MARY’S MONSTER, by Lita Judge, Roaring Brook Press


A young adult biography of Frankenstein’s profound young author, Mary Shelley, coinciding with the 200th anniversary of its publication, told through free verse and 300+ full-bleed illustrations.

Mary Shelley first began penning Frankenstein as part of a dare to write a ghost story, but the seeds of that story were planted long before that night. Mary, just nineteen years old at the time, had been living on her own for three years and had already lost a baby days after birth. She was deeply in love with famed poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a mad man who both enthralled and terrified her, and her relationship with him was rife with scandal and ridicule. But rather than let it crush her, Mary fueled her grief, pain, and passion into a book that the world has still not forgotten 200 years later.

Dark, intense, and beautiful, this free-verse novel with over 300 pages of gorgeous black-and-white watercolor illustrations is a unique and unforgettable depiction of one of the greatest authors of all time.


I received this book in exchange for my honest review!

I absolutely loved this story! It was incredibly fascinating and even heart-breaking at times.  Mary Shelley’s early life was difficult and a bit sordid. I was invested in this story from the very beginning and the artwork! Let’s just say, it’s beautiful, gothic, dark, mesmerizing and stunning!  I had problems with the first-person narrative that is written in verse, but after a while got used to it.  It kept me engaged in the story from beginning to end.  This extraordinary woman had quite the life and her story is based on diaries Mary left behind.

Mary possesses a progressive viewpoint about society and doesn’t care much for traditional values and you can see these influences in her writing. Sadly, there’s a nasty stepmother element who makes Mary suffer terribly prompting Mary to elope with Shelley, a poet, at the young age of sixteen.

Throughout this book you feel Mary’s anger and despair, her emotions tie up in knots over being betrayed, and that betrayal shattering her dreams.  There’s a whole barrage of emotional whirlwinds involved in this book and I’m sure anyone reading it will enjoy the story right to the end.

The girl and the monster don’t match, but the girl and the monster’s emotions do.

I gave this book:



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