Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
When fierce mermaid Syrenka falls in love with a human named Ezra, she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land. The choice comes with horrific and deadly consequences.
Generations later, seventeen-year-old Hester knows that love and death are inextricably linked for the women in her family. Is it an un-diagnosed genetic defect, or a curse? Hester's solution is to avoid love altogether, until she meets an enigmatic stranger names Ezra and feels drawn to him in a way she can't explain or resist. Ezra may be able to help her tease apart the strands of her family's strange history; Ezra knows a things or two about curses.
The answers Hester seeks are waiting in the graveyard, in the crypt, and the bottom of the ocean-but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and the tragedy so long ago.
Monstrous Beauty is a dark and brilliantly plotted thriller about sacrifice, enduring love, and hope.
Haven't really read a lot of mermaid stories, but I fell in love with the story immediately. There's so much pain and defeat in the story, you'll definitely be moved to tears. Well not tears, but your heart will clench in pain. Syrenka is so...doomed. That sounds incredibly depressing, but hey, I'm telling the truth. She's beautiful, men (mer and human alike) love her, she's perfect. And the queen goddess lady of the sea, N something, hates her because of that. Thus as a result, she uses her evil magic to twist Syrenka's "dying wish" so to speak.
The curse literally gave me shivers. N totally twisted Syrenka's plea, it's scary. As a result, all the people who died because of Syrenka are now spirits tied to the earth. *shudders* And Syrenka's child Marijou? Something like that, carries on the curse of her mother which is to die within weeks of birthing a child and having this deep connection to Ezra, the man Syrenka gave up her tail for.
Okay, Syrenka's most current living descendant is Hester. She is determined to figure out why the women of her family have been dying and how to break that curse so she can have a shot at love.
Along the way, she meets Ezra who always seems to be lurking around the caves. And yeah, he's a ghost. Everything about Syrenka unfolds from there. She gets kidnapped by N who apparently is also les because I think she wanted to make Hester her sex slave...yeah...weird queen of the sea...
Anyway, the story's really involved, really spooky, and really good! So you people should go check it out! Peace!
“She wanted a smile that was meant only for her.”
“There is no satisfaction in eternity,' she said. 'There is only loss.”
“She looked out across the water and allowed the feeling of longing to wash over her, spill into the crevices of her soul, and fill her completely.”
“What an ephemeral thing human will is, to be manipulated by a couple of drops of hormones!”
4 out of 5 stars