Monthly Monkey Mini Review – November

Well hello everybody! I’m quite excited today for my second Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews! Woohoo!

monthly mini reviews version 2

Let’s just dive straight in!


Frogkisser!– this was as fun a romp as you would expect from that title. I did enjoy this one, though I was more conscious than usual that this was outside my age range- I can hardly blame the book for being juvenile when I’m reading Middle Grade in my 20s. That said, I do always feel like I have to read everything Garth Nix writes at this point… so really it’s his fault for hooking me on his work 😉

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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because youll never meet me

Because You’ll Never Meet Me– I’m really excited to talk about this one. I was recommended this underrated gem by Sam @Rivermoose (her blog is awesome- check her out!!) and I was instantly drawn to the intriguing premise, where two people who have strange medical conditions, basically making them allergic to each other, become best friends (I know- it’s so unique!). What makes this story special is how the characters give each other the things they’re lacking. And not insubstantial things- one is blind and gets to see through the other’s eyes, the other gets to hear things he never would with his condition. The only reason I had to dock a banana is that I didn’t like Ollie’s voice much-I thought he was a bit rambly (and was somewhat generously described as good storytelling). That said, it was really well written in general and the message of giving and friendship is powerful stuff. Highly recommend.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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our dark duet

Our Dark Duet– Okay, so this was one of my most anticipated books of the year… and I ended up disappointed. My main issue was that it felt like a sloppy conclusion and a rush to the end. There was the old villain, Sloan, who was made to feel like a second fiddle to a new villain, the Chaos Eater, who was shoehorned in (rather unnecessarily) to do a lot of damage and then get defeated. And then there was the fact that I felt like I’d lost my connection with the characters: August fell a little flat and Kate seemed wildly different from what I’d remembered. Because of that, the impact of the ending didn’t hit for me- I could see it was good and dramatic and should have been emotionally powerful… and yet I felt nothing. In fact the strongest emotion this book got out of me was a mild case of befuddlement- there was that use of the “them” pronoun for one character, and even if the gender ideologues want to get mad at me, that confused the shit out of me purely from a linguistic perspective. That said, the rest of the writing was the star of the book for me and was the only reason why I didn’t give this an even lower rating.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

 small bananasmall banana

So have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

31 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Review – November

  1. Waahhh!! 2 banas for Our Dark Duet!! Now that definitely made me not want to rush to finish that duology anymore. But I definitely hear you on your issues. It does sound like a lot was off and that the villain wasn’t well introduced. I’ll probably complete this series, but probably not soon.. 😛 That “them” issue also reminds me of Ann Leckie’s novels and her weird pronouns for her “third” gender. It really is annoying, at least in regards of reading flow. Great mini reviews though! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hehehe it’s really not a popular opinion- hopefully you’ll like it a lot more- I think it’s a hit or miss ending. A lot of people really loved it- so I hope you’ll be in that camp 🙂 hehe I haven’t read that (and will admit I’m put off now 😉 )- I wasn’t keen on it here *and* it went on too long, to the point where I wasn’t sure who she was even talking about. It was just confusing as hell. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I actually read Our Dark Duet without having read This Savage Song – I got the order mixed up when I made the lib request – but having read several rave reviews on TSS, although I figured out my mistake pretty early in, I could follow enough of what was going on, and decided to just keep going. And, man, was it a struggle to finish! The Chaos Eater was a BIG flop, in my view, and I couldn’t understand what had drawn Kate and August together – though their feelings were clearly very strong for each other. Kate seemed to have one setting (angst) and August seemed to be mopey all the time. I may go back and read TSS with a totally open mind, but I may prefer to think of it as a standalone! Since all the good stuff I’ve heard has been about that, whereas a lot of fans were majorly let down by Our Dark Duet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe oh whoops- well hopefully you’ll actually enjoy TSS- that one’s actually a great book (though not my favourite Schwab by far) I struggled with this too and I liked the first one. I feel like the relationship didn’t work as well in this one and I don’t even know what the Chaos Eater was doing in the story. I kinda wish it had been a standalone now 😉

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  3. I didn’t love Dark Duet as much as Schwab’s other books but a gave it a little more than two stars/bananas. My biggest gripe about it was that someone spoiled the end for me which is really not the author’s fault but just made reading it a bit pointless. I also wanted a bit more with the gang she left behind but it’s not to be apparently (I asked). I will also admit I didn’t take to Kate and August as much as some of her other characters.

    Frogkisser is one that’s been on my maybe wanna read list but I’ve seen a few people say it reads really young now. Maybe one for the might get to it eventually pile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe fair enough- I know a lot of people liked it- I actually wanted to push up the rating just cos I like Schwab in general- but in the end I just didn’t get enjoy the book. That is a shame. Yeah it was strange for me, cos I loved them in the first book, but just didn’t connect with them (or anyone to be honest) in this one :/

      Yeah it was a bit young for me- but it’s a good book- I just shouldn’t pick up every Nix book just cos I love his older stuff 😉


  4. Great mini-reviews Orangutan! ❤ Because You’ll Never Meet Me sounds really great! I love friendship stories and dual POVs can be some heady stuff if they feel like different people… I''m reading A Darker Shade of Magic right now and can't say that Schwab is my new favorite author… which is really disappointing! Much like you felt for Our Dark Duet…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aww thank you!! ❤ It was so good!! I was really happy with it and hope you will be too 😀 It definitely felt like it had two very distinctive voices! Aw I'm sorry you're disappointed with her, but I can hardly blame you after the review I just gave Dark Duet 😉 I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Darker Shade of Magic now!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am scared about Our Dark Duet now. I LOVE August to the moon and back and I don’t want him to fall flat. But maybe it’s a good thing if my expectations get lowered a little bit? Maybe I will love the book again as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry- I’m sure you’ll end up loving it- it seems like it’s been hit or miss for people, but for me one of my main issues was I lost that connection with the characters- provided you still have that, you should be good! But yeah, always good to have expectations lowered a bit 😉


  6. I keep meaning to read This Savage Song but I don’t have the best experience with V.E. Schwab’s books. I have read Vicious and thought it was just ok. I also read A Darker Shade of Magic and wasn’t really compelled to read the rest of the series. I thought of giving this duology a chance but now I’m scared lol. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I can relate. I did read those others and really liked them- Savage Song was less good for me, but I’ve heard that people that aren’t as into Schwab tend to like it more- can’t say I liked Dark Duet (obviously 😉 ) but again, it’s hit or miss for people! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well this is quite a variety of ratings. I actually haven’t read any Garth Nix so i’ll have to look him up to see why you like him so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved these mini reviews 🙂 I’m really happy that you read and enjoyed Because You’ll Never Meet Me – I agree, it is such an underrated gem! I loved the story, the characters, it was quite unique 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I kind of love underrated books, I don’t have to worry about hype. Then I can go around and push it on everyone since they haven’t heard about it everywhere haha

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love mini-review posts. I don’t do them often enough on my own blog– but this is so perfect! Plus, the image? Amazing.

    I really want to read Frogkisser— I, too, love everything Garth Nix has ever written. Oops!

    I’ve never heard of Because You’ll Never Meet Me, but I’m totally intrigued. Is this more of a romance novel or contemporary? How fluffy is this? I’m trying to rack up some holiday books for reading when I’m over the family. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you like it!!

      heheh me too- I can’t help but read his books at this point 😉

      It’s really underrated, so it’s not made much of a splash, but it deserves more attention. It’s magical realism… sort of? It’s hard to explain cos it’s so unusual. It’s not super fluffy, but I reckon it’s good to read over the holiday seasons because it’s got some heart felt moments and is primarily about friendship (which there aren’t enough books on!)

      Liked by 1 person

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