Loving an Ugly Beast by Danielle Monsch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this novella! There are not many novellas that I can say that about - in fact I can count them on one hand. I always feel that there isn't enough time to really let the story breathe and develop, but Danielle did a superb job of fitting in all of the elements that really bring a story to life. I loved the characters of Nissa and Benton, and Marie actually made me laugh out loud as the cranky pregnant friend who doesn't hold anything back. This truly is a great love story, that really touches on the important theme that if you REALLY love someone, you love them for who they are inside, not what they look like on the outside. I also loved the twist involving Nissa towards the end of the book. I totally didn't see that coming! What's even better is that it didn't feel contrived at all. It actually added to the story and further explained why Nissa is the way she is. And, I must also mention that Danielle Monsch is a REALLY good writer. This book flowed so effortlessly and beautifully. I was never jolted out of my "dream" world by a misplaced word or clumsily explained interaction. Rave reviews all around from me!
Favorite lines from the story:
"I am drawn to you. I don't know why, but it happened the first moment I saw you. It drives me crazy that you don't see yourself as special, because I know the truth. Out of everyone here, you are one of the few who is truly worthy. Your goodness radiates from you....You have the most wonderful laugh and I don't think angels could have more beautiful eyes than yours. If this world was made of only people like you, heaven wouldn't be necessary." (Bryson to Nissa)
"It's not right if the outside takes precedence over the inside. But that's not what you feel....In time, when you put your children here - you know this is going to grow and stretch don't you? And while it will shrink down after every birth, with each child it will get a little flabbier and it will never be this flat again. Does this mean you don't want me to have your sons?" "Never. I want as many as you will give me." (Nissa to Benton and his response)
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