Book Review: The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

Title: The Mon3186355sters of Templeton by Alex Lauren Groff
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Length: 361 pages
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Rating – 3/5 stars – I liked it!

In the wake of a wildly disastrous affair with her married archaeology professor, Willie Upton arrives on the doorstep of her ancestral home in storybook Templeton, New York, looking to hide in the one place to which she swore she’d never come back. As soon as she arrives, though, a prehistoric monster surfaces in Lake Glimmerglass, changing the very fabric of the town. What’s more, Willie’s hippie-turned-born-again-Baptist mother, Vi, tells her a secret she’s been hiding for nearly thirty years: that Willie’s father wasn’t the random man from a free-love commune that Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. Someone from this very town. As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, she discovers that the secrets of her family run deep when past and present blur, dark mysteries come to light, and the shocking truth about more than one monster is revealed.


Happy Saturday everyone!! I feel as though I haven’t posted a book review in forever which is pretty true seeing as how the last book review I posted was on October 20th! Today I bring to you my incoherent thoughts on The Monsters of Templeton written by Lauren Groff.

I actually read this book as part a few of the reading challenges I have been participating in this year (and of which I am seriously behind on). This particular book fits two challenges from this year but the specific one I had in mind was to have someone you know go to your bookshelf and pick a random read for you. I had my husband go to my bookshelf and he picked this book out for me. I was instantly excited when I saw this book in his hand because it’s not only been on my to read list for quite some time, it also has a beautiul, beautiful cover and a super interesting title. So without rereading the description I dove right in.

The Monsters of Templeton is about a girl who returns to her hometown after a pretty crazy breakup with her archaeology professor whom she was having an affair with. When she comes back to town she is confronted with her troubled relationship with her mother, a problematic attraction to an old high school crush and juicy family secrets that she takes it upon herself to unravel.

I ended up liking this book but it did put me in a serious book rut because it wasn’t really my favorite and I had a hard time finishing it. I’d have to put this towards the lower rating end of the books that I have read this year. One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the writing. I thought the writing itself was beautiful and descriptive which for me really kicks up my enjoyment of the book I am reading. I really liked the chapters where the actual lake monsters are discussed, especially in the epilogue but I feel like I waited the ENTIRE book for something of that sort. Looking back I think the monsters that are addressed in the titled are mostly the secrets of the Willie’s family’s past rather than actual, physical pointy teethed monsters.

This doesn’t happen very often to me but I found myself really disliking the main character. I just thought she was really bratty and rude to literally every one. It took me awhile to finish this book because I felt like there was a huge chunk of the book where nothing was really happening. I didn’t start getting into the story and the characters until the latter part of the book (literally into the 300s). It was definitely a family saga type story which I tend to enjoy but for some reason I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I wanted to although I did end up liking the book overall so I gave it a 3 star rating. If you are into family sagas this may be one that you might enjoy as there are mixed reviews for it on Goodreads so I think it’s worth giving it a read to see if you enjoy it. Although I didn’t love this book, I would be open to reading another book from this author as I did think her writing was beautiful.

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