25 July 2013

Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill

Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill
Publisher: Balzer + Bray     
Publication date: October 1st 2013
My rating: 1 star

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.

It's hard for me to write a negative review when I request a title from the publisher and especially when other reviews aren't doing it any favors.

I'm a huge fan of retellings of other books and also retellings about the author's life. There's something special about seeing another side or someone's take on the said story which always makes me come back for more.

Hideous Love is a story about Mary Shelley, the mastermind responsible for Frankenstein. To be completely honest this is my first Frankenstein retelling novel I've ever seen. Most people write about Austen's or Bronte sisters' work. So you can guess I was really interested to see what Hemphill has to say about Mary Shelley.

Mary Shelley lives with her large family when one night Mr. Shelley comes to dinner and her world changes completely. They fall in love and decide to run away to be together even though he has a wife. Their relationship isn't perfect. Mary has an abortion and her sister is in love with Shelley.

Books which feature cheating can go two ways with me.
  • author does a great job and I like them and accept the fact they are going behind another person's back
  • author fails and I can't help to judge and despise the characters for the decisions they made

Hideous Love sadly goes into the second category. I didn't feel the connection with the characters. The prose didn't help either. It was distracting and frankly, I had a feeling author was kind of winging the whole prose. Like she thought it was ok to write a couple of words in each row and they will magically become a verse.

I really wanted to give this book the benefit of the doubt and not trust the reviews but it just wasn't the type of book for me. 


  1. You can only imagine who it would be for me to read this book. I'm not a fan of retellings. I'll skip this one for sure but really was that cheating necessary?

  2. I have to agree. There are some books that portray cheating well and some that make you want to chuck the book. I'll be sure to skip this one.

  3. Wow. This sounds bad. It is hard to handle cheating well, and I am more prone to judging the characters.