Monsters, Liz Kay: Book Review

Liz Kay's unlikely love story is brilliant.

Monsters Liz Kay Book Review
Monsters Book Cover Monsters
Liz Kay
Adult Fiction
G.P. Putnam's Sons

A cracklingly funny and poignant debut novel about the ways we love, even when we’re not at our best.

Stacey Lane feels like a monster. Tommy DeMarco might be one.

Since her husband died eight months ago, Stacey’s been a certified mess—a poet who can’t write anymore, a good mother who feels like she’s failing her kids. She’s been trying to redefine herself, to find new boundaries.

Tommy has no respect for boundaries. A surprisingly well-read A-list Hollywood star, Tommy’s fallen in love with Stacey’s novel-in-verse, a feminist reimagining of Frankenstein, no less. His passion for the book, and eventually its author, will set their lives on a collision course. They’ll make a movie, make each other crazy, and make love—but only in secret.

As Stacey travels between her humdrum life in the suburbs of Omaha and the glamorous but fleeting escape Tommy offers, what begins as a distracting affair starts to pick up weight. It’s a weight that unbalances Stacey’s already unsteady life, but offers new depth to Tommy’s. About desire, love, grief, parenthood, sexual politics, and gender, Monsters: A Love Story is a witty portrait of a relationship gone off the rails, and two people who are made for each other—even if they’re not so sure they see it that way.

This review contains quotes from the book.

*Special thanks to G. P. Putnam’s Sons for allowing us to read Liz Kay’s Monsters.

Liz Kay‘s unusual love story, Monsters, will make everyone who reads it believe in love again.

This story starts off with Stacey Lane, a widow whose just lost her husband and is all alone to raise her two boys. To say she is a mess is an understatement. Stacey feels lost because she is still living in her husband’s hometown, and on top of that she has no idea how to escape it. She feels like a monster because she cannot seem to write any poems and feels as if she is not being a good mother to her children. But one day she gets an e-mail that changes everything.

“They’re buying a six-month option, whatever that means, but they’re sending me a check for fifteen grand and flying me out to work on the script.” I don’t really need the money, but I like the thought of making it. And more importantly, they’re flying me somewhere. More important, I get to leave.

-excerpt from Liz Kay’s Monsters

The email is about a producer wanting the film rights to her novel called Monsters in the Afterlife. After this, she packs up everything and moves to Hollywood to work on the screenplay. And while she is working on it, she becomes close with an A-list actor, Tommy DeMarco. Tommy is the ultimate bad-boy, who has a lot of charm and was also the one who discovered Monsters, a feminist re-imagining of Frankenstein. Since then, he’s wanted to star and co-produce the adaptation from the start.

This film seems to have given Stacey purpose again; she finds herself traveling back to Omaha, her hometown, and then to the City of Lights. Over time, Stacey and Tommy form an unlikely bond, one that inspires a sense of true love.

I loved Stacey’s character because she has suffered through so much and finally gets the break she’d been waiting for. I also ended up liking Tommy’s character because of how he pushes Stacey in ways that allowed her to reach her full creative potential. He also brings out a fun side to Stacey which I enjoyed, as she wasn’t as stressed about her life anymore. Tommy and Stacey are an unlikely pair, but they somehow make it work.

Overall, I would recommend Monsters to anyone who loves a good romcom. This book has all the elements of it: woman loses husband, feels the need to escape life, woman meets bad-boy, bad-boy falls in love with her…you know, how all great love stories are told.

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a junior in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate from journalism school.