Mermaids, murder, curses, and ghosts, Elizabeth Fama's new novel has it all. Monstrous Beauty is a Gothic love story set between two time periods. Syrenka, a beautiful mermaid living in the late 1800s, falls passionately in love with Ezra, a young naturalist researching sea folklore. Her decision to abandon her life at sea and marry Ezra results in terrible consequences that last long after her death. Hester Goodwin is a modern-day teenager tormented by a strange genetic curse: all the women in her family have died shortly after childbirth. Hester has vowed never to fall in love, but she drawn to a mysterious stranger named Ezra who wants to help her learn more about her family's unique history. Fama's novel offers many surprising twists as the two stories intertwine.
This creepy, page-turner is sure to be popular with a lot of girls, though I doubt Twilight
popular. Fama is a talented writer, and she does a great job of mixing the historical and contemporary stories. Monstrous Beauty strength lies in its captivating characters, especially Syrenka. Her ability to attract violence is both tragic and fascinating. This novel is not for faint of heart or those looking for a sweet, mermaid tale. These mermaids murder men and eat their organs. There is also a rape in the novel that is central to the story. For the mature fans of paranormal romance and ghost stories, Monstrous Beauty is an incredibly satisfying read.
4 out of 5 stars
Grades 9 and up