Rummanah Aasi

Description: 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.

Review: 2018 marked the 200 year anniversary of Mary Shelley's masterpiece Frankenstein. I had originally wanted to do a reread of the horror classic, but ran out of time and instead picked up Mary's Monster after reading glowing reviews about it. Mary's Monster is a beautifully crafted fictionalized biography in first-person free verse and it unveils how Mary Shelley’s unusual life experiences shaped her imagination and inspired her to give the world the first “mad scientist” in science fiction. Drawn from extensive source material and thoroughly researched, Judge pieces together a timeline from 1812 until the anonymous publication of Frankenstein in 1817. Those familiar with Mary's Shelley's background will notice key life moments discussed from her childhood to her tumultuous romance with Romantic and libertine poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, which resulted a child out of wedlock and banishment by her father. Judge does not hold anything back from the dark moments of Mary's life. While some readers might think the text is overly melodramatic, I think it perfectly captures the emotions highlighted and exaggerated by the Romantics. Along with the engaging text, the book is also filled with black and white, charcoal illustrations which mirrors the text and emotions swirling in Mary. As a fan of Frankenstein, I was completely captivated by this book. Highly recommended for fans of Frankenstein or those who are curious about its author.

Rating: 5 stars

Words of Caution: There are adult themes such as feminism, open relationships, scenes of nudity and sex. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Passion by Jude Morgan
2 Responses
  1. I read a book a couple of years ago on Mary Shelley’s life it was fascinating, she didn’t have an easy life for sure. I will have to check out this one.

  2. I feel like Frankenstein is one of those books I should have read, but haven't. I always seem to find something else to read instead.

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