Review of: Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
Release date: October 23, 2008
Publisher: Penguin Group, USA
Pretty Monsters is a collection of 9 short stories; all of which were quite interesting. Here is a sentence or 2 about each story...
1. The Wrong Grave - Miles Sperry decides to dig up his dead girlfriend, Bethany Baldwin, to get back some poetry that he wrote for her after she died and wasn't smart enough to make copies of. When he opens the grave he has discovered that it is the wrong one. Now he's got some strange dead girl following him around all night.
2. The Wizards of Perfil - This is about a boy named Onion and a girl named Halsa. Onion's parents have died and Halsa's mother is watching after him and the other children. While in the market of Perfil she sells Onion to someone who says they will take him to the Wizards of Perfil. For some reason they bring Onion right back and take Halsa instead. Once Halsa is there she discovers that the Wizards are incredibly vain and super lazy. But there is something that neither Onion or Halsa knows about the wizards.
3. Magic for Beginners - A boy named Jeremy Mars and a few of his friends are obsessed with a show called The Library. Jeremy's mother and father of some problems getting along because Jeremy's father is a writer. When his father puts Jeremy in one of his books and then kills him off his mother insists that she and Jeremy go to Las Vegas to see the wedding chapel she has inherited from her late sister. But Jeremy is afraid that he'll miss the next spontaneous episode of The Library!
4. The Faery Handbag - Genevieve's grandmother Zofia has a mysterious handbag that is apparently a family heirloom and over 200 years old. She never lets the bag out of her sight. Zofia tells Genevieve crazy stories about how a whole little village lives in that bag, and a nasty dog too. If you open it up and aren't careful you could get sucked into the handbag and not come out for years even if you are only in the bag for one day. When Zofia dies Genevieve is to be the keeper of the bag but once Zofia is gone Genevieve can't find the handbag anywhere.
5. The Specialist's Hat - Samantha and Claire are identical twins who live with their father on the second story of a huge house. Their father is writing the history of the Eight Chimneys where they are currently living. Samantha and Claire have a babysitter who tells them about The Specialist who apparently goes around the house killing people and that she herself used to live there and has seen The Specialist when she was younger. Things get a little creepy when The Specialist himself shows up that night.
6. Monster - Bungalow 6 has to go on their camp out before camp ends for the Summer. It's pouring out but they still want to go. The boys from Bungalow 4 say they saw a monster and they are determined to see it. James Lorbick is kind of the loser of the cabin and Bryan Jones dares him to put on a dress once they've set up camp. He puts it on and ends up wearing it most of the night. When their counselor, Terence, goes down the hill to help out a female camper out of nowhere the monster shows up...
7. The Surfer - Dorn is kidnapped by his father and taken to Costa Rica to see the elusive Hans Bliss who was picked up by aliens years before and was told that they would come back to Earth someday. After landing in Costa Rica they are quarantined because of the flu pandemic that has been killing for quite some time now.
8. The Constable of Abal - After Ozma's mother, Zilla, has killed the constable of Abal they flee to a place called Brid that Ozma hates. Back in Abal ghosts were quite the fashion. Zilla made them that way but in Brid Ozma's mother acts like she despises ghosts and makes Ozma dress as a boy.
9. Pretty Monsters - Lee and her friends Nikki, Maureen, and Bad capture Czigany and (not on purpose) her sister, Parci for Czigany's "ordeal" which is a ritual in their all girls school. While on Lee's aunt's farm Lee keeps pulling out her current book about a girl named Clementine and a boy named Cabell.
I enjoyed basically each of these stories. A few of them were so far fetched. You can definitely tell that Kelly has a crazy imagination which is incredibly awesome. I think my favorite story of the bunch was Monster. The ending of that one was just so strange to me. If you're in the mood for some crazy out of this world stories then this book is definitely for you. This would be a great book to read during the Halloween season.