Murder Mystery: A Review of Monsters Among Us

Monsters Among Us
Written by Monica Rodden
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
Available now
Ages 14+

Catherine Ellers is not your typical college student home for winter break. She is reeling from a trauma she experienced just days before the end of her first semester. Her parents are worried, but she remains distant. Then, a young girl Catherine used to babysit is murdered. Rather than letting grief overcome her, she sets out to solve the murder. She enlists the help of a childhood friend and a new school acquaintance. The three go on a crazy journey to find the person who killed an innocent girl. But along the way, Catherine discovers she is not the only one keeping secrets.

Monsters Among Us is a dark and unsettling story about the reality of tragedy and the people we think we know. Rodden does an excellent job immersing the reader into the story. Using the omniscient 3rd person, her writing allows us to see the stories of all the characters, connecting us to their emotions. At times, the language can make the reader uncomfortable, which brings understanding to the seriousness of the trauma described in the book. It is not exactly a retelling of Wuthering Heights, but it has similar elements to the classic: the lengths one will go for love sometimes turn wicked. This murder mystery for young adults tells a story of pain, fear, and love, what it is like living with these overwhelming emotions, and how to face them head on.