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Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein [Kindle Edition]

Stephanie Hemphill
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $9.10 (51%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

From Stephanie Hemphill, author of the Printz Honor winner Your Own, Sylvia and the acclaimed novel Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, comes the fascinating story of gothic novelist Mary Shelley, most famous for the classic Frankenstein.

An all-consuming love affair with famed poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a family torn apart by scandal, a young author on the brink of greatness: Hideous Love 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.

This luminous verse novel reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–Hemphill's ability to plumb the depths of an author's pain and despair is evident in this examination of the life of Mary Shelley, best known as the author of Frankenstein and wife of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. This present-tense novel in verse provides an intimate glimpse into Mary's life. In addition to pondering questions of life and death, Hemphill explores morality, fidelity, creation, and pain. Mary's personal life reads like a soap opera. At age 16, she meets Percy and months later they elope, abandoning his pregnant wife, Harriet. The couple lives throughout Europe and, following Harriet's suicide, eventually marry. Mary's life is filled with emotionally scarring events, including the deaths of her mother, sister, and children, which she feels “like a thousand knives/have been thrust upon me.” She also struggles with Percy's flirtations with her stepsister and with her complicated relationship with Lord Byron. Her tempestuous life becomes a catalyst for her writing. “My protagonist, Victor Frankenstein,/builds his creature of graveyard parts/before he sets out to animate it/through science. I construct/my characters beginning with people/I know and then add/or rearrange other aspects of personality/to fit my plot.” Readers will identify the parallels between the creation of a monster and the creation of her famous book.–Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Few stories-behind-the-story get retold as much as the writing of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but the ever-reliable free-verse poet Hemphill, author of the Printz Honor Book Your Own, Sylvia (2007), manages to plumb from it her own vein of riches. For starters, Hemphill does not obsess upon the novel, instead letting it rest as a distant metaphor. Instead, she tracks Mary’s young life—and a tumultuous life it is, as she suffers multiple dead children, affairs, suicides, and deaths. First and foremost, this is a chronicle of Mary’s stormy long affair with the married poet Percy Shelley as they, often with the infamous Lord Byron and Mary’s jealous stepsister Claire in tow, outrun scandal across Europe. The girlish accessibility of the prose subtly transforms to something darker and more mature, with Hemphill’s restraint her finest quality, whether speaking about art or sex or death: “We both know / that sorrow cannot be measured / by the size of a little one’s shoe.” This is, as intended, an ideal companion piece for teens studying the original classic. Grades 7-12. --Daniel Kraus

Product Details

  • File Size: 964 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (October 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,074,940 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a beautiful yet sad love story! January 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This was another book that I was skeptical to get in to, due to some negative reviews. But once again I was eager to give it a shot and was glad that I did. This was only the second book that I have read that is written in verse. I have to admit that at first it was hard for me to get into the story as I was adapting to the writing style, but once I got through the first 50 pages or so. But once the story took off, I have to admit I was hooked.

I don't think that this book could have had a better title, because there is no way to describe this beautifully
gothic story, but to call it "Hideous Love." Everything about the love story behind Mary and Shelley is absolutely heart breaking. From how they met, to the lengths they had to go to be together, to their married life, up to the end. Yes, it does mention how Mary came up with the idea of Frankenstein,and the what she had to over come to get the story published, but what really registered with me was the love story and all the emotions I felt while reading this story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting tale of wacky family dynamics October 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Something you need to know going into this book - it is written in verse. I know some people have very strong opinions about verse one way or the other. I don't happen to be one of those people; I could take it or leave it.

So Hideous Love is the story of Mary Shelley from the time she met her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley until his death. We went from teenaged mistress, to wife to widow in under ten years. Mary tells her tale to the reader through a series of poems and verses and I thought Hemphill managed to convey an awful lot of emotion and detail in a small space. Mary had a really wacky life - her family and then marriage was full of strange couplings, cuckholding and vagabondry. Not know anything about her personal life, I found this fascinating. The writing of Frankenstein is discussed but is not the only thing she writes in this time period. The story more focuses on the nutso relationships that happen between Mary and the people around her. It is also a portrayal of the transient artist lifestyle that many other famous authors and poets liked. I have read a couple of opther books about Fitzgerald and Hemingay and they lived similarly, so it was interesting to see that a hundred years prior they did it too.

I liked reading about Mary and who she was as a person, but I would have liked more. She was super-focused on Shelley and her relationship with him, but was clearly experiencing some very strong emotions regarding him, his relationship with other women (her stepsister!), and her role as a mother, which sadly was an awful, heart-breaking roller coaster ride. It seemed obvious to me that the writing of Frankenstein - about a monster pieced together with basically leftovers of others - was a mirror of how she felt about herself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I love a good biographical novel. History has so many stories in and of itself, and yet it leaves room for the imagination to conjure its own legends. Mary Shelley, author of FRANKENSTEIN, is a woman that intrigues so many readers, and who clearly inspired Stephanie Hemphill, author of HIDEOUS LOVE.

Told in verse, HIDEOUS LOVE begins with an origin story of sorts, with Mary narrating portraits of her family -- her half sisters, her obnoxious Stepmother, her hard-to-impress father. And then she meets Percy Shelley, the poet, and Mary falls so head over heels in love that there's no looking back. Even if it means disgracing her family and being outcast by the ones she loves.

Over the span of several years, HIDEOUS LOVE chronicles the passionate and often tumultuous affair between Mary and Shelley, as they travel throughout Europe, become entangled in the affairs of other writers (such as the notorious Lord Byron) and are often accompanied by Jane, Mary's half-sister. Mary's life was wrought with tragedy as much as it was passion, and this novelization of her history is a real page-turner, with intrigue around every corner. This is definitely a book that historical fiction fans and fans of Mary Shelley will enjoy exploring.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Surprise April 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Definitely not what I expected, but I enjoyed it none the less. I would recommend this for fans of historical fiction.
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