Author: Elizabeth Fama
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release: September 4, 2012
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
I’m going to be honest and let you know that I read Monstrous Beauty in January (it’s now the end of October) and am just now writing my review. So if things seem unclear, it’s because I am a procrastinator and should have written my review months ago. But enough of that.
At first, I didn’t enjoy Monstrous Beauty. It took a bit for the story to pick up, and before it did I found the book to be quite bland. But once it did kick into high gear, with mystery and thrill racing through every page, Monstrous Beauty turned into a book I couldn’t and wouldn’t put down.
The characters weren’t outstanding per se. They fulfilled their roles, but none stand out to me as noteworthy. The interactions between the characters, though, I found to be quite satisfying. Along with the chilling storyline, the characters are what really drive Monstrous Beauty.
Something I do remember very vividly is that Monstrous Beauty tells two tales, one past and one present. The stories seem unrelated at first, but as the stories progress, their connection tightens until they are one in the same. And both of these storylines are pulse-pounding, atmospheric, and downright creepy.
Though I can’t remember it as well as I’d like, having read Monstrous Beauty months ago, I do remember it being a spooky, sometimes horrifying novel. It’s perfect for this time of the year, and I do recommend reading it.
Whew, I’m glad I finally wrote that review!