6

100 Follower Giveaway Time!

Oh my gosh!

Can I just tell you how surreal it is to know that 120 of you follow BookTasty?!

It is so exciting and humbling and awesome! I originally started this blog during a really trying time in my life as an emotional outlet as well as a way to help connect readers (young and old) to books they will love! I never really dreamed that more than a handful of my friends would read it, let alone follow it!  It’s majorly humbling.

So, because you are all so awesome  (SO AWESOME!) I wanted to do a little something to say “thank you”! So THANK YOU!

But I didn’t just want to say thank you, I also wanted to show my gratitude by hosting a 100 Follower Giveaway where you have the opportunity to win 1 of 3 middle grade/young adult titles!

Cool! What titles? Well 3 winners will win 1 of the following titles, all of which are some of my favorite MG/YA books ever!Giveaway Books

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

I LOVE THESE BOOKS!! :)

Okay! So, how do you enter this giveaway? Well, there is just one step to enter. All entries must be completed by Sunday, October 7 2012  (midnight Eastern Standard Time).

Fill out the form below. It’s simple and quick!
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This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. I will announce the winner on Monday October 8, 2012 on a special winner post. That person will have 48 hours to email me their mailing address or I will select another winner.

I’m really excited and hope you are too!  Thank you again for making my blogging experience so fun!

3

Where the Fiction Stops and the History Begins: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Hello!

About a year ago a librarian friend recommended Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly to me.  I had pretty much forgotten about it until I saw the audiobook at my local public library! (Yay publib libraries!)

Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss Revolution by Jennifer Donnellyof her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.  Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
 
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

I was super obsessed with this audiobook! Honestly, I’m always a fan of historical fiction but Revolution added a whole new level of coolness to a genre I already love.

So, as a history major in college, I already knew a good deal about the French Revolution, but I’d never heard the story and controversy surrounding Louis-Charles, the youngest son of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.  Holy crap what a crazy intriguing story to use as the catalyst for Andi’s self discovery and healing!

Donnelly’s weaving together of the modern and historical narratives seriously made me wonder where the fiction stops and the history begins.  I love it when historical fiction is written that well! After finishing the book I spent at least an hour scouring websites searching for more information on the French Revolution and the story of the “Lost Dauphin”.

The story was awesome, but I did have a difficult time connecting to the super tough, broken and distraught Andi. She actually intimated me upon first meeting her in the beginning of the book! If I met Andi in real life I’d be way to scared to even be within 5o feet of her! But, I do think that’s the point.  When we meet her in the beginning of the story, she isn’t who she was meant to be. She is instead a brittle, prickly shell of her self struggling with intense guilt.

As I mentioned before I listened to the audiobook and loved it.  There were two narrators, one for Andi and one for Alexandrine and both were consistent because that’s a huge thing for me!

Revolution is most definitely Young Adult, not middle grades, but I do think some mature middle schoolers could read it. I was really, really captivated by this book and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good historical fiction read!

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (October 12, 2010)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 15 hrs and 1 min

Narrator(s): Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering

Series: standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Revolution

7

Waiting on Wednesday: Star Cursed

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we’re waiting on!

This past spring I read Jessica Spotswood’s debut YA novel Born Wicked. Book two, Star Cursed, is the title I’m waiting on this week!  I’m really pushing the limit with this one because I have pretty much nothing to report about this book!  The cover hasn’t been revealed yet, and there isn’t even a summary on Goodreads yet! Seriously!! And Star Cursed isn’t scheduled to be released until June 2013, which is a really long way away!

Since I have nothing about Star Cursed to share with you, other than the title, check out the summary for book one, Born Wicked. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

I assume Star Cursed will continue pretty much where Born Wicked left off. Sorry, to not have much to share, but I really want this book to come now!  What book(s) are you waiting on this week?

24

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Just Haven’t Finished…Yet!

Haaay!

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! Remember, that Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blogging event hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a theme that we create a list around.  The theme this week is Book Series I Just Haven’t Finished.

I adore reading books that are part of a series.  It’s just so fun to see the story and characters I love continue!  I get so incredibly sad when a series ends because it’s like saying “goodbye” to friends and a setting I love! I know all my bookish peeps out there will totally get this! I usually always finish a series once I start it, but once in a while I just don’t get around to it as fast as I’d like. Sometimes I’m just not feeling a story enough to bother taking the time to continue reading.  So, these may be series that I didn’t like, or even those I loved and just haven’t gotten around to finishing yet. Yet, being the key word!

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn ChildsForgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Over the summer I finally got a chance to read book one, Forgive My Fins, and I can’t wait until I can read book two, Fins are Forever!

Forest Born by Shannon HaleThe Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale

I am a massive Shannon Hale fan and it still shames me a little to think that I’ve read the first three books in this series but not the fourth, Forest Born! Soon!

Across the Universe by Beth RevisAcross the Universe by Beth Revis

About a month or two ago I read Across the Universe, book one, and need to read A Million Suns like whoa.

Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society by Ally Carter

Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors and I am obsessed with her Gallagher Girls books.  I finally got around to reading Heist Society over the summer and really, really want to read book two, Uncommon Criminals.

The Treasure Map of Boys by E LockhartThe Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart

This series is one I just love, although I’ve only read books one and two.  I actually have The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver, sitting on the floor next to bed waiting to be read!

Silence by Becca FitzpatrickHush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

This series is one of my guilty pleasures.  I’ve only read books one and two, but I know I have to finish the series! Silence, book three, has been eluding me at my public library so I still haven’t gotten to it.

Percy Jackson by Rick RiordanThe Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan

My students love this series. My husband loves this series.  I…thought it was okay.  I know! I know! I’m the only one out there!  But, I really didn’t love this book like others did and I just didn’t feel like spending the time to read the rest of the books.

Envy by Anna GodbersenThe Luxe by Anna Godbersen

This series was so tantalizing!  I loved the fashion, the romance and the drama of it all! I have only read the first two books but I intend to read the rest of them!

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day GeorgeThe Princess series by Jessica Day George

Love, love, love Jessica Day George and retold fairy tales! The first one was so good I need to make room for The Princess of Glass soon!

Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies by Scott Westerfeld

Okay.  Let me say I thought Uglies was AWESOME! I thought Pretties was just okay. I just don’t know if I’m a fan of the direction the story took and I don’t really want to read book three, Specials.

Have you finished these series? Which do I need to make a priorities? Are there any particular series that you haven’t finished yet but want to?

4

Hits the Spot:The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Well hello there!

This summer I read all fifteen of the Florida Sunshine State Books.  The Florida Sunshine State Books are a list of fifteen middle grade titles that were chosen by librarians and teachers throughout the state.  These books are selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and/or multicultural representation. I’m a huge fan of this list as it has introduced me to some of my favorite middle grades authors!

One of the books on this year’s list is The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P Figg (TMTAoHPF) by Rodman Philbrick.  The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Master storyteller Rodman Philbrick takes readers on a colorful journey as young Homer Figg sets off to follow his brother into the thick of the Civil War. Through a series of fascinating events, Homer’s older brother has been illegally sold to the Union Army. It is up to Homer to find him and save him. Along the way, he encounters strange but real people of that era: two tricksters who steal his money, a snake-oil salesman, a hot-air balloonist, and finally, the Maine regiment who saved Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg and won the war for the Union.

Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a good middle grades novel and when you are, The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg is a fun read. It kinda hits the spot!

Homer’s story starts in the Northern states during the U.S. Civil War and centers around his search for his older brother who has been sold into the Union Army as an underage solider. Homer is a lovable character who is observant and smart, if not a little silly at times. Homer is also adventurous and is willing to do anything, even if it means getting captured by the Confederate Army, to locate and save his beloved brother.

All in all TMTAoHPF manages to tell a fun adventure story in the midst of a deadly Civil War. Philbrick mixes humor and seriousness in such a way that you don’t feel like he’s making light of the situation, but he isn’t breaking your heart either. The perfect mix for middle grades fiction, I believe! Perfect for older elementary aged students and up.

Regarding use in the middle school social studies classroom, I do think that TMTAoHPFis best suited for younger middle school students and even older elementary aged students. That being said, in Florida the Civil War is studied in 8th grade American History, and I don’t know if my 8th graders would enjoy this book as much as the 6th or 7th graders would.  I could be totally wrong, but the 8th graders at my school have edgier reading tastes. Now, don’t think” my 8th grader wouldn’t like it then”,  because they might and mine might too! :)  However, if the Civil War is taught in different grade level or you think your students would enjoy it then I highly recommend it for use in the classroom!

Author: Rodman Philbrick 

Publisher: The Blue Sky Press (Janurary 1, 2009)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 224 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: The Mostly True Adventures Of Homer P. Figg

7

Waiting on Wednesday: How My Summer Went Up in Flames

Hello!

Remember that Waiting on Wednesday is weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine and is intended to promote books that we’re eagerly anticipating.  It’s been a few week’s since I’ve done a Waiting on Wednesday post; things just got crazy busy and before I knew it Wednesday had come and gone!

How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato DoktorskiThis week I’m excited about How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski. I stumbled across this book while browing some other bloggers’ WoWs a few weeks ago. 

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.

I really think this cover is super adorable and it seems like it’ll be both a fun and emotional read.  I’ve never heard of this author and there aren’t any other books listed on her GoodReads page, so this must be her debut novel!  GoodReads also lists the book as being released on May 7 2013…I know right?! We have to wait a little under a year for this one?! Well, I’ll try to be as patient as possible!

What books are you waiting on this week?

9

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish People I’d Like to Hang Out With

Hi there everyone!

It’s time for the weekly Top Ten Tuesday List!  Top Ten Tuesday is a blogging event hosted by The Broke and Bookish where they post a theme to create a list to.  Today’s theme is Bookish People I’d Like to Meet, or Hang Out With. This could mean authors or book bloggers etc…   So, let me just clarify that I would pretty much like to meet any author whose books I’ve read and loved (same for Book Bloggers), but I did have to narrow it down to a few.  So here we go!

1. Jane Austen (Author of Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and five other novels)Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’m sure this technically doesn’t count since Jane Austen is you know…dead…but I don’t care. She is my favorite author ever and I know this probably

2. Shannon Hale (Author of Princess Academy, The Books of Bayern series, and the Austenland series)

I’m pretty sure that Shannon Hale and I would get along really well.  I share her love of fairy tales, Jane Austen (see above)  and Colin Firth so I’m sure we’d have other things in common too.  Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

3. Kyle at A Reader’s Pensieve (Book Blogger)

Every time Kyle and I chat on Twitter it become more and more clear that we have TONS in common.  She was one of my first blogger friends and I think we’d really hit it off if we ever had the chance to meet!  Hopefully one day we will!

4. Sarah Dessen (author of Along for the Ride and What Happened to Goodbye)

I am so impressed with the emotional depth that Sarah Dessen writes about. Also, I love following her on Twitter! She tweets about her live on a farm, obsession with GMA, and her insecurities.  She just seems like such a vulnerable real person who is in touch with who she is.  I admire that.

5. Kim Mai Guest (audiobook narrator for Incarceron series, and Anna and the French Kiss)

I have a secret dream to be an audiobook narrator. I think my accents sound great…my husband, not so much! Hahaha So, if I got the chance to hang out with Kim Mai Guest for a little while maybe she could coach me on accents and give me awesome tips. I admire her narrating ability and would love to just listen to her talk for hours…is that creepy?!

6. Sherry at Library Fanatic (Book Blogger/Middle School Librarian)

I always appreciate Sherry’s librarian insight and ideas.  She seems like she works hard to make her library a fun, relaxing and welcoming place for her students.  Also, she is a runner!  I feel like if we ever got the chance to hang out, we’d run and discuss librarian things and books! What could be better than that?!

7. Jennifer (Book Blogger from Novel Thoughts and ARCycling)

Jennifer has always been super friendly online! Also a book lover, she created the ARCycling program so that bloggers, teachers, and librarians can share the ARC love!  Isn’t that an awesome idea?

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George8. Jessica Day George (Author of the Princess of the Midnight Ball series and Tuesdays at the Castle)

So, this is actually cheating because I’ve already met Jessica Day George at a FAME conference in Orlando, Florida a few years ago.  But I love her books, the fact that she also likes fairy tales, and the fact that she just seems so normal and funny.  I’d love to get the chance to meet her again and hang out. Actually, I’d want to chill with both her AND Shannon Hale together.  THAT would be awesome!

9. Meg Cabot (author of the Princess Diaries series and the Heather Wells series)

Meg Cabot just seems like a really fun person to be around.  I have nothing more to say than that…isn’t that enough?

10. Jennifer Ehle (audiobook narrator for Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare)

Okay, so again this is cheating. Jennifer Ehle isn’t really a bookish person per se, but she has portrayed characters from books in films (ie. Elizabeth Bennet!!). I LOVED her narration for Clockwork Angel and although I do love the narrators for the following books in the series, I just think Jennifer Ehle did a fabulous job!  Plus did I mention?  ELIZABETH BENNET?!  Yup.

Who are some of the bookish people you’d like to meet or hang out with?

3

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Ponder the Deeper Things in Life

Welly howdy!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a list theme for book bloggers to participate in.

This week’s theme is Books That Made You Think. So, I have a list of books that made me ponder the deeper things in life. Now, I will say that I tend to prefer books on the lighter sides because I don’t like books that make me cry!  I’m such a crier in normal life that when I read books I like happyish endings.  But, I have read some books that fit this category.  So, here they are! (Sorry no pictures this week my internet at home is down so I’m posting at work and the connection is slllooow…) 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This book is centered around bullying and teenage suicide. Working with teens, especially those labeled ”at-risk” made this book so meaningful to me. It is an intense read, but is also worth the emotional rollercoaster ride.  If you haven’t read it, you should.

2. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Park weaves together two stories of African youth affected by difficult times.  One is the story of a boy trying to survive in the face of civil war in his homeland, while the other tells of a young girl who has the responsibility of providing water for her family every day. Civil war? Poverty? The reality of life in a third world country? This one definitely made me think.

3. The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Such an amazing true story of a German teen in the 1930s/1940s who grows to reject Hitler’s teachings and eventually takes a stand against them.  It was interesting to get the perspective of one who had originally been a member of the Hitler Youth because you rarely get to see that point of view.

4. May B by Caroline Starr Rose

A novel in verse about a girl living on the prairie struggling to survive a harsh winter.  The book also deals with dyslexia and made me, as an educator, wonder how students with disabilities fared in school during past eras. It must have been isolating, and confusing to not understand why everyone else was “getting it” while you were having trouble.

5.In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

 about a girl who does nothing to counteract the false rumors that a boy from school raped her, is so incredibly thought-provoking.  It made me think of lies, even those of omission, and the effects and consequences they can have in our lives.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Herandani6. The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

This debut middle grades novel deals mainly with the idea of identity. The main character, Sonia,  is of both Jewish-American and Indian heritage and is struggling to figure out where she fits in her new school and in life altogether.  Sonia is also dealing with an out of work father who is struggling with depression and goes missing. I’d never read a middle grades novel displaying a parent with depression before. 

7. The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Peterson

More civil war and ethnic killing…The Day of the Pelican tells the story of a young girl and her Muslim Albanian family trying to survive in the middle of the Kosovo War.  Talk about a perspective adjustment for those of us who have never experienced war on our own soil.

8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I loved this YA sci-fi story filled with themes of genetics and ethics. It had the “whoa thats cool!” factor but also made you realize that meddling in genetics has major ethical consequences.

9. Matched by Ally Condie

The dystopian world Condie creates has immense restrictions on creativity. The governmentMatched by Ally Condie has deleted all but a hundred songs, a hundred paintings, a hundred books etc… from the world’s memory.  People are not allowed to create new songs or books or paintings either.  With these type of restrictions the ability to create anything (words for example) gives power.  As the wife of a musician I can’t even imagine a world without creativity!

10. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this one before (it’s not YA or MG though) but this book blew my mind when I read it in my senior AP Lit class eleven years ago! I had never read anything like it in my life.  Chalk full of a dystopian society run by religion that puts restrictions on everything including sex and child-bearing.  Talk about making me think!

So there you have it- books that really made me think! What are some books that made you ponder the deeper things in life?

1

Putting the Spy Skills to the Test: Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Welcome back!

It’s time to talk about the newest installment in one of my favorite YA series out there! I Out of Sight, Out of Time is the fifth book in the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter.

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carterprotect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

So, we know that the Gallagher Girls are really cool and really fun (I still want to be a Gallagher Girl so bad!!!), but in Out of Sight, Out of Time we get proof that these spies in training are tougher and stronger than they originally appear.  Because this is the most serious and dangerous of all five books, we get to see Cammie and her friends really put their spy skills to the test.

Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors because I am convinced she can do anything.  She successfully takes a dark plot involving a terrorist group and a girl’s amnesia and manages to mix in the perfect amount of light-hearted fun and humor that I love about the other books. It’s a good mimic of real life in difficult times.  I read a quote somewhere, although I’m not sure where anymore, that basically said, “sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying”.  Boy is that the truth!  I love how Carter brings this truth to life in this series, with this book in particular.

There were some major questions answered in Out of Sight, Out of Time, but there is still so much that Cammie and her friends (us too!) have to learn and do in order to move on and potentially put an end to this scary cat and mouse chase. I cannot wait for Carter’s next (and possibly last?!?!) in the Gallagher Girls books and I recommend this series to anyone looking for an awesome action packed read! Also, if you’re looking for a good series to listen to on audiobook, check this one out because the narrator Renee Raudman (who does the whole series) does a great job!

Author: Ally Carter

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (March 20, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length:  7 hours, 42 minutes

Narrator(s): Renee Raudman

Series: Fifth book in the Gallagher Girls series

YA/MG: YA/MG

Buy the Book:  Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls)

5

Seductive Sirens: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Southern Book Bloggers ARC ToursHello!

I was lucky enough to read Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama as part of the Southern Book Bloggers ARC Tour. (THANK YOU!)

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth FamaFierce, 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.

I have to start by clarifying that Monstrous Beauty was my second venture into mermaid fiction and I found it absolutely mesmerizing!  It was so incredibly different from the first mermaid book I’ve read (Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs).  Where as Forgive My Fins was a light-hearted teen romance, Monstrous Beauty was a dark and foreboding mystery.

Fama weaves together a story rich in historical fiction and fantasy.  The story is set in both historical and modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The town is almost a character in and of itself and acts as a means of connecting Hester and Syrenka’s narratives to one another. Siren mythology isn’t one you hear much about, so I think the historical setting of Monstrous Beauty works well with the story of mythical sea creatures.

Let’s talk about these mermaids for a second.  They’re not fun frolicking Ariel type mermaids. No.  They’re actually dangerous beauties with fins sharp as knives and razor teeth. I like this more traditional approach to the siren mythology which details seductive sirens luring unsuspecting men to their watery deaths. It’s just so intriguing and yet Fama makes you question the truth behind the myths.

Each chapter switches from Hester to Ezra and Syrenka’s perspective which I loved because both stories were so intriguing. I really felt connected to Hester (despite her unfortunate name) because of her love for history. I was a history major in college and I’ve always wanted to work as a historical interpreter at a historical site like she does! My husband knows he’s taking a gamble if we ever visit Colonial Williamsburg…I might end up in costume and he’ll never get me home!

Now, I will say that I did guess the truth to the mystery surrounding Hester’s family way before I think I was supposed to, but this didn’t hinder my interest in the story in any way. There is one pretty graphic scene, that would make me hesitate to recommend Monstrous Beauty to middle grades readers. All in all, I think readers who are high school aged and older will really enjoy this magical mix of fantasy and history.

Author: Elizabeth Fama

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (September 4, 2012)

Format: ARC, paperback

Length: 295 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Monstrous Beauty