The Resource The dark descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Kiersten White

The dark descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Kiersten White

Label
The dark descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Title
The dark descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Statement of responsibility
Kiersten White
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"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"--
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Bram Stoker Awards, Best Young Adult Novel, 2018.
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2019.
Review
  • Grades 9-12 Elizabeth Lavenza knows her place: she’s the calming influence over Victor Frankenstein’s violent moods, and if she stops being useful to the Frankensteins, she’ll have nowhere to go. When Victor stops writing letters from university in Ingolstadt, Elizabeth, who’s terrified of becoming unnecessary, sets out to track him down. What she finally discovers is gruesome, albeit awe-inspiring, but her instinct to protect him is impossible to fight. As Victor’s actions become more deranged, however, Elizabeth can’t bring herself to be a willing accomplice. In this clever retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, White neatly undercuts the original by making Victor’s narrative wildly unreliable. Elizabeth, who’s a minor character in Shelley’s novel, takes center stage here, and her development is the emotional heart of the story. After enduring years of gaslighting by both Victor Frankenstein and his father, she gradually comes to realize her own strength and becomes powerful in her own right. While readers of the original might get more out of it, this character-driven novel with a healthy amount of gore should appeal to horror fans, too. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A hefty marketing campaign and author tour should drum up extra attention for best-selling White’s latest. -- Hunter, Sarah (Reviewed 6/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 19, p87)
  • Gr 9 Up—A retelling of Mary Shelley's classic novel from the point of view of Elizabeth Lavenza, Victor Frankenstein's eventual wife. A relatively minor character in Frankenstein, Elizabeth takes center stage here. The story begins as Elizabeth searches for Victor, who has been incommunicado for several months. Elizabeth finds him, but also finds that he has been conducting suspicious and gory experiments in his apartment—experiments which she later discovers resulted in the monster brought to life. Since Elizabeth's security and future depend on pleasing the family and controlling Victor's violent outbursts, she has always covered for his more vicious attacks. Now she must protect him from the results of his own obsession. Italicized inserts within chapters fill in the backstory of Elizabeth's entry into the Frankenstein family—selected to be Victor's companion and friend—while the main plot continues chronologically. White adds emotional depth to a character who was passive in Shelley's original. She highlights, with feminist sensitivity, Elizabeth's total dependence as a woman of her time, playing whatever part is necessary to ensure her future. The novel continues in the gothic tradition of the source material, and the title speaks volumes about the darkness of tone and content. The language is often surprisingly lyrical with the narrative flowing smoothly despite frequent flashbacks. Twists and tweaks, especially toward the end, may take readers of Frankenstein by surprise, but will not spoil either book. VERDICT Recommended for YA collections traveling on the dark side.—Katherine Koenig, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh --Katherine Koenig (Reviewed 06/01/2018) (School Library Journal, vol 64, issue 6, p95)
  • /* Starred Review */ With this elegantly twisted retelling of the birth of a monster, White (Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales) resurrects the Gothic tale of survival found in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which turns 200 this year. Rescued from an abusive caregiver at age five, Elizabeth Lavenza is brought to the Frankenstein family’s villa to act as companion to young Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant child prone to rage. Elizabeth becomes everything to Victor—his champion and protector, his friend and confidante—and hones her manipulative talents. But when the errant genius leaves the family to study and doesn’t write for almost two years, leaving Elizabeth open to possible dismissal from the Frankenstein home, she enlists the aid of her friend Justine to track him down. What she discovers in a strange Bavarian town is another link in a chain of horror that only grows after he’s found. Skillful worldbuilding and foreshadowing steadily build suspense to a breathtaking climax. Fans of psychological horror will luxuriate in the familiar feel of the timeless story and thrill at its unexpected twists. Ages 12–up. Agent: Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary. (Sept.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 07/23/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 30, p)
  • White's (Bright We Burn, 2018, etc.) timely retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is told from the point of view of 17-year-old Elizabeth Lavenza, ward of the Frankensteins and caretaker of Victor Frankenstein. Elizabeth's childhood was full of loss and despair. In the Frankenstein home she was cared for as long as she socialized Victor and kept him calm, but he has gone off to study and fallen out of contact. Without him, she feels her future is uncertain, as he was the reason for her existence in his family's home. Fearing that she will be once again destitute, Elizabeth convinces her friend Justine to travel with her to find Victor and bring him back. What Elizabeth finds rocks her to her core, and, fearing for Victor's safety and future, she does all she can to protect him. But what if the monster she truly fears is not the misshapen monstrosity of Victor's creation but something with a more human form? White creates an exciting tale with strong, witty, and certainly flawed, white female protagonists. Readers will ponder whether monsters are beings that are outwardly frightening or if it is one's soul, or lack thereof, that makes one a true monster. Those familiar with the original story will enjoy the references to it scattered throughout. An all-around win for readers who enjoy (not too scary) horror, thrilling tales, and contemplating the deeper meaning of life. (Fiction. 15-18) (Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2018)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10690239
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
White, Kiersten
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.W583764
LC item number
Dar 2018
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Frankenstein, Victor
  • Frankenstein, Victor
  • Characters and characteristics in literature
  • Monsters
  • Scientists
  • Murder
  • Horror tales
  • Characters in literature
  • Monsters
  • Scientists
  • Murder
  • Horror stories
  • Characters and characteristics in literature
  • Horror tales
  • Monsters
  • Murder
  • Scientists
Target audience
adolescent
Label
The dark descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Kiersten White
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1020310190
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
292 pages
Isbn
9780525577973
Lccn
2017037621
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40028810867
System control number
(OCoLC)1020310190
Label
The dark descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Kiersten White
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1020310190
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
292 pages
Isbn
9780525577973
Lccn
2017037621
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40028810867
System control number
(OCoLC)1020310190

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