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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Monstrous Beauty

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.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 304 pages
Source: NetGalley ARC
Expected Publication Date: September 4th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)      

Early last month I finally got around to reading the ARC of Monstrous Beauty and the whole time I was reading it I was cursing myself for not reading it sooner. Then again in the beginning I was a bit skeptical about the whole mermaid premise because it seems to be the new thing for YA novels just like Twilight and other vampire/werewolf novels were the thing to be a few years back.
The great thing that happened was that I was completely wrong about this book because it was actually very well written and even more surprising to me was that the book was a little more complex than I expected.

At first I had a bit of a hard time getting into the novel because of Hester. I wasn't overly fond of her character in the beginning mostly because she acted a bit like a school marm at first and I have a strong dislike for the name Hester. Petty, I know but every reader has their quirks.

However, the more I read on the more I became fascinated with Syrenka, Ezra and Hester and how their stories intertwined. The way that the author wrote the book in alternating points of view worked extremely well because when the points of view shifted more and more of the story became clear. I have to say though that Syrenka (and boy do I love that name) was my favourite character. There was just something about her that made me really like her.

I really enjoyed the fact that Hester had to solve the mystery surrounding Syrenka, Ezra and herself and why she was able to see things that others couldn't. There was a darker under current to the book than I expected but it worked out well. I also liked seeing Hester grow as a character because in the beginning I wasn't sure of what to make of her.

If you're looking for a book with some good plot twists, great characters and mermaids this one should probably be on your list of books to read. Every chapter revealed something new and unexpected. The book was so well written I can't help but wish this were a series. I do have to warn you though if you're looking for a light and fluffy mermaid book than this one will surprise you with how dark it is. I loved that the book had a lot of substance to it and that it wasn't a fluffy read. I think there should be more books like this so if you love YA reads check this one out! I can't wait to read more by this author.  This is definetly one of the best books I've read this year.

* I received a free copy of this book from the published via NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own and I was not compensated in any way.
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Awesome, I loved it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★




  1. Great review! I too was skeptical about this book because of the mermaid hype. Now I'm eagerly waiting for my copy to arrive. :)

  2. Great review as always. Very well written and entertaining. Your doing such a wonderful job with your blog. Im proud of you


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