s family to all already be dead and Nick to be revealed as the villain, I feel like more edge of the seat reading is in store. I am here for all of it!

  51. So um… everyone is dead and it’s only Chapter 6… that was a wild ride.

    This might be the first book in a while where I’m hoping the blonde lead guy is end game instead of the dark haired guy. Like Nick is 100% the reason her family is dead… that’s a red flag if I’ve ever seen one tbh. Intrigued about the monster “families” and what makes the lines different cause currently it sounds like they have the same power. Main character did upset me with getting all angry about her family being monsters and hating them like the day the end up dying so yea.

  52. I love an action packed start.

    I had read the description so I was waiting for Nick to start fighting. I’m curious if he knew Joan was a monster before the Olivers said it in front of him.

    I love time travel in stories, the stealing time to do it creates a dilemma though. Can’t imagine it will be easy for Joan to be OK with that.

    I’m looking forward to learning more about the monster world & seeing what Joan’s power will be.

  53. Well DANG I’m so glad this is such a quick read! I’m 100% sucked in. I love how it’s turned the POV on it’s head and we’re seeing it from another angle. I can’t wait to see Aaron and Joan’s relationship bloom, and also see what’s going to happen with Nick and Joan! I didn’t see this happening.

    I was so glad when Nick kept pushing her and not walking away when he knew something was up. But to discover that! Wow!

  54. Ah, what an intro! I wish I wasn’t so busy right now and behind – and trying to read this and HoSaB at the same time. ?

    This is so intriguing already! I love the end paper art, but it did clue me in about the “boy switch” during this section because Nick has black hair and the boy in the art didn’t. ? Excited to see where this goes, and what happens between Joan, Nick, and Aaron!

  55. The premise of this is so incredible! I adore Gran so much and ugh….of course she would be taken from me just as soon as I really like her character. But, Aaron is intriguing and a jerk…there’s promise there! I like this enemy families scenario and I really like how these monsters travel through time. There’s a true dilema there…And I am unsure if I could honestly steal time away from someone else’s lifetime. But the appeal of time travel is incredible! Of course I would want to do it! I’m super curious at this point about what Joan’s secret power is and why does she have to keep it from everybody else?

  56. Yeah, I feel like if there was some sort of term other than “monster” it would be more plausible. Like if Gran had said “you can tell anyone we’re [fill in the blank] because they might think we’re monsters.” Also I feel like if her family had been telling her “yer a monster Joan” for 10 years, she might have questioned it at some point?

  57. Even after all that, I kinda have a soft spot for Nick in a “Kylo Ren just needs a hug” sort of way.

  58. I loved those first chapters. I was surprise by that twist, I didn’t see it coming. I started the book knowing nothing of it but with those chapter im hook. First they introduced us to a “normal” family and then everyone is dead ?. I love almost everything that has to do with time traveling so I was excited when we first read about it in these book, especially because I loved so much how the author made the characters do the time travel. I’m really excited to read the rest of the book.?

    (sorry for my grammar, english is not my first language) ?

  59. Wow, what a great (and sad) way to start this read along! I loved Joan’s family from the start and I was sad to see them go so soon in the story! I love when “villains” are the protagonist so I am loving this story so far. And speaking of love…I already love Aaron! He gives me strong Draco Malfoy vibes. Pale blonde hair, aristocratic, not fully agreeing with this family’s choices but not being given a choice or having his own voice. So obviously, he is my favorite character! I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here!

  60. I’m a bit behind but trying to catch up today! Can I just say wow wow wow chapter 5 really turned up the action! The first few chapter I was slightly interested but just vibing then end of chapter 4 and chapter 5 just sucked me in outta no where! I love some good action scenes.
    As for the question you posed….I don’t think my morals would let me steal time from people. Even though it would be so cool to time travel the experience would be tainted knowing it was at the expense of someone else.

  61. I just started late last night so I’m a little behind but whoaaa boy I am hooked so far. I can already tell I will finish this one quickly. So much happened in so little time and I’m so stoked to see where this story takes us. Forbidden romance yes please! ? “Bad guys” being the main focus, another yes from me! I love how original this story has been so far and looking forward to reading more peoples thoughts going forward.

  62. I wasn’t able to read along with the rest. Life. but Ive been reading the past two days and I can say I am hooked! its just one thing after the other and I can say I am enjoying this good guy is actually bad story and the romance I can tell will be a hit!

  63. Okay! I am soooo far behind! But I got really excited to read this and wanted to share my thoughts!

    First off, I love the concept of this story! Time traveling but with a steep cost. I always love reading time traveling books – has anyone else read the stand-alone book All Our Yesterdays? Amazing! And to answer Shannon’s question, I would time travel in this world…but maybe only by taking time from bad people… I would be too curious to not try it, but I would also hate to cut people’s time off short. It’s honestly a tough question.

    I think the beginning of the book started strong, and I liked how the events of Joan going forward in time are disorientating and more of that moment is revealed in the conversation with her Gran. Even with the quick twist with Nick in the beginning, I really feel from him as a character and trust Joan’s feelings for him before it occurs. I’m honestly surprised that he killed four people in front of her and orchestrated her family’s deaths! At first, with the fanart and two attractive boys being introduced within the first 50 pages, I thought this would be a love triangle – and i’m sure it’ll keep that way through the rest of the series – but it went really differently really fast and I love that!

    Also, does anyone else get Draco Malfoy vibes from Aaron? Because I do, and I really, really love that and honestly he is now my favourite character and he better not die at any point in the story! I’m looking forward to seeing Joan and him get together, but I also really hope it doesn’t happen in this book. Slow-burns are the best!

    While there is a lot I’m liking so far in this book – the concept, the characters and their dynamics, and how I can just feel Joan’s emotions in every scene – the scene where the Olivers are holding Nick and Joan captive and then the turn didn’t hit well for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the plot and what was happening with Nick and everything, but the dialogue feels very pointed, silted, exposition-y, and overall just too much of the author working through the characters.

    Overall, I’m so excited to see what happens next!

    Also, to answer Shannon’s first question, I am currently reading Dune by Frank Herbert and its wonderful and amazing, and I can’t recommend it enough!

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