Monstrous Beauty

Genre: Paranormal YA Romance
Publication: September 4th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Audiobook provided by publisher for review
Get your own: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
synopsis 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.

Deliciously dark and romantic, this take on mermaids and mystery is phenomenal!

A mystery that stretches across time

At it’s heart, Monstrous Beauty is a fantastic mystery, one that stretches from pre-colonial times to the modern age. At the center of the mystery is Syrenka, a mermaid who has longed for love, a woman who has suffered centuries of loneliness only to have the chance for true happiness dangled in front of her eyes…and threatened the closer she gets to it.

Add in a modern girl with a curse

Somehow intertwined in Syrenka’s story is that of Hester, a girl who knows better than to ever take a chance on love, because she knows love can kill her. Hester has spent her life knowing she must be alone and yet for the first time she finds herself tempted when she meets the elusive Ezra. Over the course of time she comes to learn about the true nature of the curse that’s plagued the women in her family for generations.

Character Driven Drama

While the mystery of this story is superbly woven and the romance is DEFINITELY swoon-worthy, it’s the characters that shine in Ms. Fama’s gorgeous tale of love. Strong female characters are complimented by equally strong and varied men; all of which are so fully conceived and deliciously portrayed that every moment in this story is a true pleasure.

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

This book has everything to keep you warm on these cool fall nights: mystery, romance and drama a plenty. This is a DEFINITE must read!!


Get your own Audiobook at Title (unabridged, 8hrs 1min)

I ABSOLUTELY adored the audioverion of this book. The narrator, Katherine Kellgren, did a superb job of bringing these varied characters to life. And my favorite extra was the conversation between Katherine and Elizabeth Fama about their approaches to the book. It was amazing!!! Definitely, DEFINITELY pick up this audiobook!!!!!

Now go and get lost…in a book!
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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.
Mary @ BookSwarm 11/29/2012

While I sometimes have a hard time with mermaids, this one sounds intriguing, because of the mystery and the battle with love. And I do love a good romance!
Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted..Speed Date with Dred: HOW TO MARRY A WARLOCK IN 10 DAYS by Saranna DeWyldeMy Profile

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Pushy 11/29/2012

Mary, this book is AMAZING!!! And it’s far more about they mystery that ties all these characters together than it is about mermaid lore. You should definitely check it out!!
Pushy recently posted..Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth FamaMy Profile

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Ashley 11/29/2012

I’m glad you enjoyed this book! I’ve had my eye on it for a few months.. it sounds pretty darn awesome! I’m psyched that it got a stellar Bewitched rating!

And of course.. swoon-worthy romance… ♥ ♥ ♥ YUM!
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Pushy 11/29/2012

Hey, Ashley! I hadn’t heard much about this book before I read it and I’m surprised it’s not out there more. This is a fantastic book!! You should definitely pick it up!!!
Pushy recently posted..Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth FamaMy Profile

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For some reason the cover of this book makes me think that it’s the second book in a series. I swear I’ve read a book with a very similar cover that started a series.
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kimbacaffeinate 11/30/2012

Sweet Pushy I am so glad this was dark , I was gonna pass on this as I’ve been disappointed by recent siren books..but you make this sound like a must read!
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I have seen this one and was curious. After your review I think I will have to find this one and soon. Amazing review.

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