➿ [Download] ➽ Monstrous Beauty By Elizabeth Fama ➵ – Horse-zine.co.uk

Monstrous Beauty pdf Monstrous Beauty, ebook Monstrous Beauty, epub Monstrous Beauty, doc Monstrous Beauty, e-pub Monstrous Beauty, Monstrous Beauty 726938f6412 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 ConsequencesAlmost 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

10 thoughts on “Monstrous Beauty

  1. says:

    Take a photographic tour of the Monstrous Beauty world as Elizabeth Fama stops by The Midnight Garden to kick off her blog tour Plus win a finished hardcover of the book It was a woman as pale and luminescent as a ghost, with swirling white hair Ezra startled, dropping his pencil into the water Her face snapped toward him Her eyes were too large, clear green, and had horizontal, slit shaped pupils, reminiscent of an octopus. Did your pulse quicken when you read that paragraph Mine did I had a feeling I was going to love this book, because it blends several different things that I love mermaids, the nineteenth century, and ghosts What I wasn t prepared for was an unconventionally striking story that will definitely not appeal to someone looking for a typical YA paranormal book I found this dark fairy tale to be wildly exciting and utterly gorgeous, however, and I think it will find its audience in readers who enjoy literary fiction or mature YA.In the late 1800s, a mermaid named Syrenka makes a terrible mistake in judgment as she seeks companionship More than a hundred years later, 16 year old Hester searches for the mystery behind a tragic curse that has haunted her family for generations The book alternates between past and present in a small fishing town in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the shifts in time and multiple POVs are handled with skillful aplomb Deep secrets are slowly revealed in both young women s pasts, and a fine thread of tension running through the story eventually escalates into scenes of shocking madness and violence There are despairing stolen souls Creepy churchyards A woman drowned in a sarcophagus Rape Underwater doll graveyards A boy who view spoiler quite literally hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Those two stars up there are for the mermaids, which ironically were the main reason I felt hesitant to read this But damn if she didn t deliver on the mermaids These ladies are creepy, clawed, razor toothed monsters capable of twisted magic The prologue of this book, wherein the mermaid Syrenka tries to make love to the man she s been watching for months and then accidentally kills him, had me completely enthralled And then the story flashed forward by a few hundred years and Hester showed up Hester lost my sympathy almost immediately Poor, poor Hester Every woman in her maternal line dies shortly after giving birth, and so Hester has decided that she needs to be alone, forever and ever She can t possibly have a relationship of any kind, because obviously there is no easily available and reliable form of birth control And obviously, it s impossible to have a relationship with someone without your respective gametes coming into contact And she can t ever have a child so why date Because that is in fact the sole purpose of dating Poor Hester likes her best friend Peter, but he never notices her And he shows his complete disdain for her presence by talking to her, worrying about her feelings, flirting with her, and presenting her with thoughtful gifts Poor Hester can t have anything in this horrible, horrible world.And so, after discovering a silverfish in one of her books, flashing back to an odd incident 10 years ago involving a ton of silverfish, and attending church for the first time in a decade, Hester decides that she absolutely needs to solve the mystery of some possible deaths and or hauntings at said church Because that makes complete sense She then throws herself into the mystery, avoiding friends and family, breaking laws, and putting her life in danger where necessary to solve it After all, a century old mystery ABSOLUTELY NEEDS to be solved during the calendar week that you randomly decide to start investigating it I m almost certain that s in the protocol.Too bad we readers are not in charge of solving this thing because I m pretty sure we d have it all wrapped up in about 20 pages, given the number of textual clues But no instead we get to wait around for Hester to try and figure things out And then when she never figures anything out, we get to wait for her to be led by the hand to the solutions And then wait for everything to be explained in detail so she finally, FINALLY gets it.At least her parents are the most absentee parents of all time, so they aren t around to get in the way And at least all the villains and even some of the minor side characters are one dimensional evil brutes, so, by comparison, Hester seems almost sympathetic but no no Her friend Peter, the heartless cad, seems than willing to forgive her anyway, for brushing him off, treating him like dirt, outright lying to him, belittling his concerns, and flaunting her love for another man And by love I, of course, mean deep and sudden attachment to a person she s only met once and barely knows And yeah, the whole instant attraction thing does sort of make sense once you know what s going on but that isn t until the end of the book and in the mean time you have to deal with Hester carelessly tossing away all of her tightly held values in a matter of minutes, for some random dude who lives in a cave And yeah, maybe the whole instant interest in the mystery thing makes some sense once you read the ending too, but in the mean time you have to deal with Hester appearing to be dense than New England fog It s hard to swallow.However, one thing that s clear is that this author loves research, which lends a lot of atmosphere to the historical parts but is sometimes a bit too apparent, such as when the narrator randomly stops to explain why a flask of whiskey would remain fresh for a century right before Hester takes a swig an action which has almost nothing to do with the plot She also has a great imagination I enjoyed the fantasy elements than anything else and I might actually be sort of interested in reading something from Fama that s a strict fantasy Probably not, though I did not enjoy this book If you re looking for a haunting story with depth and a paranormal twist, I would read Margo Lanagan s The Brides of Rollrock Island instead.Perfect Musical PairingAvril Lavigne I m With YouThe sheer whiny self pity in this song, coupled with the instalove reference makes it perfect in my mind.Also seen at The Readventurer.

  3. says:

    Elizabeth Fama s Monstrous Beauty is a dark and twisted concoction of myth, curses, history, and murder It is a piercing story about a mermaid who longs to love and a young girl who has discarded any hope of it I haven t read many sea folk lore, and so won t pretend to understand this new and original approach to the mermaid legend The story is certainly mature, however, daring to be graphic and seasoned if you catch my meaning , than most young adult novels in the market In fact, dare I say that this ranks as highbrow teen fiction in my reader s opinion But I digress I meant to say that I can see the innovative appeal in Fama s presentation of merpeople Innovative is quoted because is it innovative to bring something back to basics Because that is what I found most intriguing We have been thoroughly saturated with lies by Disney Disney has deceived us, people Not all fairy tales end in happily ever after And Fama knows this Her mermaids reject Ariel Instead, they go back to the time when a mermaid did not simply lose her voice but had her tongue cut out when a mermaid did not simply grow legs but had to endure the sense of walking on knives when standing on her feet when a mermaid did not marry her prince but had to watch the man she loved fall in love with another and when a mermaid did not go on to live a wonderfully fulfilled life but died and turned into sea foam Fama s sea folk are beasts of the sea, they are feral and violent acts of butchery come as naturally to them as it does for us to slay a slab of beef And this isn t even half of what makes this book good.Fama gives to us Syrenka A lovely, passionate, powerful, and ferocious creature of yearning She is ancient and in her long life has suffered imprisonment and loneliness She is willing oh, all too willing to yield all that defines herfor love But she has lost before and so with this second coming, she determines to make everything right She is quick but rash, fervent but reckless And she makes a mistake, and this mistake will tie her, for an undetermined period of time, to Hester, a seventeen year old whose life is turned upside down by a mysterious man who seems to know her indeed, know her to her very core The divide between Syrenka s chapters and Hester s chapters are distinct Syrenka s chapters are stunning, where Fama has certainly captured an atmosphere I only wish Hester s were treated with the same deliberate care But perhaps it is simply the period that Syrenka lived in the romance of 17th century and Hester in the derivativeness of the modern era Perhaps it is simply our own time s staleness that Fama could not bend her language around no offense, 21st century, I love you Because this woman can write Syrenka and Ezra s conversations seemed, at times a stretch but I m flexible , pleasantly imbued with a Godard esque existentialismness It did, okay And that s what got me It was a dialogue I hadn t read the likes of in my on going quest of young adult literature I ve had beautifully sparse language, and I ve had prettily embellished language but not quite this Why this wasn t a perfect novel through and through is because it eventually subsided to normal dialectbut I remember And I suppose the plot itself did not unfold as mysteriously enlightening as it could have I wasn t quite sure which ones I was supposed to figure out with her help or which ones I just did on my own because I am that clever Suffice it to say, when certain revelations came to Hester, I was already sitting, hunched, and gesturing my hands that meant Uh, duh But suffice it also to say that I was slightly knocked off my feet by the twists and turns Fama s twisted, unforgiving mind has created Boy, they were good They came around the corner, unseen, and I went running the other way But they got me, the devils The romance in this story is well done It s complicated, which makes describing the premise problematic but worry not Syrenka and Ezra are not un reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet and, even, Cathy and Heathcliff It is a love complicated but so deeply earnest And from it erupts this story Monstrous Beauty is a must read It has character that may not be suited for all readers But to those who this may win over just yet An ARC was provided by the publisher.

  4. says:

    I have tried to read mermaid books a new hype in today s YA market and book after book I keep finding myself disappointed, realizing that these water beings are simply not my forte until now Is it the dark, twisted plot Is it the violent, yet beautiful story Is it the combination of local sea lore mixed with curses, murders, love, and horror Let s just say, this is definitely up my alley than the froufrou mermaid books that I have been using for kindling lately.Monstrous Beauty welcomes the old sea folk lore, where mermaids are beautiful, perilous beasts who seduce and kill those who unfortunately come upon their waters There is even mention of specific lore details such as the goddess Atargatis I can t say I was extremely familiar with the mythology myself, but this book piqued my interest enough to have me browsing Wikipedia to learn about it It s a very fascinating subject with a lot of history and legends surrounding it Though knowing absolutely nothing about the history of these sea creatures will not diminish your enjoyment of this book in the least, it s merely to say that it will increase your appetite for it Rich imagery created by brilliant descriptions turns these mythical beings, as well as their underwater world, the villagers, the alternating time periods, all of it, into a strikingly picturesque tale It may revolve around it, but the mermaids are not the only thing to look forward to in this novel we have a cursed family, a love story, an enthralling history, and even a few ghosts Naturally, with such vicious creatures in our midst, we get a plot that is much darker than your usual paranormal mermaid novel It s violent, gory at times, with scenes of horror and seduction that I would not normally expect from a YA novel, making me recommend this for mature readers I found these aspects really impacted the seriousness of the mermaid myth They are not, in fact, sweet loveable creatures They re manipulative, treacherous monsters who will make you look at The Little Mermaid in a whole new light Hester is dealing with a genetic defect that has killed all mothers in her family after they have given birth, but when she meets the mysterious Ezra, he helps her figure out some answers to this apparent curse The mesmerizing manner this story is told keeps a perfect pace, constantly bringing us deeper into this fiercely gripping tale, never letting our attention falter While Hester is delving farther into her unusual family history, we get thrown into the past where a passionate love story with mermaid Syrenka and her human lover unfolds With the past and the present intertwining in ways than one, this whirlwind romance quickly becomes a richly developed mystery And even though I solved large parts of it long before Hester in some cases I even marveled at how easily she could have deciphered it if only she thought it through for a minute I still enjoyed the thrilling climax which is soon followed by a flawless ending.Exciting, dark, and positively gorgeous, Monstrous Beauty has finally given me a mermaid book to rave about, throwing my expectations right out of the water Ha I made a pun A must read for those who would prefer their mermaid books in a sinister tone An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.For of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads

  5. says:

    This review is also available over at my blog._________________________Part of my Mermaid Marathon, round two.The year is 1872, and Syrenka, a mermaid, falls in love with the gorgeous Ezra, and makes the deadly decision to become mortal and live a life with him Flash forward to almost 140 years later, Hester Goodwin meets a stranger with the same name, who seems to be living in a cave at the beach In Hester s family, love has always lead to death After the women in her family give birth to a child, they always mysteriously die the same day With Ezra s help, Hester discovers and about her family s cursed history and her connection to Syrenka But she ll have to get past the powerful forces both on land and under the sea that are standing in her way.The chapters in this book alternate from the past and the present It s told from multiple points of views but mainly Hester, Syrenka and Ezra Both the past and present chapters always kept me engaged Although the present chapters didn t have much action until closer to the end, I still loved discovering of the history of Hester s family, and the fact that there are also the chapters that take place in the past really help I liked finding out that everything was connected in some way.There wasn t nearly enough mermaids in this book, though Not enough for me, at least In fact, there are also a lot of ghosts and spirits in this book Some of the characters from the past chapters become spirits in the present chapters We don t really find out that much about the mermaid world until near the end.Then we have the romance, which is the reason that I had to take away a star from the rating Syrenka and Ezra s romance wasn t technically insta love, I guess, since it took quite a while for them to really truly be together.Hester and Ezra s romance, however, really bugged me Right off the bat, when Hester first meets him, it s lust at first sight She didn t even find it weird at all that this guy lived in a cave and was wearing 19th century clothing And then all of a sudden they start kissing and saying they love each other and I m just rolling my eyes But luckily the romance didn t annoy me enough to lose interest in reading.Was I happy with the ending Sure Were all my questions answered I guess Do I think the ending gave the possibility of a sequel Nah, I don t think so It was a decent ending for a standalone, and I really would have no idea where the story would go if there was ever a sequel planned.Overall this was a very enjoyable book I liked the characters, the supernatural aspect even though I wish there were mermaids rather than ghosts , and how everything in the story was intertwined Although I do have to take away a star due to the unfortunate insta love.Still, I would definitely recommend this to you if you re looking for a great mermaid read It wouldn t be my first recommendation, but it would be one of them if you re looking for several._________________________Pre reading Am I the only one who completely resents the cover change._ I mean, ugh The old cover looked ten times better, in my opinion Well, it isn t that impressive either but I think it looks better.And OMG look at the German cover They re so much better compared to this one e_e Blech.

  6. says:

    Monstrous Beauty was disturbing, tragic and yet beautiful and hopeful Hester comes from a tragic line of women Each mother in her family who s given birth has dies within days of delivery Hester s mother, her grandmother, her great grandmother, and so on Hester believes this is some sort of genetic anomaly and the only way to avoid death is to avoid love, marriage and pregnancy Little does she know that this affliction is anything but genetic but stems from something far sinister The past and present collide with alternating chapters as the mystery is slowly revealed Let me tell you it s a brutal and violent history, and one that s filled with a desperate all consuming love Did I mention the scary amoral sea creatures I seriously could have nightmares This is one eerily creepy story There was a romance that I was rooting for, and I wished it was developed a little further, but I still enjoyed this story even so I won this audio CD off a blog I frequent and I m so glad I did because it s not a book I would ve picked up on my own The writing was masterful and the prose was beautiful The narrator was brilliant I felt my heart pound in scenes with nervousness, longing, horror, disappointment, and envy as she brought each character to life She brought the story alive with her versatile and passionate delivery Each accent and voice were flawless, IMO Just the right emotion was conveyed for each scene I highly recommend it I enjoyed listening to this story so much, I decided to share the love and give away my audio CD copy Come visit The Readers Den for a chance to win.

  7. says:

    1.5 Stars I didn t like it, but I still managed to read the whole thing.So I finally did it I read a mermaid book My disdain for this trend was already pretty big considering I had yet to actually dip my toes in it, but when I started seeing one fabulous review after the other pour in for Monstrous Beauty I was determined that this would be the mermaid book for me It was described as literary and haunting, beautifully written with dark, Gothic touches Perfect for me Oh, how wrong I was.The Lore I m torn about the mermaid lore in Monstrous Beauty On the one hand, I love their physical descriptions, their general rules of being, and I pumped my fist like a mofo when Syrenka ripped open that rapist s chest and ate his lungs the best part of the whole damn book imho , but on the other hand it was all just so convenient We didn t learn a single thing about mermaids or anything else for that matter that wasn t immediately relevant to the tale at hand It wasn t as if the story existed within this world that already existed, it was as if the world was being constructed to support the story Also, didn t Syrenka tell Ezra that to become human she had to bear a human child And yet, it never occurred to him to ask her what she was doing with legs The willful ignorance of the characters and the all too convenient story lines were glaring.It s a bit rapey up in here One aspect that particularly bothered me was the rapey ness of the whole thing A man who would go to great lengths to save another from the evil grips of a mermaid would suddenly be overcome with the need to rape her Not to mention the fact that in the present day, Hester is continually leered at, physically accosted, and treated in a generally lecherous manner that is shrugged off almost as if this is perfectly normal male behavior Um what A dude pushes himself on you, you manage to scare him off raping you by seeming crazypants, and you prove you re crazy by not telling anyone about this creep How is that okay You let dudes eye bang you and proposition you for sex while you re at work, and you don t tell them off because you think your boss would be annoyed at you for breaking character Yeah, pretty sure if your boss would actually be upset with you over asserting your right not to be treated like a sex toy on the job, you need to find a new place to work But, Hester s complete confusing lack of sense aside, why do all of these men in this book act this way Are we as readers supposed to accept that most guys out there are just waiting for the opportunity to rape women, or is this supposed to be some mermaid mojo that they unknowingly hold over human men If this is some sort of power that s supposed to have been worked into the lore, we should see that, but it s not there And so we come to the fact that the only decent guy in this whole book is Peter and Hester How do I disdain thee Let me count the ways Well, I already mentioned the I m going to let guys treat me like crap thing, so how about the I m going to treat guys like crap right back thing Peter, her best friend, is so obviously in love with her and such a good guy she does not in any way deserve him She completely brushes him off, ditches him, and even has the gall to ask him for help doing illegal things after all of that Then she gets all huffy when he asks if maybe she did this other illegal thing that she did do, makes him worry about her all night, and then at the end is all oh you ve been worried about me Whatever, I ll tell you about it some other time, how bout you read my dead lover s headstone for me Peter s feelings are never once addressed.And those illegal things Made no sense Hester supposedly wants to be a historian, but no history program in their right mind would accept her First, Hester inexplicably needs to steal a book from the rare section of the library Side note loved the librarian here who was awesome and helpful in Hester s genealogical research The librarians let her look at this book as much as she wants She expresses shock that she s allowed to touch it, but then as soon as their backs are turned she shoves it in her backpack Then, she also has to steal a doll from the museum She has to steal it right that second It s so important, even though the task she needs it for has been left undone for well over a hundred years, and I m pretty sure a day or two to go through legitimate channels would make no real difference She potentially damages historical property in order to complete this task and almost certainly destroys the doll Clearly Hester has no real respect for this field she wants to be a part of.Then, let s talk about her curse Hester believes and rightly so that the women in her family carry a curse that will make them die shortly after giving birth Okay so she decides that she can t have children Logical enough, right Nope To Hester, not having kids equates to I can never be in a relationship with anyone ever Apparently, she had the sing song First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage drilled into her head to the point of severe brainwashing Since when does not wanting children mean you can t have love What kind of message does that send Sure, I ll hand it to Elizabeth Fama, she addresses the notion of birth control, but Hester believes that without surgical procedures, there s no guarantee love won t mean death for her This is ridiculous Birth control, when taken properly, is extremely effective The pill, for example, is over 99% effective Set a freaking alarm and take it at the exact same time every day, then make your partner wear a condom as a backup form of birth control I pretty much guarantee you re not going to get knocked up unless you re some kind of fertile wonder Hester sits around all mopey about her lot in life without ever really thinking about her options or taking control After reading other heroines that don t want kids, but have enough agency to still be happy in life because IT S OKAY TO NOT WANT KIDS look at Katsa or Aya , Hester was just insufferable.The Relationship Insta love, no development, inexplicably drawn to one another could I be less interested Hester, who has decided that she must be alone forever to the point where she has only one friend and treats him like dirt, instantly drops all of her hard earned personal strife when she meets Ezra Which says to me not oh I ve been suffering with this curse and now I can t resist love but, oh hey, no one s ever good enough for me, but this dude s cute so I guess I m good to go now Seriously, she has one real conversation with him and then is ready to make out and potentially drop what little life she has to hang out with him on the beach forever That s healthy emotional growth for ya.The explanation Okay, first, I have to say that the urgency of this mystery made zero sense to me Hester had this unexplained need to suddenly uncover the details of her family curse, free pinned spirits, and fix something that s been happening for over 100 years There was no reason behind her urgency or actions, no legitimate motivation spurring her on Then, Hester uncovers the fact that she holds Syrenka s soul within her body I didn t find this charming or self sacrificing on Syrenka s part, I found it pretty messed up Syrenka throws her soul into the empty shell of her own daughter s body after realizing that she d used her own daughter s soul to pin the spirit of Ezra and apparently everyone else who died that day though I m pretty sure this was never addressed See maybe it s just me but I don t get this Putting your soul into someone else s body doesn t save that person That person doesn t exist, the body is a shell Sticking your soul in their body only gives you a new body It s not self sacrificing, it s self indulgent It s some weird method of practicing immortality I didn t think oh how lovely when this was explained, mostly I just felt disturbed and it made me dislike Syrenka .The obvious I don t deal well with characters who don t figure things out as fast as readers I really don t deal well with characters who take as long to figure out the obvious as Hester does The fact that Hester is seeing and communicating with ghosts is obvious to the reader from the beginning They literally tell her that no one else talks to them, but she still doesn t get it In fact, after she finally begrudgingly accepts that one character must be a ghost, it never occurs to her that these other people who are obviously displaced in time might also be dead Really, Hester Obviously, I failed to find Monstrous Beauty beautiful I didn t feel as if there was any emotional development, the world building was a patch job, the pacing inexplicable, and the outcome unsatisfactory Maybe I should just stay away from mermaids all together from now on

  8. says:

    Wow. I can t even begin to explain how thoroughly excellent Monstrous Beauty is It s to the point where I don t even want to write a review, because, and I ve said this before, it s not going to come close to truly showing how amazing this book is Monstrous Beauty has everything that would make a book awesome mermaids, ghosts, a curse, an awesome mystery, and an absolutely excellent plot The plot Oh my, that plot was Wow It took me some time to get used to the transitioning time periods, but when I did get used to it, I realized how awesome it was Have you ever seen the movie Memento If you haven t, the main thing about it is that it s presented as two different sequences of scenes one in black and white sequences that s shown chronologically, and one in color sequences that s shown in reverse order The two sequences eventually meet in the end, forming one story Monstrous Beauty is like that There s one set of sequences set in the late 1800 s that follows the main mermaid, Syrenka, and then there s another set of sequences set in the present day that follows the main character, Hester I really can t say a lot about them, because so much in this book could be a spoiler, and I really don t want to spoil this book for anyone I think the only negative things Monstrous Beauty had going for it were its predictability though it may not be predictable for you I found most of the plot twists coming, but that was only because I obsessively kept track of the characters in this book by taking notes If I hadn t taken notes, I most likely would not have seen most of the twists coming , and the fact that I didn t really care for the characters up until the last 10% or so The characters were good and all, it s just I didn t really care for them too much, and the only thing I really cared about was the awesome plot, and how everything would tie together in the end My thoughts on the characters really on Hester, Syrenka, Ezra, Pastor McKee and Linnie changed immensely at the end, and I actually found myself crying although I cry at everything Another extremely awesome aspect to Monstrous Beauty was Hester researching her heritage, and finding how everything related to her However, I felt that it became really complicated and keeping up with all the characters and their histories got difficult, so I had to write myself some notes That doesn t make it bad, though, it just get s extremely complicated, so I suggest taking some notes if you get confused easily when it comes to characters and their histories like me Oh, and the mermaids in this book were vicious They sure don t sing Instead of singing, they actually rip open people s chests, rip out their hearts and swallow it whole, and eat people s lungs You know, the usual I don t think I ll ever be able to watch The Little Mermaid the same way again slowly backs away That s right, Ariel I see you I know what you re capable of Don t try and fool meOverall, Monstrous Beauty was twisted, disturbing, graphic, heartbreaking and beautiful.And I loved every single moment of it.

  9. says:

    This is a mermaid story Consider yourself warned I have yet to read a mermaid story that I actually really, really liked I was hoping to like this as much because it comes backed by our lovely Wendy but I think this is one of the few times our tastes will diverge I found the novel strong, likable but ultimately stereotypical of all others that exist It didn t give me anything new but it was an entertaining read.The writing is strong and smooth I liked the characterizations and I thought that Syrenka was one of the most intriguing mermaids I have come across so far I wish the book had stuck with her and not Hester The plot was well thought out and I liked the old Pastor and Linnie Sam was also adorable Why does Hester call her father Malcolm and not dad This was never discussed but occurred enough times to become an issue with me.The story moves between time and this was not done smoothly The transitions often feel jarring and have the effect of jerking you out of the story and breaking whatever cadence you have built up so far Hester treats her best friend and crush before the arrival of the ghost dude horribly Very horribly This does not make me warm to her At all Spoilers ahead, highlight to read view spoiler And okay, I don t know why no one in the novel addressed this but Ezra, the ghostly love interest, kills a little girl in the novel Yes, the circumstances were extenuating but the character shown in extenuating circumstances is what or how a person will be judged and Ezra is scum, worse than scum because he doesn t seem to have any remorse for what he did hide spoiler

  10. says:

    Hester Goodwin is like any other teenage girl she goes to school, she crushes on her best friend, she works weekends and summers at the Pilgrim village at her local community However, the women in her family have suffered from a strange affliction they all die within a few days of giving birth to a child The idea that she might find love only to die scares Hester so badly that she decides she doesn t want to have a relationship, ever, but then she meets the odd, handsome Ezra, who encourages her to look into her family history for the origin of this curse.And it is a strange origin, going back all the way to 1872 where a naturologist and a mermaid fall in love, leading her to seek life on land But merfolk and men were not meant to mingle, and the consequences of their decisions leads to a tragic end.Monstrous Beauty starts off slow, builds up raplidly and finishes on such a breathless note that it had me glued to my chair and reading until near midnight From the outset, it looks like any other YA book inexplicable attractions and all but it soon takes a turn for the dark and macabre The narrative alternates between modern day Plymouth and 1872 1873, and follows both Hester and the mermaid Syrenka, until their stories meet and entwine to a really satisfying conclusion.Now, I have to say, I looked forward to Syrenka s chapters a lot than I did for Hester s even if her name translates to something less scary or exotic in Bulgarian She, along with most of the characters in those segments, is very well fleshed out, three dimentional, and heartbreaking Her story unravels constantly to new and tragic ends, which really made my heart go out to her That is not to say the story is perfect, though There are quite a lot of small things that made me pause, but there are only a couple of them that I felt could have been handled better.I said that the book starts off slow, and part of the reason why is because I didn t get much of a feel for Hester as a character Compared to Syrenka s, her segments and the characters in them are underdeveloped, and I never could buy her motivation Yeah, okay, the women in her family often die after giving birth, but she s a teenage girl I can t believe she would just think she s doomed if she falls in love, not without at least challenging the assumption.But as the book progresses, Hester becomes a really cool character too Once she realizes that somethings is up and shit got real, she puts on her big girl pants and does what she has to do Refreshingly enough, she needs no help to do it either Yes, her motivation is a guy, but the guy is absolutely helpless and she has to deal with every obstacle by herself, and I think she emerges as a stronger character from it view spoiler As for the other problem, it involves Syrenka To become human and have a soul, she must give birth to a human child and eat a human s lungs She gets captured by a drunk fisherman who rapes her, and then, when he regrets it and cuts her free, she kills him Now, in the grand scheme of things, this only contributes further to the story, but Syrenka is never seen having any conflicted feelings about her child, she loves her unconditionally Again, it s possible, but there is no struggle there, no conflict It ignores the violence that happened to Syrenka, and what effect it had on her, as if to say that no matter what, children are sacred.In fact, the whole novel seems to have pretty strong religious undertones to it, but it s certainly not preachy, and it adds, rather than takes away, to the overall story hide spoiler

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