Sunday, September 2, 2012

Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fuma

Monstrous BeautyTitle: Monstrous Beauty
Author: Elizabeth Fuma
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publishing Date: September 4th 2012
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Series: Stand Alone with a Novella before story
Source: ARC paperback

Goodreads Summary:

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.


Mermaids seem to be overloading my bookshelf lately, and I love how different they all are. Monstrous Beauty is probably the darkest one I have read. It was mysterious, beautiful, thrilling, and full of surprises.

The book is really two stories that fold in together. The first story is about a mermaid, Syrenka, who falls for a human and both their lives are changed. Syrenka gives up the ocean life and Ezra gives up so much more. Their story starts centuries back. The second story is modern times; 17 year old Hester finds love on the beach in a mysterious and strange boy. Once she can’t seem to walk away from. Hester has been determined her entire life not to fall in love. She believes her family is cursed to die once they give birth and she doesn’t want history to repeat itself. Two stories that end up as one, connected in ways I didn’t see coming.

Hester and Syrenka are the main characters in this book with Ezra as a secondary character. The characters pulled me in from the very beginning. Syrenka’s dangerous but sweet, looking for love, wanting something more than what she has in the sea. She finds Ezra and falls in love. She is a monster yet she is still a woman who wants what most women want. Hester is very smart and adventurous, she has a future planned for herself but finds her it becoming more difficult to keep romantic feelings at bay, especially after she meets the boy on the beach. She fully believes in her family’s curse and becomes determined to find out if it is real; can she have a normal life?

The pacing was good in this book, page turner but the story didn’t progress too quickly leaving me behind scratching my head at the details. I was able to follow along and figure things out as they were coming together. There were a few “BAM” moments when I was shocked out of my wits and left me with my mouth hanging open. The feel of the book is very dark and mysterious and I fell into right away.

The book looks to be a standalone and has a pre-story novella. (I must read) The ending has a pretty solid conclusion so sadly, I don’t believe it’s a series. I will be looking for more from this author.



  1. It's sounds super good and I love the cover of this book. Her tail is so pretty and shining in the dark. I love your review of it too, will have to go check this one out.

  2. I think mermaids are the new "it" thing and I don't mind if they're as well done as you say this one is.


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