Monthly Monkey Mini Review – September

monthly mini reviews version 2

YO PEEPS! Yup, I’m actually online, which feels like something of a miracle at this point. I do want to update you all about *EVERYTHING* but alas I am still away from home and finding it hard to squeeze in blogging time. While I did have big plans for last month, a lot of stuff ended up getting in the way and I don’t know if I realistically be about in September much either… In happier blogging news though, I will be back in sunny England from October, so mark it in your calendars folks!

Anyhoo, my mini reviews for this month are a little late and I’ve not read that much again, BUT I’m hoping that by next month it’ll be a different story (***fingers and toes crossed***)

mysteries of udolpho

Mysteries of Udolpho– I get why Austen made fun of this. It felt silly, melodramatic and yet still managed to bore me (I blame all the long-winded, convoluted descriptions with daft word choices). I can’t pretend like I would have been reading much without this book sitting on my kindle, gnawing away at any desire I had to pick it up, but it certainly didn’t help! I seriously struggled to finish this one and DNF’d it after a month. And this gets no bananas for that reason.

cinder and ella

Cinder and Ella– finally something to squeal about!!!  If you’ve been around a while, you might already know that I have a thing for Cinderella retellings (ie I LOVE them). And this one was particularly well done. Not only was this funny and sweet, but it also explored different family dynamics in a way that didn’t demonise the step family. I especially liked the way the relationships evolved over the course of the book and characters were given more complex motivations than the typical fairy tale allows. And cos it was so good, I didn’t end up writing very complex notes, so you’ll have to read it to find out more!

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

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

67 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Review – September

  1. *Marks it calendar: october is going to be a good month* 😊 So glad to see a post from you again, and very happy to hear that you might be returning in October😊 Really missed reading your posts!
    Hopefully all is going well with you: don’t worry about the blog, it won’t be going anywhere, and neither will we 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back! I read Mysteries of Udolpho earlier this year. Understand why you DNF it, I was close to quitting but continued to the end. I really want someone to rewrite it where the main female character is actually training as an assassin during the time she’s away from the other characters, instead of, you know, sitting around crying / in a faint / has fainted. And that disappearing dog! What was that all about?

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  3. Yay for Cinder and Ella. That is one of my all time fave books. It just makes me so happy and smiley (it may also have made me cry). I don’t know why it’s not more popular than it is.

    I’ve always been curious about Mysteries of Udolpho but umm don’t think I’ll be rushing to read it.

    Great to have you back (or at least kind of back).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ahhhh hello it’s so good to see a new post from you ❤ I hope you've been well and I'll be looking foward to October and you being back for good 😀
    Lovely reviews! Cinder and Ella sounds like a great read, I'll have to remember that one! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I haven’t read Udolfo, but tried Radcliffe’s “Romance of the Forest” with similar results. Who knew you could use the words “meloncholy” and “apprehensive/apprehension” with such frequency? The only parts that were mildly entertaining were a couple witty conversations plagiarized straight out of Shakespeare (some of Dogberry’s dialogue in “Much Ado About Nothing”)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Long-winded, convoluted descriptions are the exact reasons why I struggle with reading classics. Now, Cinder and Ella sound like an awesome book. I’m picky about my retellings, but I love that it explores different family dynamics.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s good to have you back even if it’s for a mini review. Sadly, I have read neither and they seem a bit out of my interests. And with a growing tbr pile I am afraid I am going to skip on them. Can’t wait to have you back in regular blogging! Although sunny isn’t what I would call my beloved Albion.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Both are indeed Cinderella-like stories although with different time settings. The Mysteries of Udolpho, along with Radcliffe’s novel The Romance of the Forest, are satirized in Jane Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey, in which an impressionable young woman, after reading Radcliffe’s novel, comes to see her friends and acquaintances as Gothic villains and victims with amusing results. I may add that the modern reader may get tired of all those 19th century protagonists building air castles and to fall on their face every time they try to live in them. Cinder and Ella is a book that mainly aims at a teenage public, but so were the Harry Potter series that also found good reception among (young) adult readers.


  9. I’ve not heard of Cinder and Ella, and there’s been so much fairytale retellings these few years. I think it’s marvellous that there are so many different retellings, it’s like everyone can find a retelling that they like among all the other retellings!


  10. I haven’t read either, but I love Cinderella re-tellings, and especially ones that make the step-family the antagonists without making them evil stereotypes. I’ll have to look for that one!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It has been so long since I heard from you and I hoped to your blog to check on you. I am glad you finally had time to be online. Get back ASAP!



    Hope all is well? I’d love your thoughts on my latest post. Thanks so much!


  13. Looking forward to your return in October! I just came back from a long and unplanned hiatus though so I totally know what it’s like to have stuff get in the way.

    I’ve actually read The Mysteries of Udolpho (I was studying Gothic books at the time), and I did finish it… but it was very long and boring I’m not quite sure how I managed it. It did get mildly more interesting the second volume, but not enough to garner it more than 2 stars. Actually I seem to remember thinking the first volume could have been collapsed into one or two chapters and tacked onto the second volume and it would have been a much better book.


  14. Been wondering why I haven’t been getting email notices of your blog posts. When I started this blog 9 months ago, yours was one of the first blogs I followed and I loved your posts. I’ll check to see why I’m not getting notices because I really want to start reading your great content again. Happy Monday. Brian


  15. I know you may get asked this all the time, but I would love for you to review my book. It’s on amazon kindle and other ebook readers. It’s called Bite Me and it’s a humorous vampire novel. If you’d be willing just email me at and I’ll email you a free copy. unless you have kindle unlimited, then you can just read it there. I love your thoughts on villains btw.


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