Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – Let’s FREAK OUT cos it’s October 2021!

Hello all! Hope you had a great month! Mine was jam packed! And after all the lockdowns and everything we’ve been through over the last year, I have to admit I’m appreciating it more than ever. The little things like going to see friends, having meals out and going on day trips are a real treat. My favourite things this month include going to see LIVE MUSIC- which was especially great at the Blues Kitchen in Camden…

(I promised my sister I’d share a cartoon I did for her)

And I finally, finally got to return to the Royal Opera House to hear the Magic Flute 😊

Plus, I went the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, where I got to feel like a witch for the day. I don’t want to raise your expecto-patronums too much, but I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. It was so good that I may do a post entirely dedicated to it!

Lastly, I went on trips to Bath and Windsor- which were both very unique (and cake filled) days 😊

The House in the Cerulean Sea– delightful and quirky and sweet, this romantic fantasy definitely gave me the warm fuzzies. I loved the writing style- it was simultaneously light and colourful. And the characters were really bright sparks. I especially loved the anti-Christ (and I’m not just saying this because I may never have this opportunity again 😉). I also really appreciated the story being told from Linus’ perspective, with an inspector’s eyes, introducing us to the world detail by detail. Through this, we uncover a whimsical world filled with wonder. We find a house that inspires imagination and a reality packed with magic. Slowly, as the story unfolds, he opens up to this beauty. For as much as he may seem like the boring middle manager type, we find he truly has a heart of gold and there is much more to him than a lot of people assume. It just goes to show you can’t judge by appearances- and I love that message! Of course, this book is a very obvious parable, which I don’t normally like, yet I was overcome by the cuteness factor here. I also did notice that this promised a fair amount of moral relativism… though it (thankfully) doesn’t deliver that in the plot. A joyous and romantic read!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

Rock Paper Scissors– I always enjoy Feeney’s books- and none more so than her latest. Showing that marriage is a dangerous game, this book is all about choices. Artfully using different points of view, the story follows Mr and Mrs Wright on their wedding anniversary. Yet, up in the Highlands of Scotland, something is about to go very, very wrong indeed. Genuinely tense and terrifying at times, the story had me gripped. And just when I thought I had all the answers, it turned at the last moment. Not everything was as it seemed on paper. I loved the sharp ending and I was very happy with how it all came together (well, as happy as you can be with a grizzly thriller). 

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

The Foundling– I really liked this book. It brought an area of history I knew nothing about to life. Once again, Stacey Halls focused on the plight of women in a meaningful and significant way. It was written with such kindness that I was unsurprised by the sweetness of the ending. I just find Hall’s books quite lovely. 

Rating: 4/5 bananas

Instant Karma– oof this wasn’t quite what I expected. I thought this was going to be about a girl who gets the power of delivering instant karma and that would be the central conflict of the story. INSTEAD, the story was centred on a biology project and an animal rescue centre… which would’ve been fine if that’s what I’d been expecting. To make matters worse, the instant karma, while a fun trick, didn’t really serve much purpose to the story. The actual plot was filled with twists that were easy to guess and not as exciting as the premise could have been. I felt like there was the outlines of two decent stories in this, but not enough to make one enjoyable book. It didn’t help that the most of the characters were insufferable- especially the protagonist. I barely understood her motivation throughout (I’ve never taken to characters who want to be successful purely for the sake of being successful) and found her lack of empathy infuriating at times. I also didn’t enjoy being in the company of some of the background characters- one of whom was painfully holier-than-thou. And even the nicest character- the love interest- does something utterly unforgivable. Not to mention the romance, which I didn’t see working out. While there were cute moments that made me smile, I couldn’t see what they had in common beyond raging hormones. Overall, this was fine, but didn’t possess the magic I hoped for. 

Rating: 2½/5 bananas

That’s all for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments! And I hope you all had a good month!

46 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – Let’s FREAK OUT cos it’s October 2021!

  1. Love the artwork. I mean, a unicorn playing electric guitar is simply iconic. I went to a four-day music festival two weeks ago, and many of the performers were overcome with playing live music for the first time since lockdown began. One band said it had been 263 days since they performed. I give you credit for finishing Instant Karma. I DNFed that book.

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  2. I finally got around to the House on the Cerulean Sea this month to! I tried to keep expectations in check that maybe it was overhyped but no what an adorable book 🙂 And cake and travel days are always good times!

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  3. I love the drawings! And how awesome that you got to be out and about and do so many great things! I loved the anti-Christ too (ha, it IS fun to say that), and loved the entire book of The House in the Cerulean Sea. In fact, that may be one of my upcoming audio rereads. I’d really like to read The Foundling too — I’ve heard such good things. Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you so much! 💕 It was great!! I’m really grateful for it after everything. Hahaha I know right?! 😅 ah that sounds perfect- I’d love to listen to the audiobook (though of course I needed to get a physical copy with that gorgeous cover). I really enjoyed it. Thank you! You too! 💕

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  4. I’m rather envious of your awayday in Bath – so long since I last visited the city. Am hoping to do that next year so I can meet up with another book blogger. I’m sure there will be cake

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    1. I absolutely loved it!! I’ve never been before and I just thought it was one of the best places I’ve ever been in Britain. I definitely want to go back! That’ll be wonderful!! 😊 Very exciting to look forward to!

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  5. I went on the Warner Bros tour in October 2 or 3 years ago, it was decorated for Halloween 🙂 It’s a fab day out. And it’s great that you got to see live performances again, I’m hoping to do that soon.

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    1. Hehehehe!! Ahh I totally understand- I really want to reread it, but both my sister AND my mum want to read/reread them right now, so I’ll have to wait before rereading them for the millionth time! 😅 On the plus side, we’re all rewatching the movies together, which is great!! 😊

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  6. “I especially loved the anti-Christ (and I’m not just saying this because I may never have this opportunity again 😉).”
    😂

    I love that castle! And your cartoon is so funny and lovely! (the unicorn LOL).

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  7. I love all the drawings you made! They are so cute and fun, full of joy!! I’m glad you got to experience live music again and had a mostly great reading month. Those are rare haha Hope October will treat you well too!

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