Tuesday, February 03, 2015 10:45

Review 212. MarcyKate Connolly – Monstrous.

16181516Title: Monstrous.
Author: MarcyKate Connolly.
Pages: 432.
Published: February 10th 2015 by HarperCollins Children's Books.
Sort: Stand-alone.
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.
Rating:

What a surprising ending! That was absolutely the best part about this book, because I never saw it coming and I thought it was a brave decision for a Middle Grade book. I was bothered by Kymera’s ignorance, but at the same time I think this will work great for children. Most of them are innocent too, so I bet they will devour this fairytale-like story.

Kymera got an extreme make-over. Her father brought her back from the death and he enhanced her body with wings and a spiky tail she can use to stun people. He tells her a tale about a wizard who killed her and her mother and he created her to rescue other girls from the same fate. Despite his warnings about other humans, Kymera starts seeing a boy she meets on one of her rescuing nights. Ren works as messenger boy for the King and he’s not aware of Kymera’s ‘monstrous’ identity. Kymera slowly starts to break free from her father and that’s when she starts to see things the way they are. Father might not be completely honest about his intentions.

Kymera was an interesting character. Her body can be used as a weapon, but her spirit is too innocent and childlike. She’s not happy with her spiky tail and how it automatically reacts when she is in trouble. I liked that Kymera starts to show more spunk in the middle of the book. She doesn’t blindly obey her father anymore and she values her beginning friendship with Ren. It took her a lot of time to figure out what is quit obvious from the beginning, but this nativity also gave her a certain charm. It's a young girl and it's understandable she completely trusts her father. It felt realistic.

The friendship between Kymera and Ren gave me mixed feelings. When he finds out that she is a ‘monster’ he is very supportive of her, but he never gives her a chance when the truth comes out. He even betrays her in a dangerous situation and I wish he had showed more loyalty towards his friend. I like that, with most MG books, there is no romance. The story really doesn’t need it. Kymera’s friendship with another character was more heart-warming.

The ending really caught me off guard. The book was going towards a 3-star rating, but the ending added another 0.5 stars. I think this was the most fairytale-like part. It was bittersweet and fitting for the story. It’s not the best middle grade book I’ve ever read, but I enjoyed it a lot.

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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

29 comments:

  1. Awwww nooo the judgement here between Kymera and Ren just makes me so sad - friendship is so much more than that! Kymera does sound like a fascianting character though. Great review!

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    1. Yes, if that was different I think I would have enjoyed it even more.

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  2. The primary focus on friendship in MG books is why I love them so much. I think it makes the story so much more beautiful, too. This book sounds really interesting, and I'm always in for a good twist at the end.

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  3. I'll read it sooner or later. I'm not really into MG books but I was intrigued by it when I found it on GR and now I'm even more curious about that ending :P

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  4. I still need to read this one myself but I'm glad the ending gave it that extra little nudge closer to a 4-star rating from you :D I love a good MG book but the best ones are the ones where the MC are relatable to readers of all ages. I wish Kymera would have fit the bill better for you but still excited to check this one out myself!

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  5. Hm. I can never tell with the "meh" books. Half of me wants to give them a try and the other half of me wants to try avoid the "meh"ness. Hm! The story itself doesn't sound that intriguing right up front but the cover is lovely and since you've given it a 3.5 I might keep it on the potentials!!

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    1. It had potential to be even better, but I still it's worth a shot!

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  6. You've got me curious now, particularly about the ending. It sounds like despite the MG focus and the MC's naivete, there is a lot here for readers to think about. Oh, I wish I had more time for all the books I want to read!

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    1. Yes, don't we all wish there were more hours in a day!

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  7. De cover van het boek is zo mooi! Alleen daarom zou ik al het boek gaan lezen :)

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  8. Amazing review Mel. <3 I'm so glad you ended up enjoying this book :D I liked it a little bit more, hih, but I can see why you had some issues with it :) But omg, that ending. That ending made me SO SAD. Sobs. I'm hoping there might one day be a sequel, hih, as it could be reversed, I think :) Maybe. I shall hope for it, anyway :p but it was also a great ending too :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

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  9. I'm not really a middle grade reader, but this story has me interested!

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  10. I don't read many MG, but I'm definitely dying to read this one! It sounds so good, so I'm really glad you liked it. I can't wait to find out that ending!

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  11. I am not a huge MG fan but I do love fairy tale stories! It is nice when a book's ending can bump it up in opinion. I just read a book that was definitely a teetering below a 3 star read but the ending took my by surprise in a good way.

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  12. SO glad to see a review on this one! I'm so stoked to get to my arc, and it sounds like you enjoyed it. Did it feel very MG? I love MG, don't get me wrong, I just like to know what to expect going in. :D I like that the ending upped the rating that much, that's cool. Can't wait to see what I think of it
    Great review!
    -Dee @ Dee's Reads

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    1. It felt more like an older MG or a younger YA if that makes sense, haha. It was a bit in between, with elements that felt a bit younger (like how naive she was at times) and elements for everyone (like the ending and overall writing-style)

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  13. I rarely read MG so I'd really love to read more! I think this one'll be the perfect fit for me since I adore fairy tale-like stories. I'm pretty curious about that ending as well!

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  14. I adore the primary focuses on friendships in MG, and I think that's one of the reasons they appeal to me so much. There isn't all of this unnecessary romance thrown in that makes the plot feel stunted. This book sounds very interesting, although like you I would be disappointed at the judgments from Ren. Great review, Mel! :D

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  15. This has such an interesting premise, and I like the fairy tale quality! I'm not that into MG reads at the moment, but I'm very curious about this one. I might check it out! Great review!

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  16. Ooh, I just love all these illustrated covers! And even better: this actually sounds like a really interesting middle-grade novel! I don't know, but the little MG books I have stumbled across all sound pretty much the same to me, haha. I love that the protagonist here isn't really human, and it also sounds like the author did a great job balancing the child and monster sides of Kymera. That's not something easy to do, I think.

    And yay for friendships! We seriously need more opposite sex platonic friendships in YA books; I'm tired of everything being romanticized, because not every girl thinks like that, and romance doesn't find everyone, too. Haha, the unexpected ending kind of sounds like how I felt about Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I was ready to give the book a 2- or 3-star rating, but then that ending surprised me so much that I bumped my rating up to 4. xD

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  17. I want to try this because creeeeepy MG is so my thing. (I want to write creepy mg one day.) XD I'm so so curious about the ending though!

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  18. I was wanting to read this one already, but now I'm really curious!

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  19. A brave decision for a MG book? Whenever I hear brave decision in relation to an ending, no joke, now I think of Allegiant and though I'm curious about this book and your reaction, I want to get rid of that association.

    "Her father brought her back from the death and he enhanced her body with wings and a spiky tail she can use to stun people. He tells her a tale about a wizard who killed her and her mother and he created her to rescue other girls from the same fate. " --- whaaat. This sounds like SUCH A COOL PREMISE. It definitely sounds like it's got plenty of creepy fairy-tale esque vibes. Mmmm you're making me curious, Mel.

    "It took her a lot of time to figure out what is quit obvious from the beginning, but this nativity also gave her a certain charm. It's a young girl and it's understandable she completely trusts her father. It felt realistic." -- Yeah, I suppose I'd be wary if she knew from the start that her father might be lying, esp in a MG book. (Also now with your description, I just noticed the tail on the cover -- how cool!)

    "He even betrays her in a dangerous situation and I wish he had showed more loyalty towards his friend. I like that, with most MG books, there is no romance." -- READ THE GLASS SENTENCE :P. You're reminding me. Esp with this comment on friendship, no romance. (:( at the betrayal. Boys in books.).

    So curious about this ending :O :O

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    1. Yes, it really reminded me of some sort of Frankenstein, only this is an innocent girl turned into a monster. I WILL READ IT. Soon.

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