Friday, November 23, 2018
Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill
An all-consuming love affair.
A family torn apart by scandal.
A young author on the brink of greatness.
Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.
Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.
This luminous verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).
For those that have been following my blog for a while, you'll know that my major goal this year was to get my TBR all caught up. As we near the end of the year, that looks like it's a goal that I'm going to be taking into 2019 with me. Anyways, I recently decided to read Hideous Love because it had been on my TBR for a couple of years. Unfortunately, it was just okay.
Hideous Love had some interesting parts, and some boring parts. Unfortunately, the boring outweighed the interesting. I didn't know anything about Mary Shelley's life prior to reading this book, other than she wrote Frankenstein. I'm not sure how historically accurate Hideous Love was, but I found it very interesting that she fell in love at such a young age, and experienced so much in life before she even hit her mid twenties. She was a very strong, admirable woman. She survived more hardships in her twenties than most people do in a lifetime, and never let it get the best of her.
Other than learning little tidbits about Mary Shelley's life, the rest of the book was entirely boring, and slow. There was a lot of gossip about side characters and putting them down, which I didn't care for at all. I could have cared less about the rumors about who was sleeping with whom. When those parts happened, I found myself skimming through them, or rolling my eyes. I just wanted to get back to the interesting facts about Mary Shelley. I also didn't like the way her husband treated her at all. I thought it was a selfish, pompous asshole that put his needs above hers, especially when she really needed him. In fact, I think Mary might be the only character in this book that I actually liked.
All in all, Hideous Love was just okay. I'm glad that I read it because it puts Frankenstein in a whole new perspective for me. However, it's definitely not something that I would pick up again to re-read. I think if someone wants to learn more about Mary Shelley, I would encourage them to pick up a biography of her instead. I know I'll definitely be reading one when I come across it in a book store or library.
I give Hideous Love: 3/5.
Want to know more about the author?
I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.