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Like “365 days” for young people.  I read the first volume of the hit “The Monet Family”

Like “365 days” for young people. I read the first volume of the hit “The Monet Family”

First there was Wattpad, then paper, and overall – a gigantic success. “The Monet Family” by Weronika Anna Marczak is a nationwide phenomenon. Subsequent volumes of the series do not leave the bestseller lists, and teenagers at book fairs can wait in line for the author for half a day. All right. What are these children actually reading? – writes Marta Nowak from


Hailie Monet is fourteen years old and her life is marked by tragedy. Immediately in the second paragraph of the novel, her mother and grandmother die. Hailie has an “endless stream of tears” streaming down Hailie’s cheeks, and she’s sure she’s going to an orphanage now. Fortunately, she comes up with something much better. She will move to the US to live with five half-brothers she had never known existed.

We learn all this in the first words of the first chapter of the first volume (“Treasure”), so I don’t accept spoilers. However, I loyally warn you that in the following parts of this text they will happen. Note: Hailie moves into a luxurious family mansion and goes to a prestigious school, but her strained relationship with her brothers doesn’t make up for it. Her life is controlled down to the smallest detail, and she has no idea what her brothers do. However, a keen reader can guess it: the Monet family is infamous, Hailie is not allowed to enter the business wing of the mansion, and guns are scattered around the house.

Here I would like to reassure all parents who read “365 days” in the title of this text with horror. It’s not about the teenager having promiscuous sex with an Italian. But in Blanka Lipińska’s novels, and in other gangster romances, it’s not just about sex – it’s about love, a sense of belonging and the thrilling thrill of knowing your loved ones are the mafia. “Treasure” to is much closer than farther. Let’s look at it together.

The difficult love of the Monet brothers

Here is Hailie, an ordinary girl (like Laura from “365 Days” or Anastasia from “50 Shades of Grey”), by a combination of circumstances completely beyond her control, she ends up in a golden cage built for her by a fabulously wealthy gangster. He can have anything he wants, but at the cost of his own freedom. At the entrance, elegant, handsome and cold as ice, Vincent Monet (Hailie’s eldest brother and legal guardian) presents her with a list of do’s and don’ts. She is to be polite, focus on her studies, stay within the walls of the property, and any contacts with boys are strictly forbidden to her. In school conditions, it will be ensured by those of her brothers who are also still learning. On the very first day, the menacing, muscular Monet intimidates the boy who just wanted to greet Hailie in the cafeteria. It’s hard not to see an analogy with Massim’s possessiveness in “365 Days”. Not toxic, but it can evoke a nice thrill in the reader. Here is someone powerful who loves and cares for you so much that he will not give you up to anyone and will protect you every step of the way.

The inspection at the Monet house does not end with the ban on dating. Hailie has a permanent shadow in the form of a bodyguard (unbeknownst to her at first). In addition, her brother follows what she reads on the Internet without her knowledge (this also comes out in the laundry). And although Hailie, like Laura, is bothered by this complete lack of privacy, then it turns out, of course, that it’s all for her own good. The boy with whom – breaking the ban – meets secretly, is in fact the last pig. A bodyguard is necessary because Monet’s enemies are after the fifteen-year-old girl’s life. It turns out that Hailie’s safety can only be ensured by her older brothers. Who are ruthless, aggressive and have a lot of secrets, but all in all it’s cool, because they joke cheerfully, and on Christmas they can stay up until noon in their pajamas.

The dynamics of the girl-gangster relationship also resembles that of “365 Days”. Massimo loves Laura, Vincent loves Hailie, and they both express it horribly ineptly. The dynamics of attraction and repulsion are similar, but the erotic love from “365 days” in “Coins” is replaced by family love. The brothers serve Hailie mainly admonitions, scolding and icy silence, only occasionally, on holidays, there is a hug and a warm word. But there is no need to worry about such a swing: in the course of the action, the girl will learn that she is the title “treasure” for her brothers and that family ties are the most important thing in the world for them. The final validation of Hailie’s values ​​by the eldest brother will be too, Vincent will tell his sister that she is “beautiful and smart”. And this is what adult women in “365 Days” and girls in “The Monet Family” are looking for: an intoxicating vision that no matter what, a strong man loves you very much, will take care of you and you can be one hundred percent sure his feelings. Even if it expresses them by checking your search history.

Sims house and inner experiences

Weronika Anna Marczak wrote “The Monet Family” after her studies, but she did not manage to avoid the most common sins of teenage writers. No one in the publishing house apparently thought that the Wattpad style could be improved. Even the mentions of what the heroine is wearing at what point in her life are touching (the news of her mother’s death found her in checkered shorts). Adjectivesis? It is too. The author does not regret the information that Vincent’s trousers are “elegant”, his shirt “classic”, his handwriting “neat”, Monet’s hair “thick”, eyebrows “quite thick”, and his brother’s earring “small”. The TV set is “big”, the bookcases are “high”, the corner is “huge”, the chairs are “nice and simple”, the fireplace is “modern” and “slender”, and the flame inside it is “colorful”. The descriptions of the interiors in general are so tediously precise that you can recreate an entire house in The Sims based on them. Let the quote speak for itself, here’s Hailie’s bathroom for example:

The tiles here were large, gray and gleaming. Glass doors led to the shower, where there was a place to sit, a shelf for gels and shampoos, and even a recess to put clothes and a towel so that they did not get wet during the shower. There was also a fluffy white bathrobe that looked so delicate it might fall apart in your hand. Of course, there was a simple white toilet, a cupboard built into the wall for towels arranged in color, as well as a round white bowl that served as a washbasin with a mirror hanging above it.

But okay, style with style (let’s be honest, the situation improves a bit with the next chapters of “Treasure”). The first volume of “The Monet Family” also has undoubted advantages. The needs of a teenage girl traumatized after losing her mother are credibly shown – what she most wants is acceptance, understanding and safe physical closeness (in the book, practically every moment when the brothers hug Hailie plays an important role). The topic of eating disorders comes up along with the message that it is better to offer your sister a snack together in a relaxed atmosphere than to stand and shout for her to eat a cutlet. “Treasure” also shows the teenage need for attention or the naivety of the first crush. And it convincingly shows how even “good” girls rebel, test boundaries and act on impulse.

Finale: for parents

OK, but is this a book suitable for children at all? the watchful guardian asked. I’m in a hurry to explain. There is nothing to worry about in erotic matters. Fourteen-year-old and then fifteen-year-old Hailie reacts prudishly to anything related to sex. Erotica in the library “avoids a wide berth”, and the picture with a naked woman “immediately turns away”. “Treasure” also teaches that if a teenager in the cinema wants to kiss a teenager, he probably has the worst intentions. Better to stay home with my brothers.

There is a lot of violence in the book – bloody fights, justice meted out to enemies, threatening each other with weapons, and even one corpse. But the most glaring – at least in the first volume – seems to be the same as in “365 days”. From “Treasure” you can learn that male control is a symptom of love and care. And when a cold, dry, bossy type says two kind words to you, that’s the greatest possible reward.

If someone who is thinking about forbidding their daughter to read “Family Monet” has reached this point, I will say perversely: Vincent Monet would forbid it. And everyone must consider in their hearts whether they really want to follow in his footsteps.

Source: Gazeta

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