Thursday, January 29, 2015

Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly {review}

by Marcy Kate Connolly
♦publisher:Harper Collin's Children's Books
♦released: February 10, 2015
♦hardcover, 432 pages
♦intended audience: MG/YA
♦source: from publisher for honest review
The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.
Review: The spellbinding fairy tale that is Monstrous is so many things: delight and horror and discovery and heroism.   From the very first page, we’re taken into Kymera’s world.  The storytelling feels like reading her daily journal, starting with the day she wakes up from the dead and going day by day as she rediscovers the world around her.  She’s been reanimated by her father from her own head and bits and pieces of other dead girls, along with a long barbed tail, inky black wings, and the eyes of a cat---all things she will need to carry out the mission he has intended her for. 

Kymera is a fun character---sweet, brave, inquisitive with a childlike innocence that comes from just being “reborn” into the world. She gets her ideals from her father and from the classic fairy tales she pours through. Like the heroes of her stories, she sets out, intent to save the girls of Bryre.  The only things she knows of the world is what her father has shown her, but she soon discovers the meaning of deceit, evil, revenge, and love.  She goes from having so much pride in pleasing her father, in her mission, and in the things she can do with her various non-human parts to finding out how alone she is and the ugly truth about how the rest of the world sees her.  She learns some hard lessons and finds the strength to rise above all that to truly be the person she wants to be. Such great character growth. She also meets a few friends along the way that provide some really heartfelt moments as she finds her way.

The writing is beautiful and haunting but there were times that I found the pacing a little slow. Still, a gorgeous story overall. This one gets pretty deep and dark at times, both in content and in theme---I really felt this straddled the line between MG and YA. So much heartbreak and triumph and beauty---and a magical bittersweet ending that felt in true fairy tale fashion.  

Find MarcyKate Connolly online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Monstrous:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon


  1. The combination of magic, fairy tale, and dark plot sounds really intriguing. Thanks for the review!

  2. Monstrous definitely sounds like a book I'd love to read! :D And so unique too. The way you described it somehow reminded me of a MG version of Frankenstein for some reason. Or even a little bit of how The Madman's Daughter began with Juliet learning how she wasn't fully human. Hopefully I can read this one someday soon! :)

  3. Yesss. <3 Amazing review Becky :D I'm so glad you ended up loving this book too. It was just all kinds of amazing, sigh. <3 I adored Kymera. And the plot. And the characters. And everything :D But that ending! Sobs. It made me so sad :( yet it was also kind of perfect. BUT SO SAD. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

  4. Very helpful review! I thought the book sounded interesting, but haven't been in the mood for MG things lately. Sounds like this one would be perfect for getting me back into those

  5. I haven't read many MG books but this one sounds really good. It seems to be a little darker than the usual fairy tale and I like that. I also love that cover, it's so pretty!