AAAAAAAHHHHH…….REAL MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, or Why Freaky is Fabulous
No, I’m not talking about a fabulous old Nick cartoon, I’m talking about a fabulous new book series.
You may know Lisi Harrison from her Clique and A-List Series. Well, in September, Lisi is introducing her new series Monster High and I am loving it! The first volume is aptly titled Monster High and introduces readers to the unique place that is Merston High and the interesting students that attend there.
Melody Carver has just moved to Salem, Oregon from L.A. Unlike her sister Candace, who has nicknamed their new home bOregon, Melody is excited to move somewhere where looks aren’t top priority. Although work by her plastic surgeon father has left her visibly flawless, Melody still feels different on the inside. She appreciates the beauty in individuality. With one look at her new neighborhood, where every house is as different as the people who live inside them, and Melody knows she’s gonna like it on Radcliffe Way.
Frankie Stein is new, too. Really new. 15 days new. Not just to Radcliffe Way and Merston High, but to the planet. Frankie, as evidenced by her name, was built by her father–just like every family member in the long line of Frankenstein monsters before them. Frankie is just like any other teen girl, except that she is made of metal parts and has to charge herself every night. However, with the help of Fierce & Flawless Makeup to cover her green skin and her obsessive love of pop culture and shopping, Frankie might just be able to pass for normie.
Follow Melody & Frankie as they begin a new year at Merston High, where monsters and normies mix. New girls trying to fit in at a new school, sounds pretty simple right? Oh, did I forget to mention that if the normies find out monsters exist, there will be major trouble? Oh yeah, and Frankie has a tendency to want to fight for the cause of equality and freedom for monsters? And, oops, Melody (a normie) just might be dating Dr. Jekyll, or is it Mr. Hyde?
Monster High is a perfect blend of teen girl drama with the hot supernatural trend. I found myself delightfully surprised by this novel and am eager to follow along as this series unfolds. I will warn this first novel introduces a lot of characters. You might want to read slowly or reread some parts, so you can get them all straight before the series goes further (and possibly delves deeper into the lives of the background characters. However, you may also choose to just focus on the trials and tribulations of the two main characters: Normie Melody Carver and Monster Frankie Stein. The novel alternates between the viewpoint of these two characters introducing the normie view of Merston High and the monster view of Merston High. Melody and Frankie are both admirable protagonists for their real imperfections. They present a relatable character for young girls who don’t associate with the pretty and popular type. They take their imperfections and are proud of them, which can hopefully empower young readers.
On a side note, the Monster High book series seems to be just one part of a bigger picture–a Monster High franchise by Mattel in partnership with Hachette Book Group. Mattel has already released a series of dolls and web content based on the Monster High characters. I stumbled upon this after seeing a tv commercial for an animated web adventure called Monster High bearing the same pink bow skeleton logo as my Monster High advance copy book. So, I went and checked it out at http://www.MonsterHigh.com. This website offers children and teens the opportunity to enroll in Monster High, play games, and watch animated webisodes featuring the Monster High characters. I will note, however, that the web content and the dolls only feature the monster characters in their more natural monster state. No normie characters like Melody and her friends here. Also, in the web series, the monsters attend Monster High, as opposed to Merston High, where there are no normies–just monsters–and a really creepy setting. However, on its own, the web content and the dolls are quite cute and fun and will definitely broaden the audience for Harrison’s coming book series.
All in all, I’m pumped for the release of Monster High and future titles in the series. The are just a good, fun read for a rainy day snuggled in bed or a sunny day by the pool.
P.S. Did you catch that Merston High is an anagram of Monster High. Nice touch Lisi!
P.P.S. Isn’t the cover art adorable? Totally voltage!!!!
P.P.P.S. I haven’t read much of Lisi Harrison’s work before, so I just recently stumbled upon her website: http://www.lisiharrison.com. You should go there and check out her blah-g (blog)–it’s fun and funny!