Thursday, 28 October 2010
Review: Monster High by Lisi Harrison
Released: September 2nd, 2010
Grade rating: B
The monster community has kept a low profile at the local high school, but when two new girls enrol, the town will never be the same. Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and prom. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie learns that high school can be rough for a chic freak like her. She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver-but can a 'normie' be trusted with her big secret?
Okay, hands up if you've ever wished you could be a classic monster. It'd be cool, right?! You could be Frankenstein's granddaughter, the Wolfman's cousin... I, of course, would quite like to be anyone from Dracula's bloodline (hehe), but I'm sure you guessed that already! Lisi Harrison has indulged in such an idea, complete with contemporary characters and a nod to more than one famous Hammer Horror monster. Now this is a high school I would have liked to attend!
Frankie Stein has been created by her parents, and is, you guessed it, quite similar to Frankenstein's Monster. She's sent to normie school in an attempt to fit in (which is a bit hard when you have green skin and bolts in your neck), but instead she ends up finding out she isn't the only RAD (Regular Attribute Disorder) in town. Her new friends include Draculaura, Lagoona Blue and Claudine, who all have such brilliant names that it's hard not to like them. Monster High is chock full of subtle and not-so-subtle references to horror films of old, and also proves how contemporary it is by name-dropping such acts as Lady Gaga.
Like The Clique for a slightly younger, horror-savvy reader, Monster High is fun, bitchy and stylish. The girls all experience romance and the (mundane) obstacles that accompany it, though they have even more to worry about than their wardrobe. I really liked the general idea of Monster High, though I didn't fall head over heels in love with the characters. They were cool, and I was interested in their lives, but I don't feel like I cared enough about any of them. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be with an ensemble cast, but even leading lady Frankie didn't fully convert me to the dark side. Maybe book 2 will let me connect with the characters more... here's hoping!
If you're looking for a younger read with kooky protagonists and an appreciation for 1930s movie horror heroes, then Monster High could be the book for you. Expect lots of drama and teen talk, along with the coolest high school in recent literature. If Draculaura was real, we'd so be BFFs -- any friend of vampires is a friend of mine!