All The Right Reads

Fiction Recommendation Experts

2023 Book Review: Hideous Love

by Stephanie Hemphill

YA Historical Fiction, 2013 by Balzer + Bray, 320 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • I wanted to imagine Mary Shelley as this hard-nosed writer who refused to be treated as a lesser class in a man’s world. This book absolutely paints her the opposite and I sort of hated that. Of course, I haven’t done all my own research on Shelley to know which was accurate. However, I can’t say that a lot is spoken about how much research the author put into this and how much was simply made up from her own mind. 
  • Obviously, Shelley is known for Frankenstein. Knowing that, I wanted more time spent on that particular aspect of her life than we got. 
  • This isn’t REALLY verse. This is more like taking your diary and writing it to LOOK like verse without actually capturing the essence of poetry on the page. 

What I Did Like:

  • This reads like the diary of a teenager in the 1800s. It’s an interesting historical fiction piece that brings a light to the struggles of another time. I could see using this in a classroom when studying Frankenstein to give it another dimension and set up the world. 
  • Quick read. This one is already short and moves even faster because of the appearance of prose. Therefore, it doesn’t take long to move through the timeline and get the full picture. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Fans of diary-style stories that capture the essence of life in other time periods will enjoy this one. 

My Rating: 2 Stars

  • For me the attempt at verse fell flat, which made the entire novel feel like a gimmick.

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