Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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.
This book is just...I don't know what word I should use here because one word cannot sum up what I feel about this book. I love Monstrous Beauty and want to recommend it for everyone but as the same time I hate this book and just want to burn it. There are so many things in this book that I feel so wrong and I just can't look pass it.
Ok, first let's talk about why I love this book: I've to admit Elizabeth is a wonderful story teller. It gave me chills when I read the book. It felt like someone reading me a fairy tale but also as the same time a cursed story that can give you a nightmare for the rest of your life. The story is going back and forth between the past and the present, side by side to complete a whole picture and to give the reader the deep of the story, of why it began in the first place. Let's me warn you that this is not a Disney fluffy version of mermaid but a tale of mermaid's love and the consequence of it. It makes you wonder if it's really worth it. How can we praise it as beautiful love when it only brings sorrow and death? One night, just one night but look at how many people suffer from it, that one single night that decides all. I don't know, call me whatever you want but if love can be the death of me and make me surfer for eternity. Well I'd rather be alone. I like Hester a lot because when she learns about the truth, she is strong to let go and move on.
Now let's move on to the things that disturb me and prevent me from loving this book wholly. First of all there are so many deaths that I think what the point of it. I don't know if it's just me that don't get the reason behind their deaths and think they die for no reason. I feel like they are being punished because they did one wrong thing (like the girl died because she'd lied..etc etc). But really is it necessary for them to die? Second of all, Hester and Erza...ugh, so gross and unpleasant. I know it's not their fault because they didn't know but still when I know the truth I just really. No word =X .
This is really a bittersweet story. Where is it that has gone wrong that caused this disaster? who is the one really at fault here? ... I can't stop reading this book even some scenes that bugged me because Monstrous Beauty is really a captivating tale about the desperate love.