Saturday, April 16, 2011

“A beautiful thing is precious, no matter the price. Those who do not know how to see the precious things in life will never be happy.” - Magda


Beastly – Alex Flinn
304 pages
Genre:  YA, modernized fairytale

Summary:  Set in present day New York City, Beastly is a retelling of the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast from the perspective of the beast.  Kyle is handsome, popular, rich…and a grade-A douchebag who picks on everyone that isn’t as attractive as him.  After angering the wrong girl, Kyle finds himself changed into a hideous monster, and the spell can only be broken with true love’s first kiss.  Will Kyle learn to be a better person and see people as what they are on the inside, or will he be doomed to remain in his present state forever?

Review:  In all honesty, I approached this book with a great deal of trepidation.  Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite fairy tales, and while I was eager to read a tale with a modern spin, I was also quite worried that my expectations would be a bit too high and I’d end up disappointed.  Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.  I found this book to be thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining, and quite an easy read.

While I could see the plot twists coming from a mile away, Beastly moved along at a nice pace and kept me interested throughout.  The main characters were really well drawn, and I particularly enjoyed seeing the positive changes in formerly pompous Kyle, even if those changes did seem a bit rushed.  Kyle and Laura’s relationship was very sweet, and I even found myself giggling and “awwing” aloud at times.  It was also really easy to hate Kyle’s dad, and I liked that I wasn’t able to get to know him throughout the book.  As in Kyle’s life, his father was distant in the book, and I was able to brush him off the same way Kyle did.

The references to other works of literature was rather fantastic, and I especially loved the time spent on Jane Eyre, as it’s one of my favorite books.

At first, I didn’t really like the chat room type thing that was established at the beginning of the text, but it really grew on me after awhile, and it was rather cute that all of the people placed under spells had a way to connect with one another.

If you’re a fan of modernized fairytales, give Beastly a try. 

Rating:  4/5

Books by this Author with the Same ThemeCloaked

Read alikes (different spins on fairytales)Wicked, Mirror Mirror, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (all by Gregory Maguire; for more mature readers), Beauty by Robin McKinley

7 comments:

  1. I really like what you said about this one! I loved the chat room style. And I really think the author is good at the modernization thing. I read it a little while ago, but I remember thinking "Would it be harder if the main character were a girl?" What if the girl was the "beast"? Is it easier to fall for a man beast or a girl one? Also, did you see the movie? I did not get a chance to, and was wondering if it's worth seeing.

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  2. Ooh this has been on my to read list. I was worried though, because the movie looked kind of weird. If you liked it though, I have more hope! Revisionist fairy tales for the win!

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  3. I haven't seen the movie, and I'm not sure if I'm going to because it looks kind of weird. haha. I think it would definitely be harder if the main character were a girl, just because girls seem to have more peer pressure coming their way regarding looks (not to say that boys don't; I know it's hard for both).

    Christina, if you decide to read this, stick with it. The beginning was really "eh" for me, and I didn't get into the story until after the transformation (which, thankfully, was the majority of the book). It gets much better after that.

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