I initially decided to read this book for three reasons: 1) I thought it seemed like an interesting story, 2) it appeared on my school's required-reading list, and 3) I was able to find this SAT-prep version of it! 629 essential SAT words appear in bold throughout the main text and are defined along with synonyms on the lefthand opposite page. Other useful vocabulary words that aren't part of the SAT-vocab are underlined as they appear and are included in a glossary at the back of the book. For me, reading vocabulary in context is much more helpful than studying hundreds of words separately through flash cards.
Other reviewers have mentioned that this version is different from other editions of "Frankenstein" that they have seen before. This could be because the 1831 edition of the book is one of the most widely read versions; this SAT-prep version appears to be derived from the original 1818 edition. There are a some key plot differences between the two, but I don't think that Kaplan's use of a lesser-read (and earlier) version of "Frankenstein" detracts from the main purposes of the book: to entertain and to educate.
(Miniture Plot Synopsis): The story opens with a series of letters from a ship's captain, Walton, to his sister Margaret. He is sailing north of the Arctic Circle and his ship becomes surrounded by ice. He notices a man travelling across the ice pursuing a bizarre creature. The man, Victor Frankenstein, ends up coming onboard the ship and relating the strange tale of his life. Walton records Frankenstein's dialogue, which then becomes the narrative of the story.
Frankenstein was a bright and intelligent youth and deeply interested in alchemy. He left his family in Switzerland to study modern science in other countries of Europe. Through much research and effort, he discovered the method of constructing a human being. As to what he created the human out of, Frankenstein keeps these details vague (only mentioning various bones and parts). He specifically intends his creature to be handsome, but once his work is complete and the "creature" wakes up, he is horrified by its disfigured appearance and Frankenstein flees his laboratory. After this, the monster wanders off and later teaches himself how to speak and understand human conversation through observing a group of villagers.
When Frankenstein is hiking in the mountains, he is confronted by the monster. The monster tells him of all of his suffering and confusion and begs him to create a female counterpart that would be just as disfigured as he his, so they could live happily together in seclusion and not bother with humanity any longer. Frankenstein refuses this request, and then the monster plagues his life and the lives of his dear friends and family.
Shelley's style is incredibly descriptive, making it an obvious candidate for Kaplan's series of SAT-prep books. In fact, it's a good thing that I read this version, because I would've been fumbling around with a dictionary the whole time if I read an edition without a vocabulary guide!