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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  14,826 ratings  ·  3,537 reviews
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 he
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Delacorte Press
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Kaitlyn Darcy It is pretty minimal, told only in flashbacks. You could definitely skip two sections and be fine. They just help the reader understand Victor Franken…moreIt is pretty minimal, told only in flashbacks. You could definitely skip two sections and be fine. They just help the reader understand Victor Frankenstien's fascination with anatomy, and his lack of empathy for living things.
The sections you might want to skip are (in the first edition) pages 78-80: This is the only really graphic animal-abuse scene.
and page 243: this one is not really graphic but could still be upsetting.
Hope this helps!(less)
Camille Carine It is definitely more historical then the original but it does have a bit of the original sci-fi aspect. Don't go into it expecting that much sci-fi though

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Emily May
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes we were strangers even to ourselves.

For the first two thirds, I thought this book was pretty good. Frankenstein is one of my favourite books, and I like it when authors give a voice - and different perspective - to a side character. But it is in the final third when this book goes from pretty good to excellent.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is, essentially, a retelling of Frankenstein from the perspective of Elizabeth - an orphan taken in by the Frankenstein family and
Victoria Schwab
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well that was dark and delicious.
Elle (ellexamines)
You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.

I do not think I expected one of the best books I read this year to be a retelling of Frankenstein where it’s not just about the nature of monstrousness, but about the power of women working together and escaping an abusive relationship, with intoxicating writing and a morally grey lady as the protagonist. And yet… here we are.

I don’t think you can talk about this book without talking about the charac
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
“Elizabeth,” he said, his tone firm and chiding. He lifted my chin and fixed my eyes with his. “You are mine. You have been since the first day we met. You will be mine forever. My absence should not have caused you to doubt the firmness and steadfastness of my attachment to you. It will never fade.”
This turned out to be a pretty twisted love story.

I read Frankenstein in more details than anyone should ever read a book when I was in 10th grade. I was in Academic Decathlon, and that year, fo
Kayla Dawn
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
I'm so disappointed oh my

I really enjoyed the first 150 pages or so (even though most people who disliked this seem to think it was the boring part of the book lol) but it just went downhill after this..

Everything happened so fast and was unnecessarily rushed. Why not write a longer book? It only had around 280 pages anyway.
It read as if White just wanted to finish as quickly as possible.
Because of that the story got more and more unbelievable and felt artificially constructed, forced even.

Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Closer to 4.5 stars due to pacing issues, but I enjoyed the book enough to round it up to 5 stars. This is a creepy gothic story that reframes the narrative from a woman’s perspective and a toxic relationship that she must navigate. What’s fascinating here is the dynamic of a female character who purposely pigeonholes herself to be a supporting character role that only exists to serve a man’s narrative as an act of survival and self-preservation. I love how this added so much depth to her charac ...more
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
i'm so sad that this didn't do much for me! mind you, there were a few moments that were written in such an intensely captivating way that i couldn't stop myself from reading on. it's just that a lot of times i felt like the story was being dragged out and that's where i feel conflicted. i still loved the writing style & can't wait to see what kiersten white has up her sleeve next! ...more

ARC provided by Random House in exchange for an honest review.

“Some nights, when even my child’s heart knew that what I had been asked to endure was too much, I would stand on the edge of the lake, lift my face to the stars, and scream. Nothing ever called back. Even among the creeping things of the lake’s night, I was alone. Until Victor.”

Kiersten White wrote this book to honor the fact that 2018 is the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! It has been ten years since I
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”While I saw the destruction of the tree as nature’s beauty, Victor saw power – power to light up the night and banish darkness, power to end a centuries-old life in a single strike – that he cannot control or access. And nothing bothers Victor more than something he cannot control.”

This book was recommended to me by Mara at the beginning of October and I’m so glad I followed her recommendation! If not I would have missed out on one of the best retellings I ever read and that’s a fact. XD “The D
✨    jay   ✨
actual rating: 2.5 stars

I just want to make a disclaimer before I start this review. I'm extremely picky about retellings and probably need to stop reading them because of it. So there's that.

“You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.”

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is a retelling of Frankenstein, written to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein. I read Frankenstein earlier this year, and liked it. I'm also a huge fan of White
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I don't know how I feel yet. Going with the middle road for now

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Someday death will claim you. And I will not allow it. His eyes narrowed, and his voice trembled with fury and determination. You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death."

I love retellings that offer a completely different perspective and Elizabeth Frankenstein was the POV I didn't know I needed.

"All our rituals as humans seemed to revolve around birth and death—marriage being the exception, though my wedding had been a ritual intimately connected to deat
Aug 24, 2018 added it
"I thought to puncture heaven and instead I discovered hell."

Everything about this book screams READ ME. And yes, it does so in caps lock.

It is so promisingly creepy and twisted, exactly what a perfect book sounds like to me. I am a big fan of Penny Dreadful (it's on Netflix and you need to watch it right now) and this book had some major PD vibes. It started out strong but the thrill of it all lost itself toward the ending. I immediately fell in love with Elizabeth, the main character. She was
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads, e-books
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“For everyone made to feel like a side character in their own story”

🌟 I like the dedication of this book very much as I always think of people as main or secondary characters. I myself am a secondary character!

🌟 Some of you know that I didn’t finish the And I Darken book. But you also know that I believe in second chances. I wanted to give Kiersten her second chance, and while this was not a favorite book, not even
Nadhira Satria
“What’s disappointment?” They asked.
This book apparently.
“Who’s disappointed?” They also asked.
Me, bitch.
Whitney Atkinson
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2021
This book almost doesn't deserve this rating because I should've reread Frankenstein to fully understand this, but I just didn't get what it was supposed to do. Also them naming the monster???? bye ...more
Meagan ✊🏼 Blacklivesmatter ✊🏼Blacktranslivesmatter
Elizabeth was deliciously flawed 😈. loved her character and the growth she experienced.

I loved the message of this book: Be you! Be your gloriously flawed self. Do not try and change who you are for others. And last, but most importantly, create your own future. Do not let others dictate it for you. Ugh, where was this book when I was teenager!

I loved Kierstan's writing! It is always so beautiful! After about page 60 the pacing and the plot really picks up. So don't give up before you get at le
Natalie Monroe
“You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.”

I have a confession to make. Even though I'm getting an MPhil in Victorian literature, I have never read Frankenstein.

gasps all around

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get back to your hidey-holes, you ghouls.

I do know that the original Elizabeth Lavenza is a classic "Angel in the House" figure. She's sweet, passive, bland. Some scholars have argued that she smoothly rotates through the three prime female paradigms of the n
♛ may
this book was a Ride

so creepy, so entertaining, so messed up. the characters are really deep and flawed and terrifying. and those plot twists, hashtag 👌



my brain: you're already reading a kiersten white book and it's not going so hot so why not pick up ANOTHER ONE OF HER BOOKS 🤪🤪


buddy read with claraaa 💖
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm super conflicted on this. I loved the characters so much. Elizabeth is one of the best protagonists I have read from. She's my slytherin queen.
But this was so boring. The pacing was all over the place. There were really long stretches where nothing happened and then the action scenes went by so fast. I also fell asleep while reading it at one point which never happens so........
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
I finished it! But I can’t really decide how I want to rate it yet. I liked it, but I don’t think I was in the right mood to read it. But the writing was quite good, it was definitely creepy and interesting. And if you like the source material, you’ll probably find a lot to enjoy in this retelling.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.”

I really enjoyed this. The character of Elizabeth receives a backbone and an unconventional retelling. Smiles, dimples and sweet curls are the face behind a manipulative mind in more control than others would realize at first, deceived glance. The flashbacks embedded into the story between the present hunt and discovery were especially interesting - I get impatient with this kind of thing usually, but in this c
Sep 14, 2018 marked it as to-read
This is intriguing.
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to this, but perhaps my expectations were too high. It was very slow going for me, even though it is not a long book.

There are aspects of it that I loved, like making Elizabeth the focus of the story and getting to hear her thoughts about her being allowed into the family in order to be Victor's pet. I loved how the author creates such a strong person in Elizabeth. She knows what her role is: to befriend the strange boy and fashion him into a semblance of a human be
Mara YA Mood Reader
$1.99 on Kindle US today 9/30/19!! Perfect for Spooky Halloween reads!!

5 Freaky-Frankenstein Stars!!! I freaking loved this!!

This is the first I’ve ever read of Kiersten White and I don’t know why after reading this brilliant retelling!! I’m definitely going to read more by this author.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is now among one of my top reads of the year.

It’s just soooooooooo refreshing. And unique. And a perrrrrrrfect YA. The type of YA that I WANT!!

Here’s what I loved:
This is one of the best retellings I've read in a long time. I noticed it when it first came out, but I didn't want to read it because I had never read the original Frankenstein. I ended up reading it my senior year of high school, and then picked this up this year. I'm so glad I did.

This is the story of Frankenstein, as told from Elizabeth's pov. It begins after Victor has already created his monster, when Elizabeth comes to find him and he is sick in one of his fits, which he fell in after th
Merphy Napier
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: retelling, four-stars
Some things I loved:
-These characters were REALLY twisted. I loved how obsessive, and calculating these characters were throughout the novel. Very intriguing and so interesting to see how their minds worked (especially victor)
- The many nods to the original. I loved how much this book looked like the original classic without following it exactly. It was so much fun to make the connections and guess where the story would go based off the original book. There were so many beautiful nods to the or
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
by Kiersten White

2.75/5 Stars!

Buddy read with Karima

This was my first experience with Kiersten White’s book, although she has many famous books that I have no intention to read at the moment, for a reason I seemed interested in this one. But why this book has caught my interest was because it is:

1) A retelling of the world’s first sci-fi book that has ever been created; the infamous “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley.
2) It focuses on Elizabeth. A great oppo
✨Bean's Books✨
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Whoa!!!! 😲
A fabulously reimagined retelling of the famous novel of Victor Frankenstein and his monster creation. However this story is told from the point-of-view of Elizabeth Victor's adopted sister and eventually his wife.
I don't say this lightly and I mean it when I say this, this may be the perfect book guys! Masterfully written in the perfect language skills that reflect the time era it was written for. Little homages speckled here and there throughout the book as if to give an honorable c
“Sometimes we were strangers even to ourselves.”


Lightning streaks across the sky. The wind howls, rain pounds against the windows, and shadows creep along the walls of the parlor. A warm fire crackles in the hearth, and a book sets in your lap. Through the glass, trees writhe and twist in the tempest. The storm rattles your bones. The dark corners of the room send a chill up your spine. And maybe, just see a figure, standing outside the window.

Watching you.

The Dark Descent of Eli
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Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling author of many books for teens and young readers, including And I Darken, Now I Rise, Bright We Burn, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, and Slayer. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, where she perpetually lurks in the shadows. Visit Kiersten online at and follow @KierstenWhite on Twitter.

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