Review – Monster High
  • Posted:
  • September 24, 2010

Okay, I’ll admit it, I didn’t know this was a book that was written to help sell a line of dolls. I found that out about halfway through the reading, and felt a little dirty when I did. However, I finished Lisi Harrison’s Monster High with high spirits. It was a fun read. It’s fluff, but it’s fun fluff.

Melody and Frankie are both new to Salem Oregon. They have both enrolled in Merston High and both have similar secrets, they are both hiding who they really are. Melody was born with an ugly nose and asthma. When her family chose to move to Oregon, hoping the change might improve Melody’s asthma, Melody’s plastic surgeon Father gave Melody a present; a new nose. Frankie is only fifteen days old. She was created in a lab from the best part her parents could find. She has to be charged up every day. Oh, and she is the Granddaughter of Frankenstein. The story alternates between the two girls as the settle into Salem.

Both have to hide who they are, but when they get to Merston High they realize that they are not alone. Though they go separate ways they both end up in cliques of girls who hide behind artifice. Melody’s new friends, Bekka and Haylee, force her to sign a friendship contract ensuring that she will not attempt to steal Bekka’s boyfriend, Brett. Frankie’s new friends are obsessed with fashion and gossip and are all descended from infamous monsters.

The premise is fun. The execution is… well, I’ve never read Harrison’s Clique series, but I expect they read exactly like them. With Monsters. It’s cheeky, but in a very “now” way. I don’t think this series/book will age well. It’s already very pop culturally dated. For all of the fashion and star reference I couldn’t help feel that I wanted something more out of this premise. I mean, sure, it’s written to promote a line of fashion dolls from Mattel (Think JEM dolls, but now!). It feels vapid and puerile out of the gate. However, there’s a charm to it that I find myself embarrassed to admit I like.

Besides that, as a first book to a series, this sets up not a lot of anything to hang a lengthy story arc for several books… unless it’s all character based. Frankie’s story has potential; she could run with the whole Civil Rights aspect for monsters for a while and I could be into that. However, Melody’s story left me cold. I didn’t care much about her pining for the boy across the street or her relationship with two bitchy girls. I was bored with that, and found myself yearning for Frankie’s part.

I’m bitter that I enjoyed it so much. These kind of guilty pleasure books make me feel shallow. However, yes, after all that kvetching, guess what? 4 out of 5 stars. *hangs head*

– BP

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