Pretty Monsters

Pretty Monsters

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Kelly Link, Illustrated by Shaun Tan

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  • Publisher: SPEAK
  • Format: Paperback | 404 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 208mm x 23mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 014241672X
  • ISBN 13: 9780142416723
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 122,994

Product description

Through the lens of Link's vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look. Now in her first YA story collection, Link delivers stories that are funny and full of unexpected insights and skewed perspectives on the world. Illustrations.

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Author information

Kelly Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press and publish the zine "Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet" (

Customer reviews

By TeensReadToo 28 Sep 2010 5

PRETTY MONSTERS is a collection of nine short stories; all of which were quite interesting. Here is a sentence or two 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 have 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 campout 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, 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 some day. 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 each of these stories. A few of them were so far-fetched and crazy! You can definitely tell that Ms. Link 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, and also sort of funny. 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 one to read during the Halloween season because of all the spooky aspects and whatnot.

Review quote

"Kelly Link is a sorceress to be reckoned with." - "New York Times" "Link's writing is dazzling." - "Entertainment Weekly"