Thursday, December 6, 2012

Monster High

While looking at lists of hot gifts for this holiday season, I came across something that had me pretty interested. Have you seen the Monster High dolls? They're a pretty big deal for little girls this season, but they also peeked my interest and the interest of a lot of other adult women, too. Mostly, for me, it was the Draculaura doll, she's adorable and I happen to know Matt bought her for me for Christmas! What I didn't know at that point is that Monster High is a whole big thing, and I do mean big thing. There're dolls, but there's also a four book YA series, an animated movie, an animated web-series, and a whole lot of other things branded with the Monster High label.

So, I got the first book in the YA series and devoured it, got book two and zipped through that one too. So far, they're the only one's I've read, but I just got the last two books in the mail, so it probably won't be long until I've finished the series. I've also finished volume one of the Monster High webisodes and plan to watch the other three volumes in the near future. Oh, and I watched the movie, Monster High: Ghouls Rule today, which I enjoyed.

The general story, of both the webisodes/movie and the books, center around Frankie Stein and her "ghoulfriends" Draculaura, Cleo, Clawdeen, and Blue--plus a whole cast of others, like Ghoulia, Duce, Abby, and Spectra. But there's a catch. The webisodes/movie don't follow the same storyline, exactly, that the books do. The first book is about Frankie Stein's first few months of life and a "normie" named Melody Carver. The second book follows Frankie and Melody, but tosses in Cleo as a primary character, too. The fourth adds in Clawdeen. The fifth, about Draculaura. They attend Merston High in Salem, OR and the monster's are a secret. In the webisodes/movie, they go to Monster High and are out of the coffin, so to speak. The webisodes/movie are much more open about the monster, and there is no Melody Carver--that I can tell. The movie has "normies," but none of them are Melody or her family.

The chronology goes something like this: dolls, webisodes, books, movie. In fact, the webisodes and movie were efforts to promote the dolls. Then Lisi Harrison came along and wrote a four book series that loosely follows the same characters in an alternate reality sort of way. Whatever the case may be, the whole Monster High thing is so, so fun. They're fun for me and I'm a 34 year old woman without kids. And you know what, it seems like there're a lot of other women without kids that find it charming, too. One reviewer on Amazon said she read them because they're fun, clean reading. Which couldn't be more true, the closest thing you get to sexual content is kissing and the characters plot to save the world from Frankie's backyard or around the flagpole.

So, if you're interested in YA books and you like the Gothic, this might be for you. Seriously, I just said "the Gothic." There're quite a few nods to the traditional Gothic in the books, including "Radcliffe Way," the street where the RAD's (monsters--"regular attribute dodgers") live. I mean really, anything that manages to be for younger audiences and is still quite smart is a winner with me!