Book Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Published in 2018 by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House

Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror/Gothic Fiction

Page Count: 290

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

My Review:

Wow, is all I can say. Honestly, that was such an emotional and addictive read, paying homage to the classic (And one of my favourite books only ever), Frankenstein. You know, I think Mary Shelley would be proud of what Kiersten White did with this beauty of a book. I fell utterly in love with the authors’ writing in her Conquerers’ Saga and couldn’t resist diving into Elizabeth Frankenstein right away!

I was instantly drawn in – I loved the structure of the book, flashbacks from the past to the present, instantly making me wonder what might have happened to the perfect friendship square that seemed to be Victor, Henry, Elizabeth and Justine – with Elizabeth lamenting at her heartbreak and hurt regarding losing Henry as a friend (if only she knew!), to the mysterious Victor that White completely made her own, in my opinion.

I mean, whilst staying utterly loyal to the original tone of the story and utterly chill inducing elements of this story with emotions aplenty, Kiersten White took a minor character from the original Frankenstein text and gave her a tale which for me, ran high with (as the title might suggest), darkness, heartbreak but also beauty too, I feel. Elizabeth Frankenstein’s bravery is honestly so admirable, she’s always had to act as a certain version of herself, having to please the one that would seemingly protect her above anything else.

One of my favourite parts, and this is wholly bittersweet, is the friendship between Justine and Elizabeth herself- the flash backs just conveyed so many emotions from the sad situation to how they met, to the greatness they were to one another- I mean, Justine was an embodiment of everything good in Elizabeth’s world, and I love the former’s interactions with her charges, young Will and Ernest, it was just so endearing!

I admired Elizabeth’s dedication to Victor throughout, I loved (she types whilst being equally horrified), how Elizabeth knew (the girl is wise and brave), how to react to Victor, the flash backs to their childhood – Victor’s obsessive and mad, clever nature was in full bloom even then.

It was such a wild, mad, brilliant, addictive and emotional driven read! I could hardly put it down! From the very start, I felt like I was part of Elizabeth’s own Dark Descent, and I didn’t want it to end! I cannot get enough of Kiersten White’s writing, it is just so powerful and I could easily picture everything I was reading and it was perfect!

But oh, it did, and brilliantly too! Desparatley hoping there’s future books to come with these memorable characters! But if not, here we have a new favourite stand alone!

Q: have you read this book? If not, is it on your TBR?

happy reading,

Brooklyn.

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