Review: Monstrous Beauty (Elizabeth Fama)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 304
Publisher: September 4th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ISBN: 9780374373665
Source: e-galley from NetGalley
Read it in 1 day



Monstrous BeautyFierce, 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.

Oh. My. Goodness. Go ahead and slap yourself now. This book is phenomenal. It’s almost beyond words.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of books featuring mermaids, but this book broke all the molds. It defied all my expectations. I was expecting something like a love story with a little under the sea action, but that is not what I got. What I did find is a fantastic story that had mermaids, an evil sea witch, ghosts, and true love. Wow x 3.

Yep, I said ghosts and mermaids. Epicness. The way the alternating points of view intermingled was amazing. To flip from a story set in 1873 to present day—and to do it flawlessly—was fantastic. I loved every page. EVERY PAGE! And the last few chapters were intense. Speaking of intense, there is this one scene that made my stomach lurch. OMGoodness. It was so awful. It still haunts me.

I honestly don’t know what to say about this book. Read it. That’s all I can say. Read it and love it. Enjoy its epicness. Savor the mystery and the haunting romance of star-crossed lovers. Devour every page. You’ll want this one on your keeper shelf.



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NEW blurb for The Twice Lost (Sarah Porter)

Soooo... Have you heard the great news? The amazingly talented (and author of one of my alltime favorite series)Sarah Porter has just announced that there is a blurb for book 3 (final book) in the Lost Voices trilogy.


Here it is! A sneak peak into The Twice Lost!

** Possible spoiler alert if you haven't read Waking Storms. You've been warned! **


Mermaids have been sinking ships and drowning humans for centuries, and now the government is determined to put an end to the mermaid problem—by slaughtering all of them. Luce, one mermaid with exceptionally threatening abilities, becomes their number-one target, hunted as she flees down the coast toward San Francisco.

There she finds hundreds of mermaids living in exile under the docks of the bay. These are the Twice Lost: once-human girls lost the first time when a trauma turned them into mermaids, and lost the second time when they broke mermaid law and were rejected by their tribes. Luce is stunned when they elect her as their leader. But she won’t be their queen. She’ll be their general. And they will become the Twice Lost Army—because this is war.

But how can the mermaids defend themselves when Luce is determined to stop her followers from killing humans? How can she convince humans to listen to them? And it’s one thing for Luce to forgive humanity, but another for her to forgive Dorian, the boy who betrayed her—even when he fights to prove his love to her again.

In the exhilarating conclusion to the Lost Voices trilogy, both the mermaid and the human worlds are changed forever by a collision as savage as it is astonishing.
 

I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait. I would actually consider giving my left kidney to read this book right now. (I have two after all, why do I need the back up, right?) If you want to keep current on all things mermaid and Sarah Porter, check out her website HERE.  


Review: The Brides of Rollrock Island (Margo Lanagan)



The Brides of Rollrock IslandOn remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings--and to catch their wives.
The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment.





Product Details:
Reading level: older YA, adult
Pages: 320
Publisher: February 2nd 2012 by David Fickling Books
ISBN: 9780857560339
Source: NetGalley




Oh. Man. Not at all what I expected. Not even close! I’m still undecided how I feel about this one. Honestly, I didn’t like it. It took me forever (in my terms) to finish this book! Not a good sign.

Why didn’t I like The Brides of Rollrock Island? Well… It all started with the first 70 pages or so. Could this have been any more confusing? I couldn’t keep the characters straight. It was so irritating. My poor brain didn’t know what it was reading (and this is not a problem that I typically have). So you can see why I was frustrated, right? If I can’t make sense of who is telling the story, then how can I decipher the plot? Ugh. As the book went on, I figured out how things were working so that problem became less of an issue, but it still made for a rough start. 

The set up for this book was interesting too. It’s told from multiple points of view. Basically, each “chapter” is a new part of the Rollrock Island history that is told from the point of view of a new generation. While it did give an interesting quality to the story, I felt it interfered with the overall story. I could dissect the story further and show some of the positives, but I don’t want to go through the effort. You would have to read this book to understand what I was saying anyway. As a piece of literature, I can see some positive qualities, but I personally did not enjoy this book. 

I also didn’t care for the writing. I know, I know… Yes, it was well written and the descriptions were very detailed. But I am sorry, it felt wordy at times. In fact, I found myself skipping entire pages and finding that I hadn’t missed a bit of information. There is something wrong with that. Add that to my initial “problem” with the book, and my attention span is gone. Done. Finis. I have nothing left to give as a reader.

** Not a kid friendly review from this point forward **
 Now, add both of those complaints to my gripes with the characters themselves. WTH. The men in this book infuriated me. I have NEVER felt so much disgust and contempt for a group of characters in my life. How am I supposed to buy in that these pervs are so freakin’ horny that they are ready to knock boots with anything that pops up naked from the sea? Yeah, that’s what’s happening… grrrr. And the freak-o that keeps the poor sealwoman in the closest as a sperm depository and then GLOATS about it to his wife and family? Oh, hell no. I shut down right there. I was so disgusted with how quickly these men threw away their individual sense of decency that I couldn’t recover. No matter what else I read, I couldn’t get past this. 
** End non-kid friendly portion **

Of course, the teacher in me is conflicted. While, as a reader, I did not connect with this story, I can see its purpose in a (mature) classroom setting. The setting is phenomenal. The characters are so screwed up that they make the perfect discussion point. The fact that all this sealwomen enchantment started up (again) out of revenge would open the door to a very interesting conversation. Plus, the story being continued through different generations of Rollrock inhabitants gives an unique angle. But, despite my conflicted views, overall I did not like this book. As something I picked up for fun, I did not enjoy my time reading. I finished out of a sense of commitment, not because I was captivated by the story.  


Pinterest + Images = Book Cover Love (Mythology)

If you love mythology like I do, you'll appreciate this cartoon. (Which also serves as an intro to today's cover appeal topic).

Pinned Image



I don't think there is much I could say about how amazing these images are. I love mythology as it is, so if I found a book with any of these covers, I would instantly add it to my growing list. I would even buy a new bookshelf if I had to.

athena
Athena!

Aphrodite
Aphrodite?

Medusa
Medusa


Medusa
I was thinking Persephone... don't know why.

Erebos - Greek Mythology
Erobos... and super creepy! Love it.

mythology
??? 


mythology
Icarus!


medusa


Don't you just love the guys? What a great way to bring boys into mythology! Love them.

Next Week: Neverland

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