Guest Review from Erin: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

If you remember, I reviewed Plus One by Elizabeth Fama a couple of months ago!  I love that book and so naturally, I went out and got Monstrous Beauty to read!!

From Goodreads:

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.

From Erin:

Unfortunately, I didn't end up liking Monstrous Beauty the same way I do Plus One.  It was a good book, but to be honest, I probably won't read it again.  Monstrous Beauty is very different from Plus One in terms of story, which I think is nice, because you get to see authors try different things and see how versatile they can be!

I am OBSESSED with mermaid stories! I love them! I actually feel like I'm on a mermaid kick right now and trying to get my hands on stories with mermaids!  Monstrous Beauty is a dark, dark tale about mermaids.  I should mention, it's not a retelling of The Little Mermaid by any means.  Sure, mermaids falls in love with human, but other than that it's nothing like the fairytale.  The story is really...unusual.  I haven't really read anything quite like it, but it wasn't a hit with me.  Maybe it was just a little too strange for me to get totally on board with -- if you've read it, I think you'll know what I mean.  Nevertheless, there were some sweet moments that I really loved.  Oooh, like I really liked Hester and Ezra.  I was rooting for them the whole time and one of the things that kept me reading was so I could get to the next part where Hester and Ezra would meet again! One of my other favorite parts was the very beginning, too, where Syrenka...Merh, actually, I don't think I can say that without giving away a bunch of stuff...But, trust me! It is awesome!!!

There are couple of similarities in writing style that I noticed between Plus One and Monstrous Beauty! Both these books switch between modern day and the past.  In the case of Monstrous Beauty, it has a much bigger shift because it's going all the way to the past, into more of a historical fiction type setting, and it's telling a story about different characters.  Of course, these past sections relate very heavily to the Hester's storyline and like Plus One, it's woven in very well and smoothly.  Also, I feel like both Hester and Sol have very snappy, fierce characters which I really like and it's one of the similarities I noticed between the two books.

Overall rating:

So now a favorite, but still a fun read! If you like dark tales about mermaids, this is the book for you!! I'm not sure what Elizabeth Fama is writing next, but I am beyond excited to read whatever her next book might be! She's an awesome writer and she also sounds like a really cool person!!! :D See you all later!!!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)


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