Okay, so I'm new to the whole mermaid thing. I've never been a really huge fan of them, they just sort of bored me. But I really had been wanting to read Monstrous Beauty, so I decided to give it a try.
Syrenka, a mermaid, and Ezra, a human, meet and fall in love. They would spend time together, Ezra in his boat, and Syrenka in the water. They knew it was frowned upon, so they kept it secret. Until Syrenka decides she wants to risk everything and become human. Over 100 years later, a teenage girl named Hester meets a stranger on the beach named Ezra. She had sworn to never fall in love because of a history of women in her family who fell in love and then died soon after. She decides to look more into her family's story and find out exactly what is causing these mysterious deaths.
Elizabeth Fama made me a fan of mermaids. All I want to do now is read about these creatures from under the sea. Monstrous Beauty was so creepy, so weird, and I loved every moment of it. The mermaids were so strange, definitely not the "Little Mermaid" vibe that I thought it would be. When I read the synopsis for this, I instantly was reminded of Ariel - mermaid meets boy, falls in love, gives up everything to become human. I was so happy that Fama took that story line and made it twisted.
I LOVED Syrenka. What happened to her was so depressing but so beautiful at the same time, if that's possible? It's hard to write without giving too many spoilers away, but I wanted to cry for her. Not to mention she was such a well-rounded character, which may seem strange if you've read the book, but she was. She loved Ezra enough to do whatever it took to be with him, but also did some horrible things. She wasn't good, but she wasn't evil either. She was a character that you wanted to root for, but at the same time condemn her for some of the decisions she made. It's normally very hard for me to feel that way about a character - usually, I either love them or hate them. But Syrenka provided me with an up and down rollercoaster.
I also really loved Fama's writing. Normally I don't comment on writing, because I feel that I'm not a good judge of it, but everything about it was just beautiful in this novel. It wasn't repetitive, it didn't drag on and on.
All in all, Monstrous Beauty was an awesome read. It was mysterious, twisted, creepy, and everything I needed in my first mermaid book. I only wish it was going to be a series.
More reviews can be found on my blog, Booktacular