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Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe

by Carole Boston Weatherford

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I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a fairly new Marilyn Monroe fan. I’ve only seen “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “How To Marry A Millionaire” and loved her in both of those. I was so excited to read this because I wanted to learn more about her. I knew she had a tragic life and this book dove right into it.

This novel in verse goes through Marilyn’s entire life, starting from when she was a kid to a few weeks before her death. All aspects of her life are explored, painting a stunning portrait of this complicated woman.

As for the poems themselves, some of them were amazing but some fell a little flat. A novel in verse is a little harder to write since it does tell a story, so that is forgivable.

Some of my favorite poems were:
-Stand Still (pg 2)
-From Wonderland to Oz (pg 26)
-Baby Siren (pg 56)
-Dare I Wish? Dare I Dream? (Pg 75)
-Blondes Prefer Gentle Men (pg 106)
-No Pink Tights But a Gold Band (pg 114)
-I Got Rhythm (pg 124)
-Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover (pg 128)
-Living Up to My Name (pg 136)
-No One Malady (pg 137)
-Miscarriage Blues (pg 150)
-Dogs Are a Girl’s Best Friend (pg 162)
-Secrets of Style (pg 164)
-Rx: “Vitamins” (pg 169)
-The Kennedys (pg 175)
-Who Is Marilyn Monroe? (pg 178)
-Epilogue (pg 181)

I really liked that there was a poem about how she helped Ella Fitzgerald (I Got Rhythm). I am happy that was highlighted. I also loved the whole poem dedicated to Marilyn’s love of reading (Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover). I’ve always loved that she was a bookworm. Lastly, the last poem (Epilogue) was a clever way to end the book. That poem just consisted of a series of headlines relating to Marilyn after 1962, which gave you a glimpse of her lasting legacy and mystique.

Overall, this was a fascinating take on the life of Marilyn. If you’re Marilyn fan, or just want to learn more about her, I recommend reading this book. It’s a quick read but it does leave a big impact! ( )
  jessicadelellis | Jun 16, 2020 |
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