by Elizabeth Fama
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) Release date : September 4th 2012
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Source: Traded | Format: ARC
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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.
Monstrous Beauty is the perfect book when it comes to my thoughts on mermaids. Fierce, beautiful and deadly. Gory and dark, this isn’t your little mermaid.
I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages, finally getting my hands on it with a trade. I’ve read my fair share of mermaid books, but nothing compares to Monstrous Beauty. Period. It mixes a curse, sea folk, and ghosts. And that’s just the beginning.
Honestly at first, it took to me awhile to really get into the story. Since we get two separate views, the past and present, it was hard to get into each part as a whole. Throughout the book, I was more interested in the past scenes, and what had happened to invoke the curse, and not too much as Hester’s side. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy her side, because I did. Once things get moving and a more rapid pace, the two stories weave together beautifully.
As Hester dives into her past to solve the mystery behind her lineage, we see it unfold before our eyes. Initially, this mysterious element of the story was taken from me, because I felt like there wasn’t much to figure out. There were a few other twists thrown in, that I didn’t see coming though.
Since the story has a large focus on love and romance, it was actually pretty absent. It’s more like the fuel to the fire that starts the blaze, and easily forgotten about once it’s burning. Which was fine by me. There is so much else going on to be swept away by.
My Peeve –
Nothing, other than my inability to get into the book at the beginning.
I loved it. Monstrous Beauty is a beautifully dark and gory book, that really sets itself apart from others in this genre. I highly recommend.