Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review: Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters by Suzanne Weyn

Title: Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Rating: 3/5

Cover Impressions:
The cover has a little bit of an old school feel.  It reminds me of ghost stories that I would have read in elementary school.  The colors are pretty and the setting is ominous.

The Gist:
Giselle and Ingrid have discovered that they are the daughters of the brilliant and wealthy Dr. Frankenstein.  As his only heirs, they inherit his castle in the Orkney Islands and set about making it their own.  While Giselle renovates and plans an elaborate party, Ingrid becomes lost in her father's journals and begins to take her own steps down his dark and dangerous path. 


I love new takes on old classics and was excited to read this interesting spin off of the classic Frankenstein tale.  The story is told through the diary entries of both girls.  While this style works well in the beginning, it becomes a little cumbersome as the action starts to pick up.  There are also a few repetitive issues such as the constant speaking to the diary and informing the reader of when each girl had time to write in the diary.

The girls themselves are a little bland and stereotypical.  Giselle is the pretty one, obsessed with dresses and parties while Ingrid is the smart one, fascinated by science and experimentation.  Giselle is more the more interesting of the two as her exploits seem to constantly put her in danger.  Ingrid, for her part, develops an infatuation with a man whom she must save from a debilitating disease, and we get to see a shadow of the obsession that marked her father's demise.

The plot was a bit predictable and could have been shaken up with a surprise ending.  There was some eye-rolling at the number of men who seemed to want to harm Giselle (she cannot possibly been so beautiful that every man she encountered felt the overwhelming urge to consumer her) and Ingrid's escapades sneaking into university lectures dressed comically as a man. 

Overall, Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters did not wow me, but I would still recommend it for those who love the classics and, perhaps, to inspire those young readers to pick up the original.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

12 and up
Gender: Female
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Murder by strangulation, attempted rape, scientific experimentation, body snatching
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Use/Abuse:  None


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