Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Book: Monstrous Beauty
By: Elizabeth Fama
Published: September 4, 2012
Published By: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Description: 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: Monstrous Beauty is  (quite obviously) a story about mermaids. In this story Mermaids are said to be monsters that lure humans to their deaths with their unearthly beauty. Our MC, has some weird connection to them, and to people on land who no one can see or hear. She soon learns about a curse upon her family, and is the only person who can break it.

This book was pretty predictable and often a bit unrealistic. I had to ignore some things, like parents who let a kid stay out all night, or museums who don’t have tougher security, or libraries who allow unknown people to read locked/secured books without proper identification or some kind. Still, despite its predictability, I still enjoyed the ride to see how everything was resolved. I give this one 3 Stars.


Sue Bursztynski said...

Sounds like The Little Mermaid with some horror elements. ;-) I haven't read this one, but I can relate to your irritation at elements that make it hard to suspend disbelief. You'd think the editor would have caught it, but you never know; I have read a much-raved-about YA novel by a well-known local writer in which these elements come up frequently - a dead body found in the museum and nobody clears out the place for the police to investigate, the museum cafe is closed one page and open for the heroine and her workmate/romantic interest to go have a coffee and cake while recovering from the shock, then they manage to do their own investigation in places where in real life they would be thrown out! But this lady is one who can get away with this sort of thing, with cover raves comparing her to Agatha Christie, etc.

Lan said...

I haven't read an mermaid book so far that's really done it for me. I do love this cover though. It's really beautiful. Such a shame the story itself didn't blow you away.

Sherre said...

Lan: Yea it is a shame.

Sue: I guess there's always something for everyone.

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