Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Monstrous BeautyMonstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Release date: September 4, 2012
Pre order: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.

My thoughts: 
Holey moley!!  I had no clue that this book would A. be as creepy as it was and B. deal more with ghosts and history than actually mermaids.  Yes the mermaids play a big part but the ghosts play an even bigger part in my opinion and it was pure brilliance on the authors part!  This book was creepy, captivating and oh yeah not for the faint of heart.  *hehe*

This book has two stories in it.  One that dates back to 1872 and the other in 2011.  Told in alternating chapters we get to see two very different stories take place.   In 1872 we have Ezra who is intrigued with mythical legends of sea folk.  When he happens to stumble upon the very legend that he seeks he instantly falls in love and he knows that his life will never be the same again.  In 2011 we have Hester and she is not what I expected.  At first she seemed like your typical seventeen year old, she goes to school, has friends, and works in the summers.  Well what is interesting about Hester is that she works at a Pilgrim plantation, this is a place where everyday she gets to act like she is a pilgrim for the tourists.  I found all this very interesting and it gave Hester a whole different vibe than other girls that are in books today.  So cool!  Hester is also big into history and she lives in the same small town that her ancestors did.  This gives her a starting point when she starts to look into the "curse" that has befallen most of the women in her family.  You see after her mother gave birth she died shortly after, this happened to not only her but also her grandmother and her great-great-great grandmother.  Knowing that this could happen to her, Hester vows to never get close to anybody so that maybe she can break this "curse".  What she doesn't know is that this supposed curse goes way back in history and involves a soul, a baby, a mermaid, hatred, and love.

Sounds pretty cool right??!!   I know my little synopsis does not do the story justice by any means, but will give you a little glimpse into what this story is all about. There are so many characters and twists and turns throughout this book that I can guarantee you won't want to put it down.  I did mention that this isn't for the faint of heart right??  There are several parts of this book that gave me the shivers and they were a bit on the gory side, but man on man were they awesome!!  I loved every minute of it and I am so glad the author chose to include those little icky parts.  It was so amazing watching this story unfold piece by piece and to see Hester figure everything out. I really appreciated the paths these characters took.  There was no love triangle and no teenage angst, for the most part.  The romance was believable and I loved the way the author used souls.  It made everything come together perfectly.

Great characters, awesome plot with so many secrets that it took me up until the very last page to understand, and just an overall brilliant book about mermaids. What more could you ask for??!!

Find the Author:
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4 Snowflakes

We also have an audio clip to share with you!!  Our lovely friends over at Macmillan Audio have sent us a sample to share with all our awesome friends!  Take a listen!


  1. Great review. Sounds like a book I would like. Mermaids and creep factor -- love that. Thanks!

    1. Thanks!! This one definitely holds top spot in my favorite mermaid book category lol. I hope you get to read it soon!

  2. Wow, this sounds awesome! I did not expect for this to have ghosts and historical fiction, but I'm so glad it does because it all sounds amazing! Soo glad you enjoyed it and it didn't disappoint! Great review ^__^

    1. I didn't either Addie! It was a brilliant twist!! Thank you so much =)