Author: MarcyKate Connolly
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date: February 10, 2015
Source/format: Purchased // Hardcover
Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Synopsis (from goodreads.com):
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.
Reminiscent of Frankenstein and the tales of the Brothers Grimm, this debut novel by MarcyKate Connolly stands out as a compelling, original story that has the feel of a classic.
The city of Bryne is being tormented by an evil wizard. A curse is released and little girls are disappearing. No one is safe and many precautions are taken place. However, there is one person who can save these girls. Kymera walks the streets at night but needs to be careful not to be seen by humans. Because Kym is comprised of different animal parts such as a spiky tail, cat eyes, claws and wings like a patchwork Frankenstein girl, she needs to be cautious since others will not understand her. Because she was close to death, Kym is given a second chance to live and to help save the world. However, a human boy sees Kym at the dead of night. Kym becomes friends with Ren and finds out that Ren knows information about what is happening to the girls and about the evil wizard.
Monstrous is such a cute coming-of-age Middle Grade novel. The world building is enchanting and MarcyKate Connolly's writing transports the reader to a magical world where Kym is created for a sole mission. Her father tells that in her new life, she has a mission to save girls from a evil wizard who is hunting down the children. Kym is strong, curious and clever. She doesn't remember too much of her past life and is searching for her identity. She is longing for freedom but she knows she has a mission to pursue. Kym is loyal and is such a giving little girl despite her monstrous looks. The storytelling of the novel is whimsical yet quite dark. What I like about the novel is how Connolly weaves in the theme of self-acceptance. It is important for young readers to understand that it's okay to be different and that everyone is unique. And because someone is different, they can still make friends. Accepting oneself is important especially when living in a society that has certain standards of what makes a perfect person.
I highly recommend this novel for readers who love dark fantasy and retellings. If you enjoy reading Frankenstein and Brothers Grimm tales, definitely check out Monstrous. Also, make sure to check out Connolly's next book, Ravenous.