Book reviews

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link


This book is a collection of short stories which consists of monsters, magic, ghosts and a deadly flu virus. I read this book really slowly, I’m not sure why but I still enjoyed this book. It was creepy and had that dark atmosphere but I was still fascinated with Kelly’s imagination. All of her characters were completely different and were all completely unique. Her ability to create these characters and their worlds are out of this world. Her imagination and wild and I have never read anything like it but I loved it.


1st story:
This was the camper’s story. This was one of those summer camp stories with the boy that’s always teased and reading this couldn’t help but feel dirty. I was looking back at my Duke of Ed camping experience and I remember yearning for a shower and while reading this, that’s how I felt. The plot revolved around this monster that was told by the other campers. James, the main character was this quiet and introvert who I imagined as small and skinny for his age. I pretty much imagines a younger version of Simon (from The Mortal Instruments) without the glasses. I felt sorry for this little pre-teen boy who was too small to fight against the dominant boy. I felt as if this boy James was rewarded by meeting this monster and eventually becoming a friend. it ended abruptly, making sure that we knew there was a happy ending without giving us the details we wanted.

2nd story:
This story was one of my favourites. I love dystopian with a cool football goalie that’s been kidnapped by his father to a Costa Rica while a deadly flu virus pandemic is raging everywhere. And while this is happening, aliens and some controversial guy who met them called Han Bliss are being talked about around this secluded refugee camp. I loved this book (probably because I loved World War Z and this book had the same kind of feel). Kelly has managed to jump from genre to another in 26 pages and made it seem so natural

3rd story:
This was also one of my favourites. It was dark, mesmerising and had this dark magic feel to it. There were goddesses and daughters and a handsome ghost. There was this love story running along with this story about the daughter of this magician, somehow turning into boy because she has needed to act as one for so long as her disguise. I found that creepy, unusual and a bit gross. But the twist at the end about her mother and the happily ever after tied everything well.

4th story:
This story had the books title. And I found this story so clever. There were two completely different storylines running together and one was the book that the girl in the other story was reading. That was Clementine’s story and I didn’t like her character. She was clingy and hopelessly love sick that it was tiring and repetitive. At one point, it got a bit stalkerish when she’s trying to find her crush (who is now married) in Russia with her boyfriend (weird). This story stops and you’re left with Cabell and his wife naked and bloody but alive. The other story (Lee’s) ends with her auntie and a gun shot. I love this whole twist at the end which tols us that those two stories were one story read by these two pre-teen sisters who are werewolves…what!

5th story:
This was the last one and my least favourite because there were two creepy and near-psychopathic step-siblings who played a classic fairy-tale to a creep tale. It was a hide and seek game but it ended up with the brother stabbed with a fork and the sister flung across the kitchen. I didn’t really like this story because it reeked with fake love and creepiness.

I give this book a 90%. Her writing was unique and I loved this change. The storylines and characters were all completely different and I thoroughly loved reading something different.
I recommend this book for those who want a short and intense read, its only 218 pages. Read it and let me know.


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