Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

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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.

About Elizabeth Fama

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Elizabeth Fama is the author of Overboard, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She is obsessively drawn to graveyards and water, both of which are featured in her upcoming teen novel Monstrous Beauty. She lives with, and cannot live without, her boisterous and creative family in Chicago, IL. Visit her online at
Published September 4, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 302 pages
Genres: Romance, Horror, Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Monstrous Beauty

Kirkus Reviews

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A mermaid's attraction to a man begets both love and evil in the waters off Plymouth, Mass., where these exotic creatures have always lived and will live forever.

Jun 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Monstrous Beauty

Deseret News

Syrenka is a mermaid who lives off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., and in the 1870s, she falls in love with a man named Ezra.

Sep 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Monstrous Beauty

WAPL Teens

Suddenly, her resolve to steer clear of love is gone, and when Ezra offers to help Hester solve the mystery of her family's curse, Hester eagerly begins digging into her past, revealing a dark history of death and love.

Oct 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Monstrous Beauty

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