Review: ‘Hideous Love’ by Stephanie Hemphill

I received this book for free from Edelweiss, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Hideous Love’ by Stephanie HemphillHideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill
Published by Balzer + Bray, Harper Collins on October 1st, 2013
Genres: Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, requested from publisher
From award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill comes the fascinating story of Mary Shelley, a brilliant teenager who wrote one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time: Frankenstein.

An all-consuming love affair.

A family torn apart by scandal.

A young author on the brink of greatness.

Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.

Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.

This luminous verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


Mary’s family isn’t exactly the most supportive. Her father is constantly asking for money from her and her sisters demand a lot of her attention. When she meets Shelley, she experiences first hand what it’s like to love someone. Inspired by her environment and her real life, she starts to write the classic we all know as Frankenstein.

Told in verse, Mary is quickly seen as a very talented young woman. Her thoughts and actions are typical of that time. Even though I couldn’t understand the spark that exists between her and Shelley, I accepted it all the same. I did find that she loved him way too quickly, but back then I guess it was accepted by society since woman weren’t as independent and marrying a man meant survival. I pretty much despised the man and the title tells her story very well. He is already married and has a child, and it seemed like he just did whatever he wanted. I really wished she had more common sense before she experienced what she did, but with she eventually learned her lesson. In the end, I was happy that she moved on and in doing so, creates the story, Frankenstein.

A quick and easy read, I finished this in one sitting. Reading in verse is just so much more faster and easier. But writing in verse can’t be easy. It’s hard to quickly get to the point and I commend Hemphill for this stand-a-lone into the fictional mind of Mary Shelley.

reading progress



You are finer than your surroundings. I see it in your broad forehead—intelligence, cleverness.
You too have great things to write. It is your lovely fate. And I believe I will be your guide.
He is like the sun, sometimes shining his light upon others.
I also try to investigate how sometimes that which we create can destroy us or those we love.
To write a book for me is as to finally breathe, my senses engaging with the world.
Discussion means that it provokes thought and created some controversy.





  1. Cali W.

    November 7, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Good review. This sounds like a good fall read. 😉

  2. Megan McDade

    November 2, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    This sounds interesting. I havent read Frankenstein but am familiar with it like most people. Mary Shelly sounded like she had an interesting life.

  3. Jaime Lynn

    October 31, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    I just can’t read verse novels. I have tried on a few occasions, but for some reason it just doesn’t sit well with me. While this one sounds interesting for sure, and if it wasn’t in verse I know that I would add it to my TBR, I am not sure that I could read it and actually enjoy it. However, it does sound like a great story. What a conundrum we book lovers must face!

  4. Kelsey

    October 31, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Hmm this could be an interesting read, I like the idea of getting to know more about Mary. I’ve read verse before so it would be cool to see this story written like that. 🙂

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