Delicious Monsters was a book I quickly knew was going to become a favorite. With dual timelines, POVs and a linked mystery, Delicious Monsters is a mystery full of tension and emotions. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Daisy sees dead people—something impossible to forget in bustling, ghost-packed Toronto. She usually manages to deal with her unwanted ability, but she’s completely unprepared to be dumped by her boyfriend. So when her mother inherits a secluded mansion in northern Ontario where she spent her childhood summers, Daisy jumps at the chance to escape. But the house is nothing like Daisy expects, and she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls…
A decade later, Brittney is desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother, a bestselling author who claims her stay at “Miracle Mansion” allowed her to see the error of her ways. But Brittney knows that’s nothing but a sham. She decides the new season of her popular Haunted web series will uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior and finally expose her mother’s lies. But as she gets more wrapped up in the investigation, she’ll have to decide: if she can only bring one story to light, which one matters most—Daisy’s or her own?
As Brittney investigates the mansion in the present, Daisy’s story runs parallel in the past, both timelines propelling the girls to face the most dangerous monsters of all: those that hide in plain sight.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Tw: child abuse, child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, grooming, suicide off page, fatphobia
From the beginning, I knew I’d love Delicious Monsters. Dual timeline stories are my kryptonite. And Sambury does it so well. There are not only mysteries that intertwine with each other through time, but also truths. The ways that we can tell the story of what happened and it will never be objective. It’s always through a layer of our own perception. So in Daisy’s story we are seeing the ‘truth’ of what happened. Whereas in Brittney’s we are seeing what people are willing to say after the fact.
All the lines between how we want to be seen versus how it happened. This line of playing with truth and perception is one of the main reasons I loved Delicious Monsters. Not only does it introduce an element of unreliability, but also disbelief about everyone involved. And that’s not all. Delicious Monsters delivers a story which will leave you gasping. With detailed and complex characters, this also is a story about trauma, abuse, and power. Because while the action will leave you devouring this book, the characters are what grounds the mystery.
There’s an immediate sense of fear and tension in Delicious Monsters. We immediately empathized with the ways in which Brittney and Daisy’s lives are shaped by their relationship with their mothers. This story explores the failures, struggles, and successes of motherhood. Sambury doesn’t allow anyone to be uncomplicated, instead portraying humans for their flaws, selfishness, and empathy. Victims, those who are silenced, who go on to pass on their scars. There’s no denying the sinister feeling of the house. The ways in which no one seems to escape unscathed.
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But the question becomes will it irrevocably change and scar Daisy and Brittney? The forgotten black girls in society whose voices are silenced? This multi-layered mystery is enchanting and gripping. Even though Delicious Monsters is a chunky contemporary, each page is fabulous, fantastical, and achingly real. Even weeks after finishing, I only grow more obsessed the more I think about this book. Find Delicious Monsters on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.